If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss in Omaha, you’ll get to know your audiologist pretty well. Maybe not on an exchanging-Christmas-cards level, but you will be spending a lot of time in their office. Understanding what they do (hint: it involves more than peering into your ear canals with a lighted instrument) will help you appreciate their hard work and dedication to your hearing health.
Definition of an Audiologist
An audiologist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation and management of hearing and balance disorders. Most audiologists have earned a Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) from an accredited university. All receive in-depth training in the prevention, identification, assessment and treatment of a wide range of hearing and balance disorders. They are required to complete an internship, pass a national competency exam and obtain professional certification and licensing in the state(s) where they practice. It’s pretty obvious your audiologist has more than just a passing interest in ears and hearing to have devoted so much time to their studies!
The Many Roles of an Audiologist
Your audiologist in Omaha has a lot to handle! On any given day, they might:
- Identify, test, diagnose and manage hearing and balance disorders and tinnitus.
- Counsel and educate patients and their families on hearing health, treatment and management strategies and methods for improving communication.
- Assess candidacy for hearing aids, cochlear implants and implantable hearing devices.
- Administer audiologic rehabilitation programs including speech reading, language development and communication skills.
- Evaluate and manage patients with central auditory processing disorders.
- Design and implement hearing conservation programs.
- Supervise and conduct newborn hearing screenings.
- Recommend, dispense, fit and program hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
- Examine the ear canals and eardrum, removing excess earwax, and making custom molds from ear impressions.
- Assist surgeons with medical procedures involving the ears.
Audiologists in Nebraska find work in a variety of settings. They may practice in hospitals, clinics, schools and universities, hearing aid dispensaries, private practices and VA hospitals, among other places.
The next time you visit your Omaha audiologist, you’ll have a better understanding of the many hats this individual wears!