What Conditions Can Audiologists Treat?
Almost every part of the body is subject to medical specialization and the ears – and hearing capabilities – are no different. While audiologists are primarily associated with hearing loss, their expertise extends far further and there are a number of conditions that audiologists are able to treat – including the following six common issues.
Of course, it would be impossible to compile this list without mentioning hearing loss. Audiologists can administer a range of different hearing tests and accurately diagnose the type of hearing loss an individual is experiencing. In addition, audiologists can also fit hearing aids and provide advice to help new users adjust to their devices.
Earwax occurs naturally, protecting the ears and performing a self-cleaning function that is essential for good overall ear health. However, some individuals can experience a buildup of earwax that becomes problematic – often to the point that they experience hearing loss or balance issues. While there are some home remedies for earwax buildup, these are rarely successful and, in some cases, can make the problem worse. Audiologists can utilize their expertise in order to remove earwax buildup safely and successfully while ensuring that ear health is protected at all times.
Tinnitus is a hearing health issue that impacts millions of people across the globe, causing phantom sounds such as ringing, buzzing or beeping. If left untreated, tinnitus can cause secondary issues such as insomnia and even depression, due to its impact on quality of life. Audiologists are thus able to diagnose and provide recommendations for tinnitus, either in concert with treatment for hearing loss or as a standalone issue.
Balance disorders such as vertigo tend to originate in the inner ear or the vestibular system, causing symptoms such as dizziness. Audiologists, therefore, have a key role to play in the diagnosis, treatment and management of all balance-related issues.
There are two particular conditions that can cause noise sensitivity:
- Hyperacusis: A condition that causes increased sensitivity to certain frequencies and volumes of sound, which can be painful and upsetting
- Misophonia: A condition that causes increased sensitivity to repetitive sounds (for example, a person with misophonia may feel anxious if they hear the repetitive ticking of a clock)
Individuals who experience either hyperacusis or misophonia often find that their ability to live a normal life is greatly impacted by the condition, resulting in the need to consult an audiologist for further advice on management and treatment strategies.
Middle and inner ear problems
There are a number of health conditions that originate in the middle and inner ear, all of which will require the input of an audiologist to treat them effectively. For example, if an individual has experienced repeated ear infections, they will likely be referred to an audiologist for further examination.
While audiologists are most frequently associated with hearing loss, their expertise extends far beyond hearing and into the realm of general ear health. If you are experiencing any of the issues discussed above, visit an audiologist for the diagnosis and treatment you deserve.