An audiologist is a professional working in the area of audiology which is specialism in the healthcare profession that deals in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of hearing problems and balance disorders.
Audiology is an interesting, varied and important profession; audiologists meet new people all the time, build relationships with fellow professionals and patients and provide an extremely valuable service for people who struggle with hearing and balance. Often, audiologists work alongside other health professionals as part of a multidisciplinary team.
In order to become an audiologist, you have to complete either an undergraduate or postgraduate course in audiology. There are a number of courses available in the UK and all combine theoretical study with professional, on the job training.
Hearing is a very important sense, which facilitates communication and enables us to appreciate all the weird and wonderful sounds around us.
Most people have no problems with hearing but others have difficulty and some people are born without the ability to hear.
The information on this site will explore a number of different aspects and subjects related to hearing and the work of audiologists, specialists that care for patients with hearing and balanced disorders and problems.
Hearing problems are more common than most people realise and many people in the UK are affected by hearing problems and hearing loss.
The most common cause of hearing loss is ageing, as the sensitive hair cells inside the ear become damaged as an individual gets older, but there are many other possible causes of hearing loss, including infections, blockages and obstructions in the ear canal, prolonged exposure to loud noises and sounds and underlying health conditions.
In the UK there are currently three ways of becoming an audiologist; these include:
• Completing a BSc degree course in audiology
• Completing an MSc in audiology
• Completing a postgraduate diploma in audiology
In order to get onto a BSc course in audiology, it is necessary to gain good GCSE and A level results. Usually universities require candidates to have one science based subject at A level, however different universities may have different entry requirements, so it is important to check with individual institutions. Most BSc courses last for four years and courses combine practical learning with theoretical studies. Most universities require students to complete three years of academic study at university and a year-long clinical placement (this is usually in the 3rd year).
In order to get onto the MSc or postgraduate diploma courses, candidates will usually be required to have a degree in a science-based or relevant subject. Entry requirements may vary according to the institution so it is best to contact the individual university.
Treatment for hearing problems usually depends on the cause of the problem. If hearing loss is associated with another health condition or an infection, this will be treated first and the doctor or audiology specialist will then monitor the individual’s condition to see whether their hearing improves. If there is a blockage or obstruction, this will usually be treated by means of surgery.
If an individual develops permanent hearing loss, they may be advised to try wearing a hearing aid; hearing aids help to amplify sounds to make it easier for people to hear.
If a hearing aid does not work and an individual has more severe hearing difficulties, a more intensive, long-term treatment, such as a cochlear implant, may be recommended.
If you think you have problems with your hearing then you need to see an audiology specialist who is medical professional that deals with all aspects of hearing and balance. Audiologists are responsible for detecting, diagnosing and treating conditions which are associated with hearing and balance disorders.
Audiologists usually work alongside a multidisciplinary team, which may include a range of different healthcare professionals. The role of the audiologist is to care for people who are affected by hearing or balance disorders; this involves detecting symptoms, diagnosing a condition and arranging a suitable course of treatment. Audiology is evolving all the time and the audiologists play a very important role. It is estimated that around 16 percent of the UK population is affected by severe hearing loss.
The role of the audiologist is interesting, varied and challenging.
Audiologists are required to communicate with people of all different ages and backgrounds and must combine medical and scientific knowledge with people skills, compassion and patience.
Some audiologists choose to specialise in a specific area of audiology; these include:
• Paediatric care
• Adult assessment and rehabilitation
• Special needs patients
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What is an audiologist? An audiologist is a medical professional who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and audiology problems and balance disorders. Audiologists provide care for people of all ages and carry out an important job. What qualifications does an audiologist … More...