The Role of An Audiologist
The role of the Audiologist is to clinically treat persons who may be experiencing difficulties or have concerns with their hearing. An Audiologist can provide expert advice regarding Auditory disorders.
When people express concerns about their hearing, the first step is to book a consultation with a hearing care professional.
We will always recommend booking a consultation with a reputable Audiology company that employs fully Qualified Audiologists.
An Audiologist can advise you on:
- Discuss your concerns
- Provide you with Accurate information
- Test your hearing with calibrated auditory equipment
- Discusses your Audiogram and results
- Can accurately diagnose if hearing loss is present
- Provide unbiased advice
- Discuss & provide a treatment plan if needed
1: Discuss your hearing concerns
The first step of the consultation with be a friendly chat about your hearing and where you may be struggling. This information gives the Audiologist an insight into what may be causing the concern.
Below are just some of the symptoms a person may be experiencing.
- When you notice your hearing is struggling
- Any particular situations (crowds, busy environments)
- Ringing or buzzing in your ear (Tinnitus)
- Difficulties with high-pitched sounds (Hyperacusis)
2: Conduct a hearing test
The Audiologist will being by placing a pair of noise-canceling headphones over your ears to prevent any external sounds from distracting you. The Audiologist will also provide you with a button and make sure you are seated comfortably.
A series of sounds are played through the headphones that include high and low-pitched sounds. Each time a tone is heard, you press the button to indicate you have heard it. This indication is plotted on the graph of your Audiogram to record the measurement. A comprehensive hearing test normally takes around 45 minutes including an examination of the ears.
3: Discuss the results of your Audiogram
The Audiologist will diagnose and explain your Audiogram to identify if any Auditory issues are present. If the results of your Audiogram show loss is present, The Audiologist can provide you with detailed information on the type of hearing loss and why you might be experiencing these issues.
Conductive loss - hearing loss that is caused by something that obstructs the sounds getting through to the outer or middle ear.
Sensorineural Loss - hearing loss that occurs when there is a problem in the way the inner ear or hearing nerve works.
Mixed hearing loss - hearing loss that includes a mix of conductive loss & Sensorineural.
Quite often a person can experience hearing loss only in one ear. This is referred to as:
- Unilateral — this means that the hearing is normal in one ear but hearing loss is present in the other ear. Unilateral hearing loss is can occur in adults and children.
- Bilateral — this means that the hearing loss is present in both ears, Bilateral hearing loss can occur gradually over time-related (Presbycusis).
4: Discuss a treatment plan
Depending on the results of your hearing test, the Audiologist will discuss your hearing and if you are a suitable candidate for hearing aids.
The Audiolok the results of your hearing test against a decibel rating to help categorize your hearing loss.
Understanding hearing thresholds
- Normal hearing: (<25 dB) No symptoms of hearing loss
- Mild hearing loss: (26 - 40dB) Difficulty hearing in crows / noisy environments.
- Moderate hearing loss: (40 - 60 dB) Difficulty understanding conversations in a group setting.
- Severe hearing loss: (61 - 80 dB) Difficult hearing tv, people speak louder than they should.
- Profound hearing loss: (≥81) (Hearing is very challenging and tiring).
Combined with several factors including your age, hearing test, and difficulties you are experiencing the Audiologist can decide if you are a suitable candidate for hearing aids.
If the Audiologist feels that your hearing does not require a hearing aid at this time, they will provide you with a recommendation to possibly re-test your ears. If the Audiologist feels that you could benefit from hearing aids.
5: Try on hearing aids
The Audiologist will discuss the benefits of hearing aids and they could potentially benefit you.
Every hearing aid company provides a different range and styles. In some instances, a particular brand or style may benefit your hearing loss more.
The Audiologist will always encourage you to try on a variety of hearing aids so you can experience the different sound qualities and features.
For example, people suffering from Tinnitus may benefit from a Tinnitus masker being switched on. Each hearing aid can have a variety of features and quality differences.
The Widex Moment 440 offers the best-in-class sound quality, the Moment 440 uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to learn your hearing pattern and dynamically switch from one sound environment to another.
An example of this feature would be sitting in a noisy restaurant and then moving to a quiet room. The Moment 440 uses Adaptive sound technology that tailors a program to adjust the sound levels to match the environment surrounding you, so there is no need for manual adjustment.
The purpose of a hearing aid is to improve a person's quality of life and help them communicate more easily. Our Audiologists will always provide clear, unbiased advice on your hearing.
10 tips from an Audiologist
- Ensure the person testing you have the relevant qualifications
- Bring a friend or family member to the test if it makes you feel more comfortable
- Ensure a copy of your Audiogram is available on request
- Ensure your results are explained in detail
- You should never feel pressured to purchase hearing aids
- You don’t have to pay €5,000 - €7,000 for hearing aids, high quality options are available for less
- Hearing aids are expensive, so ensure you know the returns policy
- Make sure you are made aware of the PRSI hearing aid grant & how to understand how the grant works
- Ensure your new hearing aids come with a minimum of a 4-year warranty
- Your hearing aids need to last until you qualify for your next grant
- Ensure you're follow-up appointments are free!
If you are interested in a career in Audiology, please visit our careers page.