Audiology is a very specific branch of medicine. Audiology focuses on anything related to hearing and balance, two systems which are closely combined. It is a very broad medical profession with health-care professionals that practice audiology being known as audiologists.
Audiology, in name at least, is a very new profession in the medical world. The first reference to audiology ever was in 1946. Of course, people were dealing with conditions related to the hearing of a person before that, but most of this treatment came under the guise of general medicine. The main benefit of audiology being its own branch of medicine is the fact that a lot of research can be poured into it. Over the past few decades, we have learned to treat way more hearing-related diseases than we have in the past. Treatments are far better, mainly because of the huge amount of focus specialist doctors can put into coming up with dedicated treatments.
A lot of the effort that an audiologist puts in will be dealing with hearing conditions. For example, they will help people who are dealing with certain conditions which may lead to deafness. They can also assist people when it comes to the dealing with deafness. For example, they can fit hearing aids and cochlear implants. Nearly all audiologists will be able to communicate in sign language, although this is dependent on whether they work in a patient-focused role or not.
In addition to this, an audiologist will be able to assist in situations where a patient may be dealing with balance issues. This is because most balance issues are related to problems with the inner ear. While initial treatment may be offered by a general practitioner, nearly all cases involving balance issues will be referred to an audiologist, particularly in cases where standard treatment methods do not work.
A good proportion of the effort that an audiologist puts in comes from when they will work in tangent with other experts in medicine. For example, an audiologist may work with a speech therapist in order to deliver the best possible treatments. The exact people that they work with will be dependent on the condition that is being treated.
An audiologist will deal with the patient from diagnosis all the way through to final treatment. Not all audiologists will have a ‘patient facing’ role. Many of them will work behind the scenes in order to research potential treatment for a whole host of different hearing related conditions. This is how audiology has advanced so far in the past few years, and why it will continue to advance on a technological level.
The qualification requirements to work as an audiologist do vary from country to country. However, most countries do have specific qualifications for those who are planning to work in the field of audiology. This qualification will normally be gained after the completion of a medical degree, although some countries will allow you to complete studying in tangent with the standard medical degree.
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