Audiologists are highly trained professionals who specialize in evaluating, diagnosing, treating, and managing issues related to hearing, tinnitus, and balance disorders. They use a variety of tests and procedures to fully evaluate the hearing ability and/or any balance issues of the patient. Some audiologists may also fit and dispense hearing aids or other hearing devices. Audiologists perform three main types of tests which are all covered by audiology claims.
The audiologist looks in the ear canal with an ‘otoscope’ and magnifying pen light. Blockages such as ear wax or problems within the ear canal or eardrum are diagnosed.
The audiologist tests the middle ear function by testing to see how well the eardrum responds to light pressure. The test detects disruptions that inhibit motion of the eardrum like fluid, infection, or eustachian tube dysfunction.
The audiologist performs this test by placing the patient in a soundproof booth or room and then asking the patient to raise his or her hand (or push a button) when he or she hears a sound. This test determines air conduction, the softest sound you can hear through earphones at several different pitches, and bone conduction, the softest sound you can hear by stimulating the inner ear directly.
Afterwards, the test results and recommendations will be explained to the patient. An Audiologist may refer the patient to an ENT doctor specializing in ear, nose and throat or a hearing aid specialist depending on the test results and further medical care required.
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