May is Deaf Awareness and Hard of Hearing Month so this is our first blog describing what audiologists do. Hearing is an essential part of everyday life. We communicate with each other and experience the world through our senses. The inability to hear can have a significant impact on a person’s wellbeing. It can affect people physically, emotionally, socially, vocationally and financially.
We know that there are 360 million people worldwide who have a disabling hearing loss, yet half of all cases of hearing loss are avoidable through primary prevention.
In May, many hearing professionals and organizations around the world raise awareness about hearing loss and promote screening and treatment. Today, if you asked someone what audiology was all about you would likely get the answer “someone who tests hearing” and in fact there are some who would say “I don’t know”.
What do audiologists do?
So what do audiologists do? Audiologists are highly trained autonomous hearing health professionals.
- We screen, assess, identify and treat hearing loss, auditory processing disorders, tinnitus and other auditory disorders as well as balance problems for people of all ages.
- Audiologists prescribe and fit hearing aids including cochlear implant processors, bone anchored hearing aids, hearing protective devices and assistive listening devices.
- We are involved in education programs, hearing screening and conservation programs, research and advocacy.
- We promote healthy hearing, communication, and quality of life for persons of all ages. Audiology is a growing field that continues to evolve at a rapid pace.
In the 17th century trumpets were used to assist the hearing impaired. Today, due to the technological advancements in our field we have moved on from trumpets to wireless discreet digital hearing aids.
Audiology at Sidra
The Department of Audiology at Sidra Medical and Research Center will provide comprehensive diagnostic and rehabilitative hearing services. Sidra will have a hearing screening program in place to identify babies with hearing loss. Screening is vitally important and it is possibly the first line of defense when identifying a child with a potential hearing loss. Early detection and intervention are crucial to minimizing the impact of hearing loss. Whether a child is born with hearing loss or develops it later, early diagnosis and treatment can improve a child’s successful language development and long- term outcomes.