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Audiology is a medical field that deals with the study of hearing. Audiologists are professionals who work to help people with all levels and types of hearing loss, from mild to profound.

Hearing Loss - Why?

Some common causes for hearing loss include: aging, genetics, noise exposure (occupational or environmental), ototoxic medicines or drugs, head injury, ear infections (acute or chronic), and fluid build-up in the inner ears.

Hearing can be measured by an audiogram; it shows us how well we hear at various frequencies which is plotted as a graph against loudness level thresholds assessed using pure tone audiometry testing.

Hearing involves more than your ears

Did you know that your hearing is more than just a sense? Your auditory system includes your ears, which transmit sound waves to the brain, where they are processed in order for us to perceive them. Hearing loss can be caused by various factors such as aging or exposure to loud noises. It's important to get a hearing exam from an audiologist if you think you may have developed some type of hearing impairment.

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Role of Audiologists

Audiology is the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. Audiological assessment includes a patient's medical history, family history, complete physical examination, otoscopic evaluation, audiometric testing (hearing test), vestibular function tests (balance test), tympanometry (pressure in the middle ear)  and acoustic reflexes.

Patients can be treated by various methods including amplification devices such as hearing aids or cochlear implants; medications to treat infections; surgery for tumors or other structural problems; or counseling for psychological issues. With proper audiological care patients can lead more fulfilling lives.

Otoscopes

Audiologists listen to a patient's ear canal with a small instrument called an otoscope. They use this tool to examine the eardrum for any signs of infection or perforation, which may require surgery in order to repair it. The exam also includes looking at the tympanic membrane (ear drum) for redness or fluid behind it that could indicate an ear infection, injury or other problem.

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