From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: All About Audiologists
By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.
Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. has nearly 100 healthcare providers with different jobs and titles. What do these titles mean and what care does everyone offer? This is the third in a series explaining who our providers are and what they do to keep you and your family healthy.
What is an Audiologist?
Audiologists are medical professionals – usually doctors – who test, diagnose, and treat hearing loss in babies, children, and adults. They also fit patients with hearing aids or other hearing-enhancing instruments, and diagnose other hearing- and ear-related conditions. At CEENTA they also work closely with the ear, nose, and throat doctors to provide a continuity of care if more serious medical concerns are detected during an audiology exam. Unlike hearing instrument specialists, who primarily do just hearing aid fittings, audiologists also can perform full diagnostic evaluations of a patient’s complete auditory system. This means they can diagnose the cause of hearing loss and determine if it needs medical attention before the patient gets hearing aids.
How does someone become an Audiologist?
After receiving an undergraduate degree, future audiologists get a master’s degree or doctorate in audiology through a graduate program. In addition to the classroom portion of the degree, the third and/or fourth year of their program involves getting hands-on experience through an externship program. In fact, CEENTA has its own externship, where fourth-year students work with patients in three separate educational tracks. Students rotate through clinics for cochlear implants, pediatric audiology, tinnitus retraining therapy, vestibular testing electrophysiology, diagnostics, hearing aids, and practice management. CEENTA is currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 program, and interested students can email Audiologist Tracy Swanson, AuD, F-AAA, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are some of the conditions Audiologists treat?
Audiologists test your hearing and help fit you with the best hearing aids for your personal needs and lifestyle. These hearing aids utilize the most up-to-date technology and are small and discreet. If your hearing loss cannot be helped with conventional hearing aids, an audiologist may consider having you fitted with cochlear implants. These devices provide electrical stimulation directly to the cochlea to help you hear.
Audiologists will also help test and treat you for tinnitus, commonly known as a humming, buzzing, or ringing in the ear. They can also test your balance and help diagnose dizziness issues.
How many Audiologists does CEENTA have?
CEENTA has almost 30 audiologists.
Where can I get audiology care at CEENTA?
Audiology care is available at every one of CEENTA’s offices in North and South Carolina, except for Statesville.
“Testing is available for people of any age,” Dr. Swanson said. “Hearing loss can occur at any age, and it is abnormal at every age. We have so many patients who come in with hearing loss and say their hearing is normal for their age. It is never normal, regardless of their age.”
To make an appointment with a CEENTA audiologist, call 704-295-3000.