An audiologist in Knoxville TN is a medical professional that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and balance or equilibrium disorders or conditions in people of all ages. Audiologists are awarded the doctor of audiology or AuD diploma. Most states require an audiologist to be licensed in order to practice. Audiologists can choose to work in a wide variety of settings including private practice, hospitals, universities, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) clinics, or research to mention a few.
Audiologists like those at Audiolife perform many services including prescribing and fitting hearing aid devices, participate in cochlear implant programs, perform ear or hearing-related surgical procedures, design and establish hearing conservation programs and screening programs for newborn babies, and conduct hearing rehabilitation programs such as speech reading, auditory training, listening skills improvements.
Practically any type of hearing loss is treatable by an audiologist, especially that caused by nerve damage, through the use of hearing aid devices and rehabilitation. In the United States alone it is estimated that more than 35 million people suffer from some degree of hearing loss. Most people assume that hearing loss is a normal part of aging, however, hearing loss can occur in newborns, teenagers, adolescents, and adults. The sense of hearing is the main avenue through which humans learn speech.
Hearing impairment at birth has a negative impact on one’s normal development of language and communication skills, auditory processes, as well as one’s emotional and psychological development. Over the course of a lifetime, a person’s ears are exposed to potentially hazardous noise levels from lawn equipment, automobiles, stereo systems, industrial settings, chain saws, construction equipment, and more, many of which occur at loud and injurious levels. Anything louder than 85 dB (decibels) is considered dangerous -; a typical conversation is 60 dB. Some reasons for acquired hearing loss include ear disease, repeated noise exposure, and head injuries or trauma.
An Audiologist in Knoxville TN characterizes hearing loss in degrees such as normal, mild, moderate, severe, and profound. The degree of hearing loss is measured in units called decibels (dBs) and the degrees correlate to an average decibel level of hearing loss presented upon examination. Generally speaking, people considered to possess normal hearing are those with up to 25 dB loss for adults and 15 dB for children.