What is an Audiologist?
An Audiologist is a professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and balance disorders. Audiologists use a variety of tests and procedures to evaluate hearing and balance function and to find the cause of hearing loss.
What Do Audiologists Do?
Audiologists are health care professionals who diagnose, treat, and manage disorders of the hearing and balance system. They provide direct patient care services, as well as consultative services to other health care professionals. Audiologists use a variety of diagnostic tests to assess hearing and balance function and formulate recommendations for treatment. Treatment may include amplification (hearing aids and other assistive listening devices), developmental therapy, counseling, rehabilitation and/or educational strategies. In some states, audiologists are authorized to dispense (fit) hearing aids.
How to Become an Audiologist
Audiologists are healthcare professionals who diagnose, manage and treat patients with hearing loss and balance disorders. They work with people of all ages, from newborns to the elderly.
Audiologists must have a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree from an accredited educational program. They also must complete a clinical fellowship year and pass a national examination administered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). In some states, audiologists may also need to obtain a state license.
There are many different settings in which audiologists work, including hospitals, ENT clinics, audiology practices, rehabilitation centers and schools. Some audiologists also work in research or have faculty positions at universities.
What is Ear Wax?
Ear wax is a yellowish, waxy substance secreted in the ear canal. It protects the skin of the ear canal and traps dirt and debris. However, sometimes ear wax can build up and block the ear canal. This can cause hearing loss, ear pain, and itching. If you think you have a buildup of ear wax, you should see an audiologist to have it removed.
What Causes Ear Wax Build-up?
There are a number of reasons why ear wax may build up. Some of the most common include: -Not cleaning your ears regularly -Using cotton swabs, bobby pins, or other objects to clean your ears -Wearing hearing aids or other devices that cover your ear canal -Having narrower or more curved ear canals -Producing more ear wax than normal
How to Prevent Ear Wax Build-up
There are a few things you can do to prevent ear wax buildup:
-Avoid putting objects in your ear, such as cotton swabs, fingernails, or any other foreign object. Wax is produced in the ear to protect it from these types of objects.
-Use earplugs when swimming. Water can cause ear wax to soften and wash away.
-Clean your ear with a washcloth after showering, but don’t insert anything into the ear canal.
-If you wear hearing aids, clean them regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you have a lot of wax buildup or it’s impacting your hearing, see an audiologist for professional cleaning.
How Do Audiologists Clean Ears?
The short answer is that audiologists use a suction device to clean out the wax from your ear. However, there is a bit more to it than that. Audiologists are trained professionals who understand the delicate anatomy of the ear. They use specialised instruments and techniques to clean your ears without causing any damage.
The Ear Cleaning Process
Cleaning your ears is a delicate process. Over-cleaning can damage the ear canal and lead to problems such as hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo. Audiologists are trained professionals who know how to clean your ears safely and effectively.
The Ear Cleaning Process
Audiologists use a variety of methods to clean your ears, depending on the severity of the wax buildup. Some of the most common methods include:
-Cerumenolytic ear drops: These drops dissolve earwax so that it can be removed more easily.
-Suction: A small, handheld device is used to suction earwax out of the ear.
-Irrigation: A stream of lukewarm water is used to flush earwax out of the ear.
If you have a lot of earwax buildup, your audiologist may need to use a combination of these methods to clean your ears effectively. In some cases, manual removal with forceps may be necessary.
After your ears have been cleaned, your audiologist will likely recommend a maintenance plan to help prevent future wax buildup. This may involve using ear drops or irrigating your ears on a regular basis.
What to Expect After an Ear Cleaning
Most people are able to go about their normal activities after an ear cleaning. However, some people may experience the following side effects: -Mild pain or discomfort -Dizziness -Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) -Fluid draining from the ear It is important to contact your audiologist if you experience any of these side effects.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Ear Cleanings?
Audiologists are not medical doctors, so they cannot prescribe medication or provide medical treatments. However, they are trained to clean ears. Ear cleanings usually involve the use of special instruments to remove earwax from the ear canal. While ear cleanings are generally safe, there are a few risks associated with them.
There are some possible complications that can occur from having your ears cleaned, although they are rare. According to the Mayo Clinic, these complications can include:
-Damage to the ear canal
How Often Should I Get My Ears Cleaned?
Most people don’t realize that they should be getting their ears cleaned regularly. Just like you brush your teeth every day, you should be cleaning your ears! Audiologists recommend getting your ears cleaned at least once a month to prevent buildup of wax and debris.
The Bottom Line
How often you need your ears cleaned depends on a few different factors. If you have a lot of earwax or if it’s particularly hard, you may need to have your ears cleaned more often. If you have any kind of hearing loss, you may also need to have your ears cleaned more often to prevent buildup of earwax that can further affect your hearing.