After completing his Bachelors degree in Audiology in 2001, Sri Vangapalli, our Lead Audiologist for the NHS Audiology (Adult Hearing) Assessment and Fitting Service, went on to do a Masters degree straight after and completed it in 2003 in India. He moved to the UK and started working as an Audiologist in the NHS until moving to work for GP Care since August 2014. Because it is Deaf Awareness Week he has written a piece about what an Audiologist does:
Audiology is an area of speciality dealing with the assessment and rehabilitation of patients with hearing and balance disorders. It covers a wide age range starting with new born hearing screening for infants and progressing through to hearing screening at schools and all the way up to age related hearing and balance disorders. Having a career as Audiologist is very rewarding and allows for specialisation in a choice of fields like Paediatrics, Balance and Adult Audiology or a combination of these.
Audiology can be broadly divided into two sections:
- Paediatric Audiology (infancy to 18 yrs of age)
- Adult Audiology (18yrs and above)
A typical day for an Audiologist working in the Community involves assessments of hearing loss, fitting of hearing aids and follow ups.
Conducting an assessment of hearing loss is the first step in the patient pathway which involves determining if a patient referred by the GP has any underlying hearing problems. The results are then discussed with the patient before agreeing a treatment plan that suits their needs.
Fitting hearing aids for age related hearing loss (presbycusis) typically involves providing digital hearing aids that are programmed to meet the patient’s expectations. Regular follow up appointments may be necessary to ensure the hearing aids are working to the optimum level and meeting the needs of the client in 6 months or a year down the line.
Successful rehabilitation of someone with hearing loss involves having good physical and technical knowledge and excellent counselling skills on the part of the audiologist. It also requires willingness on the part of the patient to accept the recommendations made by the Audiologist and both working together to achieve the best outcome.
If you would like more information about the Audiology Service we provide, click here. If you would like more information about the work Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) does and the Deaf Awareness Week campaign, click here.