AUDIOLOGIST

An audiologist is a doctor who specialises in dealing problems about hearing i.e., identifying, diagnosing, treating and monitoring disorders of the auditory and vestibular system portions of the ear. Audiologists are trained to diagnose, manage and/or treat hearing, tinnitus, or balance problems. They dispense, manage, and rehabilitate hearing aids and assess candidacy for and map cochlear implants. They counsel families through a new diagnosis of hearing loss in infants, and help teach coping and compensation skills to late-deafened adults. They also help design and implement personal and industrial hearing safety programs, newborn hearing screening programs, school hearing screening programs, and provide special fitting ear plugs and other hearing protection devices to help prevent hearing loss. Audiologists are trained to evaluate peripheral vestibular disorders originating from inner ear pathologies. They also provide treatment for certain vestibular and balance disorders such as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). In addition, many audiologists work as auditory scientists in a research capacity.

Audiologists have training in anatomy and physiology, hearing aids, cochlear implants, electrophysiology, acoustics, psychophysics, neurology, vestibular function and assessment, balance disorders, counselling and sign language. Audiologists also run neonatal hearing screening programme which has been made compulsory in many hospitals in US, UK and India. An Audiologist usually graduates with one of the following qualifications: B.ASLP, M.ASLP, M. Sc (Audiology), Au.D., PhD.


SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST


A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) is a doctor who specialises in prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Speech services begin with initial screening for communication and swallowing disorders and continue with assessment and diagnosis, consultation for the provision of advice regarding management, intervention and treatment, and provision counselling and other follow up services for these disorders. Services are provided in the following areas:

  • • Cognitive aspects of communication (e.g., attention, memory, problem solving, executive functions).
  • • Speech (phonation, articulation, fluency, resonance, and voice including aeromechanical components of respiration);
  • • Language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatic/social aspects of communication) including comprehension and expression in oral, written, graphic, and manual modalities; language processing; preliteracy and language-based literacy skills, phonological awareness.
  • • Swallowing or other upper aerodigestive functions such as infant feeding and aeromechanical events (evaluation of esophageal function is for the purpose of referral to medical professionals);
  • • Voice (hoarseness (dysphonia), poor vocal volume (hypophonia), abnormal (e.g. rough, breathy, strained) vocal quality. Research demonstrates voice therapy to be especially helpful with certain patient populations; individuals with Parkinson's Disease often develop voice issues as a result of their disease.
  • • Sensory awareness related to communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions.

Speech, language, and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes, such as a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, a cleft palate, cerebral palsy, or emotional issues.

A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) usually graduates with one of the following qualifications: B.ASLP, M.ASLP, M. Sc (SLP), PhD.

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