Finding an Experienced Audiologist in Durban

The average audiologist whether he or she happens to practice in Durban, Johannesburg or any other South African city, will confirm that most patients only truly appreciate the value of sound hearing once it shows signs of becoming impaired. Even then, for a variety of reasons that they may consider plausible enough, they may still fail to seek help while even some of those that do so may still fail to head the expert advice that they receive from these specialist healthcare practitioners.

For many individuals, the early signs of deafness and the need to accept that he or she may be experiencing them, can often be seen as a stigma – perhaps even a sign of advancing years to which they may be reluctant to admit. For those living alone, the signs may even pass unnoticed since there will be nobody around to remark that the TV is unnecessarily loud or that there is often a need to talk louder and repeat a sentence several times before being understood.

Good hearing is not only essential to social interaction and entertainment, however. It can also be very important to personal safety, for instance, to enable one to detect the noise of an approaching vehicle or a shouted warning of some other potential threat. Fortunately, hearing loss is a condition that is readily diagnosed by a suitable specialist in the field and, in the great majority of cases; it is a condition that can be just as readily rectified.

The role of any audiologist in a city such as Durban is a varied one that will normally begin with a preliminary examination of a patient’s ears using an instrument known as an otoscope or auriscope. It is a battery operated device that provides both the illumination and the magnification required for a detailed view of the ear canal and tympanic membrane, access and visibility are improved by the attachment of a small cannula that may be removed for sterilization or, that in more modern instruments, is likely to be disposable. Evidence of physical damage due to infection or other cause is readily detected and will, frequently, lead to referral for treatment that invariably results in the full recovery of normal hearing.

Where no such overt signs are to be seen in the outer ear and there is also no sign of any nasopharyngeal disorder that might also necessitate a referral to an ENT specialist, other tests will be required in order to confirm and to quantitate the extent of any auditory impairment.

The practitioner will employ specialised equipment that is designed to generate sounds at differing frequencies and of varying intensity in order to determine both the range in which the hearing loss is most prevalent and its severity as compared to accepted norms. Using the combined data gleaned from the physical examinations and audiometric tests, the practitioner is then able to make recommendations with regard to the best possible course of treatment. The most common option will be to fit the patient with a simple amplification device for use in one or both ears.

Occasionally he or she may, instead, require to be referred by the audiologist to a specialist ENT surgeon in Durban or elsewhere, if considered to be more suitable for cochlear implantation.

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