Kara Houston, AuD – Rush University Medical Center

“As an audiologist, we take a look at the
person as a whole. If they have hearing loss, they could also
have tinnitus, they could have balance problems, they could have dizziness, and we want to
make sure that the patient is doing well in all of these aspects. When the patient comes to us, we take a look
from the outside in. We take a look to see if there’s wax buildup
because sometimes just removing the wax can improve their hearing substantially. We take a look to see if there’s a middle
ear problem such as a hole in the eardrum or an ear infection, and sometimes medication
or surgery can help these problems. Otherwise, if it’s an inner ear hearing
loss then the solution typically to treat this is a hearing aid. When my grandmother died when I was in high
school, my grandfather came to live with us. We realized very quickly that his hearing
loss was a major issue for our whole family, nor just for him. We had a hard time communicating with him,
so my mother took him to an audiologist to get some help. And I got to see first-hand how that process
went, and how he was able to hear better, and how it transformed not only his life but
all of our lives. And that’s what I wanted to when I saw this. I wanted to become an audiologist because
I saw how it help our family become closer together. And that’s what I want to do with patients. I want them to have an ease of communication,
and I have found that helping my patients is like helping my grandfather all over again. It brings me so much joy to really help the
whole family.”

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