Can audiology be “holistic” within the medical community?

We have long been proud to present a collaborative approach to the care of patients’ ears and hearing. With every patient we seek answers and direction from not only the patient’s symptoms and history, but also from our diagnostic testing. This may push us to ask about other systems in the body. It is not uncommon that hearing disorders may flow from other conditions.

An audiologist recently summarized her work as “holistic”, due to collaborations with other professionals, as there may be underlying medical conditions accompanying hearing disorders. There was an implication that this was a unique approach. Every day we take extensive medical histories and collaborate with referring physicians, in order to find possible compounding factors or disorders that may relate to the ears. More referrals may be made. Tests may be ordered. This is not “holistic”; it is good comprehensive audiological care. It is “listening to your patients”. It is active participation.

The particular audiologist was correct in implying the ears do not act in a vacuum. They are connected to many areas of function within the body, such as the circulatory, nervous, musculoskeletal and balance systems and are sensitive to changes in body chemistry. A good hearing professional will always be sensitive to the interconnectivity within the body. Care for the person first; the ears will follow.

Maintaining a place for audiology within the greater medical community has always been our mission and passion. This is why we have forged relationships with primary care providers, ear surgeons, neurologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists and others. Additionally, the professionals at Clear Choice Hearing and Balance donate time and services to local senior assisted living communities, community health centers such as St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center and school music programs. We strive to provide good stewardship and connectivity within our greater Rochester community.