All in all, audiologists are the most qualified individuals to help you manage your hearing loss or balance disorder, and they provide an unparalleled breadth of care.
Have you ever wondered what exactly an audiologist does, besides look inside your ears with a lighted instrument? If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about this professional who will be intimately involved in helping you come up with a solution that allows you to communicate more effectively.
An audiologist is a professional who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. They have earned an Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology) from an accredited university, where they received extensive training in the prevention, identification, assessment and non-medical treatment of hearing and balance disorders. They have to complete an internship, pass a national competency examination and obtain professional certification and licensure in the state(s) where they practice.
Audiologists work with patients of all ages, treating infants, children and adults for a variety of hearing and balance problems. They work in diverse settings like hospitals, schools, clinics, universities, private practices, VA hospitals, hearing aid dispensaries and otolaryngology (ENT) offices. Audiologists are responsible for services such as:
- Administering hearing and balance tests
- Fitting and dispensing hearing aids
- Assessing candidacy for and programming implantable hearing devices (e.g., cochlear implants, bone anchored hearing aids, etc.)
- Counseling patients and their families on communication strategies
- Designing and implementing hearing conservation programs and newborn hearing screenings
- Providing aural rehabilitation programs
- Providing vestibular rehabilitation programs
- Performing ear-related surgical monitoring
When a hearing aid dispenser tests your hearing, they do it to find out how much amplification is required for your hearing devices, but it is not a full diagnostic evaluation. A full diagnostic evaluation performed by an audiologist help to diagnose the root cause of the hearing loss and thus provides a better understanding of your specific needs and treatment required.