What is an Audiologist?
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. Most have earned an Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology) while others have received a master’s degree 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:
- Fitting and dispensing hearing aids
- Administering hearing and balance tests
- 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
- Performing ear-related surgical monitoring
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.
What is a Hearing Instrument Dispenser?
A hearing instrument dispenser is a professional who specializes in the selection and fitting of hearing aids. They are required to have completed high school or received an equivalent degree. In addition, they must pass their state’s hearing aid written and practical exam to become licensed by the state.
Hearing instrument dispensers work with patients of all ages, including children and adults. They work in diverse settings like hospitals, schools, clinics, universities and private practices; most can be found in an office that provides hearing aid services to those with sensorineural hearing loss, also known as nerve deafness.
Hearing instrument dispensers are trained to interpret hearing assessments and use that information to select the best hearing aid possible for their patients. After trying on and testing out a number of options, the hearing aid model is selected and the hearing instrument specialist can get to work fitting and programing the device to match the individual’s exact degree of hearing loss.
Call Hearing Health Centers at (712) 262-7774 for more information or to schedule an appointment.