What is an audiologist?
Audiologists are licensed professionals who assess, diagnose, treat and manage hearing and balance disorders. Your audiologist will refer you to a medical profession when appropriate.
What Education Does an Audiologist Have?
Audiologists hold a professional doctorate in audiology. The focus of the education of audiologists is hearing and balance disorders. However they have specialized training in the treatment and management of the effects of hearing loss, such as communication and tinnitus. The initials AuD is the designation for a doctor of audiology, some audiologists hold a master’s degree in Audiology. Other advanced degrees in Audiology include a Ph.D. or a Sc.D. Both degrees are typically involved in research and or teaching.
Where Do They Work?
Audiologists serve the population in a wide range of environments. This includes hospitals, private practices or clinics. Audiologists may serve as members of a cochlear implant team, or surgical monitoring that is related to hearing. They also can be found in more industrial settings managing hearing conversation programs. Audiologists may also work in the manufacturing of medical devices, in research, or teaching.
Why do I need an doctor of audiology for a successful hearing aid fitting?
Hearing aids are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as medical devices. This means that by law they must be prescribed by a licensed profession who adheres to regulations and guidelines set by the FDA. This law was enacted to protect consumers. A hearing device that is fit without a face-to-face evaluation, or by a non licensed professional can expect an improperly fit hearing aid that will result in not only inadequate amplification but could cause permanent damage to the auditory system. Audiologists are specifically trained to look for other more serious health disorders that are detected by an otoscopic evaluation and with the specialized tests that they perform and to make the proper referral to another professional. Only an audiologist has the education, training and equipment to ensure that you will receive the maximum benefit from any device that is prescribed.