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.
What Credentials Do Audiologists Have?
An audiologist is a professional who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. Audiologists have earned either an Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology) or a master’s degree from an accredited university. These programs provide audiologists with 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.
Who Do Audiologists Work With?
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.