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. (Doctorate in Audiology) while others have received a Master’s or Doctoral degree from an accredited university, where they have received extensive training in the prevention, identification, assessment and non-medical treatment of hearing and balance disorders. They must complete an internship, pass a national competency examination and obtain professional certification and licensure in the state(s) in which they practice.
What Do Audiologists Do?
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 such as hospitals, schools, clinics, universities, private practices, VA hospitals, hearing aid dispensaries and otolaryngology (ENT) offices. Audiologists are responsible for the following services:
- Fit and dispense hearing aids
- Administer hearing and balance tests
- Assess candidacy for and program implantable hearing devices (e.g., cochlear implants, bone anchored hearing aids, etc.)
- Counsel patients and their families on communication strategies
- Design and implement hearing conservation programs and newborn hearing screenings
- Provide aural rehabilitation programs
- Perform ear-related surgical monitoring
In short, audiologists are the most qualified individuals to help you manage your hearing loss or balance disorder, and provide an unparalleled breadth of care.