Your hearing care is a big deal. When surveyed, a majority of people would prefer to lose their sight than their hearing. However, the reality is that as we get older (and as life gets noiser), most of us will suffer some form of hearing loss.
95% of hearing losses are able to be corrected or aided with proper amplification. However, the success of the patient depends largely on the expertise of their health care provider in making the correct diagnosis, prescribing the most effective treatment plan, and setting reasonable expectations.
There are two groups of people who can prescribe hearing aids: audiologists and hearing instrument specialists. While both are licensed by the state, they are very different.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of audiologists and hearing instrument specialists.
|Audiologist (AuD or MS)||Hearing Instrument Specialist (BC-HIS)|
|Education||Doctorate or Masters degree in Audiology, plus a fellowship or internship||High school diploma or equivalent, passing a test, plus 1 year of supervision|
|Specialties||Trained in testing and treating hearing loss, balance disorders, tinnitus and other medical issues||Only able to test hearing for the purposes of selling a hearing aid|
|Insurance||Can bill insurance for testing done||Not able to bill insurance|
Quite simply put, when you are choosing a hearing care professional, you can choose between a highly educated professional or a trained salesman. You decide!