An Audiologist is the professional who specializes in evaluating and treating people with hearing loss. Audiologists have extensive training and skills to evaluate the hearing of adults, infants and children of all ages. Audiologists conduct a wide variety of tests to determine the exact nature of an individual’s hearing problem. Audiologists present a variety of treatment options to patients with hearing impairment. Audiologists dispense and fit hearing aids, administer tests of balance to evaluate dizziness, and provide hearing rehabilitation training. Audiologists refer patients to physicians when the hearing problem needs medical or surgical evaluation.
Why should someone with hearing loss be evaluated by an Audiologist?
Audiologists hold masters or doctoral degrees from accredited universities with special training in the prevention, identification, assessment and non-medical treatment of hearing disorders. Audiologists are required to complete a full-time internship and pass a demanding national competency examination. By virtue of their graduate education, professional certification and licensure, audiologists are the most qualified professionals to perform hearing tests, refer patients for medical treatment and provide hearing rehabilitation services.
What do audiologists do?
An Audiologist uses specialized equipment to obtain accurate results about hearing loss. These tests are typically conducted in sound-treated rooms with calibrated equipment. The audiologist is trained to inspect the eardrum with an otoscope, perform limited ear wax removal, conduct diagnostic audiologic tests and check for medically-related hearing problems.
Hearing loss is caused by medical problems about 10% of the time. Audiologists are educated to recognize these medical problems and refer patients to ear, nose and throat specialists. Most persons with hearing impairment can benefit from the use of hearing aids, and audiologists are knowledgeable about the latest applications of hearing aid technology.
Good hearing is essential to the social and intellectual development of infants and young children. An Audiologist tests hearing and identifies hearing loss in children of any age. This includes newborn and infant hearing screening and diagnostic hearing tests with young children. An Audiologist provides hearing therapy and fits hearing aids on babies and young children with hearing loss.