What is an Audiologist?
An audiologist is a health care professional who is trained to diagnose, treat, and monitor disorders of the hearing and balance system. In fact, they are the only professionals who are university trained and licensed to specifically diagnose and treat hearing disorders. An audiologist can have a Master’s degree, Au.D. (Doctorate) degree, or even a Ph.D. Audiologists work in a variety of settings including education, research, doctors’ offices, clinics, and private practice. Those certified to work in a clinical setting with patients will have a title of “Certified Clinical Competence Audiologist (CCC-A) after their name.
In addition to diagnosis and treatment, audiologists provide counseling, education, and training so that individuals with hearing impairment can communicate and enjoy an improved quality of life.
Why should I choose an Audiologist as my hearing healthcare provider and how are they different from a Hearing Aid Dispenser?
Audiologists use specialized equipment and procedures to accurately diagnose hearing loss. They are trained to inspect the eardrum with an otoscope, perform cerumen (ear wax) removal, conduct diagnostic audiologic tests, and check for medically-related hearing problems. By virtue of their graduate education, training, and licensing, they are the most qualified professionals to assess and treat hearing disorders.
Hearing aid dispensers must meet very basic requirements to receive a license that allows them to sell hearing aids and perform basic hearing tests for the sole purpose of selling a hearing aid. Requirements can vary by state, but in Florida, they must be 18 years of age or older, be a high school graduate or equivalent, and complete a training program prior to taking a licensing exam.