Whether you’ve experienced it yourself or you’ve watched a loved one walk through it, hearing loss can be a difficult and scary thing.
You know that you need to find a good, qualified hearing doctor, but the question remains: how do you pick one?
In a world of telemedicine, it can be difficult to know if you are making the right doctor selection – that’s why we’ve put together this guide on what to look for when looking for a quality audiologist:
What is an Audiologist?
In short, an Audiologist is a health care professional who specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and prevention of hearing loss, balance issues, and other neural system disorders.
Since hearing loss and other neural system disorders can affect anyone, regardless of age, Audiologists serve a wide demographic of patients, all the way from newborns to seniors.
They typically will be the ones to evaluate the severity of hearing loss and come up with a treatment plan for their patients.
They will also occasionally fit their patients for hearing aids.
Important: An Audiologist is not an ENT or Hearing Aid Specialist
Patients will often confuse an audiologist with either an ENT (Otolaryngologist, or Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor) or a Hearing Aid Specialist. Audiologists specifically deal with the study of hearing – and the different variables that go into hearing loss.
Otolaryngologists specialize in the ears, nose, and throat’s health, though not the specific function of the ears.
Finally, Hearing Aid Specialists go through specific training on how to fit hearing aids for a patient.
Occasionally an Audiologist may have that training, but they are not the same.
What kind of education do Audiologists go through?
As mentioned above, Audiologists specialize in the study of hearing – and go through rigorous courses of study to attain advanced degrees.
According to Hopkins Medicine, audiologists have to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a credited university, and many today have a Doctorate in Audiology.
After their formal education, they serve in a fellowship or externship for a full year before taking the boards to receive their license and accreditation to practice Audiology.
Both national and state accreditation is required for them to practice, and they are required to enroll in furthering education credits to keep their certification active and viable.
Why do I need an Audiologist?
Every human being will experience hearing loss at some point in their life, most between the ages of 20 and 69.
We know that that is a wide range, but the most common predicator is aging, and every person ages differently. The absolute best way to avoid excess hearing loss is to prevent it before it starts – and you will need an Audiologist to help you do that.
Not only will they keep an eye on your hearing through regular evaluations, but they will give you the tools and resources you need to not only mitigate hearing loss but to navigate that change in yours or a loved one’s life.
To get started with a qualified and accredited Audiologist, Schedule an appointment or schedule a tele audiology consultation today.