October is National Audiology Awareness Month, and we wanted to help bring awareness to not only the importance of audiology but to help you make an informed decision when looking at hearing health options.
We know that telehealth can seem a little scary, but the best way to choose a great provider is to understand what that provider is responsible for.
What level of Education should an Audiologist have?
Audiology is literally “the study of hearing,” and a qualified audiologist will have advanced degrees and certifications in that field of study.
According to Hopkins Medicine, audiologists have to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a credited university, and most today have a Doctorate in Audiology.
Like other health care professionals, Audiologists are required to serve in a year-long fellowship or externship while they prepare to take the boards – a rigorous test required to receive their license and accreditation to practice.
They are also required to enroll in class credits to further their education to keep on top of technology and research changes in the world of Audiology; their certification and license will not stay viable without enrolling in continuing education credits.
What does an Audiologist do?
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.
Common Misconception: an Audiologist is not an Otolaryngologist 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 function of hearing and the loss thereof.
While Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors are helpful to the general health of the inner ear, which definitely contributes to hearing ability, they do not specialize in the diagnosis or treatment of hearing loss.
In fact, if you visit an ENT for hearing loss, they will likely refer you to an audiologist.
Finally, Hearing Aid Specialists are specifically trained for the fitting of hearing aids.
They often work in conjunction with an Audiologist, or you might find that your audiologist has Hearing Aid Specialist certification, but they require two different sets of education and certification.
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.
What we can take from that statistic is that hearing loss can strike at any time, and the absolute best way to get ahead of it is to regularly meet with an audiologist so you can monitor how your hearing is doing.
Not only do they specialize in the treatment of hearing loss, but they can also help with prevention.
To get started with a qualified and accredited Audiologist, Schedule an appointment or schedule a tele audiology consultation today.