Hearing Aid Specialist
Many people advertise that they sell hearing aids. Some are called Audiologist while others are called Hearing Aid Specialist.
But what is the real difference between them?
An audiologist is a healthcare professional specializing in assessment and management of the auditory/vestibular system. The current standard of education is the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree or master’s degree in Audiology. Audiologists must also meet their state’s licensure requirements to practice clinical audiology, which is the application of scientific principles, methods and procedures for evaluation and treatment related to disorders of the auditory and balance systems.
Audiologists are qualified to assess and treat infants, children and adults. In addition to the diagnosis and treatment, audiologists also provide appropriate amplification, counseling, education and training so that individuals with hearing impairment can communicate and enjoy life.
When working with an audiologist they are not just selling you hearing aids, they are truly concerned with your health, and often work in conjunction with an Otolaryngologist (physician) to manage your needs. The areas which they provide services for include (but not limited to):
* Comprehensive audiological evaluations including tests of hearing sensitivity, speech understanding, middle ear function, inner ear and auditory nerve function
* Diagnostic tests for balance/dizziness disorders
* Design, selection, fitting and verification of hearing instruments and assistive listening devices
* Rehabilitation therapy for hearing disorders which might include strategies to improve aided and unaided hearing, speech-reading (including lipreading) and sign language
* Cerumen (earwax) management
* Evaluation and management of tinnitus and hyperacusis
* Patient and family counseling about living with hearing loss
The Hearing Aid Specialist
The hearing aid specialist requires only a high school diploma, passing a licensing exam and sometimes a brief apprenticeship.
The hearing aid specialists are only able to:
* Perform basic hearing tests exclusively for the purpose of selling hearing aids to adults
* Hearing aid fitting and sales
Information courtesy of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology www.audiologist.org