Audiologists are healthcare professionals who provide patient-centered care in the prevention, identification, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment of hearing, balance, and other auditory disorders for people of all ages. Hearing and balance disorders are complex with medical, psychological, physical, social, educational, and employment implications. Most audiologists have a Doctor of Audiology degree or Au.D. This is a clinical doctorate similar to that of a pharmacist, physical therapist or optometrist. Audiologists can work in may different settings such as private practice, hospitals, schools, Ear Nose and Throat offices or industrial settings. Audiologist have a 4-year Bachelor Degree along with additional 4-year Doctorate Degree.
Many people do not realize that there are different professions that treat hearing loss. A Hearing Instrument Specialist or Hearing Aid Dispenser do not require a formal education to fit hearing aids or do hearing screenings. Far from popular belief, audiologists treat patients for more than just hearing loss. Anything to do with your ear, which includes hearing, balance, pain and tinnitus, can be treated by these specialists. There is a range of treatments for every condition, but it’s important that you have an evaluation by an audiologist to identify the underlying problem. Audiologists evaluate and diagnose hearing loss and vestibular (balance) disorders, prescribe, fit, and dispense hearing aids and other amplification and hearing assistance technologies. Audiologists are members of cochlear implant teams. Audiologists can perform ear-or hearing-related surgical monitoring. Also important, an Audiologist can design and implement hearing conservation programs. They design and implement newborn hearing screening programs. They provide hearing rehabilitation training such as auditory training and listening skills improvement. They assess and treat individuals, especially children, with central auditory processing disorders. Audiologists assess and treat individuals with tinnitus (noise in the ear).
Audiologists provide professional and personalized services to minimize the negative impact of these disorders, leading to improved outcomes and quality of life.
Audiologists may specialize in certain aspects of audiology and may not perform all of the above-mentioned services. It is important to make an appointment if you notice any of the symptoms or problems mentioned. Anyone over the age of 55 is encouraged to have their hearing checked to establish their baseline hearing. If someone has a diagnosed hearing loss they will usually need a hearing test every 12-18 months to monitor for changes. If someone has normal hearing, a hearing test is recommended every 24 months.
If you are ready to make an appointment with one of our Audiologists, call our office today, (423) 641-0956 to schedule your baseline hearing evaluation.