Audiologists are experts in the auditory system. This means that not only do they diagnose and treat hearing loss, they’re also able to evaluate and manage tinnitus and vestibular (balance) problems. Below we review everything audiologists do, what kind of training they have and how they differ from other hearing professionals.
What Audiologists Do
Audiologists offer many services, including:
- Conducting thorough hearing evaluations.
- Selecting and fitting hearing aids.
- Mapping cochlear implants and bone-anchored hearing aids.
- Counseling families on hearing loss.
- Educating about communication strategies.
- Designing and implementing auditory rehabilitation and communication programs.
- Evaluating and providing treatment for tinnitus.
- Diagnosing and managing balance disorders.
- Working in a variety of settings, from private practices to research hospitals.
- Collaborating with otolaryngologists, speech-language pathologists and early intervention specialists.
Training for Audiologists
Audiologists typically hold a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders or a related field as well as a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree from an accredited university like The University of Utah. They take a variety of courses, including:
- Anatomy and physiology of hearing.
- Statistics and research methodologies.
- Physics of sound.
- Diseases of the ear and nervous system.
- Audiologic assessment.
- Pediatric audiology.
- Hearing loss prevention.
- Hearing aid dispensing.
- Speechreading and visual communication.
After earning their degrees, they then have to be licensed in their state by passing a written and/or practical exam. They can obtain other types of certification as well, such as a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and board certification from the American Academy of Audiology (AAA).
Audiologist Versus Hearing Instrument Specialist
Audiologists and hearing instrument specialists (HIS) are sometimes confused. The difference between them lies in the level of education and the amount of expertise each has. While an audiologist holds a doctorate degree, hearing instrument specialists usually hold a two-year degree. Audiologists can care for the entire auditory system while hearing instrument specialists can evaluate and treat hearing loss only through the use of hearing aids.
For more information about what audiologists do, what expertise they have or how they differ from other hearing professionals, call the experts at Bountiful Hearing Center to schedule an appointment today.