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What Exactly Is an Audiologist?
Posted by Echo Hearing Systems & Audiology on June 26, 2018
An audiologist is a health care provider who diagnoses and treats issues with hearing and balance, including hearing loss. These professionals work with patients of all ages and must be licensed in the state where they practice. Most types of hearing loss can be treated and managed by an audiologist, sometimes as part of an extended health care team.
What Does an Audiologist Do?
These doctors specialize in the evaluation and treatment of disorders involving balance and hearing. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Recommending, fitting, and providing hearing aids and other types of assistive technology
- Working with patients who have been fitted with cochlear implants
- Monitoring patients after hearing-related surgical procedures
- Screening newborns for hearing loss
- Providing community education about hearing protection
- Diagnosing and treating children with central auditory processing disorders
- Diagnosing and treating tinnitus
- Providing rehabilitation training for those with hearing issues, such as listening skills
Many audiologists work in private practices, while others practice in hospitals, schools, clinics, research institutions, and other settings.
What Type of Training Does an Audiologist Receive?
Audiologists must earn a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree from an accredited college or university. This must be a four-year program in which the final year consists of clinical training or an externship. To receive a license to practice, audiologists must pass an exam given by the State Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Some audiologists pursue additional training to specialize in areas such as pediatrics or geriatrics. Audiologists can also earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A), offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This certification may be a requirement of some states.
What Will Happen During an Audiology Appointment?
Though expectations vary depending on why the patient is visiting, in most cases the doctor will ask the patient to describe his or her symptoms and take a thorough health history. He or she will also provide a series of hearing tests and explain what the results mean. If necessary, the audiologist will explain the options available for assistive technology.
Those who are experiencing problems with hearing or balance can visit Echo Hearing Systems & Audiology, Inc. in Columbus. We pride ourselves on providing outstanding customer service. Fill out our convenient online form to request an appointment today.