When it comes to your personal health, you go to your doctor. If you need specialized care for muscles, you might see a physical therapist. If your vision needs attention, you visit an ophthalmologist. And if you’re in need of hearing aids, like 48 million Americans are, you visit an audiologist, right?

While you can visit an audiologist for hearing loss diagnosis, they will more than likely collect a medical background, conduct hearing tests and go over your audiogram results with you. Once your hearing loss severity is determined, the audiologist will probably recommend a selection of hearing aids for you to choose from. But how does an audiologist know what is right for you?

Training for an audiologist

Audiologists are state-licensed hearing healthcare professionals specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and balance disorders in both adults and children. Usually children can be seen by pediatric audiologists, however it is not necessary. Audiologists typically have completed a doctoral-level program, such as a doctor of audiology or doctor of philosophy in audiology.

Because of this extensive educational training and background, audiologists are highly qualified to provide individuals with comprehensive treatment for hearing loss disorders. Audiologists can complete hearing exams, fit, adjust and provide maintenance on hearing aids, treat tinnitus and proctor hearing and speech rehabilitation programs.

Finding an audiologist

Finding an audiologist isn’t a difficult task. From physician referrals to internet reviews, there are plenty of different ways to select and locate an audiologist in your area. Some things to keep in mind, include: how far is the office from your home or work, what hours is the office open, do they offer any evening or weekend appointments, what is included in the cost of your visits and how versed is the audiologist in different hearing technology?

Perhaps the most important detail when selecting an audiologist is to find one you’re comfortable with. From your initial appointment to your hearing test, your audiologist should be able to listen to your symptoms and utilize your exam results to help recommend the best treatment available for you. If your audiologist recommends hearing aids for your hearing loss, this professional will be crucial in your path to not only better hearing, but a better quality of life.