Perhaps at some point, you’ve wondered what exactly is an audiologist. Or maybe you’ve been dealing with hearing loss and someone recommended you visit an audiologist.  

While most people believe that the only thing audiologists do is test hearing, they are actually highly trained experts that are experienced in diagnosing and treating a variety of problems.

What can audiologists do?

Audiologists have extensively studied ear health and hearing issues. They also help with balance disorders (when connected to your auditory system) and tinnitus, or a ringing-in-your-ears sensation. Additionally, audiologists provide the following services:

  • Evaluating and treating hearing loss, including speech and word recognition tests, physical ear examination, screening tests, tuning fork tests, pure-tone tests and more.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of tinnitus
  • Balance disorders
  • Selecting and customizing hearing aids, deciding what type of hearing aid is best for you personally and adjusting and fitting these devices properly.
  • Improving communication for individuals with hearing loss

Despite popular belief, seniors aren’t the only ones that need an audiologist. There are 36 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss. And, something you didn’t know, is that more than half of them are younger than 65.

What kind of background do audiologists have?

Becoming an audiologist requires an advanced degree in the study of the auditory system. In addition to undergraduate and graduate schooling, audiologists spend time in hearing clinics and practices learning the ins and outs of testing, diagnosing and treating patients.

In the U.S., audiologists are required to be licensed and certified in order to work in specific states. This certification and licensing help make sure that they are current in their knowledge of the industry and best practices of audiology, to better help you.

Where do audiologists work?

Audiologists are found everywhere due to the flexibility of their work. They work with people of all ages and they are needed everywhere. Some have their own private practices, while others work in conjunction with physicians, ear, nose and throat professionals or in hospitals. Schools often have an audiologist, as well as rehabilitation and care facilities.

When to see an audiologist?

Hearing loss can be caused by traumas, genetics, illness and disease, medications, aging and prolonged exposure to loud noises. If you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss, schedule an appointment with an audiologist in your area. They will be able to evaluate your degree of hearing loss and recommend a treatment if necessary.