An Audiologist is the gatekeeper for diagnosing and treating hearing loss. They are professionals who have the training and experience necessary to test hearing and evaluate tinnitus and then to devise the best possible treatment program to meet the need of the individual with the hearing loss. Audiologists earn a Master's or Doctorate Degree in the field from a University. Audiologists select and fit hearing aids to all age levels as part of the aural rehabilitation program.
Why should someone with hearing loss be evaluated by an Audiologist?
Audiologists are the most qualified professional to assess hearing. The advanced training, at a University level, makes Audiologists uniquely qualified in the prevention, identification and treatment of hearing loss. They can also appropriately refer to medical surgeons should the hearing loss require surgical interventions.
What does an Audiologist do?
Depending on the setting Audiologists, like nurses, can specialize in different areas. But the commonality would be diagnosing hearing loss. Audiologists are educated to recognize various medical conditions that contribute to hearing loss and are able to refer patients to ENT's when hearing aids are not the appropriate solution.
Audiologists are also knowledgeable about the latest in hearing instrument technology and stay up to date with the ever changing industry. The Audiologist gives an unbiased recommendation regarding the most appropriate hearing aid for the individual with hearing loss. Once the hearing aid has been chosen, Audiologists will do the fitting, fine tuning and all follow up required in order to meet the needs of the hard of hearing client.
A large part of the job of an Audiologist is to provide counseling regarding hearing and auditory processing as well as expectations around the use of hearing aids. In their university studies, they receive extensive training on counseling clients and their families on living with hearing loss as well as accepting and transitioning into using hearing aids.
Position Statement by Speech-Language & Audiology Canada, SAC
From the American Academy of Audiology