Audiologists are the primary health-care professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss and balance disorders in individuals of all ages from infants and teens to adults and the elderly.
Audiologists work in many types of settings, including:
- Private practices
- ENT offices
- K-12 schools
- Veterans’ Administration (VA) hospitals
Do Audiologists Have a Degree?
Most audiologists earn a doctor of audiology (AuD) degree. Some audiologists earn a doctor of philosophy (PhD) or doctor of science (ScD) degree in the hearing and balance sciences.
Audiologists must be licensed or registered for practice in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Audiologists are also required to pursue continued education to stay updated on the latest hearing and balance health care and can also receive certification from the American Board of Audiology and specialty certification in pediatric audiology from the American Board of Audiology.
Some audiologists also further their education and credentials by obtaining certificates in tinnitus management audiology precepting through the American Board of Audiology.
What Does an Audiologist Treat?
Did you know that almost all types of hearing loss and symptoms related to vestibular disorders are treatable by an audiologist? Audiologists treat and help individuals manage many hearing and balance conditions including:
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss
- Hidden Hearing Loss
- Non-Syndromic Genetic Hearing Loss
- Syndromic Genetic Hearing Loss
- Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection
- Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
- Auditory Process Disorders
- Symptoms such as Tinnitus (ringing in the ear), Vertigo, and Dizziness
If you are experiencing symptoms related to these hearing and balance conditions, use our Find an Audiologist Directory to find an audiologist near your location. You can search by location, specialty, and other features.
Five Reasons to See an Audiologist
Signs of hearing loss or a balance disorder can be subtle. Prolonged hearing and balance issues can cause long-term damage. How do you know if you’re experiencing hearing loss or balance issues? Here are five common signs of hearing loss or vestibular disorders:
- Asking those around you to repeat what they say.
- Feeling like those around you are mumbling or not speaking clearly.
- Difficulty hearing and understanding in noisy environments.
- Turning up the volume on devices.
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
Audiologists vs. Hearing Instrument Specialists vs. ENTs
Occupations have grown more and more specialized through the years and health-care occupations follow that specialized trend. Understanding health-care specialties can be challenging. We want to help you better understand the differences in those hearing health-care specialties to achieve your best care and best outcomes. Learn more about the difference between audiologists, hearing instrument specialists, and ENTs.
How Can an Audiologist Treat or Help Manage Hearing Loss and Balance Conditions?
An audiologist will work with you and your family to properly diagnose, treat, and manage your hearing loss or vestibular disorder. The following may be recommended based on your diagnosis:
- Hearing aids
- Assistive listening and alerting devices
- Cochlear implants
- Telephone and listening devices
- Aural hearing rehabilitation
- Working with other physicians and physical therapists for dizziness management
Are You Experiencing Hearing Loss or Balance Issues?
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An audiologist can help diagnose, treat, and help manage a hearing or balance condition. Use our audiologist directory, “Find an Audiologist” to find an audiologist near your location.
What Should You Expect at Your Audiologist Appointment?
Every individual’s audiologist appointment will be different. Audiologists aim to provide individualized care to each of their patients. During your initial appointment with your audiologist, they may discuss your medical history, symptoms related to your hearing or balance issue, and provide a medical evaluation.
After further investigation, your audiologist will provide recommendations on your care.
Terms You May Hear at Your Audiology Appointment
During your appointment, your audiologist may use the following terms, devices, or tests.
- Inner Ear – semicircular canals and cochlea that are embedded in the temporal bone.
- Middle Ear – the central cavity of the area filled with air and is located behind the eardrum.
- Outer Ear – the portion of the ear that is visible. This portion of the ear directs sound waves towards the tympanic membrane.
- Otoscope – this medical device is used to examine the eardrum.
- Hearing Screening – a test that checks an individual’s level of hearing loss.
- Otoacoustic Emissions – a test that measures the inner ear’s response to sound.
- Degree of Hearing Loss – the range of hearing loss an individual has. This can include mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, severe hearing loss, and profound hearing loss.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, June 8). Types of hearing loss. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hearingloss/types.html.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, September 11). Screening and diagnosis of hearing loss. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hearingloss/screening.html.
Seniors and hearing loss. The American Academy of Audiology. (2021, August 12). Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.audiology.org/consumers-and-patients/seniors-hearing-loss/.