Why Choose an Audiologist
A recent trend in hearing care is to find the lowest price on a hearing aid no matter what the setting may be or what the patient's needs are. There are more options than ever for hearing care and a barrage of hearing aid advertisements, it can be confusing and difficult to decide who to trust with your hearing needs.
Before you invest in a hearing care provider, it is important to understand the differences between an Audiologist and a Hearing Aid Dispenser/Specialist.
Doctor of Audiology
A Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) requires four years of undergraduate study, as well as four additional years of specialized academic work. In Colorado, an audiologist must obtain national certification and a state license in audiology. These extensive credentials allow an audiologist to provide comprehensive hearing services, from diagnosis and consultation to hearing aid fitting, adjustments and continual rehabilitation. The high level of medical education and training of an audiologist provides the ability to discern any contributing or outlying medical conditions. Also, audiologists attend multiple educational enhancing sessions each year to keep abreast of the rapidly evolving technology.
Hearing Aid Dispenser/Audiologist
A hearing aid specialist is a salesperson that has a state license to provide a basic hearing test and sell hearing aids. The only requirement for this license is to pass a test of the basic knowledge of hearing loss and hearing aids conducted by the state. All of the information needed to pass this test is contained in one book and no classes are necessary. They are not medically trained in diseases of the ear or rehabilitative services. Most often, when these specialists are hired by a big box company, they undergo a brief training of about two weeks.
To make things even more confusing, now there is a third option. Some insurance companies are making agreements with organizations that bypass an audiologist or a specialist for hearing aids and hearing aid fittings. All you have to do is send them an audiogram, performed by a hearing care professional, and they will program a set of low cost hearing aids and ship them to you. If you need any adjustments simply mail the hearing aids back to them and they will be returned to you with new programming.
So...why choose an Audiologist?
Because you want personal care from an individual who has the appropriate training to properly diagnose and treat your hearing loss. Hearing is a medical issue and should be treated as such. We believe that taking care of your hearing is just as important as any other medical issue you might have. Audiology offices provide care throughout the life of your device including annual testing , ear cleaning and examination, adjustments and service. Proper fitting may require multiple visits for user satisfaction for as long as you have the devices that were carefully selected just for you. Rather than a retail sales office staffed by salespersons, we believe the best results possible for your hearing healthcare needs would be provided by a professional audiologist.