Nancy Byrd 
Article Title
What is an Audiologist? 
Posted Date

Audiology is a field of study that assists patients of all ages with issues related to their hearing. Audiologists go to school to learn how to examine and provide treatment for a multitude of hearing problems. They employ a number of tests in order to determine the correct diagnosis for the hearing problem. As soon as your issue is determined, you can learn what varying options you have for treatment from the audiologist, so you can get your hearing back.

 Learning about audiology involves understanding the training audiologists must go through, the testing procedures they can use for diagnosis and the treatment options they have at their disposal. Audiologists typically have a master's degree, though some states will require that they have a doctorate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, eight states required doctorate degrees as of 2007. Degrees should come from institutions accredited in this specific field. In order to get an audiology doctorate degree, a student will have to spend approximately 8 years in college and in the field. Every state in the union mandates that audiologists pass a licensing exam, and also state that audiologists must keep their licenses current through continuing education. In some states, audiologists must have the proper license to give their patients hearing aids, while other states want their practitioners to be licensed for reimbursement. Find out exactly what you need to do to get your license in your particular state, so that you can get all your bases covered regarding audiology certification.

Audiologists work in many places, including schools, clinics, and doctors' offices. There are even some audiologists who have opened their practice, after learning the business aspects of health care and developing experience in dealing with patients in their practice. Some audiologists choose to administer to a cross section of patients, while others may specialize in working with children or the elderly population in the area. There are some audiologists that just do research, like figuring out how to prevent hearing loss in employees of particular businesses.

Audiology has an array of specific equipment used to evaluate and diagnose hearing problems. There are a myriad of factors such as genetics, the environment, or the aging process that can cause hearing loss. One aspect of the examination that an audiologist performs is determining the reason behind the hearing loss, because this will ultimately determine the course of treatment. There are times that audiologists also help to determine the cause of other medical conditions, like dizziness or conditions related to balance. In many of these situations it's an audiologist who can provide a diagnosis and recommend a proper treatment. And in turn, an audiologist may call on other specialists, such as ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors, to get the best diagnosis for their patients. These types of physicians may also have audiologists on staff to provide support services and treatment options for patients suffering from hearing loss.

Typically, audiologists know the most about hearing aids, and are able to provide suggestions to hearing loss sufferers regarding the right aid for what they require. At times, audiologists also give the public information about hearing loss. One of their biggest functions is to help patients decide which hearing aid will fit their hearing and budget needs the best. Many times these specialists are called into school clinics to identify any hearing problems or potential problems.

Research and development of programs to prevent hearing loss is another area of audiology that attracts some practitioners. If you suspect you are suffering from hearing loss, an audiologist is the best choice to talk to about the problem. These highly trained professionals are skilled at determining the precise cause of hearing loss and recommending the best treatment program possible. Audiologists are also up on current trends as far as hearing aids go, as well as what medical treatments are best for correcting any hearing loss. If you have noticed a decline in the quality of your hearing and want to explore your treatment options, then the best individual to speak with is an audiologist.

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