If you’ve noticed you’re having difficulty hearing lately, you may be looking for someone who can help you understand what’s going on with your hearing, why you’re having problems, and if there’s help available.
The good news is there are many types of professionals who care for people with problems related to their ears and hearing. But an audiologist is probably the best healthcare professional for you to see if you’re having problems hearing.
Audiologists are healthcare 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.
Today, audiologists are designated by the credentials Au.D. This means they have earned a doctorate of audiology degree, having completed an undergraduate degree, usually in a related field. Then they complete additional coursework at an accredited doctoral-level audiology program, along with a year-long externship where the audiologist receives hands-on experience. Some audiologists also may earn a doctor of philosophy degree, designated by the credentials, Ph.D.
To ensure they deliver the highest level of care, audiologists must be licensed or registered in the states where they practice. They also are required to pursue continuing education to stay up to date on the latest hearing and balance healthcare. Some audiologists even specialize in tinnitus or dizziness and balance disorders.
How do I know if I need an audiologist?
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, if you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, you may have hearing loss. Consider scheduling an appointment with a doctoral-level audiologist for a diagnostic hearing evaluation.
- Do your friends and family tell you that your TV is too loud?
- Do you have trouble hearing your favorite show but can hear commercials easily?
- Do you have a problem hearing on the telephone?
- Do you hear better in one ear than the other?
- Do you have trouble hearing in restaurants or large groups?
- Do you ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do you respond inappropriately in conversations?
- Do family members or coworkers say that you misunderstand what they said?
- Do many people you talk to seem to mumble (or not speak clearly)?
- Do you have trouble understanding women and children?
- Do people get upset because you don’t hear what they say?
To find a reputable audiology clinic and provider, do the following:
- Look for a clinic that’s convenient for you. Audiology care often requires follow-up visits.
- Ask what types of hearing aids the clinic offers. An independent clinic will offer several brands of hearing aids with a variety of options for patients.
- Ask if the clinic accepts your insurance plan and if you need a referral, then verify with your insurance plan.
- Check online reviews and when you schedule your appointment, make sure the support staff is kind, courteous and helpful.
- Ask friends and family members if they have a recommendation for an audiologist.
- Visit the practice’s website and read about the audiologist you think you may want to see to be sure they have the appropriate background and experience.
Once you have scheduled an appointment, use the list below to prepare for prepare for your first appointment with the audiologist:
- Bring a list of the medicines and supplements you are currently taking. Some can affect hearing and balance.
- Make a list of the symptoms you are experiencing and your health history. Some conditions, such as diabetes or dementia, can impact hearing.
- Make a list of questions you want to ask the audiologist.
- Bring a family member or close friend with you to help you remember what the audiologist says.
Associated Audiologists is locally owned and operated by Tim Steele, Ph.D., President and CEO. The Associated Audiologists team features 16 doctoral-level audiologists who use advanced diagnostic and verification technology to diagnose and treat hearing loss. Because we are an independent private practice with eight convenient locations, we can offer patients a wide range of digital hearing products from the world’s most respected manufacturers backed by unparalleled service. This means patients have more choices at Associated Audiologists than at other places because the practice isn’t a franchise, corporate owned, or a big box retail outlet. To be sure patients receive the maximum benefit from their hearing aids, we customize every recommendation we make to the patient’s specific hearing needs, goals and budget. All hearing aid fittings are verified using real ear and speech mapping. Plus, we have more than 1,000, 5-star reviews.
For more information about Associated Audiologists, visit hearingyourbest.com.