Your ears are pretty amazing. Hidden within them are tens of thousands of tiny hair cells that work alongside a host of other cells, from bone cells to nerve cells, so you can hear the world around you. If just one part of this mechanical marvel breaks down, your can experience hearing loss. Taking good care of your hearing requires the expert help of someone who understands the mechanics, biology and physics of your hearing. That someone is an Audiologist.
An Audiologist isn’t the only person you can go to if you have hearing loss. There are, of course, hearing aid dispensers. But there is a big difference between the service an Audiologist can provide, compared to that of a hearing aid dispenser. Their job names alone give some of this away – hearing aid dispensers are focused on selling you hearing aids, Audiologists are focused on taking care of everything and anything to do with your hearing health.
If you need more convincing, here are three reasons to choose an Audiologist:
Reason #1 – unrivalled expertise for your peace of mind
As we mentioned earlier, your hearing is complex. When something goes wrong an Audiologist has the training to find out exactly where the problem lies and provide appropriate treatment, whether that is hearing aids or not. The training they undergo to offer such comprehensive care is extensive to say the least: a four-year medical degree, at least 350 hours of patient care and a year of full-time supervised on-the-job experience. Not to mention ongoing professional development courses. You can therefore enjoy peace of mind knowing that your Audiologist has every angle covered when it comes to your hearing health. In contrast, a hearing aid dispenser needs only to complete a 12-week training course and pass a written and practical exam.
Reason #2 – a lifelong partnership
Taking care of your hearing health is a lifelong endeavor, one that involves both you and your Audiologist. As your lifestyle, habits and health changes, an Audiologist will be there to keep a close eye on your hearing and provide trusted advice and, if needed, treatment to ensure you can enjoy the sounds around you at every stage in life.
Reason #3 – tailored treatment
If hearing aids are the solution to your hearing loss, that’s great. But once they are fitted that is not the end of the story. Hearing aids take time to adjust to and often require adjustments. As your hearing needs change, your hearing aids may need adapting or replacing. An Audiologist provides after-care long after your initial fitting for hearing aids and can ensure your hearing loss is treated in the most appropriate way for your particular circumstances.
Debra Hamila received her master’s degree in audiology from Cleveland State University and her Au.D. from Arizona School of Health Sciences and has been a practicing audiologist for more than 33 years. She has worked in a variety of ENT offices, hospital and clinical settings.