What is an Audiologist?
An audiologist is a health care professional who works with patients who have hearing, balance, and other ear related problems. They examine patients of all ages and diagnose, treat, and monitor disorders of the auditory or vestibular (balance) systems. If a patient is not able to hear within normal limits, the audiologist is able to fit the patient with hearing aids or map a cochlear implant for those patients with severe to profound hearing loss. Also, an audiologist counsels a patient and the patient’s family through a diagnosis of hearing loss, offering instruction for positive communication strategies and optimal listening environments.
Other services from an audiologist can include cerumen (ear wax) removal, newborn hearing screenings, and implementing hearing safety programs. In the United States, audiologists are required to be licensed. In 2007, the entry level degree for practicing in the field became the Doctor of Audiology (AuD.) degree. Most states require continued education for continued licensure.