An audiologist, also known as a doctor of hearing, is a healthcare professional who specializes in diagnosing and testing of hearing (or auditory) and balance disorders. They have the expertise and training to determine an individual’s type and severity of hearing loss and suggest solutions, such as hearing aids, to help improve an individual’s overall life.

What do audiologists do?

Audiologists are common in the everyday American’s life; after all, roughly 48 million Americans suffer some form of hearing loss — and not all are within the elderly population. However, the risk of developing hearing loss increases with age. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults.

Where do audiologists practice?

As such, it is highly likely you will see an audiologist at some point in your life. Audiologists works in many different settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Private or group practices
  • Residential health and long-term care facilities
  • Educational settings, such as colleges and universities
  • K-12 schools
  • Developmental learning centers or daycares
  • Federal government agencies
  • State public health departments
  • Uniformed services
  • Industries with hearing conservation programs

Audiologists and hearing tests

Regardless of the setting, audiologists provide the same basic help for individuals with hearing loss. First, an audiologist will take a person through a series of tests to determine the type and degree of hearing loss they have. The audiologist will read the results to determine a person’s hearing loss. From there, the audiologist will work with the patient, asking questions to understand their lifestyle before recommending some type of hearing loss solution, most often some type of hearing aid.

Treatment and audiologists

After this appointment, an audiologist and patient will undergo a second appointment, called a hearing aid fitting During this appointment, the patient and audiologist will work together to make sure the hearing aid is set correctly and fits well.

The audiologist will also share their expertise with the patients and knowledge of the hearing aids to make sure the patient feels comfortable and confident wearing the hearing aids. It is important to audiologist that their patients do well with their hearings aids; as such, they will work hard to make sure the hearing aids fit correctly.