At Peninsula Hearing Center, our mission is to protect and preserve your hearing. Dr. Dena Riso, Au.D. is your audiologist partner in education, diagnosis and care. We know that there are different kinds of hearing-related services available to you, and we want you to understand why and how they are different.
“Hearing aid specialists” and audiologists offer services related to benefit your hearing, but the differences are profound.
One key difference between an audiologist and a “hearing aid specialist” is the amount of education required. Audiologists must earn a professional degree (the Doctor of Audiology, or Au.D.) which usually involves four years of clinical and academic training in audiology, following a four-year bachelor’s degree.
In contrast, very few educational requirements need to be met before a non-audiologist can sell hearing aids. In many states, the minimum requirement is a high school diploma, passing the license exam, and then a brief apprenticeship with a licensed hearing aid specialist.
Audiologists are trained and licensed to manage many areas of your hearing related health, including:
• Comprehensive evaluations including hearing sensitivity, speech understanding, middle ear health, inner ear and auditory nerve function
• Diagnostic tests for dizziness and balance problems
• Auditory processing evaluations for infants, children and adults
• Selection, fitting and testing of hearing instruments and assistive listening devices
• Rehabilitation therapy for hearing disorders which can include strategies to improve aided and unaided hearing.
• Rehabilitation for auditory processing disorders
• Patient and family counseling about living with hearing loss
• Instruction in hearing conservation programs
￼• Rehabilitation for balance disorders
￼• Cerumen (earwax) management
￼• Evaluation and management of tinnitus.
By contrast, the scope of practice for hearing aid specialists is very limited. They perform the following services:
• Basic hearing tests exclusively for the purpose of selling hearing aids to adults
• Hearing aid fitting and sales
Your hearing is an essential part of a quality life. When you hear better, you live better. Dr. Dena emphasizes a partnership with her patients for solving hearing-related problems and preserving the hearing you have. Contact her today for a hearing checkup.