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What Is an Audiologist and What Do They Do?

An audiologist performing routine hearing care duties at an Empire Hearing and Audiology New York office.
– 4.5 minute read

Have you or someone you know been experiencing difficulty with hearing or balance? It may be time to see an audiologist at Empire Hearing & Audiology in New York. Audiologists are the medical professionals championing your hearing health, but their role is often misunderstood, and a person who sells hearing aids isn’t automatically an audiologist. A lot more is involved in earning the proper licensing and certification to become an audiologist.

What Is an Audiologist?

Audiology is the science of hearing and balance. Audiologists are licensed healthcare professionals specializing in preventing, diagnosing, and treating hearing and balance disorders in people of all ages, from newborns to adults. Conditions can involve anything from hearing loss and infections to growth abnormalities and vertigo. 

Extensive Training and Education

To become an audiologist, one must undergo comprehensive training and educational programs. After acquiring a bachelor’s degree, the next step is to achieve a master’s in audiology. Many will go on to earn a doctorate in audiology (AuD). This extensive education prepares them to understand the intricate workings of the auditory system and the various diseases and conditions that can affect it.

Upon completing their graduate degrees, audiologists must complete a fellowship and externship and pass a board examination to become licensed practitioners. To maintain their licenses, these healthcare professionals must continue with ongoing education to stay updated with the latest advancements in audiology practice.

What Conditions Do Audiologists Treat?

Audiologists address a wide range of ear-related issues:

  • Hearing Loss – They assess the nature and extent of hearing loss and offer solutions to improve hearing, such as medication to cure infections, hearing devices, or surgical procedures.
  • Hearing Aid Fittings and Customizations – After identifying a need for a hearing aid based on hearing test results, audiologists tailor devices to fit the user’s ears and specific hearing requirements. The audiologist is a longtime partner for adjustments and repairs of the device.
  • Dizziness and Balance Issues – They diagnose and manage vestibular disorders like vertigo, which affect balance and spatial orientation. The audiologist will determine the best plan to manage these conditions.
  • Hearing Testing and Evaluations – Using specialized equipment, audiologists perform detailed hearing evaluations to determine an individual’s hearing levels, examine the ear canal for growth abnormalities and blockages, and test the outer, middle, or inner ear for damage.
  • Hearing Loss Prevention – They provide education on how to protect ears from noise-related damage, which is particularly important for those working in noisy environments.
  • Tinnitus Testing and Management – For those experiencing phantom noises in the ears or related symptoms of tinnitus caused by hearing loss or exposure to loud noise, audiologists can propose strategies to manage and mitigate the condition.

Where Can I See a Hearing Doctor?

Audiologists deliver their services in a variety of medical environments, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Physician’s offices
  • Private audiology clinics and hearing centers
  • Educational institutions for hearing screenings
  • Rehabilitation facilities

Each setting allows them to work with diverse patient groups and address a broad spectrum of auditory and balance problems. 

When to See an Audiologist

If you’re experiencing signs of hearing loss, persistent issues with balance, bothersome tinnitus, or pain in or around the ear, these are times to seek care from an audiologist. The earlier a condition is diagnosed, the better the chances for an effective treatment or management plan.

If you have concerns about your hearing or balance, it’s a good idea to schedule a hearing test. Hearing impairments often develop gradually, so regular checks are a smart approach to staying ahead of potential issues, especially for those over 50 years old or people who spend a lot of time in noisy environments.

Visit an Audiologist at Our Hearing Centers

Seeing a qualified audiologist at an Empire Hearing & Audiology location in New York can be the key to unlocking a better quality of life through improved hearing and ear health. Audiologists are your dedicated partners in this process, possessing the skills and specialized knowledge to guide you through assessment, treatment, and management options. If you believe it’s time to seek the expertise of a licensed audiologist, or if you’re due for an annual hearing test, locate one of our hearing care centers near you to schedule a free hearing assessment and evaluation. 

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