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An audiologist is a professional who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. Audiologists have earned a master’s degree (MA) or Doctor of Audiology (AuD) from an accredited university. They receive extensive training in the prevention, identification, assessment and non-medical treatment of hearing and balance disorders.

Audiologists have to complete an internship, pass a national competency examination and obtain professional certification and licensure in the state(s) where they practice.

What Do Audiologists Do?

Audiologists work with patients of all ages, treating infants, children and adults for a variety of hearing and balance problems. They work in diverse settings like hospitals, schools, clinics, universities, private practices, VA hospitals, hearing aid dispensaries and otolaryngology (ENT) offices. Audiologists are responsible for services such as:

  • Fitting and dispensing hearing aids
  • Administering hearing and balance tests
  • Assessing candidacy for and programming implantable hearing devices (e.g., cochlear implants, bone anchored hearing devices, etc.)
  • Counseling patients and their families on communication strategies
  • Designing and implementing hearing conservation programs and newborn hearing screenings
  • Providing aural rehabilitation programs
  • Performing ear-related surgical monitoring

What Is a Hearing Instrument Specialist?

Houston Hearing Center patients may also be seen by a hearing instrument specialist. A hearing instrument specialist is a professional who specializes in the selection and fitting of hearing aids. They are required to have completed high school or received an equivalent degree. In addition, they must pass a written and practical exam to become licensed by the state.

Some hearing instrument specialists choose to become board certified hearing instrument specialists. This requires them to pass a national exam given by the National Hearing Instrument Society.

What Do Hearing Instrument Specialists Do?

Just like an audiologist, hearing instrument specialists work with patients of all ages in diverse settings like hospitals, schools, clinics, universities and private practices. Most can be found in an office that provides hearing aid services to those with sensorineural hearing loss, also known as nerve deafness.

Hearing instrument specialists are trained to interpret hearing assessments and use that information to select the best hearing aid possible for their patients. After trying on and testing out a number of options, the hearing aid model is selected and the hearing instrument specialist can get to work fitting and programing the device to match the individual’s exact degree of hearing loss.

Call Houston Hearing Center at 281-649-7215 for more information or to schedule an appointment.