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What is an Audiologist?

What is an audiologist

What is an Audiologist?

Published on 28/08/2020

We are now coming into a time where hearing loss awareness and information are becoming more accessible to everyone and slowly more people are talking about their hearing loss openly.  Although there is still a long way to go - it is a positive step in the right direction. 

We are beginning to see a gradual increase in available education about the benefits of hearing aids, other forms of treatment and just how important an early diagnosis is for your hearing's future and the quality of life you lead.  But, what about the audiologist themselves?  What about the professionals that make this a reality?  Here we answer some of the common misconceptions of our industry and Q&A's about this important profession.

Audiologist meaning

An audiologist is a hearing healthcare professional that manages, focuses and finds a solution to problems of the auditory system of a patient.  Audiologists are professionally trained to diagnose, treat and monitor all levels of hearing loss, tinnitus symptoms and balance issues (vestibular).

What does an audiologist do?

An audiologist's main role is to test hearing capability (audiogram), advise the most beneficial treatment for hearing loss, dispense hearing aids and fit hearing aids.  They also organise and manage cochlear implants and provide rehabilitation counselling for their patients and families.  This could be an education on hearing loss, how to manage tinnitus symptoms, lip-reading or how to better communicate as a family and individual in various hearing situations and social gatherings.

Where do audiologists work?

Audiologists work in various practice settings, for instance, they provide their hearing healthcare services in their own private clinics, in hospitals and Hearing Aid UK also offers hearing care services and hearing tests in your own home for no extra fee.  They generally work alongside and collaborate with speech therapists and pathologists, hearing coaches, ENT clinics and otolaryngologists.

 An audiologist vs otolaryngologist

This could also be referred to as the difference between an audiologist and ENT.  The Ear, Nose and Throat specialists are medical doctors who have completed a degree at a medical school and have specialised in the otolaryngology field.  

They offer a variety of services, procedures, treatments and can diagnose problems or disorders of the ear, nose, throat and even the lower areas of the skull.  Audiologists work within an ENT clinic or own private practice providing hearing tests, dispensing hearing aids and offering counselling services.

Hearing Aid Fitting

Are audiologists doctors?

The simple answer here is no - audiologists are not medical doctors and they don't have to have a doctorate degree to practice.  An audiologist is a licensed healthcare professional who specialises in diagnosing, treating and administering to those with hearing loss, tinnitus and other types of hearing problems.  They have to, at a minimum, have a masters degree in their field and then some go on to accomplish a doctorate degree, where they will then be a doctor of audiology.

Since 2010 the qualification required to become a hearing aid dispenser is a foundation degree in audiology so you may see the letters Fd Sc Aud after the name. In any case, the hearing aid dispenser needs to be registered with the HCPC and the registration details can be found on the HCPC website.

Are audiologists regulated?

Regulation within audiology has been confusing to consumers for some time.  What is important to know is that those who assess, fit, programme and dispense hearing aids should be registered by the Health Care and Professionals Council (HCPC).  

All of our audiologists at Hearing Aid UK are qualified & registered with the HCPC.  Hearing Aid Dispensers are regulated by the HCPC and set up to protect the public. Their job is to keep a register of health and care professionals who meet their standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health.

We are also a member of the  British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (BSHAA) who is the professional body which represents and promotes the interests of the independent hearing aid profession across the UK.  The Irish equivalent of this is ISHAA and our founder, Paul Harrison, also sits on the BSHAA council.

Audiologist training

Here are some topics of study audiologists cover during their education and training:

Audiologists near me  &  hearing aids near me

If you think you need an audiologist appointment because you feel you have problems with your hearing or any other type of hearing health care issues, our audiologists can help you.  The quicker you get your hearing checked by an audiologist, the quicker you can be correctly diagnosed and the more successful your treatment will be.

Hearing centre near me & hearing clinic near me

Hearing Aid UK has a professional network of over 200 audiologists nationwide, so we can always locate the right audiologist near you.  Wherever you live, we’ll have someone near to you. We offer the choice of appointments either in a shop, clinic or in the comfort of your own home.  Call us free on 0800 567 7621

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