Hearing loss is a fairly common problem among Americans. Research suggests approximately 48 million (about 1 in 7 people) Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss. This includes children, teens, and adults. It is important to consult an audiologist at the earliest if you are experiencing hearing loss. You usually have difficulty hearing clear sounds and speech, especially in noisy backgrounds.
What is an Audiologist?
An audiologist is a primary healthcare professional who conducts hearing exams for diagnosing hearing and balance disorders. Individuals suffering from hearing loss or balance disorders could be infants, children, teens, adults, or senior citizens. Audiologists have in-depth knowledge and training on the human auditory system. They can treat disorders such as Sensorineural hearing loss, Ototoxicity, hidden hearing loss, non-syndromic genetic hearing loss, syndromic genetic hearing loss and more. They can also treat symptoms such as tinnitus, vertigo, and dizziness, which are connected to hearing loss. Audiologists may also achieve further certifications from, and are usually members of associations such as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or the American Academy of Audiology.
How Do I Choose the Best Audiologist?
Choosing the best audiologist can make a lot of difference. Here are ways in which you can go about finding the best, most suitable audiologist for you:
First and foremost, make sure whichever audiologist you decide to consult has the required credentials. In the United States, audiologists are required to have at least a master’s degree in audiology from an accredited university. Most audiologists may also have doctorates in audiology (AuD) today. However, in order to practice audiology, an audiologist may need to achieve a certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and licensing from the respective state board.
One other source for choosing the best audiologist is to ask your personal physician for a referral. Your physician would be aware of your medical history, and know you personally. The physician can suggest an audiologist who they think would be a perfect fit and comfortable for you. Moreover, it may add the benefit of the evaluations and testing conducted by the audiologist being covered by your insurance.
Friends and Family
Another good source for finding an audiologist is to ask your friends and family. Ask if one of them has visited an audiologist or know about one who is good. They may be able to recommend an audiologist you might be comfortable with.
Your Insurance Company
Health insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids. However, they do offer assistance for getting audiology diagnostic tests by an audiologist. You can call your insurance company and confirm with them if they do offer such services. They may have a specific list of audiologists that are included under your plan.
Last but not the least, online research always pays. Today almost all audiologists have an online presence, with websites, information on services and hours of operation, and reviews. You can go through the websites of different audiologists. You will usually find a list of best audiologists in your area on the internet. Check reviews, their websites, and every other detail you can possibly find. Conducting a detailed research will surely pay well.
Finding audiologists is not that difficult. Go through our directory of audiologists to find the one most suitable to your needs and of course, is closer to your area of residence.