Trust an Audiologist for Hearing Care
In a perfect world, getting a hearing evaluation and buying a hearing aid would be easy, and would all be done through your audiologist. But it’s not a perfect world; and many hearing aids are sold by medical supply businesses who try to blur the lines between medical professional and salesperson.
Bottom line: an audiologist, and only an audiologist, can properly evaluate your need for a hearing aid. Hearing instrument specialists are typically not certified to diagnose causes of hearing loss, even thought it may appear that way. That’s why it’s important to obtain your hearing aid through the referral of your audiologist.
So, how can you tell if you’re dealing with a real audiologist? The answer is proper accreditation.
What is proper accreditation?
First of all, your audiologist should have a doctorate of audiology – an Au.D. Beyond that, there are two accrediting bodies in the United States – The ACAE and the CAA.
The ACAE stands for Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education. This organization makes sure that audiology doctoral programs stay relevant, up-to-date and that graduate doctors are armed with a high level of proficiency and an understanding of the latest advances in audiology and hearing restoration.
The same can be said for the CAA, which is the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. It is operated by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA.
What’s the difference between the two? The differences are simply academic – some university audiology departments are affiliated with the ACAE, and some with the CAA. Each organization publishes their (largely overlapping) set of standards.
Both of these accrediting bodies ensure a high level of expertise among their certificate holders, giving patients peace of mind going to anyone holding accreditation from either one. Additionally, both offer continuing education for their audiologists, so the hearing healthcare professionals don’t simply graduate from their program knowing the latest and best audiology research and findings, but stay that way as well.
Selecting an audiologist
Finding an audiologist with the proper credentials is only the first step in choosing the right professional for you. To ensure you’re selecting the audiologist you need, learn more about the services they offer, the different hearing aid manufacturers they carry and what type of after-care services they provide, such as device cleanings and inspections. Once you select the right audiologist for your needs, you’ll be able to communicate with the world around you better.