If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss in Santa Barbara, you’ll be getting to know your audiologist pretty well. Not only will this person be there for you during your hearing evaluation and initial hearing aid fitting; you’ll be expected to come back frequently for follow-up hearing tests, clean and check appointments, hearing aid servicing, and more. Understanding all that an audiologist does will prove helpful. There’s a lot more to this person than the lighted instrument they stick in your ears, after all!
So you want to become an Audiologist? Hope you like school.
An audiologist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. Nowadays, most audiologists have earned a Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) degree; others may have a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited university. Regardless of the fancy letters and periods following their names, all audiologists have received extensive training in the prevention, identification, assessment, and non-medical treatment of hearing and balance disorders. Before they can practice, they must complete an internship, pass a national competency examination and obtain professional certification and licensing in the state (or states) in which they practice.
What do audiologists do, exactly?
Audiologists are Jacks and Jills of all trades. Their many responsibilities include the following:
- Identify, test, diagnose, and manage hearing and balance disorders and tinnitus
- Counsel and educate patients and their families on hearing health, treatment and management strategies, and ways to improve communication
- Assess candidacy for hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other implantable hearing devices
- Administer audiologic rehabilitation programs including speech reading, language development, communication skills, and communication skills
- Evaluate and manage patients with central auditory processing disorders
- Design and implement hearing conservation programs
- Supervise and conduct newborn hearing screenings
- Recommend, dispense, fit, and program hearing aids and assistive listening devices
- Examine the ear canals and eardrum, removing excess earwax, and making custom molds from ear impressions
- Assist surgeons with ear-related medical procedures
Where do audiologists work?
Audiologists in Santa Barbara find employment in a wide variety of settings. They make work in hospitals, clinics, private practices, primary schools and universities, hearing aid dispensaries, VA hospitals, and other locations.
In summary, audiologists are uniquely qualified to help you or your loved ones manage hearing loss or balance disorders. If you are in need of audiology services in Santa Barbara, contact your local audiologist today.