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Difference between Hearing Instrument Specialist and an Audiologist

Hearing Doctor

You may have heard the terms “audiologist” and “hearing instrument specialist” being used if you need hearing testing or are looking to update your hearing aids. However, most people don’t quite understand the differences between these types of professionals, and as a result, may end up using the terms interchangeably, causing problems for both themselves and the services they expect to receive. This can cause confusion in patients who are seeking help for their hearing loss, which is why it’s important to understand the differences so that you can easily determine which professional you should approach for your auditory concerns.

What do audiologists do?

Audiologists are considered healthcare professionals that evaluate, diagnose and treat your hearing loss. They can also specialize in conditions such as tinnitus and balance disorders, which are closely related to functions of the ear. For instance, those with hearing loss might also experience a loss of balance in their body and an audiologist can provide you with a full examination that helps to uncover every condition that is closely related to your hearing.

Audiologists are required to have graduate degrees to fully understand the ear and how it works in relation to the rest of the body. This means that they study treatments of hearing loss, balance disorders and also the anatomy of the ear. They also go into topics such as how genetics and physics play a role in the ear’s function, and they’re required to undergo many hours of supervised training in order to be considered a licensed and trained audiologist.

They’re trained to deal with any form of hearing loss but also a number of ear-related problems such as impactions. This means that audiologists are well-equipped to deal with virtually any kind of problem that you might face with your ears, thus providing you with a full treatment and examination that will reveal issues that a hearing instrument specialist wouldn’t be able to.

What are hearing instrument specialists?

Unlike audiologists, hearing instrument specialists aren’t required to obtain graduate degrees, but rather, complete a certification program. They primarily provide services that involve selecting and testing hearing aids for their patients, as well as fittings and repairs. Hearing instrument specialists have a strong knowledge of the technology you need to improve your hearing, making them a valuable asset to the industry. However, because of their limited experience in anatomy and auditory-conditions, they typically work with individuals experiencing age-related hearing loss.

While they might not provide a fully comprehensive service like an audiologist, they do still offer a service that helps their patients restore their hearing. However, it might require an audiologist to first determine if there are other factors affecting your hearing before you can be transferred to a hearing instrument specialist that can help you from there.

What are the main differences that I should keep in mind?

As you can see, audiologists and hearing instrument specialists do have many differences, but the important thing to remember is that they can both offer you sound advice and assistance when it comes to hearing loss. However, if you’re interested in a full ear examination that also includes treatments to deal with potential issues such as impacted earwax and infections, then speaking to an audiologist is the preferred way to seek treatment.

At the end of the day, experience and attitude towards the patient’s issues are more important than academic background. Even though some audiologists may have a more impressive education, their lack of experience might make them more difficult to work with than an experienced hearing instrument specialist. At The Hearing and Tinnitus Center, we make sure that our audiologists are experienced, understanding and professional so that you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re in good hands.

Get in touch with us today

At The Hearing and Tinnitus Center, our audiologists are more than capable of diagnosing your ear-related issues, whether it’s hearing loss, tinnitus, balance disorders or earwax impactions. Our knowledge allows us to offer you a specific solution that fits your exact needs. Simply get in touch with us today to book an appointment with one of our experienced audiologists so that we can help you solve your hearing-related problems. We’re proud to offer a wide range of audiology services to our patients in Colorado and beyond. If you are ready to learn more about how we can address your auditory-related needs, call our office at (720) 749-3152 to book an appointment or check out our online booking system.