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Gina Diaz, AuD, CCC-A
Don't Be Fooled By the Gimmicks Become an Educated Consumer Of Hearing Aids – Part 2
Freedom Hearing Center LLC
. https://freedomhearing.com/

Don't Be Fooled By the Gimmicks Become an Educated Consumer Of Hearing Aids – Part 2

Part Two

An educated consumer should discuss the following questions before investing in their hearing health care or hearing aids

Who is your potential provider? It is a common misconception that everyone who works with hearing aids has the same training, education/degree or profession. There are two licensed professionals that can dispense hearing aids in the state of Maryland, an audiologist and a hearing aid dispenser (aka Board Certified Specialist in Hearing Instrument Science, Hearing Instrument Specialist, or Hearing Care Practitioner, Audioprosthologist).

Society often views audiologists as a hearing aid dispenser, related exclusively to hearing loss and hearing aids, which is incorrect.

In addition to complete audiologic evaluations and hearing aids, the audiology profession includes balance/vestibular rehabilitation, tinnitus management, cerumen removal, ototoxicity monitoring, cochlear implant mapping, electrophysiologic assessments, newborn hearing screenings, and interoperative monitoring-all of which are not within a hearing aid dispenser's scope of practice.

Why should I see an audiologist (AuD)? Hearing aids are FDA regulated medical devices that must be fit with professional expertise. An AuD and HAD both are licensed to dispense hearing aids, but what it really comes down to is expertise and quality of service.

As of 2008, an AuD must go through eight years of schooling, which includes a Bachelors Degree from an undergraduate institution and then a Doctor of Audiology Degree from a post-graduate college or university.

In addition, an AuD is specifically trained to identify, diagnose, rehabilitate, and monitor disorders of the hearing and balance systems. They assess your entire auditory and vestibular system and then recommend a solution to treat your symptoms.

A HAD must have a general studies Associates Degree and pass the International Institute for Hearing Instrument Studies course prior to taking the Maryland HAD exam. This is a self-study course designated to teach basic anatomy and physiology of the hearing mechanisms.

Is there anything medically or surgically that could be done to improve your hearing loss before you consider investing in hearing aids? Even if a hearing loss is detected through a complete audiologic evaluation, hearing aids are not always the recommended course of treatment. An individual should not purchase and use hearing aids without the proper examination, diagnosis, and counseling.

If you purchase hearing aids from anywhere other than a licensed audiologist or other hearing healthcare professional you may be putting yourself at risk for being misdiagnosed of a serious underlying health condition that requires medical intervention.

This article will be continued in next month's edition.

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