Why An Audiologist Is The Best Choice For Your Hearing Healthcare

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It can be normal to ask why you should see an audiologist if all you think you need is hearing aids. After all, the cheaper the better, right?

We understand the need to save money, but there are numerous reasons why an audiologist will always be the best choice for your hearing healthcare, which I’ll go into below.

But first, what exactly is an audiologist?

What Is An Audiologist?

An audiologist is a doctor of hearing and balance for all ages and of any associated disorders. If you are experiencing any issue to do with your auditory system, we are the right professionals to diagnose it and treat it.

We’re called doctors because we hold a master’s or doctorate degree in audiology – the study of the auditory system. We thoroughly understand the structure and functions of your ears. This is why it takes 75 semester hours and 12 months of supervised experience to become an audiologist (about 8 years).

An audiologist is licensed by the state and abides by a code of ethics. Our hearing research and education is ongoing and required to stay licensed.

What Is An Audiologist Qualified To Do?

An audiologist is someone who can assess and diagnose hearing loss and disorders of the auditory system.

We also:

  • Perform testing to assess hearing and balance function.
  • Dispense hearing aids and other assistive technologies.
  • Provide rehabilitation strategies for speech and hearing disorders and hearing aid use.
  • Provide hearing services for newborns to school children.
  • Teach hearing conservation techniques.
  • Work in medical facilities, universities, government organizations, ENT offices, and with the military.

Only audiologists can diagnose and treat a child’s hearing, and our pediatric audiologists have evaluated hundreds of children in our communities.

What Is A Hearing Instrument Specialist?

A hearing instrument specialist is someone who is licensed to fit and sell hearing aids.

MA hearing instrument specialists must have at least 150 hours of directly supervised practicum by apprenticing for a year with a licensed hearing instrument specialist or audiologist for a year, and they must also study the International Hearing Society Home Study Course and pass the licensure exam.

A hearing instrument specialist is licensed by the state and abides by a code of ethics. Twenty hours of continuing education is required every 24 months to stay licensed.

What Is A Hearing Instrument Specialist Qualified To Do?

A hearing instrument specialist can:

  • Test hearing with pure tone air conduction, bone conduction, and speech audiometry.
  • Do otoscopic examinations of the ear.
  • Create earmolds from earmold impressions.
  • Fit and dispense hearing instruments.
  • Troubleshoot defective hearing instruments.

As you can see, there is a vast difference between the knowledge of an audiologist and that of an HIS.

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Comprehensive Hearing Assessments For Diagnosing Hearing Loss

An online hearing test can be good as a starting point to give you a general idea if there is some hearing loss present; but that’s really all it’s good for, as it will only look at air-conducted signals.

To get the best assessment of your type and degree of hearing loss, you need to be in the right setting with the tester using the right equipment to measure your hearing of pure tones, speech, background noise, and to assess your eardrum response.

You need to have air and bone conduction results to properly diagnose your type and degree of hearing loss and treat it correctly.

Only an audiologist can find underlying health issues that might be affecting your hearing and choose the right treatment and preventive care for it. We work with local ENT specialists and speech language pathologists to make sure your hearing loss is treated the right way.

The Process Of Getting A Hearing Aid

The first step is to have a diagnostic hearing evaluation to determine your type and degree of hearing loss. After that, usually on the same day, we do a consultation to determine which type of assistive products will work for you.

Once an order is placed, an appointment for fitting is set up. At this appointment, we will review all aspects of the hearing aid – from programming to cleaning.

Choosing An Audiologist To Fit The Right Hearing Device

An audiologist will ensure the hearing aid is the correct power, style, and technology for your hearing loss and lifestyle. Not only that, anywhere from 1 to 5 years of follow-up care is included in your hearing aid bundle.

Hearing aids are not a one-size-fits-all device. They are customized to your hearing loss and listening needs.

As you begin the journey of using aids, you will need adjustments as you become accustomed to listening through them in your world. Certain things are easier or harder to hear, and your aids require programming to address this.

An audiologist will do all this. We have been educated and trained on the anatomy and physiology of the auditory system. We understand how these devices work within that system.

Ongoing Audiological Care With An Audiologist

Getting hearing aids online or over the counter will simply be a purchase and end of transaction. Getting a hearing aid from an audiologist includes all the follow-up and ongoing hearing care, which explains why they are an investment, rather than a cost.

The value of having an auditory doctor walk through your hearing journey with you is incomparable. Our aim is to provide you with the best hearing assistance possible.

Depending on the plan chosen, you will have 1 to 5 years of follow-up care to include supplies needed. We schedule quarterly maintenance appointments so we can ensure the aids are functioning properly and address any concerns you might have.

There are many reasons why you might need your hearing aids adjusted. If your hearing has changed, if your daily routines have changed, if you feel that something is not quite right – that’s why we are here!

The Importance Of Regular Check-ups With An Audiologist

Regular check-ups ensure your hearing aids are working properly, but that’s just part of it.

Your hearing loss will change over the years due to any number of reasons, and because of your audiologist’s knowledge and experience, we can ensure your total health is taken into consideration each time it changes.

Regular hearing checks will give us a good picture of any change in your level of hearing loss over time, and we’ll know if and when we need to adjust your hearing care plan.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a hearing loss, South Shore Hearing Center can provide the expert audiology care you need. We have six audiologists and have been helping people in and around the South Shore improve their quality of life for over 35 years.

Click here to schedule an appointment or to ask any questions. We look forward to helping you in every way we can.

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Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A

Dr. Jennifer G. Mayer purchased South Shore Hearing Center in January 2016. She was born and raised in Swampscott, MA. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing in 1996 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and her Master’s degree in audiology from the Northeastern University in 1998. Dr. Mayer fulfilled her Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) in 1999 at Hear USA and Cape Cod Ear, Nose and Throat. Following her CFY, Dr. Mayer was a staff audiologist in various clinical settings, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She joined the South Shore Hearing Center staff in 2006. Dr. Mayer obtained her Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree from the A.T. Still University, Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2008. Dr. Mayer’s specialties are diagnostic audiology, pediatric and adult amplification and educational audiology. Dr. Mayer is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. She is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Audiology and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

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