Hearing Healthcare Professionals

There are many types of hearing healthcare professionals to help you along the way

Hearing loss is both a common and treatable problem. You can feel assured knowing that there are a variety of professionals who specialize in hearing loss.

Audiologists are the primary hearing healthcare professionals who evaluate and manage hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children. Audiologists have either a doctorate (Au.D., Ph.D.) or a master’s degree (M.S. or M.A.) with special training in the prevention, identification, assessment, and treatment of hearing disorders. Audiologists must have audiology certification and be licensed to practice in most states.

An ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) is a physician trained in the medical and surgical evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of diseases or disorders of the ears, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck.

Otologists and neurotologists focus on hearing and balance disorders, as well as diseases of the ear. They have the same training ENTs have plus an additional two-year fellowship program devoted to the ear.1 Neurotologists are board certified in neurotology as well as ENT.

Hearing Instrument Specialist
Hearing instrument specialists test hearing and fit hearing aids to suitable candidates. A Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist (BCHIS) has successfully passed a National Competency Examination after completing an apprenticeship and training under the supervision of a licensed hearing aid dispenser for at least two years. In most states, hearing instrument specialists must be licensed.

Reference: 1. Otology.org. What is Otology? Available from http://otology.org/. Accessed February 2012.