There are many things to consider when selecting an audiologist, including credentials. Most importantly, you want to feel comfortable with your audiologist and able to talk freely about your hearing concerns. Convenience and state-of-the-art equipment and treatment options also play a role in your choice. These topics should help you choose the right audiologist for your needs.

What is an audiologist?

An audiologist has a professional degree and specializes in evaluating hearing in adults, children, and infants. Your audiologist may have a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), a Doctor of Philosophy in Audiology (Ph.D.), or a Doctor of Science in Audiology (Sc.D). Audiologists must be licensed by the state.

An audiologist can diagnose and treat many ailments relating to hearing loss, including auditory nerve damage due to age or sound exposure, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), balance disorders, ear wax removal, ear infections, and more.

How do I find an audiologist?

Referrals and recommendations are the best way to choose an audiologist. Check with family and friends who wear hearing aids. If that’s not an option, ask your primary care provider. He or she will have some good references for you.

Another source of information is the internet. A search for the word “audiologist” gives you a list of local professionals and links to their websites. Look for biography, credentials, professional memberships and achievements to assist in your choice. Testimonials also provide additional information. These may be found on a clinic’s website or on ratings sites, often specializing in rating doctors and health professionals.

Many audiology clinics hold regular open houses or appear at local health fairs, giving you the opportunity to meet and speak with an audiologist.

Are there other considerations?

It’s important to keep your priorities in mind to choose the right audiologist. For instance, office location is significant, especially if you wear hearing aids, because you will see the audiologist at least twice a year. A convenient location within driving distance of your home or office factors into your decision, as well as flexible office hours.

State-of-the-art treatment options provide the best choices for you and allow for personalized care. A good hearing aid selection allows for the best fit and comfort.

Also, a friendly and knowledgeable staff able to address questions about appointments, insurance, and payment plans is essential.

If you think you have some hearing loss, it can be a bit scary to think about what might happen next. With this information and a little research, you will find the right audiologist for your hearing needs. Most importantly, you will enjoy better understanding of what’s being said to you and around you through improved hearing.