What is an Audiologist?

Audiologists are professionals who specialize in non-medical evaluation and rehabilitation services to people with hearing loss.

An audiologist’s education includes a Masters or Doctorate degree in audiology and Oregon state licensure.

Audiologists conduct a wide variety of tests to determine the nature of an individual’s hearing problem and identify the areas of difficulty. Audiologists also administer tests of balance to evaluate dizziness, dispense hearing aids, provide hearing rehabilitation, and monitor hearing conservation programs. Often audiologists will refer patients to physicians for a medical or surgical evaluation of the cause of the hearing loss.

Do I have a Hearing Loss?

The ability to communicate is our most human-like characteristic. Hearing loss usually develops gradually, and it’s not always easy to determine if you are experiencing it. Most hearing losses are more or less noticeable depending on circumstances, such as room acoustics, group settings, or amount of background noise present. This can lead others to believe that you selectively listen or don’t care what others are saying. Often, people ultimately discover their hearing loss from the reaction of friends or family members.

DO YOU:

  • Ask for things to be repeated frequently?
  • Turn up the TV so loud that others complain?
  • Avoid social situations?
  • Often misunderstand communication? (Hearing Questionaire)
  • Find it difficult to understand speech in noisy situations?
  • If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to consider having a hearing evaluation. We believe that hearing loss deserves professional care. If hearing loss is suspected, the first step is an audiologic evaluation to determine the type and degree of loss in order for proper recommendations to be made.

What is the Prevalence of Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is one of the most common health problems in this country (only hypertension and arthritis are more common). It is estimated that more than 28 million Americans–one in ten—experience significant hearing loss. Nearly one half of these are under the age of 65. Studies estimate more than one million of this figure are school-age. The early identification and treatment for hearing loss in children is particularly critical for normal speech and language development. In the U.S. nearly one million people each year purchase hearing aids, and still others purchase assistive listening devices. The majority of people with hearing loss can be helped by hearing aids.