What is an Audiologist?
Audiologists are healthcare professionals who provide patient-centered care in the prevention, identification, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment of hearing, balance, and other auditory disorders for people of all ages. For more information, visit ASHA's Hearing and Balance webpage.
An Audiologist is required to have
- Master’s or Doctoral degree in Audiology
- Minimum of 350 hours of patient care hours obtained in an accredited college or university. He/she submits to the Audiology board evidence that he/she has passed the examination for clinical competency and a state licensure to practice
There are benefits having a doctor onsite working together with an audiologist. Dr. Gupta will review all tests performed and will diagnose any medical issues associated with your hearing loss at the time of your appointment. He can potentially treat any reversible causes of hearing loss rather than just sell you a hearing aid.
Bottom line, a lot of education pertaining to hearing health, aural rehab and patient counseling has been amassed to be able to provide the best health care for you.
What is a hearing aid dispenser?
A hearing aid dispenser is someone who is authorized by the state to measure hearing and to fit and sell hearing aids.
A hearing aid dispenser is not an audiologist, and does not have to have a college degree related to hearing loss.
Patients need to understand that a hearing aid dispenser may have a monthly quota of hearing aid sales to meet, so the priority for them is to make the sale. Some stores, due to the high pressure nature of the job, have high employee turn over and that also can affect consistency in patient care.
A lot of patients are attracted to the cheaper cost of hearing aids offered by chain or big box stores. The hearing aid models are specifically made for these chains and so it is difficult for the consumers/patients to compare it to other hearing aids. Sometimes, products that are labeled as “Premium” level hearing aids, are not necessarily the “Premium” level actually made by the manufacturers.
Understanding the difference between the two is essential as it could affect the resulting quality of care.
We offer 4 different Hearing aid manufacturers: ReSound, Signia, Phonak and Oticon