A variety of negative mental and physical health conditions stem from untreated hearing loss.

In addition, those who struggle with auditory communication live a lower quality of life.

None of these consequences are necessary because they can be easily overcome through hearing care provided by a professional audiologist.

As a part of National Audiology Awareness Month, we want to give you a closer look at audiology and why choosing an audiologist to care for your hearing health should top your healthcare providers list.

Audiology Is the Study of Hearing

In simple terms, audiology is the study of hearing. In medical terms, it is the branch of science dedicated to hearing, balance, and other disorders associated with the ears or auditory system.

Though the study of hearing function dates back to Hippocrates in the 4th Century BC, it wasn’t until after World War II, when doctors were searching for ways to treat returning veterans with noise-induced hearing loss, that audiology really took root as a medical specialty.

The founding of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology in 1977 made it possible to begin licensing Audiologists or Doctors of Audiology (AuD) in their specific area of specialization.

The most significant advancements in both diagnosis and treatment for hearing impairment within the field of audiology have occurred over the past two decades in conjunction with digital technology.

What does an Audiologist do?

Doctors who specialize in providing hearing care are licensed by either the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or the American Board of Audiologists.

Referred to as clinical audiologists or simply audiologists are healthcare professionals who engage in the assessment and treatment of their patients hearing along with those with other auditory system disorders.

Common interests of practicing audiologists include:

  • Speech and language learning
  • Anatomy of the ear, auditory systems and sound processing by the brain
  • Causes related to hearing loss
  • Aural rehabilitation (lip-reading, sign language, etc.)
  • Hearing technology and hearing instruments

Those who visit an audiologist’s office can expect to undergo a hearing assessment designed to detect the degree and type of hearing loss along with therapies to treat any diagnosed disorders.

Though treatment can include hearing aids, audiologists do more than hearing tests and hearing aids.

Most also treat issues related to balance and vertigo and work in their communities to set of screening, language and speech therapy, and hearing care awareness programs in addition to their regular private hearing care practices.

Why place choosing an audiologist for hearing care at the top of your list?

Audiologists work with two other hearing care providers: otolaryngologists and hearing aid specialists.

A doctor of otolaryngology specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the ears, nose, and throat (ENT) who work closely with audiologists on cases that require their specialized treatment. Still, ENTs are not primarily focused on hearing care or hearing instruments.

However, hearing aid specialists focus primarily on testing and fitting their clients with hearing aids.

They are certified and licensed by the state, but they are not doctors, and their primary interest focuses on dispensing hearing instruments.

An audiologist follows the best practices related to hearing care to achieve more positive results while providing a higher level of ongoing hearing care.

Because they are doctors, they conduct a thorough examination of all aspects related to hearing health rather than focus on selling you a hearing aid.

This has become particularly challenging as online screenings for hearing, and the capability to purchase hearing instruments without a complete diagnosis has become more prevalent.

Hearing loss or hearing impairment often masks other more serious medical issues left undiscovered with less adequate hearing assessments.

Choosing Sound Audiology Ensures Better Hearing Care

Hearing loss reduces your quality of life and can contribute to various negative mental and physical health conditions.

Taking a proactive approach to better hearing care includes choosing a hearing care professional like the audiologists at Sound Audiology.

We provide comprehensive hearing assessments and design the treatment best suited to your unique type and severity of hearing loss.

If you or someone you love struggles with hearing loss, contact us to book a hearing assessment with proper protocols to protect your health or set up a tele audiology appointment.

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Lori Losey Lovato MA, FAAA, Audiologist

Lori Losey Lovato MA, FAAA, Audiologist

Lori attended Washington State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences and her master’s degree in audiology. She began practicing audiology in the Tri-Cities in 1993 and has worked with both adult and pediatric patients. She has spent her career focused on assisting those with hearing difficulties through the use of hearing aids, listening strategies, assistive devices, and counseling.