Audiologist vs Hearing Aid Dispenser - What's the Difference?

January 17, 2023

The world of hearing healthcare can be confusing, to say the least. From the difference between hearing aids and personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), to the myriad types of hearing aids designed to address specific hearing loss, our job as audiologists is to help you navigate this deluge of information and help you make informed decisions. 

Another area for clarification in the hearing treatment world is the different types of providers available to help those with hearing loss. In this article, we're going to explore the differences between audiologists and hearing aid dispensers, and provide some advice on which type of provider may be the best fit for you.

What is a hearing aid dispenser?

A hearing aid dispenser is a professional trained to fit and dispense hearing aids to those with hearing loss. Hearing aid dispensers are not required to hold a graduate degree in audiology, and their training is typically focused solely on the fitting and dispensing of hearing aids. In most states, becoming a hearing aid dispenser requires completing a specific amount of coursework and passing a certification exam.

What is an audiologist? 

Audiologists are professionals who hold a doctoral degree in audiology (AuD). To become an audiologist, individuals must complete a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program, which typically takes four years. To be accepted into an AuD program, individuals must have completed a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as speech-language pathology, communication disorders, or psychology.

AuD programs combine academic coursework and clinical training and cover a wide range of topics related to hearing and balance disorders, including anatomy and physiology of the auditory and vestibular systems, audiology assessment and measurement, amplification and assistive listening devices, and auditory processing disorders.

In addition to completing an AuD program, audiologists must also be licensed in the state where they practice. Licensure requirements vary by state but generally involve passing a national certification exam and meeting other state-specific needs, such as completing a certain amount of supervised clinical experience.

In addition to fitting and dispensing hearing aids, audiologists are trained to perform hearing evaluations and balance assessments and provide treatment options such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive listening devices. Audiologists are also trained to work with individuals with more complex hearing and balance disorders, such as auditory processing or vestibular disorders.

5 reasons why an audiologist is right for your needs

It might not be a surprise to you to learn that we recommend Audiologists for the best care. Here are five reasons to consider an audiologist for your hearing needs:

Reason #1: Comprehensive evaluation and treatment:

Audiologists are trained to perform a thorough assessment of your hearing and balance needs, including conducting hearing tests, evaluating medical history, and observing your listening and communication habits. This comprehensive approach allows audiologists to identify any hearing loss you may have and determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs.

Reason #2: More expertise in diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance disorders:

As mentioned earlier, audiologists are trained to diagnose hearing loss and identify and treat more complex hearing and balance disorders. This specialized training allows audiologists to provide higher care for those with more complex hearing needs.

Reason #3: A wider range of treatment options:

In addition to fitting and dispensing hearing aids, audiologists are also trained to provide other treatment options, such as cochlear implants and assistive listening devices. This means that audiologists can offer a wide range of solutions for those with hearing loss rather than being limited to just one type of treatment.

Reason #4: Superior ongoing support and follow-up care:

Audiologists are trained to provide ongoing support and follow-up care to ensure that your hearing treatment is effective and that necessary adjustments are made. This ongoing support ensures you get the most out of your hearing treatment.

Reason #5: Higher level of education and training:

As mentioned earlier, audiologists hold a doctoral degree in audiology and have undergone extensive training in diagnosing and treating hearing and balance disorders. This higher education and training ensures that audiologists are highly qualified to provide top-quality care to those with hearing loss.

Don't let hearing loss hold you back any longer. Start the new year by scheduling a consultation with our audiologist and getting your hearing tested. Early treatment of hearing loss has been shown to have numerous benefits, including improved communication abilities, increased job performance, and a higher quality of life. 

Don't wait any longer to reconnect with your loved ones and enjoy all life offers. Contact our audiologists at Anywhere Audiology today to schedule your appointment and take the first step towards better hearing health.

Written by
Reviewed by
Dr. Emma Durazzo
Owner & Doctor of Audiology
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With years of experience and continued professional training, Emma Durazzo (formerly Emma McCue) has developed her expertise in a variety of subspecialties within the scope of audiology.