The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CC, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. C-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services.
What exactly is Audiology?
Dr. Gosalia explains that audiology is science of hearing and balance. He explains that ii is relatively a new field that started after WWII when many of the veterans came home from war with varying degrees of hearing loss. That is about the time that people who wanted to enter the field had to study and meet certain academic requirements.
What are the Requirements to Become an Audiologist?
Dr. Gosalia explains that before 2012, a person who wished to become an audiologist had to complete a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. Beginning in 2012, a person had to complete a bachelor’s degree and then apply to an audiology program.Most audiology programs are four years, however, there are accelerated programs that are three years.Students learn the theory of audiology in the college classroom and the practical side of the field on site with a practicing audiologist. An audiologist who completes the program is an Au.D.
Are the Requirements to get a License the Same in Every State?
The requirements differ from state to state, with some being very rigid and some being rather loose. And like the medical professional, there are a number oof subspecialties. Some audiologists focus on pediatric patients, some on balance issues, and some on tinnitus for example.
Audiologists are working with government regulators on what is known as an interstate compact. This will allow audiologists who are licensed in one state to treat patients in other states.
Receiving the Best Care
Many people don’t realize that hearing aids are medical devices. Dr. Gosalia points out that a person would not want to buy a pacemaker over the counter. While pacemakers are surgically implanted and hearing aids are not, there are still many things that can go wrong if hearing aids are not dispensed properly.
Another reason to visit an audiologist is that there may be underlying medical problems causing the hearing loss. Examples are middle ear effusion and acoustic neuromas. In these cases, medically intervention is necessary, and an audiologist will send the patient to a physician.
Most audiologists have what is known as a patient-centric practice. That means that the audiologist focuses solely on the patient when he/she is working. If a patient needs an hour or 15 minutes, the audiologist gives whatever time is needed while employing best practices. Dr. Gosalia says, “Patients don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
The Problem with OTC Hearing Aids
Dr. Gosalia explains that there are many problems with buying over the counter hearing aids. Because the person buying the hearing aid does not see an audiologist, they are not necessarily getting the hearing aid that is right for his/her hearing loss. He explains that a person doesn’t call their doctor and simply say, “I’m sick.” The doctor needs to see the patient and talk to him/her about the symptoms. The same is true for hearing aids.
Buying hearing aids over the counter or online has resulted in a high level of dissatisfaction. In addition, a lot of people think that the hearing aids they bought have helped their hearing as much as possible, when that may not be true. Since people hear with their brains and not their ears.