HEARING ASSOCIATES, Inc.
We appreciate the confidence you have expressed in our ability to deliver high quality healthcare. For more than 20 years our office has forged ahead as a leader in offering services you, and your neighbors, can trust. We are dedicated to providing excellent, compassionate care and to assist you during your vist. We hope this information answers many of your questions and concerns, so you feel more at ease during your visit.
Please also note for your convenience, we also have 5 other locations in the Los Angeles and Ventura Counties that you may visit at any time (Insurance Coverage may vary).
What is Hearing?
How the Ear Works
Sound waves are collected by the outer ear and are funneled through the ear canal to the eardrum. Sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate. Attached to the eardrum is one of the three bones found in the middle ear. These bones, called the ossicles, transmit and amplify the vibrations to the oval window of the inner ear. When vibrations enter through the oval window, the fluid in the inner ear creates a wave. These waves stimulate pitch specific nerve endings, called hair cells, which send an electrical impulse to the nerve. Electrical impulses are transmitted along the auditory nerve to the brain. The brain interprets the impulses into a meaningful message.
Who are Audiologists?
Audiology is the branch of science that studies hearing (auditory), balance (vestibular), and related disorders. Practitioners who diagnose, treat, and proactively prevent related damage, are audiologists.
Audiologists are licensed professionals who hold a master’s degree, Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), or Ph.D. in the hearing sciences. Audiology license boards in each state determine the specific degree and experience requirements necessary to practice. As of January 2007 all professional training programs for audiologists in the United States culminate with the Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology) degree. Many state license laws now require the Au.D. degree for all newly licensed audiologists, and it is expected that eventually it will be required by all license laws in the United States. Audiologists who have earned the master’s degree prior to the change in licensing standards are not required to earn a doctorate to continue practicing in the field. Audiologists have a clinical/educational background that emphasizes diagnostic evaluation of hearing and balance systems, amplification technology (especially hearing aids), hearing science, aural rehabilitation and assistive device fitting. Audiologists are trained extensively to evaluate and fit patients for hearing aids as treatment for various types of hearing loss.
Audiologists may specialize in pediatric diagnostics/amplification, cochlear implants, educational audiology, intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring, vestibular and balance issues, and/or industrial hearing conservation. Audiologists are also involved in the prevention of hearing loss and other communication disorders. Hearing Conservation programs in industry and government strive to prevent noise induced hearing loss through education and Audiologist intervention. Audiologists are often in charge of Newborn Hearing Screening programs designed to identify hearing loss within the first 4 months of life.
Who are Hearing Aid Dispensers?
Hearing aid dispensers (Hearing Instrument Specialists) are not Audiologists. Hearing aid dispensers have passed California state licensing written and practical examinations in fitting hearing aids. Our Hearing Aid Dispenser has worked along side our Audiologist and assisting with hands on patient care for more than 5 years and is a valuable asses to our team of specialists.