No. Audiologists do not receive their training from the same medical schools that educate and train medical Doctors/Physicians. Thus if an Audiologist implies being credentialed as a medical Doctor, that is false. In general, an Audiologist receives a degree from a university or specialty school that offers Audiology training. Some Audiologists continue their education and obtain their Doctorate Degree or PHD if they wish to teach. If obtained an Audiologist, just like a college professor, can use the prefix doctor in front of their name. Again by no means does this designation mean a Medical Doctor. Prior to 2012 a general college degree in any subject was needed by many colleges and universities to be accepted an Audiology training program. Most Audiologists who are practicing today obtained an Audiology Degree only after two years. A significant number of Audiologists go into a clinical environment or work for hearing aid manufacturers as Audiology customer service representatives for dealers.
What are Hearing Instrument Specialists/Practitioners?
Hearing Instrument Specialists/Practitioners have similar training requirements that focuses on ear disease recognition, patient hearing testing, prescribing hearing aids, patient fitting, hearing aid aftercare and repair diagnosis. To be licensed by the State of Minnesota each one of these subjects are part of the practical and written testing that must be passed. Most Hearing Practitioners have college degrees and receive training from specialty schools, manufacturer’s, and Audiology trainers that are private pay. Hearing Instrument Specialists are required to be mentored or intern with a state approved professional for up to one year. Hearing Instrument Specialists/Practitioners differ significantly from Audiologists as they do not focus on speech and language pathology, sign language, pediatric hearing or young adult hearing.
All practicing Audiologists and Hearing Instrument Specialists/Practitioners are required to take and pass the Minnesota Licensing Exam. This comprehensive day long exam contains both written components and hands-on practical tests. The focus of these tests cover a myriad of topics such as state and federal regulations and how they pertain to the hearing aid industry. Would be licensees are also tested on their knowledge of the following:
Would be applicants are required to have interned under a Minnesota Licensed Practitioner for up to six months or more before taking the test. If the exam is not passed applicants whether an Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist/Practitioner are not allowed to practice in the State of Minnesota. Remedial tests are given from time to time.
Each year Hearing Instrument Specialists/Practitioners and Audiologists are both required by the State of Minnesota to obtain Certified Continuing Educational Course Credits prior to Minnesota License Renewal.
The main causes of hearing loss are genetics and age. However, other possible causes can be exposure to loud noises, disease, illness, medication, and trauma to name a few. The most common form of hearing loss is a high frequency loss. This is due to the thinning of hair cells located in the cochlea. This result are less vibrations or neural messages transmitted up the auditory nerve to the brain.
It is estimated there will be over 35 million people requiring aids over the next 10 years. As baby boomers reach retirement age hearing healthcare needs will increase significantly.
Yes, but it depends largely on the type of hearing loss. Conductive hearing losses can be helped by drugs or surgery, but only a small proportion are. The majority of Sensorineural hearing losses cannot be helped in this way. Most people with hearing difficulties find that a professionally prescribed hearing aid will improve their hearing.
The first step is to have a hearing test given by a Hearing Practitioner or Audiologist. This will determine whether a loss is present or not and if so what degree of loss is encountered. Today most people can be corrected by a hearing aids, providing that is the right course of action to follow. If earwax is the contributing factor ears should be treated.
It is important to remember that although hearing aids can most likely treat your hearing loss, they cannot physically alter natural hearing mechanics or return hearing back to a normal state.
In its basic form a hearing aid is a battery computerized digital device that amplifies sound. Every hearing aid contains a microphone that picks up sound signals and converts them into electrical signals. An amplifier then increases the loudness of the signal and the receiver delivers the sound into the ear.
Hearing loss through the ageing process is referred to as presbycusis. Its symptoms are typically a gradual but progressive deterioration of a person’s ability to hear and understand sounds. Hearing deteriorates over many years thus a person suffering a loss may come to adapt. Thus it tends to be a spouse, friend or relative that will first notice a person’s hearing problem. Regularly asking for words or sentences to be repeated, turning the TV excessively loud, or noticeable conversation withdrawal are all systems of loss. If a hearing loss is indicated it is advisable to have a hearing test performed by a licensed professional.
This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions, and one of the most difficult to answer. There are hundreds of different models of hearing aids each giving different benefits and results. It is impossible to even hazard a guess at a price for hearing aids unless the person with the hearing loss has undergone a thorough hearing assessment by a hearing professional. If hearing aids are the correct remedial action only after discussion about the individual’s needs, requirements, and lifestyle can this question be answered. You can be assured although that you price at Budget Hearing Centers will be substantially less money than offered by other hearing aid dealers and clinics. Substantially less for the same identical brand and model hearing aids!
After carrying out a hearing assessment and discussing the various solutions available, a specific brand and model will be decided upon. The hearing aids selected must then be set fulfilled based upon the particular prescription, a mold mold impression taken if needed, and ultimately programmed specifically for the patient. In the seldom event that a patient feels there has not been any benefit from the hearing aids chosen, as a multi-line dealer, another brand model can be substituted.
Not at this time.
In most cases hearing loss can be helped through amplification. An assessment will determine whether this is the case or not. If not a medical referral may be needed.
A hearing aids life expectancy is typically up to 10 years.
Most insurance forms provided to Budget Hearing are obtained from the carrier by each patient. Procedurally the patient should first call their insurance company to determine if coverage is available along with the reimbursement procedures. Please let Budget Hearing Centers know if coverage is available and by which carrier. If available a copy of the provider form for Budget Hearing Centers to fill out should be obtained. Having let Budget Hearing Centers in advance, the Patient Purchase Agreement will be laid out according to normal insurance reimbursement requirements. The day of the hearing aid delivery give the blank provider form to Budget Hearing. The provider portion of the form will be completed and returned to the patient. The provider form, a copy of the Budget Hearing Purchase Agreement and a hearing aid packing slip will be sent to the patient. Those forms are then sent by the patient into the carrier for reimbursement, once again if available. Blue Cross, United Healthcare and Park Nicollet are some of the area’s common insurance carriers. If complete reimbursements to patients take carriers approximately 30 days.
In most cases Budget Hearing Centers prices are far less than even after insurance is subtracted by other clinics and dealers. The net out-of-pocket price of the hearing aids is the most important end result with or without insurance. Thus a $500.00 insurance reimbursement does not make sense if a patient can save $2,000 by purchasing hearing aids from Budget Hearing Centers!
Ask Budget Hearing about available financing. Various finance companies that provide numerous programs are available from time to time.
A 45-day return policy is always available form the date of delivery. If not satisfied, a refund per State of Minnesota Mandated Policy or patients can exchange their hearing aids for a different brand and model.
Most hearing aid manufacturers offer a free 12 to 36 month warranty on their hearing aids. Budget Hearing Centers passes the manufacturer’s warranty on to each patient along with the manufacturer’s free loss and damage insurance program. Ask the hearing practitioner for details. You do not have to pay for a new hearing aid warranty or loss & damage even though some practices will try and charge you.