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Audiologist or Hearing Aid Specialist? What's the Difference?

Audiologist or Hearing Aid Specialist? What's the Difference?

If you’re experiencing difficulties relating to your hearing or hearing aid, you’ll want to seek help from the right professionals so you can get to the bottom of the problems and put things right. But should you head to an audiologist or a hearing aid specialist? That’s a question that many people find difficult to answer.

We’re going to discuss what each of these professionals can offer and what your reasons might be for choosing one over the other. In doing so, we’ll discuss what makes them different too. Find out more below.


Audiologists specialize in hearing and balance problems. They can help patients with taking action to improve their hearing and prevent future hearing loss. They can find the right invasive action to treat problems such as earwax buildup in a safe way. They can also help treat problems like tinnitus or other hearing problems that are commonly experienced by people. They’re highly trained and go through many years of education to become professional audiologists.

They can treat many forms of hearing loss, but before they do that, they need to offer an accurate diagnosis. This is done by assessing and testing the patient's hearing and ears. They can get to the bottom of the problem and find out what’s going wrong. And from there, they can decide which action should be taken to treat the issue or prevent further problems going forward.

Audiologists help patients out when the patient doesn’t know what the problem is or where the problem lies. They might arrive at their first audiologist appointment with balance problems and little more knowledge of the situation than that. This can then be assessed by the audiologist who can find out what’s at the root of those balance issues.

Hearing aid specialists

As the name suggests, hearing aid specialists focus on hearing aids and how patients use them. They carry out work such as fitting, testing and selecting hearing aids. When a person is diagnosed with a problem with their hearing and it’s decided they need a hearing aid, that’s when the hearing aid specialists step in. They can help the individual find the one that’s right for them.

Hearing aid specialists are not required to complete the same high level of training that audiologists are required to complete. They usually have to pass a national exam. This assesses their ability to complete the kinds of tasks that hearing aid specialists have to complete on a day to day basis alongside patients. They also have to have the equivalent of a high school diploma.

It’s important to ensure a new hearing aid is fitted correctly because it won’t be possible to get the most out of it each day unless it’s properly fitted. This is what hearing aid specialists do in every day of their professional lives. They understand how a variety of hearing aids function and how they should be fitted and used by the patient in their day to day life.

Their differences & reasons to choose one over the other

If you’re having a problem relating to your hearing, auditory system or balance, you should head to an audiologist and see how they can help you. These are the professionals you turn to first of all when you don’t know what’s causing your symptoms. They have the skills, experience and knowledge required to find out what’s going wrong. That’s not something a hearing aid specialist can do.

Additionally, audiologists have advanced knowledge and training in the dispensing and fitting of hearing aids. They will work with you to find the right device for your lifestyle, budget and hearing loss needs. Additionally, they can provide the after-care your hearing aids require, from thorough cleanings and maintenance checks to repairs on-site if you develop any issues.

So, when it comes to choosing which of these professionals is the right type for you to visit, an audiologist is your best bet to get the comprehensive diagnosis and treatment that you need. Whether it’s hearing loss, tinnitus or a simple earwax impaction, an audiologist will be able to address your issues.

If you’re looking to use the services of a professional and reliable audiologist, you should talk with one of the audiologists at Carolina Hearing Services. We have the expertise needed to diagnose and treat your problems, just give us a call at one of the following locations:

  • Charleston: (843) 556-4327
  • Daniel Island: (843) 971-4199
  • Greenville: (864) 603-2111
  • Spartanburg: (864) 606-4884
  • Columbia: (803) 788-6688