Hearing loss is evaluated in a soundproofed booth by an audiologist or technician. The patient is asked to identify quiet sounds and repeat softly spoken words. The softest sounds heard at each frequency are recorded on a graph called an audiogram.
There are 3 types of hearing professionals who are licensed in Virginia:
A hearing instrument specialist is a salesperson who is licensed in Virginia to test hearing and fit hearing aids. The specialist is not licensed to diagnose or treat hearing loss. Virginia law requires that patients be referred to a physician prior to selling a hearing aid.
An audiologist is a highly trained hearing professional who evaluates hearing and balance disorders. Audiologists have completed 4 years of college and 3-4 years of post graduate education. Those who have completed the most rigorous programs carry the title Doctor of Audiology.
An otolaryngologist is a physician who has completed 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school and at least 5 years of residency training specializing in medicine and surgery of the ears nose and throat. The otolaryngologist is the most highly trained professional specializing in hearing loss and other diseases of the ear.
If you think you have hearing loss, call (804) 937-EARS (3277) to schedule a hearing evaluation today or click here to schedule an appointment online.