Effective treatment of hearing loss always requires a correct diagnosis. At Champlain Valley Audiology, your initial care always starts with a complete hearing examination by a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D) who will diagnose the specific cause of your hearing and listening problems and offer treatment options. This examination will determine if your hearing loss can be potentially corrected by medical or surgical methods, or if your hearing loss can only be corrected using hearing aids. If hearing aids can be of benefit, the comprehensive nature of the audiologic testing will identify the level to which hearing aids will help. Testing will also reveal any limitations of auditory function that will prevent good success with hearing aids.
Hearing testing from a hearing aid dispenser (HIS) does not diagnose hearing loss or hearing disorders. A hearing aid dispenser is able to perform limited testing this is "only for the purpose of fitting a hearing aid."
Understand that hearing loss and auditory processing problems vary widely and persons with such will have varying benefits from hearing aids. Fitting of a hearing aid should always be preceded by a comprehensive hearing test by a licensed audiologist (Au.D) with many years of clinical experience.
If you have hearing or tinnitus concerns and are considering evaluation or treatment for hearing loss, look no further, but please keep the following in mind:
- The only professional licensed to diagnose hearing loss is an audiologist. An audiologist will have either a Doctorate degree (Au.D.) or Master's degree (M.S. or M.A.) in audiology. A hearing aid dispenser (HIS or BC-HIS) is not licensed to diagnose hearing loss. A hearing aid dispenser can program hearing aids or test hearing only for the purpose of fitting hearing aids. Differential diagnosis of the cause of hearing loss through testing by an audiologist is essential for correct treatment and long-term hearing ability. Treatment or management of hearing loss should occur following diagnostic hearing testing by an audiologist.
- Treatment of tinnitus is not in the scope of licensure practice for a hearing instrument dispenser in New York State. New York State licensure requirements require tinnitus to be treated by an audiologist.
If you are seeking hearing aids, please know that we are different by...
- Our providers work with all manufacturers of hearing aids. Champlain Valley Audiology is a fully independent practice. We are not owned in part or in whole by any hearing aid manufacturer. The hearing aids selected for you are done so in your best interest only.
- When you are fitted with hearing aids, your aids will not simply be programmed to the software default settings (which studies show are ALWAYS off targets for speech audibility and can be by 20 dB). Hearing aids are programmed using Real Ear Probe Microphone Measurements – the gold standard for hearing aid programming! This equipment measures the sound output of the hearing aid real time while the provider is programming your hearing aids to know with certainty that the settings are exactly what your ears need to hear speech, neither too soft nor too loud, and to ensure that speech is audible to you. This equipment is costly, but not as costly as hearing aids which are not worn because "they don't work".
The providers and staff at Champlain Valley Audiology look forward to having you experience the difference in hearing care in person! Check out our blog and follow us on Facebook to better understand hearing disorders, the impact of untreated hearing loss on cognitive function, and how we achieve better hearing solutions for our patients.