Audiologist fitting hearing aid

Audiologist or hearing aid dispenser, what’s the difference?

Author: Dr Alexander Published: June 12, 2017

Audiologists

Although there are a few similarities between an audiologist and a hearing aid dispenser, an audiologist, or Au.D., is a nationally certified doctor who has been trained to fit people of all ages with the technology needed to help with hearing loss. An Au.D. is required to attend eight years of college specializing in hearing and balance function and disorders. He or she specializes in hearing loss prevention and identifies, diagnoses, treats and monitors disorders of the auditory and vestibular systems of the ear.

Hearing aid dispensers

A hearing aid dispenser, on the other hand, is a state-licensed person who completes audiometric screening testing for the sole purpose of fitting and selling hearing aids. Often, a hearing aid dispenser becomes a franchisee–or company store–of a particular manufacturer. One of the main (and crucial) differences between an audiologist and a hearing aid dispenser: A dispenser is not permitted to perform or charge for any diagnostic hearing evaluation and may not evaluate or dispense to children.