What is an Audiologist?
An Audiologist is the only hearing care provider with a doctoral degree in Audiology, an Au.D. This is a 7-8 year college degree focused on diseases that cause permanent hearing loss and the variety of treatments used for it. We are not physicians but usually work closely with ear surgeons who treat other types of ear diseases and problems.
Audiologists work in hospitals, medical clinics, private practices (such as ours), ear surgeon offices, universities, and Veteran Administration hospitals. Audiologists are trained to help determine whether your hearing loss needs medical, surgical, or hearing aid treatment. If hearing aids are the ideal treatment then we are experts in the use of hearing aid technology to improve your hearing to the expected levels.
The other kind of hearing service provider you may meet is the Hearing Instrument Specialist. These providers have no specific college or technical training in hearing or treatments – they learn on the job and typically are more focused on the sale of hearing aids. They are employed in hearing aid businesses and big box stores that sell hearing aids as a consumer product rather than a hearing loss treatment. They are not approved providers for Medicare programs or for the Veterans Administration.
At Carolina Hearing Doctors we employ two Audiologists but also two hearing aid specialists as technical support people. All of your hearing care and hearing aid decisions are made by our Doctors of Audiology, Dr. Scott Mills and Dr. Emma Chesnut.