Archive for the ‘did you know?’ category

Definition of Audiologic Care

October 28th, 2009

 Definition of Audiologic Care:

Audiologic Care is the protection, preservation, evaluation, and treatment of the hearing and balance function of the human audio-vestibular system and is provided ONLY by audiologists, either individually or as part of a hearing care team who use their professional skills to improve the quality of life for each patient.

Did you know…?

October 28th, 2009

In the U.S. today, a person can purchase hearing aids from two types of dispensers: Audiologists and Hearing Instrument Specialists (formally known as hearing aid dealers). Both groups are licensed to dispense hearing aids, but come to this activity based on significantly different paths of formal education and training.

A professional doctorate (the Au.D.) is now required of all audiologists entering the profession of audiology. Audiologists receive their specialized training in colleges and universities. Previously, the minimum of a master’s degree was required in order to be eligible for professional certification (CCC-A) and to meet state licensing requirements. Before being certified, audiologists must also pass a standardized, national competency examination.

State licensure practices for hearing instrument specialists, on the other hand, are less standardized across the country. The general requirement typically specifies a high-school diploma or two-year degree, the passage of a written and practical examination, and training or apprenticeship ranging from 6 to 12 months before a hearing aid dispensing license can be obtained.

A New Online Guide to Hearing Aids

October 20th, 2009

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new Web site that will benefit current and potential users of hearing aids.

FDA regulates hearing aids, which it defines as sound-amplifying devices designed to aid people who have impaired hearing.

“People who already use a hearing aid know that selecting the right one is not a simple process,” says Eric Mann, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of FDA’s Division of Ophthalmic, Neurological, and Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices. “There are many issues to consider. Also, current users of hearing aids want to know about the latest types and technology, and how to properly maintain the ones they already have.”

While more than 35 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, a 2004 survey conducted by the National Hearing Institute found that slightly more than 11 million hearing instruments were being used nationwide.

An Array of Topics

Mann says the new Web site will cover the different types and styles of hearing aids, how to obtain one, and steps to remember and consider before purchasing a hearing aid.

It has information on hearing aid safety, using cell phones while wearing a hearing aid, and on other products and procedures available to people who want to improve their hearing. It also stresses the difference between hearing aids, which FDA regulates as medical devices in order to assure their safety and effectiveness, and personal sound amplification products, which are not subject to this type of regulation.

Mann says the new Web site is not intended to provide medical advice. “If you have questions about your hearing, the best source of information is your hearing health care professional,” he says.

You can visit the new Web site, which was launched on October 20, 2009, at Hearing Aids

This article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.