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People who are hard of hearing and people who are deaf both experience hearing loss to varying degrees, with the hearing loss being more severe in people who are deaf. It is possible for someone who is hard of hearing to experience progressive hearing loss, ultimately becoming deaf. When interacting with people who are hard of hearing and deaf, the method of communication they prefer should be considered. It can be important to be aware that some deaf people are also members of the Deaf community, distinguished by capitalizing the term. One of the most common points of confusion for patients seeking hearing treatment is whom they should see for a solution: an audiologist, or a hearing instrument specialist? Though the two jobs may seem similar, there are in fact several important differences between audiologists and hearing aid specialists (HISs).
The biggest difference between audiologists and HISs is the level of education it takes to perform each job. In short, an audiologist in Oklahoma must hold at least an Au.D, or doctor of audiology degree, or an equivalent doctorate-level education. Furthermore, all Oklahoma audiologists must complete at least 20 continuing education hours every two years and must maintain their license status with the Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology.
To be fair, the exam required to become a HIS in Oklahoma is not easy and does require applicants to demonstrate high proficiency in their field. Audiologists and HISs both deal with hearing problems, but the scope of audiology is much greater than the scope of a HIS practice.
On the other hand, the HIS has a smaller scope of practice which is mostly limited to the mainstream adult population. While there is a good deal of overlap between audiologists and HISs, the fact of the matter is audiologists are generally more capable and better-trained to handle a variety of situations, patients, and hearing problems.

While we can’t say that a hearing instrument specialist won’t be able to help your hearing, we know that the audiologists at Audio Recovery will help you hear better every time. The Heart of the Matter: What Does America Really Know about Coronary Artery Disease Treatments? When someone is hard of hearing, that person may have trouble hearing sounds at certain frequencies and volumes. Some people are born with less functional hearing, while others may acquire it as a result of illness, reactions to medications, or hearing damage caused by exposure to loud noises.
People with some functional hearing may prefer to identify as deaf because their hearing is so limited and they need many of the accommodations extended to people without any hearing, such as visual alert alarms rather than audible ones, or access to sign language translation.
A person who uses lip reading and speaks to people directly, for instance, cannot focus on something like a handout or overhead display while also trying to read the lips of a school instructor. Many people who are part of Deaf culture do not view deafness as a disability and reject terms like “hearing impaired” to describe them. Hearing loss has a number of effects beyond not being able to hear, including depression, loss of self-esteem, and relationship problems.
To help answer this question, we took a look at the differences between these two professions and what they each offer to patients seeking hearing treatment. These differences don’t always impact the standard of care you receive, but it pays to keep them in mind when you’re considering where to go for your hearing treatment. However, the overall requirements to become an HIS are much less stringent than those to become an audiologist in Oklahoma. While most hearing problems in Oklahoma are present in older adults, audiologists must still be able to test hearing in all populations, including infants, the mentally disabled, and those who cannot respond to the typical hearing test.
A HIS who is properly licensed is perfectly able to diagnose many common hearing problems and fit patients for hearing aids.

However, only a trained and licensed audiologist will find and treat all your hearing-related medical conditions in order to improve your hearing as much as possible. Call us today to schedule an appointment 405-949-1906 or learn more about us by following us on Facebook or Google+. Members of the hard of hearing and deaf communities may also have disabilities such as intellectual or cognitive disabilities, and could require additional accommodations.
When a sign language interpreter is used, people should face and talk to the person who is deaf or hard of hearing, not the interpreter, and should be aware that other visual information can be hard to process while following the interpretation.
For hard of hearing and deaf people who identify with this community, hearing loss is viewed as a normal variation on human experience and they may not be interested in treating or curing it.
They are also better able to diagnose hearing problems and recommend different treatment options. However, they may not be able to work with less common patients (such as children) and may also have trouble offering alternate diagnoses or treatment methods.
Hearing instrument specialists might get good results from hearing aids, but their lack of broad training and ability limits the results they can achieve as opposed to audiologists.
Another group of people have auditory processing disorders; although their hearing is fine, their brains have difficulty processing the sounds, and they may have difficulty understanding speech and other noises. Some hard of hearing and deaf people may choose to wear hearing aids, while others may use tools like lip reading and sign language to communicate with the world around them. Collectively, such individuals are said to have hearing loss or hearing impairment, depending on regional and personal preferences.

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