What is a Hearing Instrument Specialist

Hearing Instrument Specialist is a hearing care professional

Hearing Instrument Specialist are well trained hearing professionals that can access and make recommendations for the needs of the general public about amplification equipment for hearing aids. They are licensed by the state and are setup for delivery of hearing aids and testing.

Many Audiologist have poor opinions of these professionals and have made many negative comments to me about them. This is due to the feeling that Audiologist are loosing customers to them. I do believe that there is a place for these professionals in the treatment of Hearing loss.

I see the “needed” hierarchy starting from Ear Nose and Throat Doctors, to Audiologist, to Hearing Instrument Specialist. This hierarchy allows for different levels or degrees based on medical need. To explain this better I would say if your having issues with a sudden severe hearing loss, or some thing related to a need for Surgery, you better call an ENT.

If you want to get a dizziness study or need some testing for tinnitus then consider an Audiologist.

But If your Idea about hearing aids is to get them at affordable prices you may want to consider calling a Hearing Instrument Specialist.

This scenario or hierarchy is variable depending on patients specific issues. I can see that the newest trends in the hearing aid sales will push more Hearing Instrument Specialist involvement.

Just a thought!

Larry Bailey, (Hearing Instrument Specialist Apprentice)
Austin Hearing Services