What is Audiology?

The Albuquerque Speech Language Hearing Center can trace its history all the way back to the 1950s when Albuquerque’s own Mary Pfeister assisted in the creation of the New Mexico Hearing Society. The New Mexico Hearing Society offered free hearing screenings, discussed ways to detect and prevent hearing loss, and taught free lip-reading classes. In 1966, Maryann Moyer took over as director and Mary Pfeister’s ambitious community project officially became the Albuquerque Speech Language and Hearing Center specializing speech, language, and audiology. Today, we are going to talk about what audiology actually is.

Defining Audiology

The word “audiology” means “the study of hearing.” It is the branch of science that focuses on hearing, balance, and other related disorders. Audiology focuses on treating individuals who suffer from hearing loss as well as proactively prevent hearing damage.

The birth of audiology as a specific science can be traced back to 1946 when the first University course in audiology was offered at Northwestern University. In part, the rise of audiology has been linked to the need to address widespread hearing problems suffered by World War II veterans.

Becoming an Audiology

As an incredibly complex science that deals directly personal health and wellbeing, you may wonder, what does it take to become an audiologist? Audiologists are regulated in all 50 states by state licensing and registration. Beginning in 2007, the Doctor of Audiology (Au. D.) degree became the entry level requirement for clinical practice in some states. All states are expected to adopt the standard in time. To attain an Au. D., individuals, must complete a minimum of 75 semester hours of post-baccalaureate work. They must also pass a national certification exam, and complete practicum experience equal to 12 months of full-time work. Most states also require continued education while Audiologists are practicing.