The attention to our valued patients is run by our licensed audiologist, Dr. Deyanira Gonzalez, who always strives to provide the best personalized care with the latest technology and equipment. She is licensed to practice audiology in Texas, a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, and a Vestibular Disorders Association member. Her services are provided in English and Spanish.
Before becoming a valued member of our team in 2015, Dr. Gonzalez completed her externship with a focus on vestibular evaluation and management at a neurotology practice in Miami, FL, and worked in an ENT practice in Austin, TX.
Dr. Gonzalez earned her Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) at Lamar University and her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders at University of Texas Pan-American. During her studies she received the Starkey Outstanding Clinician Award, Scott Haug Audiology Award, and Sertoma Awards.
Professionally, her main interests are related to balance assessment, hearing conservation, adult amplification, and student clinical training. Patient care is her top priority, and she strives to meet the goal of optimal audiological health care and patient satisfaction.
When not working, she enjoys attending live music shows, discovering local spots, traveling, and spending time with loved ones (including her dog and bearded dragon!).
What is an Audiologist?
An audiologist is a health care professional who evaluates, diagnoses, treats, and manages hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders. To practice in Texas, an audiologist must have received an Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology) from an accredited university graduate program in audiology. This 4 year doctoral degree consists of 3 years of academic training and clinical rotations, and 1 year of externship (similar to a medical residency). This doctorate degree is in addition to a required 4 year bachelor degree obtained prior. An audiologist must also meet state licensure requirements to practice clinical audiology, including continuing education in best audiological practices.
Why should I choose an Audiologist over a Hearing Instrument Specialist?
Audiologists are the only professionals university and clinically trained and licensed to identify, evaluate, diagnose, and treat hearing disorders. They use specialized equipment and procedures to accurately test for hearing loss. In addition, they are able to assess and treat balance system dysfunctions, as they are trained to perform detailed balance and equilibrium assessments.
One key difference between an audiologist and a hearing instrument specialist is the minimum amount of education required. As stated earlier, audiologists in are now required to graduate with a Doctor of Audiology which typically involves 4 years, following a traditional 4 year bachelor degree. By contrast, hearing instrument specialists in Texas require a High School or GED Diploma and a brief 160 hour internship. Another big difference lies within the scope of practice. A hearing instrument specialist can perform basic hearing tests in adults only for the purpose of hearing aid fitting, as well as performing hearing aid services. In contrast, audiologists can perform comprehensive hearing evaluations, middle ear evaluations, auditory nerve function evaluations, diagnostic tests for dizziness, auditory processing evaluations, cerumen management, evaluations of tinnitus or hyperacusis, development of hearing conservation programs, research, etc.
Should I see an Audiologist or a Physician?
Hearing and balance disorders can be very complex. An Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor is a physician that specializes in diagnosing and medically treating diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. A neurotologist is closely related to an ENT physician, with an additional neurological specialty. An audiologist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of hearing loss or balance disorders, and have extensive knowledgeof the human auditory system. However, it should be noted that audiologists are not physicians.
Based on these distinctions, you should seek an audiologist if you have noticed a change in your hearing, an onset of ringing in the ear, or experiencing some dizziness. In some cases, an audiologist might choose to refer you to a physician based on exam results or if you have medical conditions associated with hearing or balance disorders.