Audiologists assess, diagnose, and provide treatment and counselling for hearing and balance disorders for the communicatively impaired or disabled.

Audiologists may work with a particular age group (e.g. infants, preschoolers, and the elderly) or they may work with people of all ages. In general, they:

  • use specialized instruments and electronic equipment to test and measure hearing abilities and balance disorders
  • determine the degree, type, and location of hearing or balance problems
  • recommend, select, fit, or teach clients how to use appropriate assistive listening devices (e.g. hearing aids, cochlear implants, telephone adaptors, visual alarms)
  • plan and implement management programs (e.g. auditory training, instruction in speech reading, treatment for tinnitus)
  • help parents and others (e.g. teachers, employers) facilitate communication for people who have hearing impairments
  • keep client records
  • consult with and advise other health professionals.

 Audiologists sometimes work in teams with:

  • speech-language pathologists
  • hearing aid practitioners
  • physicians
  • psychologists
  • social workers
  • nurses
  • teachers
  • occupational therapists
  • physical therapists.

For example, teams may be involved in the assessment and rehabilitation of hearing abilities
through the prescription of hearing aids, speech reading instruction, or teaching strategies. Or
they may be involved in studying and improving measures for hearing conservation in work,
school, and leisure settings.

Some audiologists:

  • develop and supervise hearing screening programs
  • plan and implement hearing conservation programs
  • work with clients who have problems with balance or tinnitus
  • educate and supervise students, professionals, and support personnel in a variety of work
  • settings
  • participate in research related to hearing and balance
  • work in the hearing aid manufacturing and sales industries
  • teach in universities and colleges.

Audiologists use sophisticated equipment to measure hearing loss. They also select, fit, and
dispense hearing aids for patients. Audiologists may play a public role educating interested
groups and professionals on hearing loss prevention. They may also develop and administer
hearing screening tests for schools and industries, and promote community noise reduction. In
addition, audiologists play a role working with individuals who receive cochlear implants and
those with balance disorders.

Photo: Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

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