Audiologists use specialized equipment to obtain accurate
results about hearing loss. These tests are typically conducted in sound-treated rooms
with calibrated equipment. The audiologist is trained to inspect the eardrum with an
otoscope, perform limited ear wax removal, conduct diagnostic audiologic tests, and check
for medically-related hearing problems. Hearing loss is caused by medical problems about
10% of the time. Audiologists are educated to recognize these medical problems and refer
patients to ear, nose and throat physicians (known as otolaryngologists). Most persons
with hearing impairment can benefit from the use of hearing aids, and audiologists are
knowledgeable about the latest applications of hearing aid technology.
Hearing services for infants and children
Good hearing is essential to the social and intellectual development of
infants and young children. Audiologists test hearing and identify hearing loss in
children of any age. This includes newborn and infant hearing screening and diagnostic
hearing tests with young children. Audiologists provide hearing therapy and fit hearing
aids on babies and young children with hearing loss.
Services for school children
Audiologists provide a full range of hearing and rehabilitative hearing
services in private and public schools for students in all grades. Such services are
essential to the development of speech, language and learning skills in children with
Hearing services and counseling
Audiologists are vitally concerned that every person, regardless of age,
benefit from good hearing. Audiologists provide individual counseling to help those with
hearing loss function more effectively in social, educational and occupational
environments. It is a fact of life that we lose hearing acuity as we grow older, and that
hearing problems are commonly associated with the elderly. Audiologists are committed to
helping senior citizens hear better.
Hearing aids and assistive listening devices
Audiologists provide complete hearing aid services to clients with
hearing problems. Audiologists are also experts with assistive listening equipment and
personal alerting devices. Audiologists provide education and training so that persons
with hearing impairment can benefit from amplification and communication devices.
Audiologists dispense the majority of hearing aids in the United States. Audiologists use
the most advanced, computerized procedures to individualize the fitting of hearing aids.
Hearing aid options are thoroughly discussed with each potential user based on the results
of a complete hearing aid test battery and the individual needs of the patient. Follow-up
care andhearing aid accessories are routinely available from dispensing audiologists.
Hearing conservation programs
Prolonged exposure to loud noise causes permanent hearing loss. Because
audiologists are concerned with the prevention of hearing loss, they are often involved in
implementing programs to protect the hearing of individuals who are exposed to noisy
industrial and recreational situations.
Audiologists engage in a wide variety of research activities to develop
new hearing assessment techniques and new rehabilitative technologies, particularly in the
area of hearing aids. Research reports of audiologists can be found in the professional
literature of medical and scientific journals. Audiologists write textbooks on hearing
evaluation, hearing aids and the management of people with hearing loss. Audiologists help
develop professional standards and are represented on the boards of national and
How's Your Hearing?
Ask An Audiologist.