Audiology is a branch of science that studies hearing, balance, and related disorders. Its practitioners, who treat those with hearing loss and proactively prevent related damage are audiologists. Employing various testing strategies (e.g. hearing tests, otoacoustic emission measurements, videonystagmography, and electrophysiologic tests), audiology aims to determine whether someone can hear within the normal range, and if not, which portions of hearing (high, middle, or low frequencies) are affected and to what degree. If an audiologist determines that a hearing loss or vestibular abnormality is present he or she will provide recommendations to a patient as to what options (e.g. hearing aid, cochlear implants, appropriate medical referrals) may be of assistance.
In addition to testing hearing, audiologists can also work with a wide range of clientele in rehabilitation (people with tinnitus, auditory processing disorders, users of cochlear implants and/or hearing aids), from pediatric populations to veterans and may perform assessment of tinnitus and the vestibular system.