Audiology is a branch of science that studies hearing, balance and related disorders. Its practitioners, who are called audiologists, treat those with hearing loss and proactively prevent related damage. Employing various testing strategies (including 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 are affected (high, middle or low frequencies) and to what degree. If an audiologist determines that there is hearing loss or that a vestibular abnormality is present, he or she will recommend the best options to assist the patient, such as a hearing aid, cochlear implants or appropriate medical referrals.
In addition to testing patients’ hearing, audiologists also work with a wide range of clientele in rehabilitation, from children to the aged, including people with tinnitus, auditory processing disorders, and users of cochlear implants or hearing aids, and may also perform assessments of tinnitus and the vestibular system.