An audiologist is a professional who diagnoses, habilitates, and counsels individuals with hearing loss, tinnitus, balance, auditory processing, and other related disorders. As well, audiologists also supervise, administer and conduct hearing conservation programs. Audiologists hold a Master's (M.S.) or Doctoral (Au.D. or Ph.D.) degree from an accredited university postgraduate program.
Their academic and clinical training provides the foundation for patient management for people of all ages, from birth through adulthood. Audiologists determine appropriate patient treatment by combining a complete history with a variety of specialized auditory and vestibular assessments, often working within interdisciplinary teams. Based upon the diagnosis, the audiologist presents a variety of treatment options to patients. Audiologists dispense and fit hearing aids as part of a comprehensive habilitative program, often including auditory training and speech reading classes.
As a primary hearing health provider, audiologists refer patients to physicians when the hearing or balance problem requires medical or surgical intervention.