Audiologists are autonomous professionals who identify, assess and manage disorders of the auditory, balance, and other neural systems. Audiologists provide audiologic (aural) rehabilitation to patients across the entire age span. Audiologists select, fit and dispense amplification systems such as hearing aids and related devices. Audiologists prevent hearing loss through the provision and fitting of hearing protective devices, consultation on the effects of noise on hearing and consumer education. Audiologists are involved in auditory and related research pertinent to the prevention, identification, and management of hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance system dysfunction. They perform services that include the following:
- Consulting as a member of interdisciplinary professional teams in planning and implementing service delivery for children and adults from birth to older age.
- Developing and implementing prevention, screening and early detection programs
- Diagnosing and treating hearing problems and balance disorders.
- Treating most hearing impairments through modern hearing instrumentation, including programmable and digital aids.
- Providing fitting and programming of cochlear implants, and providing the necessary rehabilitation for adjustment to listening with implantable systems.
- Working with adults and children who need aural rehabilitation such as auditory training and speech reading.
- Testing noise levels in workplaces and recommending hearing protection in industrial, military, travel, music and other settings.
- Conducting research on types of treatment for hearing, balance and related disorders.
Audiologists provide services and work in many different types of facilities including public and private schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, residential facilities, community clinics, colleges and universities, private practice offices, health departments, long-term care facilities, community hearing and speech centers, and research laboratories.