What is an audiologist?

What do audiologists do?

Audiologists are specialists trained at the graduate degree level to identify and treat hearing loss and balance disorders. There are a number of specialty areas in audiology, including:  diagnostic audiology, pediatric audiology, dispensing audiology (hearing aids, and other devices that help people hear), industrial audiology, educational audiology, vestibular disorders, tinnitus or ringing in the ears and implant audiologists (those who specialize in cochlear implants).


In addition to clinical services, an audiologist’s work could include: teaching student audiologists, collaborating with other professionals and agencies to minimize the effects of hearing loss, doing research, building awareness in the community of hearing and hearing loss prevention programs, and providing rehabilitation and treatment for children and adults with congenital or acquired hearing loss.



Where do audiologists work? 

In Nova Scotia, audiologists work in the public setting at the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres (NSHSC) which has sites throughout the province and in private audiology clinics that are also located throughout the province.


For more information about audiologists at the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres (NSHSC), please click here .


For more information about audiologists in private clinics in Nova Scotia (as well as other Atlantic provinces), please click here visit the website for Sounds+.



With whom do audiologists work?

Anyone from newborn infants to the elderly can have a hearing test. Any person who has trouble hearing should see an audiologist. Referrals from a physician are not necessary. Audiologists also see children and adults with other medical problems that may relate to hearing, balance, or central auditory processing difficulties.


Early identification of hearing loss in newborns and children is essential. Nova Scotia offers a province-wide newborn hearing screening program to check for hearing problems in infants, through the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres. If a hearing loss is identified, audiologists and other professionals can work with the family to help plan treatment for the child. In older children, the most common reason for seeing an audiologist is an ear infection or a buildup of fluid in the middle ear. Other reasons may be: difficulty hearing in school; damage to the ear; diseases of the outer, middle, or inner ear; a syndrome associated with a hearing loss, or infections – both those present at birth or developed later.