Audiology is the field of medicine that deals with hearing. When we think of audiology we most often think of hearing tests and hearing aids. Specialists in audiology use a variety of tools, techniques, and pharmaceuticals to diagnose and treat diseases and conditions that have to do with hearing, balance, and other related disorders. Doctors who specialize in audiology are called audiologists.
Some of the tests that are related to audiology are:
- Physical inspections
- Otoacoustic emission measurements
- Electrophysiologic tests
These tests are used to evaluate if a person can perceive sound frequencies in a normal way. In case of hearing loss, the tests will help establish what portions of hearing (the range of frequencies that are perceived normally) are affected and to what extent.
Depending on the severity of the hearing loss, an audiologist can inform the patient about the recommended treatment and help implement it. Common treatments include:
- Recommendation of hearing aids and training on how to use them
- Ear cleaning
- Cochlear implants
- Treatment of infections
- Ear surgery