Audiology

The Profession Of Audiology


Audiology (from Latin audīre, “to hear”; and from Greek –λογία, –logia) is the science that studies hearing, balance, and related disorders. Audiology aims to determine whether someone can hear within the normal range, and if not, which portions of hearing (high, middle, or low frequencies) are affected and to what degree.

Audiology can therefore be described as the paramedical profession which is concerned with all types of auditory impairments and their relationship to all types of communication disorders.

What / Who Is An Audiologist?


 

Audiologists tend to be involved in the identification, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and management of auditory impairments (hearing loss and/or deafness), whether peripheral or central; balance system disorders, tinnitus and other neural system disorders.

If an Audiologist determines that a hearing loss or vestibular abnormality is present he or she will provide recommendations to a patient as to what options (e.g. hearing aid, cochlear implants, surgery, appropriate medical referrals) may be of assistance. The Audiologist is trained and capable to plan, conduct and direct the management of persons with hearing loss, whether it is a referral for medical management, or the selection, fitting and provision of suitable hearing amplification systems such as hearing aids and other assistive listening devices to both children and adults.

Audiologists can also work with a wide range of clientele in rehabilitation (cochlear implants and/or hearing aids). Assessments and rehabilitation include the peadiatric populations, infants and children as well as adults and the elderly.

Audiologists are also involved in the hearing conservation or the prevention of hearing loss, through auditory training, counselling, guidance and the provision and fitting of hearing protective devices such as noise plugs.

An Audiologist is a professionally trained university graduate who has successfully completed at least a four or five year degree of intensive academic and clinical training. In order for an Audiologist to practice in South Africa it is necessary to be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

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