An audiologist is a hearing health professional who assesses and treats hearing problems such as tinnitus and hyperacusis.
Assessing hearing loss
In cases of severe hearing loss, an audiologist evaluates the degree of hearing loss and the patient’s needs in different situations (at a restaurant, among family, during a particular activity, etc.). The professional then makes recommendations to help the patient and his or her family and friends develop communication strategies to optimize understanding during conversation.
An audiologist can also recommend hearing aids and/or assistive listening devices.
Other hearing assessments
For people with tinnitus, hyperacusis or an auditory processing disorder (APD), an audiologist will conduct an assessment and then suggest various strategies and options to improve their quality of life. This takes place as part of a hearing rehabilitation program. The rehabilitation process may require one or more meetings, depending on the issue and the individual’s needs. The audiologist will also conduct a post-treatment follow-up to gauge improvement.
An audiologist also assesses infants and children for hearing issues, using specially adapted techniques.
What degrees are required to be an audiologist?
A master’s level degree in audiology is required to be an audiologist in Quebec. To begin the master’s program, students must already have an undergraduate degree with a specialty in audiology from the l’École d’orthophonie et d’audiologie at the University of Montreal or a comparable degree. To practice, an audiologist must be a member of Quebec’s professional order—the Ordre des orthophonistes et audiologistes du Québec. Audiology services are available to all ages, from infants to adults.
What other professionals do audiologists work with?
Audiologists work closely with ear, nose and throat doctors (ENTs) for medical problems and with audioprosthetists to address permanent hearing loss with corrective devices.