What is Audiology?

May 18, 2011 by

Audiology is the study of hearing disorders. It also deals with research and rehabilitation of people with hearing impairments. Audiology as a profession took off during the 1920’s. The 1920’s gave birth to the audiometer, which was used to measure sensitivity to hearing. Fast forward to the 1940’s and audiology had another boom due to soldiers coming home from WWII with hearing impairments. The soldiers hearing loss had come from prolonged exposure to gunfire, explosives, and machinery noise. Some soldiers were even showing hearing loss symptoms due to extreme mental distress. The military, specifically veterans, had a big influence in the importance of audiology. With the help of the Veterans Administration, hearing tests, rehabilitation through the use of hearing aids and lip-reading were provided.

Audiology since the 1940’s has become an extremely important profession and arguably one of the most important jobs in the medical field. They work to figure out what hearing loss issue a patient may have and what the cause of it is. They must be sensitive to their patients as hearing loss is often cause for low confidence; counseling is also a part of their profession for this reason.  Audiologists work with any age patient, from birth to elderly. An audiologist is not limited to practicing in a private office; they are also part of hospital teams, university research, public schools, speech centers, nursing homes, etc. Research can be an extremely important part of an audiologist’s profession. They have a huge role in hearing aid research, and the ability to create the best of the best when it comes to hearing technology.

Audiology has a rich history that is important to anyone who suffers from hearing loss. Thankfully, with their help technology keeps getting better and better.