Audiologists are health care professionals who are trained in the diagnosis, treatment and management of hearing loss, balance disorders and other associated conditions. Audiologists are trained to carry out detailed assessments by performing a number of specialised auditory (hearing) and vestibular (balance) tests. Audiologists are trained to fit hearing aids and help you adjust to the hearing aid gradually with a programme of rehabilitation.
Sometimes a GP will refer you directly to the audiologist who will assess your hearing and ask some questions related to your medical history and hearing problems. The audiologist will decide if it is necessary for you to see an ear nose and throat doctor (ENT) based on your responses and the nature and type of you r hearing loss. Sometimes your GP may refer you to an ENT doctor before you see the audiologist.
Audiologists usually work in NHS hospitals although they can also be found in private hospitals and health centres. Audiologists also sometimes work in high street hearing dispensers, although in such situation you are more likely to find a hearing aid dispenser (or hearing aid audiologist) who undertakes basic assessments and hearing aid fittings rather than complex diagnoses.