Nature of the work
Audiovestibular medicine (formerly
audiological medicine) is concerned with the investigation,
diagnosis and management of hearing, balance and communication
disorders in adults and children from birth onwards. This includes
tinnitus and neurootological manifestations of other primary
Working in audiovestibular medicine
This field of medicine specialises in the
investigation and medical management of a wide array of
audiovestibular (hearing and balance) symptoms. These can be both
peripheral otological (ear) and central nervous system in origin,
and include disorders which are:
The broad scope of illness means that a
multidisciplinary approach is a key part of this specialty.
Audiovestibular medicine aims to improve
wellbeing and quality of life of the patient by investigating and
interpreting audiovestibular clinical findings. It also seeks to
identify other pathologies which may have an impact on the
patient’s health or wellbeing, and institutes treatment and advice
about their prevention or further progression. Furthermore, the
specialty integrates clinical information and counselling with the
rehabilitation approaches of other professionals.
This is a small but expanding specialty. There
is increasing demand for consultant posts since the introduction of
the Neonatal Hearing Screening Programme and recent recognition of
a greater need for care for patients with peripheral vestibular
Common procedures / interventions
Some common procedures and interventions
- Clinical and neurootological examination (including other
family members where necessary)
- Measurement of audiovestibular function (with healthcare
- Investigations, including radiological imaging, and a variety
of blood and urine pathology.
- Assessment for suitability for hearing aids and cochlear
implants (with healthcare scientists and other disciplines).
- Treatment of infection, autoimmune disorders, and peripheral
vestibular dysfunction. This could be through pharmaceutical
products, repositioning manoeuvres and physiotherapy involving
Associated sub specialties
Sub specialties linked with audiovestibular
- Paediatrics – especially child development and
- Clinical genetics.
- Neurology (adult and paediatric).
- Geriatric medicine.
- Immunology and allergy.
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