If someone you know and love is having trouble hearing, their doctor may refer them to see a hearing specialist called an audiologist. If theyre nervous about seeing a new doctor, you can assure them that theres nothing to worry about. Audiologists are trained and licensed professionals who care for people of all ages with hearing or balance problems. To prepare for the appointment, help them make a list of their symptoms, medical info, work history, and any questions they have. And offer to go with them for support. At the appointment, the audiologist will ask a few simple questions and then look inside their ears using a device called an otoscope. The audiologist may also perform a series of hearing tests. In one type of test, your friend or family member will be asked to wear headphones and respond when they hear a sound. Once the cause and severity of their hearing loss is known, there are treatments that can help, like ear wax removal, hearing aids, or surgery. Getting treatment can greatly improve your loved ones quality of life. And making sure they see an audiologist is the very first step!