Audiologists use audiometers, computers, and other devices to test patients' hearing ability and balance, determine the extent of hearing damage, and identify the underlying cause. Audiologists measure the volume at which a person begins to hear sounds and the person's ability to distinguish between sounds. Also, before determining treatment options, they evaluate psychological information to measure the impact of hearing loss on a patient. Treatment options vary and may include cleaning wax out of ear canals, fitting and checking hearing aids, or fitting and programming the patient with cochlear implants to improve hearing. (Cochlear implants are tiny devices that are placed under the skin near the ear in an operation. Cochlear implants deliver electrical impulses directly to the auditory nerve in the brain so a person with certain types of deafness can hear.) Audiologists also counsel patients on other ways to cope with profound hearing loss, such as by learning to lip read or use American Sign Language. The doctoral degree in audiology is a graduate program typically lasting 4 years beyond a bachelor’s degree in any field.