Do you think you have a hearing impairment? A visit to a hearing health professional can help you diagnose your condition. They aid you in determining the cause of the problem and get you started on the proper treatment for your particular case.
However, there are two types of hearing health professionals out there: audiologists and ENT doctors. Both seem to have over lapping specialties, as they treat issues related to the ear canal and inner ear. How do you know when to see an ENT vs. audiologist? Read on to find out the differences between the two.
Otolaryngologists or ENT physicians are medical doctors who specialize in ear, nose, and throat (ENT) health. They diagnose and treat any medical conditions related to these areas. They cover a wide spectrum of ear problems, such as infections, sinusitis, tumors, and yes, even some cases of hearing loss.
However, they are more concerned about the overall health of the ear-nose-throat system than just focusing on hearing. They can perform various medical procedures, such as delicate surgeries, to treat any abnormalities in the ear that are causing auditory issues.
You should see an ENT doctor if you suspect that there is an underlying medical condition, such as an infection or an injury, which is causing your auditory problems. Usually, this is characterized by sudden hearing loss accompanied by other symptoms.
Audiologists are experts in everything related to hearing. Instead of having a medical license like ENT physicians, they have a doctor of audiology (AuD) post-graduate degree and have intensively studied all aspects of hearing health. They can assess how past medical problems and lifestyle choices may have affected the patient’s hearing and diagnose the type and severity of the auditory issues.
Audiologists pay close attention to the science of hearing and focus on restoring a patient’s capability to perceive sound and communicate effectively with those around them. They provide non-invasive treatment options, such as hearing aids and assistive listening devices, to help improve a person’s perception of sound.
If you are experiencing gradual hearing loss and do not suspect any underlying medical problems, you should seek the help of an audiologist. These experts will aid you in managing your hearing issues and improving your quality of life.
These are just some key differences between an audiologist vs ENT doctor. Call Bluegrass Hearing Clinic in Kentucky if you are still unsure of which health professional you should see.