If you are having a problem with your ears or your hearing, you may wonder which ear doctor you should visit: an audiologist or an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor? Sometimes the distinction can be a bit confusing.
They are both specialists dealing with the ears. The difference between an ENT and an audiologist:
- An audiologist specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing loss.
- An ENT is a specialist that diagnoses and treats illnesses and diseases relating to the ears, nose, mouth and throat.
One great trick to remember it is to think of audiologists as “hearing doctors.” Then when you have a problem specifically with your hearing, you will think, “I should visit the hearing doctor: the audiologist! In other cases, the ENT may be the best choice.
Hearing loss is most often gradual, so if you begin to notice a slight change in your ability to hear clearly, or you are having trouble communicating or understanding with others than you did before, a hearing evaluation with your audiologist is in order.
Annual hearing screenings are recommended for anyone over the age of 60, or if you have any history of hearing issues.
Hearing problems can appear in different ways: you may begin to have difficulty communicating in public, noisy places, or you could notice difficulty understanding the high-pitched voices of small children or some women.
Referrals Between Specialists
Your audiologist may refer you to an ENT if your hearing loss is related to a medical condition or if you also have balance issues or other accompanying symptoms.
If you see an ENT for an ear-related medical condition, you may be referred to an audiologist if there is also hearing loss. They will likely give you a hearing exam and present hearing aid options if you are have permanent hearing loss.
In some cases, your audiologist and ENT can work together to give you the best diagnosis and treatment.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.
Diablo Hearing Services 2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon (925) 394-4646