If you have never had hearing loss, you may have never heard of an audiologist and wonder what an audiologist is, exactly.
Once you begin to have an issue with your hearing or your ears, you may want to visit a doctor and ponder which physician you should visit: an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor) or an Audiologist?
You may be wondering what the difference is.
Both an Audiologist and an ENT are experts on the ears.
So, what is the difference between an audiologist and an ENT?
- An Audiologist focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and hearing damage specifically.
- An ENT is a professional that identifies and treats ailments and disorders involving the ears, nose, throat and mouth.
You can remember it by thinking of audiologists as “hearing doctors.” If you have an issue with your hearing, you will think, “I should see an audiologist, a hearing doctor!” If the problem is not specifically about hearing but has to do with your ears, mouth, throat or nose, an ENT may be the better option.
Hearing loss can happen very slowly, so if you start to see a minor difference in your hearing ability, or you notice more difficulty understanding others than you did before, it is a great idea to schedule a hearing screening as soon as possible at your local audiologist office.
If you are over the age of 60 or if you have any history of hearing issues, yearly hearing evaluations are strongly advised.
Different people have different experiences, so be on the lookout for varying signs that your hearing could be on the decline. Some people notice trouble communicating in noisy public places first. Others observe they have to start straining to understand high-pitched voices of small children or women.
If You Need a Referral
If you visit one type of doctor and they determine you need to visit another, they can give you a referral if you need one. If you visit an audiologist, for example, and they determine your hearing loss is related to a medical condition or if you have other symptoms that need to be addressed, they might refer you to an ENT.
Likewise, if you visit an ENT for a medical condition and they determine you have hearing loss, they may refer you to an audiologist. That way you can get a hearing screening and treatment options if you have developed a level of permanent hearing loss.
Audiologists and ENTs can even work together to ensure you have the correct 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