There are a number of different issues that you might have with your ears throughout your lifetime. If you do start experiencing any recurring symptoms, it’s important that you get them checked out as soon as possible. That way, you can get the right kind of treatment before the issue has a chance to develop or worsen.
Before you book an appointment, though, you need to consider whether you should see an ENT doctor or an audiologist. These are distinct medical professionals that both specialize in matters related to ear health. However, they specialize in slightly different things. It’s important you choose the right one to get checked out for your specific problem.
Not too sure whether you need to see an audiologist or an ENT doctor? No problem; this handy guide should help you figure it out.
What Does An ENT Specialize In?
An ENT doctor has quite a broad area of specialism. The “ENT” stands for ear, nose and throat, and that is exactly what they can help you with. You might also hear these doctors called otolaryngologists sometimes too.
The majority of ENT doctors will be highly educated and qualified, and many of them will be skilled surgeons. There are a number of small surgical procedures that they will be able to carry out including the surgical removal of the tonsils, the surgical correction of protruding ears, and ear tube surgery.
Your ENT doctor can help with a wide range of issues, including swimmer’s ear, sinus infections and earaches. You will also need to see this kind of doctor if you are worried about an excessive build-up of earwax. They can also help you when it comes to tinnitus and any hearing loss that is the result of an underlying medical problem.
If you are having issues with age-related hearing loss or any other difficulties with hearing that aren’t related to an underlying medical condition, you will need to speak to an audiologist.
What Does An Audiologist Specialize In?
Audiologists also work with people who have ear problems, but their specialism is in the auditory system alone. They will work with clients who are having difficulty hearing because of old age and children who have been born with problems with their hearing.
All audiologists are very well qualified and have plenty of experience, and most of them even hold master’s degrees. Most also go on to gain their PhD so that they can become Doctors of Audiology.
If your main problem is with hearing loss, then you will need to book an appointment with an audiologist. They will be able to help you with hearing loss that is not linked to any prior medical condition. So, whether you have been noticeably losing your hearing slowly over time and want to get some help with it, you will need to see your audiologist.
It’s also audiologists who can help you with hearing aids. If you think that you could do with using this kind of device to help with your hearing, your audiologist will be able to carry out an examination. If they agree that a hearing advice would be advantageous for you, then they will arrange a fitting.
Before they do fit a device, they will discuss what your options are when it comes to hearing aids. As there are so many different ones on the market these days, it’s always worth reviewing your options with a professional who can recommend what they think is best.
Your audiologist will ensure that the device is the correct fit for you during the fitting. It’s also their chance to change and tweak all of the settings to make sure that you will be able to hear as well as possible in a range of different hearing environments. Don’t worry if you have some problems when you first start wearing the hearing aid, as you can always report back to your audiologist if you need further adjustments.
So, there you have it. There are some very distinct differences between ENT doctors and audiologists, but once you know, it should be easy to figure out who to call when you have a problem with your ears. If you want to learn even more about the important distinctions, give us a call at Kampsen Hearing at (813) 369-5692. One of our very friendly team members will be able to answer all of your questions for you and discuss what our audiologists can help you with.