Have you ever experienced problem with your hearing but are not sure of which health professional to see? There is a significant difference between an audiologist and ENT. The ear is very complex and that’s why there are professionals who are trained to treat different issues. We’ll take a look at some ear specialists you’ve probably heard about to help you narrow down your options based on who suits your needs best.
Audiologists typically examine, diagnose and treat issues associated with hearing loss. Common issues such as tinnitus or if you have a problem with your balance can be addressed by an audiologist. An audiologist has studied audiology (AuD) and are licensed to issue hearing aids or any other devices that can make an individual suffering from hearing loss manage the condition better. They are well capable of helping patients to find the most suitable solution based on their budget and lifestyle.
Below are a few instances when you need to see an audiologist
- If you notice changes in your hearing
- If you experience signs of tinnitus such as a ringing sound in the ears
- If you need fitting or help selecting hearing solutions
- If you need to program or maintain your hearing device
- If you have problems with your balance
- If you need help maintaining or programming cochlear implants
Hearing aid dispenser
This is a hearing specialist who is licensed to perform basic hearing tests and also select the best hearing aids based on one’s condition, lifestyle and budget. The only instance when you should see a hearing aid dispenser is if you want to purchase the device.
ENT doctor (otolaryngologist)
This is a health care professional who specializes in conditions or diseases that affect the ears, nose and throat. ENTs can also deal with issues in related structures such as the head and the neck. Below are the common reasons to see an ENT:
- If you need help diagnosing, treating or managing an ear, nose or throat disorder
- If you have serious symptoms of an ear disorder such as severe pain and discharge
- If you often experience ear infections and want to get proper diagnosis and treatment
- If you are to undergo any surgical procedure that affects the ear, nose and throat
- If you experience balance issues
Whatever issues you may have with your ears, hearing or balance issues, it is very important to visit a licensed specialist. To find a dedicated professional in your area, start by doing a simple online search. Go through reviews of popular hearing specialists before you make a decision. Book for an initial consultation as soon as you get a reliable specialist.
During your appointment, make sure you explain all the symptoms you’ve experienced that could be a sign of a hearing or balance issue. Ask questions especially on how you can best prevent or manage a condition that you have. Most importantly, don’t delay when you have issues with your ears. You can improve your quality of life and enjoy proper hearing with the help of a professional.
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