What Is the Difference between Audiologist and ENT Doctors?

by | May 14, 2020 | Audiologist, Hearing Health, Patient Resources

With several different types to choose from, including hearing instrument specialists, audiologists and ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors, it can be confusing to determine which professional you should see.

Whether it’s hearing loss you’re experiencing or you’ve developed a ringing in your ears, seeking treatment from the right hearing professional is crucial. With several different types to choose from, including hearing instrument specialists, audiologists and ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors, it can be confusing to determine which professional you should see.

While each professional serves a particular purpose, they have different skill sets and educational backgrounds, making it a priority to find the right person to assess, diagnose and treat your specific needs.

Audiologists and ENT doctors share many similarities, with both requiring an advanced degree to practice, but there still advantages to seeing each of these professionals depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. Identifying the differences in these doctors can be vital to ensuring you are seeking out the right advice.

Audiologist: Roles and responsibilities

When it comes to problems relating to your hearing health and auditory system, an audiologist is the ideal professional to address your needs and form a treatment plan. In the vast majority of cases, seeing an audiologist is going to be far preferable as a means of treating your hearing loss, and of dealing with your hearing issues generally, so that is something that you should bear in mind if you are trying to decide between the two at any time.

So, what exactly is it that an audiologist does? Let’s take a look in some detail so that we can get clearer on it.

As a fully licensed professional, an audiologist is your first port of call for any hearing problems that you might be having, in particular any hearing loss that you are experiencing, whether sudden or gradual, severe or minor. An audiologist will be able to perform many services for you depending on your needs, ranging from carrying out a range of hearing tests to determine the actual quality of your hearing, or determine the extent of your hearing loss, all the way to helping you with the necessary solutions for your hearing loss, as well as helping you to choose between hearing aids and so on too. Clearly, that is something that many people are going to have to think about at some point or another, so that is good to know that there is someone to help in those cases.

Audiologists are well-versed in recommending, fitting, adjusting, cleaning and repairing hearing aids, making them a key person when trying to maintain your devices. Whether you want to know the differences in hearing aids or simply need help cleaning them, your audiologist will offer assistance every step of the way.

But an audiologist can also help you with much more than that. They are also the first place you should go to if you have an excess of earwax and you don’t know what to do with it, or if you are experiencing other issues related to your ears and hearing, such as tinnitus, a ringing in the ears which is persistent or otherwise annoying. You might otherwise have a specific hearing issue such as not being able to hear high-pitched sounds only, or an inability to hear female or child voices. No matter the specifics of the situation, if it is to do with hearing, an audiologist is going to be able to help you greatly.

ENT doctors: Roles and responsibilities

Let’s look first at the roles and responsibilities of an ENT doctor, and what it is that they generally do in their role on a daily basis. As a rule, an ENT doctor is trained in performing surgery on the ears, nose and throat, which means that they might not be as clued up on matters of hearing alone compared to an audiologist.

However, if you are in need of that kind of surgery, then it is usually an ENT doctor who is the one to go to or who you will be referred to. They will also prescribe necessary medications as they relate to the treatment of various diseases and illnesses related to those areas of the body, so that is something that might prove important too. They deal with autoimmune problems, ototoxicity, balance and more.

Finding an audiologist near you

If you think you might be able to benefit from the services of an audiologist, then you will need to seek out one that you can trust. They are the true experts in hearing loss and related problems, and you want to make sure that you are going to find one that is suitable for your needs. To find out more, do not hesitate to contact Allison Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, P.C. at Houston: 713-827-1767.

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Jana Emola-Austin, Au.D.

Raised in Bryan, Texas, Jana completed her undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University before attending the University of North Texas with an ambition to earn her master’s degree in speech pathology. However, a required audiology class soon set her on a new career path. She became enthralled with the subject and says audiology resonated with her because it involved everything she enjoys – helping people to improve their lives and relationships with others and using technology to make positive impacts. Following this revelation, Jana went on to graduate with her Doctor of Audiology degree. After many years of assisting patients in the clinic on a daily basis, Jana’s main responsibilities at Allison Audiology have shifted to a management role. She now works behind the scenes focusing on administrative, management, and marketing responsibilities.