Booking a doctor’s appointment isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Depending on your hearing problem, you may need to visit an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor or an audiologist.
What Is an ENT?
Otolaryngologist is the formal name for an ENT doctor. Their specialties include the:
ENT doctors deal with any medical issues surrounding these areas and are trained in medicine and surgical treatment.
7 Areas of Expertise in the Field of Otolaryngology
Allergy: medication, immunotherapy (allergy shots) and/or avoidance of allergens and potential triggers that cause adverse reactions within the ears, nose and throat. Common sensitivities are pollen, mold and food.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: abnormalities of the face, neck and ears. Can be cosmetic, functional or reconstructive. Common procedures are septoplasty, facelifts and cleft palate repair.
Head and Neck: cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the head and neck, especially in the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Laryngology: throat disorders, including voice and swallowing problems.
Otology and Neurotology: diseases of the ear, including trauma injury and nerve pathway disorders that affect hearing and balance.
Pediatric Otolaryngology: treatment for children with ENT problems, including birth defects of the head and neck and developmental delays.
Rhinology: disorders of the nose and sinuses.
Reasons to See an ENT Doctor
- Balance issues
- Cancer in the head or neck
- Ear pain
- Head trauma
- Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL)
It is also a good idea to see an ENT doctor if your hearing loss may be related to tumors or autoimmune issues. Ear pain is typically an indicator of ENT problems that stem from medical issues.
What Does an Audiologist Do?
An audiologist studies hearing itself rather than the ear. They usually handle the non-medical side of hearing issues. Patients typically see an audiologist when their hearing loss is due to natural causes, like aging.
Audiologists don’t perform surgeries – they mostly perform diagnostic tests and converse with patients to find solutions for their auditory problems. You can expect an audiologist to:
- Appraise your candidacy for cochlear implants or hearing aids
- Offer fitting, programming and audiologic rehabilitation for aids/implants
- Oversee and conduct newborn hearing screenings
- Assess and manage children and adults with central auditory processing disorders
- Evaluate sign language and other factors affecting communication function
Reasons to See an Audiologist
- Age-related hearing loss
- Trouble hearing in a large crowd
- Long-term or gradual hearing loss
- Difficulty hearing higher-pitched sounds
- Excessive earwax
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
The main job of an audiologist is to test hearing and identify if/why hearing loss has occurred. An audiologist can help improve auditory development skills and recommend hearing technology as well as preserve and improve the quality of residual hearing.
Schedule a Hearing Test With Davis Family Hearing
The doctors at Davis Family Hearing are board-certified audiologists equipped to meet every patient’s needs. We offer FREE initial diagnostic hearing evaluations where we perform a complete physical examination of your ears and check for underlying hearing loss.
Call (352) 666-8910 to schedule your appointment today!