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How An Audiologist Differs From An ENT Professional

How An Audiologist Differs From An ENT Professional

You may know the basics of what an audiologist is, but have also heard they different than an ears, nose and throat (ENT) physician. Is it just a case of “A rose by any other name” or is there a difference you should be concerned with?

We’ve got that answer and more that you probably haven’t thought of yet.

Specialized For Optimal Care

Simply put, while an ENT physician (also called an otolaryngologists) is a specialized kind of doctor, an audiologist took that speciality a step further.

By focusing exclusively on the study of the auditory system, an audiologist is who you need as you address hearing-related issues.

There are also specialized audiologists, who focus their practice on pediatrics, geriatrics, or educational audiology. As your hearing and ear structures can affect so many aspects of your life, it only makes sense to work with someone who has can give you the best care.

At time, hearing problems are intertwined with the nearby physical structures of the nose and throat, usually caused by a disease. It is at these time that an ENT should step in.

Training difference

Both ENTs and audiologists are doctors; however, ENTs went to medical school and received an M.D. while an audiologists attends a four-year audiology graduate program and receive an Aud.D.

So while ENTs get a broad spectrum education at medical school, accredited audiology programs have a laser-focus on hearing-related disorders. Some of the basic audiology classes are:

  • Biological Foundations of Speech & Music
  • Anatomy and Physiology: Peripheral Hearing
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Clinical Practice and Practicum
  • Signals, Systems & Acoustics for the Communication Sciences
  • Amplification

Audiologists are also required to become licensed to practice as well as holding their doctorate. This is on top of 300-375 hours of supervised clinical work, passing a national exam, and then 9 months of post-graduate work.

Audiologist can also obtain further certification. The Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) is awarded after rigorous assessment from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Audiologists can also become member of the Fellows of the American Academy of Audiology (FAAA) which is the world’s largest audiologist professional organization. All our doctors at Hearing & Balance Doctors hold their Aud.D and the above credentials.

Collaboration Between ENTs and Audiologist

As these two profession have an overlapping specialty, there will be times where it may be necessary to see both.

One instance would be if you suffer from sudden hearing loss, you may initially see an ENT professional. However, once they determine the cause and recommend hearing aids, they will coordinate with an audiologist, who will be the one who works with you from there.

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