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Utah: 435-688-8991 Nevada: 702-896-0031

What is the Difference Between an Audiologist and an ENT

Hearing is a complex sense, which can make it confusing to know which ear specialist to seek care from when there is a hearing problem. Understanding the difference between an audiologist and an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) can help you know which one you should turn to depending on what you’re currently experiencing.

what_is_the_difference_between_an_audiologist_and_an_ent-1Audiologist vs ENT

The differences between an audiologist and an ENT is their level of education and skills. The following identifies the knowledge and skills of an audiologist.

Audiologist Knowledge and Skills

An audiologist is a licensed hearing healthcare professional. This person specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing loss and balance disorders. Most audiologists have completed a doctor of audiology degree (Au.D.), but there are some other doctoral degrees such as Ph.D., and Sc.D.

An audiologist can perform the following services:

  • Hearing exams
  • Fitting, adjusting and maintaining hearing aids
  • Treating balance disorders or tinnitus
  • Manage hearing and speech rehabilitation programs

Audiologists have had extensive training in sound reproduction and studied human auditory and vestibular systems, making them perfect for anyone needing chronic or acute hearing care.

Otolaryngologist – ENT Knowledge and Skills

An ENT or otolaryngologist is a physician who has achieved a doctorate in medicine, so they are considered medical doctors. The main difference between ENTs and audiologists is that an ENT is an ear doctor, while an audiologist is a hearing doctor. ENTs are trained in performing ear surgery and prescribe medication. They usually handle more profound hearing loss issues in adults and children than audiologists do, such as cochlear implants. Other conditions ENTs treat are hearing loss due to ear trauma, infection, and benign tumors.

Once ENTs perform surgery and prescribe necessary medications, they often refer patients to an audiologist for continued care. Usually, these patients need a prescription and fitting for a hearing aid. Patients may also need help with redeveloping communication and language recognition skills due to hearing issues.

Hearing Instrument Specialists

Hearing instrument specialists are not doctors, but they are either board certified or licensed by the state. They specialize in hearing aid technology, assistive listening devices, and basic hearing tests. Hearing instrument specialists can be part of a team at an audiologist’s office. ‘

Deciding Which Doctor Is Best for You

It can be difficult to know which doctor is best for your hearing issues, so give Hearing & Balance Doctors a call. We can schedule a consultation to review the symptoms you’re experiencing to determine which healthcare professional is best for you.

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