“ENT, Audiologist or Hearing Aid Specialist? I just need an ear doctor!” It sounds like you have already accepted the fact that you have hearing loss and you are now ready for the next step, a formal hearing evaluation.
ENTs, Audiologists and Hearing Aid Specialists can all perform hearing evaluations, but each has its own specialty.
Sometimes it’s difficult to determine who you should see and who can best handle your hearing loss problem. Below is a quick snapshot that will hopefully help make your decision easier.
Commonly referred to as ear doctors, but formally known as Otolaryngologists, ENTs have been trained in both the medical and surgical treatment of diseases that affect the ears, nose and throat. An ENT handles the medical side of hearing issues. Some common medical treatments for ear doctors are infections, tinnitus, congenital birth disorders and cranial nerve disorders. Both Hearing Aid Specialists and Audiologists refer patients to ENTs for medical or surgical evaluation.
A Doctor of Audiology or an Audiologist is educated and trained to identify and treat diminished hearing. They can provide hearing aids and other assistive listening devices. Audiologists have advanced testing capabilities; however, such tests are not required for the vast majority of hearing loss sufferers caused by age. Simply, an audiologist is an ear doctor that handles the non-medical side of hearing problems.
Commonly known as a hearing instrument specialist, these professionals evaluate people with hearing problems. Hearing aid specialists perform hearing tests, also known as an audiogram. After evaluating the test results, hearing aid specialists select a variety of hearing aids and offer a recommendation to improve their condition.
Now that you have a quick glimpse into the career fields that focus on hearing, it’s time to make a decision. Before scheduling an appointment, make sure you ask if a fee applies for the hearing evaluation. Not all offices are like Belone, where the hearing evaluation is free.
For more information about a free hearing evaluation, give us a call at 717-763-1210 or click here to schedule an appointment.