Audiologist & ENT – Difference You Should Know

You might think that an audiologist and an ENT specialist are the same type of doctor. After all, they both deal with the ears and hearing. However, there are significant differences between these two types of professionals. The information below can help distinguish the similarities and differences between an audiologist and ENT.

Here, we will look at what you need to know about the difference between an audiologist and ENT doctors for hearing loss.

What does an audiologist do?: Audiologist – To check hearing loss are the foremost experts on everything to do with your hearing health. To put it specifically, they diagnose, treat and monitor issues of the auditory and vestibular systems within the ear. Audiologists also help with issues such as tinnitus, balance issues and can help assess whether or not a patient is a good candidate for a cochlear implant.
What does an ENT doctor do?: Conversely, ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors, tend to help with conditions of the ear, nose, throat and base of the skull. They tend to have a more surgical approach to treatment. Unlike audiologists, they treat the nose and throat even when the ears are unaffected, too.

Are They Both Medical Doctors?

Audiologist: No. They earn a bachelor’s degree plus a 4-year Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree (similar to a PhD) or a master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology, but these are not medical degrees. They can also earn certificates in specialized areas such as pediatric audiology.‍
Otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat or ENT doctor): Yes. ENT doctors for hearing aids have had 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 5 years of residency and 51 months of specialized training. They must also be certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.

What Do They Treat?

‍Audiologist: They only treat ear conditions such as hearing loss, tinnitus, impacted earwax or balance issues.‍
ENT: ENT specialist for hearing loss treat all disorders of the ears in addition to other head and neck issues such as nasal congestion, sinusitis, vocal difficulties, problems swallowing, polyps, deviated septum, sleep problems, etc.

Do They Treat Ear Infections?
‍Audiologist: Yes‍
ENT: Yes

Can They Fit Patients for Hearing Aids?
Audiologist: Yes‍
ENT: Yes

Do They Perform Surgery (if needed)?
‍Audiologist: No‍
ENT: Yes

Are They Licensed?
Audiologist: Yes‍
ENT: Yes

When should I see an Audiologist?
You should see an Audiologist if you have some or all of the common symptoms of hearing loss, such as:

  • Asking others to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty following conversations and hearing women and children
    Turning the TV up loud
  • Feeling overwhelmed in noisy or crowed environments
  • Complaining that people speak too fast or mumble
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

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When should I see an ENT?

If you are having trouble with your hearing, but also have other underlying medical conditions like an autoimmune disease, diabetes, or balance issues, or you have had ear pain or ear / head trauma, you should see an ENT.
Depending on their evaluation an ENT may perform surgery as a corrective action, help you treat or manage underlying conditions, or refer you to an Audiologist to get fitted for hearing aids.

If you have any concerns related to your hearing loss, suspicions of hearing loss or technology that is used to treat hearing loss or tinnitus, then you should call Vr Speech And Hearing Loss Clinic at +91 9657588677 | 9112717179. We’re here to answer any questions and book an appointment with our ENT specialist or an Audiologist if you need one. Our hearing specialist is well-versed in caring for a variety of hearing health conditions.

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