Did you know there’s a difference between your Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor and an audiologist? Crazy right? But it’s true. In fact, after you first visit your primary care physician for any hearing loss difficulties, they will refer you to either an ENT specialist or an audiologist. There are several reasons why you lose your hearing, and these specialists can help you better than anyone. It could be something as simple as your sinuses are blocked, in which you will be provided the correct path for a remedy, or something much more serious. It’s important to understand why you would need to go to one doctor versus another so you can get your diagnosis as soon as possible. Here are the main differences in what both doctors can do for you.
ENT vs. Audiologist
- An audiologist works specifically with hearing and hearing loss. They’re trained to diagnose any auditory issue, gauge the extent of the hearing loss, and come up with the right treatment.
- An ENT doctor is who you’re referred to when standard treatments are not resolving the issue. For example, you have chronic hearing loss, sore throats, nosebleeds, and much more. Their focus is any issue slightly out of the ordinary specifically for the ears, nose, and throat, because that system, as well as your sinuses, is all connected.
Who should you visit first?
If it’s strictly an issue with your hearing you should see an audiologist first. They’ll be able to pinpoint why your hearing has decreased and the next steps you need to take. Sometimes if there’s an underlying problem in the sinuses you’ll be referred to an ENT doctor for further treatment.