If you are looking for specialists for hearing problems, you may have come across the terms “hearing loss specialist” and “audiologist.” Despite sharing similarities, the two are not one and the same. There are different hearing loss specialists, such as otolaryngologists, audiologists, and hearing instrument specialists. They all help patients with hearing problems.
Knowing the right specialist to choose helps save you time and energy. Let’s talk about the different hearing specialists that can help you with hearing loss.
An audiologist has special training in conducting hearing tests to determine the type and degree of hearing loss. An audiologist is not a medical doctor and has usually completed a graduate degree in audiology and clinical fellowship to be able to provide hearing tests, and they must become licensed by the state to do so. The extent of an audiologist’s training is in diagnostics, providing hearing aids, and improving quality of life. They can diagnose hearing loss, balance disorders, and tinnitus in adults and pediatric patients.
An audiologist can help patients adjust to life with hearing issues and recommend devices or hearing aids that can improve their quality of life. They can help you program and maintain hearing aids for better use, as well.
Hearing Instrument Specialist
A hearing instrument or hearing aid specialist is another professional who provides hearing loss services. A hearing instrument specialist is state-licensed to test for hearing loss and fit and dispense hearing aids. Just like audiologists, a hearing instrument specialist can help patients find the best hearing aid for them based on the results of an evaluation, as well as help them with programming and maintenance of the device. Moreover, hearing instrument specialists usually only serve adults with hearing loss, and usually only those with common types of hearing loss, such as age-related hearing loss or noise-induced hearing loss.
An otolaryngologist or ear, nose, throat (ENT) doctor is a hearing loss specialist who is a medical doctor. An ENT doctor’s training is in otolaryngology, which covers the medical and surgical care of the ear, nose, and throat, as well as head and neck problems. This hearing specialist is an expert in treating hearing and balance issues, ear infections, and hearing loss, and out of the other hearing loss specialists, can truly call themselves an expert. While audiologists and hearing instrument specialists assist in testing and the selection of hearing aids, an ENT doctor can treat a broad range of ear conditions, including complex underlying causes of hearing loss in adult and pediatric patients.
If you want to be seen by a true hearing loss specialist, trust a board-certified ENT doctor with your hearing. While an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist can provide services for patients with hearing loss, the extensive training of an otolaryngologist makes them the best hearing loss specialist for the job.
Hearing Loss Specialist in Georgetown, TX
Dr. Scott William Franklin is a board-certified otolaryngologist who can treat a wide range of ear disorders, including hearing loss. In our ENT clinic, we can conduct hearing loss tests and fit and dispense hearing aids. We are a well-trained and highly experienced staff in a well-equipped clinic who can provide for all your hearing needs.