When to Visit an ENT vs Audiologist

Woman covering her ears

Dealing with hearing issues is hard enough without trying to figure out which doctor to visit. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. And getting treatment in a timely manner can have a big impact on your quality of life.

Today, I’ll break down the difference between an ENT doctor and audiologist so you can be prepared for any upcoming hearing issues you or your loved one may encounter. 

What is an ENT?

ENT stands for “Ear, Nose & Throat” and that’s exactly what this doctor specializes in. If you’re facing a medical issue that directly impacts your ears, nose, throat, or head you want to schedule a visit with an ENT doctor. These issues could include anything from vertigo to tonsillitis. One thing to note: they do not specialize in treating hearing loss, nor are they able to dispense hearing aids. 

It’s Time to See an ENT When You (or a Loved One)…

  • Experience a very sudden and drastic change in hearing.
  • Suffer from an earache or other symptoms related to the ears, nose and throat—including dizziness, sinus problems, swimmer’s ear, or vertigo.
  • Require surgery on your ear or have hearing loss related to a medical condition

What is an Audiologist?

An audiologist is able to gain an intimate understanding of your hearing abilities. Armed with a doctorate level degree, audiologists help identify, diagnose, and guide our patients through hearing loss, including the addition of hearing aids, implants, and new communication tools. 

It’s Time to Make an Audiology Appointment When You (or a Loved One)…

  • Notice a slow degradation of hearing abilities, especially due to age.
  • Struggle to understand speech in restaurants, meetings, or gatherings.
  • Continually need the TV louder than loved ones.
  • Often ask for repetition.
  • Feel like you can hear but can’t understand speech.
  • Perceive a noticeable change in your hearing.
  • Are due for a baseline evaluation (recommended between 60-65).
  • Need help with tinnitus. 

Believe it or not, I find that people typically wait SEVEN years between when they start noticing hearing loss and when they finally make a hearing test appointment. If one of the above issues sounds familiar to you, we’d love to have you come in without waiting that long! 

Who Do I See for Earwax Removal?

Great question! As a matter of fact, both ENT doctors and audiologists can handle earwax buildup. ENTs are more commonly utilized for this practice, but it can be helpful to have an audiologist take care of it if you believe it’s contributing to hearing loss. We’ll be able to take a close look and determine what’s going on. 

Schedule an Appointment with SoundGate

Does one of the conditions above ring a bell for you? At SoundGate Hearing, our expert team is here to handle your audiology needs to help you feel more at ease. Wherever you are on your hearing journey, we can work together to make life just a little bit easier. Schedule your audiology appointment today or drop us a line. We’ll talk to you soon!

Until next time,
Dr. Sarah Binfet