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What’s The Difference Between An Audiologist And ENT?

What’s the Difference Between an Audiologist and ENT?

Impaired hearing or balance issues can be tough to live with as hearing provides a sense of connection to the people and things around us. If you are suffering from hearing problems, you are likely seeking help to alleviate the discomfort that can come from it. A common question is what type of professional do you reach out to for help- an ENT Specialist or an audiologist near you

Audiologist 

An audiologist, Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), is an expert licensed to identify, evaluate, diagnose and treat hearing disorders. Their training allows them to provide diagnostic, rehabilitative, and other services associated with hearing and hearing loss treatment. Also, they offer services if you are suffering from balance issues and tinnitus management. 

Think of an audiologist as a hearing specialist. If you find that your hearing is diminishing or experiencing Tinnitus, what some perceive as constant “ringing in the ears,” you should first visit an audiologist. Like Dr. Brianne T. White at Camellia ENT, an audiologist can conduct an exam and a hearing assessment to determine if you are dealing with hearing loss. 

Camellia Audiology offers multiple hearing evaluations to distinguish the root of your issue: 

Impedance Testing: This testing is used to diagnose several problems such as negative middle ear pressure, fluid in the middle ear, perforation of the eardrum, and disruption of the middle ear bones. 

Hearing Test: An audiologist can determine your ability to both hear and understand conversations by using a range of low to high frequencies to measure the softest sound that your ear can detect and how you comprehend spoken words. Otoacoustic Emissions: A probe is placed in the ear canal to measure the function of the outer hair cells in the cochlea by measuring nearly inaudible sounds created by your inner ear in response to external noises. If these sounds are not produced, it can be a sign that you have hearing loss. 

Tinnitus Evaluation and Treatment: Every person experiences Tinnitus differently; therefore, Tinnitus is measured by determining the specific loudness, pitch, and minimum masking levels that they experience for each ear. 

ENT Specialist 

An ENT Specialist, also called an otolaryngologist, is a physician trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT). An Otolaryngologist will also address any issues with the head and neck and needed surgeries related to these issues.  

Camellia ENT offers various specialized services that help diagnose and treat disorders and diseases from the neck up. Here are some of the most common ENT services

Ear Surgery: Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is performed to improve the position, shape, or size of the ears. It can correct misshapen ears caused by injury, defects in the ear structure, or hearing loss symptoms.  

Cochlear Implantation: Dr. White is the only surgeon in the Acadiana area that offers cochlear implantation. This small electronic device provides a sense of sound to a person with impaired hearing. 

Sinus Surgery: One of the most common reasons patients visit an ENT is rooted in a sinus issue. An ENT specialist will work with you to resolve your recurring sinus problems through testing and medication. If your case warrants a more comprehensive solution, one of our highly-trained specialists can perform sinus surgery or balloon sinuplasty

Sleep Apnea Surgery: Those suffering from moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea and unable to find relief from a CPAP machine can get relief from sleep apnea surgery. Camellia ENT also offers a state-of-the-art outpatient procedure to treat sleep apnea, the Inspire Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator. 

Audiologists and ENT Specialists work in tandem together often. An ENT will treat any correctable causes of hearing loss or Tinnitus and generally refer a patient to an audiologist if they need to fit with hearing aids. Similarly, if an audiologist believes an illness or disorder is causing hearing issues, they’ll refer a patient to an ENT. 

At Camellia ENT, Audiology and Otolaryngology work together to ensure patients get the best care. If you are unsure which medical professional is best for your medical issue, contact us today to get a consultation.

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