When you are struggling with hearing issues, you don’t really want to do the medical dance where you try to find the right hearing loss specialists, only to be referred constantly to a different specialist.
So, to help you find the right hearing health care professional, Hearing Associates of Las Vegas is here to help you sort through what an ear doctor, ear nose and throat doctor (ENT), and hearing specialist can do for you.
Defining Ear Doctor vs. ENT vs. Hearing Specialist
Depending on where you are at in your search for a hearing health care professional, you likely have heard of at least one of the main hearing specialists. These hearing specialists are ear doctors—also called audiologists—ENT doctors, and hearing instrument specialists.
Some people will refer to these professionals interchangeably, but they play different roles in helping you manage your hearing issues. To help clarify who does what, we wanted to define these hearing health care specialists and talk about what makes each of these professionals different.
Sometimes called ear doctors, audiologists specialize in sensorineural hearing loss—which is hearing loss due to inner ear damage—as well as balance problems as issues with balance often are due to a disorder located in the inner ear region.
Audiologists can have a varying educational background. For instance, there are plenty of audiologists who only have a bachelor’s degree, though the standard was changed recently and all new audiologists must have a master’s in audiology to practice now. However, there are also doctors of audiology, hearing professionals who have received a professional doctorate degree in audiology.
With doctors of audiology, you often have greater specialization, as they may specifically have the training to help pediatric patients with hearing loss or can assist more with balance issues.
Ears, nose, and throat doctor
Also called otolaryngologists, ENT doctors are medical doctors who took at least another year or more to specialize in providing medical services for the ears, nose, and throat region. As the throat and nose can affect hearing as well as the ears themselves, that is how ENT doctors overlap with other hearing specialists.
However, an ENT doctor’s services when it comes to hearing loss have to do with conductive hearing loss—which is a type of hearing loss that affects the outer and middle ear. In many cases, these issues require surgery to resolve such as having a cochlear implant placed or eardrum reconstructed, which is why ENT doctors have to receive a medical doctor’s degree before specializing in the ears, nose, and throat.
Hearing instrument specialist
For those who aren’t sure they have hearing loss but find they are struggling to follow conversations and may feel disoriented when in group social settings, a great place to start is with hearing instrument specialists. These hearing health care professionals provide services aimed at helping those with hearing loss as well as other hearing disorders like tinnitus.
The educational background of hearing instrument specialists can be varied, but they should be licensed to practice in your state. Our hearing instrument specialists—like co-owner Robyn Lofton, BC-HIS—are nationally board-certified hearing instrument specialists who believe in continuing education to always offer patients the latest advancements in hearing technology.
Hearing instrument specialists are experts in helping you determine what kind of hearing loss you have, what degree of hearing loss is present, and fit you with the best hearing aids to resolve your hearing loss. You can also work with our hearing instrument specialists to find the right solution for your tinnitus.
Visit Hearing Associates Of Las Vegas For Your Hearing Needs
Beyond caring for your hearing needs, here at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas, we make it a point to provide the personalized service you need while learning to live with your hearing loss. We have two hearing offices in the greater Las Vegas area to make it easier for you to find the hearing help you need.
To work with our hearing instrument specialists and receive personalized hearing health care, contact us today to set up your appointment.