In the world of healthcare, there are many different professionals. Doctors, nurses, and therapists are just a few examples. One profession that some people don’t know about is the hearing doctor or audiologist. This blog post will talk about what a hearing doctor does, how to find one who’s legit, and why it’s important to go see one.
A hearing doctor is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat or related disorders. They are also trained to help patients with balance problems that can be caused by inner-ear issues such as vertigo (dizziness). Hearing doctors work closely on cases involving tinnitus which causes ringing sounds inside one’s ears.
Ontario Hearing Centers located in Rochester, NY is proud to have a team of professional and highly-competent hearing doctors, better known as audiologists.
The branch of science that deals with hearing is called Audiology. And, as it turns out, a “hearing doctor” is technically a Doctor of Audiology. But not every audiologist is also a Doctor of Audiology.
An audiologist is a licensed healthcare professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing, balance, and tinnitus disorders. Many of these professionals hold at least an M.D., which makes them officially recognized as doctors by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
The responsibilities of a hearing doctor are to diagnose and treat patients with auditory, vestibular (balance), or tinnitus disorders. They also help people who have been exposed to extremely loud sounds that can cause permanent damage in the ear’s hair cells.
One must have a master’s degree in Audiology to become an audiologist, as hearing and balance disorders are extremely important issues that affect many people every day. However, the Ph.D option is also a popular path taken by Audiology degree holders.
Hearing specialists are the professionals who fit and dispense hearing aids. They must pass a state exam, complete an apprenticeship program that is usually two years long.
Hearing specialists need to be either board-certified or licensed by the state. Most states also require an apprenticeship before they are allowed to work on patients, and must have a deep understanding of anatomy, physiology, and auditory science in order for them to best fit your hearing needs as possible.
An ENT hearing doctor is a physician who specializes in ear, nose and throat. They are also known as an otolaryngologist or head-and neck surgeon that can diagnose problems with the ears such as infections due to wax buildup to cancerous tumors on your auditory nerve (acoustic neuroma).
Depending on your diagnosis, an otolaryngologist or “ear nose throat” doctor may see you; ENTs specialize primarily in treating profound hearing loss by way of cochlear implants or surgery if necessary depending upon severity level.
Sometimes people are reluctant to visit a hearing doctor. But when you start shunning conversations because you can’t hear or struggle to understand what others are saying in the crowded room, it’s time for an appointment with the audiologist.
Audiologists are hearing specialists who diagnose and treat people with a variety of ear-related problems. They can help you find the right solution for your specific needs, whether it’s medical or surgical treatment to correct an issue like tinnitus (ringing in one side) or vertigo/dizziness from inner ears issues such as Meniere’s disease.
Hearing doctors can conduct tests and confirm your diagnosis of any hearing problems. Audiologists can also recommend customized hearing solutions so that all sounds come through your ears clearly and accurately again.
The hearing doctor will be able to help you with any of your ear-related needs. Whether it’s a simple problem like wax build up or something more serious, they can provide the best solution for what is going on in that specific situation and make sure everything goes smoothly from there onwards.
Audiologists can provide a wide range of services to help you with your hearing needs. They offer:
-Hearing tests and evaluations: necessary for diagnosing any kind or degree on the severity that someone has in their ears;
-Hearing aid adjustment, cleaning and maintenance. An audiologist helps establish what type of hearing aids are best for you, and also makes sure that the devices are working properly to ensure true clarity.
-Hearing protection and education on how to avoid the risk of noise-induced deafness;
-Help with tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or balance issues
Audiologists may also work in partnership with speech pathologists to ensure that hearing, data collection, and speech & hearing rehabilitation programs are met.
Audiologists are also experts in the prevention of hearing loss. We can help you to understand how noise and other factors contribute towards your risk for developing a permanent, irreversible condition called Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). If we identify that NIHL is likely or possible with exposure levels at work, then audiologic assessments will be carried out and we will recommend the best noise protection for your hearing health.
How do you know when it’s time to see an audiologist?
There are many factors that can contribute, but if your ears are ringing or feel full after being in noisy places, then there might be something going on in your ears that needs to be checked by an audiologist.
When choosing the best hearing doctor, consider their years of experience and knowledge of all different types of equipment they have available at the clinic.
For any hearing needs and concerns, our team of audiologists is ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!