May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, and this year’s focus is Communication Across the Lifespan. Since hearing is a key factor in being able to communicate, finding the best hearing care is critical. We’d like to discuss why it’s beneficial to see an audiologist who works with an ENT doctor. A team approach to hearing care improves your chances of enjoying the best communication possible throughout your life.
What Do Audiologists Do?
Audiologists diagnose, treat, and prevent hearing and balance disorders in children and adults. They must have attained either a Masters in Audiology or Doctor of Audiology degree. In addition to their extensive training, audiologists also participate in continuing education.
You should see an audiologist if you need:
- Hearing testing or treatment
- Hearing aid fitting and management
- Tinnitus treatment (or ringing in the ears)
- Dizziness and balance treatment
What Do ENT Doctors Do?
An Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor is specially trained in diseases and conditions of the head and neck, including those that have to do with hearing. If a patient has trouble hearing, an ENT doctor assesses and treats the medical condition causing the issue. For example, treatment for ear infections, ear injuries, or structural abnormalities may include medications or surgery.
How Audiologists and ENT Doctors Work as a Team
When a patient has a hearing problem, it’s important for an audiologist to perform prompt hearing testing to determine the cause. If there is an ENT doctor in the same office, the audiologist can share results of his or her evaluation with the doctor prior to his exam so the doctor knows what to look for. Along those same lines, if an ENT doctor determines that a patient’s hearing problem can’t be corrected medically, he will want to consult with an audiologist to determine the best course of action to treat the loss and preserve hearing. And finally, if a patient wears hearing aids, it’s nice for an ENT to be able to clear impacted wax and address other medical problems that can interfere with wearing hearing aids.
In short, the two professionals collaborate to ensure their patients maintain the best hearing possible.
At Sound Health Services, Audiologists and ENT Doctors Work Hand-in-Hand
In our offices, you’ll find a knowledgeable team of ENT physicians as well as audiologists who are specially trained in the most sophisticated diagnostic procedures. By working together, our staff can provide comprehensive care for patients with hearing disorders so they’re able to communicate with loved ones at any stage of life. If you have trouble hearing, call Sound Health at (314) 332-1377 in MO or (618) 235-3687 in IL to make an appointment so we can develop a treatment plan for you.