Realizing you can’t hear like you used to can be an upsetting insight, especially if it comes after spending a lot on money on tickets to El Paso Symphony Orchestra. There are plenty of professionals to go to for help with this problem. But oftentimes, the number of options can be overwhelming, and figuring out who to schedule an appointment with can be a barrier for care.
Below is a breakdown of the different providers who can help with your hearing loss and who you should schedule an appointment with.
Your Primary Care Provider
This professional, who may be a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant, is your go-to for your general health care needs. They are responsible for identifying and treating common medical problems and will refer you to a specialist for more advanced treatment when needed.
While your primary care provider can review your symptoms and may even be able to conduct a simple hearing loss assessment or screening, they are unable to make an official diagnosis.
Your ENT Provider
An otolaryngologist or ENT is a physician who specializes in treating a wide variety of ear, nose and throat issues. They are who you would see if your hearing loss was the result of a medical issue that required a surgical solution.
ENTs often work hand-in-hand with audiologists, who are the next experts we will discuss.
An audiologist is a health care professional who is trained to identify, diagnose and manage your hearing, balance and tinnitus problems. Most have received their Doctor of Audiology, which is a four-year graduate degree (Au.D.).
Through an audiologic exam, which consists of a series of hearing tests, your audiologist can determine your exact type and degree of hearing loss. With this information, your audiologist will put together a treatment plan. For most, this will include the use of a hearing aid, which your audiologist is responsible for selecting, fitting and programming to meet your unique hearing and listening needs.
In addition to treating hearing loss after it has occurred, audiologists can help you prevent hearing loss through hearing protection and custom earmolds.
Audiologists are also responsible for evaluating and treating a wide range of balance disorders.
Selecting the right health care provider for your unique needs is key to getting the best treatment. To learn more about the benefits of seeing an audiologist or to schedule an appointment with our Doctors of Audiology, contact Tinnitus & Hearing Experts today.