If you suspect you might have a problem with hearing loss, why should you pick an audiologist over a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) and why should you pick an audiologist who works with an ENT?
When it is time for a hearing loss assessment, you can go to an HIS or an audiologist. While both are licensed by the State of Florida to fit people for hearing aids, there are different educational requirements for each professional. The HIS must complete high school and pass a national exam, while an audiologist has a minimum of a Master’s degree, is licensed by the State of Florida to diagnose and treat hearing loss, in addition to balance disorders and tinnitus. After graduation, they must complete extensive supervised training in the field. They must also participate in continuing education as long as they practice.
When it comes to assessing your hearing levels, determining the causes of your hearing loss and prescribing treatment, an audiologist can provide a greater range of services than an HIS.
An Otolaryngologist or ENT is a medical doctor who has been trained in the medical and surgical treatment of people with diseases and conditions of the ears, nose and throat. Like an audiologist, they can assess hearing loss; however, if the hearing loss is the result of a medical condition, they are qualified to treat the underlying medical conditions.
The best possible situation is available when you can select an audiologist associated with an ENT. This way when you have a hearing evaluation, if an underlying medical condition is suspected, the ENT can work with your audiologist to treat your condition. The ENT and audiologist will work as a team for optimal results. If your audiologist isn’t associated or already work closely with an ENT, you may be stuck finding your own who will work independently of your current hearing care professional.
Also, if issues arise once you are wearing hearing aids (such as impacted ear wax), the ENT will be close at hand to treat the situation.
That means you don’t have to travel to multiple locations for treatment. Your hearing loss and medical conditions can be treated at one location with a team of dedicated professionals who have one goal in mind: meeting your individual needs.