Hearing problems are quite common. However, when faced with such problems, people tend to be rather confused about who they ought to turn to. Should they opt for a general physician or should they go for an ENT specialist or an audiologist in a hearing clinic? To ensure that you make the right selection, you need to understand the difference between all these options. This will ensure that you are well aware of who to turn to in case a problem comes knocking on your door.
Primary care physicians
These are the doctors that most people are familiar with. They are the ones that people turn to when they require medical attention. If it is hearing issues that we talk about, a physician is likely to treat infections or similar other conditions related to the ear. They would also prove to be of assistance when you need ear wax or some other foreign object removed from the ear. They can also screen for hearing loss so as to decide if you need further evaluation.
These are the doctors who have specialized in diseases related to the ear, nose, and throat. They are usually consulted when the disease has progressed to a stage that is beyond the scope of a physician. They also need to be contacted when surgery is required. They do not provide regular auditory evaluations but acquire the help of an audiologist for the same. The ENT specialist determines whether the hearing loss faced by a person is correctable and commences treatment accordingly.
Hearing aid dispenser
A hearing aid dispenser is one who is licensed to conduct audiometric testing so as to fit and sell hearing aids. The license is obtained via a state licensing examination. A hearing aid dispenser is not allowed to charge for a diagnostic hearing evaluation.
An audiologist refers to the person who specializes in hearing loss prevention along with identifying, diagnosing, and treating disorders pertaining to the auditory and vestibular systems of the ear. An audiologist does not provide prescriptions. If hearing loss cannot be treated medically or surgically, it is an audiologist who suggests the future course of conduct.
If you require the services of an audiologist, you need to take a few things into account. You should consider their experience and if they have a license. It is also important that the person is able to communicate clearly with regards to ear care. Their knowledge should not be limited to hearing aids alone. They should be able to provide you with assistance as and when you require. Follow-up care is another important thing that should be offered.
Hearing problems need proper attention. This is due to the fact that once the disease progresses, the damage can be irreversible. Therefore, it is rather important that you acquire attention from the right person at the right time.