If you think you or a loved one may have hearing loss, now is the time to do something about it. But figuring out where to go and who to see can be challenging. Below we break down the provider options and what each of them can do to help you.
There are three categories of professionals you can see if you think you or a loved one may have trouble hearing.
Primary Care Providers
This category includes physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who are responsible for providing general health care, including identifying, diagnosing and treating common medical conditions. Your primary care provider will refer you to a specialist if you need more specialized care.
Your primary care provider is a good sounding board to run your issues past. If you attended the Oregon Symphony and could only hear a few of the notes, they can help direct you to the expert you should speak with in order to undergo a series of hearing tests.
Known as ENTs, these doctors provide medical and surgical treatment for a wide range of ear, nose and throat disorders. If your primary care provider thinks your hearing loss may be caused by a medical issue with your ear, they may refer you to an otolaryngologist for an assessment.
These experts focus on the identification, diagnosis and treatment of hearing, tinnitus and balance disorders. In addition to determining your type and degree of hearing loss, they will also work with you to choose the right hearing aid for you and fit that device to meet your unique needs.
Audiologists can fit you with custom earmolds and hearing protection as well as evaluate and treat balance problems. They are also responsible for advising patients on how to cope with their tinnitus and explaining the importance of protecting your hearing from dangerously loud noise.
For most, audiologists are the experts they should consult for their hearing loss needs.
To learn more about who to see for your hearing needs or to schedule an appointment with a hearing loss expert, contact Mt. Hood ENT today.