Both Audiologists and ENTs care deeply about people being able to hear. So, what is the difference in their focus?
ENTs are medical doctors with a speciality in the anatomy of the ear, nose, and throat, and are concerned with treating patients who have medically solvable problems of these structures. ENTs can prescribe medication for infections or allergies. They can also intervene surgically when an ear’s structure changes (for example, when fluid or a growth is present), when structure needs to be realigned (such as when trauma interrupts the chain of bones in the middle ear), or when cells need to be bypassed (such as when a person has a severe cochlea hearing loss and needs a cochlear implant).
Audiologists hold an honours, masters, or doctoral degree, specialising in the function of the hearing and balance system. They are also registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, but do not prescribe medication. Audiologists are involved in the diagnosis of hearing problems, balance or dizziness, or other deficits of processing in the hearing or balance system. ENTs often need an audiologist’s results in order to decide how to manage an anatomical problem. If a problem cannot be solved by medicine or surgery, your Audiologist can prescribe and fit bespoke digital hearing aids, or provide therapy for communication disorders, balance or dizziness difficulties, or abnormal sensations of sound such as tinnitus. The aim of every audiologist is to help children and adults attain their best quality of life.
Visit one of our Reconnect Audiologists TODAY! Click here to find your closest professional: www.reconnectnetwork.co.za/find-an-audiologist