Senior Citizen's Guide to Pittsburgh 2016 Spring/Summer Edition - page 26

24
Say You Saw It in the Senior Citizen’s Guide to Pittsburgh
Health
Article
It can be confusing to know what type of specialist
to visit for health conditions, and ears are no exception.
Ears need the care of a specialist when things go wrong.
Hearing disorders should be evaluated by a provider with
a background in hearing health. There are two providers
of hearing health care with clinical backgrounds:
Audiologists and Ear, Nose and Throat Physicians (ENT).
There are many hearing disorders that require the
care and attention of both an audiologist and an ENT.
Audiologists and ENTs work together as teams for the
care of patients with hearing loss, ear disorders and
communication disorders and, in fact, may work together
within the same practice. Cross-referrals are commonplace
between these providers. As a consumer it’s hard to know
where to start. Here are some guidelines:
The majority of hearing disorders do not stem from
medical issues. In fact 90% of hearing losses are not
treatable by medication or surgery. Audiologists are
trained to determine if a hearing loss falls into the
category of medically treatable.
When hearing loss is present in the absence of trauma,
illness, infection, pain or sudden medical changes, going
to an audiologist first is recommended. Otherwise, an
ENT should be seen first in order to dispense medical
care.
Not sure if you should see an audiologist? Try
to answer these questions:
• Did hearing loss occur gradually?
• Do you raise the television louder than others like it?
Audiologists or Ear, Nose
and Throat Physicians?
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