These medical professionals make up your hearing health care team, and it is important to understand their jobs and roles in your life.
Your family doc.
A primary care physician is trained in the specialty of family medicine, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics. This doctor provides patient care at the first point of contact and takes continuing responsibility for the patient.
A doctor and surgeon who specializes in ENT (ear, nose, and throat).
An otolaryngologist (“oh-toe-lair-in-GAWL-uh-jist”), often called an ear-nose-and-throat doctor, or ENT, is a physician trained in the medical and surgical treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. Otolaryngologists treat hearing loss, ear infections, balance disorders, ear noise (tinnitus) and some cranial nerve disorders; they also manage congenital disorders of the inner and outer ear.
An ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) who specializes in “E.”
An otologist (“oh-TOHL-uh-jist”) is an otolaryngologist who has completed an additional one to three years of specialty training in otology/neurology, studying diseases of the ear, trauma, infection, benign tumors, and nerve pathway disorders that affect hearing and balance.
Medically trained, an audiologist can diagnose you, then prescribe and fit your hearing aids.
An audiologist is a health-care professional who evaluates, diagnoses, treats and manages hearing loss, tinnitus and balance disorders. Audiologists are trained to perform hearing tests; prescribe, fit and adjust hearing devices; and, assist with hearing rehabilitation.
An audiologist trained to work with kids.
A pediatric audiologist is a certified audiologist who specializes in working with children: audiologists provide hearing diagnosis, and assist with the rehabilitation of infants and children with hearing disorders.
A doctor specializing in workplace health issues.
An occupational medicine specialist is a physician with a specialty in preventative medicine specifically related to the workplace. This doctor protects the health and safety of people in their places of employment and may be consulted in cases of work-related hearing loss.
A specialist who can fit and adjust hearing aids.
Sometimes referred to as a fitter/dispenser, this individual has training in the assessment and evaluation of hearing loss, the administration of hearing tests, and the dispensing, fitting, and adjustment of hearing aids.