In Malaysia, most people cannot tell the difference between an audiologist and an ENT specialist. They even use them interchangeably when discussing with friends and family.
There is a difference between these two health care practitioners, as they have different roles to play when it comes to treating patients. However, one thing that is common about them is that they serve various ear problems.
Also, there are times when it is necessary to see both professionals in the case of an ear problem. Read on to learn about the difference between an audiologist and an ENT specialist, and when it is necessary to see both.
Who is an Audiologist?
An audiologist is a health care professional that specializes in identifying, diagnosing, treating diseases of the auditory and vestibular areas of the ear. They are trained to diagnose, manage, treat tinnitus, hearing, or balance problems.
Audiologists will explain how hearing damage occurs and the effect a hearing loss will have on the quality of life.
It is their job to prescribe, manage, and rehabilitate hearing aid to patients who need hearing aids in Malaysia.
They also help to counsel families through a new diagnosis of a hearing loss in infants, and compensation skills to adults who lose their hearing later in life.
Who is an ENT Specialist?
ENT stands for Ear, Nose, and Throat. An ENT specialist is also known as an Otolaryngologist.
An ENT specialist is a doctor educated and trained in the medical treatment of patients with disorders in the ear, nose, and throat.
The ENT specialists in Johor Bahru are also trained to manage disorders at the base of the skull and cancers and early stages of tumors of the head and neck.
ENT specialists are trained to carry out cancer-related surgeries and conditions around the ears, nose, and throat.
The main difference between both health care providers is that an audiologist manages non-medical aspects of hearing conditions while an ENT specialist manages the medical issue.
When Should You See an Audiologist, an ENT Specialist, or Both?
If you experience difficulty in hearing or you find it difficult in understanding conversations, visit the hearing aid centre in Johor Bahru to see an audiologist.
An audiologist will carry out, and exams and a hearing test in Malaysia check if you are having a hearing loss, and will likely prescribe hearing aids if you do.
However, if your audiologist finds the presence of a medical condition with your ears, he would refer you to an ENT specialist.
On the other hand, when you feel pain or swelling in your ears, the person to see is an ENT specialist in Johor Bahru. If he finds out that you don’t have a disease or serious medical condition, but suspects a hearing loss, then he would refer you to an audiologist.
A patient will also need to see an audiologist in the case of excessive ear wax, vertigo, balance problems, decreased hearing, and tinnitus. *Tinnitus is a disturbing sound in the ear that can be described in several ways, including ringing, buzzing, whooshing, and white noise.
Can an Audiologist and an ENT Specialist Work Together?
There are many cases where both professionals can work together in diagnosing and treating hearing conditions.
Apart from determining the type of disease a patient is experiencing and referring the patient to the other expert, there are many clinics in Penang and Johor Bahru, where both audiologists and ENT specialists work together.
Patients will first see an audiologist for an audiogram, then see the ENT specialist after. The results from the audiogram will help the ENT come up with the best course of treatment for the patient.