Audiologist vs. ENT, what’s the difference?

Last update on Oct, 01, 2018

Chances are you’ve probably heard of both an Audiologist and an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor, but what’s the difference between the two and when should you see each one?


Audiologists specialize in hearing issues and loss. They have expertise in the auditory system, know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus, and can perform hearing tests. In addition to diagnosing hearing loss, an Audiologist will also help you treat hearing loss through the use of hearing aids. They will recommend the right type of hearing aid for your lifestyle and degree of hearing loss, help you get fitted, and make follow-up adjustments.

ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor

As the name implies, an ENT is a medical doctor that specializes in diagnosing and treating issues with the ear, nose, and throat. ENT’s can perform surgery and treat a variety of common conditions that effect the head and neck, such as: sinusitis, ear aches, tonsillitis, and more.

Did you know that the nose, throat, and ears are interconnected? Learn about this important connection.

When should I see an Audiologist?

You should see an Audiologist if you have some or all of the common symptoms of hearing loss, such as:

  • Asking others to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty following conversations and hearing women and children
  • Turning the TV up loud
  • Feeling overwhelmed in noisy or crowed environments
  • Complaining that people speak too fast or mumble
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

When should I see an ENT?

If you are having trouble with your hearing, but also have other underlying medical conditions like an autoimmune disease, diabetes, or balance issues, or you have had ear pain or ear / head trauma, you should see an ENT.

Depending on their evaluation an ENT may perform surgery as a corrective action, help you treat or manage underlying conditions, or refer you to an Audiologist to get fitted for hearing aids.

Father hugging daughter outside

Where should I start?

If you suspect you may have hearing loss, Amplifon Hearing Health Care can help! Call today and our Patient Care Advocates will help you find a provider near you and schedule a free hearing screening appointment!

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