You might think that an audiologist and an otolaryngologist are the same type of doctor. After all, they both deal with the ears and hearing. However, there are significant differences between these two types of professionals. The information below can help distinguish the similarities and differences between an audiologist and otolaryngologist.

Are They Both Medical Doctors?

  • Audiologist: No. They earn a bachelor’s degree plus a 4-year Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree (similar to a PhD) or a master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology, but these are not medical degrees. They can also earn certificates in specialized areas such as pediatric audiology.‍
  • Otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat or ENT doctor): Yes. ENT doctors have had 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 5 years of residency and 51 months of specialized training. They must also be certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.

What Do They Treat?

  • ‍Audiologist: They only treat ear conditions such as hearing loss, tinnitus, impacted earwax or balance issues.‍
  • Otolaryngologist: ENT doctors treat all disorders of the ears in addition to other head and neck issues such as nasal congestion, sinusitis, vocal difficulties, problems swallowing, polyps,deviated septum, sleep problems, etc.

Do They Treat Ear Infections?

  • ‍Audiologist: Yes‍
  • Otolaryngologist: Yes

Can They Fit Patients for Hearing Aids?

  • Audiologist: Yes‍
  • Otolaryngologist: Yes

Do They Perform Surgery (if needed)?

  • ‍Audiologist: No‍
  • Otolaryngologist: Yes

Are They Licensed?

  • Audiologist: Yes‍
  • Otolaryngologist: Yes

If you are experiencing hearing loss or any type of discomfort in your face, nose, ears or throat, Dr. Michael Riesberg is an ENT doctor in Pensacola that offers life-changing treatments. Contact Riesberg Institute by calling(850) 476-0700 or visiting our website.

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