We are pleased to announce our association with Presbyterian Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy. Beginning this month, we will be completing all diagnostic audiological testing for Dr. Whitaker's patients in the suite located directly behind his office. We will continue to provide hearing aid related services and diagnostic evaluation at Hearing Lifestyles located at 464 Jake Alexander Blvd West. This association shows our continued commitment to providing the best continuum of care for the residents of the area. We also welcome the opportunity to care for your hearing needs even if you see another otolaryngologist in the area or have purchased hearing aids from another hearing healthcare provider.
Let us review the roles of the professionals that work with hearing loss and ear related problems. This continues to be a very confusing issue when trying to choose the correct professional for your hearing needs.
Ear, nose and throat specialists, also known as otolaryngologist or ENT specialists, are medical doctors responsible for the surgical and medical treatment of the ears, nose and throat, as well as related head and neck areas. Almost all ENT specialists regularly handle cases like nosebleeds, tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies, ear infections and sinusitis. In addition to the rigors of medical school, otolaryngologists must complete at least five years of training in a surgical residency.
Doctors of Audiology are professionals who identify, assess and manage disorders of the auditory and balance systems. Audiologists provide audiological rehabilitation to children and adults across the entire age span. Audiologists select, fit and dispense amplification systems such as hearing aid and related devices. Audiologist prevent hearing loss through the provision and fitting of hearing protective devices, consultation of the the effects of noise on hearing and consumer education. Audiologists are involved in the auditory and related research pertinent to the prevention, identification and management of hearing loss, tinnitus and balance system dysfunction. Audiologists are also trained and certified to evaluate and treat tinnitus, balance disorders or work with individuals that have cochlear implants. Due to the strong medical training, many audiologists work with otolaryngologist in the treatment and diagnosis of hearing and hearing loss.
A hearing aid specialist is someone who is authorized by the state to measure hearing and to fit and sell hearing aids. North Carolina requires an education equivalent to a four year course in an accredited high school and must be at least 18 years of age. In order to obtain a license to fit and dispense hearing aids, a hearing aid specialist must complete a course of study, work as an apprentice to an already certified dispenser or audiologist for a period of time and pass an examination. A minimum of 10 hours of continuing education is required annually, to maintain a license.
It is important to choose the correct medical provider for your hearing needs and to know what questions to ask to receive the appropriate treatment for your hearing healthcare needs. For more information or an evaluation, call our office at Hearing Lifestyles, 704-633-0023 or visit our website at www.hearinglifestyles.com.
Dr. Lorin S. Oden is a Board Certified Audiologist at Hearing Lifestyles, LLC located at 464 Jake Alexander Blvd., West, Salisbury, NC 28147.