When you are trying to find either an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist or an audiologist, it might surprise you to find them sharing office space. It is not uncommon, considering the fact that these two medical professionals have a lot in common. There are some differences in practice of medicine, too, and all of that is as follows.
The ENT and Audiologist Both Address Ear Problems
The ENT looks at malformations of the ear canals, missing anatomical parts of the ears, and diseases of the ear. If these problems exist and affect a person's hearing, the ENT simply refers the patient to the audiologist working out of the same office. The audiologist then looks at the possibility of temporary or permanent hearing loss based on the problems uncovered by the ENT and makes suggestions to the patient about what to do next.
The Audiologist and ENT Can Treat Ear and Sinus Infections
It sounds strange, but sinus infections can easily travel into the ears and cause ear infections, especially in children. The bacteria from the sinuses are not that far away from the inner ear canals; hence, the traveling infection. Both an audiologist and a an ENT can spot these infections and prescribe antibiotics that will kill the infection and either prevent it from heading into the ears or kill it if the infection is already in the ears and sinuses.
The Audiologist Addresses Hearing Problems, but the ENT Adresses Nose and Throat Issues
Then there are the differences between these two professionals. The audiologist looks at hearing loss problems, tests people's hearing, and makes suggestions for hearing aids or devices that can help people hear better or restore hearing (e.g., a cochlear implant). The ENT, however, manages none of that. Instead, the ENT treats nose and throat problems in addition to ear problems. The ENT corrects issues with swallowing, breathing, head drainage (because everything in your head drains into your throat!), and polyps or growths inside your nose and throat. There are also lots of diseases an ENT treats that the audiologist does not. When these two professionals share an office, all of the biggest problems with ears, sinus cavities, ear/nose/sinus drainage, etc., are fully addressed for your convenience in one place.
If You Look for One, You Will Find the Other
Because sharing office space is not uncommon, related practices do it a lot. When you search for an ENT, you will probably find several accompanying search results for audiologists. The reverse is also true. Visit a site like http://www.drmarkmontgomery.com for more help.