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Should I go to an audiologist or an ENT?

It is important to know the difference between an ENT and an audiologist when deciding what would be best for your hearing health. If you have pain in your ears, sudden change in balance, drainage, or have rapid hearing loss please visit an ENT instead of an audiologist.

ENT - Ears, nose, and throat specialist

A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear, nose, mouth, and throat. 



Hearing healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss.


What causes Tinnitus (tin-it-tus)?

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. It is a common problem and affects about 15 to 20 percent of people. Tinnitus isn't a condition itself but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. These include: age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.


Tinnitus usually isn't a sign of something serious even though it can be very annoying. Although it can worsen with age, for many people, tinnitus can improve with treatment. Treating an identified underlying cause sometimes helps. Other treatments reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.


Hearing aids are able to help reduce or mask the noise with different settings but is unable to provide a total solution.


Why am I experiencing hearing loss?

There is a number of reasons for hearing loss and the only way to determine the exact cause of hearing loss is a comprehensive hearing evaluation. This would allow for the audiologist to see the most likely cause for your hearing loss. Having an audiologist complete this test would also allow for them to catch any issues early on before they become worse. Hearing loss is caused by the following reasons:

  • Aging

  • Injury

  • Excessive noise exposure

  • Viral infections (such as measles or mumps)

  • Shingles

  • Ototoxic drugs (medications that damage hearing)

  • Meningitis

  • Diabetes

  • Stroke

  • High fever or elevated body temperature

  • Foreign object in the ear canal

  • Abnormal growths or tumors

The auditory system functions when 

sound waves enter the ear canal and hit

the eardrum. The sound causes the

eardrum to vibrate. These vibrations are

sent to the middle ear which contains

the malleus, incus, and stapes. These

bones take the vibrations to the inner

ear. The inner ear then converts these

sound pressure impulses into electrical

impulses that are sent to the brain via 

the auditory nerve. The brain then 

converts these signals into what we 

hear everyday.

  • Ménière's disease (a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance)

  • Acoustic tumors

  • Heredity

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • Hypertension

  • Infections of the ear canal or middle ear resulting in fluid or pus buildup

  • Perforation or scarring of the eardrum

  • Wax buildup

  • Dislocation of the middle ear bones (ossicles)

  • Otosclerosis (an abnormal bone growth in the middle ear)


How do hearing aids work?

A hearing aid has three basic parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The hearing aid receives sound through a microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.


Using this system, and an audiogram from a hearing test, an audiologist can program hearing aids to amplify certain frequencies louder than other frequencies. So whatever sound(s) you were unable to hear is then amplified to a sound that the user can hear. The hearing aid does not amplify loud enough to cause more damage.

Hearing Aid

When should I get my hearing checked?

Our audiologists recommend getting your hearing checked beginning at the age of 50. This is generally when hearing begins to decline and helps to establish a baseline and catch any issues that may arise early on. 

We want our patients to keep on top of their hearing health so Marston Hearing Center, LLC provides FREE 2-year hearing tests. This helps us find any issues that may arise early on and see what solutions we can find before it gets worse. 

If you are over the age of 50 and have not gotten your hearing checked, contact us and set up your hearing evaluation today. We will contact you every two years so that you do not have to try to remember how long it was since your last exam. If you do not want to be reminded just let us know and we can take you off our recall list.