Children are normally dependent on their parents or guardians for making the right health choices for them. Whether it is food, lifestyle, exercise or healthcare, it’s the adults that help out the children in maintaining excellent health. This puts enormous responsibility on the adults to do thorough research and make smart decisions for their beloved young ones.

A very important component of health is hearing health. With the ever increasing prevalence of hearing impairment in young children, it is not surprising that many parents struggle in the process of choosing the right hearing healthcare professional for their child. Here is a brief description of the specific roles of each kind of hearing healthcare professional to help you make the right choice for your children.

1. Audiologist

Typically holding a master’s degree, clinical doctorate (AuD) or research-based doctorate (PhD) in audiology from an accredited university, an audiologist is a professional that is specialized in identifying, evaluating and measuring hearing loss and related diseases. They are the go-to professionals for your child if you suspect that your child has developed some form of hearing loss, tinnitus or balance problems.

2. Ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor

Also known as an ENT, an otolaryngologist is a physician that is trained in the medical and surgical management of diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck. These professionals may be recommended if your child needs surgery impacting the ear, nose or throat regions. Other concerns related to the throat, sinuses, head and neck can also be handled by an ENT.

3. Hearing instrument specialist (HIS)

These professionals are equipped to evaluate your hearing problems and select and fit hearing aids for you. Even though an HIS is skilled at finding the right hearing solution based on your hearing evaluation, lifestyle and budget, they typically focus on the adult population only.

An audiologist is your best bet

With so many different hearing professionals to choose from, it can feel intimidating to know which one to select. When it comes to your child’s hearing, an audiologist is your best bet for the right combination of education, training, testing and services offered.

Untreated hearing loss in children can not only cause social isolation, depression and anxiety, but can lead to poor performance in school. If you’re concerned your child may be suffering from hearing loss, schedule an appointment with an audiologist in your area today!