Audiologist vs. ENT Physician

Audiologist Vs. ENT

If you are experiencing discomfort in your ear, nose and throat or feel that your hearing has worsened lately, it is important to know which doctor to turn to: Ear nose and throat (ENT) physicians or Audiologist.  The world of healthcare can be confusing, but getting the right treatment on time can make a great difference. So what is the difference between Audiologists and ENT physicians?


Audiologist

Short description: “The hearing and balance professional”
Goal: To improve quality of life by restoring the patient’s ability to hear and communicate.
Education: Doctoral degree in Audiology, Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.)

Summary:  Audiologists focus on the science of hearing. They often look at how hearing loss affects our quality of life and seek to improve it in non-intrusive ways, such as hearing instruments, counselling, and communication coaching.  Audiologists also look at other issues like auditory processing disorders, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and balance.  In addition to that, our Audiologists collaborate with our Speech Language Pathologists to provide evidence-based practice and optimal patient care.  This is a benefit that makes Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic unique.

When to go to an audiologist:

  • If you are experiencing a loss in hearing ability and noticing a greater difficulty in distinguishing speech
  • If you have noticed long-term gradual loss of hearing
  • If you and your physician do not suspect any medical causes of hearing loss (e.g. ear infections, physical trauma to the ear, ear wax impaction etc.)

ENT Physician

Short description: “The ear nose and throat doctor”
Goal:  Diagnose and treat medical problems of the ear, nose and throat (e.g. ear infections, otosclerosis, sinus problems, etc)
Education: Medical Degree in Otolaryngology (M.D.)

Summary: ENT physicians are also called otolaryngologists.  They are medical doctors/surgeons who perform a variety of procedures that include ear tube surgeries, surgical removal of tonsils, treatment of swimmer’s ear, sinusitis and more.  ENT physicians also surgically treat more profound types of hearing loss that are induced by infections, trauma or benign tumors.

 When to go to an ENT physician:

  • If you experience a sudden decrease of hearing
  • If you need earwax removal
  • If you experience aural symptoms, such as ear pain, vertigo, tinnitus,  or fullness in the ear
  • If your physician believes your hearing loss requires a medical evaluation by an ENT
  • You have additional symptoms in the ear, nose, throat, and neck areas (e.g. dizziness, sinus problems, recent onset of tinnitus, or masses in the neck/head)

Where to start

If you are unsure of which doctor to pay a visit to, start with an audiogram (hearing test).  Often times, an audiogram or other diagnostic testing is required to help the ENT determine how you are hearing and in what way to guide your treatment.  ESHC offers a variety of tests which allows audiologists to identify specific problem areas.  These tests include comprehensive audiograms for patients of all ages, tinnitus evaluations, (central) auditory processing ((C) APD) evaluations, electrophysiologic testing, and balance assessments.   After you receive your audiogram, our audiologist will explain the result and offer a treatment unique to you or, if needed, a referral to another professional (e.g. ENT) should this be necessary.

Evening Appointments – Kirkland Office

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Unable to make appointments during the day? Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic in Kirkland is extending its operating hours to give you flexibility for your occupied schedule. Whether you are a full-time professional, busy parent or simply don’t have the time to come throughout the day, our doors are open for you.

Our evening appointments include:

  • Hearing Aid Maintenance and Cleaning
  • 6-month Check ups
  • Chart Review
  • Hearing Aid Pick Ups
  • Drop in appointments for repairs

Our Kirkland Office is now open for hearing appointments at these times:

  • Mondays and Tuesdays: until 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: until 5 p.m.

Please call our Kirkland office at (425) 899-5050 to make your evening appointment.

Music Helps Babies’ Brain Development

As parents, we often wonder how much influence music has on our babies’ lives. If your family is not particularly musical, that question may not even come to mind. But according to this University of Washington study, music plays a tremendous role in babies’ speech and brain development.

In this study, 39 babies attended a dozen of 15-minute play sessions, where half of them listened to music and had exposure to musical instruments, while the other half were a control group. Both groups played with the same toys and had the same surroundings, the key difference was in whether the researcher taught the baby to tap out musical beats or not.  After the sessions were complete, researchers used MEG technology (magnetocephalography) to measure the precise location and timing of brain activity. They found that children who listened to music had stronger brain responses. This suggests that listening to music during play sessions has improved the babies’ abilities to control attention and detect patterns in sounds. .

This study is an reminder that music is an important factor in our children’s cognitive development and that learning is not only done through school assignments and tests. As stated in the study, “this research reminds us that the effects of engaging in music go beyond music itself. Music experience has the potential to boost broader cognitive skills that enhance children’s abilities to detect, expect and react quickly to patterns in the world, which is highly relevant in today’s complex world.”

School Checklist: Why Check Your Child’s Hearing?

Check your child's hearing

New teachers, new classrooms, new curriculum – it can be overwhelming for anyone. That’s why our audiologists at Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic recommend getting your child’s hearing checked to ensure the easiest adjustment in the new school year. Continue reading

The Importance of Hearing Aid Maintenance

Hi everyone! My name is Allie Williams, and I am the summer Business and Marketing intern at Evergreen. I’ll be writing a few blog posts this summer about day-to-day life here at Evergreen as well as about many of the great events and projects we have going on here. I look forward to hearing from you and to hopefully having the chance to meet some of you in the Redmond Office! 

On my second day here at Evergreen Speech and Hearing, I was able to shadow one of our Audiologists, Dr. Cheryl Lokanis. I was immediately struck by Dr. Lokanis’ familiarity and closeness with all of her patients. She manages to listen to her patients’ feedback on their hearing aids, clean their devices, check their hearing and ears, and touch base with each patient about their lives. After a busy day of seeing patients, I was able to ask Dr. Lokanis my long list of questions.

In a world of new technologies being released every minute, I was curious as to why hearing aids require as much maintenance as they do. Because of the nature of our ears and bodies, wax buildup is the number one cause for hearing aid failure. Some people tend to be waxier than others, which causes even more of a need to have your hearing aids cleaned every six months.

Another fact of life is the increase of hearing loss over time. Every year, our Audiologists readjust the settings of your hearing aids to make sure that your hearing aids are working for you as best as they possibly can. If you notice a change in your hearing, you should plan a visit to see us to make sure that everything is working properly. It is better to see us sooner rather than later!

At the three-year mark, it is time to start thinking about new technology. Just as you upgrade your iPhone every 2 years, you should be staying up to date on the latest hearing aids. At our recent Oticon Opn event, I was able to experience a before and after virtual reality using the newest Opn hearing aids from Oticon. With older hearing aids, sound has been purely directional; meaning that you can only heard sound from the direction your head was tilted towards. With Oticon’s Opn Hearing Aids, it is possible to hear sound from 360o, as you would before hearing loss. It was incredible to experience the difference!

If you are behind on your Audiology appointments, I encourage you to call us to schedule your next cleaning appointment or to schedule an appointment to discuss new technology! We would love to hear from you.

Evergreen Looks to a Bright Future

Noah and Molly: just two of our 5 new interns

Noah and Molly: Just Two of our Five New Interns

Who would have thought that Evergreen Speech and Hearing would be such a hot bed for internships? Evergreen Speech and Hearing has grown a great deal in the past 36 years and so has its Internship Program. Over the last few years, Evergreen has offered more internships and educational opportunities than ever before. Most recently, the clinics offered internships at the post graduate, graduate and undergraduate levels giving hardworking, bright students a chance to have hands on learning experience in the audiology and speech pathology world. Having higher education internship opportunities allows Evergreen Speech and Hearing to work with students of all different levels of interest. Post Graduates are usually extremely focused and already well on their way to becoming the next generation of Speech Pathologists or Audiologists. Graduate students are just figuring out if they want to pursue a career in audiology or speech pathology, earning their internship hours while learning more technical skills. Undergraduates have a desire to learn and explore the topic, even if not completely set on the audiology and speech pathology course. “As an undergraduate at Evergreen, I came in thinking I might want to start studying speech and hearing more, but I have come to be really interested in the business side of the company and they have really helped me learn and discover more about what it takes to run a solid business.”(Noah Levan, Undergraduate Intern). Evergreen knows it takes a team with many different skills to build a good company and helping these students not only makes for a better future in audiology and speech pathology but it also makes for a better clinic, with new ideas flying around all the time. This is one facet of Evergreen that keeps us on the cutting edge at all times and allows us to serve the communities as best we can. In conclusion, Ruth said it best “We pride ourselves on making the communities around us a better place, giving internship opportunities and letting people explore their interest in our field. It’s just one way we can do our best.”(Ruth, Clinic Director).

Seahawk, Derrick Coleman, Visits Our Patients!!

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In celebration of Better Hearing and Speech month, we had the honor of hosting Seattle Seahawk, Derrick Coleman, at Evergreen Speech and Hearing’s Redmond clinic this week. Derrick met and signed autographs for hearing and speech patients and shared his story of triumph over profound hearing loss. Derrick also spoke about his work with the No Excuses Foundation–managed by himself and his family–which seeks to encourage those with hearing impairment to take on the world with enthusiasm and a “no excuses” attitude. It was especially touching to see Derrick’s interactions with the children at ESHC. He had a lot of wonderful things to say, but among the highlights was something his dad used to say and still rings true today:  “Don’t get ready…be ready.”

The line to see Derrick lasted about two hours and the event drew quite the crowd.

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To ease the wait, our SLPs and coordinators passed out cookies and blew bubbles into the crowd, much to the delight of our little patients.

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We also interviewed some children waiting in line. We asked them: If you could ask Derrick any question at all, what would it be? Here are the responses, along with some picture highlights from this fantastic night! ESHC is so proud and happy to have hosted Derrick Coleman at our clinic, and we thank him for his inspiring presence and awesome work in the hearing and speech world!

“What’s your favorite food?” – Bruce Sherwin.

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“Why is this line so long?” – Abhiram Yakkali

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“How does he catch the football?” – Zoe Christiansen. (Patients at ESHC for 2+ years.)

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“What’s it like being on the field?” – Easton Rutter

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“Do you like football balloons?” Riley Rutter

Derrick has fun with our patients and staff!

 

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Well Wishes to a New Practice

jody and melissaIn January, 2015, Speech Pathologist Jody Vaynshtok (daughter of ESHC founders Tom and Ruth Norwood) and Audiologist Melissa Wilson will open the doors to their new clinic – Sound Speech and Hearing- in San Francisco. The clinicians and their staff will dedicate their skills to enriching the lives of people with speech and hearing needs in the Bay Area. The clinic will offer speech and language evaluations, speech therapy, aural rehabilitation, hearing evaluations and the newest hearing aid technology.sound speech and hearingEvergreen Speech and Hearing is proud to support the endeavors of this groundbreaking new practice.  For more information, visit their facebook page, and while you’re there, give them a like! Congratulations and well wishes to Jody and Melissa!

 

Interview With A Super Bowl Champion On Overcoming Obstacles and Tackling Global Hearing Loss

NPIN2627-00-EE-ST - Coleman Newspaper Insert 4pg_Resized_HR_Page_1Derrick Coleman’s journey through life, and ultimately the same one that led him to the NFL, becoming a Super Bowl champion, and now an inspirational figure on a global stage, is truly the apotheosis of the possibilities that can manifest when facing adversity with relentless perseverance. A fascinating story that most became familiar with last January in the weeks leading up to the Seattle Seahawks’ quest for a Super Bowl, Derrick and his family found out that he was deaf at the young age of three. Twenty years and a lifetime worth of determination later, Derrick has found himself as an integral symbol of hope to millions of people across the world.

CLICK HERE to read this inspiring article in its entirety at Next Impulse Sports.