Referral to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) clinic

If you have been referred to an ENT department, you may like to know a little about what they do – and what you can expect to happen during your appointment.
A hospital ENT department specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ear, nose and throat. It is a much broader range than issues of hearing alone.

What will happen during my ENT appointment?

When you are referred to an ENT clinic, a named consultant will be responsible for your care. This consultant will usually oversee a small team of doctors who report back. So when you attend your appointment at the clinic, you may be seen by any member of the team.
When you arrive for your appointment, you might first be referred to the on-site audiologist for a hearing test before you see the ENT doctor. If this is the case, the audiologist will look in your ears with an otoscope before testing your hearing using an audiometer.  The audiologist may also want to check the condition of your middle ear with a tympanometer test if they feel it necessary.  The audiologist will then pass your test results to the ENT doctor who will usually ask you questions about your hearing and any family history of hearing loss before they look in your ears with an otoscope (or occasionally with a special microscope for a more detailed look).
The ENT doctor will also ask you a few questions about how well you are able to hear in different everyday situations and what difficulties you have been experiencing.  Click here to see a  form that will give you some idea of the type of questions you may be asked .  You may want to consider your answers to these questions before going to your appointment.  You can print this form and take it with you to your appointment as a reminder. 

The ENT doctor will then explain the results of the hearing tests and discuss the possibilities available.  If they recommend hearing aids, they will refer you back to the audiologist to discuss this further. However, if they think that your hearing loss can be treated with medication or surgery, they will discuss the options with you – although these treatments will only be appropriate for a minority of people who have particular types of conductive hearing loss.
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