Otolaryngologist/Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor (ENT)
A pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor is a specialist trained to diagnose and treat children with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, or throat. Not all ENTs specialize in children, so it’s important to ask about their level of expertise in working with children before your first appointment. Additionally, not all pediatric ENTs specialize in ears, so it’s important to ask about their level of expertise in this area as well. An ENT doctor (also called an otolaryngologist) can tell you if there is a medical condition in your child’s outer, middle, or inner ear that is causing the hearing loss by asking some questions and doing a medical examination. The doctor can also answer your questions about medical or surgical treatments. This examination will help ensure that intervention offers within the “1-3-6” timeline (hearing screening before 1 month of age, hearing diagnostic evaluation before 3 months of age, and early intervention before 6 months of age). For children who develop hearing loss after birth, this examination is equally important in helping to ensure that intervention occurs within a timely manner.
An ENT with expertise in evaluating and treating infants and young children with hearing loss will offer the best care for your baby. The ENT provides medical clearance for hearing aids and should work closely with your audiologist and pediatrician to coordinate this time-sensitive care.