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What is the Difference between Audiologist, Hearing Instrument Specialist, and Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor?

Hearing is a very intricate sense, so it is no surprise that we sometimes have difficulty deciding on which type of professional to see for different hearing issues.

An Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT) is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear.  In contrast, an Audiologist has at least a Master’s Degree, and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss of all ages.  Audiologists are also specifically trained to fit and adjust hearing aids.  Lastly, Hearing Instrument Specialists (HIS) are hearing care professionals with a College degree.  They are licensed to perform hearing tests to those over the age of 19; dispense and fit hearing aids and recommend hearing aid solutions.  However, they are not licensed to diagnose or treat hearing disorders.

Thus, you would want to first search for an Audiologist if you are noticing any change to your hearing, or are concerned about your child’s speech and language development.  In contrast, you pursue an ENT physician if you feel you had a sudden drop in your hearing, are experiencing vertigo or had trauma to the head or ear.

The Audiologists at Hearing Institute of Ontario provide comprehensive hearing healthcare to our patients.  We are also very fortunate to be associated with an ENT physician.  We work together to ensure that you receive a complete approach to your hearing healthcare.  Call us to discuss your hearing needs and look at what solutions may be the most appropriate for you.


At the Hearing Institute of Ontario, your hearing health is important to us.
Contact our Mississauga, Oakville or Scarborough office for a FREE consultation with our knowledgeable and experienced audiologists, to discuss the best hearing solution for your hearing loss type.

Differences Between an Audiologist and a Hearing Instrument Dispenser

Audiologists and Hearing Instrument Specialists are both professionals trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat hearing and balance issues, but their roles, educational backgrounds, and scopes of practice differ. Here are some key differences:

Educational Background


Hearing Instrument Specialist

audiologist vs HID educational background
audiologist vs HID scope of practice

Scope of Practice


Hearing Instrument Specialist

Regulatory Bodies


Hearing Instrument Specialist

audiologist vs HID services provided

Services Provided


Hearing Instrument Specialist

All client care at Hearing Institute of Ontario is provided by certified Audiologists who are registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario


Book your no cost, no obligation hearing test today. Learn if you have a hearing loss and get expert advice from our certified audiologist about  how to improve your hearing.

Call us today at 1-888-664-2999 or use the green button below to schedule your free hearing test and get started on your journey to better hearing.


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Buy one hearing aid and get the second for free.

This offer applies to our most popular hearing aid models from Signia, Phonak and Widex. Call 1‑888‑664‑2999 today to book your no‑cost, no‑obligation consultation!

Conditions: Offer expires May 31, 2023 and applies to the purchase of any Premium technology hearing aids from Signia, Widex and Phonak. Private sales only. Standard dispensing fee applies to both hearing aids.