Whenever an illness or injury is too complex for a general practitioner to handle, it is common to be referred to a specialist. This could mean going for hearing tests, trying cognitive behavior therapy, or even seeing a physical therapist or counselor. If this is your first time going through specialized treatment options, it can feel overwhelming trying to find the right audiologist, otolaryngologist, or another specialized doctor that is right for you. However, it’s not impossible. There are a few tips to follow to find the specialist that matches your symptoms.
Know your body.
This is the first step in seeking help. This is the stage when you determine if intervention from an outside source is even necessary. Do a self-evaluation of your symptoms, your history with conditions you’re currently experiencing, and if there are other factors that could be exacerbating your problem.
This could be realizing that you’ve been experiencing hearing loss for several years now and it’s time to have another hearing screening performed to determine how bad the loss currently is. If you feel that you’re having a hearing problem then going back to the audiology specialist would be advised. An audiologist can administer the type of test you are looking for and tell you the type of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
Perhaps you just have a wax buildup, or it may be something more serious. Maybe your hearing loss is die to a problem with your cochlea, or something that happened as a result an ear infection. Maybe the background noise in New York has stressed you out and the loud noises in the New York City subway have caused a hearing impairment.
If this is the case, you may need some sort of therapy in NYC in addition to an audiology evaluation. Listen to your body, evaluate the situation, and make a judgment call based on your findings.
Know your insurance plan.
Knowing the options your insurance plan provides is important because it will pave the path to your specialist for you. The common choices in a health care plan are between a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan. This is true for older adults and the Medicare versions of these options. An HMO generally requires you to seek advice from your general practitioner first. They would then determine whether or not a specialty doctor would be needed. With a PPO plan, there tends to be more flexibility in moving straight to a specialist. Know your health limitations provided to you by your insurance and follow the steps necessary to have your first session with a specialty doctor.
Know your options.
The final step you need to take is gathering all of your options. After you’ve done some self-assessment and spoken with a primary care doctor (if you needed to), it’s time to look at what’s available to you. Take some time and look at the different fields of medicine there are. Cardiology is going to focus on heart related issues, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and the like, while bariatric study would focus on weight loss. There might be some test results and conditions that overlap, but you would be seeking help from two very different types of doctors.
This is also true with mental health. When you are looking for the right therapist, it’s good to know the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. A psychiatrist is going to focus on mental health with the knowledge of a medical doctor. They hold a medical degree and can prescribe medications to treat certain mental health conditions. A psychologist focuses on strictly the mental aspects of your diagnosis and cannot prescribe medication to handle your illness. With a general understanding of the type of doctor you are looking for, you can narrow your search.
A lot of the questions you have can be directed to your health care provider with a simple phone call or email. They can help you unlock the full potential of the services and specialty doctors that are available to you.