Family doctors provide routine healthcare services, but sometimes it’s crucial to see a specialist with expertise related to your medical problems. Typically, when you see your family doctor, they will determine if your symptoms indicate a potentially serious problem and refer you to an appropriate specialist.
There are also medical specialists you can book appointments with directly. Learn about some of the symptoms that indicate it’s time to see a specialist and the medical professionals who can provide you with expert care.
1. Hearing Loss
Hearing issues affect 13% of Americans 12 years of age or older. There are several reasons why a person may experience partial or total hearing loss. People are more likely to lose their hearing as they age. Exposure to loud noises can also cause short-term or long-term hearing loss. Head trauma, some medications, and diseases—such as autoimmune inner ear disease, Ménière’s disease, and otosclerosis—can also cause hearing loss. People can also be affected by tinnitus, which is a ringing sound in the ears.
If you’re struggling to hear people over the phone or find yourself watching people’s lips to make out what they’re saying, you should see an audiologist to have your hearing tested. Audiologists are medical experts who specialize in treating hearing and balance issues. Book an appointment with an audiologist in Denver Colorado to get an assessment and treatment plan, including prescribing hearing aids or recommending surgery. Audiologists can determine if your hearing loss is permanent or reversible, and equip you with the knowledge you need to prevent further hearing loss.
2. Orofacial Pain
Some dental care must be provided by dental experts. For example, you may need braces or orofacial pain treatment. Orofacial pain may be related to other medical problems, such as chronic headaches or insomnia. Other signs you need to see a dental expert include jaw pain, misaligned teeth, and pain in your gums.
There are several dental specialties. Periodontists focus on the bones, tissue, and gums. Orthodontists use tools to straighten teeth and treat issues with your jaw. They use braces, aligners, retainers, and other dental devices. Endodontists perform root canals and treat issues affecting the roots of your teeth. Prosthodontists work with patients who need bridges or crowns. Other dental specialists include oral surgeons, oral pathologists, and oral radiologists. Pediatric dentists are dentists who specialize in providing care to children.
3. Vision Problems
If you’re having trouble seeing correctly or have floaters in your vision, you may need to see an ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating your eyes. Other reasons you may need to see one of these medical experts include seeing haloes around lights, eye pain, and burning or itching dry eyes. Children with crossed eyes or a lazy eye should also see an ophthalmologist.
Ophthalmologists are qualified to diagnose and treat a range of issues affecting your vision. In some cases, they may be able to treat your problems with eyeglasses or contact lenses. They can also perform surgery on several diseases and conditions that affect the eyes, including macular degeneration, cataracts, or glaucoma.
If you’re struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, you should see a psychiatrist. These mental health professionals are qualified to diagnose and treat several mental health issues. Other reasons to see a psychiatrist include excessive energy, anxiety, and sleeplessness. A psychiatrist can also treat addiction.
Psychiatrists may work with you in an outpatient setting or work with patients admitted to a hospital or treatment center. They may see patients individually and hold group sessions. They use medication, psychotherapy, and other therapies to treat their patients.
5. A Recent Diagnosis
If you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as diabetes, an acute disease, such as cancer, or a rare disease, such as Behcet’s disease, you may need specialized medical treatment. Specialists have the medical expertise needed to treat these conditions. Their work involves reviewing the latest research to identify potential treatments that may be effective. They can determine how to help you manage your condition, improve your quality of life, or treat your issue.
For example, if you have diabetes, you may need to see an endocrinologist to treat hormone problems affecting your blood sugar levels. Oncologists specialize in treating cancer patients, and they may focus on using medications, such as chemotherapy. Other oncologists focus on surgery to remove tumors. Rheumatologists are known for working with patients with arthritis, but they also treat Behcet’s disease.