When experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus, seeking advice from an experienced audiologist should be your priority for hearing care. Audiologists offer tests designed to diagnose both causes and types of hearing loss in you and your family members.
An otolaryngologist or hearing instrument specialist may also refer you for further testing and treatment options.
Otolaryngologists (pronounced ‘oh-toh-lar-un-GAHL-uh-jist) are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating issues of the ears, nose, throat, head and neck; including pediatric issues. Although their full name is Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery they often refer to themselves simply as Ear Nose and Throat doctors or “ENT”.
ENTs are specialists trained to care for ears, noses and throats both medically and surgically. Their training allows them to treat conditions as diverse as ear infections (otitis media), hearing loss, balance disorders, nasal and sinus issues, throat diseases and tumors of the head and neck – as well as in-office procedures like balloon sinuplasty or adenoidectomy (tonsil removal), throat surgeries or ear tube insertion.
Otolaryngologists can be found in hospitals, clinics, private practices and academic medical centers. They frequently work as part of a team to deliver comprehensive medical care to patients with complex needs; often consulting other physicians such as oncologists or pulmonologists for coordination purposes.
Otolaryngologists often perform allergy testing in order to assess what kind of allergies a patient may have. Testing typically entails several skin pricks containing small amounts of common allergens; then measuring skin reactions in order to ascertain what kind of allergy a patient has.
Though many otolaryngologists are general practitioners, others choose to specialize in specific subspecialty areas. For instance, some specialize in treating children’s otolaryngological issues related to developmental delays; others specialize in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery; still others focus on head and neck cancers.
Becoming an Otolaryngologist typically takes 15 years of college and post-graduate training. After finishing both college and medical school, candidates must pass the American Board of Otolaryngology exam; after this step is completed, some opt for additional specialty training such as one or two-year fellowship programs; the American Academy of Otolaryngology provides a list of specialty areas where these otolaryngologists specialize.
An Otologist is a medical doctor specializing in the anatomy, function and diseases of ears. Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat [ENT] doctors) encompasses this sub-discipline of expertise.
Otolaryngologists specialize in medical and surgical treatment for problems of the ear, including rehabilitation for people suffering hearing loss. Otologists specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the ear canal, drum, middle ear bones, balance and hearing; in addition they manage and treat tinnitus dizziness or any related disorders of the ear.
Otologists possess extensive training in the structures and mechanics of the ear, giving them more advanced surgical expertise than non-specialized otolaryngologists. Otologists may perform stapedectomy surgery to correct an imbalance caused by otosclerosis – which may result in hearing loss – within the middle ear system.
Otologists specialize in treating hearing loss but they also perform reconstructive surgery on the head and neck, such as reconstructing congenital deformities like cleft lips or palate, tumor removal surgery in the nose throat or larynx and facial plastic reconstruction after trauma or cancer treatment.
Neurotology, another specialty within otolaryngology, requires extensive additional training in the anatomy of both brain and skull base anatomy. Otologists with this knowledge can treat skull base or inner ear anatomy issues that cannot be resolved using other means – including cochlear implant surgery – such as cochlear neuromas, glomus tumors or any other conditions found deep within skull.
Neurotologists must complete college, medical school and surgical training before sitting for the American Board of Otolaryngology’s exam to become board-certified otologists. Many also complete a fellowship to further hone their craft.
Otolaryngologists also possess expertise in holistic practices, which include using natural healing techniques like herbs, massage therapy and Ayurveda to improve quality of life for their patients. When these practices are combined with conventional medical or surgical treatment options to form integrative medicine practices – thus providing patients with optimal care.