The Difference Between an Otolaryngologist & an Otologist/Neurotologist
Occasionally, people think that an Otologist is the same as Otolaryngologist, but there are many differences between the two.
Otolaryngology is a specialty of the ears, nose, and throat. An Otolaryngologist specializes in the diagnoses and management of diseases and disorders of the ear, nose and throat. ENT’s as they are often called can treat patients who have issues swallowing, hearing problems, and nasal issues. According to the Amercian Academy of Otolaryngology, it is one of the oldest medical specialties in the United States. Some receive training to perform surgery.
In addition to 4 years of medical school, Otolaryngologists must complete a 5-year Otolaryngology residency. To be certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, they must pass a written and oral exam.
Otolaryngologist treats these disorders:
- Deviated Septum
- Voice and swallowing problems
- Hearing Loss
Otology, a subspecialty of Otolaryngology, is the medical treatment of the ear and hearing-related disorders. Neurotology, which is also a subspecialty of Otolaryngology, refers to the medical and surgical treatment of neurological disorders related to the ear. Therefore, they are the “E” of ENT, providing comprehensive treatment for ear and hearing issues. In conjunction with Neurotology, They are Otolaryngologist, but an Otologist/Neurotologist may complete a fellowship to receive additional training for ear and neurological disorders. Like Otolaryngologists, some have specialized training in surgical procedures such as cochlear implantation, removal of skull base tumors, and ear disorders.
Conditions that Otologist/Neurotologist treat are:
- Hearing Loss
- Perforated Eardrum
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ear
- Ear infections
- Issues with the hearing bones
- Vestibular Disorders
- Facial nerve disorders
- Skull base, ear, and facial nerve tumors
While both are able to see patients with ear and hearing issues, Otologist/Neurotologist specialize in the treatment of the ear. Likewise, Otolaryngologists provide similar care, however, they may not be able to provide the same comprehensive treatment as an Otologist/Neurotologist.
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