Most of us know about audiologists and their role in diagnosing and treating hearing loss, but were you aware that there are medical doctors who may also be involved? Otolaryngologists and neurotologists are specialists who may be brought in in order to determine the underlying causes of your hearing loss.
In order to make sure you are seeking help from the appropriate professional, it is important to know what each doctor does.
What Is an Otolaryngologist?
Most commonly referred to as an ENT, an otolaryngologist is a medical doctor who treats disorders of the ears, nose and throat.
As they are responsible for identifying, diagnosing and treating a wide variety of problems, patients are most often referred to this specialist for problems related to:
They also provide both medical and surgical treatment for disorders of the head and neck.
Ear, nose and throat doctors work closely with audiologists and are used to rule out medical causes of hearing loss. They are also responsible for diagnosing vestibular disorders
After graduating from a four-year medical school, otolaryngologists complete at least five years of training. Some otolaryngologists elect to further specialize by completing one to two additional years of training in a sub-specialty such as:
- Facial and reconstructive surgery
- Head and neck
- Otology and neurotology
All ear, nose and throat doctors must pass an exam to be certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.
What Is a Neurotologist?
A neurotologist is a doctor who sub-specializes in problems of the inner ear, auditory nerve and base of the skull.
These specialists are most well-known for performing cochlear implant surgery and implanting bone anchored hearing aids. They also treat:
- Dizziness and balance problems
- Skull base disorders
- Acoustic neuroma
Otolaryngologists who have completed four years of medical school and five years of training can elect to sub-specialize. This requires two years of additional training. Understanding a medical doctor’s role in your audiological care is important. To learn more about treating your hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a professional, contact Texas ENT & Allergy today.