What Does an Otolaryngologist Do?

An otolaryngologist is a doctor who studies, diagnoses, and treats diseases of the ear, nose, and throat, as well as other conditions occurring in the head and neck, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology and Medical News Today.

Otolaryngology is the oldest medical profession in the United States and has a wide variety of applications. It encompasses seven areas of specialization. Allergy treatment, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, removal of tumors of the head and neck, and treatment of throat disorders are specializations of otolaryngologists. The doctors also provide management of disorders of the ear, treatment of disorders of the nose and sinuses, and treatment of ear, nose, and throat conditions in children, explains Medical News Today.

Because the field is so diverse, otolaryngologists treat patients with a wide range of health concerns. Specific diseases and disorders that otolaryngologists treat include hearing loss, ear infections, tinnitus, balance disorders and smell disorders. They also see patients with chronic sinusitis, benign and cancerous tumors of the head and neck, and deformities of the face, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Some otolaryngolotists also treat sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Otolaryngologists who specialize in facial reconstructive surgery may operate on patients with a cleft lip or cleft palate, a deviated septum, or drooping eyelids that hinder vision, reports Medical News Today.