What are some conditions an ear specialist treats?


Quick Answer

An otologist treats diseases or damage to the ears, tumors, and balance and hearing disorders, according to University of Utah Health Care. Patients might see an otologist if they have acoustic neuroma, chronic ear infections, cholesteatoma, persistent dizziness or Meniere's disease. An otologist also treats ear malformations, hearing loss present at birth and temporal bone disorders.

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Full Answer

An otologist is a specialized type of otolaryngologist, who many people call an ear, nose and throat physician, explains the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. To become an otolaryngologist, students complete five years of specialized training after four years of medical school. In order to qualify as an otologist/neurotologist, which is one of eight possible subspecialties of otolaryngology, a doctor must complete an additional one to two years of specialized study.

Patients may also see an otolaryngologist to treat cranial nerve disorders, tinnitus, ear infections, hearing loss and balance disorders, notes the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Unlike many other types of specialists, otolaryngologists can diagnose, treat and perform necessary surgeries to correct problems with the ears, nose, throat, and certain structures within the head and neck. For example, an otolaryngologist can perform a tympanoplasty to repair an eardrum defect with a graft or a myringotomy and pressure equalization tube placement to correct a middle ear infection, according to Medical News Today.

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