Much like other medical conditions, your hearing loss may require a team approach with professionals from a number of disciplines. In addition to your audiologist, there are two types of doctors who may play a role in your treatment. Understanding what they do and who they are can ensure you are receiving the care you need from the right professionals.
Known as ENTs, otolaryngologists are medical doctors who treat problems related to the ears, nose and throat. While they see a wide range of symptoms, ENTs primarily treat issues related to:
These professionals can provide both medical and surgical treatment.
In regard to your hearing, you would see an otolaryngologist to rule out a medical cause for your hearing loss and help make a diagnosis. They are also responsible for vestibular testing to diagnose vestibular disorders such as Meniere’s disease.
In order to become an ear, nose and throat doctor you need to graduate from a four-year medical school and complete five to eight years of additional surgical training. Some choose to further specialize, which requires one to two years of additional training. Sub-specialty categories include:
- Facial and reconstructive surgery
- Head and neck
- Otology and neurotology
All otolaryngologists are required to be certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology. This is done by meeting the training requirements and passing a written exam.
Also known as otologists, neurotologists are otolaryngologists who specialize in the complex problems of the inner ear, auditory nerve and base of the skull.
In regard to your hearing, you would see a neurotologist if you needed cochlear implant surgery or implantation of a bone-anchored hearing aid. They can also treat:
- Balance issues
- Ear anatomy disorders
- Skull-base disorders
- Acoustic neuromas
Neurtologists are ear, nose and throat doctors who have elected to complete one to two years of additional training following medical school and surgical training. Getting the right care for your hearing or balance disorder is important. To learn more about the medical professionals you’ll meet with or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist to start the process, contact Willamette Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery today.