Otology

Otology is the study, diagnosis and treatment of ear disorders and diseases. Patients may be referred to an otologist by their primary care doctor if they are experiencing problems with the ear, hearing loss or balance related disorders. Some otologists can perform surgery on the ears. Otologists may work closely with audiologists when diagnosing and treating hearing loss disorders.

In addition to hearing problems, an otologist may diagnose and treat patient's with the following disorders:

  • Balance disorders
  • Tinnitus
  • Ear infections
  • Hearing loss
  • Meniere's disease
  • Usher Syndrome
  • Otosclerosis

Many ear conditions are especially common in children, who may require special care for their condition. Pediatric otologists specialize in the the treatment of ear disorders of children.

When diagnosing patients, otologists may perform certain diagnostic tests that may include:

  • Audiogram to measure hearing sensitivity
  • Tympanogram to measure middle ear function
  • Electronystagmogram to measure eye movement and muscle control
  • Videonystagmography to evaluate balance function
  • Vestibular tests to measure inner ear function
  • Posturography to measure balance

Treatment for ear related conditions may vary depending on the condition, and may include hearing aids, cochlear implants, ear tubes, medication, surgery or other approaches. An otologist can provide the best care for patients regarding any issues they may have involving the ear.

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