Otology is the branch of medicine that deals with the study of the ear and its pathologies. It constitutes a part of Otolaryngology, a discipline dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of pathologies of the ear, nose, and throat. The peculiarity of the ENT specialist is that, unlike the otolaryngologist, he does not deal with pathologies of the nose and throat, but specializes exclusively in physiology, functionality and ear pathologies. Otology is a branch of Medicine and Surgery, and, therefore, the specialist otolaryngologist is also trained to perform surgical interventions.
What Pathologies Does It Treat?
Otology deals with ear problems and, therefore, also with hearing and balance problems. The ear plays a fundamental role in balance, in the feeling of dizziness and dizziness. Therefore, among the pathologies most frequently treated in an Otology study are the following:
- Otitis or ear infections: they are very common, especially in infants and children.
- Tinnitus or tinnitus: distorted perception of sounds or constant whistle that does not allow you to hear clearly.
- Barotrauma: A barotrauma in the ear is an injury caused by changes in barometric pressure (air) or water.
- Menière pathology: it is a common cause of dizziness and dizziness due to fluid problems in the middle ear. Usually, it also causes tinnitus.
What Are The Sub-Specializations Of Otology?
Otology studies the ear, being a sub-discipline of Otolaryngology. Nonetheless, every professional can specialize in a specific pathology or in a part of the ear (outer, middle and inner ear), such as, for example, damage to the eardrum or surgery of the middle ear.
When Is It Necessary To Consult An ENT?
It is necessary to consult an ENT specialist when you experience hearing loss, pain, or discomfort in the ear, as well as dizziness or lightheadedness.
What Is The ENT Examination?
The ENT examination serves to assess the health of the nose, ears, pharynx, larynx, and other internal structures in the head and neck.
Patients who turn to the otolaryngologist want to ascertain the nature and origin of different types of symptoms, such as the stuffy nose, sore throat, stuffy ear, ringing, dizziness, and others.
The most common diseases that can be diagnosed by the otolaryngologist are otitis, tinnitus, deafness, rhinitis, sinusitis, nasal polyps, snoring and sleep apnea, tonsillitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis.
Since the organ of balance is located in the ear, the otolaryngologist is also the doctor of reference for disorders such as heeling sensations, postural uncertainty, and dizziness.
The ENT examination is also an important check for the prevention of tumors that can affect the vocal cords, pharynx, larynx, nasal cavities, and salivary glands.
How Does The Ent Examination Take Place?
The ENT examination begins with an anamnesis: the otolaryngologist inquires about the patient's lifestyle, his habits, any diseases or pharmacological treatments in progress, and the symptoms he manifests.
The otolaryngologist then proceeds to palpate the neck and inspect the oral cavity, eardrum, ear canal, and inside the nose. At this point, the doctor may suggest the patient undergo more accurate tests such as the audiometric test or the impedance test.
How to prepare for the ENT examination?
The ENT examination does not require any specific preparation. The patient is advised to bring with them the list of any ongoing drug therapies.