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Hearing Doctor

At The University of California Irvine Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, you will find access to top hearing doctor and otolaryngology related professionals. We see patients for a wide range of issues related to the ear, nose and throat. Often, issues of the ears are related to the overall head and neck, and it is best to see a professional that is experienced and educated in handling these specialized issues.

What is an ENT?

An ENT, also known as an otolaryngologist, specializes in the care of ears, noses and throats. These professionals are medically and surgically trained in the treatment of these areas; they are also knowledgeable in the structures of the head and neck. In addition to the ear, nose and throat, these practitioners have special expertise in the larynx, oral cavity and upper pharynx. ENTs treat many different medical conditions, including hearing loss, balance disorders, sinusitis, swallowing issues and facial trauma. In order to practice, this particular hearing doctor has to complete 15 years of college and post-graduate training. They then must pass the American Board of Otolaryngology examination. These specialists are unique in the fact that as a hearing doctor, they can practice both medicine and surgery.

Beginnings of Otolaryngology

One of the oldest medical specialties in the United States is otolaryngology. This field of study came about when otology and laryngology were combined together in the early 20th century. The two World Wars brought about advances in technology and greater opportunities for new surgical procedures. Since then, and because of those technological advances, this specialty has advanced significantly over the last 30 years. Some otolaryngologists, though still referring to themselves as such, have subdivided into more specific categories of medicine, such as otology, rhinology and facioplastic surgery. Each of these subdivisions has their own fellowship and specialist journals.

Duties of an Otolaryngologist

Besides diagnosing and treating the patient, otolaryngologists practice other important responsibilities. As a hearing doctor, these practitioners have the added responsibility of dealing with balance issues, ear infections and hearing problems. Thyroid conditions, tumors and infectious diseases are also among the list of symptoms these hard working specialists attend to. Because of the underlying symptoms surrounding the majority of ear, nose and throat issues, being an allergist as well aids in the diagnosing of many conditions. An ENT can expect to see close to 40 patients a day and may even work 50 or more hours a week. Being able to comfort small children is an advantage, as well, since the majority of patients are in their teens and younger. This is definitely one medical occupation that being a 'jack of all trades' can really come in handy.

When to Seek a Hearing Doctor

There comes a time when visiting an otolaryngologist becomes a priority. These particular circumstances should be taken seriously and attended to by a local ear, nose and throat doctor. One such indication is the presence of sinus pain. This pain can materialize in the face, ears and upper teeth. More often than not, this is caused by allergies, but can sometimes signify a more serious issue. Another clue that a visit to a hearing doctor is in order is if the patient is suffering from a sore throat or congestion. Aside from these milder symptoms, the most crucial indicators are if an individual is experiencing any hearing loss or airway blockage; one may be caused by nerve damage, the other by a viral infection.

Surgical Procedures

As a result of many years of training and education, an ENT is also capable of performing various surgical procedures. Not only are these procedures performed in the ear, nose and throat but in the neck region, as well. A few of these operations include a tracheotomy, tumor removal and radical neck dissection. Through the use of laser technology, an ENT can also treat sleep disorders; these include sleep apnea and excessive snoring. Surprisingly enough, these surgical experts can also remove skin cancer, treat dental and jaw injuries and preserve nerve and blood vessel function.

If you feel that you or your child needs to see a hearing doctor, please contact our office at your earlier convenience. We can answer any questions that you might have about our diagnostic process or our available treatment methods. We can also schedule an appointment for you to come in and be evaluated by our top professionals. At The University of California Irvine Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, you will find top physicians in the field of otolaryngology.