Otologist, Neurotologist, Otolaryngologist, ENT

There is a lot of confusion about what doctor someone who thinks they have Meniere’s should see. I see this fight go on all the time and it is tiring to witness it happening over and over again, not to mention the wasted time and energy involved in multiple people arguing over and over about something that is easily proven by simply Googling the subject.

The specialist you want to see is called an Otolaryngologist. Most people call them ENTs which is short for “ear, nose and throat” doctor, what the different latin syllables that make up the word otolaryngology mean.

To make things even more confusing, there are specialists of that specialization. An Otologist is also an ENT that specializes in the outer and middle ear. A Neurotologist is an ENT that specializes in the middle and inner ear. Most neurotologists are surgeons who do things like cochlear implants but some of them have regular medical practices. It’s confusing, which is why people say “go see an ENT” and don’t elaborate further on the subject. Most of them don’t know the difference, either. They just know that they either like or dislike their ENT doctor and the experience that they’ve had.

Obviously you don’t want to go to someone who specializes in sleep disorders (probably also an otolaryngologist) or does cancer surgery in the throat (ditto) what you want is someone who works on the middle/inner ear if you’ve already been diagnosed with Meniere’s; and if you haven’t then the more general the generalized medical education the doctor has is probably fine as long as they are actually ENTs. What you need is someone who knows what tests to run to exclude what kinds of causes for the symptoms you are experiencing.

Here’s hoping that what you find out when you see your ENT doctor is that your symptoms are caused by something that is treatable. My fingers are crossed for you.

A h/t is owed to Pattywhack_the_bear whose intransigence on the subject of what specialist to see forced me to hone the point I was trying to make with my comments on this reddit thread. I did have to block her, but I also learned something from her. So congratz I guess?


It bears mentioning that my only personal experience with Neurotologists has been the offer to inject gentamicin into my middle ear. We looked into this procedure and decided against it because I simply wasn’t having that many episodes of vertigo by that point. Removing the pressure and stress of architectural design work did more to stop my Meniere’s symptoms than any other intervention has done since.

Author: RAnthony

I'm a freethinking, unapologetic liberal. I'm a former CAD guru with an architectural fetish. I'm a happily married father. I'm also a disabled Meniere's sufferer.

Attacks on arguments offered are appreciated and awaited. Attacks on the author will be deleted.

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