What are the Different Otolaryngology Jobs?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
An otolaryngologist examining a child's throat.
An otolaryngologist examining a child's throat.

Otolaryngology jobs are the positions held by otolaryngologists, doctors who are trained in the branch of medicine that specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the ears, nose, and throat, as well as the head and neck. This means that in addition to specific ear, nose, and throat conditions, doctors in otolaryngology jobs see respiratory and upper alimentary system dysfunctions, and treat a range of allergies, deformities, diseases, tumors, and injuries. Despite the breadth of the field, it is often referred to—including by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery—as ENT, an acronym for Ear, Nose, and Throat.

An otolaryngologist might help treat snoring issues.
An otolaryngologist might help treat snoring issues.

The field of otolaryngology is divided up in several different ways, and besides the categories of private practice, hospital staff, research, and teaching institution jobs, the subspecialties in which otolaryngologists practice—although only neurotology, plastic surgery within the head and neck, sleep medicine, and pediatric otolaryngology are currently approved as certified subspecialties by the American Board of Medical Specialties—help convey the most helpful information about different types of otolaryngology jobs. In the realm of the ear, Neurotology/Otology focuses on diseases of the ear and disorders that affect both hearing and balance, while Audiology focuses specifically on hearing problems. Sinus and nasal disorders includes the treatment of nasal allergies, cancers, polyps, and tumors, as well as nasal deformities and infections and sinus conditions. There are also otolaryngology jobs that specialize in allergies.

An otolaryngologist is trained to deal with problems associated with the ear.
An otolaryngologist is trained to deal with problems associated with the ear.

Otolaryngology jobs that specialize in the field of upper airway and digestive tract disorders help people with the critical systems for respiration and nourishment. Conditions treated by these specialists include problems with aspiration or inhalation, infections affecting the upper airway, swallowing difficulties and airway stenosis or narrowing, tumors in the upper airway, and foreign bodies that need to be removed either from the upper airway or the digestive tract. Voice and swallowing disorders is another specialty area, as are head and neck tumors and malignancies.

Head and neck plastic surgery is a distinctive area of otolaryngology because it can involve cosmetic procedures as well as procedures to correct a dysfunction or treatment of an injury or illness. For example, rhinoplasty, surgery on the nose, can be done to address breathing problems or to remove what the patient feels is an unsightly bump on the bridge of his or her nose. This area also treats oncology, reconstruction, and treatment of maxillofacial trauma.

The specialist in snoring and sleep disorders has an otolaryngology job that diagnoses and treats three types of clinical conditions: those that disturb sleep; those that are affected by sleep disturbances, and those that occur during sleep. Problems often addressed include snoring and sleep apnea. Finally, the broad category of Pediatric Otolaryngology is given to any otolaryngology jobs that involve the treatment of children, and also includes treatments that are characteristically done during childhood, such as cleft palate and cleft lip repair.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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    • An otolaryngologist examining a child's throat.
      By: AVAVA
      An otolaryngologist examining a child's throat.
    • An otolaryngologist might help treat snoring issues.
      By: Tracy King
      An otolaryngologist might help treat snoring issues.
    • An otolaryngologist is trained to deal with problems associated with the ear.
      By: MAST
      An otolaryngologist is trained to deal with problems associated with the ear.