We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Otology?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Otology is a division of medicine focused on the treatment of disorders involving the ears, including hearing loss, trauma, balance disorders, and tumors. Otologists typically receive a year of training in general surgery before pursuing a residency in their field that can last four years, with a possibility for a fellowship afterward to refine their skills. This high level of training allows practitioners to provide expert care to their patients, as well as participate in public outreach to educate people about the prevention and treatment of ear disorders.

Patients typically see a specialist in otology by referral, although some may seek out a care provider. Otology includes the treatment of patients with a variety of conditions involving the ears, with a particular focus on complex, chronic conditions that resist treatment. Thus, an ear infection might be treated by someone like a general practitioner, but if the patient experiences recurrent aggressive infections, a referral to an otologist might be recommended to allow the patient to explore other treatment options like surgery.

Specialists in otology can treat patients with hearing loss and deafness, and work with patients who want hearing aids and other tools to compensate for hearing loss. They also handle trauma to the ear, tumors along the ear canal, and structural abnormalities of the ear that may require attention or repair. Balance disorders also fall within this discipline if they involve the vestibular system in the ears, which can be determined with some testing of the patient to check for the causes of balance problems.

Research in this field focuses on the identification of conditions involving the ear and the development of treatments. Deafness and hearing loss are a particular subject of interest at many research facilities. Otologists in research may work with people like neurologists and audiologists on the development of more effective and precise hearing aids and other assistive devices for patients with hearing loss. Researchers can work for government agencies as well as private companies.

Practitioners in this medical specialty can work in hospitals and clinics. The working environment is usually pleasant and the hours can be regular, as emergency otology care is rarely necessary. Pay varies depending on the region and the types of services an otologist offers, but can include benefits like paid vacations and retirement accounts through employers like hospitals and regional medical centers. Continuing education requirements mandate that otologists keep up with developments in the field through conference attendance, specialized classes, and other educational opportunities.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.