|What is an Otolaryngologist?
Otolaryngology is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT) and related structures of the head and neck. They are commonly referred to as ENT physicians.
Their special skills include diagnosing and managing diseases of the sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity, and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face. Otolaryngologists diagnose, treat, and manage disorders in both children and adults.
Areas of Expertise
Our allergy department offers medical treatment, skin testing, RAST (blood) testing, immunotherapy (allergy injections), avoidance counseling and assistance with environmental control.
About 35 million people develop chronic sinusitis each year, making it one of the most common health complaints in America. Other conditions treated would include nose bleeds, stuffy nose and loss of smell.
Common procedures for ENT doctors include Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy and placement of ear tubes.
Head and Neck
This includes cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the head and neck including the skin and thyroid.
Hearing loss affects one in ten North Americans. The unique domain of otolaryngologists is the treatment of ear disorders They are trained in both the medical and surgical treatment of hearing, ear infections, balance disorders and ear noise (tinnitus).
Larynx (Voice box)
Disorders of the throat including sore throat, hoarseness, swallowing disorders, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
This may include reconstructive surgery following cancer surgery or cosmetic procedures such as facelift, drooping eyelids and rhinoplasty (nose). Dr. Mullins has completed a fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery.
ENT physicans treat both snoring and sleep apnea. A wide range of procedures and treatment options are available depending on the individual's needs.
What is an Audiologist?
Audiologists are the primary health-care professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children. Training includes a four-year clinical doctoral degree following a college bachelors and/or masters degree(s).
Areas of Expertise
Diagnosing hearing loss
The most important first-step to treatment of hearing loss is diagnosis of the type and degree of the hearing loss. Audiologists receive extensive training to diagnose the impairment to help ensure the right diagnosis is made. Audiologists often consult with ENTs (otolaryngologists) to determine the pathology of the hearing impairment and to rule-out any serious medical problems.
Dispensing hearing aids
While there are a few professionals who are licensed to dispense hearing aids, audiologists are the only professionals who receive extensive training in the anatomy & physiology of the auditory system, hearing aid technology, and fitting of hearing aids.
Modern hearing aids have become so sophisticated that it is critical that the hearing healthcare professional understands the fundamental of hearing loss and how the hearing aids interact with the impaired hearing system. Further, several studies indicate that the greatest determining factor in success with hearing aids is the skill of the audiologist or professional.
Audiologists implement hearing conservations programs and dispense or recommend hearing protective devices to musicians, music fans, mechanics, hunters, soldiers, racecar drivers, dentists, or anyone who is around high levels of sound due to work or recreation.
Audiologists also monitor patients who are taking ototoxic (ear-poisoning) medications for the treatment of cancer, meningitis, or other diseases.
Fitting custom hearing or protective devices
Audiologists prescribe or dispense ear/hearing protection devices including: musician ear monitors, swim-plugs, shooters-plugs, music earplugs, and custom tips for headphones or ear-level communication devices. Hearing loss can often be prevented with the right hearing protection. The rule of thumb is that you can fire a gun 2000-5000 times with hearing protection or once without and cause roughly the same amount of damage. Damage to the ear is based on the intensity (loudness) of the sound and how long you listen to it. An audiologist can help anyone who ever finds themselves around any kind of loud sounds or medium-to-loud sounds for long periods of time.