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Deafness/Hearing Impairment/Differentiate Between Medical Specialities


I've experienced 2 episodes with very definitive beginnings and endings, plus (now...ongoing) a third situation with MOST of the same symptoms as before. My GP is of no help. In fact; he ordered a MRI of my brain with a special focus on my left ear and never conveyed the test results. I ended up going to the hospital myself to obtain the written report and a copy of the MRI on CD.

In the past, I've seen a neurosurgeon regarding a loss of feeling in my legs/hands. That physician lists "neurotology" as one of his areas of expertise. Apparently that term is somewhat rare as it sometimes generates a spell check. The term ENT is the more common specialty for physicians who deal with ear related issues.

I'm confused as to which specialty I should seek out for my symptoms which include: temporary hearing loss (first 2 episodes), vertigo, loss of balance, dizziness.


Jim Carter

Dear Jim,

I think that the symptoms you have been experiencing are beyond the scope of a Neuro-otologist, ENT or  GP.  

If the only symptoms you had were vertigo, temporary hearing loss and balance difficulties, then an ENT plus a good audiologist would be the right combination.

However, the loss of feeling in your hands and feet-- if connected with your hearing and balance symptoms may represent one of the conditions that a "Neurologist" is best suited to evaluate.  This is because there are disorders that include all the symptoms you describe, and there are not in the province of the "ear doc".

My recommendation would be to see a well recommended "neurologist" who may indeed take a new MRI, but will know precisely what he is looking for in that MRI.

Please follow up on this and let me know the outcome.  In the meantime, I hope this answer helps you, and that you experience a full recovery.


Dr. Levi Reiter

P.S.   Please rate this  answer.

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Levi A. Reiter, Ph.D.


I am a full Professor of Audiology at Hofstra University and also in private practice. I can answer questions regarding hearing loss, auditory diagnoses, hearing aids, assistive listening devices, deafness


I have been teaching audiology at Hofstra University for 33 years. I have been in private practice for 31 years. I do hearing assessments, auditory diagnostic tests which are physiological, e.g., ABR, OAEs, etc. I also have over 30 years experience in fitting, and dispensing hearing aids.

ASHA (American Speech-Language and Hearing Associaton AAA (American Academy of Audiology)

My articles have appeared in: Journal of Auditory Research J of Speech and Hearing Disorders J of Speech and Hearing Research The Hearing Journal J of the American Tinnitus Association The ASHA Leader Plus.......

I have a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, and two post-doctoral fellowships from NIH and NICHD. I am Board Certified by the American Academy of Audiology, and hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. I also have numerous professional publications in the field of Audiology.

Awards and Honors
Fellowship from the National Institute of Health Sciencess Fellowship from the National Institute of Child Development Scholarships from the U of Rochester, Connecticut College Faculty Development grants from Hofstra U. The Scholars Award from the American Academy of Audiology The ACE award from the American Speech & Hearing Association

Past/Present Clients
Not sure what this means. I see clients of all ages and from all parts of the world.

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