Neurotologists vs ENT

Hi everyone,
I just had a quick question. What is the diff between a neurotologists and an ENT? I’m trying to find someone who knows what they are talking about. Do you think I should see one of those or just a neurologist?

As far as I know the neurotologists are just more highly qualified ENTs…That may be an insult to both of them I dont know but I’ve seen 3 ENTs all who were useless and pretty much dismissive of everything I say, and 2 neurotologists who seemed a lot more clued up. This won’t be the case for all but is my experience

I’d definitely hunt down a neurotologist.


I was fortunate to be referred early on to a neurotologist (ENT who’s had extra training & does some cross-over into neurology “issues”) who happened to be one of the co-authors of the emedicine article on MAV (Scott has a link to that article elsewhere on this website).

He was the one who diagnosed me (though he prefers the term Migraine Associated Dizziness) - but then he said he didn’t treat this himself, and referred me to a general neurologist to get treatment for it. Some neurotologists DO treat this, though; I guess it just depends on the doc. For me, getting the answer early on was SO important that I didn’t really care that he “only” diagnosed this but didn’t treat it - I know people can be dizzy for years and not know why, so I was delighted to know the reason for this strange stuff that was happening to me.

I think the trick is to find someone to knows about MAV or MAD or whatever they prefer to call it. Because whichever discipline they come from, if they aren’t well versed in this disorder, it may turn out you know as much as most docs do about it (or maybe more), just by having read what’s on this forum and website!

I’d suggest that you try to ask around or do internet research about the area where you live and see if there is someone who is known as the MAV (or MAD in my doc’s lingo) “expert” and try to go to him or her, whatever their background may be.

I think in general, and from the experiences I have heard here and from Prof Halmagyi in Sydney, most ENTs are not up to speed enough to deal with MAV. There are exceptions of course, most notably Prof Steve Rauch who is an ENT and who we all know also happens to be a migraine guru and understands what MAV is.

Halmagyi once told me that most ENTs love to cut stuff out all the time. If they can’t remove a piece of your anatomy they’re not interested. A gross generalisation no doubt but that’s what he said.

Find a neuro-otologist.



Just to agree with the above. Neuro otologists have done 4 further years training in to the inner ear on top of their ENT training. Dizziness is their speciality, whereas the ENTs I saw didn’t have a clue - in fact they were a massive hindrance, initially diagnosing what was a very severe migraine disorder as anxiety and leaving me without a diagnosis when I was so ill I was unable to work.

As Scott says there will be the odd exception but I wouldn’t chance it, find a neurotologist.