Difference Between Otolaryngology and Otorhinolaryngology

The study of the ear, throat, and nose as a whole is known as otolaryngology (ENT). The name Oto is derived from the word larynx, which refers to the organ placed between the nose and the throat.

The vocal cords make form the larynx, which is the voice box. The terms otorhinolaryngology and otolaryngology are interchangeable.

The ‘rhino’  word relates to the nose, so the study of the ear, throat, and nose is formed when the three are joined.

Otolaryngology vs Otorhinolaryngology

The main difference between Otolaryngology and Otorhinolaryngology is based on the organs included in the specialization. The specialization of Otolaryngology belongs to and involves organs and body parts ears, nose and throat whereas Otorhinolaryngology attends the specialization in nose, ears, throat, head, neck, and base of the skull.

Otolaryngology vs Otorhinolaryngology

Auditory and speaking difficulties, taste abnormalities, head and neck cancer, swallowing abnormalities, balancing & vestibular concerns, and aesthetic recovery of each of these internal organs are all treated by otolaryngologists.

Under the head and neck areas, otolaryngologists treat malignant or benign expansion, face traumas, and deformities of the face and neck.

After understanding the principles of human medicine, otorhinolaryngology is a medical specialty that requires extra training. A surgeon who specializes in Otorhinolaryngology is known as an Otorhinolaryngologist.

Otolaryngologists and otolaryngologists are abbreviated ENT physicians. Otorhinolaryngology is shortened as otolaryngology, while ENT would be another abbreviated form of otorhinolaryngology.

Comparison Table Between Otolaryngology and Otorhinolaryngology

Parameters of ComparisonOtolaryngology                Otorhinolaryngology    
MeaningThe study of diseases of the ear and throat.                        the study of diseases of the ear, throat, and nose. It also includes the neck and head too.
Pronunciationoh·toh·la·ruhng·gaw·luh·jeeoto· rhi· no· lar· yn· gol· o· gy 
Word StructureOto refers to the larynxRhino is related to the nose.
Specialized doctorOtolaryngologistsOtorhinolaryngologist
FieldSpecialized in ENT.Head, ear, throat, the base of the skull, nose, and neck.

What is Otolaryngology?

Otolaryngology is a specialty of medical science that has the main focus on the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and speech disorders, head, taste dysfunction, and neck cancer.

The treatment could also be very helpful in swallowing disorders, and vertigo issues, and cosmetic restoration of any of these body parts.

Otolaryngologists treat facial injuries, malignant growths and benign, malformations of the face and neck under the head and neck regions.

Otolaryngology necessitates a high level of precision and detail because the organs involved are crucial for maintaining higher sensory functions such as voice, speech, breathing, and hearing.

An ENT is in charge of 3 out of the 5 senses that humans are blessed with: smell, taste, and hearing and it goes without saying how vital each of these is.

Every organ which is involved looks to be very insignificant and small however, they all serve a critical role in the human body’s optimal functioning. The bones that transmit sound to the brain in the inner ear are as little as grains of rice!

Basic medicine can assist in determining the cause of symptoms, but the branch of otolaryngology is responsible for the correct diagnosis and treatment of the ear, nose, sinuses, and throat.

Allergy, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, head and neck, laryngology, otology (neurology), rhinology, and pediatric otolaryngology are some of the specialties in which otolaryngologists can specialize.

What is Otorhinolaryngology?

Otorhinolaryngology is a medical specialty that requires additional study after learning the fundamentals of human medicine. An Otorhinolaryngologist is a doctor who specializes in Otorhinolaryngology.

ENT doctors are the abbreviation for otolaryngologists and Otorhinolaryngologists. Otolaryngology is the abbreviated form of otorhinolaryngology, while ENT is another abbreviated form.

 The ENT specialist treats problems with the paranasal sinuses, as well as issues with the ears, mouth,  larynx, nose,  and throat.

A branch of medicine is Otorhinolaryngology that deals with ear problems such as otosclerosis, mastoiditis, otitis externa, and otitis media inflammatory processes, tympanic perforation (eardrum perforation), vertigo (dizziness), hearing loss, tinnitus (a pathological condition), Meniere’s disease.

The deviated nasal septum is one of the causes for nasal obstruction, epistaxis (nose bleed), stuffy nose, smell issues, nasal polypectomy (polyp removal), rhinoplasty (for changing the appearance of the nose cosmetic surgery is used), allergic rhinitis, nasal tumors, and other nasal ailments are all treated in this discipline.

Tonsillectomy (tonsil removal), cancer of the larynx, tonsillitis, laryngitis, tracheostomy, laryngitis, larynx edema, voice hoarseness, tracheostomy, dysphonia (a problem in speaking and communicating), singing and speaking errors, deglutition (swallowing) problems are all throat issues that can be treated by an ENT surgeon.

Inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, generally known as sinusitis, falls under this category.

Main Differences Between Otolaryngology and Otorhinolaryngology

  1. Otolaryngology is based on the few number organs whereas Otorhinolaryngology contains broader range of organs including parts like the neck and head too.
  2. The pronunciation of Otolaryngology is oh·toh·la·ruhng·gaw·luh·jee whereas Otorhinolaryngology is pronounced as oto· rhi· no· lar· yn· gol· o· gy .
  3. The part in Otolaryngology “Oto” which is referred to the larynx present between the throat and nose whereas the word rhino is associated with the nose.
  4.  The doctors are associated with the field of Otolaryngology and specialize in that field. They are known as Otolaryngologists whereas the doctors which are associated with the field of Otorhinolaryngology and specialize in that field. They are known as Otorhinolaryngologists.
  5. The specialization of Otolaryngology is related to ears, nose, and throat whereas Otorhinolaryngology requires specialization in the nose, ears, throat, head, neck, and base of the skull.
Difference Between Otolaryngology and Otorhinolaryngology


Doctors and medical treatments are a big need of today’s world. Every person who feels uncomfortable goes to the medically certified doctor but sometimes gets confused with the specialty name or department.

We looked up the etymology of several medical terminologies, including otorhinolaryngological terms, because of the variety and confusion surrounding their names.

The terms “otorhinolaryngology” (a combination of the ancient Greek words ous, rhina, larynx, and logos) and “otorhinolaryngologist,” commonly abbreviated as ENT, are being investigated.

The analysis leads us to determine which of these terms is the most appropriate and etymologically right, and to firmly favor the terms “otorhinolaryngology” and “otorhinolaryngologist” over “otolaryngology” and “ENT.”


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0194599816678372
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0003489418815188
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