Table of Contents
ISRN Otolaryngology
Volume 2012, Article ID 145317, 10 pages
Review Article

Otology versus Otosociology

1UGC Otorhinolaryngology, Virgen of Rocio University Hospital, C/Manuel Siurot, s/n 41.013 Sevilla, Spain
2Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology, National University of Distance Education, 29.006 Malaga, Spain
3Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology, University of Madrid, 28.080 Madrid, Spain

Received 29 August 2012; Accepted 3 October 2012

Academic Editors: C. Y. Chien, M. Sone, and C.-H. Wang

Copyright © 2012 Miguel A. Lopez-Gonzalez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Otology concerns the biological study of ear alterations and diseases, solely. So, the diagnosis of audiovestibular diseases tends to be idiopathic or is based on theoretical concepts such as idiopathic sudden deafness, Ménière disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, tinnitus, hyperacusis, or idiopathic facial paralysis. The treatment for these pathologies is symptomatic. Otosociology takes the aetiology and pathogenesis of the ear and situates them within the social and cultural environment of the patient. Then, audiovestibular disease is based on evidence, and the treatment options seek to solve the causes and consequences produced. Otosociology should be considered as a new discipline. Otosociology came into being since otology does not provide definitive solutions for the audiovestibular alterations produced from the point of view of the ear, whereas otosociology finds these solutions within the social/cultural environment of the patient. Where otology emphasises the diseases of the ear, otosociology deals with social manifestations. Where otology deals with idiopathic diseases, otosociology deals with causes and pathogeny produced by interactions in the social and cultural surroundings of the patient. Where otology offers symptomatic treatment, otosociology offers treatment of causes and consequences. Otosociology can fill significant voids in audiovestibular processes from the perspective of the patient’s social environment.