Otolaryngology is a field of surgical medicine that deals with ENT (ear, nose, and throat) conditions. Many different conditions (some as common as snoring) warrant the need to visit an ENT. The following explanation will help describe what exactly an ENT doctor deals with on a day-to-day basis, and when it might be appropriate to visit an otolaryngologist to seek medical attention.
What does an ENT specialist do?
An ENT is an expert in the surgical and medical management of the following:
- Conditions of the nose – they often treat and manage problems affecting the sinuses, nose, and nasal cavities. Such problems usually affect physical appearance, breathing, and smell.
- Conditions of the ear – if you have an ear condition, you might need to see an ENT specialist. The problems that you may experience include tinnitus, hearing impairment, disorders that affect balance, ear infections, and ear pain. This specialist can also treat congenital ear disorders.
- Conditions of the throat – conditions affecting the throat usually have an effect on speech, swallowing, digestion, singing, and eating. An ENT doctor can also diagnose and treat such conditions.
These doctors are also trained to manage diseases, trauma, and deformities of the neck, head, and face, as well as tumors. This means that an ENT doctor can perform reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of these areas. Most ENT specialists also handle the following subspecialties:
- Head and neck surgery – tumors of the neck and head
- Pediatric otolaryngology
- Audiology/otology – specializes in tinnitus and balance problems
- Rhinology – specializes in sinus cavity and nose
- Laryngology – specializes in swallowing, throat, and voice
Who needs an ENT doctor?
Anyone, at any age, might require the use of an ENT doctor. Otolaryngologists treat a variety of conditions that people experience from childhood to old age. Males and females are also equally affected. Below is a list of common conditions that an ENT doctor can treat. The board-certified otolaryngologists at New York ENT treat all of the following conditions, plus more.
- Balance problems
- Injuries to the ears, throat, and nose
- Ear infections
- Hearing impairment
- Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa): infection in the outer ear canal
- Vertigo: specific kind of dizziness caused by balance organs in the inner ear
- Breathing problems
- Sinus infections: acute and chronic sinusitis
- Deviated septum: nasal wall between the nostrils is pushed to one side of the nose
- Voice or swallowing problems
- Snoring and sleep apnea
- Vocal cord problems
- Throat infections
- Tonsillitis: swelling of the pharyngeal tonsils caused by bacteria or virus
When to visit an ENT doctor
If you are currently experiencing any of the symptoms related to the above conditions, it might be time to ask your primary care physician about visiting an ENT doctor. While many of the conditions may seem more like an annoyance or minor problem, some of the conditions can signal underlying greater conditions, and treatment is necessary to a healthy life.
The good news is that most ENT conditions are treated using non or minimally-invasive procedures that do not require much down time. At the end of the day, the benefits of seeking treatment, far outweigh any hesitations you may have.
At New York ENT, we have a group of board-certified physicians who are experts in the field of otolaryngology and are ready to discover your problem and the subsequent necessary treatment, with you. Contact us today to start feeling better sooner.