The medical profession has been around a long time, and otolaryngology is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. These physicians, commonly known as ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors treat a wide range of diseases and disorders. ENTs are sought out to treat diseases of the ear, nose, throat, base of the skull, and surgical management of cancers and tumors that affect the head and neck.
Areas Of Specialty
An ENT must complete four years of college, medical school, and at least five years of specialty training before sitting for a board examination. ENTs often specialize in a particular area related to the ears, nose, throat, face, and neck. These areas include:
Hearing loss impacts one in ten people in North America. ENTs receive extensive training in the medical and surgical treatment of ear disorders. Hearing loss, ear infections, and balance disorders are typical ear problems that an ENT can diagnose and treat.
A typical medical complaint is sinusitis. As such, an ENT is trained to handle problems involving the nasal cavity and sinuses, allergies, polyps, and deviated septums.
If you are giving a speech, chatting with a friend, or singing along with your favorite song on the radio you are using your throat. Throat diseases, voice problems, and swallowing disorders are problems that an ENT treats.
Head & Neck
An ENT is qualified to address the benign and malignant tumors that can affect the face and neck. Facial trauma and deformities of the face also fall within the ENT’s scope of practice. Some ENTs are specially trained to perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
What Does An ENT Treat?
A few areas of treatment that an ENT provides include:
Ears & Hearing
Ringing in the ears
Custom hearing protection
Nose & Sinus
Throat & Neck
Tonsils and adenoids
Chronic bad breath
Voice and swallowing disorders
Head and neck tumors
Evaluation of allergies
Sneezing, wheezing, and dripping nose
Allergy testing and treatment
Why Should I See An ENT?
An ENT is unique in the world of medicine because of their training in both medicine and surgery. Because of this distinction, an ENT does not have to refer you to other physicians when surgery is required. These physicians offer total care for each patient. Sinus pain, chronic sore throat, congestion, airway blockage, headaches, and drainage are all excellent reasons to seek the skills of an ENT.
A Wide Scope Of Practice
ENTs treat a wide variety of disorders and diseases of the face and neck. When seeking out the services of an ENT, be sure to address the following criteria:
Medical education and training
Area of specialty
Although this specialty is old, it is still a mystery to some people. Do your research, and you might be surprised to learn what an otolaryngologist can do for you. If you are dealing with ear, nose, throat, face, or neck problems do not hesitate to schedule a visit with an ENT doctor today.