We all know that an ENT focuses on problems concerning the ear, nose and throat, but what specifically warrants a call to a qualified ENT?
Let’s start with the acronym basics:
- Ear. Ear disorders, such as hearing impairment, ear infections, disorders that affect balance, tinnitus and pain in your ears are all conditions that should be assessed and treated by an ENT.
- Nose. An ENT’s expertise includes the nose, nasal cavities and sinuses and problems affecting smell, breathing and physical appearance.
- Throat. Conditions that affect speech, singing, eating, swallowing and digestion should all be addressed by an ENT.
An ENT’s role extends to issues surrounding the neck and head that are ENT-related. These include diseases, tumors, trauma, and deformities of the head, neck, and face. They can also perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery to address issues in these areas.
In terms of specific symptoms, the following conditions should have you scheduling an appointment with an ENT specialist:
- Nerve problems in your ears, nose, or throat
- Balance problems
- Hearing impairment
- Ear infection
- Tonsil or adenoid infection
- Swimmer’s ear
- Pain in your ears, nose, or throat
- Breathing problems
- Down’s syndrome
- Sinus problems or infections
- Growth or tumor in your ears, nose, or throat
- Deviated septum
- Undesired appearance of the nose or face
- Nose bleeds
- Nasal congestion
- Problems with smell
- Voice or swallowing problems
- Sore throat or hoarseness
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
While some of the above problems can be treated by your primary care physician, an ENT is a specialist in these areas and able to provide more in-depth assessment as well as deliver more comprehensive and current treatment options based on his experience and knowledge.