You are feeling a bit under the weather for a few days now, and you were advised to go to the doctor. But not just any doctor, but an ENT specialist. What is ENT? How is he different from my primary care physician? Let us discover the answer to the question ‘what is ENT?’, and know the importance and benefits of this medical specialization. Interested in cosmetic surgery? Click here if you are planning on getting a rhinoplasty surgery in Sydney.
What is ENT?
Basically, the acronym ENT is for ears, nose, and throat. This is an easier way for doctors and patients to determine what part of their body and what medical specialization they would seek in order to solve their medical problem. If a patient has problems with his head and neck (ears, nose, throat!) then an ENT specialist may be the professional they would want to have an appointment with. These specialists are also called otolaryngologists. But they are not just doctors who assess and prescribe medication for your illness, they can also perform surgery if need be.
What illness can they treat?
Stuffy nose? No problem! That’s just a piece of cake for an otolaryngologist. But did you know that they can treat more than just any colds? Here are some of the many conditions that otolaryngologists can diagnose and take care of.
- Ears – Hearing loss, ear infection, loss of balance, dizziness, ear ringing, and earache.
- Nose – allergies, septal deviation, headache, migraine, rhinitis, sinus problems, and airway obstruction.
- Throat – sore throat, hoarse voice, reflux disease (GERD), throat infection, obstruction, vocal cord disorder, or tumor.
- Head/Neck – most cancer diagnosis that affects the organs of the head, thyroid malfunction, and tumors or cysts.
- Sleep apnea
- Functional plastic surgery – birth defects or reconstructive procedures after an accident or trauma, or after treatment of a medical condition that damaged the integrity and appearance of a body part within the head and neck area.
The benefits of seeking an ENT specialist
Now that you know what an otolaryngologist is, you may wonder what he can do that your PCP or family doctor can’t. why does your family doctor refer you to an ENT doctor?
They are specialists. Otolaryngologists are specialists who spent five more years in medical school to become experts in all head and neck conditions, from their assessment to their most appropriate treatment. As they say, all specialists are doctors, but not all doctors are ENT specialists.
They have subspecialties. Getting the services of an ENT doctor means you are meeting an expert who can handle anything about your specific condition. Most ENT doctors have subspecialties targeting a definite problem. For instance, otolaryngologists differ from their forte in solving problems with allergy, reconstructive surgery, pediatric conditions, laryngology, or otology. They have trained and studied for a few additional years to become experts in a certain ENT problem.
If you are experiencing a head and neck problem, as much as we would like to recommend you to go directly to your chosen ENT doctor, it is best to see your PCP first, your family doctor should be informed about your current condition as he knows your medical history. He can then recommend the best ENT specialist for you to see so you can be treated accordingly.