An otolaryngologist -- more commonly known as an ear nose and throat specialist or simply an ENT doctor -- specializes in problems dealing with the head and neck. This includes the ears, nose, and throat, of course; but also the sinuses, voicebox, palate, and more. These doctors are also trained to be ear nose and throat surgeons, as well as doctors. Seeing as how their jobs cover a wide variety of things, let's take a closer look at what exactly they do.
What they can help with:
- Disorders of the Ear: This includes things like hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness caused by the ear and ear infection. Next to wellness visits for babies, ear infections rank at the most common reason for children to visit a doctor, so ENT's are in high demand.
- Allergies: These can include seasonal or pet allergies. Hay fever also falls under this category. They may perform allergy tests or recommend a medication to help deal with whatever a patient is allergic to.
- Injuries and Infections: They can help treat infections to the head and neck. These include tonsillitis and sinusitis. They are also able to assist with injuries, including neck pain and pinched nerves.
- Abnormalities: Somewhat different than injuries, ear nose and throat specialists can help with a cleft lip or palate, a deviated septum, loss of smell and drooping eyelids. These abnormalities can be sustained over time or present at birth.
- Tumors: Whether they are benign or malignant, an ENT doctor can assist with tumors that grow on throat, mouth, nose, sinuses, upper esophagus, larynx, parathyroid, and thyroid gland.
- Sleep Problems: If you have trouble with sleep apnea or chronic snoring, your ear nose and throat specialist can help give you ways to treat the issue.
It takes a lot of work to become a certified ENT doctor. Those interested must complete 15 years of training and education. This means a four-year undergraduate study, a four-year medical program, a minimum of five years of specialty training and around a one to two-year residency program. Even then, after they attain board certification, the certification is only good for ten years. After that, ENT doctors need to get re-certified. It requires a lot of patience and dedication to get into this field of work.
An ear nose and throat specialist isn't just for a sore throat or a stuffy nose. Their field covers a vast range of different medical needs that involve the head and neck. And the time it takes to become a certified ENT doctor ensures they love what they do and they're willing to help you with any problem you have involving your ear, nose, throat and anything in between.
For more information, please contact Head and Neck Specialties