Most doctors opt for a specialization in a particular field after completing their MBBS degree. For example, an orthopedic surgeon treats disorders of the bones; a dermatologist treats skin and hair ailments. Similarly, an otolaryngologist is a specialist who treats health problems of the nose, ear, and throat.
Otolaryngologists, or ENT specialists, treat problems that affect the common passage of the nose, throat, and ear. It includes parts like the head, sinuses, voice box, esophagus, and thyroid. Otolaryngologists are trained to handle medical and surgical procedures for ear, nose, and throat diseases. Otolaryngologists are prepared to deal with clinical and surgeries for ear, nose, and throat infections.
What health conditions do ENTs treat?
Otolaryngologists or ENTs can prescribe medicine and perform surgeries according to the medical requirement of the patient. Some of the ailments that need ENT interventions are:
- Nasal ailments; include problems related to sinusitis and allergies.
- Ear problems like pain in the ears, trouble with balance, hearing loss, and infections.
- Problems while sleeping; include excessive snoring or blockage of airways that interrupt breathing while sleeping.
- Throat issues resulting in difficulty during swallowing, tonsillitis, and issues related to voice.
- Tumors and other infections at the neck or head.
However, some head or eye problems require treatment from other specialists. For example, people who face problems with vision or other eye infections need to visit an ophthalmologist, whereas if there are issues with the nervous system or brain, people consult a neurologist.
When should you visit an ENT?
Generally, health issues tend to be ignored at first. Because of this, some ailments may turn into severe problems. Moreover, many people don’t know which specialist they need to consult to get appropriate treatment. It results in delay in treatment which can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
Following are the health issues for which people should consult an ear specialist :
- Persisting pain and injury in the nose, throat, or ear
- Sinus problems
- Cleft palate
- Breathing problem
- Blockage of airways
- Sleep apnea
- Snoring during sleep
- Hearing imbalance
- Drumming in ear
- Persistent nose blockage
- Problems related to smell
- Abnormal appearance of nose, ear, or throat
- Allergy in the common passage of ear, nose, and throat
- Sore throat, swelling, or discomfort
- Clogging of the ear passage
- Hearing impairment
- Tonsil infection
- Tumor or lump in the neck
- Excess drying of the nasal passage
- Swimmer’s ear ailments
Some Otolaryngologists specialize in handling pediatric cases such as sleep apnea, neck conditions, and delayed growth problems in children. However, many ailments in children are not treatable by general pediatricians, including airways issues, allergies, sinusitis, and other infections. Therefore, the intervention of an ENT specialist is imperative.
Multiple ear, nose, and throat ailments don’t look severe initially, but they can turn serious if left untreated. Some untreated problems result in heart failure, severe depression, and mood swings.
Therefore, irrespective of the seriousness of health conditions, people must visit an ENT specialist for treatment so that the ailment does not worsen with time. Nanavati MAX hospital is a well-known health service provider having ENT specialists in Mumbai and other parts of India.