There are medical specialties for any part of the body. One of the least known but equally important is that of the otolaryngologist (also called ENT doctor), which has an important function in our lives.
Do you want to know what an otorhinolaryngologist is? Keep reading as we are about to uncover all the things to know about the profession and how to find the best ENT doctors near me.
What Is an Otolaryngologist?
Otorhinolaryngology is a medical specialty dedicated to the treatment of the ear and upper respiratory tract. These types of health specialists are capable of performing surgeries on the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck.
Otorhinolaryngologists are doctors dedicated to the diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, and throat.
What Does an Otolaryngologist Do?
The otolaryngologist can diagnose and treat diseases related to the upper respiratory tract and part of the lower respiratory tract (nose, paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and larynx). What diseases does the otolaryngologist treat?
The otorhinolaryngologist can treat a wide variety of diseases related to the ear. Some of the most frequent diseases that otolaryngologists treat are:
- Otitis (Including Otitis media, Externa, and complications)
- hearing loss
- Meniere’s disease
- acoustic neuroma
- Tonsillitis (and its complications)
- Rhinopharyngeal tumors
- laryngeal cancer
When to go to the otorhinolaryngologist?
Every time there is a problem directly related to the nose, ear, and throat, you can go to the ENT doctor for adequate and effective treatment. Some of the common situations that may require a specialist are:
- Ear clogging (Whether by wax or not)
- Intense pain in the ear
- Ringing or hearing loss (Total or partial)
- annoying snoring while sleeping
- Constant bleeding from the nose
- constant allergies
- Loss of voice (Total or partial)
- Difficulty to swallow
- appearance of nodes
- Hoarse voice for no apparent reason
- sore throat
What Is the Difference Between the Otolaryngologist and the Hearing Care Professional?
With hearing problems, no matter what the cause, it is important to know which specialist to see exactly. Although the otolaryngologist and the audiologist are specialists with a task directly related to hearing, each one has specific functions.
Beyond detecting hearing problems, the audiologist is trained to prescribe the correct hearing aids for each patient, unlike the otorhinolaryngologist. In other words, for those problems related to hearing loss at the level of needing hearing aids, you can go to both specialists. Still, only the audiologist is certified to offer the ideal hearing aids for each occasion.
When To Go to the Otolaryngologist?
Consult an otolaryngologist if discomfort in the nose, throat, or ear interferes with or inhibits the normal progression of daily activities. These are the most frequent manifestations:
- In the ear: When feeling a constant pain in the ear, or when a hearing loss is detected, even if it is slight; constant buzzing and beeping; internal inflammation, since it can be a symptom of otitis; vertigo when performing certain movements; and even facial paralysis.
- In the nose: Snoring, loss of smell, regular and prolonged nosebleeds, and a constant sensation of blockage or allergic reactions are frequent symptoms that can be derived from pathologies related to otorhinolaryngology.
- In the throat and neck: Swelling or difficulty swallowing, the appearance of lumps, and abnormal lymph nodes can be symptoms of tonsillitis and vegetation, very common pathologies in children that cause recurrent infections and problems breathing and swallowing.
It should be noted that smokers or people who consume alcohol in excess are the main risk group that can suffer diseases treated by otolaryngologists. Also, workers are regularly exposed to factors such as intense noise or harmful particles, as well as some athletes, especially divers.
In any case, whether or not you belong to the group discussed above, it never hurts to go at least once a year to have a check-up at the ENT clinic near me to check that everything is working correctly. Also, you can reach out to the best ear, nose, and throat clinics for expert and compassionate ENT care around Kentucky and Indiana.