An ENT or Otolaryngologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating conditions related to the ear, nose, and throat, and related structures of the head and neck. ENT physicians are trained to diagnose and treat (including performing surgery) patients who suffer with common health issues involving the ear, nose, and throat, as well as complex cases within their specialty area.
There are various problems that can occur with the ear, whether it be from injury, infection or a complication since birth. Because of this, there are many possible reasons you may visit an ENT physician if you are having problems related to your ears. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Hearing problems
- Ear infections
- Injury or pain in the ear
- Dizziness or problems with balance
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Sinus problems
- Problems with tonsils or adenoids
- Nerve disorders
- Ear birth defects
- Allergy or Asthma
- Breathing problems
- Abnormal growths on or around the ear
Sinusitis is one of the most common reasons that patients present to ENT specialists. The ENT specialist can determine the cause of the problem and determine the best treatment, including whether or not sinus surgery is indicated for the patient’s condition.
Since ENT specialists are trained in medicine as well as surgery, when patients present to ENT physicians, they generally will not need to be referred elsewhere. The ENT specialist will likely be able to thoroughly diagnose the patient’s condition and administer the proper treatment for the patient, even if it includes undergoing surgery.
Physicians who are ENT specialists have obtained education to include college, medical school, and at least 5 years of specialty training in the field. In order for an ENT to be certified, he or she must pass the board examination for Otolaryngology. Some practitioners in the field also carry additional training in specialty areas such as pediatrics, allergies, rhinology (medical or surgical treatment of the nose or sinuses), laryngology (medical or surgical treatment of the throat, including the voice, or reconstructive surgery.