A properly functioning nose is very important! Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists are called Otolaryngologists. They provide a wide range of medical and surgical care for conditions centered in the nose, because the nasal passages are connected to the ears and throat.
Nasal problems can affect the sense of smell, breathing, and well-being. For example, sinus headaches are one of the most common complaints presented to an ENT because irritants in the air have grown considerably with urban air pollutants. Sinusitis inflames the membranes inside the sinuses, the cavities above the nose. When this happens, an ENT doctor may prescribe antibiotics. If the sinusitis is ongoing, lasting four weeks or more, the doctor will treat for an acute bacterial infection. A sinus infection can become complicated. This is when a visit to an otolaryngologist is advised.
Sometimes a stuffy nose just signifies a cold. But, when the stuffiness is chronic, with no other cold symptoms, it is time to investigate the problem. A visit to an ENT doctor will determine if an ongoing infection is causing a stuffy nose or whether nasal polyps or a deviated septum are the culprits. Any of these issues can be addressed by an ENT specialist.
Falls. Sports and recreation activities. Accidents. These can all be causes of nose injuries. Most nose injuries involve bruising, swelling, and pain, whether or not the nose is broken. Applying ice to reduce the swelling and taking over-the-counter pain medication is usually all that is required to resolve a typical nose injury.
Snoring is a noise produced during sleep that originates in the back of the throat or nose. Snoring occurs when the muscles in the back of the mouth, tongue, and throat relax while sleeping, which narrows or blocks the airway. Breathing causes your uvula (soft palate) to vibrate and knock against the back of the throat, resulting in the snoring sound. Snoring can also be a sign of a more severe problem known as obstructive sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, the relaxed muscles at the back of the throat cause the throat to close, which stops breathing, typically from 20 seconds to up to three minutes.
Cleft palate/cleft lip are the most common types of congenital disabilities. About one baby in 2,000 is born with a cleft palate, and one in 1,000 is born with a cleft lip. Cleft palate/cleft lips occur when the two sides of either the roof of the mouth (palate) or the lips fail to fuse together in the embryo. The cause of this congenital disability is unknown.
There are a variety of sores that can occur in or around the mouth. Most are benign, but some may be indicative of cancer. Common types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, candidiasis, white patches, leukoplakia, and oral cancer.
Nasal or sinus polyps are soft, benign growths found inside the lining of the sinuses or the nasal cavity. They can grow singly but often grow in clusters and resemble tiny grapes. They are usually found on both sides of the person’s nose. Nasal polyps can be caused when the lining of the nose and sinuses are chronically inflamed.
A large number of nose-related discomfort is due to allergic reactions to some substance or chemical. An ENT doctor can do allergy testing, and if the problem is allergy-related, direct a patient to an allergy specialist.
Reconstructive surgery for the nose
Plastic surgery of the nose invokes a picture of someone reducing the size of the nose, or changing its appearance. An ENT may be qualified to do cosmetic surgery of the nose and reconstructive surgery as well. A surgeon may remove polyps from the nose and correct a deviated septum. Sometimes the nose may need reconstruction due to cancer surgery or a traumatic accident. A nose is just a nose until it becomes a problem. An ENT doctor specializes in helping people breathe easier.