Did you know that otolaryngology is a fancy word for the medicine practiced by an ear, nose, and throat specialist? These handy doctors handle any disorders and diseases of the ENT system as well as related structures of the neck and head including the larynx, mouth, and face. If you’re affected by a problem in this area, your primary physician will probably send you to an ear, nose, and throat doctor, but what constitutes an issue they will treat? The following ailments may require you to visit an ENT doctor.
Hearing loss is common in North America, affecting 1 in every 10 people. A trained otolaryngologist can do tests to discover structural damage to the ear as a cause of hearing loss and correct it with medication or surgery. They can also treat balance disorders, ear infections, tinnitus, and some cranial nerve disorders and often manage congenital disorders of the inner and outer ear.
Nasal Allergies and Disorders
Chronic sinusitis has become one of the most common health issues in America, affecting 35 million new patients each year. An ear, nose, and throat specialist has the skills to care for the sinuses and nasal cavities to treat everything from smell disorders and deviated septums to allergies and polyps.
Throat Diseases and Disorders
Swallowing and voice disorders fall within the realm of the ear, nose, and throat doctor. They can help you manage diseases of the voice box, throat, and esophagus or upper aerodigestive tract so you can get back to talking, singing and eating without pain or irritation.
Head and Neck Trauma and Disease
An otolaryngologist treats the areas that affect smell, hearing, sight, and facial appearance. They have experience treating both malignant and benign tumors, facial deformities, trauma to the face, and infections found in this area. They are certified to perform reconstructive or cosmetic plastic surgery if needed.
What Are Considered the Areas of Expertise of an Otolaryngologist?
There are seven main areas of expertise in the otolaryngology field. They are as follows:
- Treating allergies with immunotherapy, avoidance or medication
- Treating malignant and benign tumors in the head and neck inclusive of the parathyroid and thyroid glands
- Performing reconstructive or facial plastic surgery to treat facial, neck, and ear abnormalities
- Treating throat disorders including vocal and swallowing issues
- Treating ENT diseases in children including developmental delays and birth defects of the neck and head
- Treating infection, trauma, tumors, and nerve disorders in the ear which may affect balance and hearing
- Treating sinus and nose disorders including nose bleeds and loss of smell
ENT doctors treat patients with a wide array of diseases and disorders and are trained to provide medical or surgical procedures to help them heal.