Share The Health

What You Need to Know About Ear, Nose & Throat Health

10-07-2020

If you’ve ever had an ear infection, sinus problems, or acid reflux, you might have seen an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist for treatment. ENT specialists, also known as otolaryngologists, specialize in treating these common disorders as well as any other diseases or conditions related to your ears, nose, throat, and head.

What Does an ENT Doctor Do?

ENT doctors treat a wide array of conditions. It’s common for ENT doctors to also specialize in areas such as pediatrics, allergies, reconstructive surgery, and sleep medicine. In addition to graduating from a four-year medical school, a board-certified ENT specialist must complete at least five years of specialty training and pass a certification exam for the American Board of Otolaryngology.

ENTs treat a range of ailments medically and surgically, including:

  • Eye socket injuries, such as broken bones around the eye sockets
  • Facial trauma, such as severe cuts or fractures to your skull, cheekbones, or jawbone
  • Head and neck cancer, such as head and neck melanoma, mouth cancer, throat and salivary gland cancer, and sinus cancer
  • Hearing disorders, specifically issues caused by infections, tumors, eardrum injuries, or inner-ear problems
  • Larynx and voice disorders, such as cancer, vocal cord nodules, polyps, or cysts; and hoarseness
  • Sinus and nasal disorders, such as nasal membrane or sinus inflammation or a deviated septum
  • Neck disorders, such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancers
  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Trachea and esophagus conditions, such as swallowing disorders

When Should I See a Specialist?

The ENT specialty covers many potential disorders and diseases, from thyroid problems to deviated septums. Here are five signs you should see your ENT:

  • A frequent sore throat. Sore throats are common, but if your throat hurts so severely you can barely drink, you need to see an ENT specialist. Likewise, you should see an ENT specialist if your throat pain has persisted for longer than a week. Both of these symptoms indicate that there is a bigger problem behind your sore throat. Your ENT specialist will perform a throat exam to see if you have something serious like tonsilitis, or perhaps something more common like GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
  • Sinus pain. If you experience sinus pain that lasts a few days, you should see an ENT specialist. Since sinuses take up a large portion of your face, sinus pain can include pain in your face, upper teeth, ears, and nose. An ENT can diagnose the source of your sinus pain and figure out the best treatment plan for you.
  • Constant nasal congestion. If you always wake up with a blocked nose, or if you find it hard to breathe because your nasal passages are clogged up, it’s time to see an ENT specialist. Frequent nasal congestion is not normal; it’s usually a sign of allergies, an infection, or a deviated septum. Your ENT specialist will figure out the source of this problem and prescribe a treatment plan to help you feel less congested.
  • Persistent hearing loss. If you’ve had hearing problems for more than a week or two, you should visit an ENT specialist. Temporary hearing loss can happen occasionally, but when the problem persists, it could be a sign of permanent ear damage.
  • Ringing in your ears. If you hear a constant ringing in your ears, this is likely a sign of tinnitus, which can be an early symptom of hearing loss. It can also be a sign that you have an ear infection or another issue. Regardless, contact an ENT specialist as soon as possible.

Ear, Nose & Throat Services at Frederick Health

If you suffer from a chronic ear, nose, or throat disorder, you don’t have to put up with it alone. Our board-certified ENT specialists offer comprehensive care for people of all ages, from newborns to seniors.

Our doctors specialize in head and neck cancer; endocrine surgery; rhinology and sinus surgery; laryngology, vocal cord, and swallowing disorders and surgery; pediatric ENT; facial plastic surgery and Botox; and sleep apnea treatment and surgical procedures.

Find lasting relief—schedule your appointment today or give us a call at 301-695-3100. We want you healthy, Frederick!