Problems For An ENT
Sensory problems affecting the ears, nose, and throat (ENT) are common. These 3 areas share critical structures in the head, such as the sinuses and eustachian tubes. A general practitioner may treat some ENT issues. However, in some cases, an ENT doctor may be necessary. This doctor practices otolaryngology, the branch of medicine that covers all matters of the ear, nose, and throat. An ENT doctor is an expert in diagnosing and treating various conditions in these areas that affect children and adults.
Ears, nose, and throat
Otolaryngology specialists diagnose and treat many common and serious illnesses that affect the ears, nose, and throat. These conditions include nasal allergies, ear infections, tonsilitis, sinusitis, and hearing loss. Some ENT doctors are also qualified to perform minor surgical procedures. This may include the removal of polyps or growths, the insertion of hearing aids and other medical devices, and the treatment of sleep apnea. In some cases, the ENT doctor may also recommend surgery to treat more serious conditions, such as mouth, nose, and throat cancers.
Can ENTs biopsy?
A surgical procedure in which a tissue sample is removed for examination under a microscope is called a biopsy. This helps determine whether a patient has cancer or another type of disease. The procedure is usually performed by a trained surgeon and is relatively safe. An ENT doctor can perform biopsies in several different areas of the body. For instance, the doctor may remove a skin sample to biopsy a suspicious mole or take a sample from the sinuses to test for a bacterial infection. Another standard procedure is to biopsy a lesion in the larynx for cancer. In most cases, the biopsy results provide the doctor with the information needed to diagnose and begin treatment.
The training of physicians in otolaryngology is similar to many other medical specialties. After completing 4 years of medical school, a prospective otolaryngologist goes through 5 years of residency. During this time, the doctor will receive training in various areas, including surgical techniques, diagnostics, and managing complex ear, nose, and throat disorders. After residency, the doctor is eligible to become board-certified. An ENT doctor can seek additional training through fellowship programs to gain expertise in areas like rhinology and pediatric otolaryngology.
When should you see an ENT?
Whether or not a person should see a specialist depends on several factors. The severity of the symptoms is one crucial consideration. An ENT doctor is unnecessary if there is a minor issue, such as a sinus infection or a cold. However, a doctor may be necessary for repeated infections, hearing loss, or difficulty breathing. The ENT can perform a biopsy if the doctor discovers a lesion or other anomaly.