There are many reasons that your physician might refer you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT). ENTs focus on problems and disorders of these facial areas. The treatment of ENT conditions requires specialized knowledge and experience because they can be extensive and the treatment can require many months of diagnosis and medications or procedures. The most common ENT diseases are the following.
Thyroid diseases is usually an over or under functioning of the thyroid. The thyroid is necessary for producing thyroid hormones that are essential to a body?s metabolism. Patients suffering from thyroid diseases are likely to notice a quick increase or decrease in body weight, despite healthy eating. This disease is often diagnosed by multiple visits to the primary physician, who eventually refers out to an ENT doctor. From here, the ENT doctor will run a series of tests, specifically checking for thyroid disease.
Chronic ear infections
Ear infections are somewhat common in young children. However, if older children or adults are experiencing chronic ear infections, there is likely an underlying problem. Ear infections can also be brought on by poor diet, a virus, or fluid in the inner ear. Many ear infections are not treated properly and can also lead to additional ear infections. Once an ear infection clears, fluid may still remain in the middle ear but will usually disappear within three to six weeks. ENTs see a lot of chronic ear infection patients.
Sinusitis is a form of chronic sinuses. While some sinus problems are normal, especially in high pollen and allergen environments, chronic sinuses are not normal. Some patients may also find that they develop sinus problems for the first time and then have trouble getting rid of them. Acute sinusitis may last up to four weeks, while chronic sinusitis can last anywhere from 12 weeks to multiple years. This medical condition is often difficult for a primary physician to diagnose and it usually requires the specialized knowledge of an ENT specialist. A patient may also want to work closely with an ENT specialist on a case of chronic sinusitis.
You might be surprised to learn that sleep disorders can actually be an ENT problem. Sinus problems, snoring, and sleep apnea can all affect you from having a good night of sleep. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, 45% of normal adults snore occasionally and 25% are habitual snorers. Many people who snore simply believe that it is just an annoying trait, but it could also be due to an underlying medical condition. Fortunately, ENT specialists work with sleep apnea treatment and snoring treatment. In chronic cases, facial plastic surgery can be beneficial, such as rhinoplasty.
Tonsil and throat problems
Again, tonsil and throat problems are most common in young children. However, older children and adults who still have their tonsils can also have problems. When a patient gets chronic sore throats or strep throat, it may be recommended to remove the tonsils. There is no need for tonsils in the human body and the procedure is relatively low risk and has a quick recovery time. If your primary physician has recommended a tonsillectomy, it can be beneficial to get a second opinion from an ENT specialist.
While many patients go to their primary physician for ear, nose, and throat problems, it may actually be more advantageous to see an ENT specialist. The ENT specialist is a physician that specializes entirely in diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, and throat. They are the expert in these areas and are updated on the latest and more effective treatments for these different diseases.