What is an ENT Doctor?
An ENT doctor is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the ears, nose, and throat. Called an otolaryngologist, an ENT doctor can treat a wide variety of symptoms, including those that develop in the head and neck. This specialist completes an additional 4 years of training after graduating from medical school and receives board-certification from the American Board of Otolaryngology.
How long does an ENT appointment last?
Your appointment with an ENT specialist may last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. This depends on whether or not this is the first time you’ve been to the office and whether you are having a procedure or test done.
What should I expect at an ENT consultation?
If you are seeing an ENT for the first time, it is beneficial to prepare for your visit as you would when seeing any new doctor. Before your appointment, consider what questions you have for your doctor. Write them down. Also write down the symptoms you’ve been experiencing, including details such as frequency and severity. Sometimes when seeing a new doctor, people get overwhelmed and forget some of the things they want to talk about. Writing down questions and details can help progress your appointment and give you the peace of mind you need regarding the care you receive.
During your visit with an ENT doctor, you will discuss your symptoms and the reason for your visit. The doctor will examine your ears, nose, and throat using a handheld tool to observe tissue including the lining of the throat, the eardrum, and mucus membranes of the nose. This examination is painless. If additional diagnostic tests are needed to uncover the cause of your symptoms, the doctor will discuss them at that time. You may receive a prescription for medication such as antibiotics if needed to treat your symptoms.
What conditions does an ENT Specialist treat?
Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists provide medical and surgical treatment for a variety of conditions.
Ear conditions treated by an ENT include pain, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), balance problems, and hearing issues. Nose conditions treated by this specialist include chronic or recurrent sinus pain, breathing problems related to the airway, problems with smell, and more. Throat conditions treated by an ENT include problems with swallowing, pain when swallowing, and digestion issues that affect the lower throat.
What is the treatment for an ear infection?
An ear infection may occur when fluid accumulates in the middle ear, the area just behind the eardrum. With this fluid accumulation comes inflammation and pain. Caused by bacteria or a virus, an ear infection may be acute, meaning that it is intense but short-lived. Chronic ear infections are those that persist or recur frequently.
If an ear infection does not improve with time and conservative therapies such as applying a warm cloth over the ear and using ear drops, then a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to resolve symptoms. A course of antibiotics may last about 7 days and maybe prescribed to use with ear drops or other medications, such as a decongestant.
When should I see an ENT Specialist?
You should consider seeing an ENT specialist if you have any condition that is affecting your ears, nose, or throat that is not improving with conservative remedies. Schedule a visit with one of our experienced otolaryngologists if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Acute or chronic ear pain.
- Acute or chronic tonsillitis with throat pain.
- Chronic sinus pain, congestion, or runny nose.
- Injury to an ear, the nose, or the throat.
- Dizziness or balance problems.
- Diminished hearing.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Breathing problems.
- Allergies or asthma.
- Chronic nosebleeds.
- Problems with the smell.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
What is the treatment for a sinus infection?
An acute sinus infection can be an uncomfortable problem to encounter. Fortunately, this type of infection tends to resolve with time and conservative care. A doctor may first recommend taking nasal decongestant medication as needed and pain medication to reduce discomfort. Nasal saline rinses may also be done at home to soothe inflammation caused by the infection. Medical treatment may be recommended if sinus infections become a chronic problem, occurring several times a year or lasting for several weeks.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that involves repeated pauses in breathing when a person sleeps. There are three common types of sleep apnea, all of which can be very serious. These include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea. The most common form, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when throat muscles relax and block the airway.
- Central sleep apnea. Less common, central sleep apnea occurs when there is an interruption in the signals from the brain to the muscles that control breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, is a combination of the first two forms of sleep apnea.
When a person has any type of sleep apnea, they may stop and start breathing hundreds of times a night. The health consequences can be severe, so it is imperative to obtain an accurate diagnosis for symptoms such as loud, chronic snoring and pauses in a breath when sleeping.
What are the symptoms of hearing loss?
Hearing loss occurs gradually and may not be noticed right away unless one knows what to listen for. Signs that hearing is diminished include:
- Sounds and speech sound muffled.
- It becomes difficult to hear consonants like “s” and “t”.
- Difficulty hearing conversations, especially when there is background noise, such as in a restaurant.
- Turning the volume up on the radio or television more often than you used to.
- Asking people to speak up.
- Difficult hearing conversation on the phone.
- Avoidance of conversations due to frustration or not wanting to ask people to repeat themselves.
- Withdrawal from social settings.
Hearing loss can interfere with a good quality of life. An ear, nose, and throat doctor can measure the extent of hearing loss in each ear and discuss options to make it easier to engage fully in life.
For information on our providers:
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you’re interested in learning more about our ENT related service please contact us today at 928-537-4375 or fill out our contact us form below. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.