THE 101 ON ENT SPECIALISTS: WHO IS AN ENT SPECIALIST AND WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE ONE?

Dr. S.M. Hammad Raza

2 min read

According to recent studies, visits related to ENT problems account for more than 50% of the yearly visits to physicians, making it one of the most in-demand specialties. Even though many people prefer to visit a general physician for common colds and throat infections but an ENT specialist is the doctor that you should be visiting if you face any such infections as these specialists can be very thorough and help you avoid future infections as well.

Who is an ENT Specialist?

Also referred toas ‘Otolaryngologists’, ENT specialists are medical specialists who are exclusively trained to diagnose and treat matters -both medically and surgically-related to the ears, nose and throat, as the abbreviation ‘ENT’ suggests. They also focus on the various diseases which affect other areas of the head and neck region.

What Conditions Do ENT Specialists Treat?

ENT Specialists or Otolaryngologists treat both adults and children for allergies (seasonal rhinitis), infections, injuries and tumours in the ear, nose or throat as well as congenital facial defects and acquired abnormalities, such as cleft lip, palate and drooping eyelids,and swallowing, speech and sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.They also diagnose and treat certain nerve disorders like Bell’s palsy. They can cure and alleviate pain associated with a range of diseases, from sinus headaches in adults to swimmer’s ear in children.

Some treatable ailments according to their specific area of origin are listed below:

  • The Ear:

The ear region is uniquely sensitive and requires an expert to handle various problems such as hearing disorders, ear infections, balance disorders and facial nerve or cranial nerve disorders. Birth defects and cancerous disorders of the outer and inner ear can also be medically and/or surgically treated. Issues related to hearing and balance, dizziness, ringing in the ears and the restoration of hearing in the middle ear are also dealt with.

  • The Nose:

ENTs provide expert care for the nasal passages and sinuses as well as management of paranasal sinuses, allergies, olfactory issues (sense of smell), and nasal respiration or breathing. An ENT specialist can also alter the external appearance of the nose as and when required to facilitate breathing.

  • The Throat:

Treatment of disorders and diseases related to the larynx and esophagus such as respiratory and swallowing problems are also included in an ENT doctor’s sphere of expertise. Issues that impact speech and swallowing, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hoarseness, impairments in the vocal cords and airway passages are dealt with as well. 

  • Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Some ENT specialists can also perform cosmetic or facial reconstruction surgery for facial trauma and defects since birth or due to accident or injury. Such deformities are often accompanied by distress and changes in physical appearances, which can be rectified; this includes facial paralysis, hair loss, head and neck cancer reconstructions and revision or facial cosmetic surgery.

  • The Head and Neck:

The head and neck region contains some of the most vital organs in our body, and these specialists diagnose and treat neck masses, enlarged glands resulting from thyroid disease and Grave’s disease. They also diagnose and treat cancerous and benign tumors.

Collaboration with Other Fields:

Along with independent work, ENT specialists often work with ophthalmologists to treat eye conditions, dermatologists for the head and neck region, plastic surgeons and dentists for relevant surgical procedures. Also ENT Specialists often work with paediatricians when the patient is a child.

Are there further Sub-Specialties within ENT Specialists?

Yes, there are 7 commonly recognized ENT sub-categories. They include:

  • Otology/Neurotology: Treatment of external, middle and inner ear disorders as well as the nerve pathways affecting hearing and balance.
  • Pediatric Otolaryngology: ENT treatments for children, whose growing and adapting bodies often require special medical attention- birth defects of the neck and head, ear infections, developmental delays, adenoid infections and breathing difficulties can be assessed.
  • Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Cosmetic and functional abnormalities of the face and neck.
  • Head and Neck Specialists: Parathyroid and thyroid surgery as well as head and neck tumor treatment
  • Rhinology: Nasal and sinus disorder treatment
  • Laryngology: Throat and voice disorder treatment.
  • Allergy: Treatment of inhalant allergies affecting the upper respiratory system.

When Should You Visit an ENT Specialist?

While annual checkups are recommended, an appointment with the ENT specialist may be due if you have an ear infection or recurring throat infection, facial defects, breathing problems, regular nose bleeds, nasal congestion, loud-snoring issues, swallowing problems or issues with balance.

People who are suffering from Asthma, Down’s Syndrome, Tinnitus and /or hearing impairments, or have suspicious lumps in the ENT or head and neck region should immediately consult an ENT Specialist.

If you or your loved one would benefit from consulting with an ENT Specialist, do not hesitate to book an appointment with a top ENT Specialist in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com. Or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your ENT-related issues.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. S.M. Hammad Raza Dr. S.M. Hammad Raza is a leading ENT specialist and surgeon. He advises patients on head and neck surgeries, tonsillitis treatment, thyroid problems, and a number of other ENT related issues.

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