If you’re like most people in North Carolina, you are probably unfamiliar with the term otolaryngology. This fancy and difficult-to-pronounce word refers to the medical specialty that deals with ear, nose and throat disorders and is better known by the acronym ENT. An ear, nose and throat specialist, or ENT doctor, sees patients with a wide range of ailments. Knowing when you should see an ENT will help bring relief from a number of bothersome symptoms.
What Does an Otolaryngologist Treat?
Otolaryngologists in Boone treat a variety of diseases affecting the ears, nose and throat. Some of the more common disorders they treat for each area include:
- Ears: Ear disorders such as ear infections, hearing impairment, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and dizziness or balance disorders.
- Nose: Conditions that affect the nose, nasal cavities and sinuses, specifically those that interfere with smell and breathing.
- Throat: Problems that affect speech, eating, swallowing and digestion.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. Boone ENT doctors might specialize in very specific areas such as pediatric airway disorders, head and neck cancers, thyroid disorders, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, snoring and sleep apnea and endoscopic sinus surgery. And you thought all they did was look inside your ears with a lighted instrument!
When to Schedule an ENT Appointment
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, we urge you to schedule an appointment with an ENT in Boone:
- Balance problems
- Hearing impairment
- Ear infection
- Tonsil or adenoid infection
- Swimmer’s ear
- Pain in the ears, nose or throat
- Breathing problems
- Down’s syndrome
- Sinus infections
- Tumors in the ears, nose, throat, head or neck
- Deviated septum
- Undesirable appearance of the nose or face
- Nasal congestion
- Problems with smell
- Voice or swallowing problems
- Sore throat or hoarseness
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Sleep apnea
Some of these symptoms may be treated successfully by your primary care physician, but it’s important to take a look at the big picture. An ENT will provide a more thorough examination of what is causing your symptoms and is skilled to treat the underlying condition, giving you the best chance for long-term relief.