Otorhinolaryngology is the branch of medicine that deals with the health of the ears, nose and throat.
What does an otorhinolaryngologist do?
An otorhinolaryngologist is a doctor specializing in otolaryngology, whose goals are to ensure the health of the ear, nose, and throat by diagnosing, treating, and monitoring diseases and disorders that can affect them.
What diseases are treated by an otorhinolaryngologist?
Among the diseases and disorders most often treated by an otorhinolaryngologist are diseases of the pharynx such as tonsillitis, palate anomalies, sleep apnea, and snoring, diseases of the larynx such as vocal cord paralysis, nodules, polyps, cysts, and laryngeal stenosis, and salivary gland diseases such as sialadenitis and sialolithiasis. Others include ear diseases such as otitis media, perforated eardrum, otosclerosis, labyrinth disorders, deafness, and tinnitus, inflammatory diseases of the nose such as sinusitis, adenoiditis, polyposis, and hypertrophy of the turbinates, malformations of the nose and the nasal septum, and throat cancer.
What are the procedures used by an otorhinolaryngologist?
An otorhinolaryngologist will initially gather a medical history of the patient including a record of family diseases. Then the specialist will proceed to examine the patient's oral cavity, ear, nose, and neck. Among the procedures most commonly used are the removal ear wax plug, audiometry, tympanometry, vestibular exam, bioelectrical impedance analysis, laryngoscopy, otoscopy, and rhinoscopy.
When should a patient visit an otorhinolaryngologist?
An appointment with an ENT specialist can be useful if a patient is experiencing symptoms such as ringing in the ear, hearing problems, clogged ear, stuffy nose for no apparent reason, feelings of confusion, balance problems and dizziness, constant throat pain, and persistent lowering of the voice. Regular visits are also recommended for those who have previously diagnosed problems of ENT nature.