Imagine a singer not being able to sing, or you not being able to hear her beautiful music.
Imagine not being able to smell the earth after a spring rain, or not being able to taste and enjoy your favorite holiday meal.
Imagine not being able to sleep through the night next to your loved one because they snore.
These are some of the fundamental functions of life that make living so rich and wonderful. Yet when one or more of these functions no longer work the way they should, living is diminished or even jeopardized.
Hearing and balance, swallowing and speech, breathing and sleep issues, allergies and sinuses, head and neck cancer, skin disorders, even facial plastic surgery are just some of the conditions that “ENT” (ear, nose, and throat) specialists treat. Professionally, ENT specialists are called “otolaryngologists” (pronounced: oh/toe/lair/in/goll/oh/jists), but it’s easier just to say “ENT.”
What's an ENT?
Did you know that nearly half of patients going to primary care offices have some sort of ENT issue?
Think about it. Almost everyone has had a stuffy nose, clogged ears, or sore throat, but ENT specialists treat a diverse range of conditions and disorders of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck region—from simple to severe, for all persons, at all stages of life.
ENT specialists are not only medical doctors who can treat your sinus headache, your child’s swimmer’s ear, or your dad’s sleep apnea. They are also surgeons who can perform extremely delicate operations to restore hearing of the middle ear, open blocked airways, remove head, neck, and throat cancers, and rebuild these essential structures. This requires an additional five to eight years of intensive, post-graduate training beyond medical school.
Organized ENTs have been setting the treatment standards that pediatric and primary care providers have been following since 1896, making otolaryngology one of the oldest medical specialties in the United States.
General otolaryngologists do not limit their practice to any one portion of the head and neck, and can treat a variety of conditions. Some ENT specialists, however, pursue additional training in one of these subspecialty areas: