An ENT specialist is a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of various problems concerning the ears, nose and throat. In the US, it is considered as one of the oldest medical specialty. In addition, more than 50% of all trips to the offices of physicians are related to ENT problems.
For many individuals, it can be confusing to determine whether or not the best type of doctor to visit is an ENT specialist or somebody else. To help give you a much better idea, read on. Below you will come across some of the telltale signs that it is the nearest ENT doctor that you should pay a visit:
You Have a Sore Throat
Usually, we run to a family doctor each time we have a sore throat to get prescribed with antibiotics. Most of the time, a trip to the clinic of a family doctor does the trick. But if your sore throat doesn’t seem to want to go away even after having plenty of rest and a course of antibiotics, it’s something that warrants a trip to the ENT specialist’s office.
In some instances, a sore throat is not simply due to a bacterial or viral infection. It is very much possible for it to be an issue that’s brought about by another problem going on elsewhere in your body. For instance, it can be due to a condition related to the upper part of the digestive system or your sinuses.
You Have a Headache
Most people simply pop a painkiller whenever they are bugged by a headache. Do you suffer from headaches on a regular basis and you have no idea why? Then consider taking a trip to the clinic of an ENT specialist. This type of medical doctor can help determine the cause of your regular headaches, as well as provide the best treatment for it.
There are simply so many things that can potentially cause a headache, and some of them include sinusitis, acute upper respiratory tract infections and even anatomical issues. To help pin down the cause, sometimes an ENT doctor may request his or her patient to undergo a CT scan.
You Have Congestion or Drainage
Whether your nose is congested or runny, it’s a good idea for you to consult an ENT specialist. This is most especially true if the issue does not resolve on its own in 7 to 10 days. A stuffy or runny nose that takes a long, long time to go away needs to be checked by a doctor who specializes in problems with the ears, nose and throat.
Especially if the problem is accompanied by a bunch of other unusual symptoms such as headaches and dizziness, you should take things seriously. In some cases, a stuffy or runny nose can be due to matters other than an upper respiratory tract infection or allergy, such as acid reflux and a deviated septum.
You Have a Snoring Problem
Told time and again that you are keeping everyone else from having a good night’s sleep because of your excessive snoring? It’s a good idea for you to see an ENT specialist to make sure that it’s nothing serious. Yes, sometimes snoring can be caused by a problem that can put your health in some form of danger.
In some cases, snoring can be due to an obstruction in the air passages, such as a deviated septum and the presence of polyps which are small growths that protrude from mucous membranes. But there are times, too, in which it is due to sleep apnea. If such is the case, an ENT is most likely to refer the patent to a sleep specialist.
You Have Hearing Loss
If your problem is you cannot hear properly in one or both ears, you should definitely consult an ENT doctor as soon as you can. While it’s true that sometimes hearing loss can be due to an upper respiratory tract infection or allergy, there are cases, too, in which it is an infection of the middle ear or what’s called otitis media.
There are also instances wherein hearing loss is caused by a buildup of fluid or earwax, and the removal of which can help reinstate proper hearing. Sometimes the problem is a more serious one, such as something that’s related to nerve damage or aging. If such is the case, an ENT specialist usually suggests the use of a hearing aid.