No person is a stranger to a stuffy nose, hoarseness in the throat, or an occasional sinus infection. In order to alleviate the symptoms, people usually go see their general practitioner to prescribe them appropriate treatment and medication. However, it is time to see an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist when the symptoms become persistent over time.

In general, an ENT doctor, commonly known as an otolaryngologist, specializes in everything having to do with these three areas of the body. They can accurately diagnose a patient’s health issue, give them the right treatment, and lead them down the path to recovery.

However, because many people don’t realize the scope of this practice, they often have a hard time understanding when and why they might need to see an ENT specialist. In this post, we outline five reasons why you can benefit from making an ENT appointment. 

5 Reasons You Might Need an ENT

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Sudden hearing loss

If you find yourself turning up the volume on the TV or have difficulties understanding speech, then you may be suffering from some form of hearing loss. This is the ideal time to consider making an appointment with an ENT specialist and talking to them about your sudden hearing impairment. The doctor will perform various tests to determine the cause of the hearing loss and give you the appropriate treatment.

Depending on the severity of the impairment, you may be required to wear hearing aids to improve your hearing ability. To purchase the best hearing device, just type in “how to find quality hearing aids near me” on your phone and search for the nearest store in your area.

Recurrent ear infections

Ear infections, which mainly occur in children, can be quite discomforting and painful and require an immediate visit to an ENT specialist. 

In general, there are several types of ear infections, with otitis media being one of the most common. It is an inflammation of the middle ear that typically results from a cold, sore throat, or respiratory infection. The consequences of the infection include impaired hearing, fever, headache, loss of balance and speech, and social and developmental delays in children. 

The most effective treatment for ear infections that ENT doctors prescribe their patients is ear tubes, which suction out fluid from the middle ear and prevent future buildup.

Chronic sinusitis

Sinusitis is another very uncomfortable and disruptive health issue in which the cavities around the sinuses become inflamed and swollen for at least twelve weeks. The symptoms one can experience with this condition include pain in the face, ears, upper teeth region, and nose.

Because conservative treatment may not always help alleviate the symptoms of chronic sinusitis, a patient is required to see an ENT specialist who will determine a better treatment plan. In many cases, doctors will recommend a balloon sinus surgery which is a minimally invasive treatment when medical therapy has not provided adequate relief. 

Persistent sore throat or tonsillitis

Sore throat or tonsillitis is a health condition that can affect both children and adults and doesn’t always require special medical attention. However, if the soreness in the throat becomes so severe that you can barely drink water or it has been lasting for more than a week, then you should definitely pay a visit to an ENT doctor. 

Depending on the cause of tonsillitis, the doctor can prescribe different treatments. In most cases, they usually recommend surgery to remove the tonsils, especially if the condition occurs frequently and no other treatments can help alleviate it.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that happens when your breathing repeatedly stops and restarts. When it happens, people usually snore loudly and make choking noises as they try to breathe. The brain then becomes deprived of oxygen, causing a person to wake up consistently. This will certainly make one feel exhausted during the day and even lead to more serious health issues such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.

Visiting an ENT specialist is the first step you need to take to treat sleep apnea. The doctor may suggest you sleep with a device that keeps your airways open and also give you advice on making a few lifestyle changes that can also help with the treatment.

5 Reasons You Might Need an ENT

Photo by Houston Methodist 

Final thoughts

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your ears, nose, or throat, then making an appointment with an ENT specialist is a must. These doctors specialize in these parts of the body and will give you an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment for any issue. For more information, refer to our post and learn when and why you might need an ENT.