An otolaryngologist or ENT (Ears, Nose, and Throat) doctor deals with conditions occurring above the neck; specifically the ears, nose and throat. These organs may be small in size, but there are a huge list of problems that can affect them. ENTs treat adults and children, but some specialize and treat pediatric patients only. Numerous conditions affecting these organs are investigated and treated by ENTs. The ENT service in Houston is available at a myriad of medical facilities.
The tiniest bone in the body is actually located in the ear. Conditions that require ENT services are: infection, wax build up, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), balance problems, ear aches and hearing loss. One in ten Americans suffer from hearing loss. ENT specialists can provide helpful insight into deafness whether it is congenital or acquired.
Nose and Mouth
When it comes to the nose, sinus issues are the leading concern patients experience and seek out the expertise of an ENT for to obtain treatment. Inflammation or infection of the sinuses creates pain, difficulty breathing and swelling. Allergies often cause chronic sinusitis. Treatment consists of antihistimines or antibiotics depending on the severity and cause of the sinusitis. ENTs also address issues with chronic nosebleeds and post nasal drip. Mouth conditions treated by an ENT consist of pain in the oral cavity, sores and lesions.
Otolaryngologists are experts in dealing with diseases which affect the larynx (voice box), esophagus which includes voice and swallowing disorders. Even stuttering falls under this category as it can be caused by the malfunction of these organs.
Some throat problems are serious and others are just bothersome. Tonsillitis is a throat related disease, but surgery isn’t always performed as readily as it was in the 1960’s. Noisy breathing, chronic cough and trouble swallowing are all signs that a throat assessment should be completed.
Head and Neck
This head contains nerves which affect smell, hearing, the face and sight. ENTs treat such conditions as thyroid/parathyroid problems, tumors (both benign and cancerous), trauma to the face and face deformities.
Such things as infection, allergies, neurological disorders and even medications can cause vertigo or dizziness. Sometimes it is related to the ear rather than in the head.
Sleep Disorders and Snoring
Nearly half of all adults snore occasionally, but in a certain percentage the snoring is due to obstructed breathing. This can be serious as in the case of sleep apnea in which case patients stop breathing frequently during sleep. An ENT can evaluate you and direct you to appropriate avenues for a complete and accurate diagnosis and treatment.
ENT service in Houston primarily addresses these general ear, nose and throat sicknesses while others focus on more serious conditions. These are the more invasive and advanced illnesses. Within the ENT specialty services comes the expertise provided by audiologists and speech and language therapists. Usually a referral from a General Practicioner is required to see an ENT specialist, but some offices will forego this referral.