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ENT Specialists: Doctors for Ear, Nose & Throat

Written by Dr. Pravalika ENT

Last updated on 11 May 2020

Who is an ENT specialist?

ENT Specialists are doctors specialized in treating diseases and disorders related to Ear, Nose and Throat. They diagnose and treat all medical conditions related to the ear, nose and throat both medically and surgically. They are known as Otolaryngologists. They are skilled in diagnosing and treating diseases related to nose, sinuses (air filled cavities behind your cheek bones, forehead), Voice box (larynx), oral cavity, tonsils, behind the oral cavity and many more. ENT specialists are specialized in treating Head and neck diseases as well. 

Table of Contents

What does an ENT specialist do?

ENT Specialists diagnose and treat all medical conditions related to the ear, nose and throat, such as:

    1. Ear conditions : Ear has a lot of important functions in the body like Hearing and Balance. ENT specialists are trained in treating conditions such as ear pain, any discharge from ear, swelling behind ears, hearing loss, ringing sensation in ears (tinnitus), feeling of imbalance or dizziness during change in posture etc., Few ear related diseases can be as following:
      1. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
      2. Acute Otitis Media (AOM) 
      3. Chronic otitis media
      4. Mastoiditis
      5. Hearing loss
      6. Meniere’s disease
      7. Tinnitus
    2. Nose conditions : Nose has functions associated with breathing, smell, filtering dust/allergens. Nose related diseases can be from allergies, deviation in your nasal bone/septum, blockage or infection in your sinuses situated at various places on your face, any swelling or masses in nose/behind the nose that obstruct the nasal cavity etc. ENT specialists are trained in treating allergies and other associated diseases with nose/sinuses. They are specialised in treating tumors related to the nose as well. Few nose related disorders can be as following: 
      1. Deviated Nasal Septum
      2. Anosmia
      3. Sinus Headaches
      4. Acute/ Chronic Rhinosinusitis
      5. Allergic Rhinitis
      6. Epistaxis (Bleeding from nose)
      7. Nasopharyngeal tumors
    3. Throat conditions : ENT doctors are specialised in treating conditions that can affect our swallowing or speech such as sore throat, infections, hoarseness, pain while swallowing or talking, burning sensation/reflux of food in throat, disorders associated with voice box (larynx), diseases related to salivary glands which produce saliva and many more. Few throat related disorders can be as following:
      1. Acute/ Chronic Tonsillitis
      2. Adenoid infection
      3. Vocal polyps/ Nodules
      4. Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
      5. Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease (LPRD)
      6. Sialadenitis
      7. Tumors related to larynx
  • Other Issues : In addition to above mentioned disorders ENT specialists also treat Thyroid related disorders, Head and neck cancers, Non cancerous masses in Head and Neck, Nasal or airway obstruction leading to snoring or sleep related issues, surgical treatment in case of facial trauma, foreign body removal from nose/ear/throat, Bell’s palsy (temporary paralysis of facial muscles) and many more.

How often should you go to an ENT specialist?

You should see an ENT specialist if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Infections in the ear, nose or throat.
  • Frequent cold or throat infections
  • Pain in Sinuses or Sinus Headache
  • Muffled or hearing loss
  • Persistent ringing sensation in your ears
  • Experiencing Imbalance/Dizziness in certain positions
  • Neck swelling
  • Hoarseness
  • Pain while swallowing or during speech
  • Also as directed by Doctor for follow ups
  • In case you are referred by another specialist doctor

What degrees do you need to be an ENT specialist?

After 5 years of Medical Degree course ENT Doctors are trained in 3 year speciality or Post graduate courses like MS (ENT) or DNB (Diplomate of National Board) or 2 year DLO (Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology). Few ENT specialists will have additional qualifications like Fellowships or subspecialty training in Head and Neck surgery, pediatric otolaryngology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

How to find a good ENT Specialist?

To find a good ENT specialist, speak to a family member or friend to refer you to a good doctor. You could also search online for ENT specialists; Google does a great job of providing services closest to you, i.e., they’d connect you with doctors near you. Usually, there are ratings and reviews online for the quality of services provided to help you decide what’s best for you.

How to choose an ENT Specialist?

Choosing the right ENT specialist is one of the most important and personal decisions you would make. Following are seven essential tips to help you choose the right ENT doctor:

  1. Research. There are many doctors out there. Decide upon the one you would be comfortable with; someone with a good reputation, communication and soft skills.
  2. Get the proper referrals. Speak with your family members, colleagues, friends to help you connect with the right doctor.
  3. Check for licencing and credentials of the doctor.
  4. Consider the years of experience of the ENT specialist.
  5. Consider the gender of the ENT doctor depending on if you would want to disclose your health condition to them.
  6. Consider the communication style of the ENT doctor. Choose an eye doctor you would gel along with quickly. Developing a rapport helps in communicating efficiently with the doctor. If possible, read patient reviews to help you make the right decisions.
  7. It’s good to know if you would be covered under the insurance plan that you have.

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  • Ask the doctor about your symptoms, problems, medications, and more during your consultation.
  • You may have to submit your medical history and records if any, so the doctor can better understand your condition.
  • Post teleconsultation, you could also follow up with your doctor online.
  • Additionally, you can also buy medicines online and get lab tests done using the MFine app, all from the comfort of your home.

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What do ENT doctors check?

After collecting thorough medical history, past history of any similar conditions from patients ENT doctors check for any signs of disorders in your ear, nose or throat, such as 

  • Infections in your ear, nose or throat
  • For any swelling or masses in ear, nose or throat
  • For any imbalance in certain position
  • Any redness or signs of persistent infection
  • Any ulcers in oral cavity
  • Any deviation in Nasal bone etc.,

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