What is Otolaryngology?
Otolaryngologists diagnose and manage diseases of the sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity, upper pharynx (mouth and throat), and structures of the neck and face, as well as many ENT primary care problems in both children and adults.
Why should I see an Otolaryngologist?
These specialists differ from many physicians in that they are trained in both medicine and surgery. Otolaryngologists do not need to refer patients to other physicians when ear, nose, throat, or head/neck surgery is needed and can offer the most appropriate care for each individual patient. Therefore, otolaryngologists are the most appropriate physicians to treat disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck.
Areas of Treatment
The ears - Hearing loss affects one in ten North Americans. The unique domain of otolaryngologists is the treatment of ear disorders. They are trained in both the medical and surgical treatment of hearing, ear infections, balance disorders, ear noise (tinnitus), nerve pain, and facial and cranial nerve disorders. Otolaryngologists also manage congenital (birth) disorders of the outer and inner ear.
The nose - About 35 million people develop chronic sinusitis each year, making it one of the most common health complaints in America. Care of the nasal cavity and sinuses is one of the primary skills of otolaryngologists. Management of the nasal area includes allergies and sense of smell. Breathing through, and the appearance of, the nose are also part of otolaryngologists’ expertise.
The throat - Communicating (speech and singing) and eating a meal all involve this vital area. Also specific to otolaryngologists is expertise in managing diseases of the larynx (voice box) and the upper aerodigestive tract or esophagus, including voice and swallowing disorders.
The head and neck - This center of the body includes the important nerves that control sight, smell, hearing, and the face. In the head and neck area, otolaryngologists are trained to treat infectious diseases, both benign and malignant (cancerous) tumors, facial trauma, and deformities of the face. They perform both cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Sleep Apnea/Snoring - Sleep apnea is a common disorder that affects millions of men, women, and children but is often undiagnosed, despite the potentially serious consequences of the disorder. Otolaryngologists are trained in recognizing and treating sleep apnea and snoring with medical and surgical means.
Allergies - Forty-five million Americans suffer from allergies. Symptoms may include itching eyes, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, nasal congestion and drainage, and sometimes headache. Some people also experience hearing changes, sore throat, hoarseness, and coughing. Other symptoms include balance disturbances, throat or facial swelling, irritated skin, respiratory problems and asthma.