One question that is often on a patient’s mind when they are referred to an ENT clinic is, ‘Just what does an ear, nose and throat doctor do?’ Called otolaryngologists, an ENT doctor treats a wide range of conditions related to your head or neck. This includes your ears, nose, sinuses, throat, voice box, thyroid and esophagus. Essentially, an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor, specialises in the care and treatment of the area below the brain and above the lungs (except for the eyes).
Why do we need a specialist for this relatively small area of our body? With the abundance of important nerves and blood vessels that connect the brain to the rest of the body, all which go through the head and neck, it’s becomes quite obvious as to why we would need a doctor that specialises in this area. An ENT doctor is trained in both the medical and surgical management of any diseases of our ears, our nose, and, of course, our throat.
What Does An ENT Doctor Do?
So, what exactly does an ENT doctor do? ENT doctors treat a wide range of head and neck conditions, including those related to:
- Ears, Including Hearing Loss And Ear Tubes
- Tonsils And Adenoids
- Voice Box
- Smell And Taste Disorders
- Lesions Or Tumors In The Mouth And Throat
- Cancers In The Head And Neck
Many patients are referred to an ENT doctor because they have a very complex primary problem such as a bad tumor or sinus disease. They might also have a simple problem, but they are medically complex.
How Are ENT Doctors Trained?
After medical school, those studying to be an ENT doctor will typically undergo 2 years of experience across all medical and surgical fields. Then, they will begin 8 years of ENT training where they will rotate through the different subspecialties such as:
- Head and neck, which covers cancers of the head and neck.
- Laryngology (voice and swallowing).
- Rhinology (sinuses).
- Neurotology (ear surgery), which includes interdisciplinary care with neurosurgeons to access tumors through and around the ear.
- Pediatrics, which encompasses all specialties as they relate to children.
- Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.
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