An ear nose and throat doctor (ENT specialist doctor), also called otolaryngologist, otorhinolaryngologist or, rhinolaryngologist, is a medical specialist in the disorders of the ear or nose or throat, and related structures of the head and neck.
In the present-day medical scenario, more than 50% of all physician office visits are for ENT problems. In managing diseases of the ears, nose and nasal passage sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face, ENT doctors have special expertise on the subject.
Right now, the ENT is the oldest medical specialty in the United States.
For the cases of ear-related problems, the treatment includes medical and surgical treatment for hearing disorders, balance disorders, ear infections, disorders of the facial nerve or cranial nerve, as well as management of congenital and cancerous disorders, both of the outer and inner ear.
For disorders related to nose, taking care of the sinuses and the nasal cavity is one of the primary skills of the ENT specialist. Treating the problems of the nasal cavity, sense of smell, paranasal sinuses, nasal respiration (breathing) and allergies, as well as the external appearance of the nose are part of an ENT’s area of expertise.
For the throat-related diseases and problems, the ENT practitioner has an expertise in managing the disorders of the larynx (voice box) and the esophagus or upper aerodigestive tract, which includes the disorders of the voice respiration (breathing) and swallowing.
Other than all these areas, an ENT specialist is also trained to treat tumors (both benign and malignant/cancerous), infectious diseases, deformities of the face and facial trauma. The ENT specialists perform both cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgeries.
An ENT specialist may work with a team of doctors in other medical and surgical specialties. He is ready to start practicing after up to 15 years of college and postgraduate training, and/or other formalities. For a more extensive training, many of the ENT specialists pursue a one or two-year fellowship in one of the seven subspecialty areas, which include: pediatric otolaryngology (children), otology/neurotology (ears and balance), allergy, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, head and neck surgery, laryngology(throat) and rhinology (nose).
A well-trained ear nose and throat doctor has a profound knowledge of all of the physical structures and organs in the neck and head region. Routinely, all ENT specialists handle ear-aches, hearing loss, hoarseness, dizziness, adenoidectomies, and sinus disease and tonsillectomies nosebleeds. The broadest challenge of a good ENT is in providing the best in patient care through skills and experience.