Allergies or Sinus Troubles?
When Should You See an ENT Specialist?

MARCH 20, 2018
By UH
Young woman sneezing into tissue

Spring is a time of year when many people experience seasonal allergies, scratchy throats, nasal congestion and sinus problems. For some, the symptoms and discomfort are enough to send them to their primary care doctor for help. However, if the problem is chronic and recurring, your doctor may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist.

ENT specialists (or otolaryngologists) have advanced medical and surgical training in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions, ranging from simple sinusitis and allergies to complex cancers, trauma and deformities of the head, neck and face. In addition, ENT physicians often work closely with:

  • Audiologists to diagnose and treat hearing loss
  • Neurosurgeons for the removal of skull-based tumors
  • Oncologists for the treatment of head and neck cancers
  • Plastic surgeons when reconstructive surgery of the face and neck is required
  • Sleep medicine specialists to surgically correct problems with the nose, palate and tongue that may cause sleep apnea and/or snoring
  • Speech pathologists to manage speech and swallowing disorders

There are many different symptoms that might suggest the need for an ENT consultation. If you experience any of the following symptoms and they persist beyond 7 to 10 days, talk to your primary care doctor and ask if you might benefit from specialty ENT care. A referral will usually be necessary.

  • Chronic sinusitis and/or postnasal drip
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Frequent headaches
  • Hearing loss or impairment
  • Pain in your face, upper teeth or ears
  • Persistent sore throat and/or voice hoarseness
  • Problems with balance and/or dizziness
  • Recurring ear, adenoid or tonsil infections
  • Ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
  • Voice problems

Ranked 12th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, University Hospitals Ear, Nose & Throat Institute offers a wide range of technologically advanced treatments for both adults and children with disorders of the ear, nose and throat. “Our doctors, nurse practitioners and audiologists are recognized as leaders in the field both nationally and internationally,” says Cliff Megerian, MD, Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, UH Cleveland Medical Center.

If you’re experiencing sinus problems or allergy symptoms, the UH ENT Institute has 20 convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio. To schedule an appointment with one of our ear, nose and throat specialists, call 216-844-6000.

Related links:

Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology
Community Ear Nose and Throat Center