Allergies or Sinus Troubles? When to See an ENT Specialist
March 21, 2018
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 (ENT) 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.
Who Can Benefit From ENT Care
If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist beyond seven to 10 days, talk to your primary care doctor and ask if you might benefit from specialty ENT care. A referral usually will 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