An otolaryngologist (ENT) is a doctor who is involved in the prevention and treatment of diseases of the ear, throat and nose. The abbreviation ENT is derived from the word “laryngotorinologist”. In a literal translation, the word “otolaryngology” means “the science of the ear, throat and nose.” ENT treats diseases of three organs at once, because these organs are in close physiological connection. For the same reason, diseases of these organs, especially infectious ones, often require complex treatment.
What the ENT doctor treats includes impaired function of all ENT organs – that is, difficulty in nasal breathing, olfactory disturbances, and hearing. In addition, what the otolaryngologist treats includes symptoms that are not externally related to ENT organs (for example, dizziness attacks that can develop with Meniere’s disease, which is localized in the inner ear).
What organs does the ENT treat?
- an ear;
- maxillary sinus;
- lobna armpit;
- maxillary sinus.
What diseases does the ENT treat?
- rhinitis (runny nose) – inflammation of the nasal mucosa;
- sinusitis – inflammation of the mucous membrane of the maxillary (maxillary) sinus;
- acute tonsillitis (tonsillitis) – inflammation of the lymphoid formations of the periopharyngeal ring (palatine tonsils are most often inflamed);
- pharyngitis – inflammation of the mucous membrane and lymphoid tissue of the pharynx;
- otitis media – an inflammatory process in the ear;
- polyps of the nasal cavity – benign lesions in the nasal cavity;
- sulfur plugs – a large accumulation of sulfur in the ear canal.
What else does the ENT do
- treats injuries to the nose, ear, pharynx, including extracts foreign objects from the ENT organs (which are often left there by small children);
- carries out preventive and scheduled examinations for employees of enterprises, pregnant women, students, etc., as well as the prevention of diseases of ENT organs, mainly infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract.
How is the examination at the ENT
At the initial appointment, the otolaryngologist:
- Gathers an anamnesis (medical history), learns from the patient about possible complaints.
- Conducts examination and palpation (palpation) of the ENT organs.
When to see an otolaryngologist
You need to go to the ENT specialist when you feel discomfort or any other unusual sensations associated with your ears, throat or nose:
- difficulty in nasal breathing;
- discharge from the nose;
- discomfort or pain in the maxillary sinus, teeth of the upper jaw, temples, in the root and back of the nose;
- worsening of sense of smell;
- bursting pains in the eyes and forehead, often extending to the temples or the occipital part of the head;
- swelling of the forehead and upper eyelid;
- swelling of the soft tissues of the cheeks, upper lip;
- an increase in nearby lymph nodes in the ears, throat, and nose;
- fever, headaches, a sharp deterioration in well-being – this symptom does not necessarily indicate the presence of ENT diseases, but if it is combined with any of the above, then you need to see an otolaryngologist.
When to go to ENT if you have the flu
The treatment of influenza is not necessarily carried out by the ENT. As a rule, the flu, like many other acute respiratory viral infections, is diagnosed and treated by a general practitioner.
You need to go to ENT only if the course of the disease has taken a severe form:
- a strong increase in temperature (up to 40-40.5 ° C);
- bloody rashes on the skin, on the mucous membranes of the eyes, in the mouth;
- impaired consciousness, up to loss, hallucination;
- sensation of irritation of the hard shell of the brain.
When to lead an appointment with an otolaryngologist
- Often, the symptoms of influenza in children differ from the manifestation of the same disease in adults. Signs of flu in children can be: abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting may also appear. These symptoms of influenza in children are associated with the peculiarities of the reaction of the child’s body to fever and general intoxication.
- Signs of a severe form of flu – irritation of the hard shell of the brain can occur in children as follows: the child throws its head back, feels severe pain if you raise one of its legs when the child is lying (while if the other leg remains bent – the pain decreases). The body becomes very sensitive (even a slight touch is annoying). Nausea and vomiting may occur. If your child has the flu and has at least one of the above symptoms, you should immediately take him to the hospital to an otolaryngologist.
- A frequent reason for referring to ENT with children is the proliferation of adenoids and glands. This pathology is very characteristic of childhood and requires compulsory treatment, since in addition to the constantly present infection (rhinitis, otitis media, etc.), it can lead to deformation of the cartilage and bones of the oral cavity and larynx.