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What is ENT?

ENT specialists are physicians, trained to provide medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the ears, nose and throat (ENT) and related problems affecting the head and neck.

Otolaryngologists, or more commonly referred to as ENT physicians, diagnose, treat, and manage specialty-specific disorders as well as many primary care problems in both children and adults. Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery is the official name of the oldest medical specialty in the United States.

What Do ENT Specialists Treat?

The Ears

Hearing loss affects one in ten North Americans. The unique domain of Otolaryngologists is the treatment of ear disorders. They are trained in both the medical and surgical treatment of hearing, ear infections, balance disorders, ear noise (tinnitus), nerve pain, and facial and cranial nerve disorders. Otolaryngologists also manage congenital (birth) disorders of the outer and inner ear.

The Nose

About 35 million people develop chronic sinusitis each year, making it one of the most common health complaints in America. Care of the nasal cavity and sinuses is one of the primary skills of Otolaryngologists. Management of the nasal area includes allergies and sense of smell. Breathing through, and the appearance of, the nose are also part of Otolaryngologists’ expertise.

The Throat

Communicating (speech and singing) and eating a meal all involve this vital area. Also specific to Otolaryngologists is expertise in managing diseases of the larynx (voice box) and the upper aero-digestive tract or esophagus, including voice and swallowing disorders.

The Head and Neck

This center of the body includes the important nerves that control sight, smell, hearing, and the face. In the head and neck area, Otolaryngologists are trained to treat infectious diseases, both benign and malignant (cancerous) tumors, facial trauma, and deformities of the face. They perform both cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery.

How Are ENT Specialists Trained?

ENTs are ready to start practicing after completing up to 15 years of college and post-graduate training. To qualify for certification by the American Board of Otolaryngology, an applicant must first complete college, medical school (usually four years), and at least five years of specialty training. Next, the physician must pass the American Board of Otolaryngology examination. Many ENT specialists get substantial experience in one of seven subspecialties areas during residency, or get specialty training at national conferences and workshops and are well-qualified to develop an area of expertise within the field of ENT. Some Otolaryngologists pursue a one- or two- year fellowship for more extensive training, usually for positions at academic centers.

The subspecialty areas of ENT are pediatric Otolaryngology (children), otology/neurotology (ears, balance, and tinnitus), allergy, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, head and neck, laryngology (throat), and rhinology (nose). Some Otolaryngologists limit their practices to one of these seven areas.

ENT specialists differ from many physicians in that they are trained in both medicine and surgery. Otolaryngologists do not need to refer patients to other physicians when ear, nose, throat, or head/neck surgery is needed and, therefore, can offer the most appropriate care for each individual patient.

Telephone Calls

Our office staff has been trained to answer most questions. If the question is one that only our physicians can answer our staff will consult with them and respond as as soon as possible. Generally we return calls during lunch and at the end of regular business hours. Urgent calls are given priority. If you believe that a prescription may be required, please have the phone number of your pharmacy available.

Prescription Refills

Many medications have indicated refills , which can be obtained from your pharmacy without calling our office. Because many diseases have similar symptoms, please understand that we may require an office visit before any medication is provided. If you have not been seen in the clinic for 6 months, we are not comfortable with the over-the-phone diagnosis. After office hours we do not have access to your medical records. Please advise us in as to your history, allergies to medications, etc., and remember to have your pharmacy phone number available.

Test Results

Any cultures done require 48 hours to obtain the final results. Blood work and x-ray results vary depending on where the tests were done. Any questions, please contact our nursing staff.

In Conclusion

We are glad you have chosen us to assist you with your health care needs relating to the ears, nose, and throat. We are truly concerned with the health of our patients. Prevention is an often overlooked aspect of health care. A good diet, regular exercise, adequate rest, and abstinence from smoking are basic health principles that should not be ignored. We strive to provide the best professional care possible. The patient-doctor relationship is one of the most gratifying facets of the medical profession and look forward to caring for you and your family.

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