An ENT doctor is a physician who specializes in otolaryngology, a field of medicine that tackles the conditions of the ears, nose, and throat, as well as some parts of the neck and head. If you encounter problems with your ears, nose, and throat, you might need to visit an otolaryngologist or an ENT doctor.
However, not everyone can differentiate a serious ENT condition from a minor one. Many people ignore their conditions in the misconception that it’s nothing serious. But if you start experiencing these signs and symptoms, it’s a good idea to go to an ENT immediately:
1. Persisting hearing loss
Losing hearing temporarily is normal, but not recommended, if you stand too close to an amplifier or speakers during a concert in Denver or any other city. However, if your hearing difficulties persist for a week or more, book an appointment with an ENT and facial plastic surgery clinic immediately (ENTs can get a subspecialty in plastic surgery as well). Persistent hearing loss can indicate permanent damage or an ear infection.
2. Severe sore throat
Having a sore throat is common, especially when you have a cold. But when the pain in your throat becomes so severe that you can no longer eat or drink anything, or if your sore throat persists for more than a week, it’s high time to visit an ENT specialist. A severe and persistent sore throat can be an effect of many causes, such as postnasal drip, infection, gonorrhea, or mono.
3. Chronic sinus infection
Do your sinuses become painful and congested for days at a time? And do these episodes happen constantly? If you’re having chronic sinus problems, visit an ENT as soon as possible. Chronic sinus pain and congestion can indicate sinusitis (sinus infection), which is incredibly uncomfortable when left untreated.
4. Long-lasting laryngitis
Laryngitis is the inflammation of your larynx or voice box. This condition can be caused by throat injuries, vocal strain, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or smoking. When your lose your voice for more than six weeks (a telltale sign of laryngitis), visit an ENT doctor to diagnose the underlying medical issue and treat it.
5. Constant nasal congestion
Having a congested nose all the time is annoying, but can usually be treated by over-the-counter medicine. But if you constantly have a blocked nose, you might want to look into it with an ENT. This symptom can mean that there’s an underlying issue, such as infections or allergies that you don’t know about.
6. Ringing ears
Do you hear ringing a ringing sound all the time? You may have tinnitus, which is a symptom of another underlying issue, such as hearing loss. In which case, you need an ENT to determine the problem and find out how you can treat it.
An ENT specialist deals with a lot of medical conditions, and these are just some of the most common ones. If you experience these signs and symptoms, set an appointment with your ENT doctor right away to prevent the underlying condition from getting worse. Even if the problem seems minor, it’s not worth losing your hearing or letting your throat infection get worse by ignoring it.