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What Does an ENT Doctor Do?

two doctors standing next to each other

When it comes to ensuring you receive the right medical care, knowing which medical specialist to turn to for assistance will always be very important. In this piece, we have focused on ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors and the conditions they are able to treat.

What is an ENT doctor?

An ENT doctor is a medical professional that specializes in the treatment of illnesses and conditions relating to the ear, nose and throat, as well as surrounding areas such as the head and neck. 

ENT doctors are also surgical specialists, having to undergo at least five years of surgical training to qualify. Some ENTs also choose to continue their training by specializing in an ENT-related area, such as laryngology or rhinology. 

What does an ENT doctor do?

  • Ear: ENT doctors can diagnose and treat a range of different ear conditions, ranging from infection to hearing loss. ENTs can also remove impacted earwax, operate on growths or tumors in the ear, help to treat tinnitus and insert ear tubes that are designed to help relieve chronic ear infections. 
  • Nose and sinuses: ENTs can help to manage allergies, help to clear nasal congestion and remove nasal polyps. Sinus issues can also be addressed by an ENT; treating repeated infections, performing surgery to treat chronic sinusitis and correcting deviated septum’s. 
  • Throat: ENT doctors can help to manage infections such as tonsillitis and can – if required – perform tonsillectomies. In addition, difficulty swallowing and conditions that affect the vocal cords can also be treated by an ENT, as can certain cancerous lumps that develop in the throat. 
  • Other areas: The scope of ENTs is large, and encompasses areas beyond the ear, nose, and throat. For example, ENTs can also treat injuries to the throat, neck or head, manage sleep disorders, perform reconstructive or cosmetic facial surgery and operate on both benign and cancerous growths that develop on the thyroid, the head or the neck.

It should be noted that the list above is far from complete, and there are many other illnesses and conditions that are part of an ENT doctor’s specialty. If you are unsure if a health condition you are experiencing requires an ENT, then you can speak to your primary care doctor, or call a local clinic, for more information. 

ENTs are highly skilled medical specialists who can help with a range of medical conditions. If you feel that you could benefit from a visit to an ENT, talk to your insurer to see if a referral is required, or discuss the matter with your primary care physician.