What Throat Health Conditions Can an ENT Doctor Treat?
An ear, nose and throat specialist (otherwise known as an ENT doctor) can diagnose and treat a range of medical conditions (as well as those of all ages), from tonsillitis to tinnitus and nasal obstruction. They have completed medical school and specialist training (as well as often developing a subspecialty in a related field - such as thyroid treatment and laryngology), ensuring that they are fully qualified in their field. When suffering from an ear, nose or throat problem that can not be treated by your general practitioner, you will be referred to them for advice and if needed, surgery.
What are some examples of the surgeries they perform?
When specifically referring to the throat, ENT doctors can treat a range of conditions, from air blockages to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), throat tumors, problems with swallowing and issues with your adenoids (which can be removed with a surgery similar to a tonsillectomy).
For surgery or examination of the larynx, they will insert a short metal tube (also known as a laryngoscope), for tonsillitis will perform a tonsillectomy (a surgery that involves the removal of the tonsils), and for a oesophagoscopy (a flexible metal tube inserted for oesophagus surgery) – to name but a few examples.
Throat surgery might seem frightening and daunting at first, but your ENT doctor will ensure that you are fully aware of what the steps of the procedure are, what the aftercare entails and anything you are required to do before the procedure (some surgeries may require you to fast beforehand). Depending on what surgery you have, you may be put under general anesthetic, meaning that you will be awake throughout the procedure.
What are the benefits of throat surgery?
There are many benefits of having throat surgery, from improving your overall quality of life and the way you feel, to lowering the chance of infection occurring, clearing your airways (so you can breathe properly) and improving your sleeping pattern (that could have been affected by sleep apnea). Your ENT specialist will ensure that your condition will be treated as quickly as possible, whilst making sure you are comfortable with the surgery in question.
Using state-of-the-art equipment and technology, ENT surgery has always been thought of as one of the most up to date lines of medicine. Focusing on minimally invasive procedures, they are conducted with the aim for shorter recovery time and less scarring.
Is throat surgery always needed?
Depending on your throat condition, surgery may not always be required. ENT specialists also spend their day to day work lives managing conditions without conducting a procedure. By checking the inflamed or damaged area with the appropriate equipment, they can determine whether it is needed.
Your throat health is key to your everyday life. It is important that you are living your life to the fullest in good health, therefore if you are feeling unwell and may think it is as a result of a throat condition, make sure you ask your general practitioner – who may then refer you to an ENT doctor.