Otolaryngologists are doctors trained in the surgical and medical management and treatment of patients with disorders of the ear, nose, throat (abbreviated as ENT), and related structures of the head and neck. The physicians are commonly referred to as ENT physicians.
ENT doctors' special skills include diagnosing and managing diseases of the oral cavity, larynx (voice box), sinuses, and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the face and neck. Otolaryngologists diagnose, treat, and handle specialty-specific ailments as well as many primary care problems in both children and adults.
You may want to see an ENT doctor if you have an ear disorder or condition, such as ear infections, hearing impairment, disorders that affect balance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or pain in your ear. ENT specialists can also treat inborn disorders of the ear. They often manage and treat diseases that affect the nose, nasal cavity, and sinuses and ailments and conditions that influence the throat and speech, singing, eating, swallowing, and digesting. ENT doctors are trained to manage tumors, diseases, trauma, and deformities of the head, neck, and face and can perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in these areas. They can also manage problems with the nerves in the head and neck that control sight, hearing, smelling, and facial movements.
The diagnostic process for cancer or tumor begins with a visit to an ear-nose-throat (ENT) doctor, which usually involves a head and neck examination, endoscopy, imaging tests, and biopsy to confirm and determine the spread of cancer.
Unlike doctors who can only medically treat conditions involving ear, nose, and throat, ENT specialists can treat and also perform surgery on the structures involved, if they deem it necessary. The types of surgery they perform are:
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