Otorhinolaryngologists are doctors specializing in conditions affecting the ear nose and throat, they are also known as ENT Doctors or ENT Specialists. In this article let’s understand who are ENT doctors and What does ent doctors do?
Apart from treating the fundamental functions, ENT also treats from simple to severe ENT conditions like stuffy nose, sore throat, sinusitis, hearing impairment, tinnitus, etc. they not only treat but can also perform difficult and delicate operations.
Although general otorhinolaryngologists treat all kinds of ENT disorders, some may be trained additionally in subspecialties like otology, rhinology, etc. Here are the conditions or disorders an Otorhinolaryngologist or ENT doctor treats –
Conditions of EAR-
- Ear wax
- Fungus in-ear (otomycosis)
- Ear infections like otitis externa
- Ruptured eardrum
- Reduced hearing/ hearing loss
- Tinnitus/ringing into ears
- Fluid behind eardrum/otitis media
- Dizziness/ vertigo
- Inner ear disorders like Meniere’s disease, acoustic neuroma
- Fractures of the temporal bone
Conditions of NOSE-
- Nasal allergies
- Nasal infections
- Postnasal discharge
- Sinus infections/ sinusitis
- Nasal blockage
- Nasal bleeding/epistaxis
- Deviated nasal bone
- Nasal or sinus polyps
- Disorders of smell
- Enlarged adenoids
Conditions of THROAT-
- Sore throat
- Oral ulcers
- Laryngopharyngeal reflux disorder/ LPRD/ acidity/acid reflux
- Dysphagia/ disorder of swallowing
- Change of voice/ hoarseness of voice
- Tumors or cancers of the throat
Conditions of HEAD AND NECK
- Neck infections
- Neck tumors or nodes
- Facial fractures, paralysis, deformities
- Facial plastic procedures
- Thyroid disorders
Subspecialties areas of ENT are-
- Otology- deals with diseases of ear, hearing implants, brainstem implants.
- Rhinology- deals with the nose, sinuses, and skull base.
- Laryngology- deals with the larynx (voice box) and swallowing.
- Facial plastic surgery- deals with plastic surgery of ENT and head & neck.
- Head and neck- deals with diseases especially cancer of the head and neck and thyroid.
- Pediatric otorhinolaryngology deals with ENT disorders in children especially birth defects, allergies, etc.
An otorhinolaryngologist might also work in association with an audiologist. Audiology is the science behind hearing and an audiologist is specially trained for screening, evaluation, and diagnosis of hearing disorders. They also help in selecting the best hearing aids and implants.
Other conditions in which ENT may take the help of an audiologist are tinnitus, vertigo, speech disorders, and sometimes to find malingers (people who fake hearing loss to escape work or to get disability benefits).
Special Senses and ENT
Senses are something by which our mind sends information to our brain and that’s how we perceive the world around us. Four out of the six most important senses (hearing, taste, smell, and balance) in our body are in the ear nose, and throat (ENT). Our senses have an important role in life. They let us connect to the surrounding world and interact with it. They let us accomplish day-to-day tasks and also, we enjoy the life around us by experiencing essential senses like listening to music, eating food, smelling pleasant scents, etc.
Apart from making our life easier these senses also protect us from many dangers by the warning. There are also studies that show that senses have a strong connection with feelings and memories, you can just experience some moments or childhood memories again by the mere perception of the same odor or sound.
Senses are important for survival too, Imaging how your food be like when you don’t experience any taste, which will ultimately not just spoil your mood but will also reduce your food intake and affect your health. Few studies have actually shown that odorants, which are chemical substances can affect our behavior in some particular ways for example a study carried out in a dentistry center observed that patients who were worried had a body odor that affected the dentist’s performance. So, senses of ear nose, and throat play a crucial role in our life.
As already mentioned, four out of six most important senses, i.e., hearing, taste, smell, and balance are associated with ear nose, and throat, and any disorder of them are treated by an ENT doctor.
What does ENT doctors do? When to go to an ENT Specialist –
The 5 most common problems (in adults) for which you should see an ENT are –
- Hearing loss/tinnitus
- Sinusitis/ facial or sinus pain
- Nose block /nasal discharge
- Sore throat
- Nasal allergy/excessive sneezing
The most common ENT problems in children are-
- Adenoid hypertrophy- Tonsil like mass behind the nose is called adenoids, and it is very common to have big adenoids obstructing breathing, and adenoids also affect ears via eustachian tube (tube connecting space behind the nose with space behind the eardrum)
- Ear discharge- as already mentioned adenoid hypertrophy or their infection might affect eardrums and the child may develop a ruptured drum, through which discharge might come frequently, which in long term might affect hearing as well.
- Nose bleed- nose has a very rich blood supply which helps in its function of humidification and warming of inspired air within a fraction of a second, and children due to being more active need faster breathing. As children are more prone to nose pricking, frequent scratching, crust, and hyperactivity make kids more prone to nasal bleeding.
- Repeated sore throat/ Tonsillitis- Infection of adenoids and tonsils is very common in children and the majority of them are often due to allergies.
- Sleep apnoea/snoring- large adenoids and tonsils may trouble to breathe and may lead to snoring and apnoeic episodes in children due to which he gets up in between sleep which not only leads to sleep deprivation and irritation but also affects the growth and development of the child.
- Otitis media/ fluid behind the eardrum- this child may typically not complain of ear pain but parents notice reduced or impaired hearing. The most common reason for this is blocked eustachian tube.
Best ENT Specialist in Delhi-NCR
1. Dr. (Prof)Suresh Singh Naruka (M.B.B.S, M.S, ENT, Apollo Hospital New Delhi)
Dr. Suresh Singh Naruka is one of the best ENT Specialists in New Delhi. He has a vast experience of 15 years and worked in several centers in India and abroad. He is well versed in all ENT procedures. His special interests are in-ear surgeries (micro ear and ear implant). if you reside in Delhi NCR you can contact him for your ENT problems.
2. Dr. Shalu Sharma (M.B.B.S, M.S, ENT, Apollo Hospital, New Delhi)
Dr. Shalu Sharma has more than 6 years of experience in ENT, currently practicing in Delhi. She is one of the best-appreciated doctors in ENT. Apart from regular ENT surgeries she specializes in Endoscopic nasal surgery and assisted ENT surgeries.
So, ENT specialists not only treat your ear pain or sinusitis but are also trained surgeons for delicate ear surgeries, risky airway procedures, head and neck cancer, plastic surgeries of the face and head & neck, hearing implants, etc.