When should you visit an ENT? Signs You Need an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor

Common ENT problems that require a doctor’s visit

Have you noticed any changes in your hearing, sinuses or voice recently? You may have been dealing with frequent hoarseness, muffled hearing or hoarseness that just won’t go away. If any of these sound familiar, they could be warning signs when you should visit the ENTor an ear, nose and throat specialist. An ENT doctor focuses on problems affecting your ears, nose, throat, head and neck. Although some symptoms may seem mild, it is best to get checked to see if any treatment is needed and to prevent long-term problems. Seeking advice from an ENT specialist, also known as an otolaryngologist, can help you get answers, recommendations for next steps, and get you on your way to feeling like yourself again. Don’t delay if you feel any signs that your ears, nose or neck need special attention. Your hearing, breathing and ability to communicate are not worth compromising, so make an appointment with an ENT doctor now.

Warning signs that tell you when you should see an ENT specialist

If you have any of these common problems, it’s time to make an appointment with an ENT specialist:

Hearing loss

If sounds seem muffled or people’s speech is difficult to understand, you may have hearing loss. An ENT can test your hearing and determine the cause, whether it’s due to aging, exposure to loud noises, or another condition. They may recommend hearing aids or other treatments to help improve your hearing.

Ear infection

Persistent ear pain, fluid draining from the ear, hearing loss, or ringing in the ears may indicate an ear infection. See an ENT immediately, as some infections can lead to permanent damage if left untreated. They can properly diagnose the infection, clean your ears, and prescribe antibiotic earplugs or drops.

Nasal congestion

If you suffer from chronic nasal congestion, frequent nosebleeds, or sinus pressure that won’t go away, you likely have an underlying condition such as nasal polyps, nasal valve collapse, or sinusitis. An ENT can examine your nasal passages and sinuses to determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment, such as nasal sprays, sinus irrigation, or minimally invasive surgery.

Hoarseness or difficulty swallowing

Hoarseness, voice changes, or difficulty swallowing that lasts more than a few weeks may indicate problems with the larynx or esophagus that require an ENT examination. They can examine your throat, larynx, and esophagus and may order additional testing to diagnose conditions such as acid reflux, vocal cord paralysis, or even throat cancer in severe cases. Early diagnosis and treatment of these problems is essential.

See your ENT immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. They have the proper training and equipment to thoroughly assess, diagnose, and treat ear, nose, and throat problems so you can feel better and get back to good health.

Frequently asked questions about visiting the ENT

If you have any of these problems, it’s a good idea to see an ear, nose and throat specialist or ENT. They can properly diagnose and treat these conditions to get you back to feeling your best.

Persistent ear infections

If ear infections keep coming back or ear fluid doesn’t drain, it’s time to see an ENT. They may need to have ear tubes surgically inserted to prevent future infections and improve hearing.

Hearing loss

Any degree of hearing loss should be assessed by an ENT. They can determine the cause of your hearing loss and recommend appropriate treatment, such as hearing aids, to help you stay connected to the sounds and voices around you.

Sinus pressure and congestion

If over-the-counter medications don’t relieve sinus pressure, an ENT may prescribe stronger medications or recommend minimally invasive surgery to open blocked sinuses.

Difficulty swallowing

Whether you’re experiencing pain or difficulty swallowing, choking on food, or liquids flowing down the «wrong pipe,» an ENT can evaluate your swallowing mechanism and esophagus and determine appropriate treatment and therapy.

The specialists at your local ENT practice have the advanced medical training and experience to properly diagnose and recommend an effective treatment plan for any ear, nose or throat condition. Your ability to hear, speak and swallow comfortably is too important to ignore if you have any concerns. Make an appointment today for an evaluation and get on your way to better ear, nose and throat health.

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