Otolaryngologists are doctors who specialize in otolaryngology, or the diagnosis, treatment, and management of a number of diseases and disorders of the head and neck. Because conditions of the ear, nose, and throat are so common among these disorders, we often call them ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists.
ENT Medical Training
An ENT specialist must complete a rigorous medical education, which includes four years of college or university and four years of medical school. A residency is post-graduate medical education training required for doctors, with different requirements depending on medical specialty. An ENT completes five years of training in residency, including four years of specialized otolaryngology training and one year of training in general surgery.
Physicians can also choose to pursue board certification or fellowships in their field as well. Board certification is a voluntary certification that requires the specialist to demonstrate commitment to their field and to high-quality medical performance. To become board-certified in otolaryngology, a doctor must meet training requirements, pass exams and participate in maintaining certification through the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Fellowship training is additional training in a medical specialty, after a specialized residency completion.
At C/V ENT Surgical Group, we have renowned specialists board-certified in otolaryngology, as well as fellowship-trained plastic surgeons. Learn more about each member of our team and their prestigious education and training backgrounds.
Common and Severe ENT Conditions
ENT specialists are experts who provide medical care, from the routine to the complex for a full range of conditions affecting the head and neck, treating disorders and diseases of the ear, nose, and throat, including nasal and sinus conditions; ear and balance disorders; voice and swallowing disorders; thyroid and parathyroid conditions; and other conditions such as sleep apnea and snoring. Some other conditions that ENT specialists treat include:
- Nasal obstruction and congestion
- Chronic or recurring ear infection (pediatric or adult),
- Middle ear infection (otitis media),
- Chronic or recurrent sinus infections (sinusitis),
- Tongue-tie (Ankyloglossia),
- Chronic or recurrent ear problems,
- Dizziness and vertigo,
- Conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss,
- Hyperacusis (difficulty tolerating sound),
- Perforated eardrum,
- Swimmer’s ear (acute otitis externa),
- Vocal cord nodules, polyps, lesions, and cysts,
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD),
- Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR),
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia),
- Snoring and sleep apnea,
- Thyroid cancer,
- Head and Neck tumors,
- Skin cancer,
- Salivary gland disorders,
- Lip, tongue, palate, mouth disorders,
- Allergies, and
- Deviated septum.
What Does an ENT Specialist Do?
ENT specialists can provide medication management, therapeutic treatments, or surgical treatments. The physicians at C/V ENT Surgical Group have extensive training and knowledge of the head and neck, which have some of the most complex anatomy in the human body. When treating patients, we take care to preserve and restore function while being mindful of cosmetic results, particularly during surgery. We perform many procedures minimally invasively to assist in better outcomes and swifter recoveries.
An ENT specialist will go over your symptoms and medical history, conduct a thorough examination, and may order tests to help diagnose a condition. Procedures and services provided by ENT Specialists at C/V ENT include:
- Ear tubes (pediatric and adult),
- Nasal and sinus surgery,
- Deviated septum repair (septoplasty),
- Frenulectomy (tongue tie surgery),
- Medical ear cleaning,
- Prescribe antibiotics, ear drops, eye drops, and other medications,
- Sound therapy,
- Ear wick placement,
- Vocal chord surgery,
- Laryngeal surgery,
- Pillar procedure,
- Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP),
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UP3/UPPP),
- Tongue base reduction,
- Thyroid and parathyroid surgery,
- Turbinate surgery,
- Head and neck surgery,
- Skin cancer excision,
- Neck dissection,
- Salivary gland surgery,
- Tongue and oral cavity surgery, and
- Reconstructive head and neck surgery.
Who Should See an ENT Specialist and When?
Many conditions that ENT specialists treat can affect both adults and children. C/V ENT has specialists who are experienced in treating both pediatric and adult patients. Conditions of the head and neck, and the symptoms which accompany them can be extremely varied. Often people will come to an ENT specialist after a referral from a primary care physician.
Some symptoms of common ear conditions that may call for a visit to an ENT specialist include:
- Severe earache, muffled hearing, or feeling of fullness in the ear, particularly if it is chronic or recurring;
- Yellow, clear, foul-smelling or bloody discharge from the ears;
- Balance problems, dizziness, or vertigo; and
- Hearing loss.
Some symptoms of sinusitis or other sinus conditions are similar to those of the common cold, although often sinusitis symptoms are more severe and may last longer, but be sure to learn how to spot the difference. It can be a good idea to see an ENT specialist for chronic or recurring sinusitis (sinus infection). Some of the signs of sinusitis include:
- Chronic or recurring facial or sinus pressure or pain,
- Teeth pain,
- Frontal headache,
- Thick green or yellow discharge from the nose,
- Fatigue, and
If you experience frequent tonsillitis, with symptoms such as swollen, red tonsils with a white or yellow coating, sore throat, ear pain, painful swallowing, fever, and swollen lymph nodes, you may want to consult with an ENT specialist.
Signs of voice or swallowing disorders that may call for an ENT visit include:
- Changes in vocal quality,
- Persistent hoarseness,
- Bitter taste in the back of the throat,
- Persistent feeling that something is stuck in the back of the throat, and
- Difficulty swallowing.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder that ENT specialists can treat. Some signs it may be time to contact an ENT specialist include:
- Loud snoring,
- Choking or gasping during sleep,
- Sleepiness during the day,
- Memory problems,
- Morning headaches,
- Dry throat upon waking, and
- Frequent urination at night.
Thyroid symptoms which may indicate the need for a visit with an ENT specialist include:
- A lump in the neck,
- Pain in the neck,
- Swollen glands in the neck,
- Difficulty swallowing,
- Difficulty breathing, and
- Persistent cough not related to a cold.
Signs of salivary gland disorders can include:
- Lump near the jaw,
- Partial facial numbness or weakness
- Pain near salivary gland,
- Difficulty swallowing, and
- Difficulty opening mouth widely.
If you need a consultation with an ENT specialist, and to find out how our experts can help you, contact us today at one of our three convenient locations.