4 Conditions To See An ENT About
If you have symptoms that affect your ears, nose and throat, your first port of call may be your primary care doctor. In many cases, mild symptoms and temporary health issues can be treated without seeking specialist help, but if symptoms persist or the illness is more severe or advanced, seeing an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor is advisable. ENT specialists have advanced training in the diagnosis, treatment and management of conditions and infections that involve the ears, nose and throat. ENT doctors treat patients with a vast array of symptoms. Here are four of the most common conditions to see an ENT about.
Many people snore, but usually, it’s a temporary response to illness, a change in sleeping position or drinking alcohol. If you snore infrequently, you don’t need to seek professional advice. If you snore on a regular basis, however, it may be wise to get in touch with an ENT doctor. There are multiple causes of snoring and the first thing your doctor will do is try and ascertain any risk factors that are relevant to you. Snoring can be linked to lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking and being overweight, but it can also be connected to structural abnormalities in the nose and problems with the sinuses. Sometimes, changing your diet, doing more exercise and modifying your daily routine and sleeping position can help, but in more severe cases, medical intervention may be recommended.
Tinnitus is often known as ringing in the ears. It causes you to experience sounds without there actually being any external noise. It’s very common to develop symptoms of tinnitus if you’ve been exposed to loud noises, for example, you’ve been to a gig. In this case, you should find that the ringing, buzzing or humming sound will subside quickly. In some cases, tinnitus is a much more long-term issue, and this is when an ENT can be beneficial. If you have persistent symptoms of tinnitus, there are treatments and self-help techniques that could alleviate your symptoms and even eliminate tinnitus altogether.
Sinusitis occurs when the sinuses become inflamed. Common symptoms include pain in the face and headaches, which tend to get worse when you tilt your head forwards, or you blow your nose, thick mucus emerging from the nasal passages and fever. You may also experience a sore throat and a cough. Mild sinusitis can often be treated with painkillers and plenty of fluids and rest, but if you keep getting sinusitis or your symptoms are severe, it’s advisable to contact an ENT doctor.
Sleep apnea is not the same as snoring. This is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder, which causes you to experience episodes of disturbed breathing as a result of the airway closing. Apnea causes the airway to become blocked for at least 10 seconds, making it difficult to catch your breath. If you suffer from sleep apnea, it’s important to seek medical help, as this condition can be very serious. In cases of severe sleep apnea, breathing apparatus known as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) may be recommended to help you breathe while you sleep.
If you have persistent or severe symptoms that affect your ears, nose or throat, don’t hesitate to contact an ENT doctor.