Discomfort with our ears, noses and throats is common. Just as common: how we tend to ignore the symptoms up to a point when we can no longer do it. That’s when enough pain sets in that we have to do something. Like see a doctor. As many as 36 million American adults report some degree of hearing loss while two-thirds of couples say their partner keep them awake with raucous snoring that doesn’t see healthy. Few realize that the solution is actually with the same doctor.
That would be an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, or ENT, who specializes in the common types of symptoms and combinations dealing with
When should you go to an ENT instead of your regular family physician? Here are a few signs that says an ENT is probably your best bet:
• Sinus Pain. This is not the regular, run-of-the-mill sinus congestion that persist a little longer than you expect. This is the sort of pain located in your upper teeth or ear and there’s drainage that is obstructed or abnormal nasal congestion. Certainly one of the more common causes for some nasal symptoms are allergies, all of that together, or something that stays around far longer than it should even with over-the-counter care, an ENT might know the problem.
• Sore Throat. Once your family doctor gives you antibiotics for that sore throat that not only refuses go away but actually gets worse, this is a cause for concern. A developing loss of voice and ongoing sore and especially difficulty swallowing might indicate something wrong with your throat. Or the symptoms and irritation may be related to a condition in another area of your body, such as your sinuses or upper digestive track.
• Congestion. The feelings of enormous pressure in your head is a little different from the regular stiffness you feel from a common cold or allergies. This is a condition that can actually lead to lots of discomfort and even severe pain. There can also be dizziness. Again, seasonal allergies, a bacterial infection or some sort of viral infection could be the culprit of the symptoms. Yet if this is ongoing and doesn’t seem to improve with over-the-counter medicine, it may actually be a deviated septum. That’s where an ENT comes in.
• Hearing Loss. Not hearing what we’ve normally heard is a scary proposition. The issue could very well be an eardrum or ear canal. Some hearing losses could point to a larger, more major problem that could involve damage to the nerves from exposure to loud noise or sounds.
• Headaches. We get headaches often and for a variety of reasons, but one that simply won’t go away points to a more serious problem. It could actually be related to acute upper respiratory infections, chronic sinusitis, or anatomic abnormalities. CT scans can diagnose headaches and define the cause. An ENT will be able to find out fairly easy what the problem might be.
Remember to check with your doctor before taking any treatment or medical remedy.