ENT doctors (Otolaryngologists) specialize in treating disorders and conditions affecting the ear, nose, and throat. In addition, they also specialized in the surgical treatment of the connected areas, that is, the neck and head. Therefore, you must never ignore the role of these doctors in safeguarding your wellbeing.
However, many people face a major challenge in identifying the right time to go to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic. This is especially the case since many ear, nose, and throat conditions usually look minor, hence overlooked by many. But what are the symptoms that might necessitate you to see an ENT specialist in the first place?
To help you out, here’s an overview of the symptoms that you need to know:
- Hearing Loss
One of the clear signs that you need to see an ENT specialist is if your hearing slowly starts to decline. This is crucial since this may, at times, lead to temporary hearing loss. As a result, you’ll have a hard time making conversation with your family, friends, and colleagues, as well as listening to the TV or radio. The leading cause of hearing loss is usually exposure to loud noises for an extended duration.
If you start showing the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s vital that you see an ENT doctor as quickly as possible. Otherwise, waiting longer could only worsen the condition and result in dire consequences.
The procedure would involve a hearing test and a complete physical exam. These tests will aim to test your hearing and balance. This will allow the doctor to establish the possible cause of hearing loss and discuss with you the best treatment options.
If you’re straggling with hearing loss, the ENT doctor will most likely recommend that you get a hearing aid. This device, which is very discreet and is available in different styles, can be placed either outside or inside your ear, enhancing your hearing by capturing and intensifying sounds.
- Chronic Sore Throat
Getting a sore throat is usually very common when you have a cold. Because of this, you can easily disregard it and assume that it’ll heal itself over time. Most people assume the same, but, sometimes, this isn’t the case. If your sore throat issue persists for several weeks or so severe that you have a hard time swallowing, you should visit an ENT doctor.
In such situations, going to the doctor is recommended so a diagnosis can be made to determine whether it’s caused by less serious conditions, such as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), or severe conditions, like tonsillitis.
- Chronic Sinusitis
Like sore throat, it can be difficult to distinguish chronic sinusitis since it has the same symptoms as the cold. But when left untreated, the conditions quickly worsen, and you start experiencing symptoms such as your face becoming sore and inflamed. You also begin to experience sinus pain that persists for several days. This sinus pain can be felt from your upper teeth, nose, face, and ear.
If you experience these symptoms for a prolonged duration, it’s best to consult an ENT specialist. The treatment option you’ll get will vary depending on the bacterial, fungal, and viral load in your body.
- Persistent Ear Infections
Are you constantly suffering from a chronic ear infection? If so, then it’s about time you consult an ENT specialist to check what’s the cause of the infection that’s not completely healing or keeps recurring.
In most cases, many people experience one or two infections in their ears every year. However, if this happens a lot more common each year, then it’s time you get to see an ENT doctor. While ear infections aren’t always painful, they can interfere with your hearing. They may also cause temporary hearing loss or permanent damage to your eardrum. For these reasons, you should see a doctor so they can get a diagnosis and start you on treatment as soon as possible.
Some of the most common symptoms of chronic ear infections include:
- Constant headaches
- Hard time sleeping
- Slight fever
- Hearing loss
Other symptoms you should know of is one of your ears feeling good, but the other one is producing a yellowish discharge. The discharge may appear thick and sticky, or you may have streaks of blood. If it’s blood, this could mean an infection or a blockage. This condition can be very painful when left untreated, so you should seek immediate medical attention.
If you don’t visit an ENT doctor soon enough, the problem may become severe. Not only can it cause extreme pain, but other problems could occur, including brain damage or hearing loss. It may also cause the need for emergency surgery.
Thus, don’t ignore any symptoms you may have. Early detection of any problems can save you a lot of money and time.
Many people don’t realize when’s the best time they should seek help from an ENT specialist. However, reading through this guide has provided you with useful details on the signs you need to be on the lookout for to know if it’s time to seek a doctor’s help. This will prevent the condition from worsening and affecting your overall wellbeing.