With all the different types of doctor specialities, it can be confusing to know which one handles which ailments. An ear, nose, and throat specialist, or ENT, sounds pretty self-explanatory, but it’s good to know what types of issues they deal with (such as sinuses).
What is an ENT?
An ear, nose, and throat specialist is also known as an otorhinolaryngologist. An ENT doctor (or simply ENT) is a specialist in the ear, nose, and throat region of the body. It may seem arbitrary to pair these three parts of the body together, but it’s actually not. These parts are all connected, and often what affects one area can carry over into the next.
When should I see an ENT?
An ENT is there to help with any issues surrounding your ear, nose, or throat. These issues include: ear infections, congestion, allergies, tinnitus, deviated septum, hoarseness, problems with sense of smell, breathing and airway issues (such as sleep apnea), and hearing issues. This list is far from exhaustive though. There are a few other things you would see an ENT for that you might not typically think of as being related to the ear, nose, and throat field: balance issues, vertigo, sinus infections, thyroid issues, problems with the esophagus, reconstructive surgery of the ear, nose, and throat areas, and more.
You may see your primary care provider for a seemingly common issue, but if the issue is chronic, you may be referred to an ENT specialist. For example, while a primary care provider may give basic care and advice for a sinus infection, if the infection does not go away after a few weeks or you’re on your third sinus infection in as many months, they will likely suggest you see an ENT for more specialized care.
Can ENTs perform surgery?
Yes, ENT doctors can perform surgery. They usually perform reconstructive surgery around the ear, nose, or throat region. Some doctors further specialize in plastic surgery. Examples of common surgeries ENT doctors may perform include: tympanostomy, thyroidectomy, endoscopy, sinus-related minor surgery, cochlear implants, septoplasty, and more.
Do I need a referral to see an ENT specialist?
Depending on your insurance, you may need to see your primary care doctor before scheduling an appointment with an ENT. Your primary care doctor can write you a referral to see the specialist. This is often required by insurance companies to ensure that people are not seeing specialists for simple issues that can be resolved by a primary care provider.
Your primary care provider is also the doctor who likely knows all of your medical history well and has the biggest-picture view of your health, so it’s often a good idea to check in with them first for any health issues. From there, your primary care provider can send you out to the appropriate sub-speciality. Sometimes, they may decide to send you to more than one specialist. For example, if you’re experiencing vertigo, they will likely refer you to ENT, but they may choose to also have you see a neurologist just to rule out any neurological factors in your condition.
If your insurance doesn’t require a referral before allowing a specialist visit, call ahead to the ENT’s office just to make sure they don’t require one.
If you’re looking for an ENT specialist, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Edmund Fisher specializes in sinus issues among many other ear, nose, and throat conditions. Dr. Fisher is also a plastic surgeon. Combined with his ENT credentials and experience, this uniquely qualifies him for procedures such as medical rhinoplasties, septoplasties, otoplasties (ear surgery), and more. Don’t trust just anyone. Call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fisher today.