Otolaryngologists are also known as ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctors. They specialize in treating the ears, nose, throat, and neck. ENT specialists such as Matthew W. Shawl, MD, focus on the inner ear, sinuses and nasal passages, throat, tonsils, adenoids, tonsils, and facial nerve. Besides, they also treat conditions such as voice disorders, snoring, and sleep apnea.
Here are instances when you should see your otolaryngologist
Conditions that need the attention of an otolaryngologist
You have an ear disorder- Ear infections are common and can be challenging to treat. If you have frequent ear infections or if the symptoms of your ear infection don’t get better after a few days, you may need to see an otolaryngologist.
You have hearing loss- Hearing loss is a problem that sometimes requires treatment by an otolaryngologist. Hearing tests will help determine whether hearing loss is due to aging or another condition, such as a tumor or head trauma. You need to see one if you have difficulty understanding words spoken nearby, or if you can hear sounds but not understand them.
Balance disorders– Balance disorders, such as vertigo and dizziness, are among the most common problems seen by otolaryngologists. Gambling disorders and other impulse control disorders are also common in this population. Sometimes, these conditions may be associated with psychiatric illnesses or alcohol abuse.
Throat problems– Throat problems are among the reasons why people seek an otolaryngologist. A sore throat can result from several conditions. These include bacterial or viral infections, allergies, and throat cancer. An otolaryngologist can diagnose these conditions and prescribe medications to treat them.
Tonsillitis– Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils. This widespread condition affects children and adults, but it can be particularly troublesome in children. The tonsils are located in the back of the throat at the base of the tongue.
Tonsillitis may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Acute tonsillitis occurs when the inflammation becomes severe and causes symptoms such as fever, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and painful lymph nodes in the neck. An otolaryngologist can help address this problem.
Hearing aid fitting- If you are considering getting a hearing aid, you must get your ears checked by an audiologist first. Your audiologist will do an initial evaluation of your hearing loss and determine the next cause of action. They can help you decide if this is the right choice for you or if there is another option that might be better for your situation.
If you have a sore throat, ear pain, or a runny nose, you likely have an ear infection. When an ear infection occurs, the body’s immune system attacks the inner ear lining and causes inflammation. In some cases, this can lead to damage to nerves, which can result in permanent hearing loss. Furthermore, if you have severe pain or pressure in your ears, you may also have a perforated or ruptured eardrum. In these cases, it is crucial to seek medical attention from Matthew W. Shawl, MD, as soon as possible so he can rule out possible underlying conditions.