Ear, nose and throat consultants treat a wide range of different conditions that can affect these connected parts of the body. The ENT disorders that we treat most often can be divided into five main types, although we can also help with other kinds of ear, nose and throat problems as well as other issues such as balance disorders.
Infections are one of the most common problems treated by ear, nose and throat consultants. Many different types of infection can cause ENT disorders. You could have a bacterial infection that we can treat with antibiotics or a viral infection that won’t respond to these drugs. The infection could also affect different parts of your ear, nose and throat.
Injuries to the ear, nose or throat can be very painful and difficult, especially if they affect your senses or interfere with eating and drinking. If you have an injury in any of these areas then you may need to see ear, nose and throat consultants during your recovery. For example, a severe injury to your nose might need to be treated with rhinoplasty surgery to ensure you can breathe clearly. In most cases, surgery won’t be needed, but there might be other procedures we can perform to help you to recover.
Ear, nose and throat consultants often have to help patients who have foreign objects stuck in one of these passageways. It is much more common in children, who often stick toys or other objects into their nose or ears. However, even adults can get a piece of food stuck in their throat or lose an item while trying to clean their ear. We don’t recommend sticking anything in your ear, nose or throat, unless you are eating it. If you do, it could cause damage or lead to an infection. We might need to use specialist tools to remove the object safely.
Functional ENT Disorders
The ears, nose and throat all have essential roles to play including for our senses, speech, breathing and eating. ENT disorders can sometimes get in the way of these essential functions, causing symptoms such as:
- Hearing problems including tinnitus and hearing loss
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hoarseness or losing your voice
- Loss of the sense of taste
- Loss of the sense of smell
- Blocked airways causing snoring or breathing problems
If you’re experiencing these kinds of problems then you may need to see ear, nose and throat consultants to find out why. The treatment we provide can often help to improve your symptoms or at least help you to manage them. For example, getting fitted with hearing aids could have a dramatic impact on your daily life if you’ve been struggling to follow conversations.
Lumps and Growths
Ear, nose and throat consultants can also help to diagnose any unusual growths that appear in these areas or elsewhere on the head and neck. It’s always important to get any abnormal growths, swelling or lesions checked as there is a chance that it could be something serious such as cancer. In most cases, the symptoms will usually be caused by other kinds of ENT disorders. For example, you might have benign throat nodules or enlarged turbinates that are blocking your nose. However, in some cases lumps and growths can be caused by cancer. The sooner that you are diagnosed with cancer, the better the chances that the treatment will be successful. This is why it is so important to see an ENT specialist if you notice any unusual lumps or growths.
Ear, nose and throat consultants treat a wide range of conditions that affect some of the most hardworking and sensitive parts of our bodies. Some of the most common ENT disorders that we see in the clinic are infections, injuries, foreign objects, functional issues and growths. All of these ENT disorders can affect the ears, nose and the throat in different ways. However, ENT specialists are experts in all kinds of disorders affecting the head and neck, so we also treat patients with many other conditions. If you have any worries about your ear, nose, throat, balance, head or neck then you may need to see an ENT doctor for diagnosis and treatment.