You won’t always need to see an ENT consultant if you are having problems with your ears, nose or throat, but it can sometimes be necessary to seek specialist care. Knowing when to see a specialist is important as it will ensure that you get the help you need instead of enduring uncomfortable or painful symptoms.
What is an ENT Consultant?
An ENT or ear nose and throat consultant is a highly trained doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting these parts of the body. The consultant will have lots of experience with these conditions and will also be able to perform specialist tests and treatments, including surgery. Your GP might recommend that you see an ear nose and throat consultant, but you can also make an appointment with a specialist directly.
Common Reasons for Seeing an ENT Specialist
Ear, nose and throat problems such as mild infections can often be treated at home or by your GP, but there are some occasions on which it is best to see an ear nose and throat consultant:
- Sore throat, ear aches or sinus pain that lasts a long time or keeps coming back, especially if your GP hasn’t been able to help
- Snoring that hasn’t improved with lifestyle changes or that is linked with breathing problems at night
- Tinnitus or ringing in your ears
- Vertigo, dizziness or problems with your balance
- Losing your voice, hearing or sense of smell
- Blockages in your airway or other breathing problems that don’t require emergency care
- Injuries, growths or deformities affecting the head and neck, including cancer
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chronic nasal congestion or frequent nose bleeds
- Any other symptoms affecting your ears, nose, throat or balance can also be checked by an ENT specialist if you are worried or in need of a second opinion
ENT consultants can help with a very wide range of different problems affecting your ears, nose, throat, balance, head and neck. As specialists, they can perform tests and treatments that wouldn’t be available from your GP, so they will often be able to help even if your usual family doctor hasn’t been able to work out what is wrong.