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An otorhinolaryngologist is a doctor who specializes in disorders of the ear, nose, and throat, so that’s why they’re more commonly known as ENT doctors. Just as with typical conditions, you don’t always need to rush to the hospital (or the nearest ENT clinic in Cebu if you’re from around the area) for any issue that you may have regarding your ears, nose, throat, and other issues of the head and the neck.
So what cases do merit a visit to an ENT specialist? Schedule an appointment with an otorhinolaryngologist when you experience any of the following:
- Persistent or recurring hearing loss
If you’re having hearing problems for over a week, or if it has been happening very often, then you should consult with an ENT to have yourself checked for more serious problems with your ears. Listening to loud music for long durations is known to cause temporary hearing loss, but if it recurs often, it may lead to irreversible hearing loss so it’s best to address it early on.
- Lasting sinus pain
Our sinuses make mucus that traps allergens, dust, and pollutants. Infections of the sinuses can cause inflammation that may lead to sinus pain, which can be felt in various parts of the face such as around the eyes and nose. If pain lasts for a couple of days, then a visit to an otorhinolaryngologist is recommended.
- Regular nasal congestion
If you feel that your nose is clogged quite often, then it’s best to consult an ENT. Nasal congestion in itself is normal, but if you have noticed that it is occurring regularly, then a specialist may want to identify and address the cause of your blocked nose.
- Severe sore throat
Sore throats are common so not all cases of sore throat require a visit to an otorhinolaryngologist. But if your sore throat is causing a great challenge in food and drink intake, especially when it lasts for over 7 days, then you should seek professional help.
- Constant ringing in the ears
Ringing in the ears can occur every now and then, and is generally perceived as harmless. But a persistent ringing in the ears may evolve into a condition called tinnitus which calls for the attention of an ENT doctor. While tinnitus in itself has no cure, ENTs will be able to advice you on managing the ringing in your ears as to not affect you negatively.
- Injury related to the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck
If you have been involved in an accident or any unfortunate situation that has caused injury to ENT-related areas, then you should have a consultation with an otorhinolaryngologist so that you may be assessed for any permanent damage secondary to your injury. It is best to be able to address any progressing damage while it’s still manageable and responsive to treatment.
- Recurring dizziness or vertigo
Sudden change in the position of your head may cause vertigo. But if you feel dizziness often, then a simple postural vertigo might not be the culprit, but something more. An ENT can help manage your condition so that you may be able to move around quickly without feeling dizziness.
- Sleep apnea
When you’re snoring and it hasn’t improved even after some management such as lifestyle changes, or if you have repeated bouts of stopping of breathing, then this may be a serious condition that is best consulted with an ENT specialist for. If your snoring affects the quality of your sleep, your ENT may even recommend a sleep study for you.
- Lasting enlargement of lymph nodes
We have a lot of lymph nodes in the head and neck. These lymph nodes feel tender or become swollen when there is an infection, and then they usually return to normal after a few weeks. If the lumps have lasted for a period that’s longer than two weeks, or if they get bigger, then a visit to an otorhinolaryngologist can help.
Otorhinolaryngologists can help address all the concerns that you may have regarding the head and neck region. But not all we feel needs to be consulted with a specialist. But if you do feel any of the above conditions, a consultation with an ENT is highly recommended.