What is an Otolaryngologist? Everything You Need to Know

Updated on June 29, 2020
New device. Profile photo of experienced medical worker that looking at ear of little girl, wearing white uniform

About three out of four children will develop at least one ear infection by their third birthday. It happens to adults, too. If you’re experiencing an earache, sinus issues, or sore throat, you might want to consult an otolaryngologist.

What does an otolaryngologist do, exactly? Keep reading to find out! 

With this helpful guide, you can learn everything you need to know about ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors. Read on to learn more.

What Do They Treat?

What does an otolaryngologist do? ENTs treat different medical conditions and complete surgery for problems like:

  • Ear conditions (hearing loss, infections, balance problems)
  • Infections and tumors in the neck or head
  • Sleep issues (snoring or sleep apnea)
  • Throat issues (voice problems, complications swelling, tonsillitis)
  • Nose and nasal concerns (growths, allergies, sinusitis)

ENTs specialize in treating the ear, nose, and throat. If you have problems with your brain, nervous system, or eyes, you’ll need a different type of specialist.

You can look for ENT specialists at entforyou.com.

How Are They Trained?

Before becoming an otolaryngologist, a doctor will need to complete four years of medical school and five years of special training. They’ll also need to pass an exam for certification from the American Board of Otolaryngology.

If the doctor decides on a special area of experience, they’ll need an additional one to two years of experience. 

Areas of Expertise

What does an otolaryngologist do? It often depends on the area of expertise.

For example, an otolaryngologist who decides to specialize in ontology or neurotology will focus on diseases of the ear. They might treat car accidents and other traumas or cancer. Some otolaryngologists focus on nerve pathway disorders, which can impact a person’s hearing and balance. 

By 2050, an estimated 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss. 

Many otolaryngologists focus on ear disorders. Some even manage congenital disorders of the inner and outer ear. 

There’s also pediatric otolaryngology. A pediatric otolaryngologist will focus on diseases in children with ENT problems.

A child could have a birth defect that’s causing developmental delays. Children can also develop ear infections, airway problems, and tonsil infections. Asthma and allergies are common issues as well. 

If they focus on the head and neck, the doctor will look for cancerous tumors. 

Some otolaryngologists, on the other hand, prefer to focus on facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. These doctors provide treatment for abnormalities of the face and neck. 

That can include facelifts, hair loss, drooping eyelids, deviated septums, and cleft palates. 

When choosing an ENT doctor, it’s important to consider your specific issue. That way, you can find a doctor who specializes in your needs. If you require a specific procedure, it’s also important to look for an ENT doctor with years of experience completing that procedure successfully.

What is an Otolaryngologist?: Your Easy Guide to ENTs

Don’t wait to find an otolaryngologist. By finding the right specialist, you can receive the help you need. Whether it’s your ear, nose, or throat, and ENT can help!

Find an otolaryngologist who specializes in your condition today. 

Searching for more helpful tips, tricks, and guides? Explore our recent Patient Care posts today.

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