What Is Otolaryngology?
Otolaryngology is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on the ear, nose, and throat. Often referred to as ENT physicians or simply "ENTs," otolaryngologists diagnose and treat disorders of the head and neck. These physicians must complete up to 15 years of college, including residency and examinations, in order to be licensed to practice.
Otolaryngology is a branch of medicine that requires a vast array of skills and understanding of the human anatomy, especially since the problems associated with the ears, nose, and throat often involve each other. The ears, for example, are a complicated network of extremely tiny bones and other structures that are responsible for balance, hearing and nerve function. Our otolaryngologists at Mount Airy ENT are well qualified to treat a variety of ear-related issues, such as infections, hearing changes or loss, and balance disorders.
With over 35 million Americans developing chronic sinusitis each year, having doctors who specialize in nose disorders is extremely important. Allergies, asthma and other problems related to breathing are also part of an otolaryngologist's expertise. They have expertise in the structure of the nose, the nasal cavities and structures surrounding this area.
The throat, made up of two separate tubes called the esophagus and trachea, is actively involved in the important daily acts of eating and speaking. An otolaryngologist manages problems associated with these structures as well, including swallowing, breathing and voice disorders.
The general area of the head and neck is also part of an otolaryngologist's distinction. Oncology, deformities and nerve disorders involving the face, head, and neck are all diagnosed and treated by an ENT physician, which allows them to work with other specialized physicians. Dentists, for example, will often refer patients suspected of having oral cancer to an otolaryngologist.
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