Commonly called ENTs, otolaryngologists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions involving the ears, nose, throat, head and neck. The specialization often includes work with hearing loss, balance disorders, sinus problems, allergies, head/neck cancers, facial plastics and some sleep conditions. Their patients range in age from infant to adult. Otolaryngologists commonly perform surgeries and procedures.
What Do Otolaryngologists Treat?
Hearing loss affects one in ten North Americans. The unique domain of otolaryngologists is the treatment of ear disorders. They are trained in both the medical and surgical treatment of hearing loss, ear infections, balance disorders, ear noise (tinnitus), and some cranial nerve disorders. Otolaryngologists also manage congenital (birth) disorders of the outer and inner ear.
About 35 million people develop chronic sinusitis each year, making it one of the most common health complaints in America. Care of the nasal cavity and sinuses is one of the primary skills of otolaryngologists. Problems in the nasal area include allergies, smell disorders, polyps, and nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum. Otolaryngologists can also correct the appearance of the nose (rhinoplasty surgery).
Communicating (speech and singing) and eating a meal all involve this vital area. Specific to otolaryngologists is expertise in managing diseases of the throat, larynx (voice box), and the upper aero-digestive tract or esophagus, including voice and swallowing disorders.
The Head & Neck
This area of the body includes the important functions of sight, smell, hearing, and the appearance of the face. In the head and neck area, otolaryngologists are trained to treat infections, benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors, facial trauma, and deformities of the face.
Otolaryngologists diagnose and treat many conditions, including:
- Hearing loss
- Facial nerve paralysis and injuries
- Nasal breathing problems
- Loss or change of sense of smell and taste
- Throat and voice disorders
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
- Sore throat
- Swallowing problems
- Sleep disturbances (including snoring and sleep apnea problems)
- Tumors (both cancerous and noncancerous)
The Monona Clinic clinic also offers Audiology services, including:
- Hearing tests
- Hearing aid consultation, purchase, fitting and maintenance
- Assistive listening device consultation and purchase
- Ear mold impressions for swim plugs and noise plugs