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ENT doctor

ENT or an otolaryngologist is a specialist whose duties include the prevention and treatment of diseases of the ear, throat, nose. The abbreviated name comes from the word laryngotorinologist, the literal translation sounds like "the science of the ear, throat, nose".

The otolaryngologist deals with the treatment of several organs at the same time, since all of them are in close physiological interaction. For the same reason, diseases of the ear, throat and nose, especially of an infectious nature, often require complex treatment.

ENT-organs are the first to resist the harmful effects of the environment and their correct work is reflected directly on the work of the whole organism. Diseases of lor-oragons are often found both among children, and among adults. Usually, diseases occur in the autumn-spring period, and can also occur regardless of the season due to reduced immunity, infection, trauma. The nose, ear and throat are closely interconnected, therefore the disease of one organ often leads to the disease of another. The disease can occur in both acute and chronic forms. The most common diseases of otolaryngology are diseases of the nasal cavity (rhinitis, sinusitis, sinusitis), ear diseases (eustachiitis, otitis, various injuries), throat diseases (laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis).

Recently, patients of the otolaryngologist complain of various allergic reactions, in particular, an allergic rhinitis. In addition, such an unpleasant condition as snoring, also treats the ENT.

Who is an ENT?

ENT is an expert who conducts prophylaxis and treats diseases of organs such as the ear, throat (pharynx, trachea, larynx), nose, and also adjacent parts. He conducts conservative treatment, as well as operations in the nasal cavity, throat or ear (washing of the maxillary sinuses, correction of the septum of the nose, removal of polyps, tonsils, adenoids, removal of hematomas, opening of abscesses and tympanic membranes). Also, operations on the middle ear are possible to improve hearing.

For a person, it is extremely important that the ENT organs function normally, as the ears, nose and throat are on the branch of the respiratory and digestive organs and are the first to face viruses, bacteria and various allergens.

Frequent inflammatory diseases (inflammation of the ear, tonsils, adenoids, etc.), especially in childhood, often indicate a malfunction in the immune system. Any diseases of ENT organs, if not timely to start treatment, lead to complications (bronchitis, pneumonia, cardiovascular diseases, violations in the work of the central nervous system, etc.).

When should I contact LOR?

Refer to ENT-doctor should the following symptoms and conditions:

  • a runny nose, stuffiness or discharge from the nose (mucous, purulent, bloody, etc.);
  • obstructed nasal breathing in the absence of a cold or stuffiness;
  • pain, redness, swelling in the throat;
  • pain (shooting, aching, etc.), tinnitus, various discharge;
  • hearing loss;
  • the appearance of a white coating on the tonsils;
  • an increase in lymph nodes in the neck, lower jaw, behind the ears;
  • frequent inflammation of the tonsils (sore throat);
  • snore.

Quite often the reason for resorting to LOR, especially in childhood, is the ingress of various small (and not so) objects in the nose, ear or throat (coins, pins, buttons, etc.). Often this leads to injury to the body.

What tests should I take when I contact LOR?

After a visual inspection, the ENT may prescribe one or more additional studies:

  • general blood analysis;
  • fibroendoscopic examination of the nasal mucosa;
  • X-ray;
  • somnological research;
  • polysomnography (studies of sleep disorders);
  • immunodiagnosis with inflammation of allergic nature of ENT organs.

Whether to prescribe a study, and which (or a few) the doctor decides in each individual case.

What diagnostic methods does the ENT use?

At the first reference of the patient the doctor first of all uses instrumental diagnostics, for which the best possible lighting is needed. For the convenience of the study, the doctor can use a variety of ear funnels, mirrors for the examination of nasal mucosa and larynx, endoscopes.

To study nasal mucosa and nasopharynx, the doctor uses nasal mirrors (when examining small children, the specialist uses funnels for ear research). Such a method is necessary if the expert suspects a nasopharyngeal or nasal mucosa disease, there is a disturbed nasal breathing due to curvature of the septum or with nosebleeds. With this method of diagnosis, a specialist assesses the condition of the septum of the nose, nasal passages, the bottom of the nasal cavity.

If necessary, a puncture from the paranasal sinuses is prescribed, usually such a diagnosis for a more detailed study of the contents of the sinuses is necessary if a sinus or cyst is suspected.

Olfactometry is necessary if there is a suspicion of improper functioning of the sense of smell. This diagnosis is carried out using a special device by which a specialist blows certain fragrant substances into the nasal cavity.

To study ear diseases use a special funnel, with which the ENT doctor examines the external passage, the tympanic membrane, the middle ear. A variety of magnifying devices (magnifying glass, microscopes for surgery, optical otoscopes) can also be used. When otoscopy, the doctor will be able to perform some operations, for example, to extract from the ear a foreign object.

Audiometry is used to establish hearing sensitivity to sounds within the perceived frequency of the human ear. All indications are recorded as a graph on the audiogram. This method of diagnosis is extremely important for the early detection of various auditory disorders.

Akumetry allows you to establish the disease in the inner or middle ear, carried out using special devices - tuning forks. In addition, this diagnostic method confirms (or disproves) the results of audiometry.

In order to determine the condition of the auditory tube, a variety of methods are used:

  • blowing on the Politzer;
  • The Toynbee method (the patient swallows with a clamped nose);
  • Valsalva method (the patient inhales with a closed nose and mouth).

Control of penetration into the middle ear of air is carried out by the otoscope. This diagnosis is prescribed for suspected middle ear disease.

When examining the throat, pharyngoscopy is used - a visual examination by a specialist in the oral cavity and pharynx. Diagnosis is carried out using special mirrors in good light. This method is mandatory for patients with complaints of soreness of the throat, runny nose and pain in the ears.

Epipharyngoscopy is prescribed for complaints of hearing problems, nasal breathing, when nasopharynx is suspected. This diagnosis allows the doctor to assess the state of pharyngeal cavities of the auditory tube, the walls and the arch of the nasopharynx.

Hypopharyngoscopy assesses the root of the tongue, pear-shaped sinuses, and the pinched area. Danae diagnostics can be prescribed for violations of the swallowing function, for the detection of foreign bodies, with the suspicion of various neoplasms. Diagnosis is performed using a special laryngoscope device or a mirror to examine the larynx.

Tracheobronchoscopy assesses the condition of the lumen of the bronchi, the trachea and their mucous membranes. Usually, the research method is assigned to detect and remove foreign objects and is carried out mainly by pulmonologists.

Esophagoscopy is indicated with the use of special rigid tubes, if there is an impaired swallowing function, foreign objects, burns of the esophagus. Usually this diagnosis is performed by gastroenterologists.

The following are used as general diagnostic methods:

  • Ultrasound for the examination of sinuses in the maxillary and frontal region, detection of neoplasms in the neck. This method allows you to determine in the sinuses purulent or cystic fluid, as well as thickening of the mucosa;
  • X-rays are used to establish congenital anomalies of the esophagus, respiratory organs, skull, detection of foreign objects, neoplasms, cracks (fractures) in the skull;
  • fibroscopy examines the nasopharynx, nasal passages, tracheal wall, esophageal bronchi, and also assesses the inner part of the podogolovoy cavity and epiglottis (which is poorly visible in other methods of investigation). Also this method is used for biopsy and removal of foreign objects;
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) helps to establish the boundaries of structures, the density of various tissues, which contributes to a more accurate definition of neoplasms. This diagnosis also makes it possible to cut in different planes and is extremely important in detecting tumors that form in the neck or under the cranium base, as well as in various pathologies, cysts and polyps;
  • computed tomography is the most accurate method of investigation. A special tomograph makes it possible to conduct a study fairly quickly and with maximum accuracy.

What does the ENT do?

ENT deals with the treatment of such important for human organs as the throat, nose and ears. However, here we are talking not only about individual organs, but about whole systems. The nose is a complex system, which also includes the paranasal sinuses, the throat includes the trachea, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, ear diseases include diseases of the auricles, inner (middle) ear, auditory nerve, which transmits a sound signal to a certain part of the brain.

All these systems are united in one because of their inextricable link between themselves. Disease of the nasal cavity (cold) can cause such a serious illness as otitis (ear inflammation). In the event that the otitis is left unattended, it can lead to deafness. Also, if all treatment is directed only at otitis, and the runny nose remains without the necessary therapy, then the effect of otitis treatment is reduced to zero.

The otolaryngologist is engaged in the prevention and treatment of diseases of the organs of the hearing and respiratory tract. A good specialist has the skills of both a therapist and a surgeon. If necessary, the doctor will be able to perform some procedures necessary for the effective treatment of a particular disease (washing of the affected organs, treatment of the mucosa with an anti-inflammatory or antimicrobial solution). Also, otolaryngologists often carry out operations concerning thyroid pathologies. Many people suffer from congenital or acquired pathologies of the nasal septum. Often outside such a defect is invisible, but brings the patient a lot of discomfort (shortness of breath, lack of oxygen to the body, violation of the sense of smell, etc.). The surgery to correct the curvature is also within the competence of the otolaryngologist. Quite often the reason for snoring is the curved nasal septum.

The problem of deafness, both partial and complete, is now widespread in our day. The problem is often associated with noisy working conditions, injuries, etc. Today, modern medicine is able to rid itself of such an unpleasant disease as Meniere's disease (tinnitus). The sinusitis, otitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, etc. - respond well to treatment and go without complications with modern methods of treatment and good equipment.

What diseases are treated by ENT?

The diseases that are treated with ENT have become habitual for most, and the view that it is possible to cope with such a disease independently spreads more and more among the population. Almost every person with pain in the throat costs ordinary rinses or resorptive pills, with a cold buys a long-proven means. However, it happens that the situation begins to get out of control, the condition worsens and self-treatment does not help. In this case, you need to seek the qualified help of an otolaryngologist. Quite often self-treatment leads to a chronic form of the disease or severe complications.

Particular care should be taken with children, because they are not in a position to correctly describe the symptoms, indicate where and how it hurts. Children are more vulnerable than adults, they already have breathing passages. For example, a disease such as laryngitis, with improper treatment can develop into a false groove, when the larynx is blocked and the baby starts to choke.

To LOR it is necessary to address at such diseases:

  • with inflammation of the pharynx (pharyngitis), inflammation of the larynx (laryngitis), chronic inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis);
  • with a decrease in hearing, ear inflammation (otitis);
  • (including chronic), enlarged nasopharyngeal tonsils (adenoids), build-ups on mucous membranes (polyps), inflammation of nasal sinuses (sinusitis), including inflammation of the frontal (frontal) and maxillary sinus (sinusitis).

Advice from the doctor of ENT

ENT in periods of seasonal diseases recommends avoiding contacts with sick people whenever possible, special protection should be provided to young children under the age of one year, because they are not sufficiently developed immunity and the body is not able to resist viruses and infections.

With the advent of autumn, humidity in the room is reduced, which is due to the beginning of the heating season. Dry air greatly overdries the mucous membranes (nose, throat), which facilitates easy penetration of infections into the body. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure that the humidity in the room is at a sufficient level (about 45%).

Hardening helps the body more easily to overcome the negative consequences of the cold season, besides a strong and tempered organism is much easier to tolerate almost all diseases. Experts recommend doing in the morning gymnastics and water procedures after it (contrast shower or pouring cool water).

Colds can only be the beginning of more serious diseases. Children have a big life threat such a disease as a cereal, which is a complication of the common cold. Secondary diseases can also develop, for example, bronchitis or pneumonia. Some diseases, such as asthma or hay fever, can develop as a result of allergic reactions. Smoking, dirty air contribute to a variety of colds.

Doctors recommend daily airing the room, do not overcool, avoid drafts and consume more fruits and vegetables. Also, good preventive measures are lubrication of the nasal passages with oxolin ointment and rinsing of the mouth and throat with disinfectant solutions. You can wash the nasal cavity with a soap solution, which will help to remove not only dust and pollution, but also viruses. It is also good to drink a course of vitamins with the onset of the cold season.

ENT is engaged in treatment, as well as prevention of various diseases of the throat, nose, ear. A good specialist must have the skills of both a therapist and a surgeon. Quite often the doctor has to remove various small foreign objects from the respiratory tract and ear, especially in young children.

All organs treated with ENT are in close relationship with each other, and quite often the disease of one organ leads to complications in another organ, for example, the rhinitis can lead to the development of ear inflammation (otitis), therefore, the treatment should use a predominantly integrated approach to treatment.

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Medical expert editor

Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich

Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"

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