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.