OtolaryngologyOtolaryngology (pronounced Oh/toe/lair/in/goll/oh/jee) is the oldest Medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose throat and neck. They are commonly referred to as ENT physicians.
What do otolaryngologists treat?
Otolaryngologists diagnose and manage diseases of the sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity, and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face, as well as many ENT primary care problems in both children and adults.
Hearing loss affects one in ten North Americans. A unique domain of otolaryngologists is the treatment of ear disorders. They are trained in both medical and surgical treatment of hearing, ear infections, balance disorders, ear noise (tinnitus), nerve pain, and facial and cranial nerve disorders.
Over 35 million people are treated for chronic sinusitis each year, making it one of the most common health complaints in the United States. Care of the nasal cavity and sinuses is one of the primary skills of the otolaryngologist, and includes allergies, sense of smell disorders, nasal obstruction, and nasal appearance.
Speech and swallowing involve the throat. The otolaryngologist manages diseases of the larynx (voice box) and esophagus, including voice and swallowing disorders. The head and neck includes the important nerves that control sight, smell, hearing and facial movement. In the head and neck area, otolaryngologist are trained to treat infectious diseases, both benign and malignant, facial trauma, and deformities of the face. They perform cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Why should I see an Otolaryngologist?
These specialists differ from many physicians in that they are trained in both medicine and surgery. Otolaryngologists may refer patients to other otolaryngologists that specialize in the various fields of ENT care, such as a head neck surgeon, an otologist or ear surgeon, or an otolaryngologist that has had special training in "Otolaryngic Allergy", allergies that affect the ear nose and throat.
How are ear, nose and throat specialists trained?
Otolaryngologists complete up to 15 years of college and post-graduate training (except Dr. Shea completed this in 12 years). To qualify for certification by the American Board of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, an applicant must first complete college, medical school (usually four years....rarely three years), and at least five years of specialty training. Next, the physician must pass the American Board of Otolaryngology examination. In addition, some otolaryngologists pursue a 1 or 2 year fellowship for more extensive training in one of eight subspecialty areas: pediatric otolaryngology, otology/neurotology, allergy, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, head and neck, laryngology, rhinology, and sleep disorders.
What are 7 areas of expertise in the field of Otolaryngology?
Diagnosis of ear trauma, cancer, hearing and balance disorders.
Treating ear infections; swimmer’s ear; hearing loss; ear, face or neck pain; dizziness, ringing in the ears.
Diagnosis of childhood birth defects of the head and neck such as Down’s syndrome, and acquired pediatric ENT problems.
Treatment of ear canal (otitis eternal) and middle ear infection (otitis media), tonsil and adenoid infection, airway problems, asthma, allergies and sinus disease.
Head and Neck:
Diagnosis of malignant and benign tumors in the head and neck.
Treatment of mass in the head / neck, including thyroid nodules, cancer of the larynx.
Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery:
Providing cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head and neck.
Treatment including rhinoplasty or "nose job", face lift, cleft palate, drooping eyelids, hair loss.
Diagnosis of disorders of the nose and sinuses.
Treatment including Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure, sinus surgery, septal reconstruction for deviated septum, removal of nasal polyps and other procedures to improve stuffy nose, stopping nose bleed.
Diagnosis of throat disorders, including voice problems, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Treatment of sore throat, hoarseness, swallowing problems.
Diagnosis of airborne allergy such as animal dander, house dust mite, mold and seasonal allergens such as weed tree and grass using skin or blood tests.
Diagnosis of delayed food allergy induced nasal congestion with nocturnal mouth breathing/snoring, headache, dizziness, tinnitus, hearing loss, sinus infection, nasal polyps, snoring, and gastrointestinal disturbances using elimination/challenge diets or sublingual drop tests such as the patented Allertol® protocol.
Treatment of seasonal and perennial allergies including delayed food allergy by SLIT (Sublingual Immunotherapy), by medication and by avoidance.