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About Ear Nose and Throat Medicine

Ear, Nose and Throat Medicine
WakeMed's ear, nose and throat doctors (ENT physicians) and audiologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and head and neck disorders. The full name of this specialty is otolaryngology, and an ENT clinic can provide services ranging from ear inflammations to sleep apnea solutions to treatment of oral or thyroid cancer.

What is Otolaryngology?
Otolaryngology is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists have many years of specialized training in diseases and disorders of the ear, nose and throat beyond their four years of medical school. Residency training can require five years of general surgery and head and neck surgery, with another three years of fellowship or advanced subspecialty training.

Often called an ear, nose, throat specialist, or perhaps just a throat specialist or hearing specialist, ENT physicians treat tonsil disorders, ear disease, sinus disease and cancers of the head and neck.

A pediatric ENT, or someone who practices pediatric otolaryngology, treats young children and teens. Common surgeries on young people are tonsillectomies or insertion of ear tubes, which might be used for children who suffer from multiple ear infections that medication doesn't relieve.

What do ENT Physicians Treat?
The Ears: Hearing loss affects one in 10 people, and can be caused by many factors, including aging, infections, hereditary disorders, nerve pain, balance disorders, ear noise (tinnitus), cancers or even exposure to excessive noise.

ENT physicians may also be an ear doctor specialist or a hearing specialist and can treat structural problems such as lack of ear canals, viral or bacterial conditions like ear infections or Bell's palsy, and cancers of the ear. Some treatments may require what patients like to simply call ear surgery, while audiology hearing aids, ear surgery tubes or antibiotics may be called for in other cases.

The Nose: About 35 million people develop chronic sinusitis each year, making it one of the most common health complaints in America, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Ear nose and throat doctors care for the nasal cavity and sinuses, including treatment for allergies. An ear nose throat specialist also is an expert in how your nose looks and works, so can help with problems with smelling or breathing that may be caused by blockages due to nasal or sinus infection or tumors of the nasal structure and face.

The Throat: Our ability to communicate centers around the throat. Speaking, singing, eating, and swallowing all involve this vital area. ENT physicians are often called a throat specialist, and will manage diseases of the larynx (your voice box) and the esophagus, voice disorders like hoarseness , swallowing disorders and thyroid issues. They treat cancers of the mouth, throat, thyroid and voice box, and can provide breathing and sleep apnea solutions.

The Head and Neck: Important nerves that control sight, smell, hearing, and the face are located here. ENT physicians are trained to treat infectious diseases, including cancerous tumors, of the head and neck. They also perform cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery for facial trauma and deformities.

Our practice provides a comprehensive range of facial, ear, nose and throat services to children and adults.

Services include the treatment of: