Due to their non-communicable and non-life-threatening nature, ear, nose, and throat disorders do not attract attention like infectious diseases. Sometimes, patients ignore ENT (ear, nose, and throat) conditions and only visit specialists when conditions are in their advanced stage.
However, with the increasing number of otolaryngologists worldwide, one can easily find a local specialist who can help them with any problems relating to their ears, noses, or throats.
So, how do you know when to see an ENT specialist? Below are some signs and symptoms to look out for.
1. Persistent Hearing Problems
If you have a cold, the viruses in your throat can find their way into your ear through the passage at the back of the throat. Such pathogens trigger your body’s defense mechanism, leading to a build-up of fluids in the ear.
Since such fluids put too much pressure on your ear’s mechanism, you may experience sudden hearing loss or even an eardrum rupture. While the eardrum can repair itself, the problem can persist if you have other complications.
Since some infections can lead to permanent damage, you should have your ear checked immediately after experiencing sudden hearing loss and related issues.
2. Sinus Pain
In most cases, sinus pain, also known as sinusitis, results from cold viruses spreading from the throat to the sinuses. A bacterial infection can also cause sinusitis. While normal sinusitis ends when the infection heals, the condition can become chronic if you have growths in your ear or have a weak immune system.
If the pain doesn’t seem to go away, or the symptoms worsen even after using solutions like painkillers and nasal decongestants, visit an ENT specialist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment options for the condition include antibiotics, corticosteroid sprays, or even surgery if you have sinus drainage issues.
3. Persistent Sore Throat
A sore throat is not only painful but also annoying, as you cannot eat food easily. The most common cause of a sore throat is viral infections in the throat. Such sore throats heal themselves, but other causes, like streptococcal infection, require early treatment to avoid complications.
Therefore, if your sore throat only worsens as time passes, consider seeing an ENT doctor for a thorough examination.
4. Chronic Nasal Congestion
If you have trouble breathing, especially when you wake up in the morning, you may have chronic nasal congestion. Some common causes of nasal congestion include viral infections, like the flu and colds, irritation of nasal tissues, allergies, and nasal deformities.
Your ENT doctor can recommend decongestants or antibiotics, but some patients require advanced treatment approaches like balloon sinuplasty or endoscopic sinus surgery.
5. Ringing in Your Ears
You are suffering from tinnitus if you constantly hear ringing, clicking, and whistling in your head or from your ears. The condition is common in people with underlying conditions, like ear injury and age-related hearing problems, but it can also signify permanent hearing loss.
If tinnitus disrupts your well-being, seek help from an experienced ENT professional. Your ENT doctor can eliminate tinnitus by treating the underlying condition.
Though most ear, nose, and throat issues are not life-threatening, they can affect your quality of life. Moreover, some issues can lead to severe complications that require expensive treatment approaches. Therefore, if you notice any of the signs above, visit an ENT specialist for proper examination and early treatment.
At GNO Snoring & Sinus, we use the latest medical technology to diagnose the cause behind your ear, nose, and throat issues and offer personalized treatment using the latest treatment options. Contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.