ENT doctors are trained specialists in helping patients find relief from disorders related to the ears, nose, and throat. They can help treat issues such as sinus headaches or sleep apnea. But, they are also qualified to perform surgeries for more severe conditions. Your ears, nose, and throat is a requisite network of organs that play a considerable role in essential tasks like eating and breathing to help you sustain life. When there are problems in these areas, you'll need to be referred to someone who can help you manage the problem and treat it effectively.
What Does an ENT Do?
ENT is an acronym for ears, nose, and throat. An otolaryngologist commonly referred to as an ENT doctor will specialize in treating these areas along with the head and neck. Many people will visit their general practitioner (GP) for help with sinus and allergy problems. When the needs are out of the GP's scope, the patient will be referred to an ENT specialist. It's important to understand what exactly otolaryngologists treat to get the best care from your doctor:
- Allergies - from seasonal to food allergies
- Laryngology - disorders of the throat
- Rhinology - complications caused by sinus issues in the nose and various sinus cavities.
- Otology & Neurotology - diseases/ailments directly affecting the ears or the nerves that can cause hearing loss or imbalance.
- Head & Neck - any issues of the head and neck including benign and cancerous tumors.
- Pediatric Otolaryngology - specializing in all of the above applications with an additional focus on childhood related maladies.
ENTs are capable of treating everything from the simple to the severe. These specialists are trained surgeons who are capable of performing procedures on some of the most delicate organs in the body found in the ears, nose, and throat. They can open airways, remove cancers, and rebuild precarious structures.
Choosing the Right ENT
Start with Referrals
When selecting an ENT for either yourself or your child, you want someone who has the experience but also someone that is within your preferred distance. Your primary care doctor will be an excellent resource and are more than likely going to recommend an ENT. But, don't stop there. Do your due diligence. These doctors will work to develop a treatment plan, and it's essential to your wellbeing that you find a good match.
Board certification means you are working with a doctor who is trained in a particular area of medicine. For an ENT, getting board certified requires four-year undergraduate, four-years of medical school, and at least five years of specialty training. Additionally, you must pass the American Board of Otolaryngology exams. The result for patients is a better experience with a trusted ENT professional.
Ensure They Have Hospital Partnerships
In the instance, surgery is performed, having an ENT with hospital affiliations is helpful. Many hospitals require doctors to maintain a certain level of excellence and skill to partner with or practice at their facility. The hospital will align themselves with a well-respected and established practice of ENT doctors. For residents of the greater Nashville area, try to find and ENT who works with Baptist and Centennial Hospital or Williamson Medical Center.
Working with a board-certified doctor is essential, but check for other ENT awards or accreditations. These additional credentials go a long way in articulating who you will be working with and the kind of care they are willing to provide their patients. Websites are the best way to locate the information.
Do They Provide Pediatric ENT Services?
Treating adults is not the same as children. That's why it's important to find a pediatric ENT specialist. As children grow and develop into adults, their bodies are susceptible to different ailments, therefore, requiring a doctor familiar with treating children. In the event of surgery is needed, your pediatric ENT will have the skillset to perform the procedure successfully.
Otolaryngology Associates of Tennessee (OAT) is a team of medical and audiological experts dedicated to providing ears, nose, and throat services fro Middle Tennessee residents. For the past twenty years, OAT has developed a reputation for providing their patients with outstanding medical care.
Our doctors are certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and have privileges with some of the most prestigious hospitals in the area such as Baptist Hospital, Williamson Medical Center, and Centennial Hospital. You can read more about our providers and their credentials below.