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Understanding Otolaryngology and Its Relevance to Your Life

Otolaryngology (pronounced oh-toe-lair-in-goll-oh-jee) is a strange word that not everyone can tell the meaning of. It actually refers to a medical specialty that deals with the medical management, surgical procedures and treatment of diseases of the ears, nose, throat and related areas around the head and neck. This medical specialization is practiced by otolaryngologists, a term that's been simplified by modern medical science as ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists. An ENT medical center is a perfect example of an institution that houses expert ENT practitioners.

What Do Otolaryngologists Do?

Otolaryngologists specialize in the diagnosis and management of disorders of the ears, nose and throat including the sinuses and larynx. They also treat diseases that affect the head, face and neck.

ENT physicians are trained to perform medical and surgical treatment of ears, nose and throat diseases. They specialize in diagnosing and treating ear infections, hearing and balance disorders, nasal diseases, as well as throat and larynx illnesses, including medical conditions that cause swallowing difficulties and voice problems.

Another important specialty of Otolaryngologists is to identify and manage diseases that affect a person's face, head and neck. They specialize in providing medical treatment to patients who suffer from facial trauma, facial deformity and cancer. In some cases, these specialists also perform plastic and reconstructive surgery to repair or restore the health and appearance of damaged tissues in these parts of the body.

The Makings of an ENT Specialist

Otolaryngologists are ready to practice their specialization after completing medical school, five years of specialty training, and passing the Otolaryngology board examination. After this, an ENT specialist may pursue a two-year fellowship to acquire more extensive training in any of Otolaryngology's subspecialty areas such as allergy, pediatric otolaryngology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and treatment of disorders involving the ears, head, neck, larynx, and nose. It should not surprise you to realize that ENT physicians are also trained to cure sleep disorders.

Do I Need to See an Otolaryngologist?

Inasmuch as they are specialists in this medical field, ENT experts are the most qualified medical professionals to treat illnesses in the ears, nose, throat, head and neck area. They are also trained to perform surgical operations when necessary and when these parts of the body are involved. It would therefore be wise to go directly to an otolaryngologist if you are experiencing pain or disorder in any of these areas including the head and neck.

In the medical profession, no single physician can be an expert at treating all kinds of illnesses of the human body. Seeking the help of a specialist who is an expert at treating the illness you might be suffering from can save you time, money and effort. It can also provide you early relief and can set you and your loved ones free from anxiety and fear.

Contributed by http://www.okoa.org/

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