Ear, nose and throat specialists, also called ENT’s, specialize in otolaryngology. They diagnose, manage and treat disorders of the head and neck including ears, nose, throat, sinuses, larynx and other organs. Otolaryngology is a speciality in surgery and an ENT specialist are trained in the surgical management of the diseases related to these organs.

Otolaryngologists help treat a variety of conditions like:

  • Hearing loss and hearing disorders,
  • Allergies
  • Infections
  • Injuries
  • Congenital abnormalities or acquired abnormalities like cleft palate, deviated septum, loss of smell, drooping eyelids, cleft lip etc)
  • Speech disorders like hoarseness or laryngitis
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Benign and malignant tumours of the nose, mouth, sinuses, oesophagus, larynx, thyroid gland and parathyroid glands.
  • Sleep apnea and snoring
  • Nerve disorder like Bell’s palsy

When to see an ENT specialist?

Any problem related to the ear, nose or throat calls for an ENT specialist’s attention.

Conditions of the ear: These involve hearing impairment, ear infections, ringing in the ear called Tinnitus or severe chronic pain in the ears. Congenital diseases are also treated by ENT specialists.

Conditions of the nose: Breathing issues, and other problems related to nasal cavity, sinuses, allergies, issues pertaining to smell and physical appearance all come under the ENT medicine and treatment.

Conditions of the throat: Conditions that affect throat, speech, singing, digestion, eating, swallowing are diagnosed, managed and treated by the ENT specialists.

Conditions of head and neck: ENT branch of medicine deals with managing diseases, tumours, trauma and deformities of the face, neck and head. Performing reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries are the specialities of ENT surgeons. They can also manage problems with cranial and neck nerves and control sight, smell, hearing and facial movements.

Other conditions that need ENT’s attention: Other conditions that require a patient to see an ENT specialist are dizziness, balance problems, nerve problems in ears, nose, throat, ear infections, tonsils or adenoid infection, swimmer’s ear, down’s syndrome, asthma, extra growth in nose or throat, deviated septum, cleft palate, nasal congestion, hair loss, nose bleeds, droopy eyelids, soreness, hoarseness and more.

The ear, nose and throat are very intricately connected and function as one unit. Hence a disturbance caused in one part can cause a problem in the other. The ear, nose and throat form a part of the upper respiratory system as they are connected to the same mucous membrane.


The bacteria and viruses can make it through these three parts of the ENT system as the canals and pathways are connected and interlinked.

The middle ear is connected to the back of the throat by Eustachian tube and it has the lining just like the mucous membrane of the nose and throat. The internal nose is directly connected to the throat.

The throat is made of three parts; the nasopharynx which is located behind the nose, the oropharynx located behind the mouth and the laryngopharynx is where the voice box is located.

The entire system comprising of all these parts is enclosed by a cavity in the skull called the sinuses. These are located about an inch across the cheekbones, central portion of the forehead and between the eyes and in the nose. This complete structure helps us to breathe, smell, taste and plays a major defining role in our appearance.

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