Sunday, April 29, 2012

Understanding Otolaryngology

problems are nothing to sneer at. Even the common cold can be a big pain to deal with and leave you feeling weak and weary for a long time. If you think you are having medical problems, you should seek a professional at once. Sometimes, you should even go straight to a specialist. No matter what area of the body you are dealing with, you can find a doctor who specializes only in that area. If you're having problems with your ears, nose, or throat, pull out your phone book and look for a specialist in otolaryngology.
Now, that might seem like a mouthful, but the more common term for this branch of medicine is ENT. A doctor, who treats the ears, nose, and mouth, is often called an ENT specialist. This is the oldest branch of medicine that there is and dates back to nearly the beginning of medicine itself. This doctor will treat the ears, nose, larynx, sinuses, mouth, and throat. They will also handle the structure of the face and neck if that affects any of the other areas. Specialties, however, start with the ears. ENT specialists are trained to deal with hearing loss, hearing disorders, and birth defects in both the inner and outer ears, just to name a few. They are also trained to deal with chronic sinusitis and other problems that might affect the nasal passages. Voice and swallowing diseases are also areas of expertise, as well as any diseases that might affect the throat or esophagus.
A specialist in otolaryngology is ready to be certified after up to fifteen years of training. In order to receive certification by the American Board, they must have completed four years of college, four years of medical school, and at least five years of specialty training. They must pass an examination and may also pursue a one or two year fellowship in one of the subspecialty areas before receiving their certification and beginning to practice medicine.
There are seven subspecialty areas in the field of otolaryngology. The first one is the field of allergy medicine. If a doctor decides to pursue this area, they will be licensed in such procedures as immunotherapy, treatment by medication, and they will be able to diagnose what allergens their patients might have reactions to. The second field is that of facial and reconstructive surgery. This can be cosmetic or reconstructive and would involve only the areas on the face that might need plastic surgery. The third field deals with the head and neck and would involve such practices as identifying lumps and dealing with cancerous tumors on the head, neck, or voice box. Laryngology is the fourth field and deals with disorders in the throat, including voice and swallowing problems. The fifth field is otology and includes anything that has to do with the ears, from swimmer's ear to diseases that affect the inner or outer ear. Pediatric ENT specialists focus on the sixth field, pediatrics, which deals with anything that affects the ears, nose, or throat of a child. And the last field, rhinology, deals with the sinuses and nose and anything that might interfere with the quality of your breathing and nasal passages.
If you are having problems with your ears, nose, or throat, consider seeing someone licensed in otolaryngology today. They can diagnose your problem, fix you up with a treatment plan, and get you on your way to a healthier lifestyle in no time.

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