What is the Best ENT Treatment

Jim Whetje/ Getty Images

ENT treatment can be handled by either a general pracitioner or an otolaryngologist (ENT). Though general practitioners treat a number of ENT disorders, your family doctor may not feel comfortable treating you and may refer you to an ENT specialist. Seeking out a specialist on your own may also be helpful if you are unhappy with the care you have received, need a second opinion or want more information than your general practitioner can provide.

How Can I Find an ENT Specialist?

If you have been referred to an ENT specialist by your family doctor, he or she probably already has a specific doctor in mind. If not, you can use the directory from the American Academy of Otolaryngology to find a list of ENT specialists in your area.

What ENT Treatments Are Available?

The best ENT treatment will vary according to what type of problems or symptoms you are having. In the early stages of a disorder, surgical procedures may not be warranted, as in tonsillitis, for example. Early treatments will also depend on whether or not the disorder is related to an infection. If an infection is suspected, tests may be performed to determine whether the cause is bacterial or viral. Viral infections will not respond to antibiotics.

If surgical procedures are indicated, the doctor or nurse will give you instructions to follow before the surgery, including when you need to stop eating solid foods, when to stop drinking clear liquids and whether or not you will need to start or stop any medications before the surgery.

Are There Other Specialists I Need to See For My ENT Treatment?

In some cases, an ENT specialist may diagnose your problem, but ultimately send you to another specialist for treatment. For example, many ENT doctors will diagnose cancer of the head and neck. They may surgically remove tumors and then send you to an oncologist for radiation or chemotherapy.

Likewise, some children with chronic ear infections may have delayed speech development. In these cases, the ENT specialist and a speech pathologist may work together as a team to treat the child. Your ENT doctor can assist you in seeking out other medical specialists.

Of course, prevention is the best treatment for any disease, but if you find yourself battling an ENT disorder, remember that information is powerful. Make sure you find a physician who lets you become involved in the treatment of your own disorder. You are your best advocate.


American Academy of Otolaryngology. http://www.entnet.org