Otolaryngologists are medical doctors who specialize in the care of conditions relating to the ear, nose and throat. For this reason, this type of specialist is more commonly known as an “E-N-T” doctor.
After undergoing special training and certifications, otolaryngologists may treat patients of all ages. For example, a child with signs of hearing loss could receive treatment from an ENT, as might an adult with sleep apnea.
While family doctors sometimes treat problems with a patient’s ear, nose or throat, there may be times when a referral to a highly trained ENT is needed, especially in cases where surgery may be involved. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, ENT’s are “trained in both medicine and surgery.”
These physicians may also focus their career on helping patients with a certain condition within their field, for example, chronic ear infections or cleft lip.
The AAOHNS recognizes seven areas that otolaryngologists can become experts in. You can read more about each of these specialists and the kinds of conditions they treat here.
- Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Head and Neck Surgery
- Pediatric Otolaryngology
If you’re searching for an ear, nose and throat doctor, BCBSM’s Find a Doctor Tool can help you find one in your area.
As always, be sure to check your insurance coverage before you make an appointment to see a specialist. You may be required to have a visit with your family doctor first before seeing an otolaryngologist.
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Photo credit: Teil Na