Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

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Definition - What does Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist mean?

An ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT), also called an otolaryngologist, is a medical practitioner that treats health conditions which affect the ears, nose, throat, head and neck. These conditions can include allergies, benign or malignant growths, ear infections/sinusitis, tinnitus, equilibrium (balance) problems, maxillofacial abnormalities (i.e. jaw misalignment), and snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A physician refers a patient to an ENT to determine the proper treatment solution such as prescribed medication or surgical repair based on immediate medical circumstances involved.

SureHire explains Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

An ENT has extensive field knowledge in dealing with pathologies related to the ears, nose, throat, and in some cases, the head and neck, coordinating with primary care physicians among other health care experts to meet the patient’s health needs. Because many conditions require a battery of testing, a multidisciplinary approach from different health specialists represents the bedrock in delivering the most favorable treatment to improve the quality of life of patients. For instance, obstructive sleep apnea is a common issue for many individuals, characteristic of a narrow airway passage that impedes breathing patterns and induces marked sleep disturbances.

In OSA-related cases, a polysomnogram is a sleep study that measures physiological variables including blood oxygen levels, heart rate, respiration, rapid eye movement (REM), non-rapid eye movement (NREM), and random body movements, all of which are distinctive parameters for appraising sleep patterns. The sleep technician monitors the circadian rhythm cycles during the night where the biofeedback is relayed to an ENT for analysis to take necessary steps in therapeutic intervention. Moreover, an ENT that can correct sleep apnea via an operational procedure can help deter workplace accidents and injuries where persistent symptoms including excessive daytime sleepiness, cognitive impairment, and slow motor coordination skills adversely influence job performance.

An ENT can hold a subspecialty tailored around the physiological aspects of an isolated medical condition requiring their exclusive domain of expertise to improve a patient’s personal and professional status. In the example of OSA cases, an ENT can perform the necessary treatment to facilitate regular breathing patterns, a modality that is conducive to individuals occupying a safety-sensitive position.

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