General

What is an Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor?

written by CC ENT Team
What is an Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor

Visiting a general practitioner or family medicine doctor gives you a foundation of supportive care for any medical concerns that arise. These providers offer a range of services and can help with foundational health issues.

But there are times when the health condition goes beyond the skills and expertise offered by your general doctor. The next step is for your doctor to refer you to a specialist who can help with your specific concerns.

How an ENT Differs from a General Practitioner

An ENT doctor is a physician who is trained specifically in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases relating to the ears, nose, and throat (ENT), as well as the structures of the face and neck. These experts not only help with specialty-specific conditions but can also provide support for primary care in both adults and children.

A board-certified ENT ( aka Otolaryngologist) graduates from medical school, which is usually a four-year program. Then, an additional five years (minimum) of specialty training is required. Finally, each ENT must pass a certification exam, offered through the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

When an ENT specialist has completed the requirements listed above, they have the option to continue specializing in a sub-focus within the industry. Other subspecialities include:

  • Facial reconstructive and plastic surgery
  • Pediatric otolaryngology (specializing in services for children)
  • Allergies
  • Laryngology (specializing in the voice, throat, and swallowing)
  • Rhinology (specializing in the sinus cavity and nose)
  • Neck and head surgery
  • Audiology, neurotology, or otology (specializing in ears, tinnitus, and balance)

Services You Can Access from an ENT

Here is an overview of some of the services offered by an ENT:

  • Ears: An estimated 10% of the US population has some level of hearing loss. Other conditions that can be treated by an ENT include ear infections, balance issues, nerve pain, hearing loss, cranial nerve disorders, tinnitus (ear noise), birth defects, and anything else affecting the outer or inner ear.
  • Nose: ENT specializes in the care of the nose and sinuses including treatments for allergies, sense of smell, breathing and airways, structural concerns, and also the cosmetic appearance of the nose.
  • Throat: A healthy throat is essential for a person to eat, speak, and sing. An ENT can help with issues relating to the voice box (larynx), as well as the esophagus and upper digestive tract.
  • Neck and Head: The facial area contains many nerves that influence a person’s ability to see, smell, and hear. ENTs not only treat infectious diseases in the head and neck, but they can help with facial trauma, tumors, and deformities.

Sinus Problems? Why You Should Call an ENT

One of the most common reasons that people visit an ENT is because of chronic sinus issues, known as sinusitis. When these symptoms are persistent and chronic, then an appointment with an ENT can be the best way to manage this condition.

While your primary care doctor can help with general sinus issues, they don’t have the advanced surgical or medical training that an ENT can offer. For example, a general practitioner might be a good resource for a one-time sinus infection. But if you have sinus infections several times a year, then you might consider an appointment with an ENT for a treatment plan that gives you long-term relief.

Common Questions About ENT Services

It’s normal to have questions if you haven’t visited an ENT before. Here are answers to a few of the questions you might have about ENT services:

  • What Does an Ear, Nose, Throat Doctor Do? An ear, nose, and throat doctor (often called ENT physicians) have special medical skills to diagnose and treat diseases and deformities in all structures of the face, including the oral cavity, larynx, sinuses, and more.
  • What is the Difference Between an ENT and Otolaryngology? All ENTs are trained in otolaryngology, so there is no difference between an ENT and Otolaryngologist.
  • What is an Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor Called? Many names are used for physicians trained in otolaryngology, such as ear/nose/throat doctors, ENTs, or otolaryngologists.
  • When Should You See an Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor? If you have any symptoms or disorders relating to the ears, nose, throat, face, or head, then it can be helpful to talk to an ENT. Some patients can book an appointment with an ENT directly, while others work through their primary care provider for a referral.
  • What Does an ENT Do at First Appointment? During your first appointment with an ENT, the doctor will perform a visual and physical exam. This examination often includes an inspection of your nose, ears, throat, neck, and any other areas of your head or neck that might be affected. Additionally, the doctor will ask questions about your medical history and gather information about your symptoms. If needed, an ENT might request additional testing, such as digital imaging, so an accurate diagnosis can be obtained. Then, the doctor can prescribe a treatment plan to help with your symptoms.
  • Can an ENT Perform Surgery? Yes, ENTs can perform surgery on facial and neck structures, if necessary. Surgical treatments are one reason why ENTs stand out from general physicians because a primary care doctor can only provide medical treatments (not surgery).

If you have any additional questions about ENT services, then our office is happy to help. Contact us at your convenience to learn more about the range of services that we offer.

Do You Need to See an ENT Specialist Near Frisco, TX?

  • Infection in the adenoids or tonsils
  • Tinnitus
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Breathing issues
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Growth or tumor in the neck or facial area
  • Chronic congestion
  • Swallowing problems
  • Voice issues
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Nose bleeds
  • Problems smelling

Best ENT in Frisco, TX

If you are experiencing any of the conditions listed above, then our team at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat is here to talk to you about treatment options. Our team is focused on quality results for every patient, offering an in-depth diagnostic process to identify the root cause of your symptoms.

These quality ENT services are available for people in Frisco or Plano. Contact us at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat to schedule an appointment at one of our nearby offices: Frisco or Plano, TX. You can fill out our online appointment request form, or call during regular business hours: (972) 596-4005.

Our clients' stories

We find our patients’ experiences the most rewarding part of the job. Without them, we wouldn’t be one of the longest standing ENT practices in the area!

“This was my first time visiting this office. These folks were super friendly!! Starting with the front desk to all the help in the back, the Dr. Littlejohn was very patient and listened to all my concerns. I dealt with 5 people total due to testing and they all were genuinely nice! Loved it, and not to mention quick service. Great customer service, I’ll be sure to refer family and friends! ”

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“I have used Collin Co. ENT and Dr. Kenny Carter for over 3 years, primarily for ear problems. The staff has been consistently helpful and friendly to me. When I have had problems needing immediate attention and explained the need, have been able to get an appointment within a reasonable time to address the problem. I recommend Dr. Carter and his staff.”

Stan B. user icon

“Dr. Matheny performed 2 surgeries on my wife, both were successful with great results. He is not only a great surgeon, but a great person. It was a pleasure working with him. One of the best doctors we have ever seen in our lives.”

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