Ear, nose and throat physicians, otherwise known as ENTs or otolaryngologists, are trained to treat a wide variety of conditions that affect your body from the collarbone and above, with the exception of your eyes and your brain. These surgically trained specialists may address issues as simple as allergies, ear infections, and chronic sinus problems and infections to those as complex as head and neck cancer.
The board-certified primary care providers at Beaufort Memorial can refer you to an ENT specialist if necessary. Find a primary care provider accepting new patients.
Helping patients hear clearly is a key area of focus for ENT specialists. Specifically, ENTs may diagnose and treat ringing in the ears, hearing loss and dizziness associated with hearing problems. The following conditions may result in hearing challenges.
Symptoms such as fullness in the ear, muffled hearing and pain in the ear may signal a type of hearing loss that occurs when sound has trouble reaching your inner ear, or cochlea. Conductive hearing loss may be caused by bony lesions in the ear canal, eardrum problems, earwax buildup or an infection of the ear canal known as swimmer’s ear.
Treatment options an ENT may administer to manage conductive hearing loss include hearing aids, surgery to correct structural issues and surgery to implant a hearing device.
This type of hearing loss occurs when hair cells in the cochlear and/or auditory nerve are injured. As a result you may experience a variety of symptoms, including dizziness, ringing in the ear and trouble understanding speech.
Following a hearing test performed by an audiologist, your ENT will determine the best treatment option for you. This may include corticosteroids to minimize inflammation and swelling and/or surgery to place a cochlear implant.
If your voice is chronically breathy, higher, strained or weak, you may have a condition known as dysphonia, or hoarseness. This may occur when vocal cords in your larynx, or voice box, are disrupted. By reviewing your medical history and conducting an examination of your vocal cords, an ENT can determine the root cause of your dysphonia. Possible causes include benign vocal cord lesions, cancerous lesions, neurological disorders and vocal cord hemorrhage. Based on your diagnosis, your ENT will recommend a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs.