Are you generally in good health? Then the odds are good that you see your primary care physician every few years or once a year for those over 50. These visits let your doctor give a general assessment and order labs like a cholesterol test if necessary.
Of course, not everyone is in good health all the time. Sometimes, you get symptoms that won’t go away or a recurring pain. That’s when you go to a specialist, like an ear nose throat doctor.
Not sure if you need an ENT doctor? Keep reading for five signs you may need a visit with an ENT.
1. Recurring Ear Infections
Ear infections in kids are a pretty common issue. Adults, on the other hand, don’t get them nearly as often. Recurring ear infections are even rarer in adults.
If you find that you keep getting ear infections, a visit with an ear nose throat doctor is probably in order. They may identify an underlying cause that they can treat.
2. Persistent Sore Throat
When you get a cold or the flu, you expect a sore throat as part and parcel of the illness. It’s just a byproduct of the coughing.
When you get a sore throat that doesn’t seem to come from anywhere specific and hangs on for weeks at a time, that’s a problem. You should talk with your primary care physician about it and see if they can refer you to a specialist, such as this ENT doctor.
3. Abrupt Hearing Loss
Much like your vision, your hearing gets incrementally worse as you age. For example, you might struggle a little to hear sounds in higher frequencies. That is normal.
If you find that you suddenly lose some of the hearing in one or both ears, that’s not normal. You’ll probably need an appointment with a specialist.
4. Sinus Issues
Sinus issues are often quite painful. If your sinuses get inflamed or clogged, it can cause pain in your face, teeth, and your ears. An ENT can often make recommendations about adjusting your home environment to eliminate triggers and offer treatment options.
5. A Lump in Your Neck
While a lump in your neck will often prove perfectly benign, it can indicate much more serious problems. For example, it can be a sign of cancer that worked its way into your lymph nodes. An ENT is best equipped to determine if the lump is a cause for concern or not.
Should You See an ENT Doctor?
As a general rule, you don’t schedule an initial appointment for yourself with an ENT doctor. You see your primary care physician first for the problem that troubles you.
If your primary care physician thinks it warrants a visit with the ENT, they’ll give you a referral to someone. If you’re very worried, you can ask for an appointment with an ENT.
Once you see the ear nose throat specialist, they’ll typically schedule follow appointments with you directly.
Looking for more health and wellness tips? Check out the posts on health web.