It is estimated that about 15% of adults who are 18 years and older usually have some form of trouble hearing. Some make an effort to see an ear nose and throat doctor. Sadly, others let it slide and only seek an ENT doctor when the condition is too serious. You must know when to see a doctor when you have problems with your ear, nose, and throat. The following signs and symptoms should compel you to see an ear nose and throat doctor right away.
1. Persistent Hearing Impairment
Temporary hearing loss is common, especially if you are exposed to loud music or noise more frequently. In most cases, your hearing will revert to normal when you get out or avoid loud noises. But when the hearing loss is persistent and continues to decline significantly, you should arrange to see an ENT specialist straightaway. Hearing impairment is gradual and gets worse with time if not treated early.
If you find that you are consistently struggling to keep up in social conversations and meetings, or you are always turning up your TV’s or radio’s volume, you may have a hearing impairment. It may be conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, or mixed hearing loss. You should see an ear nose and throat doctor who will conduct tests and decide the appropriate treatment option. ENT doctors may recommend a hearing aid for your hearing loss or use a surgical treatment called Neurotology.
2. Chronic Sinusitis
Sinusitis refers to the inflammation or swelling of the sinuses that causes facial pain, runny, and stuffed nose. Most people get sinus problems after catching a cold. This is called acute sinusitis and typically goes away within two to four weeks. However, other conditions such as allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps, and a deviated septum can cause sinus blockage. This may lead to subacute sinusitis, recurrent sinusitis, or chronic sinusitis.
You may experience bad breath, fever, dental pain, loss of smell, discolored postnasal drainage, facial pressure, pus in the nasal cavity, and persistent body exhaustion. Ear nose and throat doctors may recommend decongestants, antibiotics, antihistamine, antifungal medicine, or immunoglobulin. The treatment depends on the cause of your sinus infection. At worst, untreated chronic sinusitis can cause bone infection, meningitis, and brain abscess.
3. Chronic Sore Throat
It is common to have a sore throat after catching a cold, and this may not necessitate a visit to an ENT. Viral infections triggered by the common cold or flu are the major causes of sore throats. Typically, sore throats caused by viral infections will clear up after some days after applying home remedies such as drinking plenty of liquids or gargling with warm saltwater. However, when your sore throat is persistent and lasts for a couple of weeks, it may be a sign of tonsillitis, diphtheria, strep throat, or whooping cough. A chronic sore throat may be caused by strained vocal cords, allergies, or acid reflux. As such, you need to see an ear nose and throat doctor when you have a chronic sore throat.
4. Ringing In Your Ears
If you are experiencing a consistent ringing in your ears even when you are in a quiet environment, you may be suffering from a condition called tinnitus. You may temporarily experience tinnitus after attending a loud concert or club, but it normally subsides after a couple of days. However, when you constantly experience the ringing, humming, and buzzing sounds in your ear, you should have an ENT in Frisco, TX, examine your ears. Tinnitus may be caused by an ear injury, age-related hearing loss, and complications with the circulatory system. Luckily, an ENT specialist can detect tinnitus early and apply the appropriate treatment.
An ear nose and throat doctor will easily detect the above-discussed signs and symptoms after conducting a test or an examination. That’s why you should visit an ENT doctor near you if you experience persistent hearing loss, chronic and recurrent sinusitis, tinnitus, or chronic sore throat.