How do you know when it’s time to see your Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor? When it comes to specialized doctors, it’s not easy to know when to go. Do you wait to get referred by your general practitioner? Do you contact your insurance first? It can get very overwhelming sometimes. While your ENT covers a wide range of conditions, you might need to make an appointment for a few specific conditions. Here are five signs that you should see an ENT:
● Chronic or Recurring Sinusitis: Allergies and colds can be a pain and inconvenient, but they usually don’t cause too many issues. Some sinus issues mimic colds, so it’s hard to tell whether it’s your allergies or a full-blown cold. Unfortunately, sinus issues can develop into sinusitis. If you get sinusitis often or lasts for an extended period when you get it, it’s time to see the ENT. Some symptoms of sinusitis would be:
- Yellow and green drainage from your nose
- Having trouble smelling
- Blurred or impaired vision
- Tooth or dental pain
● Hearing Loss: There are several reasons why your hearing might have declined. It could be from having a cold, having excessive earwax, hereditary issues, age, and more. If you’re having trouble hearing the TV at a reasonable volume, keeping up with conversations, having trouble distinguishing the direction of where a sound is coming, and more, it’s time to contact an ENT. Whether hearing loss is temporary or permanent, it’s best to catch it as soon as possible.
● Persistent Ear Infections: Ear infections can be common, especially if you suffer from severe allergies. It becomes an issue when the current ear infection doesn’t go away, or you developed another one soon after it clears up. Persistent ear infections might be a sign that sometime else is going on with your ear or your sinuses.
● Tinnitus: In a previous blog, The Basics of Tinnitus, we discussed how this is a persistent ringing or whooshing sound in your ears. You’ll hear sounds, but you can’t seem to find the source of the noise. While tinnitus is common when you go to loud events like a concert or a club, it goes away after a few hours. It needs to be checked when the tinnitus doesn’t go away, it starts up for no reason, or your hearing is diminished with the tinnitus.
● Chronic Sore Throat: Sore throats are common with coughs, colds, and allergies. They’re there for a short time and then go away with the symptoms. It becomes an issue when the sore throat doesn’t seem to go away or worsens as other symptoms get better. Severe symptoms might be an indication of tonsillitis.