What is otolaryngology

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ENT physiciansOtolaryngology—commonly referred to as Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)—is the branch of medicine that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of ear, nose, throat, head and neck problems. Some common examples are chronic ear infection, tonsillitis, sinus problems and sleep apnea. However, otolaryngology also encompasses hearing loss, various cancers of the head and neck, voice issues and reconstructive surgery to repair injury or deformities.  Otolaryngologists are physicians and surgeons who specialize in diagnosing and treating these disorders.

Within otolaryngology are a number of sub-specialties, which include:

  • Otology, which deals with disorders of or trauma to the ear such as hearing loss, dizziness, ear inflammation, perforated eardrum, etc.
  • Rhinology, which primarily pertains to sinus disorders
  • Laryngology, which focuses on issues such as hoarseness and vocal cord problems
  • Head and Neck, which includes the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer and cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx
  • Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery