When you get an ear infection, sore throat, or stuffy nose, you can rely on your Mercy primary care provider to take care of it quickly. But when ear infections or other nose or throat problems keep coming back, you may need to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, also called an otolaryngologist.
ENT doctors diagnose and manage diseases of the sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face. A board-certified ENT specialist has completed at least five years of specialty training and passed a certification examination for the American Board of Otolaryngology.
Subspecialties of ENT doctors include pediatric otolaryngology (children), otology/neurotology (ears, balance, and tinnitus), allergy, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, head and neck, laryngology (throat) and rhinology (nose).
ENT specialists can help patients with a wide range of conditions, including:
If you’re experiencing any of these conditions, talk to your primary care provider about getting a referral to a Mercy ENT physician or schedule an appointment directly with a Mercy ENT Clinic. It’s important to check with your insurance company first, though, to make sure they will cover the cost of your visit without a referral.
Your Mercy ENT will discuss the symptoms you’re experiencing and your medical history and perform a thorough exam of your ears, nose and throat.
Depending on the reason for your visit, you might need a hearing test, called an audiogram, before seeing the ENT. The audiogram is conducted by a Mercy audiologist and lasts about 30 minutes. We try to schedule the ENT appointment right after the audiogram if possible.