Ear, Nose and Throat

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.

What do Otolarynogologists Treat? 

  • The ears. Otolaryngologists treat patients suffering ear disorders or conditions, such as a hearing impairment, ear infections, disorders that affect balance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or pain in your ear. ENT specialists can also treat congenital disorders of the ear (disorders you were born with). 

  • The nose. ENT specialists often manage and treat problems that affect the nose, nasal cavity and sinuses. These problems can affect smell, breathing and physical appearance. 

  • The throat. Disorders and conditions that affect the throat can affect speech, singing, eating, swallowing and digestion. ENT specialists can diagnose, manage and treat these problems. 

  • The head and neck. ENT specialists are trained to manage diseases, tumors, trauma and deforities of the head, neck and face. They are able to perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in these areas, as well as manage problems with the nerves in the head and neck that control sight, smelling, hearing and facial movements. 

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