ENT stands for ear, nose and throat and the related structures of the head and neck. The branch of medicine that deals with the conditions of ENT is known as Otorhinolaryngology. Doctors who specialize in this field are known as Otorhinolaryngologists. They can also be referred as otolaryngologists, ENT doctors, ENT surgeons, or head and neck surgeons. This medical discipline involves the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and management of all the diseases and disorders that affect our ears, nose, throat as well as the head and neck, mouth, sinuses and voice box.
Otorhinolaryngologists specialize in the following areas –
1. Sleep medicine – sleep medicine is provided for disorders such as sleep apnea and is attributed to defects in the nose or obstruction in the throat.
2. Allergy – they learn the pathology of allergy and treat those allergies using options that range from medication to immunotherapy.
3. Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology – Otorhinolaryngologists who deal with children of age 0-12 are known as pediatric Otorhinolaryngologists. They deal with congenital defects, trauma and infections that affect the ears and throat.
An ENT specialist should be consulted to treat the following conditions –
1. Infections that affects the structures of the ears nose and throat.
2. Malignant as well as benign tumors of ears, nose, throat, head and neck.
3. Birth defects.
4. Obstructive sleep apnea.
5. Allergies including asthma and rhinitis.
6. Fractures and damage to the skin tissue.
One of the most important components of ENT is a Cochlear implant. They are a solution for children and adults with severe or profound hearing loss. A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that does the job of damaged parts of the inner ear by providing sound signals or a sense of sound to a person who is severely hard of hearing or profoundly deaf in both ears.
While most people who suffer from hearing loss can get relief from hearing aids but for people with severe damage to the sensory cells in the inner ears, a cochlear implant is the best option for better hearing. These are tiny, complex medical devices that work differently from a hearing aid. A cochlear implant bypasses the normal hearing process.
They have a sound processor that is placed on the outside of the skin which contains microphone, electronic battery and a coil which transmits a signal to the implant. The signals are received with the help of a coil which is placed into the cochlea which stimulate the cochlear nerve.
There are several benefits of using a cochlear implant –
1. People with severe hear loss are helped with cochlear implants rather than a hearing aid.
2. The understanding is also increased from 10 percent to 80 percent.
3. In a noisy environment, concentration is better.
4. Talking and hearing on the phone is a now an option.
5. Feeling of safety as alarms and other important sounds are now heard.
The working of a cochlear implant is given below –
The surgical procedure that is used most often is known as Mastoidectomy. The procedure of implanting the device is done under anesthesia. The procedure of a cochlear implant is given below
1. There is a sound processor which is worn behind the ear or on the body. It captures sound and turns it into digital code. A battery is present inside that powers the entire system.
2. The digitally coded sound is then transmitted to the implant with the help of the sound processor.
3. In addition, a cochlear implant converts the digitally coded sound into electrical impulses and sends them along the electrode array.
4. In the final step, the implant’s electrode stimulates the cochlea’s hearing nerve which then sends the impulses to the brain where they are interpret as sound.
Infection of the sinus often occurs due to inflammation and obstruction of the sinus drainage pathways and people are benefitted from endoscopic sinus surgery.
An otolaryngologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat diseases as well as related structures of head and neck.
Pain is managed with the help of OTC. If there is bacterial infection, antibiotics are prescribed.
Today’s hearing aids are small and discreet and some models are nearly invisible to others.