Otorhinolaryngology is the medical discipline involving the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases, abnormalities, and other health problems affecting the ears, nose and throat, as well as the head and neck, mouth, sinuses, and voice box (larynx). Also referred to as ENT, otorhinolaryngology is considered as one of the oldest medical practices in the United States.
Specialists in the field are called otorhinolaryngologists. Aside from medical management, they are also trained to perform surgeries that involve the above-mentioned body parts, including plastic or reconstructive surgeries.
Otorhinolaryngologists' training can take up to 15 years, excluding continuing education that is required in their field. Their education begins at colleges or universities for pre-requisite courses. This may take about four years, after which they proceed to medical school for another four years. They spend around five years in residency training, where they have to render a minimum number of clinical hours and surgery before they can apply for certification in their respective country or abroad, whichever they prefer. ENT specialists who want to train in surgery may have to go through at least eight months of additional training in general surgery and more than three years of progressive education.
Otorhinolaryngologists may also specialize in the following areas:
Sleep medicine – Certain sleeping disorders such as sleep apnoea can be attributed to abnormalities in the nose (e.g., septum deviation) or obstruction in the throat and the airway passage . Thus, some cases can be covered by ENT specialists.
Allergy – otorhinolaryngologists are expected to learn about the pathology of allergies. They are also trained to properly assess and treat allergies using treatment options that can range from medication to immunotherapy. They are also responsible for the prevention and management of the condition.
Head and neck – Otorhinolaryngologists trained in head and neck treatment and management are expected to have in-depth knowledge in oncology. They provide scientifically proven treatment and therapies as well as perform surgery to remove both benign and malignant tumours or to treat congenital deformities, and provide trauma care.
Facial surgery – Surgery can be either reconstructive in nature, which aims to restore the appearance or function of the affected body part, or plastic, which enhances the look of the body part especially the nose and ears.
Pediatric otorhinolaryngology – These are otorhinolaryngologists who work with children, which ages range from 0 to 12 years old. More often than not, they deal with congenital defects, trauma, and infections affecting the ears and throat.
ENT specialists or otorhinolaryngologists can treat the following conditions:
Otorhinolaryngologists may also be needed to perform:
Blepharoplasty, brow lift, and otoplasty
Standford Medicine. Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery