There are a couple of medical issues that may make an outright visit to your ENT clinic. There are also instances where you may wonder whether scheduling an appointment with a specialist doctor is even worth it.
For instance, if you’re dealing with minor issues like sore throat, you can get it managed at your GP’s clinic. Therefore, the primary doctor may only recommend that you see an ENT doctor if they think that your condition requires thorough assessment or dedicated treatment.
Other than the primary care technicians, other specialty doctors like allergists and even dentists may also suggest visits to ENT clinics depending on factors like your medical history and results from you assessments.
It may be beneficial to visit your ENT clinic for a simple infection if the infection impacts your quality of life. That would be a typical case with an infection like sinusitis which, can get better on its own, but may make your life difficult by causing constant pain in your sinuses if poorly managed.
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You may also benefit from an appointment with an ENT doctor if you get that ‘simple’ infection frequently. The visits here would be helpful because while you may be thinking that the infection is a simple one, you could be dealing with a serious condition.
Again, a perfect example, in this case, is a sinus infection. Even though it can also be treated at home for mild cases, if you poorly manage your sinusitis, there’s a risk of this infection causing an ear infection.
Sinusitis can give you an ear infection if it causes fluids to be trapped inside the ear behind your eardrum. When this happens, viruses and bacteria may grow in the fluid trapped behind your eardrum and end up causing ear infections that would be more difficult to manage in the long run.
Which Infections are treated at ENT Clinics?
Your ENT clinic can help you manage infections that affect the ear, nose, and throat. Here is a roundup of the ear, nose, and throat conditions that you can get help with at an accredited ENT clinic.
Conditions of the Nose
There are several infections of the nose that may require a visit to an ENT clinic to get them managed or to prevent repeat episodes of those conditions. It would help if you consult an ENT doctor for these conditions.
Sinusitis is a common infection of the nose that would be checked first at any ENT clinic if your general practitioner or specialty doctor, like a dentist, suggests a visit to an ear, nose and throat specialist for nasal issues. Sinus infection can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or even fungi.
All these cases are different, so your best bet if you wish to find out if your sinusitis is due to viruses, bacteria, or fungi is by visiting an accredited ENT clinic. They will examine your symptoms to determine the kind of sinus infection you’re dealing with.
All these conditions are treated differently. For instance, if your sinus turns out to be bacterial, you will need antibiotic medications to clear it up.
The medications would also help you prevent further complications. The same would apply with viral and fungal sinus infections; you’ll be given specific treatments for each condition. If you get more frequent sinusitis episodes and your ENT specialist wishes to establish whether you’re dealing with a fungal, bacterial, or viral infection, they may want to sample the snot from your nose and forward it to the lab for detailed exams.
Again, you may need an appointment with a board-certified ENT doctor if your GP suspects that you could be struggling with a staph infection. Symptoms of this condition range from redness to swelling, fever, and nosebleeds, etc.
For diagnosis, an ENT specialist may physically examine your symptoms and collect tissue samples like nasal secretions for lab testing.
If diagnosed with this condition of the nose, you may only need antibiotics to manage the infection. If lab tests reveal that your infection is due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is a staph bacterium strain resistant to most antibiotics; they may recommend intravenous antibiotics or stronger antibiotics to treat it.
Conditions of the Ear
You may get an ear infection if a viral or bacterial infection affects your middle ear. This is the section of the ear behind your eardrum.
They cause fluid buildup and inflammations that may cause discomfort and sometimes fever. They can be chronic or acute, with the acute infections being short but painful and chronic infections recurring several times or failing to clear up.
If you get a chronic ear infection that’s not managed promptly, there is a risk of the infection causing permanent damage to your ears. Causes of ear infections range from allergies to colds, sinus infections, swollen adenoids and in some cases, lifestyle factors like smoking.
It may still be beneficial to visit your ENT clinic if the ‘simple’ ear infection doesn’t resolve or keeps recurring. Diagnosis of your ear condition may involve using a medical instrument known as the otoscope to examine the ears or even a CT scan to check if the infection spread past your middle ear. Treatments of your ear infection may involve the use of antibiotics and, in extreme cases, surgery if the infection is so severe or fails to respond to the initial treatments.
Conditions of the Throat
If you’re having a throat infection, there are several causative factors that may be linked to it. For instance, they may be due to allergies, tumors, GERD, injury, strep throat, and colds, among others.
Mild throat infections should also resolve treatments. However, if your symptoms persist even after using medications prescribed by your GP, scheduling a visit to a reputed ENT clinic should be on the cards, even if you feel that the infection is simple. Timely treatments will help you avoid more complicated conditions.
It may be beneficial to visit an ENT clinic for a simple infection if the infection comes with other worrisome symptoms o doesn’t clear up. You can expect multiple tests to confirm a diagnosis or rule out possible causes of your infection.