We know that deciding whether we need to pay a visit to a general practitioner or another specialist can be quite difficult, especially if you are an expat who recently moved to Germany and is still not used to the national healthcare system. If this is the case, don’t worry – we are here to help you. Do you know what an ENT is responsible for and when we should see this doctor? Let’s find out more about it on this article!
What is an ENT doctor?
Our partner Prof. Dr. med. Markus Hambek, ENT in Frankfurt, explains that the acronym ENT stands for “ear, nose and throat”. Therefore, an ENT doctor specializes in every disease that is related to those parts of the body and are also referred to as otolaryngologists. Yes, we know that this term can sound quite difficult, but it actually comes from Ancient Greek and it makes total sense: ὠτός otos, meaning “ear”; ῥίς rhis, meaning “nose”; λάρυγξ larynx, meaning “larynx” and λογία logia, meaning “study”. In German, ENT doctor is translated into HNO-Arzt, which stands for “Hals, Nasen and Ohrenheilkunde”.
When should you visit an ENT doctor?
In general, if you have problems with your ears, nose, throat or neck, you should look for an appointment with an ENT doctor. It is true that a general practitioner could provide a general examination of moderate diseases. Nevertheless, there are many occasions in which you should seek a specialist. Since the ear is a very complex organ and its connection to the throat, nose and neck is very delicate, an ENT doctor can always give more thorough advice than a GP could.
What are the most common conditions?
Severe ear pain, sudden hearing loss, swallowing and speech problems, sinusitis or swollen lymph nodes are some of the most common reasons to visit an ENT doctor. We are very familiar with some of these problems: for instance, ear infection or nose bleeding are very common among children. However, not everyone is conscious of the importance to visit an ENT doctor and there is a considerable lack of information about how we should treat these organs.
Have you ever wondered how often we should clean our ears? There is a widespread myth that we should be doing it every day. However, ENT doctors recommend not to clean them daily with cotton swabs, since the ear canal has a self-cleaning mechanism. The cerumen prevents the dehydration of the ear canal, so removing it with our own fingers should be enough.
Additionally, some HNO doctors are also allergologists. If you have symptoms like recurrent sneezing or long-lasting cough, they will be able to help you with a treatment for your allergy.
How should an ENT doctor help you?
The doctor and the patient always make the decision for a medical procedure together. The good indication given by the doctor represents his real and intellectual achievement. It is also the doctor’s responsibility to enable thepatient to be participle in the decision making doctor by providing comprehensive advice and information.
In other cases, ache or discomfort in the ear-nose-throat-neck area can also be caused by diseases sprouting fromother disciplines. It is important to bear this in mind in order to take the necessary steps accordingly. In suchcircumstances, the ENT doctor will get in touch with renowned colleagues in the respective departments of specialization. The competence in the particular case is decisive.
We hope that you found this article useful and that it helped you better understand when you should visit an ENT doctor. If you wish to find out more information about Prof. Dr. med. Hambek, check out his contact details here. And remember: an apple a day keeps the doctor away!