Discover the vast and lifesaving field of otolaryngology!
Otolaryngology Buffalo NY ~ the general gist
Otolaryngology in Buffalo NY and in general, consists of specially trained doctors who diagnose and treat conditions, diseases and disorders of the ears, nose and throat, as well as thyroid, parathyroid, and other related parts of the head and neck. It is the oldest medical field in the United States and specialists are commonly referred to as ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat) physicians.
Preparation for otolaryngology includes undergraduate college, plus 4 years of medical school and another 5 years of postgraduate specialty training. After about a decade and a half of higher education, one must pass the American Board of Otolaryngology examination and become certified before officially practicing on their own. Otolaryngologists are trained to manage conditions medically and/or surgically – which is why they differ from many other types of doctors. When head, neck, ear, nose or throat surgery is involved, an otolaryngologist can offer comprehensive care without having to refer patients to other physicians.
The vast field of otolaryngology balances challenges of a clinical, surgical, medical and academic nature – both in the clinic and in post-operative care. The seven areas of expertise within the field of otolaryngology are:
- Otology / Neurotology ~ management of disorders of the ear, including nerve pathway disorders affecting hearing and balance
- Rhinology ~ management of disorders of the nose and sinuses
- Laryngology ~ management of throat disorders
- Head & Neck ~ treatment or removal of (cancerous or noncancerous) tumors of the head and neck (as well as nose & throat)
- Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery ~ performing surgery on the face, neck or ear for cosmetic, functional or reconstructive purposes
- Allergies ~ treated with immunotherapy, medication, or avoidance of triggers
- Pediatric Otolaryngology ~ treatment of ear/nose/throat diseases in children, including birth defects and developmental delays
Hear me loud and clear
Ear disorders can be devastating, disrupting the flow of one’s daily life. Otology & neurotology deal with ear problems like tinnitus – which has been linked to depression and anxiety, as well as swimmer’s ear, nerve pain, injury (trauma), and infections (otitis media). Otolaryngologists also treat balance issues such as dizziness, and poor hearing (performing surgical cochlear implantation in cases of severe hearing loss).
Speak / Sing / Eat / Swallow ~ with ease
Communicating via speech & singing, and enjoying a meal all involve the vital area of the throat. An otolaryngologist’s expertise specifically manages the upper aerodigestive tract, swallowing disorders, laryngology (which pertains to laryngitis – disease of the larynx or “voice box”), as well as esophagus & sore throat problems, tonsil enlargement, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Now accepting bobble heads and pains in the neck
The head and neck hold important nerves that control the face and many of the senses (sight, smell, hearing). Otolaryngologists are trained to treat the entire endocrine system, as well as cancerous tumors (both benign and malignant neck lumps / cysts), and facial deformities, etc. Our body’s metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep and mood are regulated by a collection of hormone-producing glands that comprise the endocrine system. This system affects nearly all of our organs and cells, and is made up of the pituitary gland, thyroid & parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, female ovaries, and male testicles. Included in an otolaryngologist’s training is the management of thyroid, hypothyroid, and parathyroid diseases.
Take a good whiff
Airway problems (congestion), sinus diseases and nosebleeds negatively affect an individual’s life in numerous ways. Otolaryngologists help care for the nasal cavity and sinuses, including chronic sinusitis, which is one of the most frequent health complaints among Americans, affecting one in ten people throughout the United States & Canada. Allergies or excess cell growths narrow the nasal passageways and are conditions that cause sinus openings to be smaller. When medical treatments like antibiotics don’t work, surgical treatments take place to help those with sinus issues. Dr. Paul Young offers a minimally invasive treatment called balloon sinuplasty, whereby a dilation balloon is inserted into the nasal passageway to naturally open & expand it, reshaping the anatomy and restoring drainage. During the procedure, patients are fully awake, completely comfortable, and have reported feeling tremendous relief – at times smelling and breathing better immediately afterward. Other surgeries performed by otolaryngologists include plastic and reconstructive surgery to treat abnormalities of the face and neck, as well as deviated septums and rhinoplasty (“nose jobs”).
E.N.T. and the big C
Each year, there are more than half a million people diagnosed with oral, head and neck cancer. The field of otolaryngology is imperative for properly addressing these health issues. Signs of cancer include unhealed soreness in the mouth or throat, lumps on the neck, numbness of the cheek, nose bleeds, facial swelling, trouble swallowing, and voice changes. One of the most common cancers, making up more than 50% of cases, is squamous cell carcinoma – cancer of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Also included is cancer of the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, thyroid & salivary glands. Chewing tobacco, smoking cigarettes, and alcohol consumption are leading causes of cancers pertaining to the mouth and voice box. Typically, the most diagnosed thyroid cancers are papillary and follicular carcinomas. Otolaryngologists diagnose and treat all of the aforementioned cancers.
Did you know . . . ?
- A human’s ears, nose and throat are part of a complexly interrelated system with more than 400 different olfactory receptors and 40 sensors for taste!
- Even though it’s a long word, otolaryngology is actually an abbreviation! The full term is otorhinolaryngology, originating from the Greek words for ear (oto), nose (rhino), and throat (laryn).
- Most people think their sinuses are in their nose, but they’re really located in the empty spaces of one’s skull, such as the cheeks and between the eyes.
- Majority of the time, what folks think is their sense of taste is actually coming from their sense of smell!
Otolaryngology covers so many aspects of human health, it would require volumes to thoroughly outline the comprehensive intricacies of this field. From cancer to deafness, laryngitis to tinnitus . . . consulting with an otolaryngologist can relieve chronic suffering and for some patients, be the very choice that saves their life.
Otolaryngology Buffalo NY
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