ENT doctors are specialists of the ears, nose, and throat. While most specialists focus on only one organ– dermatologists for the skin, for example—the ears, nose, and throat are so intricately connected that physicians need to understand the entire system in order to treat each body part properly.
While your general practitioner can diagnose strep throat and sinusitis, if you have persistent and severe pain or discomfort in your throat, it’s probably more than a simple infection. If TLC and over-the-counter medication isn’t enough, then you need to see an ENT about your throat. Below you’ll find the most common throat conditions ENTs in Buffalo, NY treat and some of the general treatment plans you can expect from each.
What Does an ENT Do for the Throat?
GERD & LPR:
While most people assume that acid-reflux is a problem with the stomach, it actually indicates an issue with the esophagus. The stomach is supposed to produce very acidic juices because it needs to break down the food you eat.
The esophagus has a small ring around it that prevents these liquids from travelling back in the wrong direction. If it’s not working properly, you’ll experience gastroesophageal reflux disease, and if these juices travel all the way up into the throat, you’ll be suffering from laryngopharyngeal reflux disease.
Men, women, and children can experience GERD and LPR, and it can occur for a number of reasons. In many cases, the cause is lifestyle choices, but it can also occur because of stomach spasms or even normal changes like pregnancy.
The ENT will examine your case of GERD or LPR, and in most cases he will prescribe medication to help you deal with the symptoms while talking to you about possible lifestyle changes. Some might include dietary changes. For example, you might have to avoid certain foods; eat smaller, more frequent meals; limit alcohol; or even lose weight. In most cases, symptoms should go away within a matter of weeks with proper treatment.
Inflamed Tonsils & Adenoids:
If your children have regular cases of strep throat or a continual stuffy nose, they may need their tonsils or adenoids removed. The tonsils and adenoids are one of the body’s natural defense against pathogens in the environment. While they disappear gradually with age, they can become easily inflamed in children. If your child’s cold persists for more than two weeks and over-the-counter medication doesn’t seem to help, it’s probably time to see an ENT.
Usually, tonsils and adenoids need to be removed surgically. However, this is a very common procedure, and ENTs typically perform several of them every year. Plus, it’s a great excuse for your child to indulge in ice cream and popsicles while on the mend.
Vocal Cords: Polyps, Cysts, & Nodules:
If you use your voice frequently on a daily basis, you might develop polyps, cysts, and nodules, which make it difficult for you to speak normally. These are non-cancerous growths on the vocal cords that prevent them from vibrating properly. While laryngitis will typically go away on its own with some TLC, if you develop growths, you will probably need a medical intervention.
An ENT can perform surgery to remove the polyps, cysts, or nodules. Afterward, you may still have a hoarse voice though. With the help of voice therapy, you can learn to improve the range and tonal quality of your voice over time.
If you have a persistent cough or sore throat, you may have developed environmental allergies. Contrary to popular belief, allergies can develop at any age. If you’ve been experiencing discomfort with no fever and the pain has persisted for more than two weeks, you might very well have allergies.
An ENT can administer either a skin or blood test to try to detect your specific allergens, and based on the results, he can suggest a treatment plan. In many cases, this might involve certain lifestyle changes. For example, you might have to be more careful about laundering clothing or checking the pollen levels outside.
Your ENT can also prescribe medication, and if symptoms are really bothersome, even immunotherapy. With a series of allergy shots, your body can learn to adapt to the allergen, lessening symptoms in the long run.
Get Top ENT Throat Care in Buffalo & Amherst, NY:
If you’re looking for specialized ENT throat care in Buffalo, NY, then call Dr. Paul Young. Our office can help with any of the above issues, and we can provide a special treatment plan for you.