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What is ENT and what does an ENT doctor?

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

What is ENT? ENT is the abbreviation for ear, nose and throat medicine. But what does ENT mean? The abbreviation ENT stands for Ear, Nose and Throat. This is the medical specialist field for ear, nose and throat diseases and the medical specialist field for phoniatrics and pediatric audiology (speech, voice and hearing disorders of children). What does an ENT doctor do? The ENT doctor is a highly specialized doctor in the field of the ear, nose and throat.

The corresponding anatomical areas of ear, nose and throat medicine (ENT) are the oral cavity, the pharynx and the larynx, the paranasal sinuses and nasal concha, as well as the outer and inner ear, including the appendix structures, the corresponding systemic areas and the vascular and nerve supply.

In addition to patient advice and diagnosis, the ENT doctor carries out conservation treatments and performs surgical interventions. They also ensure the aftercare and rehabilitation of patients with corresponding diseases in the specified body regions and organ systems. By means of appropriate devices and examination procedures, the ENT doctor diagnoses diseases in the ear, nose and throat area, creates treatment concepts and carries out appropriate therapies. In the following would like to introduce you to the field of an ENT doctor.

What diseases do patients come to the ENT doctor with?

The tasks of the ENT doctor include the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the following diseases and complaints:

  • Sinusitis: An acute or chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane in the sinuses.

  • Middle ear infection (otitis media): A painful but in many cases harmless disease with stabbing earache, fever and impaired hearing. It usually occurs as a result of a bacterial or viral infection of the respiratory tract.

  • Whooping cough (pertussis): A bacterial infection of the respiratory tract with severe fits of coughing.

  • Laryngitis: Mostly triggered by bacteria or viruses and often develops in connection with colds. Inhaled pollutants can also lead to this disease, which is accompanied by hoarseness and coughing.

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears): Persistent or recurring subjective perception of sounds (whistling, humming, hissing) in the ear, combined with a high level of suffering for those affected.

  • Pfeiffer’s glandular fever (mononucleosis): A disease that mainly affects adolescents and young adults. Typical symptoms include fever, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and swollen lymph nodes.

  • Sleep apnea: A breathing disorder that occurs mainly while sleeping and in which the person’s breathing stops repeatedly.

  • Tonsillitis: A purulent infection of the tonsils, characterized by severe pain and difficulty swallowing. The ENT doctor differentiates between acute, painful and chronic, often unnoticed tonsillitis.

The common examination methods within ear, nose and throat medicine include:

Rhinoscopy (reflection of the inside of the nose with the help of a rhinoscope), the nasal function test (examination of the air permeability as well as the proper function of the nasal mucosa) and otoscopy (examination of the external auditory canal up to the eardrum using a special microscope, the so-called otoscope performed by the ENT doctor).

The ENT doctor examines whether vertigo is caused by the balance organ of the inner ear (vestibular apparatus). The ENT doctor uses palpation to examine the tonsils, lymph nodes, tongue and cheeks for painful areas or swellings. If the ear, nose and throat doctor suspects an allergy, for example with a persistent cold, he or she will carry out an allergy test.

What is pediatric audiology?

What is pediatric audiology and what makes it so special in the field of ear, nose and throat medicine?

Pediatric audiology concerns the testing of the patient’s hearing. Pediatric audiology includes the clarification of the cause and any resulting treatment planning for communication abilities that do not correspond with the age. For example, it is important for a child’s linguistic development to recognize hearing loss, deafness and other hearing-related disorders early on.

This means that all the factors that are involved in communication need to be assessed: The hearing ability of the middle and inner ear with reaction, behavior and play audiometry with hearing test methods suitable for children. An objective hearing test, for example performed by an otologist, is carried out as a conclusive determination of the hearing ability with the help of various measurement methods as well as central hearing processing (including the determination of auditory perception, directional hearing, hearing in background noise).

In addition, the speech organs are examined in pediatric audiology, the motor skills (gross, fine and oral motor skills, disorders of the spine and head joints) are checked, speech processes (stuttering and rumbling) are observed, the vocalization (hoarseness, paralysis) and general perception (hearing, seeing, touching, feeling pressure, moving, smelling, tasting) are examined. The ability to concentrate and pay attention is observed, intelligence and general development are checked, the ability to interact with other people is observed and other psychological influencing factors (disorder awareness, self-confidence, fear of speaking) are examined.

To remedy hearing impairments, there is often a close collaboration between surgeons (for example, for polyp removal or a ventilation tube insert) and pediatric audiologists (hearing aid audiologists who specialize in children). Other partners include speech therapists, occupational therapists, orthodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons. If you have any further questions about an ENT doctor, do not hesitate to contact us.

As a manufacturer of medical technology products, we have the appropriate products as well as the necessary know-how:


Operations on the ear – (Access: 27.01.2021)

Ear, nose and throat medicine – (Access: 27.01.2021)

Hearing loss – (Access: 27.01.2021)

Examinations in ENT practice – (Access: 27.01.2021)

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