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Why Do People Need An ENT?

Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists treat a variety of problems. You may need to see one if you have a condition that is impacting on your day-to-day life, such as persistent sinus infections or chronic nasal congestion.

ENT specialists, also known as otolaryngologists, are highly trained medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of problems relating to the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck, and with balance. They work with patients of all ages and use a variety of advanced medical and surgical treatments to relieve both acute and chronic ENT conditions.

Common ENT Problems

Some ear, nose and throat problems, such as a mild allergy or infection, may be treated with self-care, over-the-counter medication, or by your primary care doctor. However, there are many occasions when you may need to visit an ENT specialist for further evaluation. If you have any of the following problems or are concerned about your symptoms, you should have it checked by an ENT specialist:

  • A sore throat, earache, or sinus pain that lasts a long time or keeps coming back
  • Persistent sinus infections
  • Snoring or breathing problems at night that haven’t improved with lifestyle changes, such as losing excess weight or changing sleep position
  • Tinnitus (hearing ringing or other noises in one or both ears)
  • Vertigo, dizziness, or balance problems
  • Problems or changes in your voice, sense of smell, or hearing
  • Blockages in your airway or other breathing problems that do not require emergency treatment
  • An injury, growth, or deformity affecting the head and/or neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Persistent allergies

To successfully evaluate and diagnose your condition, your otolaryngologist will perform a variety of tests, such as a nasal endoscopy – a painless procedure that can be carried out in their office. It uses an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light) to look at the nasal and sinus passages.

How Are ENT Problems Treated?

ENT specialists use a variety of advanced treatments depending on the condition. Conservative and medical treatments may be used to treat conditions such as seasonal allergies, persistent sinus infections, nasal congestion, and sleep apnea.

They can include:

  • Allergy treatments and immunotherapy
  • Topical medications
  • Culture-directed antibiotic/antifungal therapy and nasal sprays
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine – for moderate to severe sleep apnea
  • Surgery

Sometimes, surgery may be recommended to treat chronic or structural ENT problems. Surgery is only considered when non-surgical treatments have been fully explored. Otolaryngologists are fully up to date with cutting-edge surgical procedures. They often utilize minimally invasive surgical techniques which offer several benefits to patients, including minimal downtime, an accelerated healing process, less scarring, and a reduced chance of complications, allowing you to return to work and activities faster.

Endoscopic Nasal and Sinus Surgery

Endoscopic nasal and sinus surgery is a relatively quick outpatient procedure that requires only light sedation. It may be used to relieve symptoms associated with:

  • Sinusitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Nasal obstructions
  • Recurrent or chronic sinus infections
  • Nasal tumors

Blockages in the sinuses may cause pain, recurring infections, drainage, impaired breathing, and loss of smell. Endoscopic nasal and sinus surgery involves the use of an endoscope and very small, specialized instruments to view and treat the problem. This type of surgery is performed entirely through the nostrils and does not involve cutting the skin. There is no bruising or changes to the nasal appearance, and patients are usually able to go home the same day. Surgery may be used alongside 3D stereotactic guidance to improve accuracy and results during surgery.

ENT Specialists in Austin, Lakeway, and Marble Falls, TX

At Capital ENT & Sinus Center, our otolaryngologists have extensive knowledge in the medical evaluation and treatment of the full spectrum of nasal and sinus problems, from allergies and sinus infections to snoring and sleep apnea.

If you would like to find out more about our services, or request an appointment, call us at (512) 339-4040. You can also use request an appointment online.

Dr. Wassmuth is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology with Subspecialty Certification in Sleep Medicine. He specializes in chronic sinusitis and obstructive sleep apnea.

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