Not all ear, nose, and throat problems can be conveniently categorized and classified, especially if your symptoms are somewhat unique or possibly related to underlying health issues.
However, there are certain symptoms and conditions that tend to result in a referral to an ENT doctor more than others. Ultimately, the best ENT doctor in California is one who can provide meaningful assistance with any of the following problems or goals.
Managing Serious Sinus Issues
When germs set up shop in the hollow recesses of the skull, the result can be a serious sinus infection, referred to as sinusitis. Typically, it’s when sinus-related symptoms become chronic (lasting 3-4 months or more) that a visit to an ENT doctor becomes necessary. This is because chronic sinusitis is often related to untreated allergies or underlying conditions like bronchial asthma. And once these issues are diagnosed, treated, or effectively managed, sinus infections may clear up.
Improving Hearing Capabilities
Patients often search for the best ENT doctor in California if they are experiencing a noticeable reduction in hearing capabilities or unexplained hearing loss. You may first see an audiologist about hearing problems. However, a referral is usually made to ENT specialist if it’s believed that a hearing issue is medical in nature or correctable with surgery.
Treating Ear Infections
Ear infections also tend to develop when germs get into certain parts of the ear. If the outer ear is affected, treatment usually involves antibiotics or topical medications. With middle ear infections, the best ENT doctor in California may insert tubes to allow built-up fluid to drain. An ear, nose, and throat specialist is also trained to identify and treat ear infections in very young children who may not be able to verbalize their symptoms.
Diagnosing and Treating Throat Infections
Most throat infections clear up with the use of antibiotics. However, if throat irritations or infections are not responding to self-care efforts, becoming worse, or accompanied by chronic coughing and other disruptive symptoms, a specialist considered to the best ENT doctor in California based on quality of care provided can pinpoint a source and offer treatment recommendations. With some throat irritations, testing may be done to rule out throat cancer or look for abnormal growths. In some instances, it’s issues with stomach acid flowing back into the throat contributing to persistent irritation.
Resolving Sleep Apnea Problems
If not properly diagnosed and treated, sleep apnea can contribute to serious health issues. Diagnosis may involve the use of special equipment that monitors brain activity and other biological functions while sleeping to identify troublesome patterns. With mild cases, losing weight, quitting smoking, and making other positive lifestyle changes sometimes effectively manages symptoms. With more severe cases, an ENT doctor might suggest the use of specially designed devices or surgery.
The best ENT doctor in California is also one who keeps prevention in mind when treating patients. They might, for example, advise parents to make sure their kids’ ears are fully dry after baths to reduce infection risk, and long-term smokers might be advised to kick the habit after being successfully treated for chronic throat infections. A diligent ENT specialist will also suggest positive lifestyle changes or dietary adjustments that can make it easier to manage certain ear, nose, or throat problems.