An Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (known as an ENT) is a doctor who specialises in problems to do with the head and neck. They work to treat patients with conditions that may affect their breathing and voice, as well as those suffering from balance, hearing, taste and smell problems. If you are referred to an ENT they will take a medical and family history before performing a physical examination, perhaps using a microscope and/or an endoscope, to make a diagnosis. They will then come up with a treatment plan which may or may not involve surgery.
You may be referred to see an ENT if you are suffering from problems with your ears, such as an infection, tinnitus, glue ear, or unusual pain or balance problems. Problems with your nose may affect your sense of smell and taste or your breathing ability. Changes to your voice, ability to swallow or unusual pain may indicate a problem with your throat that an ENT may be able to treat. You may also see an ENT if you have problems with your head, face and neck such as a tumour, nerve disorder, disease or deformity.