What are the major throat conditions that require an ENT doctor? An ENT specialist is a doctor or surgeon trained and experienced in treating ear, nose, and throat diseases and conditions. They solely focus on the head and neck area of the body except for the brain and eyes. They spend years training to learn about ENT related issues and disorders and practice minor to major surgeries.
While your general physician can treat acute ENT problems, consulting an ENT specialist becomes critical when the conditions, disorders, or diseases become chronic. ENT is a separate branch of specialization, as it comprises an intricately connected system.
Common Throat Conditions
The larynx refers to your throat, which is also the “voice box.” We breathe, swallow, and speak through our larynx and vocal cords. The larynx comprises a flexible tissue mainframe that supports the internal cartilage structure.
Laryngeal cancer refers to cancer in the larynx or of the larynx (or voice box). Common symptoms include persistent wheezing, sore throat, and hoarseness. It requires special care and specialized treatment options for which ENT surgeons and doctors are the best options.
Tonsils are two oval-shaped tissue pads (similar to balls) at the back of our throat. You may feel pain and other symptoms when your tonsils become inflamed due to viral or bacterial infection. Many viruses can affect your tonsils and cause painful conditions. They can result in symptoms like swelling, swallowing disorders, and sore throat.
Vocal Cord Paralysis
As the name suggests, vocal cord paralysis is damage to the vocal cords in the larynx. It is primarily the damage to the nerves that go back to the vocal cords. When there is an obstruction in the nerve impulses in the voice box, the vocal cords suffer paralysis. In turn, this leads to vocal fatigue, hoarseness, speech volume disturbances, etc.
Additionally, in case of vocal cord paralysis, there is a risk of choking as what you eat/swallow may go to the wrong pipe. Further, throat pain and speech impairment are common nuisances of this condition.
Salivary Gland Tumors
Salivary glands can suffer different types of infections, disorders, and diseases. One of the most important and impacting conditions involves salivary gland tumors. This condition occurs when cells in the mouth near the salivary glands start to develop and produce abnormally. Salivary glands are not just to the sides of the teeth near the jaw. They are present throughout your mouth, including your cheeks and lips.
Often salivary gland tumors are benign (non-cancerous). However, they can be cancerous and equally painful to bear.
Treatments for Common Throat Conditions
Treatment for Laryngeal Cancer
Since laryngeal cancer is another type of cancer, radiation and chemotherapy will be the best treatment options. In addition to that, your ENT surgeon may also provide some treatment recommendations to help you deal with your condition. As the symptoms can get quite painful and life-changing at certain stages, ENT surgeons recommend regular checkups for patients who struggle with laryngeal cancer. A few surgical procedures that an ENT surgeon may perform for laryngeal cancer include:
- Partial laryngectomy
- Laser surgery
- Total laryngectomy
- Supraglottic laryngectomy
Treatment for Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis is an ENT-related condition that requires treatment and effective care from an ENT specialist. The main surgical procedures that ENT specialists recommend for severe tonsillitis include removing tonsils from both sides. While this may seem like an invasive surgical treatment option, it is also suitable for kids. There aren’t many complications, and the procedure is always simple. Therefore, removing the tonsils and the excess tissue on them can help to alleviate the pain.
Treatment for Vocal Cord Paralysis
Voice therapy is the first step in the treatment process. Nonetheless, if it remains ineffective, then your ENT surgeon may suggest surgical procedures. Some of the surgical procedures for vocal cords are as follows:
Tracheotomy: Involves placing a tube in the throat of the patient with vocal cord paralysis. A surgeon might do that if the vocal cords are too close and affected.
Bulk Injection: This involves injecting a filler material into the weak vocal cord muscles. This will help to improve the bulk of the vocal cord that will alleviate the paralysis gradually.
Phonosurgery: This is a complex surgical procedure that requires precise skills to fold and reposition the vocal cords to enhance airflow and vocal functions.
Treatment for Salivary Gland Tumors
Depending on the cause of salivary gland disorders, your ENT surgeon will suggest treatment options. In case of benign tumors, your ENT doctor may perform surgeries to remove the malignant tumors from your salivary glands. Moreover, radiation therapy is also a viable option to prevent the production, development, and spread of cancerous skills. Surgeries can help remove the blockages to ensure there is no hindrance in the airflow and causes no severe pain.
Throat Conditions Requiring an ENT Doctor: Conclusion
Do you want to receive the best treatment for throat and other ENT-related conditions? Michael C. Burnett, MD, can help you with all acute and chronic ENT problems. Give us a call to book an appointment at Ear, Nose & Throat of New York today. We offer personalized and highly compassionate care to all our patients regardless of age or condition.
Ear Nose & Throat of New York
Michael C. Burnett, MD
115 East 57th Street
New York, NY 10022