If you have an ear infection or a sore throat, do you need to see an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor? Can you find an ear, nose, and throat doctor online?
Let’s discuss what an ENT does and whether or not you need to see one for your symptoms.
What Does an ENT Doctor Do?
ENT doctors are specialists who have completed at least 5 years of specialty training after medical school focusing just on conditions that affect the ears, nose, or throat.
ENT doctors are officially known as otolaryngologists, and some of the conditions they treat include:
- Hearing loss
- Tinnitus (ear noise)
- Balance disorders
- Ear infections
- Nerve pain
- Facial and cranial nerve disorders
- Congenital (birth) disorders of the inner or outer ear
- Chronic sinusitis
- Sense of smell
- Swallowing disorders
- Voice problems
- Facial trauma
- Tumors of the ears, nose or throat
Do I Need to See an ENT For My Condition?
While an ENT does specialize in conditions related to the ears, nose, and throat, many common complaints can be handled by regular doctors.
For example, a primary care doctor can often treat things like:
For more serious conditions, you should go see an ENT.
An ENT is a better option than a primary care doctor for conditions like:
- Nerve problems in your ears, nose, or throat
- Hearing problems
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Breathing problems
- Down’s syndrome
- Growth or tumor in your ears, nose, or throat
- Deviated septum
- Cleft palate
- Nose bleeds
- Smelling difficulties
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Swallowing difficulty
Do I Need a Referral to See an ENT?
Many insurance plans require a referral from your primary care doctor before you can see an ENT. Specialists like ENTs tend to be booked out for months in advance before you can get in for an appointment, so they aren’t a good choice for short-term problems related to your ears, nose, or throat, like infections.
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Can I See an ENT Online?
No, ENTs need to see you in person to get a good look at you and see your symptoms in person. They also have special instruments to look inside your ears, nose, or throat to see what’s going on.
However, many ear, nose and throat problems can be seen by regular doctors online. If you’re dealing with something like allergies or an infection affecting your ears, sinuses, or throat, you may be able to get treatment, including prescriptions, and referrals from an online doctor.
Make an Appointment With PlushCare Today
If you’re dealing with a sinus infection, strep throat, or ear infection, there’s no need to see an ENT. Our trusted doctors can talk to you during a phone or video chat to assess your symptoms and if necessary send prescriptions, electronically to your preferred pharmacy. It’s as easy as that! Click here or call (888) 997-3817 for your minor ear, nose, or throat symptoms.