So What Is An ENT?
ENT stands for “Ear, Nose, and Throat”. ENT is a lot easier to say than “otolaryngologist”. If you never went to medical school, the technical term for an ENT appears as though somebody grabbed syllables, threw them in a bucket, shook them up, dumped them out, and then put them together. This is because of the Latin roots involved.
Despite the name being surprisingly obscure, in a twist of fate, ENTs are some of the most common specialists out there. The thing is, most illnesses involve secondary impact that affects the ears, the nose, or the throat. One cold can fix all three. The truth is, even a relatively minor cold can knock you out for months, if you don’t get it checked out.
A Hypothetical Scenario To Consider
Imagine catching a common cold; one of those incurable weekend annoyances that makes your throat tickle on Friday, makes you feel a bit woozy and weak on Saturday, forces you to sleep all day Sunday, then returns you to work healthy as a horse. Now imagine you’re in a situation where you can’t get rest and fluids.
You get the cold, and you’re outside in the wilderness all day where the wind blows at you and your body has to burn calories to remain warm, weakening your immune system. Now the illness hits you twice as hard and doubles your mucous, but you’ve got to work, so you can’t rest enough to recuperate until you’ve had this minor cold for a few weeks.
Suddenly your stuffed up head sends fluid down into your lungs, and bacterial pneumonia develops. Now you’re coughing and sneezing like a bear, and suddenly after an explosive round of whooping gargles, you feel a sharp pain in your ear. Putting your hand up, you notice there’s a little blood there. Sinus pressure has perforated your eardrum.
A Common Scenario
This scenario is all too common. A tiny, minuscule cold can be fatal if the infected person doesn’t respect the cold, properly supplement, and rest. But on the other side of that coin, sometimes something that feels totally frightening isn’t a big deal. A minor perforated ear drum will generally heal itself; a major injury may require surgery.
So as a rule of thumb, use time as a gauge to help you determine if the issues you’re feeling in your ears, nose, or throat indicate you should visit an Otolaryngologist in Waterbury, CT; or wherever you happen to be. Sometimes even bleeding out of your ears doesn’t mean you should get checked out—but that’s a bit discretionary. It makes more sense to take such bleeding quite seriously.
Determining What You Should Do
If you’ve got a minor ear perforation that will heal up on its own, going to an ENT is just going to impact your wallet. You’ll wait in the lobby, fill out the paperwork, see the doctor, he’ll look at your ear, then take off his gloves and tell you, “Yep, it’s perforated. That’s why it bled out. Nothing to be done right now; just be careful, don’t nudge it, it’ll heal up in a few weeks.”
However, if you’ve got health insurance with a low enough co-pay and good ENTs in your network, then the moment you feel you’re in pain, by all means, skip on over to the ENT. So at the end of the day, it depends on just how painful your ear is, and how long you’ve been fighting off an illness.
Everybody is different, and minor conditions untreated can prove fatal. However, sometimes things that feel major are just a more extreme iteration of normal symptoms. With these conflicting realities in mind, consult a general physician to see what your unique physicality indicates regarding best health practices, and structure future visits in light of that advice.
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