Providers of specialized otolaryngology (ear, nose, throat) services for pediatric through adult patients:
Otolaryngology, or the specialty care of ear, nose and throat (ENT) complaints, is one of the most diverse and widely utilized medical specialties. Some studies find that half or more of primary care patient visits are related to disorders of the head and neck. ENT physicians are surgical subspecialists, trained to operate on the ear, nose, throat and related structures. They also manage medical treatment (that is, using medicines instead of surgery) for non-surgical complaints like vertigo, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), and reflux, among many others.
General otolaryngologists evaluate and treat most diseases of the upper aero-digestive tract, meaning the passageways for air and food. Their scope of practice ranges from minor problems such as seasonal allergies to major operations for thyroid disease, salivary gland problems, chronic sinus disease, and cancer of the head and neck.
A general otolaryngologist may also refer a patient to a subspecialist ENT colleague, such as an otologist/neurotologist (an ear surgeon with advanced training in that field), for procedures such as a cochlear implant. Otolaryngologists do not usually treat complaints related to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).