ear nose and throat doctor

When should you see an ear, nose, and throat doctor?

If you’re reading this, you may not know what an ear, nose, and throat doctor even is. Most times, when you’re struggling with allergies or a sinus infection, running to urgent care is the best course of action. We’re not blaming you either. What else is there to do? Where else is there to go? And if there are specialists for this, when should you see an ear, nose, and throat doctor? 

Ear, nose, and throat practices can only blame themselves for not bringing that awareness to the public. 

For example, did you know that 70% of urgent care visits are ear, nose, and throat related? That’s allergies, sinuses, ear infections, acid reflux, sleep and snoring problems, and sore throats. How many of those have you brought to urgent care? How many times did you receive satisfactory treatment? You might’ve received great treatment! But track with me on this example below. 

Say a man suffers from yearly sinus infections lasting longer than 4 weeks at a time, say those same sinus infections happen more than once a year, and say the symptoms keep this man from focusing on anything other than the pain. In a normal circumstance, prescribed antibiotics solve a sinus infection, but what if they don’t garner the same results for the one with chronic sinus infections? 

An ear, nose, and throat doctor ensures all patients coming through their doors receive personalized care reflecting the specific patient’s needs. The man with the chronic sinus infections comes in and receives an in-depth diagnosis, then treated at the source (we’ll get into the source of sinus infections a little later). 

You might say, “why’s the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute endorsing their practice in a blog? How is this not biased?”. That’s a great question. Let us answer it with the original question posed in the title of this blog. 

When should you see an ear, nose, and throat doctor? 

The point of this blog isn’t to attack urgent care, it’s more to help you find the right practice for your health needs. An urgent care functions the way it does for a specific reason, but an ent practice also functions the way it does. Without awareness of what an ear, nose, and throat doctor does or when it’s time to see one, you may never see proper relief from overwhelming symptoms. 

We’ll break this down by symptom and discuss when it’s time to see an ear, nose and throat doctor and why. 


Just about everyone in the country deals with allergies to a degree – whether that’s pollen, dust, mold, food, or pet allergies. Many don’t take the time to receive a diagnosis or treatment, but there are others who can’t afford that kind of relaxed behavior. For some, stepping outside leads to sinus issues. For others, being around pets can be detrimental. 

coronavirus risks - sneeze

At the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute, our allergy specialists can do a same-day allergy test, getting back results within minutes. From there, they personalize allergy treatment to each individual. We offer allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) in-clinic or even at-home, a result-driven method of giving people their lives back. 

Sinus infection

There are sinus infections, then there are SINUS INFECTIONS, which we like to call chronic sinusitis. The first is fairly common amongst the population, but the latter is extremely debilitating, as it lasts much longer and happens more frequently. 

For those cases, our specialists diagnose the source of the problem. It could be smaller sinus ducts, only allowing for minimal mucus flow. Without proper mucus flow, an infection can happen. A deviated septum might also be a culprit that can then resolve through surgery.  

If it’s the airways, the ENT Institute uses a procedure called balloon sinuplasty, a less-invasive method than sinus surgery. Watch the video below to learn more. 

Snoring/Sleep apnea

Snoring seems innocent enough, right? But what if you add that to daytime fatigue, anxiety, agitation, and a dose of not breathing for short periods of time during sleep? 

Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder where someone stops breathing for 10 seconds at a time, multiple times during sleep, creates worsening health risks for people. The worst part? Some don’t even know they suffer from sleep apnea. That’s where a sleep specialist comes in. 

At the ENT Institute, our specialists will do a sleep study in the comfort of your own home. If you’ve ever had a sleep study done in a clinic, you know that it’s a strange and uncomfortable process. Instead of that, we send you home with a small device measuring your breathing patterns and from there we discuss treatment options. Those treatment options include CPAP, a hose and mask that you wear at night to help you breathe, or Inspire, a small device that’s surgically implanted in the body that acts as a pacemaker for breathing. To learn more about Inspire, watch the video below. 

Hearing loss/tinnitus

Believe it or not, our ent practice treats hearing loss and tinnitus with its own department called the Hearing Center. There, our audiologists diagnose hearing loss and tinnitus with innovative technologies so they can prescribe the right hearing aids

At the Hearing Center, we have a variety of hearing devices that range in style, size, and tech levels. To learn more about the Hearing Center, watch the video below. 

Other treatments

Those are just the main ancillaries of an ear, nose and throat doctor, but it just so happens that they treat these other things too:

So, now you know when you should see an ear, nose, and throat doctor. To actually see one, all you have to do is call 770-740-1860 or fill out the form at the top of the page. We offer same-day and Saturday appointments to everyone from toddlers to seniors.

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