Otolaryngology or ENT (ear, nose, and throat) is the branch of medicine and surgery that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the head and neck, or more specifically the region from the clavicle up. Physicians specializing in otolaryngology are called otolaryngologists, and often treat children with persistent ear infections, hearing problems, cleft lip and other congenital abnormalities. Adult patients often seek treatment from an otolaryngologists for sinus infections, age-related hearing loss, and cancers of the head or neck regions. Some of the disorders covered under otolaryngology are tonsillitis, mononucleosis, adenotonsillar infections etc.
Head and neck
- Surgical oncology
- Endocrine surgery
- Facial cosmetic surgery
Otoplasty is the name given to the set of either surgical or non surgical procedures to correct the deformities of the external ear arising from bith defect, trauma or any other reasons. Otoplasty can be performed on individuals, both adults and chidren to maintain symmetry of the ears, to correct the shape of the ears in case the shape is uncommon, too big, drawing attention etc.
- Ear – A normal ear is the one that kis in a fixed proportion to the human face and look natural. But in some people this proportion is abnormal, drawing uninvited attention of the people around.
- Hearing – A lot of factors contribute towards disorders related to hearing in both adults and children. Some of these factors are genetic, age related and more recently because of a lot of ear damaging technological advancements that is very common among the younger generation. Loud and continuous noise wear downs the hearing in some of the professions where it becomes unavoidable for the people to work withour noise. Hypertension and diabetes also interfere with the ability of the ear to hear well because of the reduced oxxygen supply.
Neurotology or neuro-otology is a branch of clinical medicine which studies and treats neurological disorders of the ear. It is a subspecialty of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, and is closely related to otology. Neurotologists are physicians who have specialized in otolaryngology and then further specialized in neurological conditions of the ear, related structures, and lateral skull base surgery.
- Middle and inner ear – The middle ear is an air filled cavity that houses the ossicles, the stepedius and the chorda tympani nerve. The inner ear is a membranous labyriinth system which is embedded in a bony structure. The inner ear consists of the the human auditory organ responsible for the reception of sound signals, called the cochlea and other vestibular organs like the utricle and saccule, responsible for sensing the acceleration and gravitational forces.
- Temporal bone – The temporal bone is a pyramidal structure that bilaterally forms parts of the base and lateral side of the skull. It houses the hearing and vestibular organs.It also includes the middle air cavity, as well as the mastoid air cells.
- Skull base -The base of skull is the most inferior area of the skull, composed of the endocranium and lower parts of the skull roof.
Rhinology is the study of the nose, including the sinuses. It deals with the medical and surgical diseases of the nasal passages and the paranasal sinuses.
- Sinusitis- In medical language, Sinusitis is the inflammation of the mucosal lining of the paranasal sinuses. The condition is triggered primarily by either upper respiratory viral infections or upper airway allergy. External factors such as environmental hypersensitivities and allergies to pollen grains can also result in sinusitis.
- Allergy – Allergy in simple language is an unusual response of the human immune system to a category of substance that are otherwise harmless and do not trigger and abnormal response of the immune system. The set of allergic substances differ from person to person. Some of the know agents causing allergies in human are dust, pollen, grass, inhalant molds, pets’ dander(skin cells) and some chemicals. Allergic reactions may affect eyes, skin, nasal tract etc.
- Apnea and snoring – Sleep Apnea refers to a condition where there is a temporary disruption of breathing while the person is sleeping. The condition is very common among overweight people, people with upper airway obstruction. a deviated septum etc. If left untreated the disorder can become more severe as lesser oxygen is now transported to the brain and the rest of the body. Untreated Sleep apnea can lead to diseases of the brain and cardiovasular system like brain haemmorhage, heart attacks, increased blood pressure etc. Snoring in simpler terms means noisy breathing while sleeping. Snoring and sleep apnea often go hand in hand, but not always. Like sleep apnea, snoring is also more common in overweight people because of the excessive fat in the parapharyngeal area, thus narrowing the pharynx. Snoring increases with age, with men more affected than women.
Laryngology is that branch of medicine which deals with disorders, diseases and injuries of the vocal apparatus, especially the larynx. Common conditions addressed by laryngologists include vocal fold nodules and cysts, laryngeal cancer, spasmodic dysphonia, laryngopharyngeal reflux, papillomas, and voice misuse/abuse/overuse syndromes
- Voice therapy – Voice problems appear in a lot of people at any age due to a lot of reasons. Some of the common problems are a rough or hoarse voice, a frequent urge to clear your throat or a sensation of a lump in your throat, trouble in breathing or swallowing, a voice resembling the opposite gender etc. Voice therapy is a non-surgical method of improving or modifying the human voice and a voice therapist is a specialist in this field.
- Velopharyngeal insufficiency – It’s a kind of nasal hyperresonance or reflux of food or saliva into the nasopharynx during swallowing. It occurs when the nasopharynx and the oropharynx aren’t successfully separated by complete palatal closure during certain speech sounds. Persistent VPI appears in about 10-40 % of children after cleft lip repair.
- Cleft lip and palate – Cleft lip and cleft palate are two of the most common birth defects in infants all over the world. As the name suggests the lip or the palate is cleft or divided in these defects. These facial malformations starts right from the time when the baby is developing inside the mother. These defects could be caused by genetic factors like chromosomal aberrations or environmental factor and cannot be prevented. The chances of a child developing a cleft lip or palate increases if the parents suffer from the same disorder.
- Airway –
- Vascular malformations
- Cochlear implant/BAHA – A cochlear implant is a very advanced listening device that can help providing auditory abilities to patients who have negligible benefits from hearing aids. Initial Cochlear Implants used to have a single electrode and transmitted limited sound signals but some of the recent implants have multiple electrodes that are capable of transmitting more sound signals. Cochlear Implants or CI need surgical implantation and are thus different from other hearing aids that could be removed at will.