Consulting an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist in Cape Town
The role of an ear nose and throat specialist is extensive and very much the same in Cape Town as in any other major city of the world. It is not, however, necessarily limited to the treatment of conditions affecting the auditory system and upper respiratory tract but can extend to include plastic and reconstructive surgery to the head and neck regions. Those who choose to pursue this field are required to complete 5-years of training as a surgical resident of which the majority will be devoted to otorhinolaryngology; the full name of the discipline that is far more commonly referred to by the simple acronym ENT.
The acronym may well be short but there is certainly no shortage of patients that have a need for the services of an ENT doctor. The current statistics suggest that, in most countries, almost half of all of the visits paid to a general practitioner are likely to involve a condition that relates to one or more of the organs covered by this discipline. Of these patients a significant percentage will subsequently require a referral for further investigation.
In addition to this, another very common source of referrals is the audiology clinic. In South Africa, 18 such facilities are now operating under a single banner; some as Ear Institutes and others as satellite practices but both provide the uniformly high standards of hearing healthcare services typical of the group. The well-trained and experienced audiologists conduct test to determine the adequacy of hearing levels prior to recommending and implementing the most appropriate corrective measures.
Often, during the course of their examination, a practitioner will become aware of an infection or some other pathology necessitating referral to an ear nose and throat specialist at one of the Hospitals in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria or wherever the closest and suitably staffed medical facility may happen to be located. In other instances, a referral to an ENT department may be the only possible course of action because a patient is too profoundly deaf to be helped by a normal hearing aid although he or she may be assessed as a suitable candidate to undergo surgery to insert a cochlear implant.
Patients afflicted with tinnitus, a persistent and debilitating symptom that manifests as ringing or other sounds experienced within the ear as well as those that may present with acute and ongoing vertigo and nausea are also among the various cases that will commonly be referred by the average audiologist.
Among those patients that most frequently require the attention of an otolaryngologist are children and most of those that pursue this discipline will have the benefit of some paediatric experience while others may devote themselves full time to paediatric ENT. Whether the subject is an adult or a child, in addition to complications of hearing and balance, the clinician will be called upon to treat various nasal conditions that include sinus infections, deviated septum, polyps and nasal fractures.
Neoplasms of the larynx and trachea, enlarged thyroid, disorders of the salivary glands, lymph nodes or tonsils and even foreign body penetrations in the region of the head or neck are all good reasons to summon the aid of an ear nose and throat specialist from Cape Town to Cairo.