Otolaryngology is a medical specialty which is focused on the ears, nose, and throat. It is also called otolaryngology-head and neck surgery because specialists are trained in both medicine and surgery. An otolaryngologist is often called an ear, nose, and throat doctor, or an ENT for short. An ENT doctor specializes in everything having to do with those parts of the body. They’re also called otolaryngologists.
Some historians believe this to be one of the oldest medical specialties in the United States. It started in the 1800s when doctors realized that a person’s ears, nose, and throat had delicately connected systems that required special knowledge.
ENTs deal with anything that has to do with the head, neck, and ears in adults and children, including:
- The adenoids and tonsils
- The thyroid
- The sinuses
- The larynx
- The mouth
- The throat
- Ear tubes
- Ear surgeries
- Cancers of the head, neck, and throat
- Reconstructive and cosmetic surgery on the head and neck