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Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) problems are more common than you may think. Common symptoms that many people experience and can seem innocent, like runny nose, snoring, or headaches, can be related to an ENT issue. Read the following ENT symptoms and their causes to determine if you should see an ENT specialist.

Sinus issues

Symptoms similar to a common cold or viral infection but more extensive may be a warning sign. Persistent sinus drainage, congestion, or pain/discomfort in your ear, nose, or throat that lasts longer than 1-2 weeks, and is not relieved by over the counter treatments, may warrant the need to see an otolaryngologist (ENT). An ENT specialist can rule out or treat an ENT abnormality.

Persistent headache

A headache that doesn’t seem to go away can also be a symptom of an ENT problem. Beyond nasal congestion, a persistent headache could be a sign of a respiratory infection, chronic sinusitis, or anatomic abnormalities. Unlike general care physicians, ENT specialists are trained to diagnose and treat or eliminate these issues.

Sleeping problems

While common, snoring loudly can also be a sign of a more serious problem, known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when breathing is interrupted during sleep. Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, waking up short of breath, and excessive fatigue after a full night’s rest. Often times family members will witness episodes of breathing cessation during sleep. If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and current treatment options are not effective, or you are interested in alternative treatment options, an ENT specialist is a great option. Often times an ENT specialist can help to pinpoint an anatomical source causing sleep apnea. Once a source is identified, solutions are implemented to effectively treat symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.

Breathing difficulties

There can be many contributing factors that make breathing through the nose difficult. Some of these things include issues related to a deviated septum, viral infection, or nasal polyps. An ENT specialist can help to determine the problem and develop a plan to treat it.

If your primary care provider is unable to successfully treat your ENT issues or when over the counter treatments are not helping you to overcome your ENT symptoms you should be seen by an ENT specialist. Primary care providers have a basic level of knowledge on ENT issues but generally are not trained to diagnose or treat ENT problems. If you think you might have an ENT issue requiring an ENT consultation, your primary provider can refer you to an ENT specialist.

If you live in South Florida, Dr. Carreño and his staff have the knowledge and expertise to care for your ENT needs. He has been serving the South Florida area with exceptional care since 2011 and will gladly address your ENT questions, registration, and financial responsibilities. Contact him today to set up a consultation.