Types Of Tests An ENT Doctor May Do
Written By: Emma Squillace
Millions and millions of people suffer from ear, nose, or throat conditions. Whether it’s allergies, sinusitis, or a deviated septum that’s causing you trouble, an ENT (ear, nose, & throat) doctor is the best expert to help you. At West Medical we have group of experts dedicated to diagnosing and treating all kinds of frustrating symptoms. Often patients ask us – how does an ENT diagnose me? What types of exam or test will they do? Today we will cover some of the primary diagnostic tools that an ENT physician can use.
One of the most important parts of your visit will be a conversation you have with our experts. They will listen closely to the details of your symptoms, and ask you questions about your medical history. Understanding what seems to make your symptoms worse, other related medical concerns, and any treatments you’ve tried already, can help us give you the best possible diagnosis and treatment path.
Our physical exam will often include taking a close look at your ears, neck, throat, nose and face area. We will look for signs of redness, swelling, and any abnormalities. Sometimes our doctors use small mirrors to help them get a better look at areas that are hard to see.
Sometimes we perform a nasal endoscopy, which gives us a good look at your nasal structure. We start by putting a numbing spray inside your nostrils, so the exam is comfortable. Then we use a small telescope tube to get a better look at the inside of your nose. This is particularly helpful when we suspect a patient may have a deviated septum or turbinate hypertropy.
In some cases, a mucous culture is a helpful diagnostic tool. If we feel like testing mucous may be useful, we’ll collect a sample and have it analyzed by a lab. There may also be times we perform a biopsy, which will also be analyzed by a lab. If both cases, we will be sure to review the results of those tests with you in detail.
If you are having any trouble hearing, we may ask you to participate in non-invasive hearing tests. This will involve testing different tones and volumes, to understand your range of hearing and diagnose any problems.
There are times that an ear pressure test may be warranted. One type of pressure test is called tympanometry – and is an easy way for us to assess whether there is fluid behind the eardrum or another abnormality is the middle ear pressure. This is a painless test and while it does not diagnose hearing problems, it can help us pinpoint possible causes of ear issues.
Allergies are a common complaint, all year round. Sometimes patients come to see us and don’t even realize that allergies are causing their symptoms. Adults can be surprised to find out that it is possible to develop allergies at any age. At West Medical, we offer a range of allergy tests and treatment plans. Most allergy tests are performed as skin tests, but there are times that blood tests can give us useful information about allergens you may be reacting to.
At West Medical, we have true experts in ear, nose, and throat disorders. The first step is to gather the knowledge we need to make an accurate diagnosis. From there, we can work with you to come up with a treatment plan that you are comfortable with. If you’d like to come in and talk to our ear, nose, and throat experts, give us a call today at (855) 690-0565.