Otolaryngology - (Ear, Nose and Throat)
Otolaryngology is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists at Baltimore Washington Medical Center are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), and related structures of the head and neck. They are commonly referred to as ENT physicians.
What do otolaryngologists treat?
BWMC Otolaryngologists diagnose and manage diseases of the sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity, and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck ears and face, many ENT physicians treat primary care problems in both children and adults. The ENT specialists have extensive training in fractures of the face and cosmetic facial surgery.
The ears—Our physicians are trained in both the medical and surgical treatment of hearing, ear infections, balance disorders, ear noise (tinnitus), nerve pain, and facial/ cranial nerve disorders. Common surgeries include middle ear pressure equalizing tubes, mastoid ear bone surgeries and cosmetic lop ear deformity surgery.
The nose—Chronic sinusitis affects thousands of people annually, making it one of the most common health complaints in Maryland. Care of the nasal cavity and sinuses is one of the primary skills of otolaryngologists. Management of the nasal area includes allergies and sense of smell. Breathing through, and the appearance of, the nose are also part of their expertise. BWMC’s ENT surgeons use CT guided navigation systems and minimally invasive balloon techniques to give the utmost safety and speedy recovery. BWMC has board certified facial plastic surgeons that perform both functional and cosmetic rhinoplasties (nose jobs).
The throat—Communicating (speech and singing) and eating a meal all involve this vital area. Also specific to otolaryngologists is expertise in managing diseases of the larynx (voice box) and the upper aero-digestive tract or esophagus, including voice and swallowing disorders. BWMC’s physicians have in office voice labs with videostroboscopy to provide the most detailed exam and diagnosis. At BWMC the staff speech and swallowing therapists help in diagnosing and treating many voice and swallowing disorders.
The head and neck—This center of the body includes the important nerves and or arteries that flow to and from the brain controlling sight, smell, hearing, and the face. In the head and neck area, otolaryngologists are trained to treat infectious diseases, both benign and malignant (cancerous) tumors, thyroid disease, facial trauma, and deformities of the face and skull. They perform both cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery in addition to tumor removal.
What is chronic sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining by bacterial, viral or microbial infections or by structural issues such as blockages of the sinus opening. When the sinus opening is closed, normal mucus drainage may not occur, which can lead to infection and inflammation of the sinuses. Chronic sinusitis occurs when symptoms occur frequently and last three months or longer.
- Facial pain, pressure or congestion
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Discharge of yellow or green mucus from the nose
- Teeth pain
- Loss of the sense of smell or taste
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
Treatment Options for Chronic Sinusitis
Typical chronic sinusitis treatment begins with medication, which may include homeopathic, over-the-counter and prescription medications, which may include:
- Nasal steroids – antibiotics – mucus thinning drugs – decongestants
- Oral steroids
- Natural remedies, including cool and hot mist vaporizers, steam, Neti Pot and sinus rinsing
However, for some sufferers of chronic sinusitis, medications do not help treat their condition and surgery may be required. There are two surgical treatment options available – balloon sinuplasty and functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).
It is important to talk with your physician about the best treatment options for you.