ENT Otorhinolaryngology Ear nose and throat surgery manages patients with surgical and medical (=non-surgical) conditions of the upper airways (nose and throat) as well as problems affecting the ear canals, middle ear and inner ear. ENT is sometimes referred to as Otorhinolaryngology. Common problems include ear infections in children and adults, recurrent tonsillitis, obstructive breathing in sleep (mostly for children), some types of hearing loss (due to the hearing bones), inner ear balance disorder as well as nasal blockage and infection; and hoarseness and some types of swallowing problems and lumps in the neck.
Many ENT problems may be managed by General Practitioners without the need for specialist input. Allied health professionals also manage a large number of ENT conditions eg audiologists: manage tinnitus/ hearing loss assessment and treatment, speech language therapists manage swallowing problems and hoarseness/ voice disturbance, ear nurses provide microsuction for wax and infection of the ear canal.
Some ENT problems require further investigation or specialist management, including endoscopic examination, ultrasound guided biopsy and imaging such as CT or MRI scans; or surgeries including endoscopic, microscopic and traditional open surgery. Smaller operations include adult grommet insertion and biopsies are performed under local anaesthesia. Some ENT operations, such as cochlear implantation, are only performed in the Public Hospital system in Wellington.
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