Throat, nose and ear problems are some of the most common health conditions worldwide. Most problems of the ear, nose and throat improve with symptomatic treatment. But in case of chronic problem or when the cause of symptoms is not exactly known, your doctor may recommend tests. Read on how to diagnose ENT problems.
- History and physical examination: Your doctor will take a detailed history of your symptoms and examine you thoroughly (this will include general examination, examination of the ear, nose and throat and systemic examination). Your physician will ask about how and when the problem started, how the symptoms have changed over time and if you had similar problems in the past.
- Examination of the ear, nose and throat: Your doctor will examine the ear canals with an otoscope to get a good look at the ear drum, look around and behind the ears for swelling or tenderness. The nose and sinuses are examined using a nasal speculum. This helps to open the nasal cavity and the nose is then examined with a flashlight or a light source. Throat is examined to look for the tonsils and post-nasal discharge.
- X-ray and CT scans: If needed your doctor will recommend X-ray and CT scan of the ear, nose or throat. CT scan of the nose and sinuses can help diagnose sinus problems and CT scans of the temporal bone (the bone that surrounds the ear) can help identify inner ear problems.
These are some of the tests that may be done to diagnose the cause of your ENT symptoms. There are many other tests which your doctor may recommend. If you have ENT symptoms which concern you, consult your doctor for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
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