An ear, nose, and throat doctor (also known as an ENT or otolaryngologist) treats a wide range of medical problems every day, including many common diseases and conditions such as sinus infections, ear infections, and tonsillitis. An otolaryngologist’s expertise also covers a variety of rarer health issues, several of which could lead to serious complications. Three of these issues include nasal valve collapse, thyroid cancer, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks.
A nasal valve collapse typically occurs as a result of trauma or as a complication of surgery. It can occur in the internal valve, located between the skin and respiratory epithelium, or the external valve, which is comprised of the columella, nasal floor, and nasal rim. The purpose of these valves is primarily to restrict airflow, so when a collapse occurs, the flow of oxygen through your nasal passages may be either severely restricted or entirely blocked. An ENT typically treats a nasal valve collapse through surgery.
An ENT can also diagnose and treat thyroid cancer. Approximately 43,800 people develop this form of cancer each year, with about 2,230 people dying of the disease annually. Thyroid cancer may present through symptoms such as swallowing difficulty, a lump in the neck, and changes in your voice. An ENT can diagnose thyroid cancer through a biopsy and will treat most forms of this disease through surgical removal.
If you experience symptoms such as watery drainage from the nose, back of the throat, or ear, an ENT may diagnose you with a CSF leak through a CT or MRI scan. A CSF leak may allow bacteria to reach the brain or spinal cord, leading to the development of conditions such as meningitis. Most leaks around the ears and sinuses may be repaired through minimally invasive procedures, though certain cases may require a craniotomy.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of any of these conditions, you can schedule an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling (718) 206-7001.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.