Posted by: Maryland ENT in General

Do you have a sore throat, balance issues, or difficulty hearing? An otolaryngologist or ENT specialist diagnoses and treats ear, nose, and throat problems.

Their specialty can also include treating parts of the neck and head. Otolaryngologists are surgeons who can perform neck and head surgery and surgical procedures to treat ear, nose, and throat issues.

Knowing when to see an ENT specialist is essential in ensuring you get help for your specific needs instead of living in constant pain and discomfort. Keep reading to learn about some signs that it may be time to see an otolaryngologist.

A Lingering Sore Throat

Having an occasional sore throat is not unusual. But a sore throat that lingers for over seven days or more needs medical attention from an ENT specialist.

There are many causes of a frequent sore throat, such as GERD, injury, and smoking. Sometimes, a cold, the flu, or sinus infection can lead to a sore throat.

Sore throats can also be due to acid reflux, strep throat, sleep apnea, or even cancer. An otolaryngologist can perform a thorough assessment to get to the bottom of what’s causing your sore throat and offer the proper treatment for you.

Prolonged Hoarseness

A raspy, strained, or hoarse voice may indicate you have laryngitis. You may develop a hoarse voice for a short while if you have a cold, talk for hours, or shout a lot.

However, if it persists for more than a month, it’s time to visit your otolaryngologist. Your doctor will check your vocal cords to determine the underlying cause of laryngitis and choose the right treatment.

Sinus Pressure and Pain

Pain and pressure in the sinuses happen when your nasal passage membranes are swollen or inflamed. Chronic sinusitis is one of the causes of sinus pressure and pain in your face, nose, upper teeth region, and ear.

The condition typically occurs when bacteria or viruses that affect your sinuses increase in number. If you experience sinus pain and pressure that lasts several days, you should see an ENT specialist.

Your otolaryngologist will determine the source of the pressure and pain and provide you with a treatment plan to help you find relief.

Persistent Nasal Congestion

Do you find yourself waking up congested almost every morning? Do you find it difficult to breathe?

You might have chronic nasal congestion. Prolonged nasal congestion isn’t normal and often indicates an underlying condition.

Nasal congestion occurs when your nasal tissues are inflamed or irritated. Infections like the flu, a cold, allergies, or sinusitis are some of the common causes of nasal congestion.

Other possible reasons for continuous nasal congestion include rhinitis, nasal polyps, and a deviated septum. Nasal congestion that doesn’t go away on its own needs the attention of an ENT. Your ENT specialist will be able to assess and treat the problem.

Recurrent Tonsillitis

Anyone can get tonsillitis. Usually, the condition resolves itself in less than a week with antibiotics, or sometimes without.

A viral infection is the most common cause of tonsillitis. But it can also be due to a bacterial infection.

A weakened immune system, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or previous radiation treatment are other reasons for recurrent tonsillitis. If you have tonsillitis and experience a high temperature, severe pain, difficulty breathing, or trouble swallowing saliva, see an otolaryngologist as soon as possible.

Chronic Ear Infections

Most people have acute ear infections that are short-lived. Others have persistent or chronic ear infections that don’t go away completely.

Without treatment, chronic ear infections result in complications like damage to the eardrum, balance issues, and facial paralysis. It can also lead to recurring drainage from your ear, brain inflammation, or hearing loss.

You should consult an otolaryngologist as soon as possible if you have a reoccurring ear infection.

Ringing in the Ears

If you have an annoying, constant ringing in your ears that only you can hear, then it could be a sign of a condition known as tinnitus. Tinnitus can make you hear phantom noises like ringing, humming, buzzing, roaring, hissing, or clicking sounds.

In some instances, tinnitus may signify a hearing problem or an ear infection. It could also be an early symptom of hearing loss.

It’s essential to see an otolaryngologist promptly to have them evaluate your condition and provide the treatment you need.

Hearing Loss

People tend to lose their hearing as they grow older or through continued exposure to loud noise. Hearing loss can also be due to a head injury, bacteria, virus, inner ear dysfunction, or tumor.

If you’re experiencing hearing problems, you should book an appointment with your ENT specialist. Your otolaryngologist will work with an audiologist to perform hearing tests, find what’s causing your symptoms, and provide the best solution.


If you feel the world is spinning around you while you’re standing still, you may have vertigo. A vertigo attack can happen when standing, sitting, or turning in bed without warning.

It may last for a few seconds or longer. At times, vertigo can be quite severe, making it hard for you to perform routine activities.

Vertigo is mainly associated with problems in your inner ear. If you experience vertigo, an otolaryngologist can diagnose and provide you with a personalized treatment plan. With treatment, you can alleviate many symptoms of vertigo.

Choose the Highest Quality Otolaryngologist Care

At Maryland ENT Center, we offer the most comprehensive treatment to address ear, nose, throat, and neck issues. Our trusted otolaryngologists at Maryland ENT will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the root cause of your condition and an effective, personalized treatment plan. Stop suffering from ENT issues like hearing loss, hoarseness, and vertigo. Request an appointment at Maryland ENT in Baltimore, MD, to get the help you need.