If you’re struggling with a sinus infection that won’t go away, chronic earaches, frequent sore throats, or a total/partial inability to smell, you may be wondering when to see an ENT specialist vs. your primary care physician.

ENT doctors, also called otolaryngologists, specialize in treating problems with the ear, nose, and throat, as well as head and neck cancers and conditions. If your PCP thinks that you may need additional and more in-depth analysis and treatment, they may refer you to an ENT.

Of course, it’s always smart to be aware of your health options, and knowing when to see an ENT specialist can save you a lot of headaches (literally) down the road. Discover why and when to see an ENT for your ear, nose, and throat needs.

The 411 on when to see an ENT

It’s not always obvious to individuals when they should see an ENT. How many ear infections or sore throats do you need to have before saying it’s been one too many? Typically, your PCP will be able to identify when to “escalate” your situation to a specialist like an ENT.

What if you feel like you’ve tried every type of treatment under the sun? Or what if you’ve experienced a sudden change in your ENT health (especially sudden hearing loss)? Do you need a referral to see an ENT?

In these instances, it’s almost always best to be proactive and ask for a referral. However, some insurances allow you to self-refer to an ENT. Just make sure you check your insurance policy before you start searching for an “ENT near me” or “ENT doctor near me.”   

The following are typical reasons that patients reach out to ENTs, especially if symptoms are recurrent or severe.

Ear Conditions

Nose Conditions

Throat Conditions

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Sleep apnea (more info: Chronic sinusitis and sleep apnea)
  • Snoring
  • Sore throat or hoarseness
  • Tonsil or adenoid infection
  • Voice or swallowing issues

Other Conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Breathing problems (including mouth breathing)
  • Chronic & seasonal allergies (depending on your condition, you might be referred to an allergist)
  • Nerve problems, growths, or pain in your ears, nose, or throat
  • Head and neck cancers

Not all ENT doctors treat each and every one of these conditions. For children, in particular, you might be referred to a separate pediatric otolaryngologist.

Professional, personable ENT treatment in Tampa and West Palm Beach

Knowing when to see an ENT specialist is only half the battle: the other half is finding a quality, patient-focused ENT doctor. But not to worry! Your search for an ENT in West Palm Beach and Tampa can begin and end with Dr. Napoleon G. Bequer of Sinus Solutions of South Florida.

Sinus Solutions of South Florida provides premier ENT treatment to patients in the Tampa and West Palm Beach areas. In particular, Dr. Bequer is one of the best hearing loss doctors and balloon sinuplasty doctors in the area.