Choosing an ENT specialist is no different from selecting any other healthcare provider with the experience and skill to treat your condition.
A reliable Houston ENT doctor can diagnose and treat conditions affecting your neck and head, mostly upper body functions. Such professionals have both surgical and non-surgical training, as they can treat a large number of conditions.
If you’re on the verge of picking an ENT specialist, here’s how you can get started.
What Does an ENT Do?
Commonly known as an otolaryngologist, an ENT healthcare provider will diagnose and treat head and neck injuries, conditions, and more. They are highly trained physicians who can deal with a range of medical issues related to the neck and head, like pains, tumors, infections, reconstruction, and facial trauma.
ENTs handle common problems associated with the upper body like:
- Throat conditions: ENT doctors provide medical treatments for throat infections, including other conditions like a swollen windpipe, difficulty speaking, dry mouth and ulcers, acid reflux disease, and more.
- Ear conditions: Problems related to the ear are also managed by ENT specialists. They provide treatment for issues like hearing loss, ear infections, ruptured eardrums, persistent ringing in the ears, and more.
- Nasal conditions: ENT doctors may treat respiratory issues that can arise from hay fever and allergies, often resulting in a stuffy nose or itchy skin. They treat conditions like sinus infections, nasal polyps, and more.
How to Choose the Right ENT
When choosing the right ENT doctor, you should consider several crucial factors.
Reach out to your network of family and friends for a recommendation. If your primary care physician has referred your case to a specific facility, it’s best to learn more about the services before making an appointment with the doctor.
Here are some essential questions to ask.
What is the age of the patient?
The patient’s age is a crucial factor to consider, as there are ENT doctors who specialize in the field of pediatrics. If the patient is a child or an infant, then such ENT specialists would be an ideal choice. But not every ENT doctor treats children. Some may even have extensive knowledge of treating elderly patients.
What insurance plans do they cover?
When speaking with your ENT healthcare provider, you may want to check if your insurance plan covers the medical practice. If you’re unsure, call the medical facility and check with the administration. For instance, a practice may accept one type of insurance and reject another from the same insurance company.
What do the reviews say about the doctors?
Reading reviews about a medical practice will give you insights into other patients’ experiences. For instance, when you’re looking for an ENT doctor specializing in pediatric care, you’d want to know their first-hand approach. This will help determine the most suitable and efficient solution for your child.
Did you check their credentials and experience?
Investigating a healthcare practitioner’s credentials is important. You do not want to fall for a scam. You can also find information about a practice, doctors’ education, and other licenses from regulatory sites. A medical practitioner’s credentials will give you better insight into their work experience and qualifications.
Do they have specialty areas they practice in?
ENT doctors can treat a number of conditions, but some may focus on treating just the ears, eyes, nose, or throat. If you have a specific type of issue that requires medical attention, look for an ENT with a specialty area. For instance, a child suffering from hearing loss should be treated by an ENT doctor with expertise in ear diseases. Other areas of specialty include allergy, otology, laryngology, facial reconstruction, and rhinology.
How convenient is the location of the clinic?
The location of the healthcare facility also impacts the selection process. You’d want to choose a medical practice close enough to your home or office. For instance, you should check which hospitals the doctor is affiliated with. Facilities most convenient to your location would be the first choice. Some ENT specialists may also conduct appointments virtually, especially follow-ups with a patient.
Does the gender of the ENT specialist matter?
Gender does matter when you’re picking an ENT specialist. Some people may not feel comfortable undergoing a physical checkup with a person of the opposite sex. According to research, most women prefer choosing a medical practitioner of the same gender, especially when it’s a primary care physician. Nearly half the women prefer a female doctor over a male doctor due to the differences in communication styles and behaviors.