So you’re having issues with coughing, congestion, watery eyes, or pain in the facial area? If so, you may be tempted to ask your primary care doctor for a referral to an ENT. However, did you know that ENTs are often referred patients who would be better served by an allergist/immunologist instead? In this post, we’ll review the differences between these physicians and how to decide which one to visit.
What is an Allergist/Immunologist?
An allergist/immunologist is a medical doctor trained in the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of allergies and immune deficiencies. They complete the same rigorous training as a typical MD, along with several years of specialized education in allergies and the immune system.
What is an ENT?
An ENT is a medical doctor trained to identify, diagnose, and treat conditions of the head, neck, and throat. These conditions can be physical abnormalities that require surgery or a simple ear infection. Once again, ENTs complete the same rigorous training requirements as any other MD or DO.
When Should I See an Allergist?
If you have a history of allergic reactions, allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, or sinusitis, and are experiencing symptoms affecting your ears, nose, and throat, an allergist/immunologist should be your point of contact. Signs to look out for include:
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus pressure
- Runny nose
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Recurrent infections
- Concerns your immune system may not be working well
When Should I See an ENT?
For any ear, nose, throat, head, or neck issues that may need a surgical procedure to fix, the ENT is the best choice. This could include:
- Recurrent ear infections requiring antibiotics
- Structural abnormalities (cleft palate, deviated septum, enlarged adenoids)
- Hearing loss
- Ringing in the ears
- Lumps or bulges
Superior Allergy Treatment in Tampa Bay
If your symptoms warrant a visit to an allergist/immunologist, we’ve got you covered. At Allergy, Asthma & Immunology of Tampa Bay, our knowledgeable physicians can help you navigate your symptoms and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that gets you back to optimum functioning as quickly as possible. Give us a call at (813) 971-9743 to schedule your appointment today.