Feeling confused about the role of an allergist or an ENT doctor? This uncertainty is natural, as both allergy and ENT treatments target symptoms found in the ear, nose and throat areas. However, while allergists and ENTs often share a close relationship, the disciplines are very different. For Atlanta patients looking for the right treatment options, here is what you need to know.
Why Should I See an Allergist?
An allergy doctor diagnoses, treats and manages allergies. The process broadly involves identifying the trigger of an allergic reaction and finding an appropriate treatment plan such as avoidance, medication or immunotherapy. If you experience a runny nose, cough, itchy eyes, hives, swelling around the face and similar symptoms, an allergist should be your first destination.
In fact, many ENT issues – such as persistent sinusitis – can be triggered by allergens and won’t require surgical procedures. If your allergist does identify a serious issue, they can then refer you to an ENT doctor.
Some Areas of Focus for an Allergist
- Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)
- Food Allergies
- Skin Rashes and Hives
- Immune System Complaints
- Eye Allergies
Why Should I See an ENT?
ENT doctors cover a wide range of conditions including chronic sinusitis, tinnitus, hearing loss, vertigo, cancerous lumps and recurring ear infections. ENT symptoms won’t always be severe, but you may be referred to an ENT specialist after an initial consultation with your primary care doctor or allergist.
An ENT is also responsible for surgical procedures of the ear, nose and throat regions. Surgeries can include endoscopic sinus surgery, tonsil removal and reconstructive surgery.
Some Areas of Focus for an ENT
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Ear Infections
- Sleep Apnea
- Larynx Diseases
- Tumor Treatments
- Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery
How Will an Allergist or ENT Treat My Condition?
Both allergists and ENT doctors have a number of treatment options at their disposal. An allergist can conduct allergy testing to complete an accurate diagnosis. Attempting to avoid contact with the allergen is an important step, but can be difficult to maintain over the long term.
Medication can be a useful nasal allergy treatment for hay fever, dust and other seasonal allergies. However, immunotherapy and oral immunotherapy are the only methods for desensitizing the immune system to allergens.
ENT doctors may require the use of surgery, including rhinoplasty, deviated septum surgery, gland removal, tonsillectomy and more. However, an ENT may integrate minimally invasive surgery, hearing devices and medication to treat a range of issues.
Not Sure if You Need an Allergist or ENT? – We Are Here to Help
If you’re uncertain whether your condition is best treated by an allergist or ENT doctor, Dr. Chacko can recommend the best course of action. We can provide consultations from our centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. For an appointment, call (678) 668-4688 or request help online.