Think of the first time you ever heard anyone mention “ear, nose and throat” as a medical specialty. Perhaps the combination sounded a little odd at first. And when you’re not experiencing any symptoms or problems in the head and neck area, it’s easy to overlook just how closely interrelated the ear, nose and throat really are—and the extent to which health issues affecting them can have implications for your overall well-being. Here are just a few examples.
- Inflammation, or other problems with the inner ear, can cause dizziness and balance problems
- Chronic congestion and sinus infections may temporarily impair hearing by causing the Eustachian tubes, which connect the ears and the throat, to swell
- Pain from an infection that causes a sore throat can extend to the ears
- Issues in the head and neck area ranging from ringing in the ears (tinnitus) to partial airway obstructions can dramatically reduce the quality of a patient’s sleep and, by extension, negatively impact overall quality of life
- Sports injuries to the facial muscles and bones can interfere with vital functions such as breathing and eating
- Disorders of the thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, can impact vital functions throughout the body, with effects ranging from cardiovascular problems to weight management challenges
These examples merely scratch the surface of how important it is to be aware of your health from the neck up—and of how essential it is to seek the right specialized care when issues of this nature arise.
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