When a disease of the throat, nose or ears is removed, the three parts of the body are usually treated together. This is due to the many connections that exist between these important sense organs with which we hear, taste and smell.
Structure and function of ears, nose and throat
The function of our ears is well known: we hear with them all the sounds that surround us - or that we would like to have around us, like the noise in the shell. So we can orient, inform and communicate - without hearing it is almost impossible to learn to speak. The importance of listening is also evident in advertising - the consideration of sound design is a matter of course for car manufacturers.
Connected to the ear is the organ of balance, without which we would have problems with the upright gait. The middle ear is connected to the posterior area of the nasal cavity via the Eustachian tube - so you can balance changes in the air pressure in the middle ear by swallowing, yawning or jaw movements (which is important when flying).
The nose is there to smell - but not only: Before the air reaches the lungs, the air is moistened and cleaned here. The sense of smell and taste are closely linked - which you can notice, for example, when you smell a cold and you do not like it anymore! Normally we are not aware how close the senses are connected to each other - but for synaesthetes it is normal for them to "see" sounds eg in color.
In addition to the oral cavity, the area of the throat also includes the area of the pharynx, where the air flows from above over the nose to the lungs and, on the other hand, all food flows towards the stomach. That such a "traffic intersection" is prone to failure, is obvious - a coughing attack when swallowed is almost a "traffic accident".
Complaints to ears, nose and throat
Ears: Itching and pain are common ailments of the ears, sometimes the cause may be just the wrong use of cotton swabs - of course, inflammation must be ruled out. Heavier is the deterioration of the sense of hearing - or when you can not hear anymore. That the influence of noise plays a role in this is well known, but even with learning difficulties and school problems a slight hearing loss should be clarified.
Sudden hearing loss (hearing loss) and ear noise (tinnitus) are more common as stress increases as a trigger. Dizziness indicates a disturbance of the organ of equilibrium - in strong swell it may "dizzy", as eyes and organ of balance provide different sensory impressions to the brain.
Nose: The nose is the most frequent nose, which can affect the sinuses. Especially at night, but other complaints - more acoustic type - in the foreground: Snoring is not only disturbing, but also a harmful soundscape, which may accompany respiratory arrest.
Neck: Everyone knows bad breath - especially after eating onion, garlic or alcohol. If the taste or smell does not work, the person is insecure: The smell of fresh coffee as a positive sensory impression is missing as important information as the signal "this food is spoiled". Stuttering is a malfunction of the vocal tract that puts patients under great psychological pressure.
Anamnesis (ask the medical history): All complaints can be further limited by specific questions. In deafness, for example, a distinction is made between acute hearing loss and slowly increasing hearing loss.
Inspection (viewing) and percussion (tapping): The inspection plays a special role in the ENT examination - the otoscope, rhinoscope and laryngoscope are important instruments that the doctor needs for the ear, nose and throat. A snuffy nose can be easily recognized by the red, swollen mucous membranes - but why does the doctor knock on forehead or cheekbones?
The frontal and maxillary sinuses, like the nose, are lined with mucous membrane and have a connection to the nose, through which mucus and foreign substances are transported away. If the mucous membranes swell, these compounds clog and the sinuses can no longer cleanse - an inflammation occurs, it hurts when knocking.
Function tests: Listening, smelling and tasting are tested by various tests. So you test the sound conduction in both ears with a tuning fork; You can check how far you can hear and what sounds are perceived as well.
Electrophysiological examinations: The activities of the auditory nerve, the organ of equilibrium or the responsible brain area can be measured - small electrodes are attached in the ear canal, on the eardrum or on the head.
X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging: Imaging techniques are used when it is suspected that an inflammation or tumor may not be confined to the ear or nose, but may also affect the bones or the brain.
Diseases of the ears, nose and throat
Ears: Often there are ear infections, as they can occur during bathing - these diseases are usually cured quickly. Longer are hearing losses that can range from acute hearing loss - with or without accompanying sounds (tinnitus) - to chronic, worsening hearing loss. The hearing loss may already occur during childhood or first as senile deafness in advanced adulthood. Noise and the attendance of loud concerts can accelerate the development of deafness.
Dizziness and balance disorders can have a "normal" background - as in the carousel or aboard a ship - or indicate a disease of the inner ear as in Meniere's disease. Also in tumors such as an acoustic neuroma it comes to deafness and dizziness.
Nose: There is a runny nose with every cold or flu. Even with many teething troubles - which can be even in adulthood - and whooping cough or Pfeiffer glandular fever occur flu-like symptoms. In case of chronic cold, you should also think of hay fever as an allergic reaction or sinusitis. Snoring can be caused by nasal polyps and lead to sleep apnea, a serious illness that can lead to a heart attack!
Neck: In addition to bad breath (halitosis) as a disease symptom in diabetes, liver disease or dental problems, cancers of the oral cavity, tongue and throat are particularly dangerous and occur in chronic alcohol and tobacco abuse frequently.
Ears: A hearing aid is a hearing aid that is often called a hearing aid. When a hearing aid is needed and how it should be equipped depends on the type of hearing loss, the particular patient and his lifestyle. So there are cochlear implants and behind-the-ear devices - individually customizable. In tinnitus you can manage yourself, otherwise music therapy and low-level laser therapy are two of the many therapeutic options.
Nose: In addition to the well-known cold remedies, the aromatherapy can provide relief and with tea tree oil to gargle or in the bath water, the cold has no chance! For snorers, there is a novel therapeutic approach - it change the affected person after a short practice phase, their tongue position so that snoring is impossible.
Hals: Different speech therapies help against stuttering - the Kassel stuttering therapy is new and promising. In all oropharyngeal cancers, in addition to medical therapy, it is particularly important to give up smoking and drinking alcohol - there are many approaches that are co-financed by the health insurance companies. Of course, there is a special procedure for each disease with medication or surgery - you can find more information on the particular disease.
Ears: You can train well, because the brain is stimulated by constant listening experiences. A timely hearing test at the ENT specialist or hearing care professional helps prevent hearing loss. Since children only have the opportunity to speak without delay when diagnosed quickly, a nationwide hearing screening for newborns would make sense. Especially for the sensitive hearing of children noise protection is particularly important, because background noise leads to concentration problems - even in adults whose offices are often too loud.
Nose: Protect your nose from dehydration, otherwise it can not clean and moisturize the air. For example, when you fly on vacation, think about moisturizing the oral and nasal mucous membranes - otherwise dry nose, sore throat and hoarseness may be present.
Neck: The control of teeth and oral mucosa helps to prevent halitosis, inflammation and cancer - use the semi-annual visit to the dentist for early detection.