Diagnosis of ENT Disorders

Diagnosis of any disorders of ENT includes the assessment of function as well as the appearance of Ear, Nose and Throat respectively.

Diagnosis of ear disorders:

Taking the history of the patient is the first step in the diagnosis of the ear disorders. It is clarified at initial stages whether the patient has previous ear injuries or surgeries or has a family history of deafness. Information on the diseases the patient is suffering from and the drugs that he is taking is systematically noted down.

The next step is, however, to examine the ear. External appearance of the ear is seen to check evident traumas. Size, shape, cartilages, skin lesions of pinna and external canal are observed.

The internal of ear is inspected with an otoscope or auroscope. The discharge or wax is swabbed away and the classical symptoms of the ear disorders are seen. Tympanic membrane is examined by grasping the pinna and pulling it up and backwards. By the light reflex of otoscope the examiner can see incus, chordiatympani, Eustachian opening and small part of cochlea. Some of the pathological conditions that can be spoted are perforations, tympanosclerosis, ear effusions, retractions of the ear drum and blood in the middle ear.

Functioning of ear can be diagnosed by hearing tests performed in audiology clinics. Tuning fork tests such as Weber test and Rinne test are performed in both the ears. Free field voice test is done to test the whisper level of the patient.

Diagnosis of nose disorders:

Full nose examination is done after taking the breif history of the patient concerning allergies, smoking, occupation, trauma and seasonal variations. External appearance of the nose is taken in account for obvious symptoms of nose disorders.

All the symptoms of the ear disorders are checked in such as airway obstruction, runny nose, sneezing, loss of smell, sinusitis and snoring. Otolaryngologists use head mirror or illuminated spectacles provided with thudicum speculum to open up the nose and examine the nasal cavity. Abnormalities such as rhinitis, septum disorders, polyps and foreign body can be seen by the equipment. Palate is examined for any nasal polyps or tumours arising from the palate.

Diagnosis of throat disorders:

Diagnosis of throat starts with examination of oral cavity. General history of the patient regarding the use of tobacco, alcohol use and dental history is taken. Systematic examination of the mouth is done by using a bright torch. All the parts of the mouth such as tongue, hard palate, soft palate, tonsillar fossa, gingivobuccal sulci, gingivolabial sulci, floor of the mouth and undersurface of the tongue are observed thoroughly. Submandibular duct stones or masses are examined by asking the patient to stick out the tongue. Nasopharynx and larnyx are seen with a mirror or flexible fibre-optic nasendoscope.

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