Med­ical spe­cial­ty: Ear, nose and throat medi­cine (oto­lar­yn­gol­ogy)

Ear, nose and throat medicine – ENT (otolaryngology) is a discipline of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, therapy and after-treatment of diseases, injuries, malformations and functional disorders of the ear, nose and throat area.

Otolaryngology also treats dysfunctions of the sense organs of these regions. These may include disturbance of equilibrium, hearing impairment, smell and taste disorders, dysphagia, dysphonia and speech disorder. The ear, nose and throat area includes – besides nose and the ears – also the auditory canal, paranasal sinuses, upper respiratory tract, oral cavity, the pharyngeal cavity and larynx. ENT is a surgical field which also involves plastic reconstructive and microsurgical operation procedures in the head and neck area.

In otolaryngology, there are overlaps with other disciplines of medicine. Therefore, interdisciplinary collaboration is important. Activities of a specialist in ENT overlap with other medical fields, such as phoniatrics, pediatric audiology, neurology, pediatrics, orthopedics, oral-maxillofacial surgery, oral surgery, dermatology, internal medicine and pneumology.

In Germany, a specialist in otolaryngology must have completed a five-year training period after medical school.