ADVANCED ENT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Happens During A Typical Appointment With An ENT Specialist?
Why Do I Need A Hearing Test?
I Was Told I Have An Ear Infection And Was Prescribed Antibiotics, Yet My Hearing is Still Muffled and My Ears are Ringing. Why Is This Happening?
What Are The Hours Of Operation?
Do All Of The Physicians At Advanced ENT Treat Children?
What Does Each Doctor Specialize In?
Why Isn’t There A Direct Phone Number To The Office Where My Appointment Is Scheduled? Why Can’t I Be Transferred To The Office?
What Are The Rules For Language Assistance?
How Do Deductibles, Coinsurance And Copays Work?
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A TYPICAL APPOINTMENT WITH AN ENT SPECIALIST?
A visit to an ENT specialist or otolaryngologist is different from an average visit to your family physician, as the specialist may use instrumentation to allow better visualization of difficult areas.
Outlined below is what to expect from a general ENT visit, however, depending on the presenting symptoms of the patient, the consultation may vary, tailoring the history and the examination to the patient’s complaint and presenting symptoms.
Typically a history is taken eliciting the symptoms of the patient’s complaints. It is also important that the past medical history and medication (always bring a current list with you) being used should be documented, as this may have relevance if one requires surgery at a later date. The history will become focused on the presenting complaint and its effect on the individual.
A thorough examination is usually undertaken, but some aspects of the examination outlined below may not be performed if not relevant to the complaint.
An otoscope is an instrument used to examine the ears and illuminate the eardrum, so that the surgeon can identify normal landmarks and abnormalities. This instrument is made with an illuminating handheld light source with a small amount of magnification attached to it. It is not normally a painful experience and can usually be undertaken in all age groups.
In addition, the use of tuning forks as a gauge of hearing may sometimes be used as part of the consultation. However, sometimes it is required to undertake formal hearing tests to ascertain a more exact level of hearing. Occasionally, the eardrum and canal need to be viewed under magnification and a microscope can be used to provide this. The microscope allows the physician a more precise view of the ear structures and the use of suction if necessary, to remove wax or debris from an ear canal.
To look at the front of the nose, a simple tool called a nasal speculum together with illumination from a headlight is used to visualize the anatomy and possible abnormalities. In many cases, a flexible instrument called a fiberoptic scope as described below might be used to inspect the nose and throat more thoroughly.
An external examination of the neck is not uncommon to feel for any glands or pathology. This is undertaken manually feeling the different areas of the neck in a methodical fashion. The oral cavity is thoroughly examined often with a tongue depressor and good illumination to visualize the tongue and tonsillar area. It is not uncommon to visualize the back of the nose and the vocal cords with a flexible nasolaryngoscope.
This is a fine fiberoptic cable with a small lens on one end and an eyepiece on the other that is inserted into the nose. The nasal passageway will be sprayed with an anesthetic prior to insertion of the scope. During Insertion of the scope, it might feel a bit strange, however, it is essential to allow the surgeon a superb view of areas that are very difficult to examine otherwise. The whole procedure usually takes a few minutes, and it is often required as part of a thorough ENT examination.
The summary above is provided as a guide to the full ENT examination, which may be completely undertaken or tailored to an individual’s need.
The ENT specialist may perform a procedure called a laryngoscopy or nasal endoscopy with a thin flexible instrument that has a lighted magnifying tip which is passed through the nose. This additional procedure is essential to discover the cause of voice and breathing problems, ear or throat pain, difficulty swallowing, narrowing, blockages or even tumors or cancer.
WHY DO I NEED A HEARING TEST?
A hearing test, or audiogram, is an important part of your visit. The testing not only checks your hearing, but also gives the ear, nose and throat specialist a more thorough assessment of your inner ear and whether there might be a physical cause for your hearing difficulty. A hearing test helps answer three important questions:
- Do you have hearing loss?
- What is causing your hearing loss?
- What is the best way to improve your hearing?
Most individuals have not had a hearing test since they were in elementary school! Along with the physical examination of your ears that will be performed during your visit, the hearing test allows the physician important data to create a more thorough plan of care for you.
I WAS TOLD I HAVE AN EAR INFECTION AND WAS PRESCRIBED ANTIBIOTICS, YET MY HEARING IS STILL MUFFLED AND MY EARS ARE RINGING. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
This can be a common occurrence after an ear infection due to residual fluid or “effusion” in your middle ear. These symptoms may continue for several weeks to months following the infection. If you feel that your symptoms are worsening after approximately 3 weeks, you need to see your ENT physician again for a follow-up appointment to be re-evaluated. If your hearing loss persists, and you have not yet had a hearing test, please schedule audiometric testing with your follow up appointment.
WHAT ARE THE HOURS OF OPERATION?
Generally, the offices are open from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM during the weekdays. Although there are no appointments on the weekend, one of our physicians is on call every day for emergencies. On the weekends or when the office is closed, an answering service for the practice will take your call.
Exact operating hours of each location can be seen by clicking the locations tab at the top of this page and then selecting the specific office at which you wish to be scheduled.
DO ALL OF THE PHYSICIANS AT ADVANCED ENT TREAT CHILDREN?
Yes, all of the otolaryngologists at Advanced ENT are trained in medicine and surgery of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck for adult and pediatric patients. All physicians are certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.
WHAT DOES EACH DOCTOR SPECIALIZE IN?
Each of the physicians of Advanced ENT is Board Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and is proficient and provides care for all aspects of otolaryngology for all age groups. Some have pursed additional fellowship training:
Dr. Anthony Cultrara – Laryngology Fellowship
Dr. Patrick Hall – Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship
Dr. P. Todd Rowan – Otology / Neurotology Fellowship and Board Certified in Sleep Medicine
Dr. Ryan Walker – Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship
All otolaryngologists are ready to start practicing after completing up to 15 years of college and post-graduate training. To qualify for certification by the American Board of Otolaryngology, an applicant must first complete college (four years), medical school (four years), and at least five years of specialty training. Next, the physician must pass the American Board of Otolaryngology examination. In addition, some otolaryngologists pursue a one or two year fellowship for more extensive training in one of eight subspecialty areas. These subspecialty areas are Allergy, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Head and Neck, Laryngology (Throat), Otology / Neurotology (Ears, Balance, and Tinnitus), Pediatric Otolaryngology (Children), Rhinology (Nose) and Sleep Disorders.
Allergy: treatment by medication, immunotherapy (allergy shots) and/or avoidance of pollen, dust, mold, food, and other sensitivities that affect the ear, nose, and throat. Treating: hay fever, seasonal and perennial rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, laryngitis, sore throat, otitis media, dizziness.
Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: cosmetic, functional, and reconstructive surgical treatment of abnormalities of the face and neck and ear. Treating: deviated septum, rhinoplasty (nose), face lift, cleft palate, drooping eyelids, hair loss and other ear deformities.
Head and Neck: cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the head and neck (nose/sinuses, mouth, throat, voice box and upper esophagus), including the thyroid and parathyroid. Treating: lump in the neck or thyroid, cancer of the voice box.
Laryngology: disorders of the throat, including voice and swallowing problems. Treating: sore throat, hoarseness, swallowing disorder, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), infections and tumors.
Otology / Neurotology: diseases of the ear, including trauma (injury), infection, benign tumors, and nerve pathway disorders, which affect hearing and balance. Treating: ear infection; swimmer’s ear; hearing loss; ear, face, or neck pain; dizziness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Pediatric Otolaryngology: diseases in children with special ENT problems including birth defects of the head and neck and developmental delays. Treating: ear infection (otitis media), tonsil and adenoid infection, airway problems, asthma and allergy/sinus disease, neck tumors.
Rhinology: disorders of the nose and sinuses. Treating: sinus disorder, nose bleed, stuffy nose, loss of smell, polyps, tumors.
WHY ISN’T THERE A DIRECT PHONE NUMBER TO THE OFFICE WHERE MY APPOINTMENT IS SCHEDULED? WHY CAN’T I BE TRANSFERRED TO THE OFFICE?
Advanced ENT has a centralized intake center at (856) 602-4000 where expert staff, called patient service representatives, collect all necessary information and assist patients with any concerns that will make their visit with the physician go as smoothly as possible. Since insurance plans change frequently, the patient services representatives will obtain current information and answer general questions. (It is the patient’s responsibility to be knowledgeable about his/her specific healthcare plan and its benefits, co-pays, deductibles). The patient services representatives are in constant communication with staff at all locations, and they will relay information if necessary.
Physicians and staff at the direct office locations are focused on providing the highest degree of quality care for scheduled patients. Calling the office directly or transferring a call disrupts patient flow and promotes confusion and loss of focus. The physicians and staff desire the best experience for you at your scheduled visit. We appreciate your understanding of our processes and workflow. Our goal is to serve you efficiently, effectively and with utmost respect.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE?
Section 1557 is the civil rights provision of the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities. For more on language assistance click here.
HOW DO DEDUCTIBLES, COINSURANCE AND COPAYS WORK?
When both you and your health insurance company pay part of your medical expense, it’s called cost sharing. Deductibles, coinsurance and copays are all examples. Understanding how they work will help you know when and how much you have to pay for care.
Click here to download a PDF on how deductibles, coinsurance and copays work.