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Included here is relevant patient health information that is sure to answer many of your questions about otolaryngology (the branch of medicine and surgery that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and head & neck disorders). Equally helpful is our page of useful links that will connect you to other resourceful sites.


About Otolaryngology

ENT Code Of Ethics
The Statement of Principles and Code of Ethics articulate principles of conduct that are deemed appropriate and acceptable by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, Inc. The statements and principles contained herein are not laws, but rather guidelines for honorable behavior.

History of the AAO-HNS/F
The American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery/Foundation traces its roots back to 1896.

Find an ENT
The Internet is a powerful tool and an excellent source for all types of information. Many Internet sites contain information about medical conditions and health care.

What is an Otolaryngologist?
Otolaryngology is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), and related structures of the head and neck.


Allergies and Hay Fever
Hay fever describes the symptoms of runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, uncontrollable sneezing and sometimes itching of the skin.

Antihistamines, Decongestants, and "Cold" Remedies
Drugs for stuffy nose, sinus trouble, congestion, and the common cold constitute the largest segment of the over-the-counter market for America's pharmaceutical industry. When used wisely, they provide welcome relief for at least some of the discomforts that affect almost everyone occasionally and that affect many people chronically.


Dizziness and Motion Sickness
Each year more than two million people visit a doctor for dizziness, and an untold number suffer with motion sickness, which is the most common medical problem associated with travel.

Meniere's Disease
Meniere?s disease, also called idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops, is a disorder of the inner ear. Although the cause is unknown, it probably results from an abnormality in the fluids of the inner ear.

Why Do We Fall?
Every year more than two million Americans fall and sustain serious injury, costing in excess of $3 billion dollars. Hidden costs include pain, disability, lawsuits, deterioration in general well-being, and the impact on other family members.



A cholesteatoma is a skin growth that occurs in an abnormal location, the middle ear behind the eardrum. It is usually due to repeated infection, which causes an ingrowth of the skin of the eardrum.

Cochlear Implants
A cochlear implant is an electronic device that restores partial hearing to the deaf. It is surgically implanted in the inner ear and activated by a device worn outside the ear.

Ear Infections and Earache
Otitis media means inflammation of the middle ear. The inflammation occurs as a result of a middle ear infection, and can occur in one or both ears. Otitis media is the most frequent diagnosis recorded for children who visit physicians for illness.

Ears and Altitude
Ear problems are the most common medical complaint of airplane travelers, and while they are usually simple, minor annoyances, they occasionally result in temporary pain and hearing loss.

Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear! Cotton swabs are for cleaning bellybuttons-not ears. You have probably heard these admonitions from relatives and doctors since childhood?  Find out what they meant.

How the Ear Works
The ear has three main parts: the outer, middle and inner ear.

Perforated Eardrum
A perforated eardrum is a hole or rupture in the eardrum, a thin membrane that separates the ear canal and the middle ear. The medical term for eardrum is tympanic membrane.

Plastic Surgery of the Ear
Protruding and drooping ears or torn earlobes can be surgically corrected. These procedures do not alter the patient's hearing, but they may improve appearance and self-confidence.

Swimmer's Ear
If you already have an ear infection, or if you have ever had a perforated or otherwise injured eardrum, or ear surgery, you should consult an ear, nose, and throat specialist before you go swimming and before you use any type of ear drops. If you do not know if you have or ever had a perforated, punctured, ruptured, or otherwise injured eardrum, ask your ear doctor.

Head and Neck Surgery

Fine Needle Aspiration
Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is a technique that allows a biopsy of various bumps and lumps. It allows for microscopic analysis and accurate diagnosis of a number of problems.

Head and Neck Cancer
More than 55,000 Americans will develop cancer of the head and neck (most of which is preventable) this year; nearly 13,000 of them will die from it. Tobacco is the most preventable cause of these deaths.

Secondhand Smoke and Children
Secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke from a burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled by the smoker. Over 4,000 chemicals have been identified in it, and at least 43 of these cause cancer.

Chew Tobacco - It's No Game
Spit tobacco contains chemicals, including nuclear waste, embalming fluid, nicotine, and lead. It?s not a safe alternative to smoking; health problems simply move from your lungs to your mouth.

Hearing Health Information

Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease
Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) is an inflammatory condition of the inner ear. It occurs when the body's immune system attacks cells in the inner ear that are mistaken for a virus or bacteria.

Buying a Hearing Aid
An otolaryngologist, audiologist, or an independent dispenser can dispense aids. Hearing aids should be custom fitted to your ear and hearing needs.

Hearing Health Center
Nearly 30 million Americans have impaired hearing. The most common cause of hearing loss in children is otitis media. For the elderly, the largest group affected, excessive noise, drugs, toxins, and heredity are the most frequent contributing factors.

Infant Hearing Loss
More than three million American children have a hearing loss. An estimated 1.3 million of these children are under three years of age.

Noise & Hearing Protection
One in 10 Americans has a hearing loss that affects his or her ability to understand normal speech. Excessive noise exposure is the most common cause of hearing loss.

Tinnitus is the name for ringing in the ears, and these head noises are very common. Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from this discomfort.

Your Child & Hearing Loss
So Your Child has a Hearing Loss: Next Steps for Parents is a booklet published by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBell). The AAO-HNS is posting this online version of the booklet as a service to our members' patients.

Snoring and Sleep Disorders

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) delivers air into your airway through a specially designed nasal mask or pillows; it's considered the most effective nonsurgical treatment for the alleviation of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Diet and Exercise Tips
Excessive body weight contributes to snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, in addition to being a major influence on general health and well-being. This page contains helpful diet and exercise tips.

Sleep Disorders
Forty five percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25% are habitual snorers. Snoring is also and indication of obstructed breathing. Therefore, it should not be taken lightly

Snoring: Not Funny, Not Hopeless
The noisy sounds of snoring occur when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. Snoring occurs when these structures strike each other and vibrate during breathing.

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