Your throat consists of the larynx, pharynx, multiple pharyngeal muscles, the windpipe (trachea), oesophagus, and various blood vessels. It is located in the anterior of your neck, and is important for the transportation of air to your windpipe and food to your esophagus. There is a flap in your throat, technically called the epiglottis, that forms a moveable partition between the esophagus and the trachea, which prevents the inhalation of matter such as food and drink.
There are numerous conditions that can compromise the function of your throat. A throat specialist has the training and experience required to properly diagnose and treat conditions related to the throat. Also known as ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctors, or otolaryngologists, these specialists essentially diagnose and treat any conditions that stem from your neck up. If your regular doctor is unable to come up with an effective treatment plan or proper diagnosis, they may refer you to an ENT specialist.
Seeing a Throat Specialist for Unresolved Medical Conditions
If you are experiencing severe throat pain, difficulty swallowing, or the back of your throat is red and swollen (or has white patches), be sure to report these symptoms to your doctor or a throat specialist so that diagnostic tests can be performed. If these symptoms occur along with the following symptoms, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible:
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and/or jaw area
- Loss of voice or unexplained changes in your voice
- Weakness or fatigue
- Swollen lymph nodes in the armpits or neck
- Loss of appetite
- Night sweats
- Ear pain
- Unexplained weight loss
While these symptoms do not always indicate a serious medical condition, they can be signs of serious disorders such as throat cancer. It is always best to be safe. If you have concerns about unresolved throat symptoms contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see an ear nose throat specialist.