ENT – Ear, Nose and Throat specialist is a doctor with expertise in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting any of the three organs. Ear, nose and throat of the human body are connected through various tubes and passages that make a very complex network. Since these organs are interconnected and often a problem in one affects the other, they are treated by the same medical professional known as an ENT specialist or an otolaryngologist.
An ENT specialist diagnosis and treats diseases, injuries, infections and various other medical issues related to the ear, nose and throat. Some of the common problems treated by an ENT specialist include:
- Infections of the ear nose and throat
- Hearing loss
- Trouble with balance
- Deviated Septum
- Hair loss
- Nose bleeds
- Nasal congestion
- Smell problems
- Cleft palate
- Breathing problems
- Swimmer’s ear
- Nerve problems of the ear, nose and throat
- Problems in swallowing or drinking
- Vocal issues
- Strep Throat
- Infections and tumours of the head and neck
- Snoring issue
- Obstructive sleep apnea
An ENT specialist or an otolaryngologist obtains specialised training in the branch of medical science called otolaryngology. Otolaryngology involves diagnosing and treating issues related to the below organs:
- Ears: Including infections, allergies, hearing disorders, and others
- Nose: Including chronic sinusitis, nasal cavity problems, allergies, issues of smell, nasal congestion, etc.
- Throat: Problems concerning the laryngeal and upper esophageal, including vocal problems, swallowing issues, and others
That said, some ENT specialists also obtain specialised expertise in treating specific issues related to the face, head and neck. Some problems that come under the purview of an ENT specialist include infections, trauma, injury, deformities and tumour. That said, for many of these issues, a multi-speciality approach may be needed.
Common procedures performed by an ENT specialist
Some of the common procedures performed by an ENT specialist to cure issues concerning the ear, nose and throat include:
Blepharoplasty: An ENT specialist conducts this surgical procedure to repair dropping eyelids. In this procedure, the ENT doctor removes the excess skin, muscle or tissue surrounding the eyelid. It helps to improve vision and aesthetic appeal.
Endoscope Sinus Surgery: An ENT doctor also treats infectious and inflammatory sinus problems by using a flexible instrument known as an endoscope. The endoscope is inserted inside the nose to see the sinus. The doctor then uses various surgical instruments, such as laser, to remove the blockage from the nose.
Biopsy: An ENT specialist also performs a biopsy where he/she collects a piece of tissue from the concerned organ to check for the presence of cancer, tumour or any other abnormal growth.
Plastic Surgery: An ENT specialist also performs plastic surgery to improve the aesthetic appearance of any of the three organs such as ears, nose and throat. The surgery can be done for reconstructive or cosmetic purposes. But most ENT specialists require specialised training for this. These surgeries are performed in cases of cleft palates, congenital deformities, accident scars, etc.
Myringotomy and pressure equalization (PE): ENT doctors use this method to treat patients that experience an ear infection very frequently or cannot hear due to build-up of excessive fluid in the ear canal. The ENT doctor passes a tube through the eardrum to release the pressure, enabling the patient to hear properly.
Septoplasty: This is a surgery performed by an ENT specialist to correct a deviated septum or to provide more access to the nose to remove polyps. In a septoplasty, the ENT doctor separates the nasal passage from the nearby cartilage and the corrects the diverged septum.
Surgery for sleep-related issues: Sleep-related problems such as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, and others are also treated by an ENT doctor. These are treated first with medications and then with surgery. For snoring, the ENT specialist removes the excess soft palate tissue, permitting smooth functioning of the airway. In other cases, the ENT specialist can also inject the palate or place rods to make the tissue stiffer and reduce the vibration.
Thyroid Surgery: An ENT specialist is also trained to cure thyroid issues by removing a part of the entire thyroid gland, as needed. This method is usually used to treat thyroid cancer, abnormal lumps, obstruction of the esophagus, etc.
Tonsillectomy: In this surgery, the ENT specialist removes the tonsils or the troubling adenoids to cure the resulting infection and breathing problems.
Tracheostomy: This procedure is performed by an ENT specialist by inserting a tube through the neck to access the windpipe to open an airway or remove the lung secretions.
How to find the best ENT specialist in Kolkata?
For someone who is experiencing any ENT related problems, it is best to consult an ENT specialist at the earliest. The following steps can help to find the best ENT specialist:
- Understand symptoms
- Make an exhaustive list of ENT specialists in Kolkata through Google search. Dedicated platforms such as Practo, Justdial, etc.
- Narrow the list based on several parameters to select the best one per needs. These criteria include private practice vs. hospital, years of experience, patients treated, referrals, speciality treatments, etc.
- Assess the experience and knowledge of the ENT specialist based on factors such as years of experience, expertise, speciality treatments, number of patients, successful referrals, education, licences, certifications, etc.
- Know the hospital and check the credentials of the facility
- Call the ENT specialist and get an appointment
These steps can help find a good ENT specialist in Kolkata. That said, trusted options such as highly qualified ENT specialists in CMRI (Calcutta Medical Research Institute) can provide expert care for all issues related to the ear, nose and throat. CMRI has experienced and accomplished ENT doctors and offers best-in-class facilities with unparalleled patient experience.
A Urologist is a doctor who has specialised knowledge and expertise in diagnosing and treating problems related to the urinary tract. The urinary tract typically comprises of:
- Kidneys: Bean-like organs that filter waste from the blood through urine
- Ureter: These tubes transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder
- Bladder: A sac-like structure which stores the urine produced by the kidneys
- Urethra: A tube via which urine flows from the bladder to outside of the body
- Adrenal glands: These glands release hormones and are located on top of both the kidneys
It is mainly responsible for creating, storing and releasing urine from the body. A urologist can treat problems of both the female and male urinary tract, including the male reproductive parts such as testes, prostate, scrotum, penis, etc. Urologic diseases and problems can affect people of all ages and gender. If not treated well, these can also cause significant health problems.
Common diseases treated by a Urologist
A urologist is experienced in diagnosing and treating any problem related to the urinary tract. However, some of the most common problems treated by a urologist include:
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
- Urinary Incontinence
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Kidney and Ureteral Stones
- Prostate Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Bladder Prolapse
- Blood in Urine
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Painful Bladder
- Overactive Bladder
- Swollen Prostate Gland
Symptoms of urological problems
Although symptoms of urological problems vary according to the actual issue, some common symptoms of urological problems include:
- Problem in urinating
- Pain or a burning sensation while urinating
- Changes in the urine pattern
- Inability to urinate
- Weak urinary stream
- Blood or foul discharge from urine
- Mass in testicles
- Pain in the lower back or abdomen
- Pain in genitals
- Erectile dysfunction
- Male impotence
Moreover, if a person experiences any of the below symptoms, medical attention from a urologist is very important.
- Enlarged prostate
- Bladder cancer
- Stones in the kidneys
- Kidney cancer
- Problem or disease in the male reproductive organ
- Prostate cancer
- Interstitial cystitis
Common tests used by Urologists
To diagnose urological problems in people, a urologist can suggest any of the following diagnostic tests. Moreover, these tests can also be used by a urologist to see the effectiveness of a treatment plan or medications.
- Abdominal/renal ultrasound
- Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) symptom score
- CT Scan
- Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) or Urogram (IVU)
- Prostate biopsy
How to find a urologist in Kolkata?
Since a urologist treats conditions which are very sensitive to the human body, it is important to select the right urologist and get only expert care. For a person who is experiencing any problems, troubling symptoms or diseases related to the urinary tract, consulting a urologist at the earliest is recommended. To find the best urologist in Kolkata, the following steps can prove useful:
Determine needs and understand symptoms: It is important to understand the symptoms of the problem and know what are the related issues. Since the objective is to find the best urologist, it is better to be sure of what the problem is.
Make a list of urologists in the area: The next step is to create an exhaustive list of all urologists in the nearby area. In this step, referrals fromfriends and family can help. Moreover,Google or dedicated portals such as Practo, Justdial, etc. can provide suggestions.
Narrow the list: The next step is tonarrow the list of urologists according to preferences. Some factors that can help narrow the list include:
- Private practice vs. hospital
- Hospital location and proximity to home
- Speciality treatments
While narrowing the list, the proximity of the hospital must is considered since a urological treatment might require frequent visits to the urologist. Moreover, in specific cases, travelling and stress would be restricted.
Evaluate the experience and knowledge of the Urologist: After the shortlisting has been done,the next step is to evaluate the experience and knowledge of the urologist. It is important to consider years of practice, successful cases, expertise, referred cases, and educational background. It is also advisable to check the CV of the urologist, if available.
Know the hospital and check credentials: To select the best urologist, it is important to evaluate the hospital they work in. The hospital should be certified by appropriate medical authorities and should have the required licences. Further, the hospital should be ideally be trusted name, such as CMRI, with a dignified history. Read the reviews about the hospital and also visit the official website to know their advanced healthcare facilities, medical technologies and processes, the panel of doctors, supportive teams, awards, patient cases, and more.
Check online reviews: After the exhaustive check,it is good to check the online reviews of the selected urologist.Conduct a Google search and check several reviews before finalising.
Call the doctor and book an appointment: Once the final urologist is selected, it is best to pre-book an appointment.
These tips will come in handy while finding the right urologist in Kolkata. Trusted hospitals such as CMRI (Calcutta Medical Research Institute), can provide best-in-class urological care through a team of highly skilled and qualified urologists. Consider CMRI for the fine experience, superior patient care and unparalleled urological expertise.
An HbA1c test is also known by other names such as:
- Hemoglobin A1c
- Glycated hemoglobin
- Glycosylated hemoglobin
HbA1c tests are typically used to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes in adults. Prediabetes means your blood levels are higher than normal. Thus, increasing your chance of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
What is an HbA1c test?
The red blood cells inside your body contain hemoglobin – a molecule that provides oxygen to the body’s tissues. A small portion of sugar (glucose) is attached to hemoglobin called hemoglobin A1c.
The amount of hemoglobin A1c in your blood correlates with the amount of glucose in your blood. The higher the amount of glucose in your blood, the higher is the level of hemoglobin A1c detected, and the higher the risk of diabetes. But for normal glucose levels, your A1c levels will also be normal.
An HbA1c test is used to measure the hemoglobin A1c level or the amount of glucose attached to the hemoglobin over the past three months. However, the test can only check sugar levels for the past three months because the average lifespan of red blood cells is three months.
Why it is done
You may need an HbA1c test if you show symptoms such as:
- Increased thirst
- Blurred vision
- Increased urination
Based on the results of your HbA1c test, doctors can diagnose:
- Prediabetes: If you have prediabetes, you are more likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
- Type I and II diabetes: Your doctor will examine either two A1c tests or one A1c test with another diabetes blood test, usually performed on two separate days – to confirm the diabetes diagnosis.
Besides, HbA1c tests are also used to monitor your diabetes treatment plan and to see how effective the plan is in lowering your blood sugar levels. Based on the type of diabetes and how you manage your blood sugar levels, you may need the test more often.
However, if your doctor alters your medication or changes your treatment plan, you may need HbA1c tests more frequently.
How the test works
HbA1c is a normal blood test so you need not fast before the procedure. You can eat and drink to your heart’s content. Also, there are no risks involved since HbA1c is a simple blood test.
On the day of the test, your healthcare provider will take your blood sample. They will use a needle to draw blood from a vein in your arm, in a small tube or vial and send it to the lab for analysis. The whole procedure usually takes less than 5 minutes.
Nowadays, some doctors also use a finger prick method to check your sugar levels. The results are analyzed in the doctor’s office, on the same day
What do the results mean?
The results of an HbA1c test are presented in percentages.
- Normal: A1c level between 4% and 5.9%
- Diabetes: A1c level of 6.5% or above
- Prediabetes: A1c level between 5.7% and 6.4%
However, the effectiveness of an HbA1c test is limited. HbA1c test is cannot be used for diagnosing diabetes in children or for diagnosing gestational diabetes – a type of diabetes that only affects pregnant women.
In fact, hemoglobin A1c levels can be altered by factors:
- Oral or IV glucose intake
- Use of insulin
- High cholesterol levels
- Supplements (like vitamin C and E)
Altered A1c levels will lead to false results. You may receive false results if you have severe anemia or other blood disorder, liver disease, or kidney failure. Or if your red blood cell survival is decreased. In such cases, doctors usually refer you for other tests based on your overall health, weight, age, and other factors.
As per the American Diabetic Association, Hemoglobin A1c levels should be checked every six months for those with stable sugar control and every three months for those trying to establish stable sugar control.
For a high A1c number
A higher percentage result of an HbA1c test, usually above 8%, indicates that you have uncontrolled diabetes. In such a case, you are at a higher risk of developing diabetic complications and conditions such as:
- Nerve damage
- Eye damage
- Kidney disease
- Heart attack
- Lack of sensation in the feet
- Slower wound healing
However, hemoglobin A1c levels can be controlled easily. For people with type 2 diabetes, a combination of medication, exercise, and appropriate diet can significantly lower your blood sugar levels. Losing weight or starting an exercise routine can also help you bring down the blood sugar levels. But for type 1 diabetes, you will need insulins as soon as it is diagnosed.
As for those diagnosed with prediabetes, a higher percentage of A1c levels means you need to start taking medicines. This is because prediabetes typically progresses to diabetes at a rate of 5-10% every year. Consult your doctor to receive an effective treatment plan.
Nonetheless, you can significantly reduce your A1c levels with small lifestyle changes. Also, make sure to monitor your glucose levels closely to eliminate the risks of complications.
Lymphadenopathy or adenopathy is a medical condition in which the lymph nodes are swollen. The lymph nodes are not responsible for producing and releasing chemicals like eye or sweat glands. These nodes work together to carry lymph all over the body. The lymph transport white blood cells around the body to help the immune system fight germs and other invaders. These nodes also clear fluids from the body that helps to avoid infection and other diseases.
Symptoms of Lymphadenopathy
A human body has hundreds of lymph nodes but not all can be felt. In some cases, the lymph nodes of the neck or the armpit swell because of infection and hence, become visible. Moreover, the lymph nodes behind the head, belly or the groin can also be felt. These enlarged lymph nodes can produce symptoms such as:
- Pain upon being touched
- Redness and hot skin over and around the lymph node
- Visible lumps
Swollen lymph nodes can also occur along with symptoms of infections. Some of these include:
- Gooey nose
- Sore throat
- Ear pain
In most cases, the lymph nodes become their size after the infection is gone. However, some other symptoms, such as below, can indicate a more serious condition:
- Quickly increasing nodes
- Easy bleeding and bruising
- Night sweating
- Consistent fever
- Weight loss
- Swollen nodes that last for more than two weeks
Causes of Lymphadenopathy
Swollen lymph nodes can be due to a variety of reasons:
Infections: These are the most common cause of lymphadenopathy. The human body fills the nodes with white blood cells to fight the infection quickly. Some common infections that can cause swelling to include common cold, influenza, measles, strep throat, tooth infections, ear infections, tonsillitis, skin infections, etc.
Apart from infections, lymphadenopathy can also be caused because of autoimmune diseases or injuries. Some of these include:
- Medications such as the ones advised to prevent malaria can lead to swelling in the lymph nodes.
- Injuries, including cuts, wounds, etc. can cause swelling in the lymph nodes surrounding the affected area. This happens because the body reacts quickly to keep the germs of the injured area.
- Lupus, an autoimmune disease, can lead to swelling in the joints, skin and the lymph nodes.
- Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to inflammation in the joints.
- Inflammatory issues such as IgG4-related diseases can damage and lead to scarring in the body.
Risk of cancer
In some cases, the swelling in the lymph nodes can also be due to cancer. However, lymphadenopathy is much likely to occur because of an underlying infection. In rare cases, swelling in the lymph nodes can be treated as a symptom of:
- Lymphoma: This particular type of cancer begins in the lymph node or the lymph system
- Leukaemia: This type of cancer affects the blood and the bone marrow of a person, which in turn affect the lymph nodes.
In most cases, cancer begins in another part of the body and spreads to the lymph nodes eventually. In case a person has the following symptoms in addition to the swollen lymph nodes, immediate medical attention must be sought:
- Night sweating
- Consistent fever
- Fatigue for over multiple weeks
- Easy bleeding and bruising
Diagnosis of Lymphadenopathy
Generally, swollen nodes are not a medical issue or a matter of concern. However, they indicate that there is an underlying condition, which is causing the swelling. Firstly, the doctor will assess how many areas of the body have been affected by the issue. If the problem has affected only one area, it is called localized and if it has spread further to two or more areas, it is referred to as generalized.
In case, the nodes of the entire body are swollen, the doctor will examine further causes that could potentially cause the problem. To assess the possible causes of the swollen lymph nodes, the doctor will ask questions relating to the period of the disease, ongoing medications, and other symptoms related to the issue, etc.
After this, the doctor will also conduct a physical exam to feel the lymph nodes to assess their size, pain, warmth, etc. The location, size, and the texture of the lymph nodes help the doctor to get an idea of the underlying disease.
To confirm the initial diagnosis, the doctor will order certain blood tests and can also do some imaging testing, including X-Rays and CT scans. This can help to detect the cause of infection or check for tumours.
In some cases, the doctor may also collect a sample tissue of the lymph nodes with the help of a needle or by taking out the entire thing. The sample collected will be examined for further issues.
Treatment of Lymphadenopathy
The method to treat lymphadenopathy is to treat the underlying cause and not the swollen lymph nodes directly. The following can help to relieve pain:
- Applying a warm compress to reduce the swelling
- Applying an ice pack on the sensitive skin or the sore areas of the body to relieve pain and reduce inflammation
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers
- Taking rest to allow the body to recover from the underlying issue
In the case of bacterial infections, the doctor will prescribe medications to cure the infection and then reduce swelling of the lymph nodes. Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics.
On the other hand, severe underlying diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, etc. will need special treatment plans.
Overall, lymphadenopathy is not a serious problem if treated in time and when the underlying cause is not severe. In those rare cases, where the underlying cause is a serious health issue, the treatment can be exhaustive.