How does an ENT examine a throat?

June 8, 2020 by westsidehn0

An ENT doctor Los Angeles residents see because of throat issues will need to examine the throat in some way to make an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations. Whether you are coming to a throat infection specialist Los Angeles sore throat sufferers like you often visit because of chronic sore throats or infections, chronic throat pain, laryngitis, or some other concern, there are certain examination methods often used.

If there is a need for a more detailed throat examination beyond an initial visual exam of the throat, an instrument called a laryngoscope is often used. It’s what’s used as part of a technique called a laryngoscopy. An ENT doctor in Los Angeles may perform this type of throat exam to learn more about sources of throat discomfort that may include:

  • A mass/growth in the throat area
  • Persistent coughing
  • Chronic throat pain with no clear source
  • Recurring or chronic hoarseness

A laryngoscopy may also be done if there is difficulty swallowing. Another reason for using this examination method is to find out if a persistent earache may be related to something in the throat.

Prior to using the laryngoscope, an ENT specialist may recommend other tests, such as a CT scan, chest X-ray, barium swallow test, or general physical exam to rule out or confirm other possible sources of throat pain. As for how a laryngoscopy is done, it can be done directly or indirectly.

Direct Laryngoscopy
A direct laryngoscopy is usually done in a doctor’s office or hospital with sedation, meaning nothing will be felt during the examination. A flexible telescope is inserted into the mouth and nose to access and view the throat. The scope can be used to view the “voice box” or larynx and other throat structures. Samples can also be collected with the scope. If necessary, growths or objects lodged in the throat may be removed via the scope as well.

Indirect Laryngoscopy
The indirect method is done with the numbing medication or local anesthetic while sitting in a chair. This type of laryngoscopy involves the use of a mirror to view the throat. If you have this type of throat examination, you may also be asked to make certain sounds to stimulate the larynx, or to simply say “ahh.”

Throat Examinations in Children
A pediatric ENT doctor Los Angeles parents go to see because a child has throat issues may take additional steps. With a throat examination in children, a younger child is often kept on the adult’s lap. While facing forward, a hand is placed on the child’s head to keep it by the chest of the adult holding the child. If there is a need to insert a laryngoscope, this part of the examination is usually saved for last after an initial visual examination is done.

A chronic sore throat specialist Los Angeles patients visit will use results from a thorough examination to put together a personalized treatment plan. In some instances, this may involve medication. Other times, outpatient throat surgery may be recommended. Contact us today to learn more.

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