The Drs: What is the Difference Between ENT & Allergist?


The Doctors TV Show was focused on the topic of Soothe That Burn today.  One of the questions that they spoke about, which I am sure that many of us have always wondered about, was what is the difference between an ENT and an Allergist?  An ENT is an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.  The Drs TV Show brought on Dr Warner Carr to speak on behalf of Allergists, and Dr Andrew Ordon is also an ENT – something that I never knew!

The Doctors TV Show: Allergist vs ENT

Dr Drew said that an ENT deals with conditions effecting the head, neck, ear, nose, and throat.  This includes things like The Drs: Allergist vs ENThearing, balance, sinuses, nasal passages, speaking, and swallowing – basically any condition that deals with the Ear, Nose and Throat.  Also, ENT’s are generally thought of as surgical specialists, because their training begins with general surgery and then they do basic medical training in head and neck medicine.  Many allergic symptoms overlap both areas of medicine, though.


Dr Warner Carr, an Allergist and Immunologist, said that when patients have a chronic sinus problem, it is sometimes confusing as to whether they should see an ENT or an Allergist.  An Allergist does not focus on one particular organ system, but rather they focus on your whole body which can be affected by allergies.  For example, you can have allergic reactions that manifest themselves on your skin, lungs, or eyes.  Dr Travis Stork said that if you are ever in doubt, you should see your primary care doctor because they can help you select the right specialist.

The Drs: Seasonal Sinus Problems

The Doctors received a question from someone who said they are sneezing, have itchy, burning, watery eyes, and the most “disgusting” drainage problems.  Should this person see an ENT or an Allergist?  The key word here was that the person has seasonal trigger points, so they should see an Allergist.  If something happens every spring, summer or winter, then the patient is likely to be suffering from allergies.

The Drs: Nasal Burning Sensation

The Doctors received another question from someone who said that they get bad pressure headaches that make them dizzy and a burning itchy sensation in their nose, along with throat irritation.  They said that the burning in the nose makes it seem like there is a chronic ongoing problem that may be structural, like having your Sinuses Chronically Inflamed or maybe a Deviated Septum.  This patient could potentially benefit from seeing both an ENT and an Allergist.  If you have allergies and you do not treat them, they can lead to a surgical problem like Polyps or Chronic Sinusitis.  Also, if you see an ENT and the doctor thinks you should have gone to an Allergist, they can always refer you to the right doctor.



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