When you have a sinus infection, you go to an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist. These doctors, also known as otolaryngologists, are medical doctors who usually complete at least five years of residency training in their field after finishing medical school.
Otolaryngology is an extremely competitive specialty, and practitioners are trained in all areas of ear, nose and throat—as well as neck and head—diagnosis and treatment. Becoming an otolaryngologist requires a lot of training—up to fifteen years for some sub-specialties, but it’s an exciting and dynamic field, and we’ve seen a lot of innovation in recent years!
The long history of Otolaryngology
But part of the reason otolaryngology is so exciting is that it has been around for so long. The oldest medical writing that has been discovered to date—the Edwin Smith Papyrus—discusses it. This papyrus was authored in ancient Egypt, around 1600 B.C.E., so otolaryngology is definitely an established field.
Other points of historical interest:
- Aristotle dissected the ear in a number of different animals
- Leonardo daVinci was the first to accurately draw the maxillary and frontal sinuses…click here for a diagram of the sinuses
- Jean-Louis Petit, the inventor of the tourniquet, may have also been the first to successfully complete mastoid surgery on the mastoid for removal of pus
- Jean Marie Gaspard Itard was the first to formally separate otology from other surgeries, and wrote otology’s first textbook. He also designed early hearing aids, and the Eustachian catheter (which allows inflation of the middle ear through the mouth)
Otolaryngology is a wonderful field, and one that has been fostering innovation for thousands of years. Find out how it can help you—give us a call today. Contact us
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