When you think of seeing an ENT doctor, what ailments do you think they treat? With summertime fast approaching, you may not be aware your ENT can help with certain issues. Here are some common (and not so common) summertime issues you may need an ENT for this season.

Swimmer's Ear

Summer means swimming, and for some, this means contracting a case of swimmer's ear. This ailment takes hold when water gets trapped in the ear and doesn't flow out. Common symptoms of pain and swelling soon follow, and infection can come soon after. An ENT can administer antibiotic ear drops and/or antibiotic steroid ear drops. Be aware that swimmer's ear is often related to swimming in non-treated waters, so if you're concerned, consider avoiding the river or lake and sticking to the pool.

Read more about preventing swimmer's ear this summer.

Grass Pollen Allergies

Summertime also means a spike in grass pollen counts. By the end of May, the pollen count in the trees are low, but grass pollen rises, and even mold counts when it is wet in the summer. Symptoms for allergy sufferers include itchy or watery eyes and congestion. Left untreated, these symptoms can turn into sinus infections. People don't often think about summer allergies, but allergies are a reality from March to November in Richmond. If you're suffering from watery eyes and congestion or sneezing, your ENT can work with the allergy team.

Check out our month-by-month guide to seasonal allergies in Richmond, Virginia.

Less Common Ailments

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Over the summer, people tend to be outdoors more often, which means more exposure to loud noises -- and the potential for noise-induced hearing loss. If you anticipate being exposed to loud noise, wear hearing protection and take preventative steps. If you notice any ringing in your ears or other signs of hearing loss, it's important to get your hearing checked.


Tonsillectomies are also a common summertime procedure performed by ENTs, because school is out and children have a chance to recover. However, it's important to make an appointment early -- trying to book a tonsillectomy in August is likely to result in disappointment and frustration. Interested in learning more about tonsillectomies? See if your child needs both their tonsils and adenoids removed.

Grilling Tool Hazards

Everyone knows summer is a time for outdoor grilling. However, you should know that grill brushes with wire bristles can be a health hazard and are best avoided. Every year, ENT offices receive patients who have a piece of wire brush stuck in their throat. If it isn't a trip to the ENT, it's a trip to the ER. Toss the wire brushes and use something safer.

Do you have questions about summer-specific ailments? Call or contact Virginia ENT to make an appointment.