ENT Chair

Everything there is to know about an ENT chair

An ENT chair is a device that looks like an armchair and used in different treatment and diagnostic procedures, mostly in otolaryngology, but sometimes in various other branches of surgery, e. g., neurosurgery, mandibulofacial surgery, etc. Sometimes a traditional dental chair may be used for the same purposes as well.

In some cases, those devices may be rotated, which potentially can help a lot in creating lots of different diagnostic tests. For example, on the rotating ENT chairs, it is possible to perform the analysis to distinguish the direction and test the vestibular ocular reflex, which is not possible on the fixated armchair.

The devices are most commonly equipped with various hand rests, headrests, footrests, and can easily switch shape according to the doctors' needs. For example, nowadays, there exists a unique postural supported tool of those types that helps to relieve the musculoskeletal pains of the patient and the medical practitioner too.


In 1887, Richard A. Reeve became the first-ever medical practitioner to use devices likened to an ENT chair during various rhinology, ophthalmology, laryngology, and otological procedures. He was an exclusive user of that kind of wooden armchair from 1887 to 1903. George Raymond McDonagh, the faculty's first dedicated otolaryngologist, made a few small improvements to the whole construction in the next few years.

After World War I, those products became more and more popular. They started to spread across the globe and particularly reached Europe, Asia, and Australia. The wooden parts began to switch up to stainless-steel ones, and the mobility of the whole unit dramatically fell. That created the need for constructing fixated armchairs for the needs of the medical practitioners. 

Since that time, there were lots of various types of different medical devices for diverse fields of medicine created and spread throughout the world. Various modifications and engineering improvements were made, and many different features and new technologies were patented. ENT chairs that we see nowadays are the product of the complex, focused, and great work of many different scientists, doctors, and engineers.

Indications for use 

There are many different indications for using ENT chairs nowadays, both for treating diseases and diagnostic purposes. Also, many different ears, nose, and pathological throat symptoms may be diagnosed and managed on a dental armchair. Among those pathological states are the following:

  • Otitis
  • Chaimoritis
  • Sinusitis
  • Laryngitis
  • Various types of tonsillitis
  • Peritonsillar abscesses
  • Sulfur cork
  • Tympanitis
  • Rhinitis
  • Various types of tumors
  • Different kinds of cancer
  • Various bacterial infections of the nose, ear, throat
  • Mucosal infections of the throat, ear, nose
  • And many others

Among the other pathological ailments that may be diagnosed and sometimes treated in the ENT chair is numerous surgical pathologies of the ear, throat, and nose. Typically, the ENT chairs get combined with a fixation mechanism that allows the doctor to ensure that the patient will sit still during the whole surgery period. Some operative treatment procedures performed on those units include:

  • Tonsillectomy
  • Dissection of a peritonsillar abscess 
  • Surgical tumor removing
  • The lining of the nasal septum
  • Sulfur cork removing
  • Maxillary sinus puncture
  • And many others

From the other perspective, those units may also function for many diagnostic procedures of the oral cavity pathologies. The main idea is to have a significant amount of light while performing a dental diagnostic procedure on those types of armchairs. But, unfortunately, it is not matched for a fully covered treatment process, as there are no drill machines, cooling systems, water pumps, suction systems, and other necessary parts for adequate dental care.

There is a significant role of a comorbid pathology, especially connected to the nose and throat. For example, about 80 percent of patients, who had bronchial asthma, also had a comorbid state in the form of various types of rhinitis, making breathing even harder for them. Another example is a comorbid injury of the heart, small joints, and different cartilages due to the spread of an infection from the tonsils.

Complications of using an ENT chair

Two prominent groups of complications potentially may occur while using those units for various diagnostic and treatment purposes. Usually, the occurrence of both of them may be successfully prevented by following a strict, simple, and very argumentative set of specific rules. Those two groups of complications are:

  • Those connected with the malfunction of the unit
  • Those connected with various bacterial and infectious contamination

Infectious diseases may potentially occur in those situations when any medical chair, ENT, dental, surgical, or others have contamination with a vast number of pathogenic strains of bacteria, which are extremely dangerous. Usually, before any new patient, the whole unit should be adequately disinfected. In cases when that would not happen, the contamination may occur, and the patient and the medical staff may become ill. 

Malfunctions of the unit may potentially lead to different traumatic situations, injuries, different fractures, abrasions, and bruises. Those types of complications are dangerous for both patients and medical staff and may lead to invalidation, blood loss, or even death. That is the main reason why those apparatuses are regularly checked up by a medical practitioner before every use.

General Specifications of an average ENT Chair

Here are the main specifications for those armchairs, which plays the most significant role in their functioning and makes them look different from other types of medical chairs:

  • Diameter - 24.25 "
  • Seat - (W x D) 18.75 " x 18.25 "
  • Base heights: 
    • High: 
      • Raised - 34.25 "
      • Lowered - 23.625 "
    • Low:
      • Raised - 29.625 "
      • Lowered - 21.2 "
  • Depth (without headrest) - 60 "
  • Shipping Weight - 325 lb.
  • Electrical - 6,3 amps total, 120 V, 50 / 60 Hz
  • Lights - up to 60 W

A few additional features may also be seen, like an engine, additional headrest, or others. 

Market Leaders

The general number of different models of those units selling around the globe is not very big. Usually, hospitals prefer to buy armchairs for general surgical practitioners, which are not quite the same as those used in otolaryngology. So, there are not so many manufacturers making such units. Here is our TOP 10 list:

  • 66 Vision Tech Co
  • Abbot Medical Optics
  • Acorn Stair Lifts
  • Ferno
  • Hill Laboratories Co
  • McConnel Orthopedic
  • SMR Surgical Mechanical Research
  • Zeiss
  • Medtronic
  • Seiler


ENT chairs are useful tools in many different fields of medical science and practice. With the help of those units, you can successfully and comfortably diagnose and cure various pathologies of ear, nose, throat, and less often teeth, oral cavity, neck, brain, and skull.

Still, a lot of different useful improvements may get added to the construction of those units. For example, it may be a good idea to put a cooling or heat system inside the chair, to make the whole procedure more comfortable for the patient.

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