Diseases affecting the ear, nose, and throat are prevalent in intensive care settings and often require combined medical and surgical management. Upper airway occlusion can occur as a result of malignant tumor growth, allergic reactions, and bleeding events and may require close monitoring and interventions by intensivists, sometimes necessitating surgical management. With the increased prevalence of immunocompromised patients, aggressive infections of the head and neck likewise require prompt recognition and treatment. In addition, procedure-specific complications of major otolaryngologic procedures can be highly morbid, necessitating vigilant postoperative monitoring. For optimal outcomes, intensivists need a broad understanding of the pathophysiology and management of life-threatening otolaryngologic disease.