Posts for category: ENT Care
Viruses, infections and conditions of the ears, nose, and throat can be complicated. That’s why it’s important to visit a specialist, known as an ENT doctor. ENT doctors are the experts you need.
ENT doctors go through additional specialized training beyond medical school. This additional training provides them with the expertise to help with ear, nose, throat, and sinus problems.
Sometimes an ear, nose, and throat problem will go away on its own, but not always. So, when should you see an ENT doctor?
If you have an ear, nose, throat, sinuses, head, or neck condition which has lasted longer than 7 to 10 days. You should also visit an ENT doctor if you have:
- A fever that continues for more than 3 days
- Pain in your ears, throat, nose, head, or neck which doesn’t go away
- A discharge coming from your ears
- A green or yellow discharge coming from your nose
- Sinus pain and pressure that doesn’t go away
The signs and symptoms listed above could be a sign of a viral or bacterial infection. Your ENT doctor can diagnose the cause of the problem and administer treatment, so you feel better.
Viral and bacterial infections are just two reasons why you need to see an ENT doctor. There are many more, including if you suffer from:
- Hearing loss
- Thyroid problems
- Chronic sore throats
- Snoring and sleep apnea
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
- Tinnitus, or ringing in your ears
Your ENT doctor offers a wide variety of services and treatments to help you stay healthy. You might visit an ENT doctor for:
- Allergy testing and treatment
- Balloon sinuplasty or sinus issues
- Hearing aids or hearing loss
If you have problems breathing, difficulty swallowing, hearing issues, or pain in your ears, nose, throat, or sinuses, it’s time to visit your ENT doctor.
Your ENT doctor can help you breathe better, hear better, and live more comfortably, so call your ENT doctor today.
Should you turn to an otolaryngologist to treat your allergy symptoms?
Summertime can be glorious…for people who don’t have allergies; however, allergies can flare up this time of year, making that fun vacation or time outdoors miserable. If you find yourself hiding inside most of the year, this could signify that your allergies are uncontrolled and interfering with your life. Is it time to see an otolaryngologist for relief?
When Should I See An ENT Doctor?
If you find that your allergy symptoms are minor and controlled through over-the-counter remedies and home care, then you may not need to book an appointment with your ENT doctor immediately; however, you should turn to an ENT doctor if,
- You are dealing with chronic sinusitis or nasal congestion
- Your symptoms are severe
- Over-the-counter medications, lifestyle changes and home care aren’t enough
- Your symptoms last three months or more
- Your allergies are interfering with sleep, work or your quality of life
How Does an ENT Specialist Treat Allergies?
If you deal with seasonal or mild allergies, you may find them only a minor nuisance, and it might not be worth scheduling an appointment with a doctor; however, if you find yourself battling allergies for several months a year and they aren’t responding to at-home care these are signs that it might be time to sit down with an ENT doctor to discuss other treatment options.
How Does an ENT Treat Allergies?
If you aren’t sure what is causing your allergy symptoms, allergy testing will provide the best insight. Once allergy testing is performed, we’ll know exactly what you’re allergic to so we can map out a treatment plan. Treatment options range depending on the severity and type of allergies you’re dealing with. Allergy treatment plans often include,
- Lifestyle changes such as keeping windows and doors closed, using a HEPA air filter in the bedroom and other modifications to reduce your exposure to the allergen
- Oral medications such as antihistamines and decongestants
- Steroids or saline nasal sprays
- Immunotherapy (allergy shots) for more severe and unresponsive symptoms
If you are dealing with allergy symptoms that are driving you mad with itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion and fatigue, an ENT doctor may be the right specialist to turn to for relief.
Recognize the early warning signs of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is incredibly common—the NIH reports that one in eight people in the US over the age of 12 years old has some degree of hearing loss. While hearing loss is more common among older adults, this doesn’t mean hearing loss can’t occur in young children, teens, or adults. The key is detecting hearing loss early on so an otolaryngologist can treat the problem and also take measures to prevent hearing loss from getting worse.
Everyone Seems Like They’re Mumbling
You used to be able to understand what people were saying to you but these days it seems like everyone around you is mumbling. While some people are simply soft-spoken if you find yourself having trouble understanding what most people around you are saying this could be a sign that they aren’t mumbling, but rather, that you’re dealing with some degree of hearing loss.
You Say “Huh” A Lot
Along with noticing that people around you are suddenly mumbling a lot more, you may also find yourself saying “What?” or “Huh?” to people a lot. If having people repeat themselves has become commonplace this is another telltale sign of hearing loss.
You Don’t Follow Conversations
When you don’t fully understand what people are saying around you it’s often easier just to tune it all out. The problem is that many people with hearing loss, particularly seniors, feel the social withdrawal that comes with not being part of the conversation. If you also find that noisy settings such as a crowded restaurants make it even more difficult to understand people and conversations, you may want to see your audiologist for a hearing evaluation.
Phone Conversations are More Difficult
Nothing is better than getting to catch up with family and friends on the phone unless you’re dealing with hearing loss. Even mild hearing loss can make it difficult to understand what someone else is saying on the phone. If you find yourself working hard to hear what someone is saying on the phone (or if you have to turn the volume all the way up) you may want to schedule a hearing test with an ENT.
If you are noticing changes in your hearing, it’s important that you turn to an otolaryngologist right away to learn about the cause and degree of your hearing loss, and whether you could benefit from a hearing aid.
Find out whether you might benefit from a hearing aid.
It might seem silly to ask yourself since it might seem obvious whether you need a hearing aid or not, but it’s not always as clear-cut as it seems. This is when it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist who will be able to determine whether hearing aids are right for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself that may help you decide whether or not you might benefit from wearing a hearing aid:
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does it sound like people around you mumble?
- Do you have to turn the volume up on the TV or radio to hear it?
- Do you need people to repeat themselves often?
- Is it difficult to understand people on the phone?
- Do you withdraw from the conversation, particularly in a group or noisy setting?
- Do you find yourself reading lips or focusing on someone when they speak?
If you said “yes” to some of these questions, you could undoubtedly be dealing with hearing loss. One fairly common type of hearing loss is hearing people in a standard pitch but not being able to hear higher-pitched sounds.
How do hearing aids work?
Before getting a hearing aid, it’s important to note that unlike glasses, which can correct visual impairments, hearing aids cannot fully restore your hearing to normal; however, a hearing aid can amplify voices and sounds to make it easier to hear them. Wearing a hearing aid can make joining in and listening to everyday conversations easier. Some advanced features also offer fantastic technology to make communicating in a noisy setting easier. Some hearing aids can also be used to amplify high-pitched sounds.
Since there are so many different technologies, styles, and features when it comes to getting a hearing aid, it’s essential to turn to an ENT doctor who can not only assess your degree of hearing loss but also talk through the different hearing aids options for you based on your health, budget and lifestyle.
Find out what causes allergies and how you can get them under control.
Anyone who has allergies deals with a lot of those same annoying symptoms: the constant sneezing, the red itchy eyes, and the runny nose. Of course, not everyone understands that their symptoms could be due to allergies. What are allergies, and how are they managed? Should you treat your allergies on your own or turn to an ENT doctor?
What is an allergy?
Did you know that allergies are one of the most common long-term disorders people deal with? When exposed to a certain allergen, your body tells you that this allergen is harmful and then goes to work to attack it. This means that your immune system kicks into overdrive and produces antibodies known as immunoglobulin E. An allergic reaction is your body’s natural inclination to overreact to this allergen.
There are many things to which you could be allergic, including,
- Pet dander
Allergy symptoms can range from mild to more severe and even life-threatening. If you suspect that your symptoms are due to allergies, an ENT doctor can quickly diagnose and create a treatment plan that will get you feeling better fast.
Allergy Treatment Options
The treatment you receive will depend on the type of allergy you have and the severity of your symptoms. You’ll be happy to hear that many allergy sufferers find relief through simple medications. Those with very mild symptoms may be able to get away with over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants (to fight nasal congestion).
Your ENT doctor may also prescribe more powerful antihistamines or nasal sprays if your symptoms are more moderate or severe. In some cases, a long-term allergy sufferer may finally choose to get allergy shots to significantly lessen the body’s response to a specific allergen.
Of course, there are also non-medicinal approaches to reducing your exposure to the offending allergen, and an otolaryngologist can offer great tips to reduce allergy exposure at home. Examples include bathing your trusty pet once a week and using allergy-proof bedding.
Don’t let allergies affect your daily life and the activities you love. If you find yourself staying indoors or avoiding things that make you happy for your allergies, it’s time you turn to an ENT doctor for treatment options.