Posts for category: ENT Conditions
Everyone experiences a sore throat occasionally. If you have a sore throat that never goes away and becomes a chronic condition, you need to seek out the help and expertise of your ear, nose, and throat specialist. You need an ENT doctor.
Sore throats can be caused by a wide variety of underlying illnesses including a cold or the flu. These sore throats often go away without treatment, but if you still have a sore throat after 5 to 7 days, it’s time to visit your ENT specialist for an evaluation.
Bacterial infections are another common cause of sore throats. Strep throat, caused by an infection of streptococcal bacteria is the most common example. You need to visit your ENT specialist for a prescription of antibiotics.
Allergies can also cause an itchy, dry, irritated sore throat. Your ENT specialist can perform allergy testing to determine what you are allergic to. Some of the most common allergens include:
- Tree and grass pollens
- Flower and plant pollens
- Pet dander and fur
- Mold and dust
When you know what you are allergic to, it’s easier to avoid the allergen. Your ENT specialist can also prescribe antihistamines, decongestants, and other medications to help relieve your sore throat and other allergy symptoms.
Tonsillitis, or inflammation of your tonsils, is another common cause of sore throats. Tonsils can become infected and enlarged, causing breathing difficulties. Your ENT specialist may prescribe antibiotics and other medications to help you get relief. In severe cases, your ENT specialist may recommend removing your tonsils.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD can also cause a sore throat. It’s a condition in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Over time, GERD can cause esophageal ulcers and even esophageal cancer. Your ENT specialist can help by prescribing medication to reduce stomach acid production.
These are just a few of the most common causes of a sore throat. If you have a chronic sore throat, it’s time to seek out some help from your ear, nose, and throat specialist. Call your ENT doctor today.
Sinus infections are a common problem. In fact, over 12% of people in this country suffer from chronic sinus infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC. Fortunately, your ENT specialist can help you get relief from sinus infections, so you can breathe easier again.
Sinus infections can be caused by exposure to a bacteria, a fungus, or to an allergen. They can also develop after having the flu, a cold, or other virus.
Sinus infection symptoms can make you miserable. When you have a sinus infection, you may experience:
- A fever
- Severe headaches
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Pain and pressure around and behind your eyes
For occasional sinus infections, your ENT specialist may recommend:
- Antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection
- Prescription-strength decongestants to open your sinuses
- Palliative medications and treatments to help you feel better
For chronic, moderate to severe sinus infections, your ENT specialist may recommend a procedure known as balloon sinuplasty. This procedure has many important advantages when compared to traditional sinus surgery.
Consider that balloon sinuplasty treatment:
- Is minimally invasive and requires no incisions or sutures
- Does not result in scarring or scar tissue
- Is less likely to cause infection because there is no cutting
- Causes far less discomfort than conventional sinus surgery
- Requires little or no downtime because there is very little bruising and swelling
- Is performed on an outpatient basis so there is no hospital stay
Balloon sinuplasty treatment is performed under general anesthesia. An ultrathin catheter is inserted into your nostril and guided up into your sinuses. The catheter has a small balloon attached at the end.
When the catheter reaches the sinus blockage, the balloon is inflated. The blockage is eliminated, congestion is relieved, and you can breathe freely again. The balloon is then deflated, and the catheter is removed.
You can get relief from sinus infections. Your ENT specialist has the answers and treatments you need to be able to breathe freely and easily. To find out more about sinus infections and how your ENT specialist can help you get relief, call your ENT specialist today.
A hoarse throat can develop with or without pain. There are several factors which can cause hoarseness, including:
- A virus like the flu or a cold
- A bacterial infection like strep throat
- An allergic reaction to an allergen
- Laryngitis, or inflammation in your throat
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
- Esophageal cancer
For mild hoarseness, you can try a few simple remedies to help get relief. Remember to:
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of liquids
- Drink warm tea with honey to soothe your throat
- Gargle with warm salt water several times during the day
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol
- Place a humidifier in your bedroom to breathe moist, soothing air
For moderate to severe hoarseness that doesn’t resolve or is getting worse, you need to seek out the expertise of your ENT specialist. You also need to seek out your ENT specialist if your hoarseness is accompanied by:
- Joint pain, a rash, or a fever over 101 degrees
- Difficulty breathing, swallowing or opening your mouth
- A lump in your neck, earache, or blood in your saliva
Professional treatments for hoarseness include:
- Antibiotic medication, if your hoarseness is caused by a bacterial infection, like strep throat
- Antiviral medication, if your hoarseness is caused by a virus like a cold or the flu
If the cause of your hoarseness is not easily identifiable, your ENT specialist may also recommend a diagnostic procedure known as an endoscopy. During an endoscopy, a thin tube with a camera at one end is inserted into your throat and guided down your esophagus. The endoscope allows your ENT specialist to view your esophagus. If any abnormal tissue or growths are found, they can be removed for biopsy.
An endoscopy is especially effective in the diagnosis of:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Esophageal polyps or growths
- Esophageal damage or ulcers
- Esophageal cancer
No matter what is causing your hoarseness, an ear, nose, and throat specialist can help. If you are suffering from hoarseness or a sore throat, talk with an expert. Call your ENT specialist today.
Occasional snoring is normal, but if you are being told you snore loudly every night, you could have something else. You could have sleep apnea, a sleep condition that can have serious consequences and can even shorten your life. Your ENT specialist is an expert at treating snoring and sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is caused by the intermittent relaxing of the tissue at the back of your throat. The relaxed tissue partially or completely blocks your airway while you sleep, depriving your body of oxygen.
Your brain, heart, and other vital organs are affected by the lack of blood flow, putting you at greater risk of:
- Developing heart disease
- Having a stroke
- Developing diabetes
- Acquiring memory problems
You are at greater risk of developing sleep apnea as you age, and if you are overweight. You may have sleep apnea if you are experiencing:
- Waking up with a gasping or choking sensation
- Headaches and a sore throat when you awaken
- Feeling fatigued and tired during the day
- Grogginess and problems concentrating
Your ENT specialist will need to have you do a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. If you have sleep apnea, your ENT specialist will discuss treatment options with you, which can include:
A CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine; is a device that produces a continuous supply of oxygen. You breathe the oxygen through a facepiece, which you wear while sleeping.
An oral mandibular advancement appliance; is a small appliance that fits over your teeth and holds your lower jaw forward, keeping your airway open while you sleep.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that can go untreated. If you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above, or if your family members tell you about your snoring, take it seriously. It’s time to call your ENT specialist for a sleep study to see if you are suffering from sleep apnea. To find out more about sleep apnea signs, symptoms, and treatment, call your ENT specialist today.
Dealing with sinus issues? Here’s what they could be and how to treat them.
From nasal congestion and a stuffy nose to facial pressure and postnasal drip, there are many warning signs that let you know that your sinuses are in trouble. So, what could be causing your angry, flared-up sinuses? Here are some of the top sinus offenders,
- Allergies (e.g., hay fever)
- An acute sinus infection
- Nasal blockages
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps
- Respiratory tract infections
Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, is the most common condition that an otolaryngologist sees and treats. In most cases, this infection is acute, meaning symptoms will go away within a couple of weeks. Many sinus infections appear after a cold or respiratory infection. If symptoms last more than 12 weeks and don’t respond to home care, these are signs that you could be dealing with acute sinusitis.
How Do I Know That I Have a Sinus Problem?
- Sinus problems can leave you dealing with,
- Facial pain and pressure
- Sinus pain
- A stuffy nose
- Throat irritation and hoarseness
- Postnasal drip
How Are Sinus Problems Treated?
If any of these symptoms last more than ten days, or if your symptoms return, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your ENT doctor to find out what’s happening. If you are dealing with acute sinusitis, you may be able to find the relief you need through over-the-counter medications such as decongestants or antihistamines. Nasal sprays may also reduce inflammation of the passageways to make it easier to breathe.
Chronic sinusitis is treated a bit differently. Instead of over-the-counter medications, your ENT doctor may prescribe a prescription steroid nasal spray, antihistamine and decongestant. If you have nasal polyps, these medications can also provide relief.
What Happens if Sinus Problems Can’t Be Managed With Lifestyle and Medication?
If medications don’t manage your symptoms effectively, you may need to consider a procedure to treat the blockage. Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat chronic sinusitis. During this procedure, a catheter with a deflated balloon is inserted into the nasal cavity. The balloon is then inflated to help open up the inflamed cavity and drain the sinuses so you can breathe better.
Balloon sinuplasty is highly effective and can provide relief for up to two years. Whether you are considering balloon sinuplasty or traditional sinus surgery, an otolaryngologist would be happy to discuss your treatment options.
If you are dealing with persistent or recurring sinus problems, it’s time you turn to an ENT specialist who can help you get the answers and the treatment you’re looking for.