Congestion and other nasal issues can make you feel miserable and affect your ability to breathe easily. Here are five common nasal problems and discusses treatment options.
Your nose is particularly sensitive to the effects of allergens in the air. Exposure to pollens, grass, weed, or mold can trigger uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Frequent sneezing
- Congestion that makes breathing more difficult
- Runny nose
- Pain and pressure in your sinuses
- Itchy nose, eyes, ears, and throat
- Watery eyes
- Scratchy throat
Allergy medications or shots, prescription nasal sprays, decongestants, and antihistamines can help prevent or reduce your symptoms.
Non-allergic rhinitis isn't caused by airborne allergens, even though the symptoms are the same. Exposure to strong irritants, such as smoke, dust, pollution, and strong odors can cause the problem. Saline nasal spray can help wash away irritants, reducing your symptoms. Decongestants and prescription corticosteroid or antihistamine nasal sprays may also be helpful.
Nosebleeds happen to nearly everyone occasionally and are usually caused by dry nasal passages or a blow to the nose. Saline nasals sprays and water-based nasal gels help moisten your nasal passages. If your nosebleed is severe, it may be necessary to cauterize the blood vessel to stop the bleeding.
Your septum is a layer of bone and cartilage that separates your nostrils. Very few people have perfectly proportional septums. Although many of us have deviated septums, in most cases the deviation is minor and doesn't affect breathing. If the deviation is severe, you may experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Frequent sinus infections
- Postnasal drip
- Snoring and sleep apnea
Nasal polyps are small growths that occur on the lining of your nose. Although they're usually benign, they can make it more difficult to breathe, cause runny noses and sinus pain, and increase your risk of sinus infections. Nasal corticosteroid strays can help shrink polyps, and antihistamines may be useful in reducing chronic nasal inflammation. If your polyps are large and other treatments haven't been unsuccessful, your ENT may recommend surgery.
Not sure what's causing your nasal issues? An ear, nose and throat doctor can diagnose the problem and offer treatments that will help you breathe easier. Call your ENT to schedule your appointment.
Allergies come about when the immune system responds to certain foreign substances like dust, pet dander, or pollen among others. The severity or intensity of allergic reactions differs from individual to individual and could range from mild irritation to a potentially fatal condition called anaphylaxis. Although most allergies are not curable, the right treatments could significantly alleviate allergy symptoms.
Here at the Century Ear, Nose & Throat, Head & Neck Surgery, we offer allergy management treatments to help you better manage your allergies. You can consult one of the ENT doctors in our Evergreen Park, New Lenox, or Orland Park, IL, offices to obtain evidence-based treatments that will help you live well even with allergies.
Allergy Prevention is Immensely Vital
Preventing allergy reactions will greatly depend on your specific triggers. With this in mind, general precautions usually include:
- Figure out your triggers and avoid them as much as possible. For example, if pollen is a trigger for you, keep all doors and windows closed or stay inside during the pollen season. Also, if dust mites are a trigger, wash your bedding regularly.
- Keep an allergy trigger journal. When trying to figure out what worsens or causes your symptoms, monitor your activities, when symptoms appear, and what helps when you have an allergic reaction.
- Wear medical alert jewelry. This will let other people know about your serious allergy in the event that you experience an allergic reaction and you can’t communicate.
Common Allergy Medicines
Depending on what kind of allergy you have, medicines could help decrease the reaction of your immune system and ease your symptoms. You may need to take OTC prescription or OTC medicines with antihistamine and/or steroids.
For more severe allergies or those that don’t respond to common treatments, your doctor may suggest immunotherapy. This will entail a series of shots that contain purified extracts of your specific allergens that will be administered over the course of several years. Immunotherapy can also be administered through a tablet placed under your tongue.
Need Help with Managing Your Allergies? We Can Help
Contact the Century Ear, Nose & Throat, Head & Neck Surgery to schedule your consultation with one of our ENT doctors. Our Orland Park, IL, Evergreen Park, and New Lenox offices can be reached through (708) 460-0007.
Having trouble breathing or catching your breath can certainly be a cause for concern. While it’s normal to be out of breath after an intense workout there are times when symptoms such as chest tightness, persistent coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing appear and any of these symptoms are usually signs that something more serious is going on.
As you might imagine, most breathing problems are associated with lung or respiratory conditions. These are problems that an otolaryngologist can easily help you treat or manage. Common lung conditions that can affect breathing include:
Asthma: a chronic condition that affects millions and causes inflammation and airway constriction, which results in coughing, wheezing and chest tightness. Symptoms can range from mild to life threatening.
Pneumonia: an infection of the respiratory tract that causes inflammation and fluid buildup in the lungs. It’s important to see an otolaryngologist immediately for treatment, as untreated pneumonia could be dangerous (and also highly contagious). Symptoms of pneumonia include:
- Shortness of breath
- Shallow breathing
- Productive cough, often with yellow or green mucus
- Chest pain that occurs when breathing deeply or coughing
- Muscle aches
- Sweating and fever
- Loss of appetite
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): this is a group of chronic inflammatory lung diseases that cause airway obstructions within the lungs. The most common types of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a condition that most often occurs in smokers. Common symptoms of COPD include:
- Mucus production
- Persistent cough
- Trouble breathing
- Chest tightness
This is a progressive condition that will make breathing even more difficult as the condition advances. It’s important to see an ENT doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of COPD. Early symptoms include exercise-induced rapid breathing, a persistent cough, and clearing your throat often (usually in the morning).
Lung cancer: this type of cancer develops anywhere in the lungs, allowing abnormal cells to multiply until a tumor forms. While many people who develop lung cancer are smokers, this form of cancer can also develop in those who have never smoked a day in their life. Early warning signs of lung cancer include:
- Vocal changes
- Chronic cough
- Bloody mucus when coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling weak
- Unexpected weight loss
Since the early warning signs associated with lung cancer can also be caused by other respiratory conditions it is important to turn to an ear, nose, and throat doctor who will be able to perform the proper diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
If you are having trouble catching your breath it’s important that you find out why this is happening to you. Call your ENT doctor today for an evaluation.
As we age, the skin loses it's natural luminosity, because of dryness, damage, or slow cell turnover. Fortunately, there are many cosmetic treatments available that offer rejuvenation and improve the natural glow. If you'd like to look and feel younger by eliminating wrinkles, discolorations, and more, the providers here at Century Ear Nose and Throat offer facial plastic surgery options to improve your look.
To learn more about our skin surface procedures, read below, and to discuss them in detail, schedule a consultation at one of our three locations in Orland Park, Evergreen Park, and New Lenox, IL.
Common Skin Surface Procedures
If you require more youthful skin, these are only a few of the non-invasive procedures we provide to enhance its elasticity and improve hydration. Depending on the technology, you may remove acne or surgical scars, wrinkles, brighten skin, and repair its tone:
- Dermabrasion - a powerful rotating instrument that precisely removes the layers of skin damage
- Chemical peels - a chemical solution is brushed onto the skin and is left to soak before the layers are gradually peeled away
- Laser resurfacing - wavelengths of light safely penetrate the skin to encourage new collagen growth and restore firmness
Which Procedure Is Right for You?
The skin is the body's largest organ, and taking care of it is a significant task. Here at Century Ear Nose and Throat, our providers offer ten different facial plastic surgery procedures to assist in rehabilitating the surface, shape, and structure of the skin. During a consultation, we will determine the best procedure for your condition after performing a physical assessment at one of our offices in Orland Park, Evergreen Park, and New Lenox, IL.
Interested? Give Us a Call
For more information about facial plastic surgery, the other conditions we treat, and services provided here at Century Ear Nose and Throat, dial (708) 460-0007 today to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Orland Park, Evergreen Park, or New Lenox, IL.
It’s normal to experience bouts of dizziness if we are stressed, taking certain medications or haven’t eaten in a while; however, what might be going on if your dizziness persists? Dizziness isn’t an uncommon symptom. In fact, most people will experience dizziness that is serious enough to warrant seeing a doctor. While you may visit a family physician to find out what’s going on, don’t be surprised if you end up being referred to an ear, nose & throat doctor.
What causes dizziness?
Dizziness refers to a serious of sensations that make you feel lightheaded, off balance, unsteady or feeling like the world around you is spinning (vertigo). Sometimes dizziness may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, particularly during more severe episodes. These symptoms can be unnerving but an otolaryngologist can often help.
The most common causes of dizziness that we see include:
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): This problem affects the inner ear and can lead to persistent episodes of vertigo. Symptoms usually last no more than a minute and will typically come and go. Unfortunately, there often is no cause of BPPV; however, sometimes migraines or inner ear damage may be to blame. Sometimes this condition will go away on its own but an ENT doctor can also provide you with treatment options such as physical therapy that can get rid of symptoms sooner.
Vestibular neuronitis: Inflammation of the eight cranial nerve, known as the vestibular nerve, results in severe vertigo episodes that may cause you to lose balance. This condition can also cause nausea and vomiting. Symptoms usually last anywhere from 7 to 10 days and become milder over the course of several months. A viral or bacterial infection is usually to blame for inflammation of the vestibular nerve.
There are certain medications that can be prescribed by an ENT specialist to help lessen the severity and duration of your symptoms. Sometimes a special type of physical therapy is performed to treat this condition.
Labyrinthitis: This inner ear disorder occurs when one of the two vestibular nerves becomes inflamed. Along with dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and nausea you may also lose hearing in one ear. Any changes to your hearing warrant immediate medical attention. Viral, respiratory, and bacterial infections can all cause this disorder.
Medications such as corticosteroids, sedatives and antihistamines may be prescribed to help with your symptoms. Just like with vestibular neuronitis, a type of physical therapy known as vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) may also be recommended.
Meniere disease: This progressive inner ear condition also causes similar symptoms to labyrinthitis including tinnitus, hearing loss, pressure in the ears, and dizziness. Symptoms will gradually get worse over time, and these attacks may also cause a rapid pulse, blurry vision and anxiety.
While there is no cure, there are treatment options that can effectively manage your dizziness and also reduce fluid in the ear. Medications such as steroids, motion sickness medicines, and diuretics are often used, as well as rehabilitation, therapy, hearing aids, and sometimes surgery.
If you are dealing with dizziness or any other warning signs of an ear problem it’s a good time to turn to an ENT doctor who can help you find the right treatment to get you back on two steady feet again.
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