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By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
June 24, 2020
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Throat Cancer  
Throat CancerYour ENT doctor sees, diagnoses, and treats many conditions related to the ear, nose, and throat. One of the most worrisome is throat cancer, along with malignancies of the pharynx, tonsils, and larynx. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America reports that the incidence of throat cancer increases with age (65 and older) and gender (male). As with most cancers, early recognition of symptoms, a proper diagnosis, and the right treatment are the keys to recovery.
 
Signs of throat cancer
The American Cancer Society says a persistent sore throat--one lasting two weeks or more--is a danger sign you should report to your primary care physician or otolaryngologist right away. Other signs of malignancy include:
  • A continuing cough
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Unexplained and significant weight loss
  • Trouble swallowing easily (dysphagia)
  • Pain in the jaw or ear
  • White or red patches or sores in the mouth which do not heal
  • Nose bleeds
  • Headaches
  • Swollen tissues anywhere in the head/neck area
  • Numbness in the mouth and especially the tongue
  • Continual nasal congestion
Sadly, untreated throat cancer spreads to other parts of the body, including the lips, lungs, and bones. More severe symptoms, such as bone pain or coughing up blood, can indicate metastasis of throat cancer.
 
Risk factors and prevention
Many throat cancers can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle risk factors include:
  • Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (more than two drinks daily if you a man and more than one a day for women)
  • HPV exposure (Human Papilloma Virus) through oral sex
  • A diet low in vegetables and fruit
  • GERD, or acid reflux disease, in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus
  • Trouble with breathing and speaking
  • Headaches
To minimize your risk, your physician may recommend smoking cessation, losing weight to avoid GERD, a diet rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables, and less alcohol. Asbestos exposure poses a cancer risk. Additionally, your dentist helps with early detection as he or she checks you for oral cancer with each routine office visit.

How to beat it
The American Cancer Society reports that about 12,000 people in the United States receive a throat cancer diagnosis annually. Five-year survival rates improve with early staging. See your doctor right away if you exhibit these concerning symptoms. Live longer, and live well.
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
June 01, 2020
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Dysphagia  
You may take it for granted, but swallowing water, food, or saliva is actually a very complicated process. It requires vast systems of nerves and muscles working together. Patients that struggle to swallow normally have what is known as Dysphagia. This is not a stand-alone condition but a symptom of something else. It’s why you need to schedule an appointment with an Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist (ENT) right away. The elderly are especially at risk and can end up aspirating. 
 
The Swallowing Process
There are four distinct stages of swallowing. You do this hundreds of times every day without even realizing it. 
  • The oral preparation stage is where the food or liquid is made ready for swallowing. In terms of food, this means chewing your food. 
  • Next is the oral stage where the tongue moves food or liquid to the back of the mouth. This starts the swallowing process.
  • Then comes the pharyngeal stage, where the contents of the mouth go through the pharynx, throat, and esophagus. 
  • Last is the esophageal stage, where it transfers from the esophagus into your stomach. 
Symptoms of Dysphagia
Pay attention to these symptoms if dysphagia is suspected:
  • A constant feeling of something, either water or liquid, being stuck in the throat.
  • Problems controlling saliva production, i.e. drooling.
  • The sensation of a lump in the throat.
  • Discomfort in the chest or throat.
  • Coughing or choking when trying to swallow, drink, or eat. This is due to substances being pulled into the lungs. 
  • Difficulties sustaining a normal weight caused by swallowing interfering with nutritional intake. 
What Is Causing My Dysphagia? 
The most common cause is Gastroesophageal Reflux. This is a GI condition where stomach acid travels up the esophagus and pharynx. Other possibilities include: 
  • Tonsillitis or throat infections
  • Scarring or damage to the esophagus
  • Medication side effects 
  • Tumors in the lungs, esophagus, or throat
  • Nerve diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
What to Expect With Treatment
Your ENT specialist works with you to determine the cause of your dysphagia. Addressing the underlying condition can start a path to recovery. 
 
In some cases the cause is unclear. Your ENT will do everything possible to determine what is behind your dysphagia. They will ask you about the history of this problem and examine your throat. They might recommend a swallow test or various types of laryngoscopy. 
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
May 22, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Plastic Surgery  

Are you considering facial plastic surgery? Here at Century Ear Nose & Throat-Head & Neck Surgery in Evergreen Park, New Lenox, and Orland Park, IL, our seven otolaryngologists are highly experienced in both medical and cosmetic facial procedures—read on to learn more.

What is facial plastic surgery?

These in-office and in-hospital procedures address congenital and acquired facial defects of the nose, ear, lips, eyelids, and neck. Medical reconstructive procedures address unbalanced facial features, cleft lip or palate, birthmarks, and other problems people are born with. Also, they take care of acquired problems from auto accidents, burns, cancer, occupational accidents, and more.

Cosmetic procedures address detracting defects such as drooping eyelids, wrinkled/sagging skin, large/crooked noses, and more.

Do you qualify for facial plastic surgery?

Many Orland Park area people do. From children to teens and adults, patients desire better personal appearance, more self-confidence, and healthier overall function. At Century Ear Nose & Throat Head & Neck Surgery, our board-certified providers perform complete exams and sophisticated digital imaging to formulate each treatment plan.

As the patient, you should tell your physician your appearance goals. You'll learn what's realistically possible and what the surgery entails, including anesthesia and recovery.

Offered procedures

Our board-certified ENT doctors offer the following:

  • Blepharoplasty, to lift drooping eyelids
  • Liposuction, to remove excess fat from buttocks, thighs and other problem areas
  • Rhinoplasty, to correct defects in nasal cartilage, including shape and size
  • Facelift, or Rhytidectomy, to tighten and smooth aging skin
  • Chin, cheek, and lip implants
  • Eyebrow lift

Our staff also delivers non-surgical aesthetic treatments such as microdermabrasion, dermal fillers, and BOTOX injectables to limit scarring, brighten skin tone, and make lines and wrinkles less obvious.

Find out more

At Century Ear Nose & Throat Head & Neck Surgery, our professional team provides general and surgical ENT services for both adults and children. We look forward to seeing you for a facial plastic surgery consultation at one of our three offices. For the Evergreen Park, New Lenox or Orland Park, IL, locations, phone (708) 460-0007.

By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
May 01, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Hearing Aids  
Hearing loss is a widespread problem that affects large groups of people. It isn’t just caused by age, with younger people and children also being affected. It comes on gradually, with your hearing getting worse and worse. At a certain point, you need to consider investing in hearing aids. Before you talk to your Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist, educate yourself on the common signs of hearing loss. 
 
Do I Have Hearing Loss?
 
In most cases, the people around you will notice your hearing loss before you do. This is because you’ll start needing the things around you to be louder. The TV may sound quiet to you, but to others, it might be unnecessarily loud. They might also notice that they need to speak louder for you to understand them. 
 
Here are a few other common signs of hearing loss: 
  • People seem to be talking very quietly all the time
  • You find it difficult to follow along in conversations
  • Higher pitched sounds, like alarm clocks or birds, are harder to hear
  • Words with higher frequency consonants like f, t, s, p, and h are difficult to distinguish
  • You frequently ask people to repeat themselves
If you are experiencing any of these, schedule an appointment with an ENT. A hearing test can get you started on the right path. After taking the test, your doctor can determine what is causing your hearing loss and recommend hearing aids. 
 
Should I Get A Hearing Aid?
 
Hearing aids take normal sound and amplify it so that you can hear it. You’ll notice a major improvement in your ability to understand and converse with other people. 
 
Depending on your hearing test results, you may require one or two hearing aids. Binaural hearing is the ability to hear out of both ears. Sound reaches your ears at different times, letting you locate where a noise is coming from. You need binaural hearing to live a successful life. If both ears are showing lower levels of hearing, your ENT may recommend two hearing aids. Even if one ear hears better than the other, using two hearing aids improves the quality for the more affected ear. 
 
Contact a Professional Ears, Nose, and Throat Specialist Today
 
If any of the above experiences sound familiar to you, contact your local Ears, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist today. They can help evaluate your hearing and find a solution that works for you. 
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
April 01, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Nasal issues  

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.

Allergic rhinitis

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

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

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.

Deviated septum

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:

  • Congestion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • Nosebleeds
  • Headaches
  • Postnasal drip
  • Snoring and sleep apnea

Nasal polyps

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.





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