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Posts for category: ENT Care

By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
September 20, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Ear Infections  
Preventing Ear InfectionsDo you deal with painful ear infections often? Does your child? We all know how painful an ear infection can be and we also know that as with any health problem, it is always easier (and better) to prevent it whenever possible. Didn’t realize there were things you could do to lessen the chances of developing an ear infection? Well, now you’re about to find out…

Practice Good Hygiene

Some ear infections occur as a result of a cold or flu, so it’s important that you protect yourself from viral infections to reduce your risk for an ear infection, too. This means practicing proper handwashing, avoiding those who are sick, and not touching your mouth or face.

Find Allergy Relief

Allergies can also cause some serious issues. If you find yourself getting ear infections around the wintertime this could be the result of allergies. To prevent swelling of the Eustachian tubes you should find an allergy nasal spray that can better control your symptoms and

Get the Flu Shot

As we mentioned above, getting the flu can also lead to an ear infection. So if you are someone who notoriously finds themselves battling an ear infection after the flu, the best way to protect yourself and those around you is to get the flu shot. The flu shot should be administered each year to those 6 months and older.

Avoid Cigarette Smoke

Smoking can also cause the Eustachian tubes of the ears to swell. This is why you should quit smoking if you currently smoke. It’s also particularly important for newborns and young children to avoid any environmental pollutants or smoky areas, as they are already particularly susceptible to ear infections and these environments can make it worse.

Breastfeed Your Newborn

Since children under 3 years old are particularly vulnerable to ear infections, one of the best ways to protect them is to breastfeed them. This is because breastmilk contains antibodies that can protect the baby from infections, including ear infections. It is recommended that women breastfeed their baby for at least the first six months, but can continue to breastfeed as long as they want.

If you are dealing with recurring or severe ear infections it’s always best to play it safe and to see a qualified ENT professional for an evaluation. Recurring ear infections can be a sign that something more is going on and warrants having it checked out.
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
April 29, 2021
Category: ENT Care

Could your child benefit from seeing an ENT doctor for treatment?

From ear infections to tonsillitis, there are many reasons why parents may bring their child in to visit our Orland Park, Evergreen Park, and New Lenox, IL, otolaryngology specialists at Century Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Surgery. After all, they specialize in providing pediatric ear, nose, and throat care to children and teens throughout Orland Park, Evergreen Park, and New Lenox, IL. While some symptoms may easily be treated by a pediatrician, how do you know when to bring your child in to see our otolaryngology specialist?

My child has an ear infection. Do they need to see a doctor?

Most parents aren’t sure whether an ear infection warrants immediate medical attention or whether they should hold off. Most minor ear infections will go away on their own; however, you should monitor your child’s infection over the next 1-2 days. If symptoms get worse, then give us a call; however, you should seek immediate treatment from our ENT team if,

  • Your child has an ear infection and they are under six months old
  • Your child has a high fever (over 102.2 degrees F)
  • Your child is experiencing severe symptoms or signs of hearing loss
  • Your child’s symptoms are getting worse
  • Their symptoms last more than 2-3 days

Does my child need ear tubes?

If your child is getting regular ear infections, then it’s normal to weigh the pros and cons of getting ear tubes. Ear tubes are great for preventing future ear infections in your child, which also prevents them from taking antibiotics regularly; however, simply dealing with ear infections a couple of times a year doesn’t necessarily mean that your child needs ear tubes. You may want to consider ear tubes if ear infections are impacting your child’s hearing and there is a concern for developmental delays, or if your child is dealing with more than three ear infections in a six-month period.

When should I turn to a pediatric ENT doctor?

Most people assume that our team is only here to handle those chest coughs, runny noses, and ear infections; however, there are many reasons why families turn to our Orland Park, Evergreen Park, and New Lenox, IL, otolaryngology practice for care. We can prevent, diagnose, and treat a wide range of conditions, injuries, and issues including,

  • Balance disorders
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Hearing impairments
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Facial deformities (e.g. cleft lip)
  • Nasal deformities and obstructions
  • Breathing challenges
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Sinus disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Vocal cord injuries

We can address any concerns or issues from the moment a baby is born and we can continue to provide care for them the rest of their lives. Want to learn more about the otolaryngology services we offer here in Orland Park, New Lenox, and Evergreen Park, IL? Need to schedule an appointment for your little one? If so, call Century Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Surgery at (708) 460-0007 today.

By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
February 11, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Sore Throat  
Sore ThroatSore throats are incredibly common. In fact, most of us will deal with at least one, if not more, during our lifetime. From scream-singing your way through a concert to catching a viral infection, there are many reasons why you may be dealing with a sore throat. While the problem is typically nothing serious, our ENT doctors know that you also want relief from that raw, scratchy throat. Here are some simple at-home methods for easing your sore throat.
 
Rinse and gargle with saltwater: Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of sea or table salt to an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Gargle with this concoction for several seconds, multiple times a day (just don’t swallow it!). The salt can quickly reduce inflammation and swelling. You may also choose to replace salt with baking soda. Baking soda can kill bacteria, so it could be good if your sore throat is due to a bacterial infection such as strep.
 
Add honey to your tea: You may already be consuming cup-after-cup of tea, hoping that it alleviates your sore throat. While there are certain teas on the market that are designed to numb and soothe a sore, scratchy throat, you may also want to start adding manuka honey into your tea. Honey is full of antimicrobials, to help fight infection, and can also provide natural healing properties and suppress your cough. Have a cup of tea with honey before heading to bed and see if that helps soothe your throat so you can get some shuteye.
 
Invest in a humidifier: If you find that your sore throat occurs when the air around you is dry, or if dry air makes your current symptoms worse, it’s a good idea to add a humidifier to your home. You may also want to take a hot, steamy shower every day to help add moisture to the mucus membranes of the nose and throat. This can help to loosen and clear out some of that mucus.
 
A sore throat can be caused by a variety of things. It’s important to know the cause before you start trying your hand at at-home remedies, since some may be useful for certain causes but not for others. If you aren’t sure what’s causing your sore throat, you should see an ENT doctor for an evaluation.
 
Common causes of acute sore throats include,
  • Viral infections such as a cold, flu, or mono (causes about 90 percent of sore throats)
  • Strep infection and other bacterial infections
  • Dry air
  • Smoke and other irritants
  • Strain, overuse, or injury
However, if you are dealing with chronic or recurring sore throats this could be a sign of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Other causes of a persistent sore throat include,
  • Allergies
  • Mouth breathing
  • Postnasal drip
  • Tonsillitis
  • Environmental irritant and pollutants
  • Gonorrhea
  • Smoking
You must turn to a qualified ENT specialist if your sore throat doesn’t go away, is severe, or makes it difficult to swallow. While some sore throats will go away on their own, sometimes you’ll need antibiotics or other medications to get rid of the infection.
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
January 26, 2021
Category: ENT Care

A ruptured or damaged eardrum, also called the tympanic membrane, can often heal on its own. In some cases, though, a surgical procedure referred to as a tympanoplasty is needed to repair the eardrum and improve hearing. The highly skilled ear, nose, and throat doctors at Century Ear, Nose & Throat, Head & Neck Surgery in Orland Park, IL, specialize in otolaryngology and perform tympanoplasty procedures to repair damaged eardrums.

What is Tympanoplasty?

A tympanoplasty is a surgical procedure for repairing a damaged eardrum that is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. There are several different types of tympanoplasty surgeries. Depending on the specific type being performed, general anesthesia might be used so patients remain unconscious during the surgery.

Types of tympanoplasty procedures include:

  • Patch Tympanoplasty — A minor procedure in which a small patch is placed over the hole in the eardrum. The procedure can be completed in just a few minutes.
  • Fat Tympanoplasty — For this procedure, the ear lobe is frozen so that a small amount of fat tissue can be removed. The fat tissue is then placed through the hole in the eardrum and the earlobe is sutured closed. This surgery typically can be completed in as little as 15 minutes.
  • Medial Tympanoplasty — This procedure is slightly more complicated than patch or fat tympanoplasty surgeries and generally takes anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour to complete. During this procedure, the eardrum is accessed either through an incision in the ear canal or from behind the ear. Then the eardrum is lifted and a tissue graft is slid under it.
  • Lateral Tympanoplasty — This type of surgery is performed when the hole in the eardrum is quite large or other surgical attempts have not successfully closed the hole. During this procedure, an incision is made behind the ear and the eardrum is removed. A new eardrum formed from a tissue graft is then implanted into the ear. This type of surgery can take up to two and a half hours.

The experienced otolaryngology doctors at our practice in Orland Park can determine which procedure is best based on several factors, including the patient’s age and the location and size of the hole in the eardrum.

The Recovery Process

It can take a few weeks for the eardrum to fully heal following a tympanoplasty procedure. During that time, it is best to avoid getting water in the ear. Wearing an earplug when showering or bathing will help protect the ear and keep it dry. Patients should also be careful not to blow the nose too hard. Additionally, it is best to avoid rigorous or intense physical exercise while the eardrum is still healing. The doctor will examine your ear a few weeks after surgery to see if the hole in the eardrum has fully healed.

If you have ruptured or damaged your eardrum, tympanoplasty surgery can be performed to repair the damage and restore hearing. To learn more about tympanoplasty and eardrum repair, schedule an appointment with one of the knowledgeable doctors on our otolaryngology team by calling Century Ear, Nose & Throat, Head & Neck Surgery in Orland Park, IL, at (708) 460-0007. We also have office locations in Evergreen Park and Lenox.

By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
January 13, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Impacted Earwax   Earwax  
Impacted EarwaxDealing with a buildup of earwax? Find out how earwax impaction can affect your hearing.

Earwax is important for the health of the ear, as it helps trap bacteria and other particles that could affect the health and function of the eardrum. So, while you might think that earwax is simply a nuisance that you need to get rid of, it’s best to leave your ears alone. After all, your ears are self-cleaning. In fact, using Q-tips in your ears can simply just push earwax further into the ear canal, leading to impaction. If you are dealing with impacted earwax you may experience,
  • Muffled hearing
  • A feeling of fullness in the ears
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Ear pain
  • Dizziness
If an infection develops you may notice a severe earache, drainage comes from the ear or a fever. If you develop symptoms of an infection, you must see your ENT as soon as possible for treatment.

What should I do if I have an earwax impaction?

If you have impacted earwax you may try over-the-counter kits to rinse out the ears and remove the earwax; however, it’s best to have a qualified ENT doctor examine your ear and not just determine if your symptoms are due to impacted earwax but also to safely remove the excess wax.

If you are dealing with impacted earwax you mustn’t stick a cotton swab or other tools into your ears to try and remove the earwax, as this could damage or puncture the eardrum.

Your ENT doctor has special tools and suction devices to be able to flush out the earwax buildup and to clean out the ears. Some people are prone to earwax buildup, particularly seniors. If this is something that you deal with regularly then your doctor may recommend special ear drops that can break up the earwax.

If you’re having trouble with impacted earwax, or earwax buildup talk with your ENT specialist about safe strategies to keep your ears clean. While there are tools that can be effective and safe, when used properly, you may wish to turn to a qualified doctor to find out the best way to keep your ears clean.