Posts for category: ENT Care
From outdoor allergies to asthma, there are many reasons why you or your child may be having trouble with your breathing. Breathing problems can be distressing and it’s important to understand when symptoms warrant seeing an otolaryngologist for a proper evaluation.
Common Causes of Breathing Problems
You may have trouble breathing if you are dealing with:
- Common cold
- Acute or chronic sinusitis
- Deviated septum
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Other upper respiratory infections (e.g. pneumonia)
While some conditions like the common cold will only cause mild and temporary symptoms, if you notice that your symptoms are serious, don’t respond to at-home care or are getting worse then it’s time to seek medical attention. After all, there are certain conditions such as sinusitis that can become chronic if not properly treated. An ENT doctor will know exactly what medications and treatments to offer to reduce sinus inflammation and to make breathing easier.
Chronic breathing problems, particularly those caused by allergies and asthma, may also be associated with:
- Chest tightness or congestion
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Coughing that gets worse at night
- Shallow breathing
Asthma symptoms are usually detected early in childhood; however, it is still possible for adults to be diagnosed later in life (known as adult-onset asthma). If you or your child are experiencing difficulty breathing and tightness in the chest made worse by cold air, stress, or exercise it’s important that you see an ENT doctor right away. While asthma cannot be cured it can be properly managed with long-term medication. Leaving asthma untreated could be harmful to your health.
Testing and Diagnosis
When you come into the office an otolaryngologist will have you fill out detailed information about your family and personal medical history. Your doctor will also perform a physical exam. Pulmonary function tests are often used to test lung function in those suspected of having asthma. Of course, there are other breathing tests such as spirometry. Your doctor will also ask you questions about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing in order to rule out certain conditions or illnesses.
The treatment plan you receive will depend on the issue you are dealing with. For example, acute sinusitis can often be managed with over-the-counter nasal decongestants and antihistamines while chronic sinusitis may require more aggressive treatment such as prescription steroid sprays, oral corticosteroids, and endoscopic nasal surgery to remove the blockage or to repair the deviated septum. Your otolaryngologist can help you get your breathing problems under control.
Our faces express our emotions, show our personalities, and help us create first impressions in professional and social contexts. As a result, it's important to feel happy and confident with your facial appearance—something that isn't always possible with what Mother Nature has given you. Fortunately, here at Century Ear, Nose, and Throat in Orland Park, Evergreen Park, and New Lenox, IL, Dr. Curtis Walsh is a board-certified expert in facial plastic surgery who can help give you a look that you'll be proud to show off!
Reasons for facial plastic surgery
Facial plastic surgery in Orland Park modifies the skin and structures of the face, including the nose, eyes, mouth, chin, and ears. It ensures facial symmetry, improves functionality, balances musculature, repairs both congenital and acquired defects, and more.
Here at our offices in Orland Park, Evergreen Park, and New Lenox, we can fix your specific issue through a variety of procedures. For example, if you are frustrated with wrinkly or sagging skin, we can correct it through:
- BOTOX Cosmetic
- Laser wrinkle removal
- Dermal fillers, such as Juvederm
- Chemical peels
Others require more extensive examination, imaging, and evaluation by our board-certified physician. Commonly, people wish to change defects which they were born with or have acquired through illness, medical treatments, motor vehicle accidents, cancer, or another medical condition or trauma.
During a consultation, Dr. Walsh thoroughly reviews each patient's medical history in order to discuss options, the potential for change, and what the specific goals may be. At the end of this meeting, he recommends treatments—sometimes facial plastic surgery being one of them—to reach those goals.
Available facial plastic surgeries
There is a wide range of modern surgical techniques and procedures available at our offices, with many being minimally-invasive while others require significant downtime and recovery.
- Blepharoplasty (i.e. an eyelid lift)
- Rhinoplasty (i.e. a reduction and reshaping of the nasal cartilage)
- Scar revision (including acne and burn scars)
- Rhytidectomy (i.e. a full facelift)
- Repair of cleft lip or palate
- Correction of facial asymmetry
- Eyebrow lift
- Otoplasty (a reduction and reshaping of the ears)
- Revision of congenital abnormalities of the mouth and skull
You can look, feel, and function beautifully with the help of facial plastic surgery. Why not contact one of the three convenient locations of Century Ear, Nose and Throat to arrange a consultation? You'll leave knowing what procedure is right for you. Phone (708) 460-0007 today to reach our offices in Orland Park, Evergreen Park, and New Lenox, IL.
Do you have breathing problems such as wheezing, shortness of breath, a chronically stuffed nose, or throat tightness? If so, you should seek a consultation with your local ENT physician. These doctors have numerous ways to diagnose and treat your breathing problems associated with the nose and upper airway so you can function well and get on with your daily life.
The symptoms of breathing problems
Breathing problems associated with asthma, pneumonia, COPD, or bronchitis usually differ from those stemming from the nasal passages, larynx, or trachea. For respiratory difficulty associated with the lungs, patients see a pulmonary specialist. For the upper airway, people see an otolaryngologist.
What are the symptoms of upper airway breathing problems? You may experience some or all of the following:
- Wheezing which is noticeable to other people
- Persistent coughing
- Mouth breathing
- Voice hoarseness
- Fatigue to the extreme, particularly on exertion
- Throat tightness
- Constant nasal congestion and frequent nose blowing
What could be the cause?
According to Michigan Medicine, chronic or acute sinusitis (aka sinus infection) affects millions of people in the US. If left untreated, sinusitis leaves patients feeling fatigued due to the increased symptoms of coughing, congestion, and nose blowing.
Common causes for acute sinusitis include inflammation from allergies and exposure to viruses and bacteria from environmental pollution. Chronic sinusitis may stem from exposure to tobacco smoke, although it arises more commonly from nasal polyps, inflamed sinus turbinates, and deviated septums.
Diagnosing and treating breathing problems
As related to the upper airway, your ENT will ask you to describe your symptoms. Then, your nasal passages and sinuses will be examined with an endoscope, a thin, lighted tube which contains a small camera.
The otolaryngologist takes images of structures which could be obstructing your airway and causing your symptoms. Precise CT scanning gives the doctor more views of what's happening inside the air-filled cavities that we call sinuses.
Common treatments include steroidal sprays, oral steroids, antibiotics, allergy testing, pain treatment, and sinus surgery (a last resort option). Additionally, simple nasal irrigation with a Neti pot can flush out excess mucus, open passages, and reduce breathing difficulties.
Tackle your breathing problems
Your ENT doctor can help relieve your discomfort by listening to your symptoms, carefully performing a full assessment, and curating a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Make the call today!
6 Tips for Managing Allergies
Are you suffering from allergies? An allergy involves a reaction by your immune system, often to harmless substances. Allergies can cause great misery. Fortunately, there are options to help you manage your symptoms and continue doing the things you enjoy. Century Ear, Nose & Throat (with offices in Orland Park, Evergreen Park and New Lenox, IL) offers treatments for allergies. Here are 6 tips for managing your allergies.
1. Get a diagnosis from a doctor. You need to learn what triggers your symptoms. That way you can avoid them and find the best treatment. Start with a visit to an ENT doctor. ENT doctors specialize in conditions affecting the ear, nose, and throat. At your appointment, your doctor will obtain a detailed medical history, examine you and evaluate your symptoms. Your doctor may also perform blood or skin tests to determine what type of allergy you have.
2. Start taking allergy medication. Antihistamines are the mainstay for treating the runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes that come with allergies. Antihistamines are also used to treat hives and other symptoms of food allergies. Nasal decongestants help relieve symptoms of nasal congestion. Nasal decongestants usually provide good symptom relief and can make you feel better quickly.
3. Ask your doctor about allergy shots. Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, involves injecting small and increasing amounts of allergens over regular intervals. Allergy shots help your body get used to the substances that cause an allergic reaction. Allergy shots decrease often lead to lasting relief of symptoms even after treatment is stopped.
4. Eat to ease your allergies. You can’t cure your allergies with a special diet. But what you eat can make a big difference in how you feel. In one study, kids who ate lots of fruits, vegetables and nuts had fewer allergy symptoms. Soups and hot drinks can warm up your airways and thin mucus in your lungs, making it easier to cough up.
5. Rinse it out with a nasal rinse. A nasal rinse cleans mucus from your nose and can ease symptoms there. Using a nasal rinse once a day can help clean bacteria from your nasal passages, thin mucus, curb postnasal drip, and wash out allergens you've inhaled. After their symptoms are gone, some individuals find a few times a week is enough to keep them symptom-free.
6. Keep your home clean. Cleaning is one of the best ways to avoid indoor allergens. But certain chemicals can irritate your nose and make your symptoms worse. Don't use scented detergents or cleaners. Make natural cleaners with everyday ingredients like baking soda or vinegar. Use a damp cloth and mop when cleaning. Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to trap allergens.
Stop allergies from ruining your life! Don't wait. Call Century Ear, Nose & Throat at (708) 460-0007 right now to schedule an appointment in Orland Park, IL, Evergreen Park, IL, and New Lenox, IL. You will experience exemplary service and state-of-the-art care at Century Ear, Nose & Throat!
Do you find yourself dealing with persistent sinus infections? Have nasal congestion and facial pressure become the norm? If so, then it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist who can provide you with the relief that you need! While acute sinusitis is usually nothing to worry about and will go away fully after a few weeks of treatment, chronic sinusitis often needs a more proactive solution. If you have been battling a sinus infection for over 12 weeks and it’s not responding to treatment, then it’s time to consider other treatment options. Read on to learn more!
How to Treat Chronic Sinusitis
One of the ways to treat chronic nasal inflammation and blockages is through a simple endoscopic sinus procedure. Unlike traditional surgery, this procedure is minimally invasive and doesn’t require major incisions or removal of bone or tissue.
While this procedure isn’t necessary for patients dealing with acute bouts of sinusitis, if you are someone dealing with a true chronic form of sinusitis, then it might be time to consider endoscopic sinus surgery.
When you come in for a consultation, an ENT doctor will perform a physical exam and talk to you about your symptoms. Common symptoms of chronic sinusitis include,
- Nasal drainage
- Nasal obstruction and congestion
- Facial pressure or pain
- Post-nasal drip
- Frequent headaches
- Reduced smell or taste
Along with a physical exam, an otolaryngologist will insert an endoscope (a small tube with a camera) into the nostrils to look for drainage, blockages, or signs of infection or inflammation. Sometimes a CT scan is necessary to diagnose your infection.
When it comes to treating chronic sinusitis, your doctor will first turn to non-surgical treatment options like prescription steroids, antibiotics, nasal sprays, or allergy treatments (e.g. antihistamines).
If these treatments aren’t giving you the symptom relief that you need, then we will talk to you about whether minimally invasive sinus surgery is the right way to treat your chronic sinus symptoms.
How Minimally Invasive Sinus Surgery Works
During this procedure, an ENT specialist will insert an endoscope into the blocked or inflamed nostril and guide it gently through the sinuses. There are different methods involved in this type of sinus surgery. Sometimes at the end of the endoscope is a camera, which allows us to carefully remove enlarged tissue to improve breathing. Any pus or signs of infection are also drained out. Once this procedure is performed, certain medications are prescribed for long-term management.
Balloon sinuplasty has become another popular minimally invasive sinus procedure because it does not require any tissue removal. Instead of a camera at the end of the endoscope, there is a deflated balloon that is inflated once it’s placed into the blocked or inflamed nasal cavity. As the balloon is inflated, it opens up the blocked passageway so it can properly drain. Then the doctor will clean out the sinuses with a saline solution to remove any remaining pus or bacteria.
Give Us a Call!
Minimally invasive sinus surgery is extremely effective at treating chronic sinusitis. If you are dealing with this condition, then it’s time to talk to your otolaryngologist about whether this procedure is right for you.