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Posts for category: ENT Conditions

By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
June 10, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Recognize the early warning signs of hearing loss.

Hearing loss is incredibly common—the NIH reports that one in eight people in the US over the age of 12 years old has some degree of hearing loss. While hearing loss is more common among older adults, this doesn’t mean hearing loss can’t occur in young children, teens, or adults. The key is detecting hearing loss early on so an otolaryngologist can treat the problem and also take measures to prevent hearing loss from getting worse.

Everyone Seems Like They’re Mumbling

You used to be able to understand what people were saying to you but these days it seems like everyone around you is mumbling. While some people are simply soft-spoken if you find yourself having trouble understanding what most people around you are saying this could be a sign that they aren’t mumbling, but rather, that you’re dealing with some degree of hearing loss.

You Say “Huh” A Lot

Along with noticing that people around you are suddenly mumbling a lot more, you may also find yourself saying “What?” or “Huh?” to people a lot. If having people repeat themselves has become commonplace this is another telltale sign of hearing loss.

You Don’t Follow Conversations

When you don’t fully understand what people are saying around you it’s often easier just to tune it all out. The problem is that many people with hearing loss, particularly seniors, feel the social withdrawal that comes with not being part of the conversation. If you also find that noisy settings such as a crowded restaurants make it even more difficult to understand people and conversations, you may want to see your audiologist for a hearing evaluation.

Phone Conversations are More Difficult

Nothing is better than getting to catch up with family and friends on the phone unless you’re dealing with hearing loss. Even mild hearing loss can make it difficult to understand what someone else is saying on the phone. If you find yourself working hard to hear what someone is saying on the phone (or if you have to turn the volume all the way up) you may want to schedule a hearing test with an ENT.

If you are noticing changes in your hearing, it’s important that you turn to an otolaryngologist right away to learn about the cause and degree of your hearing loss, and whether you could benefit from a hearing aid.

By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
May 11, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Allergy   Allergy Treatment  

Find out what causes allergies and how you can get them under control.

Anyone who has allergies deals with a lot of those same annoying symptoms: the constant sneezing, the red itchy eyes, and the runny nose. Of course, not everyone understands that their symptoms could be due to allergies. What are allergies, and how are they managed? Should you treat your allergies on your own or turn to an ENT doctor?

What is an allergy?

Did you know that allergies are one of the most common long-term disorders people deal with? When exposed to a certain allergen, your body tells you that this allergen is harmful and then goes to work to attack it. This means that your immune system kicks into overdrive and produces antibodies known as immunoglobulin E. An allergic reaction is your body’s natural inclination to overreact to this allergen.

There are many things to which you could be allergic, including,

  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Insects
  • Foods
  • Latex
  • Medications

Allergy symptoms can range from mild to more severe and even life-threatening. If you suspect that your symptoms are due to allergies, an ENT doctor can quickly diagnose and create a treatment plan that will get you feeling better fast.

Allergy Treatment Options

The treatment you receive will depend on the type of allergy you have and the severity of your symptoms. You’ll be happy to hear that many allergy sufferers find relief through simple medications. Those with very mild symptoms may be able to get away with over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants (to fight nasal congestion).

Your ENT doctor may also prescribe more powerful antihistamines or nasal sprays if your symptoms are more moderate or severe. In some cases, a long-term allergy sufferer may finally choose to get allergy shots to significantly lessen the body’s response to a specific allergen.

Of course, there are also non-medicinal approaches to reducing your exposure to the offending allergen, and an otolaryngologist can offer great tips to reduce allergy exposure at home. Examples include bathing your trusty pet once a week and using allergy-proof bedding.

Don’t let allergies affect your daily life and the activities you love. If you find yourself staying indoors or avoiding things that make you happy for your allergies, it’s time you turn to an ENT doctor for treatment options.

By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
April 06, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sinus Infection  

Sinus InfectionDealing with a sinus infection? Dealing with them rather frequently? Feel like you’re constantly battling a sinus infection? If so, an ENT doctor can provide you with the appropriate treatment options, regardless of whether you are dealing with an acute or chronic infection. Here’s what you should know about treating your sinus infection,

You May Be Able to Treat it Yourself

If you are dealing with acute sinusitis you may be able to manage your symptoms on your own with saline nasal sprays, over-the-counter pain relievers and decongestants. If your sinus infection is due to allergies, you may be able to make simple lifestyle changes that can improve your allergies, which in turn can improve your infection. Other at-home sinusitis treatment options include,

  • Drinking lots of water to flush out toxins
  • Using a humidifier in your bedroom
  • Applying warm compresses to the face
  • Using a neti pot to flush out bacteria and germs from the sinuses
  • Getting lots of rest
  • Stocking up on vitamin C
So, when is it time to turn to an ENT expert for your sinus problems? It’s time to turn to a specialist if,
  • You aren’t sure if your symptoms are due to a sinus infection or something else
  • Your symptoms are accompanied by a fever that lasts more than 3 days
  • Your symptoms persist for more than 10 days
  • Your symptoms are getting worse
  • Your symptoms return
There isn’t a Single Way to Treat Sinus Infections

First and foremost, we need to determine what’s causing your infection and whether you’re dealing with an acute or chronic case. Acute cases may be treated with prescription-strength steroid and nasal sprays or oral allergy medications, while chronic sinusitis may require more intensive treatments. Chronic sinus infections may be caused by nasal polyps, a deviated septum or allergies, and it’s important to figure out the cause before we create a treatment plan. Chronic sinusitis is often treated with,
  • Nasal, oral or injectable corticosteroids
  • Medications used to shrink nasal polyps
  • Immunotherapy (aka allergy shots)
  • Balloon sinuplasty, a procedure that opens up blocked sinuses (an alternative to sinus surgery)
  • Sinus surgery
If you are dealing with a sinus infection that isn’t getting better and isn’t responding to at-home care then a call to your ENT doctor may be the best approach. An ENT doctor can determine the best strategies for managing and treating any sinus problems.
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
March 11, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Dry Nose  
Dry NoseWhen winter comes, Jack Frost can certainly nip at your nose, but he can also lead to dry, cracked noses, too. If this is something that you deal with throughout the winter months, an ENT doctor can recommend certain lifestyle changes and simple yet effective treatment options to help combat that uncomfortable and sometimes painful dry nose.

Turn Down the Heat

Okay, so we know this isn’t going to be a popular tip for many people, but if you crank up the heat in your house this could be drying out your nose and leading to nasal congestion, nosebleeds, and other uncomfortable symptoms. If indoor heat is the culprit, we simply suggest turning down the temperature in the house and then wrapping up in more layers to compensate so you can still feel perfectly warm but without the dry, painful nose.

Apply Petroleum Jelly

This is another simple home remedy that most people have in their medicine cabinets already. Apply a very small amount of petroleum jelly to the inside of the nose to keep it moisturized. This shouldn’t be used regularly or for extended periods but can be helpful when you are dealing with a severely dry nose that needs immediate relief.

Use a Humidifier

A humidifier can certainly put moisture back into your home’s dry air, especially during the winter months when you have the heat running all day and night. Sleeping with a humidifier can improve the humidity and moisture in the room to give your poor dry nasal passages a bit of a soothing break.

Enjoy a Steam

Another way to open up nasal passages and soothe dry noses is by giving the nostrils a good old steam. You can do this by using your gym’s sauna room a few times a week or you can simply boil some water and place your face above the water to let the steam into the nostrils (cover your head with a towel to trap steam). A hot, steamy shower can also help.

Use Nasal Sprays

Over-the-counter saline nasal sprays can also be a great way to remove any dirt and germs that may be in the nasal passages while also keeping the nose wet. If you find yourself also battling congestion on top of a dry nose, saline nasal sprays can be a great option. Plus, unlike other types of nasal sprays, saline sprays can be used daily.

If you find yourself dealing with a severely dry nose that is cracking or leading to persistent nosebleeds, it may be a good time to consult with an ENT doctor who can provide you with more effective treatment options when home care just isn’t enough.
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
February 24, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Allergies  

Allergies, whether they're seasonal or year-round, make you feel miserable and may even interfere with your usual routine. Fortunately, your ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists at Century Ear, Nose and Throat, can recommend strategies that will reduce your symptoms and prescribe medications that will relieve your itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, wheezing and congestion. The doctors serve the entire Orland Park, New Lenox and Evergreen Park, IL, areas from their offices in Oak Lawn, Lemont and Orland Park.

What you can do to prevent allergy symptoms

Following a few of these recommendations may help you manage your allergies:

  • Clear the Air: HEPA filters and air-conditioners trap allergens and can help reduce or prevent allergy flare-ups. Open windows and doors make it easy for allergens to enter your home. Although you may be tempted to open your windows on a warm day, it's best to turn on your air-conditioner instead.
  • Mop, Vacuum and Wash: Get rid of allergens that have found their way into your home by mopping or vacuuming floors often. Vacuum upholstered furniture and launder bedding at least once a week.
  • Use Dust Mite Covers: Dust mites are microscopic pests that consume the dead skin cells you shed. The mites are commonly found in bedding and can trigger allergy symptoms. Covering pillows and mattresses with dust mite covers offers a simple way to reduce your exposure to pests.
  • Check the Air-Quality Forecast: If pollen, ragweed or mold trigger your allergies, be sure to check the levels of these allergens on weather websites before you venture outside. If the level of an allergen is high, it may be best to put off outdoor activities.
  • Take Off Your Shoes and Wipe Those Paws: Your shoes and your pet's paws can spread allergens throughout your house. Get into the habit of taking off your shoes and wiping your pet's paws with a damp cloth as soon as you enter your home. You can also use the cloth to get rid of allergens that may have drifted onto your pet's fur.
  • See Your ENT: If taking these steps doesn't improve your allergies, pay a visit to your Orland Park, New Lenox, Lemont, Oak Lawn and Evergreen Park, IL, area ENTs. The doctors can prescribe medications that ease your symptoms, like decongestants, antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops, or recommend immunotherapy to alter your body's response to allergens.

Are you struggling to keep your allergies under control? Schedule an appointment with your Oak Lawn, Lemont and Orland Park, IL, ENTs by calling (708) 460-0007.