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Posts for category: ENT Conditions

By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
August 09, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions

Scratchy Throat

Sore throats are one of the most common symptoms people experience; however, they often accompany bacterial throat infections and colds. If you find yourself waking up in the morning with a dry, scratchy, or sore throat, then you may be wondering what’s going on. An ENT doctor who specializes in treating conditions of the ear, nose, and throat may be able to give you the answers you’re looking for.
 
What could be causing this problem?

It’s important to look to your environment and your lifestyle for clues as to what’s going on. For one, if you were out singing or talking in a loud club the night before you may have simply strained your vocal cords. If you have seasonal allergies such as hay fever, you may notice that you wake up with persistent scratchy or sore throats several months out of the year. If your bedroom is particularly dry, especially during the colder months, this could be another reason you wake up with sore throats.

There are a host of infections that also cause sore throats; however, they are often short-lived and don’t persist for more than 10 days. Viral infections are often to blame, and they will go away without treatment (antibiotics will not be effective against the common cold or influenza virus). People who deal with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) often complain of a scratchy or sore throat. If you are also dealing with heartburn or acid reflux two or more times a week, this could be the culprit.
 
Another possible cause of a sore or scratchy throat in the morning is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common sleep disorder that causes obstructions in the airway while you sleep. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of OSA so that you know when to turn to an ENT for further evaluation.
 
These signs include,
  • Waking up with a sore throat
  • Persistent morning headaches
  • Waking up tired despite a full night’s sleep
  • Loud, chronic snoring
  • Increased mood swings
  • Trouble concentrating and poor memory
When to see a doctor?

If you experience recurring or persistent sore throats it’s always a good idea to see your ENT doctor for a proper diagnosis so you know how to best treat your symptoms. Since some infections such as strep can be dangerous to both kids and adults, it’s important to know when to come in for treatment.
  • You should see an ENT doctor right away if:
  • You are having trouble swallowing or breathing
  • You have extremely painful or swollen lymph nodes
  • Your sore throat is accompanied by a high fever
  • Your sore throat persists for more than a week
  • You have trouble sleeping due to swallowing or breathing issues
If you are dealing with a persistent or recurring scratchy or sore throat it’s important that you consult an ENT doctor to find out what’s going on. Many of the conditions above warrant treatment to prevent further complications, so don’t delay getting the treatment you need.
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
July 13, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Nasal Polyps  
Nasal polyps are benign growths that develop within the lining of the nasal cavities. There are many reasons why someone may develop polyps, from chronic inflammation to allergies. It is believed that anywhere from 4-40 percent of the US population has nasal polyps, with it impacting men 2-4 more often than women. This condition is also seen more often in young adults and middle-aged adults. While small nasal polyps often don’t cause issues, it’s when they get larger that an ENT specialist sees more patients coming in complaining of pain and other problems.

What are the signs and symptoms of nasal polyps?

Nasal PolypsNasal polyps are typically to blame for chronic inflammation and swelling of the nasal cavity. People with nasal polyps may not realize that they have them, but they may be more likely to deal with other problems such as chronic sinusitis.

Chronic sinusitis and other nasal issues are typically what bring people into our ENT practice in the first place. From there, we can run the appropriate diagnostic tests to see if you could be dealing with nasal polyps.

Other warning signs include:
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Referred pain in the upper teeth
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Headaches
  • Recurring nosebleeds
When should I see an ENT doctor?

If you are dealing with nasal symptoms that last more than 10 days, then it’s a good idea to see your otolaryngologist to find out what’s going on. After all, these symptoms can also be caused by other respiratory conditions that may require treatment or special care, and it’s important to be able to determine what’s causing your symptoms so we know how to best treat them.

How are nasal polyps treated?

Medication is typically the first line of treatment for managing symptoms of nasal polyps. The most commonly prescribed medications include:
  • Antibiotics
  • Antileukotrienes to reduce inflammation
  • Antihistamines
  • Immunotherapy
Patients may also benefit from simple drug-free treatment options such as using a Neti pot or salt water rinse to clean out the nasal passages daily. If you are still dealing with symptoms despite medication and other treatments, your ENT doctor may recommend surgery to remove the polyps. While polyps will eventually come back, it can take months or even years for this to occur.

If you are battling symptoms of chronic sinusitis, you could actually be dealing with nasal polyps. Any sinus or nasal symptoms that last for weeks on end should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist.
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
June 11, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
 Itchy EarIf you are someone who swims regularly or lives in a warm climate, then you may be at an increased risk for developing a fungal infection in the ear that’s known as otomycosis. This fungal infection can impact one or both ears. Some signs that you could be dealing with otomycosis include itchy, flaky, swollen, and red skin of the ear. You may also experience ear drainage, fullness, or a loss of hearing. Discharge is incredibly common with fungal infections. If you notice these symptoms, it’s a good idea to see an ENT doctor.
 
How can you get otomycosis?

Your environment, your lifestyle, and your habits can play a role in whether you may be more at risk for developing otomycosis. As you know, fungus is everywhere, and it can be easy to pick up a fungal infection in warm or tropical climates. This is why your ENT doctor also sees a rise in fungal ear infections during the summer months.

If you swim in water that is contaminated, you could also leave with a fungal infection. Those with chronic health problems, eczema, or a weak immune system are at a much higher risk for developing otomycosis. If you develop itchy, red skin of the ear, or you notice changes in hearing or fullness in the ears, you must see a qualified ENT doctor as soon as possible. After all, fungal infections will not usually go away on their own without treatment.
 
How is a fungal ear infection treated?

First, we will need to examine the inside of your ear using an otoscope. We may also need to swab the area to determine whether the infection is bacterial or fungal. This is important as this will determine which medication will be most effective. We will also ask you questions regarding your symptoms, when they started, and your medical history.

Once we have determined that the ear infection is fungal, we will clean out the ears and then prescribe an antifungal medication. This medication may be in the form of a pill, ointment, or eardrops. While eardrops and ointment are more common treatment options, your otolaryngologist might prescribe an oral antifungal if you have a more severe or unresponsive fungal infection.
 
Since fungal ear infections have the ability to become chronic, you must turn to an ENT doctor right away to find out the best way to treat this infection.
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
May 11, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sinus Pain  
Sinus PainDealing with sinus pain and pressure? During certain times of the year, our otolaryngologist hears more and more people complaining about sinus infections. If you are currently battling with sinus pressure and pain that has you feeling exhausted, uncomfortable, and downright miserable, here are some ways to alleviate these symptoms.
 
Flush Out Bacteria

Many people who deal with sinus infections swear by the Neti pot, a simple device that allows you to irrigate and clean out the sinuses with saline solution. It’s a great way to remove allergens, bacteria, and other germs from the nasal passages, which could be contributing to inflammation, swelling, and sinus pain. Since this is a non-medicinal and conservative treatment option, you can safely use this every day to help flush out your sinuses and reduce pain and pressure.
 
Try a Decongestant Spray

There are a lot of nasal sprays on the markets these days that help to reduce inflammation, improve congestion, and even prevent the sinuses from drying out. Some nasal sprays should not be used for more than three consecutive days, so make sure to always read the instructions before you start using any medication, even over-the-counter drugs. If you find that you need to use a nasal spray more regularly, then you’ll want to talk with your ENT doctor about a more long-term solution.
 
Stay Hydrated

Did you know that around 75 percent of Americans are dehydrated? One of the best ways to flush out toxins and thin out mucus overall is to make sure that you are drinking enough water every day. It’s also best to limit or stay away from alcohol and caffeine, as these beverages can dehydrate you.
 
Get Your Beauty Sleep

When you are dealing with any kind of illness, even something as minor as a sinus infection, you must be giving your body the rest it needs to recuperate. This means taking time to get the sleep you need so that your body’s immune system is strong enough to fight the infection. If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep due to sinus pain, you may want to try taking a warm, steamy shower and using your Neti pot before bedtime.
 
If sinus pain and pressure are severe, persistent, or long-lasting, you must talk with an ENT specialist who will be able to determine what’s causing your pain and how to best manage it. Since some of these sinus problems can be chronic, you must turn to a doctor who can provide you with the answers and care you need.
By Century Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery
April 08, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Dizziness   Vertigo  
Vertigo and DizzinessAs kids, most of us loved putting out our arms and spinning and spinning until we fell dizzy. Of course, experiencing a spinning world around us when we are planted firmly on earth or aren’t on an amusement park ride, can feel incredibly scary. Welcome to the world of those with vertigo. Vertigo is a condition that makes you feel off-balance, lightheaded, and perhaps a bit disoriented. If this is happening to you here’s what you should know.

Vertigo and dizziness are different

Vertigo makes you feel as if you are moving even though you are standing still. The room around you may spin. You may feel nauseous, or you may even vomit if the vertigo is severe. Dizziness, on the other hand, occurs when you simply feel off-balance or lightheaded. Vertigo truly makes you feel as if you are spinning.

Vertigo is typically the result of a health problem

Vertigo is usually a symptom of an underlying medical condition that impacts the function of the inner ear. How do we know that? Within our inner ears lie our vestibular system, which helps us stay oriented and balanced. Every day, an ENT doctor diagnoses and treats a variety of conditions and diseases that impact the vestibular system and cause vertigo. Some of the most common causes of vertigo include,
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Head injuries
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Colds
Vertigo may be acute and simply go away on its own, while other causes will require treatment from an ear, nose, and throat doctor. If your vertigo is severe, is persistent, or is accompanied by hearing loss or vision changes, you must see your doctor immediately.

There are many ways to treat vertigo

It’s important for an ENT doctor to first determine the cause of your vertigo before prescribing any medications or treatments. We need to treat the underlying cause effectively to get rid of your vertigo. Some of how we may treat your vertigo include,
  • Medications: Antibiotics or steroids are prescribed to treat infections or inflammation, while other medications may help alleviate nausea and vomiting caused by the vertigo
  • Vestibular rehabilitation: If you deal with chronic or recurring bouts of vertigo your ENT may recommend vestibular rehab to help retrain the vestibular system to be able to better recognize the spatial orientation
  • Canalith repositioning maneuvers: This technique is most often used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and uses certain head movements to reposition calcium deposits within the canal of the inner ear
If vertigo or dizziness is happening to you or a loved one, an ENT doctor may be the perfect doctor to turn to for answers and an evaluation. Don’t ignore your symptoms of lightheadedness and dizziness. An ENT professional can help.