My Blog
By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
February 25, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Nosebleeds  
NosebleedsThe nose is lined with blood vessels. When one or more blood vessels have been injured, this results in a nosebleed. While a gushing nosebleed—especially when it comes out of nowhere—can be a little unnerving, it’s usually nothing to worry about. Nosebleeds are incredibly common. In fact, according to WebMD, about one out of every seven people in the US will experience a nosebleed during their lifetime, with it being most common among children 2-10 years old. Of course, if nosebleeds are a recurring problem, it may be time to talk with an ENT doctor.

Common Causes of Nosebleeds

If you get a nosebleed every once in a while, this typically isn’t a cause for concern. Nosebleeds are usually caused by,
  • Injury to the nasal membrane
  • Picking at your nose
  • Cold air
  • Dry, heated air
  • Repeated use of nasal sprays
  • Taking aspirin often
  • Blowing your nose regularly
  • Respiratory infections (e.g., colds and flu; sinusitis)
  • An allergic reaction
  • Chemical irritants
If your nosebleed lasts longer than 20 minutes or results from an injury, you must see a doctor right away as this could be a sign of a posterior nosebleed. A posterior nosebleed occurs when there is damage to an artery branch deep within the nose, leading to heavy bleeds that can go down the throat. This is a serious condition that requires immediate medical care.

Causes of Frequent Nosebleeds

If you’re dealing with persistent nosebleeds, here’s what could be going on,
  • You may have ruptured blood vessels in the lining of the nose
  • You could have a polyp or growth in the sinuses or nasal cavity
  • You could have a health problem that affects blood clotting
  • You could have an inherited condition known as Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome, which results in abnormal blood vessels in the nose
If you experience nosebleeds four or more times a week, you must have an ENT doctor find out what’s going on. If you only experience a nosebleed a couple of times a month this could be a sign of a chronic issue such as allergies. If you aren’t able to get your nosebleeds under control on your own, it’s time to see a doctor.

An ENT doctor can help you address all of your ear, nose, and throat problems. If you’re plagued with nosebleeds, we can find out what’s causing your symptoms and how to treat them. Call your ENT doctor today to schedule an appointment.
By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
February 11, 2021
Category: ENT Health
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 Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
January 28, 2021
Category: ENT Health
What Is Sinus Surgery?Dealing with chronic sinus issues can make day-to-day life difficult. The blocked nasal passages, trouble sleeping, chronic snoring, and more. Usually, an ENT doctor will prescribe medications and other conservative treatment options first to see if they do the trick; however, more severe cases may not respond to medications and other therapies. When this happens, surgery may be the best option.

Should I consider sinus surgery?

Before considering whether you could benefit from surgery, it’s important to talk with your ENT if you are dealing with severe or recurring sinus infection issues. Your ENT will be able to provide you with a variety of options based on the cause of your sinus problems; however, if nonsurgical treatment options aren’t helping, then sinus surgery may be recommended.

There are many reasons people get sinus surgery. Surgery can be used to treat chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum. Symptoms include nasal blockages, congestion, stuffy nose, pain, and pressure around the nose and eyes, nasal drainage, and headaches.

What types of sinus surgery are available?

Here are some of the most commonly performed sinus surgeries,

Septoplasty

If you are dealing with symptoms related to a deviated septum, your ENT may recommend a septoplasty, which allows us to fix the wall of cartilage that divides the two nasal cavities (known as the septum). If someone is dealing with chronic sinusitis or chronic nasal congestion due to a deviated septum, then septoplasty may provide them with relief.

Balloon sinuplasty

This minimally invasive procedure can alleviate chronic sinusitis. A balloon is inserted and inflated into the nasal passages to open up the cavity to flush out mucus and bacteria. Most people experience immediate relief, and relief can last to two years or more after this procedure is performed.

Rhinoplasty

Most people assume a rhinoplasty, or “nose job”, is simply a cosmetic treatment; however, sometimes this procedure is performed for functional reasons. A functional rhinoplasty allows our ENT team to correct structural abnormalities and issues with the structure of the nose to improve airflow and nasal breathing.

Endoscopic sinus surgery

This is one of the most common surgical procedures that an ENT performs. Endoscopic surgery involves less invasive surgical techniques, which results in fewer side effects, complications, and downtime. This surgery can help reconstruct the nasal passages and also remove excess or problematic tissue or bone to improve breathing and to alleviate blockages.

If you are dealing with persistent or severe sinus problems that are impacting your quality of life, then it’s time to talk with an ENT doctor to discuss your treatment options and determine whether sinus surgery is right for you.
By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
January 14, 2021
Category: ENT Care
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.
By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
December 28, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Earwax  
How To Safely Clean Out Your EarwaxDid you know that your ears are self-cleaning? So, if you find yourself reaching for that cotton swab in your bathroom tonight you might want to put it down. Your ears are extremely low maintenance and very rarely need to be cleaned. Of course, older adults may be prone to excessive earwax buildup, which can lead to impaction or obstruction. In these cases, you may want to turn to an ENT doctor to safely clear out impacted wax.
 
If your ears feel a little blocked or your hearing is muffled, then you could have a buildup of wax. This is known as impaction. Impacted earwax can make the affected ear feel full. You may notice changes in your hearing, dizziness, or a ringing in your ears. If so, it’s time to see your ENT doctor.
 
Can I clean out my ears myself?

While there are certain earwax removal kits on the market that you can try, the best and safest way to have wax buildup removed is by seeing a qualified doctor. An otolaryngologist will have the proper irrigation tools to remove the blockage with complications. Of course, if you do choose to clean your ears yourself you may wish to try:
 
An earwax softener: You can pick up these eardrops at your local drugstore. Make sure to follow the exact instructions on the package. Leave the drops in your ears for the amount of time mentioned on the package and then rinse out the ears or simply let the drops drain out.
 
A syringe: Some kits contain little rubber syringes that you can fill with saline or warm water. This over-the-counter irrigation system can take time to soften the earwax, but you may find it helpful with more mild impactions.
 
All we ask is that you do not try and use a cotton swab to clean the inside of your ear, which will only push the wax further and could damage the eardrum. Earwax softeners and these syringe and irritation systems are your best bet if you want to try and remove earwax buildup yourself. If you are prone to earwax buildup you can schedule regular appointments with your ENT doctor to have your ears cleaned properly by a professional.
 
If you have questions about how to safely and properly clean excess earwax an ENT doctor can answer any of your questions.




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