My Blog

Posts for category: ENT Care

By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
November 09, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Tonsillectomy  
Recovering From Your TonsillectomyBefore you or your child undergoes a tonsillectomy, you want to make sure you are prepared for the recovery process. We completely understand! Nothing is more important than knowing what to expect before, during, and after any type of procedure so there are no surprises. While your ENT doctor will provide you with detailed instructions regarding the recovery process, you may have questions or concerns about what to expect once you come home.

The Recovery Process

It typically takes about two weeks for both children and adults to make a full recovery after a tonsillectomy. You may feel tired and easily fatigued for the first few days after surgery. Other symptoms such as ear and throat pain are common and can last up to two weeks. If you find that your symptoms are getting worse or aren’t improving after 4-5 days, you should speak with your ENT doctor.

Get Pain Under Control

Pain management is an important topic for our patients undergoing a tonsillectomy, as the pain that proceeds from this surgery can be pretty intense in the very beginning. Your ENT doctor will provide you with a strong pain reliever to help ease discomfort during the first few days. You may switch to ibuprofen if your pain is starting to lessen; however, it’s important to avoid aspirin for at least two weeks after your tonsillectomy.
 
Stay Hydrated

It is very important that you stay hydrated and drink a lot of fluids. A good rule of thumb is to consume one cup of water an hour. If your urine is pale in color, this is a sign that you are drinking enough water. While you can eat what you want after your surgery, you may not feel very hungry at first. Don’t worry, your appetite will return after a couple of days.

Your Diet Post-Tonsillectomy

Most people worry about what they can and can’t eat post-surgery but the answer is, anything you want. You can’t hurt your throat by eating certain foods; however, you may want to ease back into your diet by starting with soft foods such as yogurt, rice, mashed potatoes, and ice pops.

Give Yourself Time to Rest

Most people will feel too fatigued to go about their normal activities. Most children will return to school within a week and resume full activities within two weeks. Most adults can return to work within 10 days after a tonsillectomy. You will want to rest as much as possible and avoid most activities for at least the first 48 hours after your surgery.

If you have any concerns about your upcoming tonsillectomy, or you have questions about your at-home instructions after you return home, know that your ENT doctor is always here to provide you with the answers, care, and support you need. Don’t hesitate to call with any questions or concerns you might have while you heal from your tonsillectomy.
By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
October 26, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Earwax   Earwax Removal  
Earwax RemovalEarwax can be more than a nuisance for some. Earwax, if left to build up in the ear, can cause painful and uncomfortable symptoms of excessive earwax.

Signs and symptoms of earwax buildup can include:
  • muffled hearing
  • sudden or partial loss of hearing
  • earaches
  • dizziness
  • itchy ears
  • tinnitus, which is ringing in the ear that won't go away
  • feeling fullness in the ear
To help prevent the onset of these symptoms, earwax removals can be done either at a doctor's office or at home. Over-the-counter treatments for earwax removal can be done safely if no infection is present, or if a doctor has cleared you to do so.

Can You Use a Q-tip to Remove Earwax?

It's important to know how to remove earwax safely. Most people believe the only over-the-counter treatment for earwax removal is using a q-tip inside the ear canal.

However, using a q-tip within the ear is not a good way to remove earwax and can lead to injury or infection.

In fact, according to the Journal of Pediatrics and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, between 1996 and 2010, there were over 263,000 children treated in the emergency room for cotton-tip applicator-related injuries.

Safest Methods for Removing Earwax at Home

If you're planning on removing earwax at home, purchasing an earwax removal kit from your local drug store can be a safe option.

Earwax removal kits have detailed instructions on how to use them, making it easy for adults to use on their children or on themselves. These kits already come equipped with a rubber bulb ear syringe and ear drops.

These kits work by softening the earwax within the ear canal by placing drops in your ear twice daily. Then, the bulb is used to irrigate out any remaining earwax.
It's important to use these products as directed, for instance, no more than twice daily for up to four times. It's also essential to check and see if the kit you're using has not been tampered with or previously opened.

Other Natural Methods

Natural oils, such as baby oil, olive oil, and mineral oil can also be used to soften earwax and in place of earwax kit drops. These oils are typically non-irritating to the ear. After placing a couple of drops in the affected ear, you can lie the ear facedown on a towel to catch all the draining earwax.

Other possible solutions that can help remove earwax include
  • saltwater
  • saline solution
  • hydrogen peroxide 
  • vinegar and rubbing alcohol mixture
It's important to note any foreign oils, mixtures, or solutions can cause infection, so get the OK from a doctor before using these over-the-counter earwax removal methods.
By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
May 11, 2021
Category: ENT Care
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 Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
March 19, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Ear Piercing  
Ears PiercedBetween 80-90 percent of American women have their ears pierced, and men are also joining the ear-piercing ranks. Body modifications have been trendy for centuries, first discovered in Otzi, the famous “Iceman” mummy that lived between 3400-3100 BCE. In earlier centuries, ear piercing was a sign of nobility. Today, it’s simply a fashion statement. Of course, getting ears pierced do come with some potential risks, which is why it might be best to skip that local jewelry shop’s ear-piercing services and turn to a qualified ENT doctor instead.
 
The Risks and Complications of Ear Piercing

While getting your ears pierced by a trained medical professional can greatly lessen the risk of infections and complications, sometimes issues still occur after a piercing. Common problems caused by ear piercings include:
  • Allergy to certain metals: If you have an allergy to certain types of jewelry or your skin is particularly sensitive to metals, talk with your doctor about getting jewelry made from materials such as stainless steel or titanium, which are less likely to cause a reaction.
  • Infections: We know that it’s fun to fiddle and play with your piercing, but it’s important to leave it alone while it heals and to practice proper aftercare to prevent infection. If you continue to mess with the piercing before the skin heals, bacteria from your hands can lead to irritation or infection. If you develop redness, swelling, pain, or pus, these are all signs of an infection.
  • Scarring: Certain individuals are prone to scarring, particularly keloid scars (excessive buildup of scar tissue). Keloids scars can be unsightly and uncomfortable but can be treated with laser therapy, steroid injections, or surgery
Certain Medical Conditions Could Make Piercings an Issue

Certain individuals may want to talk with their ENT doctor before getting their ears pierced, as there may be an increase in complications. Let your doctor know beforehand if you,
  • Are pregnant
  • Have diabetes
  • Have an autoimmune disorder
  • Have a blood clotting disorder (e.g., hemophilia)
If you want to get your ears pierced, an ENT specialist will be the best doctor to turn to, as they can provide a clean, sterilized environment to reduce the risk for infection and piercing-related complications. Turn to an ENT doctor for your professional ear piercing.
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.