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Posts for category: ENT Conditions

By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
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.
By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
March 11, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Postnasal Drip  
Postnasal DripWe’ve all experienced it: that nasty feeling when mucus drains down your throat. This problem is known as postnasal drip and it can also kick-up a variety of other unpleasant symptoms. While our throat and nasal passages are always producing mucus to protect against foreign invaders and to fight infections, sometimes the body produces too much mucus, which results in postnasal drip. Find out what causes postnasal drip and how an ENT doctor can help you manage this unpleasant symptom.

What are the signs of postnasal drip?

Along with extra mucus draining from the nose into the back of your throat, other signs of postnasal drip include:
  • Hoarseness
  • Persistent cough, often worse at night
  • A need to constantly clear your throat
  • Scratchy or sore throat
  • Painful ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Bad breath
  • Nausea (due to mucus going into the stomach)
What causes postnasal drip?

So, what is triggering all that unwanted and excess mucus that’s now draining down your throat? There are a few possible reasons such as:
  • A cold or flu
  • Allergies
  • Sinusitis
  • Dry, cold air
  • Changes in weather
  • Deviated septum (a common malformation in the nasal wall that separates the two cavities)
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications (e.g., blood pressure medication; birth control)
  • Chemicals and environmental irritants (e.g., perfumes; smoke)
How is postnasal drip treated?

At-home care and over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines may alleviate your postnasal drip, especially if it is caused by allergies. Saline nasal sprays and neti pots can also provide moisture to the nasal passages. Sleep with your head slightly propped up and make sure that you are staying hydrated throughout the day.

If you’re dealing with recurring postnasal drip, postnasal drip that lasts more than 10 days, or postnasal drip that’s accompanied by fever or green discharge (signs of a bacterial infection), you must turn to an ENT doctor for the appropriate medication and treatment. If a bacterial infection is present, your ENT will prescribe a round of antibiotics. Structural issues such as a deviated septum can only be corrected through surgery.

If other conditions such as acid reflux could be to blame, a doctor can run the right diagnostic tests to determine the cause and to provide you with a custom treatment plan to get your postnasal drip in check.
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
December 09, 2020
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Dry Mouth  
he Possible Causes of Dry Mouth
Feeling like your mouth is as dry as the Sahara? While dry mouth is fairly common if this is a problem you are dealing with regularly then you may be wondering what’s going on and why it’s happening to you. Common causes of dry mouth include:
 
Medications
There are some medications in which dry mouth is a common side effect. Dry mouth is more common in allergy meds, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants, cold medications, acne treatments, high blood pressure medication, asthma inhalers, or muscle relaxants.
 
Certain Health Disorders
Dry mouth could also be indicative of a health condition. Those with HIV, diabetes, anemia, high blood pressure, or hypertension are more likely to deal with dry mouth.
 
Dehydration
Did you know that most Americans aren’t drinking enough water? If you are one of them, then it’s only natural that you’re going to deal with dry mouth. If you are losing fluids through vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are participating in sports during the summer, you must be consuming enough fluids and staying hydrated to offset the increased loss of fluid.
 
Lifestyle habits
Certain habits could also be contributing to your dry mouth. If you are a mouth breather this is a common reason you could be dealing with this pesky problem. Those who smoke or use tobacco products are also more likely to deal with dry mouth.
 
What are the signs of dry mouth?
While it might be obvious that a dry mouth will feel, well dry, there are other symptoms associated with dry mouth including,
  • Sore or irritated throat
  • Excessive thirst
  • Changes in taste
Less obvious symptoms include hoarseness or dry eyes.
 
When should I see a doctor?
We all know that not drinking enough water or even being stressed out can lead to the occasional bout of dry mouth, but if you are dealing with this problem regularly it’s important to see a doctor since this could be a sign of an underlying health problem that will most likely require treatment.
 
If you are dealing with persistent dry mouth an ENT doctor can determine what’s going on and how to best combat it. Since dry mouth has the ability to lead to bad breath, decay, and gum disease, it’s a good idea to get this problem under control.