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Posts for category: ENT Health

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
November 23, 2020
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Adenoids  
What Are AdenoidsWhen we think about the first line of defense against infection we often think about the tonsils; however, the adenoids also play a part in protecting against infection. Together the tonsils and adenoids make up the lymphatic system and stop viruses and bacteria from entering the mouth and nose. While the tonsils are found in the back of the throat the adenoids sit in the far back of the throat behind the nose. Unfortunately, just as tonsils can get infected and cause problems, so too can adenoids.

What causes enlarged adenoids?

Since adenoids frequently come into contact with germs, it’s common for adenoids to swell a bit to get rid of an infection. Allergies also have the ability to cause enlarged adenoids. While the swelling will often go away on its own, there are instances where the swelling can actually turn into an infection.

What are the symptoms of enlarged adenoids?

While tonsil problems will mostly affect the throat, if you are dealing with enlarged adenoids most of the symptoms are concentrated in the nasal cavity. Those with enlarged adenoids may experience:
  • Trouble breathing through the nose
  • Mouth breathing
  • Dry lips and mouth (as a result of mouth breathing)
  • Snoring
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Chronic or persistent sinus infections
  • Ear infections
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (pauses in the breath that happening while asleep)
Should I have my adenoids removed?

It’s important to talk with your ENT doctor if you or your child are dealing with persistent symptoms of enlarged adenoids. We will ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and go through your medical history to determine whether you could benefit from an adenoidectomy. It may be time to considering having your adenoids removed if:
  • You are dealing with obstructive sleep apnea or poor sleep as a result of enlarged adenoids
  • You are dealing with recurring, antibiotic-resistant ear infections
  • You have recurring adenoid infections that don’t respond to medication
  • Your symptoms are impacting your life, including work or school performance
In some cases, your ENT doctor may recommend getting both the adenoids and tonsils removed at the same time.

If you or your child is dealing with enlarged adenoids or other problems that affect your breathing, you must see an ENT doctor that can provide you with the treatment you need. 
By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
November 05, 2020
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Cleft Palate  
A cleft palate is a common birth defect that occurs in the first six to nine weeks of pregnancy in which the tissue of the roof of the mouth doesn’t fuse. This results in an opening in the roof of the mouth that over time can lead to other problems such as recurring ear infections, difficulty with feedings, and speech problems. This is why it’s important to work with a qualified ear, nose, and throat doctor who can ensure that your child gets the proper treatment to correct their cleft palate.

Detecting a Cleft Palate

During your child’s very first examination after birth, a doctor will be able to easily tell whether your child has a cleft palate through a simple oral exam. From there, your pediatrician may recommend seeing an ENT doctor who can correct the birth defect.

Cleft Palate Treatment

The only way to correct a cleft palate is through a procedure known as a palatoplasty. This usually isn’t performed until the baby is around 10 to 12 months old. A palatoplasty will close the gap in the roof of the mouth to improve feedings and to prevent speech delays. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

The surgery will close up the gap in the palate and repair any of the muscles of the palate, if necessary. Stitches will dissolve on their own and your ENT doctor will provide you with detailed care instructions both before and after surgery. For example, your baby will need to stick with a liquid diet for about a week after surgery and then only eat soft foods for several weeks after.

Even after surgery, your child may require additional surgeries or other specialists and care such as orthodontics or speech therapy. This is something that you can discuss with your ENT doctor. This procedure is designed to not only improve your child’s appearance but also to prevent speech impediments and language delays, as well as breathing, hearing, or feeding problems.

If your baby was born with a cleft lip or palate, an otolaryngologist will be able to provide you with the specialized surgical treatment you need to correct this birth defect. To learn more about this procedure and your child’s treatment options, call your ENT today.
By Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates
October 20, 2020
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Nasal Irrigation  
Nasal IrrigationDealing with a blocked nose thanks to a cold or a sinus infection? If so, you may be wondering about ways to help alleviate your symptoms until the infection clears up. Many people swear by nasal irrigation, a simple remedy that involves pouring a saline solution into the nose to help wash out mucus and other bacteria. Is this the best way to manage your stuffy nose? Your ENT doctor is here to help you determine the best home remedies for treating blocked or clogged nasal passages.

What is nasal irrigation and how does it work?

Nasal irrigation has roots in ayurvedic medicine and involves flushing out the sinuses to help manage symptoms associated with:
  • Sinusitis (both acute and chronic)
  • Colds and other respiratory infections
  • Allergies
  • Irritants
Most people have heard of a neti pot, a small pot that holds and pours saline solution through the nasal passages. It’s crucial that you only use distilled or sterilized water when using an at-home nasal irrigation system. Your ENT doctor may recommend a neti pot for thinning out mucus and improving your symptoms, particularly if you deal with chronic or recurring sinus infections. In some cases, this may be beneficial for patients to do regularly, especially for those who are looking to avoid surgery to treat partially blocked or clogged sinuses.

By thinning out mucus, some patients also report a reduction in facial pain, nasal congestion, and sinus pressure, which can also reduce your chances of tension or sinus-related headaches.

How do I use my nasal irrigation system?

You can easily purchase a nasal irrigation system over the counter at your local drugstore. It’s important to read all instructions before starting. If you are unsure how to use it you may want to talk with your ENT doctor first, who can show you how to use your neti pot safely and effectively.

In most cases, you will need to mix a special salt and baking soda mixture into distilled or sterilized water. Once the neti pot has been filled with the saline solution, tilt your head slightly and place the spout of the pot into the nostril and slowly begin to pour the solution into the nose (this should be done over a sink). While it might feel awkward at first, it should not be uncomfortable or hurt. Neti pots can be used for people of all ages, including children.

If you are dealing with a recurrent sinus infection or uncontrollable allergy symptoms, you must talk with a qualified ENT doctor to find out what’s going on and how to get your condition under control.