Posts for category: ENT Care
Practice Good Hygiene
Some ear infections occur as a result of a cold or flu, so it’s important that you protect yourself from viral infections to reduce your risk for an ear infection, too. This means practicing proper handwashing, avoiding those who are sick, and not touching your mouth or face.
Find Allergy Relief
Allergies can also cause some serious issues. If you find yourself getting ear infections around the wintertime this could be the result of allergies. To prevent swelling of the Eustachian tubes you should find an allergy nasal spray that can better control your symptoms and
Get the Flu Shot
As we mentioned above, getting the flu can also lead to an ear infection. So if you are someone who notoriously finds themselves battling an ear infection after the flu, the best way to protect yourself and those around you is to get the flu shot. The flu shot should be administered each year to those 6 months and older.
Avoid Cigarette Smoke
Smoking can also cause the Eustachian tubes of the ears to swell. This is why you should quit smoking if you currently smoke. It’s also particularly important for newborns and young children to avoid any environmental pollutants or smoky areas, as they are already particularly susceptible to ear infections and these environments can make it worse.
Breastfeed Your Newborn
Since children under 3 years old are particularly vulnerable to ear infections, one of the best ways to protect them is to breastfeed them. This is because breastmilk contains antibodies that can protect the baby from infections, including ear infections. It is recommended that women breastfeed their baby for at least the first six months, but can continue to breastfeed as long as they want.
If you are dealing with recurring or severe ear infections it’s always best to play it safe and to see a qualified ENT professional for an evaluation. Recurring ear infections can be a sign that something more is going on and warrants having it checked out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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)
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
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.
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: