Posts for category: ENT Health
- 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
- Mouth breathing
- Postnasal drip
- Environmental irritant and pollutants
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,
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.
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.
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.
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)
- Persistent bad breath
- Chronic or persistent sinus infections
- Ear infections
- Obstructive sleep apnea (pauses in the breath that happening while asleep)
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
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.
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.
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
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.