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.
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:
- Sore or irritated throat
- Excessive thirst
- Changes in taste
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.
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