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By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
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.
By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
October 02, 2020
Category: ENT Care
TonsilsIf you open your mouth, it’s fairly easy to see your tonsils, as they are the two soft-tissue organs that lie on either side of the back of the throat. These structures are great for being able to stop bacteria from getting into the body, and they even act as the body’s first line of defense against germs. Unfortunately, even tonsils can become inflamed and infected; however, if you are dealing with regular or recurring tonsillitis, severe infections, or bleeding of the tonsil, then your ENT doctor may recommend tonsil removal surgery.

How long does a tonsillectomy take?

A tonsillectomy is performed as a simple outpatient procedure, which means that you will be able to go home the very same day. Surgery is done right in our ENT practice under general anesthesia. This means that you will be asleep throughout the entire procedure.

There are a variety of different methods that can be used to remove the tonsils and your doctor will talk to you about which method may be the best option for you. The surgery is quick, only taking approximately 20-30 minutes to remove the tonsils.

What is the recovery process like?

You may experience a sore throat for a few days after surgery so you will want to consume softer foods and more fluids to stay hydrated and to make sure that you are getting proper nutrients while your mouth heals. Resting is also very important, and you should avoid any physical activities for about two weeks.

You may need pain relievers to ease your symptoms during recovery. Your otolaryngologist will also let you know when you can return to work or when your child can return to school after surgery.

Could I benefit from tonsil removal surgery?
 
You may want to talk with your otolaryngologist about whether you could benefit from having your tonsils removed if you are experiencing at least seven cases of tonsillitis in one year or more than five cases a year for two years. If antibiotics do not properly clear up your infection, or if an abscess develops behind the tonsils, then surgery to remove the tonsils may also be recommended.

If you are having issues with your tonsils, you may benefit from removal surgery. Talk with your ENT doctor to find out whether a tonsillectomy is a right choice for you or your little one.
By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
September 18, 2020
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Deviated Septum  
Deviated SeptumThe septum is a thin wall of cartilage that separates the two nasal cavities of the nose. If the septum is crooked or leans more to one side, this is known as a deviated septum. A deviated septum is quite common, and many people don’t even realize that they have one. That’s because this condition is usually rather minor and doesn’t cause serious symptoms; however, if you’re experiencing difficulty breathing through your nose you may want to see your ENT doctor for an evaluation.

If your deviated septum symptoms are mild, then your ENT specialist may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications that can help reduce inflammation within the nasal tissue to help improve airflow. Common medications used to treat a deviated septum include:
  • Antihistamines: May be effective for treating congestion or a runny nose caused by this structural abnormality
  • Nasal sprays: Most nasal sprays contain steroids, which can greatly reduce inflammation
  • Decongestants: Milder symptoms may respond to simple medications such as decongestants, which can help break up mucus and reduce inflammation within the nasal tissue
Of course, more moderate to severe symptoms may require surgery to fix the underlying problem. Symptoms of a deviated septum include:
  • Nasal obstruction or full blockage of a nasal cavity
  • Severe facial pain and pressure
  • Frequent headaches
  • Snoring
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Severe swelling
Your ENT doctor may recommend surgery to correct the abnormality if you have a fully blocked nostril or you are dealing with recurring or chronic bouts of sinusitis.

What should I expect from surgery?

If your otolaryngologist recommends surgery to correct the deviated septum, this type of surgery is known as a septoplasty. During surgery, an ENT specialist may need to remove some tissue or cartilage to make it easier to straighten the septum. In some instances, this procedure is performed along with a rhinoplasty to improve the overall shape of the nose. A septoplasty is usually only recommended if people are having significant trouble or cannot properly breathe out of their nose.

If you are unable to breathe through your nose fully or properly, we understand just how disconcerting this can be. An otolaryngologist can provide you not just with the answer you’re looking for but also comprehensive care. Find out the best way to manage your deviated septum symptoms. 
By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
September 02, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Tonsillectomy   Tonsillitis  
TonsillectomyThe tonsils are two small glands that are found in the back of the throat. They are our body’s first defenses against harmful bacteria and other foreign invaders; however, sometimes even the tonsils can become inflamed and infected. This condition is known as tonsillitis. While dealing with tonsillitis doesn’t require having your tonsils removed, your ENT doctor may recommend getting a tonsillectomy if:
  • You are dealing with seven or more tonsil infections in just one year
  • You have more than five tonsil infections a year for two years in a row
  • You have three infections per year for three years in a row
  • Your infected tonsils are not responding to antibiotics
  • You’re dealing with enlarged tonsils (this can also cause obstructive sleep apnea and issues with breathing while sleeping)
If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to speak with a qualified ENT doctor to find out whether it’s time to consider a tonsillectomy. For many adults, a tonsillectomy is recommended when sleep is affected by inflamed or enlarged tonsils.

What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?

Wondering if you or your child is dealing with a case of tonsillitis? It’s possible if these symptoms appear:
  • A severe sore throat
  • White or yellow patches on the throat and tonsils
  • Swollen, inflamed tonsils
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pain or trouble swallowing
  • Fever
What should I expect from a tonsillectomy?

This procedure is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia, so you or your child will not be awake during the procedure; however, this is a minor procedure, so patients can go home the very same day. A tonsillectomy takes anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour and the area does not require stitches.

After a tonsillectomy, it is important to take ample time to rest and recover, which can take up to one week before returning to normal activities and up to two weeks before returning to physical activity. Your otolaryngologist will provide you with detailed recovery instructions to follow after your surgery.

If your child is dealing with persistent and severe tonsillitis, or if you’re dealing with obstructive sleep apnea, it’s important to consult with your ENT specialist to find out if you or your child’s tonsils need to be removed. Schedule an evaluation today.
By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
August 18, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Tinnitus   Whizzing sound  
Ears Keep RingingIf you’ve ever been to a loud concert then chances are good that you’ve dealt with ear ringing afterward; however, if you’re experiencing ringing in the ears regularly and symptoms seem to appear out of the blue, then you could have a condition known as tinnitus.

Tinnitus is the result of damage to hair cells within the inner ear. Tinnitus is most often characterized as a ringing in the ear, but others may hear a clicking, hissing, or whizzing sound. You may hear it in one ear or both and sometimes it can be loud.

While tinnitus isn’t dangerous it can certainly be annoying, especially if it’s loud or happening regularly. If symptoms are severe it may even affect your quality of life.

What causes tinnitus?

Along with exposure to loud noises (often from occupations in the construction or music industries), there are other causes of tinnitus including:
  • A head injury
  • Impacted wax or wax buildup
  • Caffeine
  • Meniere’s disease (a condition of the inner ear)
  • Certain medications (e.g. antibiotics; medication for blood pressure)
Can tinnitus be cured?

If tinnitus is the result of something simple like caffeine or impacted wax, then simply remove the wax or eliminate caffeine from your diet. Sometimes tinnitus will simply go away on its own.

Even though there isn’t anything that can cure tinnitus, your ENT doctor can provide you with a variety of treatment options to make living with tinnitus easier, such as:
  • Adding white noise to your room (e.g. turning on a fan)
  • Altering your medication (if medication is causing your symptoms, talk with your doctor before stopping or replacing medication)
  • Wearing a hearing aid
  • Trying acupuncture or alternative treatments, which may also provide relief
  • Wearing earplugs to protect your hearing from further noise exposure, especially when operating loud machines (e.g. lawnmower; blender)
  • Keeping your ears clean and seeing your doctor regularly if you are prone to ear wax impaction
When should I see a doctor?

If you are experiencing ringing ears that persist for weeks, then it’s time to see a doctor for an evaluation. If you also experience dizziness or hearing loss in one or both ears this could be a symptom of Meniere’s disease, and you should see your doctor right away.

If you are concerned about ringing ears, dizziness, or other problems affecting your ear health, then call an ENT specialist to find out what’s going on and how to best treat it.




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