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Posts for category: ENT Care

By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
April 18, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Mouth Sores   Sore  

Mouth sores or ulcers can certainly be painful when they occur, making it uncomfortable whenever you eat or drink anything. Luckily, most of the time the cause is truly benign and the ulcer will go away on its own without treatment. Of course, if this is a problem that occurs frequently or causes you significant pain than it’s worth talking to an otolaryngologist to find out what’s going on.

Causes of Mouth Sores

So, what could be causing these painful oral sores? Well, there are several things it could be:

  • Traumatic injury (e.g. biting your cheek)
  • Poor hygiene
  • Irritation from dentures, braces, or a sharp tooth
  • Burns
  • Oral thrush infection (a type of yeast infection)
  • Herpes simplex viral infection (causes cold sores that often develop on the mouth or lips)
  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Syphilis
  • Certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and HIV
  • Cancer of the lip

Sometimes adults suffer from aphthous ulcers (better known as canker sores), which are mouth sores that have no known cause. These sores can affect the mouth, gums or tongue and result in small whitish ulcers that can occur during times of emotional stress or around a woman’s menstrual cycle.

The Symptoms of a Mouth Sore

Along with a round ulcer or sore in the mouth, you may also experience pain and tenderness around the sore. The skin around the sore may also be inflamed. Certain foods, such as citrus or spicy foods, can cause further irritation.

Treatment Mouth Sores

If you are someone who is dealing with persistent mouth sores it’s important that you find out what’s causing your symptoms so you know the best course of action. In order to provide an accurate diagnosis an ENT doctor will perform a physical examination to inspect the sore. Based on its appearance a doctor can often decide what the sore is and how to treat it.

For example, if the ulcer is yellow and a bit larger this is usually caused by some sort of trauma to the soft tissue. If a fever is present, the ulcer may be the result of the herpes simplex virus. Sometimes blood tests or a biopsy is necessary to make a more accurate diagnosis.

As we mentioned, most sores will go away by themselves after a few days. Of course, there are other types of ulcers that may require treatment, especially if they are causing you significant pain. Simple conservative treatment options and care include:

  • Using an antiseptic rinse or gel
  • Taking pain relievers
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene
  • Avoiding spicy, sour, and citrus foods
  • Rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water

Certain ulcers, such as ones caused by the herpes simplex virus or oral thrush may require a prescription medication. This is why it’s a good idea to turn to an ENT specialist if you are dealing with mouth sores and don’t know what’s causing them.

By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
April 09, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Hearing Aids  

Find out which type of hearing aid will help you get back in the conversation again.

Has an ENT doctor or audiologist determined that you have hearing loss? If so, you may be wondering, “What now?” Well, the next step is to get fitted for a hearing aid. Of course, with all the advancements in technology there are now so many options when it comes to hearing aids that it can be a bit confusing. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a hearing aid,

The Style

Discretion is usually one of the most important factors that someone mentions when getting a hearing aid (we know being able to hide your hearing aid from others is important). Of course, there are other factors to consider that can help you determine the right style for you. Common hearing aid styles include:

  • Invisible-in-the-canal
  • Completely-in-the-canal
  • In-the-canal
  • In-the-ear
  • Receiver-in-canal
  • Behind-the-ear (often the most versatile hearing aid to accommodate all severities of hearing loss)

Special and Advanced Features

Hearing aids now come with some pretty awesome features and while some may not apply to you or be particularly important for your lifestyle, there are other features that you may wish to have. Top features include:

Noise reduction

This feature separates out dynamic sounds (e.g. television; conversations) from static sounds (e.g. running water) and increases the dynamic sounds while reducing static sounds, making it easier to hear what you actually want to hear.

Directionality

Noisy environments can be a real pain for people with hearing loss. Here’s where the directionality feature on a hearing aid comes in handy. Instead of just “turning up” the volume on all sounds around you, this feature allows you to hear what’s in closer proximity and help you turn your attention and focus on the person in front of you rather than the noisy environment around you. This is particularly helpful for those who work in loud environments such as restaurants.

Multiple channels

Just because a hearing aid has more channels than another doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. What it means is that these different channels offer ways to adjust different frequencies. Therefore, those dealing with both low-end and high-end pitch problems can adjust the volume on one without necessarily adjusting the volume on another. The idea is that these different channels help even out what a person can hear.

Your Hearing Loss

Of course, the type and severity of your hearing loss will also play a factor in which kind of hearing aid will truly give you the best opportunity to understand those around you. This is something that your otolaryngologist can discuss with you during your evaluation and fitting. There are many options available for those dealing with everything from mild to profound hearing loss.

Are you ready to sit down with an ENT specialist to discuss your hearing aid options? Don’t put off addressing your hearing difficulties. The sooner you treat your hearing loss the better.

By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
February 05, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Canker Sores  

A canker sore is a painful ulcer that often develops within the mouth or tongue, but can also be found within the throat or on the lips. Canker sores should not be confused with cold sores (fever blisters), which are the result of a virus. There are several factors that can lead to canker sores, from spicy foods and vitamin deficiencies to stress or certain disorders.

While canker sores are benign and don’t require treatment, most of the time people are looking for ways to reduce canker sore pain until the sore heals on its own. There are two types of canker sores: simple and complex. Simple canker sores only appear a few times a year, usually lasting up to one or two weeks. Complex canker sores, on the other hand, aren’t as common and appear more frequently.

What causes canker sores?

While experts still don’t know what causes canker sores, we do know that there are certain things that can trigger the development of a sore. This includes:

  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods (e.g. lemons; tomatoes)
  • Nutritional deficiencies (e.g. zinc; vitamin B-12)
  • Minor injuries to the mouth (e.g. biting your cheek)
  • Food sensitivities
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Poor or weak immune system
  • Celiac disease
  • HIV/AIDS

When should I see a doctor?

It might be time to consult an ENT doctor if you are noticing:

  • Sores that last several weeks
  • Recurrent outbreaks
  • Pain that isn’t responding to at-home care
  • Severe pain that affects eating
  • Extremely large sores
  • Sores accompanied by a high fever

What are some ways to treat canker sores?

Most of the time canker sores do not require any treatment; however, if you are dealing with extremely large, painful or numerous sores then you may need to seek care from an ENT physician. Since canker sores will heal on their own, your doctor’s goal will be to help manage your pain through common treatment options such as:

  • Topical medications: Over-the-counter or prescription medications can be used to numb the pain or even speed up the healing process.
  • Oral rinses: To reduce inflammation or to numb the pain a doctor may prescribe a special mouth rinse.
  • Oral medications: If canker sores aren’t responsive to other treatment options, oral medications may be recommended. Such options include steroids.
  • Supplements: If your canker sores are the result of a nutritional deficiency then a doctor may recommend taking certain vitamins or supplements such as folic acid, vitamin B-12 or zinc.

If you are dealing with painful canker sores that you can’t seem to get under control then it’s time to turn to an ear, nose & throat specialist who can provide you with the answers you’re looking for.

By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
January 07, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Tonsillectomy  

What is a Tonsillectomy?


Need a tonsillectomy? Tonsillectomies have been practiced for over 2,000 years. A tonsillectomy is a surgical operation to remove the palatine tonsils. Tonsils are two glands located at the rear of the throat. Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctors, also known as an otolaryngologists, are highly experienced in tonsillectomies. Here's everything you need to know about tonsillectomies.

Why it's Done

A tonsillectomy is used to treat chronic or recurring tonsilitis, complications of enlarged tonsils, and bleeding of the tonsils. A tonsillectomy is also a treatment for sleep-disordered breathing and other rare diseases of the tonsils. The need for tonsillectomies are more common in kids than adults. However, people of any age can experience trouble with their tonsils and require a tonsillectomy.

The Procedure

Tonsillectomy is an operation in which both tonsils are removed from a recess in the side of the pharynx called the tonsillar fossa. Once the patient is asleep, the surgery begins. An instrument is used to hold the patient's mouth open. The tonsils are then cut away with a laser, scalpel, or a heated instrument. Once the tonsils are removed and the bleeding is controlled, the surgery is over. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, which is usually completed in 20 to 30 minutes.

Complications

A tonsillectomy is a common procedure. However, like with other operations, there are some risks with this procedure. These can include bleeding, infection, swelling, prolonged pain, or a reaction to anesthetics. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your physician before the procedure. Anyone who is contemplating surgery must weigh the potential risks against the benefits of the surgery.

Recovery Process

Tonsillectomies are usually performed on an outpatient basis, which allows the patients to go home once they are awake from surgery. Recovery time for a tonsillectomy is usually at least 10 days to 2 weeks. You may experience some pain as as recover from a tonsillectomy. You might have a sore throat after the procedure. Pain relief medication can help you feel better during recovery. Many people are ready to go back to work or school within two weeks after a tonsillectomy.

Post-Op Instructions

An appointment for a checkup should be made two weeks after the procedure. The most important thing one can do after surgery to prevent dehydration is to drink plenty of fluids. Try to drink non-acidic drinks. Soft foods such as gelatin, puddings, and mashed foods are helpful to maintain adequate nutrition. Spicy, hot, and coarse foods should be avoided because they may scratch the throat and cause bleeding. Bed rest is important for several days after the procedure. Strenous activities should be avoided for two weeks after surgery.


You don't have to suffer anymore. If you think you may need a tonsillectomy, talk it over with a board certified ENT specialist. Find an ENT specialist in your area and schedule an appointment today. A tonsillectomy can ease your symptoms and help you get back to a happy and healthy life!

By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
November 01, 2018
Category: ENT Care
Tags: ENT   Deviated Septum  

Has your otolaryngologist told you that you have a deviated septum? If so, you may be wondering what this condition is, what issues it could possibly cause and whenDeviated septum it might be time to have the issue corrected.

A deviated septum is a structural abnormality within the nose in which the wall that separates the two nasal passages deviates more to one side. As a result, one nasal passage is much smaller than the other. In more severe cases, the deviated septum can even completely block one passageway, making it more difficult to breathe out of your nose.

Those who have a deviated septum may find that they deal with more frequent nosebleeds or swelling of the nasal tissue. You may also experience facial pain and pressure. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or finding it difficult to breathe out of your nose then you will want to visit an ENT doctor who can perform a thorough evaluation and determine whether your symptoms are caused by a deviated septum or another issue.

If we determine that you have a deviated septum there are a couple different courses of action in which we can take. If the deviated septum isn’t causing severe issues then the first defense will be to better manage your symptoms through the use of steroid nasal sprays, decongestants or antihistamines. While these medications won’t correct the problem it will help to reduce nasal congestion and swelling within the nasal passages to help you breathe better.

Of course, if your symptoms are severe and not controlled through medication then the next step will be surgery to repair the structural deformity. This procedure is called septoplasty, in which an ENT specialist will make incisions into the septum so that it can be repositioned into the proper place. In some cases, a rhinoplasty (“nose job”) may also be performed during the septoplasty to correct the shape, size or alignment of the nose and improve its appearance.

If you think you may be suffering from a deviated septum this is the perfect time to pick up the phone and call an otolaryngologist who can help manage your symptoms and help you breathe better.