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Posts for: March, 2021

By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
March 19, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Ear Piercing  
Ears PiercedBetween 80-90 percent of American women have their ears pierced, and men are also joining the ear-piercing ranks. Body modifications have been trendy for centuries, first discovered in Otzi, the famous “Iceman” mummy that lived between 3400-3100 BCE. In earlier centuries, ear piercing was a sign of nobility. Today, it’s simply a fashion statement. Of course, getting ears pierced do come with some potential risks, which is why it might be best to skip that local jewelry shop’s ear-piercing services and turn to a qualified ENT doctor instead.
 
The Risks and Complications of Ear Piercing

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 Medical Conditions Could Make Piercings an Issue

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)
If you want to get your ears pierced, an ENT specialist will be the best doctor to turn to, as they can provide a clean, sterilized environment to reduce the risk for infection and piercing-related complications. Turn to an ENT doctor for your professional ear piercing.

By North Texas Ear Nose and Throat
March 10, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Postnasal Drip  
Postnasal DripWe’ve all experienced it: that nasty feeling when mucus drains down your throat. This problem is known as postnasal drip and it can also kick-up a variety of other unpleasant symptoms. While our throat and nasal passages are always producing mucus to protect against foreign invaders and to fight infections, sometimes the body produces too much mucus, which results in postnasal drip. Find out what causes postnasal drip and how an ENT doctor can help you manage this unpleasant symptom.

What are the signs of postnasal drip?

Along with extra mucus draining from the nose into the back of your throat, other signs of postnasal drip include:
  • Hoarseness
  • Persistent cough, often worse at night
  • A need to constantly clear your throat
  • Scratchy or sore throat
  • Painful ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Bad breath
  • Nausea (due to mucus going into the stomach)
What causes postnasal drip?

So, what is triggering all that unwanted and excess mucus that’s now draining down your throat? There are a few possible reasons such as:
  • A cold or flu
  • Allergies
  • Sinusitis
  • Dry, cold air
  • Changes in weather
  • Deviated septum (a common malformation in the nasal wall that separates the two cavities)
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications (e.g., blood pressure medication; birth control)
  • Chemicals and environmental irritants (e.g., perfumes; smoke)
How is postnasal drip treated?

At-home care and over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines may alleviate your postnasal drip, especially if it is caused by allergies. Saline nasal sprays and neti pots can also provide moisture to the nasal passages. Sleep with your head slightly propped up and make sure that you are staying hydrated throughout the day.

If you’re dealing with recurring postnasal drip, postnasal drip that lasts more than 10 days, or postnasal drip that’s accompanied by fever or green discharge (signs of a bacterial infection), you must turn to an ENT doctor for the appropriate medication and treatment. If a bacterial infection is present, your ENT will prescribe a round of antibiotics. Structural issues such as a deviated septum can only be corrected through surgery.

If other conditions such as acid reflux could be to blame, a doctor can run the right diagnostic tests to determine the cause and to provide you with a custom treatment plan to get your postnasal drip in check.