Nasal congestion, nasal blockages, facial pain, and pressure—these are all symptoms that arise when sinuses go rogue. Just like the rest of the body, these hollow cavities within the skull can also fall victim to a variety of conditions and problems. The most common sinus problems include:
Acute sinusitis (also known as a sinus infection)
Unfortunately, there are countless people around the world dealing with these problems, and these chronic sinus problems have even been linked to a higher rate of depression. This is why it’s so important to have an otolaryngologist by your side that can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms and improve how your sinuses feel and function.
Millions of Americans deal with acute sinus infections each year. While they can be a nuisance, they usually don’t cause much harm and will often just run their course without treatment. In the meantime, you can ease your symptoms by applying warm facial compresses, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, staying hydrated and using nasal sprays, if necessary. Symptoms of acute sinusitis usually go away within one month.
Unfortunately, there are some people who deal with chronic sinusitis, in which symptoms last more than three months and don’t seem to respond to at-home care. When this happens it’s important that you seek medical care from a qualified ENT doctor who can provide you with more aggressive options for handling the infection.
In the past, the only treatment option for severe or chronic sinus infections was t surgery; however, now ENT doctors offer a minimally invasive treatment known as balloon sinuplasty, which is quick and easy to perform, doesn’t require any incisions or bone removal, and boasts a very fast recovery period. Balloon sinuplasty can be a great alternative to traditional sinus surgery.
A lot of people have a deviated septum but might not even realize it. If it isn’t giving you any problems then it’s not something to worry about; however, if you are dealing with severe or chronic nasal congestion, particularly on one side, this could definitely be alerting you to the fact that you have a deviated septum. Those with a deviated septum are also more likely to develop nosebleeds or recurring sinus infections. Surgery is often required to repair the septum.
Allergies are another common issue that people deal with, particularly during certain times of the year. If you find yourself fighting back sneezing and congestion rather frequently then you could be allergic to pollen, pet dander, or dust mites. Other allergy symptoms include:
Runny or stuffy nose
There are a variety of medications and lifestyle modifications that can keep your allergies in check. It’s important that you seek the care of an ENT specialist, as untreated allergy symptoms can often get worse.
Do you find that certain times of the year it’s difficult to go outdoors without developing watery itchy eyes or sneezing your head off? Does coming in contact with your friends’ pets leave you dealing with red itchy welts on your skin and a runny nose? If you said “yes” to these questions, you could very well be dealing with allergies.
While there isn’t a cure for allergies, there are many ways to treat this issue. If you aren’t finding relief through over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, and other allergy medications, it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist for help. It’s important that you don’t just ignore your allergy symptoms, as they can often get worse if left untreated.
First and foremost, it’s important to figure out what is causing your allergy symptoms to flare-up. Everything from pollen, mold dust, dust mites, dander, and mildew could be causing your symptoms. The sooner you and your ENT doctor are able to get to the root of your flare-ups the easier it will be to treat your allergies.
While an otolaryngologist may choose to prescribe medication to help you better manage your symptoms, there are also a variety of lifestyle modifications you can incorporate into your daily routine to reduce flare-ups.
For starters, it’s important to reduce how often you come in contact with the offending allergen. This may require you to close your windows during the day, vacuum the carpets and furniture a few times a week, bathe your trusty pet regularly, use an air purifier with a HEPA filter in your bedroom, or place a protective covering over your mattress.
Even though some people may find relief from commercial allergy products, those dealing with persistent or moderate-to-severe allergies may require a more specific and stronger medication. There are a variety of prescription nasal sprays, eye drops, and other antihistamines that can reduce congestion, eye redness and itching, and other allergy complaints. Of course, if these lifestyle changes and medications aren’t enough to get your symptoms under control then your allergy specialist may discuss the pros and cons of getting allergy shots.
Don’t let allergies get the better of you. There are ways to get your allergies under control so they don’t control you. Don’t fight your allergy alone; turn to an ENT specialist for help.
Though sleep apnea is often considered an adult’s disease, it can also occur in children. This potentially dangerous condition is treatable with help from your child’s ear, nose, and throat doctor. Does your child have sleep apnea? Learn the symptoms and signs of sleep apnea with your child’s doctors and audiologists at Children’s Ear, Nose, Throat, and Allergy in Orlando and Maitland, FL.
What is obtrusive sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition which causes patients to breathe shallowly or temporarily stop breathing altogether while asleep. These pauses in breathing, called apneas, come from a blockage of the airway, often the back of the tongue. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 18 million American adults suffer from sleep apnea. However, children’s numbers are more vague, with an estimated prevalence of about 2-3%. Children who suffer from sleep apnea may also notice daytime symptoms.
Does my child have sleep apnea?
The most common sign of sleep apnea, whether in children or adults, is snoring. While obesity contributes to most cases of adult sleep apnea, children who have sleep apnea often suffer from enlarged tonsils. Some other common symptoms include:
- poor attention span
- mouth breathing
- poor performance at school
- excessive daytime sleepiness
- pauses in breathing during sleep (apneas)
How can my Orlando and Maitland ENT doctor help my child’s sleep apnea?
Treating childhood sleep apnea depends on the severity of the condition and the child themselves. Often, the underlying issue causing the condition is enlarged tonsils or adenoids. In this case, surgery to remove these tissues is often enough to correct the problem and reverse the symptoms of sleep apnea. However, children who attribute sleep apnea to obesity benefit more from lifestyle changes and learning to effectively manage their weight. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines, which keep the airway open and clear using air pressure, or oral dental appliances to help shift the jaw to eliminate the obstruction may also benefit children with sleep apnea.
For more information on pediatric sleep apnea, please contact your child’s doctors and audiologists at Children’s Ear, Nose, Throat, and Allergy with locations in Orlando and Maitland, FL. Call (407) 253-1000 to schedule your appointment at any of our offices today!
Ear pain can make you feel miserable, but it's not always easy to tell if your symptoms are actually caused by an infection. These signs and symptoms typically occur when you have an ear infection.
What are common ear infection signs and symptoms?
Symptoms of ear infections include:
- Ear Pain: Pain may be continuous or may come and go.
- Fever: The infection can cause a fever of 101 or 102F, but not everyone who gets an ear infection doesn't develop a fever.
- Difficulty Hearing: A build up of mucus in the inner ear can make it harder to hear clearly.
- Drainage: If the eardrum bursts or perforates, mucus will begin to drain from the ears.
Ear infections are more common in children than adults. The eustachian tubes, the passageways that connect the ears to the throat, are smaller and more horizontal in children, making it easier for bacteria and viruses to reach the ears. It's not always easy to tell if your baby or young child has an ear infection, although signs of infection tend to start after a cold. In addition to the signs mentioned above, these signs can indicate that there is an infection:
- Pulling on ears
- Irritability of fussiness
- Frequent waking during the night
- Reluctance to lie flat
- Loss of appetite due to pain when chewing or swallowing
How are ear infections treated?
Although antibiotics were once commonly prescribed for ear infections, doctors today use a "wait and see" approach before recommending them. In many cases, ear infections get better on their own without any treatment. If antibiotics are prescribed too frequently, you may become resistant to them.
If you or your child continue to have symptoms after two or three days, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic and drops to relieve ear pain. Infections can be more serious in babies and young children. Don't wait two or three days to call your doctor if your child has a fever of 101 or higher, won't stop crying, is in severe pain or if you notice drainage from the ears.
Do you think you or your child may have an ear infection? Your ear, nose and throat doctor can offer recommendations and treatments to help you feel better.
Have coughing spells become a normal part of your day? Living with constant coughing can leave you feeling tired and dizzy. Determining the cause is an important step that will help your ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor find a treatment that will stop your chronic coughing.
What causes chronic coughing?
Chronic coughing can be caused by a variety of factors and illnesses, including:
- Illnesses and Infections: Coughing is common if you have the flu, a cold, bronchitis, pneumonia or other infections. It can continue to occur for weeks after you first become sick, even though you've begun to feel better.
- Postnasal Drip: Postnasal drip occurs when mucus from your nose drips down into your throat. The mucus irritates the lining of the throat, causing you a chronic cough.
- Smoking: Chronic coughing is common in smokers. It can also be a problem if you don't smoke, but are frequently exposed to cigarettes or cigar smoke.
- COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) causes chronic inflammation in your bronchial tubes, which triggers coughing.
- Asthma: Coughing is common when your asthma isn't under control. Exposure to strong odors, chemicals, cold air or other triggers can cause coughing.
- ACE Inhibitors: These drugs treat heart failure and lower blood pressure. Some people develop chronic coughs when taking them.
- GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when acids from your stomach flow back into your esophagus and throat, resulting in irritation that triggers coughing.
- Exposure to Pollution and Chemicals: If you live in a polluted area or work with chemicals, toxins or irritants, you may be more likely to develop a chronic cough.
- Lung Cancer: Although most cases of chronic coughing aren't due to cancer, tumors can cause coughing.
When should you see an ENT?
If your cough doesn't get better after two or three weeks, it's a good idea to call your ear, nose and throat doctor. Other symptoms that warrant a call include:
- Fever higher than 100F
- Coughing up blood or yellow or green phlegm
- Difficulty breathing
- Night sweats
- Extreme fatigue
Chronic coughing can put your health at risk. If you or your family members experience frequent bouts of coughing, make an appointment with your ENT.
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