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Posts for category: ENT Care

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
September 20, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Ear Infections  
Preventing Ear InfectionsDo you deal with painful ear infections often? Does your child? We all know how painful an ear infection can be and we also know that as with any health problem, it is always easier (and better) to prevent it whenever possible. Didn’t realize there were things you could do to lessen the chances of developing an ear infection? Well, now you’re about to find out…

Practice Good Hygiene

Some ear infections occur as a result of a cold or flu, so it’s important that you protect yourself from viral infections to reduce your risk for an ear infection, too. This means practicing proper handwashing, avoiding those who are sick, and not touching your mouth or face.

Find Allergy Relief

Allergies can also cause some serious issues. If you find yourself getting ear infections around the wintertime this could be the result of allergies. To prevent swelling of the Eustachian tubes you should find an allergy nasal spray that can better control your symptoms and

Get the Flu Shot

As we mentioned above, getting the flu can also lead to an ear infection. So if you are someone who notoriously finds themselves battling an ear infection after the flu, the best way to protect yourself and those around you is to get the flu shot. The flu shot should be administered each year to those 6 months and older.

Avoid Cigarette Smoke

Smoking can also cause the Eustachian tubes of the ears to swell. This is why you should quit smoking if you currently smoke. It’s also particularly important for newborns and young children to avoid any environmental pollutants or smoky areas, as they are already particularly susceptible to ear infections and these environments can make it worse.

Breastfeed Your Newborn

Since children under 3 years old are particularly vulnerable to ear infections, one of the best ways to protect them is to breastfeed them. This is because breastmilk contains antibodies that can protect the baby from infections, including ear infections. It is recommended that women breastfeed their baby for at least the first six months, but can continue to breastfeed as long as they want.

If you are dealing with recurring or severe ear infections it’s always best to play it safe and to see a qualified ENT professional for an evaluation. Recurring ear infections can be a sign that something more is going on and warrants having it checked out.
By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
May 11, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Sinus Pain  
Sinus PainDealing with sinus pain and pressure? During certain times of the year, our otolaryngologist hears more and more people complaining about sinus infections. If you are currently battling with sinus pressure and pain that has you feeling exhausted, uncomfortable, and downright miserable, here are some ways to alleviate these symptoms.
 
Flush Out Bacteria

Many people who deal with sinus infections swear by the Neti pot, a simple device that allows you to irrigate and clean out the sinuses with saline solution. It’s a great way to remove allergens, bacteria, and other germs from the nasal passages, which could be contributing to inflammation, swelling, and sinus pain. Since this is a non-medicinal and conservative treatment option, you can safely use this every day to help flush out your sinuses and reduce pain and pressure.
 
Try a Decongestant Spray

There are a lot of nasal sprays on the markets these days that help to reduce inflammation, improve congestion, and even prevent the sinuses from drying out. Some nasal sprays should not be used for more than three consecutive days, so make sure to always read the instructions before you start using any medication, even over-the-counter drugs. If you find that you need to use a nasal spray more regularly, then you’ll want to talk with your ENT doctor about a more long-term solution.
 
Stay Hydrated

Did you know that around 75 percent of Americans are dehydrated? One of the best ways to flush out toxins and thin out mucus overall is to make sure that you are drinking enough water every day. It’s also best to limit or stay away from alcohol and caffeine, as these beverages can dehydrate you.
 
Get Your Beauty Sleep

When you are dealing with any kind of illness, even something as minor as a sinus infection, you must be giving your body the rest it needs to recuperate. This means taking time to get the sleep you need so that your body’s immune system is strong enough to fight the infection. If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep due to sinus pain, you may want to try taking a warm, steamy shower and using your Neti pot before bedtime.
 
If sinus pain and pressure are severe, persistent, or long-lasting, you must talk with an ENT specialist who will be able to determine what’s causing your pain and how to best manage it. Since some of these sinus problems can be chronic, you must turn to a doctor who can provide you with the answers and care you need.
By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
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 Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
January 13, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Impacted EarwaxDealing with a buildup of earwax? Find out how earwax impaction can affect your hearing.

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
  • Dizziness
If an infection develops you may notice a severe earache, drainage comes from the ear or a fever. If you develop symptoms of an infection, you must see your ENT as soon as possible for treatment.

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.
By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
December 28, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Earwax  
How To Safely Clean Out Your EarwaxDid you know that your ears are self-cleaning? So, if you find yourself reaching for that cotton swab in your bathroom tonight you might want to put it down. Your ears are extremely low maintenance and very rarely need to be cleaned. Of course, older adults may be prone to excessive earwax buildup, which can lead to impaction or obstruction. In these cases, you may want to turn to an ENT doctor to safely clear out impacted wax.
 
If your ears feel a little blocked or your hearing is muffled, then you could have a buildup of wax. This is known as impaction. Impacted earwax can make the affected ear feel full. You may notice changes in your hearing, dizziness, or a ringing in your ears. If so, it’s time to see your ENT doctor.
 
Can I clean out my ears myself?

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:
 
An earwax softener: You can pick up these eardrops at your local drugstore. Make sure to follow the exact instructions on the package. Leave the drops in your ears for the amount of time mentioned on the package and then rinse out the ears or simply let the drops drain out.
 
A syringe: Some kits contain little rubber syringes that you can fill with saline or warm water. This over-the-counter irrigation system can take time to soften the earwax, but you may find it helpful with more mild impactions.
 
All we ask is that you do not try and use a cotton swab to clean the inside of your ear, which will only push the wax further and could damage the eardrum. Earwax softeners and these syringe and irritation systems are your best bet if you want to try and remove earwax buildup yourself. If you are prone to earwax buildup you can schedule regular appointments with your ENT doctor to have your ears cleaned properly by a professional.
 
If you have questions about how to safely and properly clean excess earwax an ENT doctor can answer any of your questions.