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Posts for category: ENT Conditions

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
November 10, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sinus Infection  

Sinus infections are a common problem. In fact, over 12% of people in this country suffer from chronic sinus infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC. Fortunately, your ENT specialist can help you get relief from sinus infections, so you can breathe easier again.

Sinus infections can be caused by exposure to a bacteria, a fungus, or to an allergen. They can also develop after having the flu, a cold, or other virus.

Sinus infection symptoms can make you miserable. When you have a sinus infection, you may experience:

  • A fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headaches
  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Pain and pressure around and behind your eyes

For occasional sinus infections, your ENT specialist may recommend:

  • Antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection
  • Prescription-strength decongestants to open your sinuses
  • Palliative medications and treatments to help you feel better

For chronic, moderate to severe sinus infections, your ENT specialist may recommend a procedure known as balloon sinuplasty. This procedure has many important advantages when compared to traditional sinus surgery.

Consider that balloon sinuplasty treatment:

  • Is minimally invasive and requires no incisions or sutures
  • Does not result in scarring or scar tissue
  • Is less likely to cause infection because there is no cutting
  • Causes far less discomfort than conventional sinus surgery
  • Requires little or no downtime because there is very little bruising and swelling
  • Is performed on an outpatient basis so there is no hospital stay

Balloon sinuplasty treatment is performed under general anesthesia. An ultrathin catheter is inserted into your nostril and guided up into your sinuses. The catheter has a small balloon attached at the end.

When the catheter reaches the sinus blockage, the balloon is inflated. The blockage is eliminated, congestion is relieved, and you can breathe freely again. The balloon is then deflated, and the catheter is removed.

You can get relief from sinus infections. Your ENT specialist has the answers and treatments you need to be able to breathe freely and easily. To find out more about sinus infections and how your ENT specialist can help you get relief, call your ENT specialist today.

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
October 18, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Hoarse Throat   Hoarseness  

A hoarse throat can develop with or without pain. There are several factors which can cause hoarseness, including:

  • A virus like the flu or a cold
  • A bacterial infection like strep throat
  • An allergic reaction to an allergen
  • Laryngitis, or inflammation in your throat
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
  • Esophageal cancer

For mild hoarseness, you can try a few simple remedies to help get relief. Remember to:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of liquids
  • Drink warm tea with honey to soothe your throat
  • Gargle with warm salt water several times during the day
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol
  • Place a humidifier in your bedroom to breathe moist, soothing air

For moderate to severe hoarseness that doesn’t resolve or is getting worse, you need to seek out the expertise of your ENT specialist. You also need to seek out your ENT specialist if your hoarseness is accompanied by:

  • Joint pain, a rash, or a fever over 101 degrees
  • Difficulty breathing, swallowing or opening your mouth
  • A lump in your neck, earache, or blood in your saliva

Professional treatments for hoarseness include:

  • Antibiotic medication, if your hoarseness is caused by a bacterial infection, like strep throat
  • Antiviral medication, if your hoarseness is caused by a virus like a cold or the flu

If the cause of your hoarseness is not easily identifiable, your ENT specialist may also recommend a diagnostic procedure known as an endoscopy. During an endoscopy, a thin tube with a camera at one end is inserted into your throat and guided down your esophagus. The endoscope allows your ENT specialist to view your esophagus. If any abnormal tissue or growths are found, they can be removed for biopsy.

An endoscopy is especially effective in the diagnosis of:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Esophageal polyps or growths
  • Esophageal damage or ulcers
  • Esophageal cancer

No matter what is causing your hoarseness, an ear, nose, and throat specialist can help. If you are suffering from hoarseness or a sore throat, talk with an expert. Call your ENT specialist today.

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
October 04, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea   Snoring  

Occasional snoring is normal, but if you are being told you snore loudly every night, you could have something else. You could have sleep apnea, a sleep condition that can have serious consequences and can even shorten your life. Your ENT specialist is an expert at treating snoring and sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is caused by the intermittent relaxing of the tissue at the back of your throat. The relaxed tissue partially or completely blocks your airway while you sleep, depriving your body of oxygen.

Your brain, heart, and other vital organs are affected by the lack of blood flow, putting you at greater risk of:

  • Developing heart disease
  • Having a stroke
  • Developing diabetes
  • Acquiring memory problems

You are at greater risk of developing sleep apnea as you age, and if you are overweight. You may have sleep apnea if you are experiencing:

  • Waking up with a gasping or choking sensation
  • Headaches and a sore throat when you awaken
  • Feeling fatigued and tired during the day
  • Grogginess and problems concentrating

Your ENT specialist will need to have you do a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. If you have sleep apnea, your ENT specialist will discuss treatment options with you, which can include:

A CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine; is a device that produces a continuous supply of oxygen. You breathe the oxygen through a facepiece, which you wear while sleeping.

An oral mandibular advancement appliance; is a small appliance that fits over your teeth and holds your lower jaw forward, keeping your airway open while you sleep.

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that can go untreated. If you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above, or if your family members tell you about your snoring, take it seriously. It’s time to call your ENT specialist for a sleep study to see if you are suffering from sleep apnea. To find out more about sleep apnea signs, symptoms, and treatment, call your ENT specialist today.

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
September 09, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sinus Problems  

Sinus ProblemsDealing with sinus issues? Here’s what they could be and how to treat them.

From nasal congestion and a stuffy nose to facial pressure and postnasal drip, there are many warning signs that let you know that your sinuses are in trouble. So, what could be causing your angry, flared-up sinuses? Here are some of the top sinus offenders,

  • Allergies (e.g., hay fever)
  • An acute sinus infection
  • Nasal blockages
  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Respiratory tract infections

Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, is the most common condition that an otolaryngologist sees and treats. In most cases, this infection is acute, meaning symptoms will go away within a couple of weeks. Many sinus infections appear after a cold or respiratory infection. If symptoms last more than 12 weeks and don’t respond to home care, these are signs that you could be dealing with acute sinusitis.

How Do I Know That I Have a Sinus Problem?

  • Sinus problems can leave you dealing with,
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Sinus pain
  • A stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Throat irritation and hoarseness
  • Postnasal drip

How Are Sinus Problems Treated?

If any of these symptoms last more than ten days, or if your symptoms return, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your ENT doctor to find out what’s happening. If you are dealing with acute sinusitis, you may be able to find the relief you need through over-the-counter medications such as decongestants or antihistamines. Nasal sprays may also reduce inflammation of the passageways to make it easier to breathe.

Chronic sinusitis is treated a bit differently. Instead of over-the-counter medications, your ENT doctor may prescribe a prescription steroid nasal spray, antihistamine and decongestant. If you have nasal polyps, these medications can also provide relief.

What Happens if Sinus Problems Can’t Be Managed With Lifestyle and Medication?

If medications don’t manage your symptoms effectively, you may need to consider a procedure to treat the blockage. Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat chronic sinusitis. During this procedure, a catheter with a deflated balloon is inserted into the nasal cavity. The balloon is then inflated to help open up the inflamed cavity and drain the sinuses so you can breathe better.

Balloon sinuplasty is highly effective and can provide relief for up to two years. Whether you are considering balloon sinuplasty or traditional sinus surgery, an otolaryngologist would be happy to discuss your treatment options.

If you are dealing with persistent or recurring sinus problems, it’s time you turn to an ENT specialist who can help you get the answers and the treatment you’re looking for.

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
August 08, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sinusitis  

Is it a sinus infection, allergies or a cold?

It isn’t always easy to tell a sinus infection apart from other respiratory illnesses. Still, it’s essential to recognize the signs and symptoms, so you know what medical professional to turn to. Especially if you are dealing with persistent or severe sinus problems, you must turn to an ENT doctor, who specializes in treating acute and chronic infections and issues that impact the nose and sinuses. Want to learn more about sinusitis? You’ve come to the right place.

What Is Sinusitis?

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, sinus infections affect over 31 million Americans. Sinusitis causes swelling of the nasal passages, which can lead to difficulty breathing through the nose or even a complete nasal blockage (in more severe cases). Some people mistake their sinus infection for the common cold since many symptoms are the same.

What Are the Common Symptoms of a Sinus Infection?

Wondering if you could be dealing with sinusitis? Some of the warning signs include,

  • Nasal congestion
  • Green nasal discharge
  • Postnasal drip
  • Facial pain or fullness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Referred pain in the upper teeth

What Causes Sinusitis?

In many cases, a bacterial infection is typically to blame. Of course, viruses and fungi can also cause sinus infections, particularly in those with compromised immune systems.

How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed?

Since distinguishing your symptoms from other conditions can be challenging, it’s always best to see one of our ENT doctors for a proper diagnosis. Treating your disease sooner can prevent health complications or symptoms from worsening.

How Is It Treated?

The cause of your sinusitis and whether you have an acute or chronic form will determine the type of treatment we recommend. In most cases, using an over-the-counter antihistamine or decongestant spray can reduce swelling within the sinuses to help improve drainage. Of course, these medications should only be used for a few days. If you aren’t finding relief after a few days, it’s time to talk to us.

For those with bacterial sinusitis, antibiotics are usually the best course of treatment. In some situations, a nasal steroid spray may be used to reduce swelling and inflammation of the tissue within the nasal passages.

If you are dealing with a sinus infection that isn’t going away or improving with rest and home care, you owe it to yourself to turn to an ENT doctor for treatment.