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Posts for: February, 2022

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
February 24, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Tonsil Stones  
Tonsil StonesYou’ve heard of kidney stones. You may have even heard of gallstones, but tonsil stones? Tonsils are the soft tissue that lies on either side of the back of the throat. It’s also one of the body’s key immune defenses, preventing germs from entering the body; however, sometimes tonsils can deal with issues, too. One such problem is tonsil stones.

What are tonsil stones?

Tonsil stones are also known as tonsilloliths, and they are calcified clusters of bacteria and other debris that form on the tonsils. The tonsils have folds and nooks where bacteria and dead cells can get trapped. If this happens, the debris calcifies in these little nooks within the tonsils.

Who gets tonsil stones?

Those with chronic tonsil inflammation or infections like tonsillitis are more prone to getting tonsil stones; however, this condition can happen to anyone.
What are the symptoms of tonsil stones?
If you have small tonsil stones, then you may not even experience any symptoms. Sometimes an ENT will only be able to diagnose tonsil stones through an x-ray. However, for those with larger tonsilloliths, you may experience these common symptoms:
  • Bad breath
  • Sore throat
  • Ear pain
  • Problems swallowing
  • White tonsils
  • Swelling of the tonsils
Can you prevent tonsil stones?

Since the majority of patients who experience regular tonsil stones are those who have chronic tonsillitis, the only way to truly prevent tonsil stones from happening is to remove the tonsils altogether; however, a tonsillectomy is performed under general anesthesia and may cause a sore throat for a few days after the procedure.

How are tonsil stones treated?

Your treatment plan will depend primarily on the size of the tonsil stones and the symptoms you are experiencing; however, for many patients, treatment may not be necessary. This is particularly true for those who do not have any symptoms or discomfort. For those who need relief, gargling with warm salter water can ease the pain of tonsillitis and tonsil stones.

Antibiotics can also be prescribed to treat tonsilloliths. While antibiotics can be effective, they will not prevent tonsil stones from happening in the future. For patients with extremely large or painful tonsil stones, surgery may be necessary; however, this is a simple outpatient procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia.

If you have tonsil stones or you are dealing with recurring tonsillitis, it’s important that you turn to an ENT doctor to find out why you are dealing with these symptoms and how to best treat them.

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
February 02, 2022
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Olfactory Training   Smell   Taste  
Smell and TasteOne of the telltale signs of Covid-19 has been a loss of smell and taste; unfortunately, some people are reporting that this symptom lingers for weeks or even months after recovering. So, is there something you can do to get your smell and taste back? Is it necessary to see an ENT for follow-up care if this problem doesn’t go away?

Retrain Your Nose

Yes, there is such a thing as olfactory training (aka smell training) and you can do it yourself from the comfort of your own home. Of course, if you have any questions you should contact your ENT doctor. During smell training, grab four strong essential oil scents such as mint, vanilla, citrus, and eucalyptus. You can also use ground coffee if you’d like. Sniff each scent for 20 seconds, and repeat this training at least three times a day. For best results, do this as soon as possible after losing your sense of smell and taste. The sooner you start, the better!

Preventing Olfactory Dysfunction

While retraining the senses is possible after Covid-19, the best way to prevent this from happening in the first place is to get vaccinated against Covid-19. If you do experience these symptoms, the next best thing is to immediately start olfactory training. If you aren’t sure how to do it or you’re not sure if you’re doing it effectively, speak with your doctor or ENT specialist.

When to See an ENT Doctor

Anyone who is experiencing olfactory dysfunction due to Covid-19 may feel that this symptom is impacting their wellbeing, social life, and quality of life. If you find that this is happening to you, you may wish to speak to a specialist who can provide you with some advice and tips for how to get your taste and smell back.

It’s important to note that most people who’ve had this symptom have fully recovered their smell and taste, but it can take months; however, early treatment may be key to recovering your tastebuds again quickly. So, seek treatment as soon as possible.

If you have questions or concerns about loss of taste or smell after recovering from Covid-19, don’t hesitate to speak with an ENT specialist who can provide you with answers and information to help you get your health back on track.