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Posts for: March, 2022

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
March 30, 2022
Category: ENT
Auricular HematomasHave you ever stopped to watch a boxing or MMA fight on TV? If so, you may have noticed that some of the fighter’s ears looked more than a little misshapen. This deformity of the ear is often referred to as “cauliflower ear," and this problem occurs when an auricular hematoma is not properly treated or is left untreated. If you have questions about auricular hematomas, you’ve come to the right place. An ENT doctor is an ideal specialist to drain and treat this injury.

What is an auricular hematoma?

Trauma to the ear, whether through an injury or blow to the head, can cause blood to collect within the cartilage of the outer ear, which also causes the cartilage and tissue to separate. As a result, the outer ear and its cartilage no longer receive blood flow, which causes the tissue to die off.

What causes an auricular hematoma?

We often see auricular hematomas in individuals who participate in contact sports such as boxing, martial arts, wrestling, and rugby. Of course, playing sports isn’t the only cause of an auricular hematoma. ENT doctors also see this issue after a bad fall, a severe car accident, or even after getting an ear pierced.

How do I know that I have one?

If you’ve just experienced a blow to the ear or side of the face and you are experiencing bruising, pain, swelling, or a deformity of the earlobe, this is a sign of an auricular hematoma. It’s important to seek immediate treatment from an ENT specialist who can drain the excess blood and prevent infection, tissue death, and cauliflower ear.

How is an auricular hematoma treated?

To prevent further complications from an auricular hematoma, your ENT doctor will need to drain the area. Local anesthesia will be administered to the area to numb it before a small incision is made to drain the blood. Then the area is rinsed with saline and a bandage is placed over the area. Antibiotic ointment may also be prescribed by your doctor to prevent infection.

How can you prevent an auricular hematoma?

If you play contact sports such as wrestling or boxing, the most important thing you can do is wear the proper protection and headgear to prevent an injury or traumatic blow to the head from causing an auricular hematoma.

If you experience blunt-force trauma to the ear it’s important that you schedule an immediate evaluation with an ENT specialist to make sure the problem is properly treated to prevent future complications such as “cauliflower ear."

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
March 11, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Dry Nose  
Dry NoseWhen winter comes, Jack Frost can certainly nip at your nose, but he can also lead to dry, cracked noses, too. If this is something that you deal with throughout the winter months, an ENT doctor can recommend certain lifestyle changes and simple yet effective treatment options to help combat that uncomfortable and sometimes painful dry nose.

Turn Down the Heat

Okay, so we know this isn’t going to be a popular tip for many people, but if you crank up the heat in your house this could be drying out your nose and leading to nasal congestion, nosebleeds, and other uncomfortable symptoms. If indoor heat is the culprit, we simply suggest turning down the temperature in the house and then wrapping up in more layers to compensate so you can still feel perfectly warm but without the dry, painful nose.

Apply Petroleum Jelly

This is another simple home remedy that most people have in their medicine cabinets already. Apply a very small amount of petroleum jelly to the inside of the nose to keep it moisturized. This shouldn’t be used regularly or for extended periods but can be helpful when you are dealing with a severely dry nose that needs immediate relief.

Use a Humidifier

A humidifier can certainly put moisture back into your home’s dry air, especially during the winter months when you have the heat running all day and night. Sleeping with a humidifier can improve the humidity and moisture in the room to give your poor dry nasal passages a bit of a soothing break.

Enjoy a Steam

Another way to open up nasal passages and soothe dry noses is by giving the nostrils a good old steam. You can do this by using your gym’s sauna room a few times a week or you can simply boil some water and place your face above the water to let the steam into the nostrils (cover your head with a towel to trap steam). A hot, steamy shower can also help.

Use Nasal Sprays

Over-the-counter saline nasal sprays can also be a great way to remove any dirt and germs that may be in the nasal passages while also keeping the nose wet. If you find yourself also battling congestion on top of a dry nose, saline nasal sprays can be a great option. Plus, unlike other types of nasal sprays, saline sprays can be used daily.

If you find yourself dealing with a severely dry nose that is cracking or leading to persistent nosebleeds, it may be a good time to consult with an ENT doctor who can provide you with more effective treatment options when home care just isn’t enough.