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Posts for category: ENT Care

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christ
April 09, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Hearing Aids  

Find out which type of hearing aid will help you get back in the conversation again.

Has an ENT doctor or audiologist determined that you have hearing loss? If so, you may be wondering, “What now?” Well, the next step is to get fitted for a hearing aid. Of course, with all the advancements in technology there are now so many options when it comes to hearing aids that it can be a bit confusing. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a hearing aid,

The Style

Discretion is usually one of the most important factors that someone mentions when getting a hearing aid (we know being able to hide your hearing aid from others is important). Of course, there are other factors to consider that can help you determine the right style for you. Common hearing aid styles include:

  • Invisible-in-the-canal
  • Completely-in-the-canal
  • In-the-canal
  • In-the-ear
  • Receiver-in-canal
  • Behind-the-ear (often the most versatile hearing aid to accommodate all severities of hearing loss)

Special and Advanced Features

Hearing aids now come with some pretty awesome features and while some may not apply to you or be particularly important for your lifestyle, there are other features that you may wish to have. Top features include:

Noise reduction

This feature separates out dynamic sounds (e.g. television; conversations) from static sounds (e.g. running water) and increases the dynamic sounds while reducing static sounds, making it easier to hear what you actually want to hear.

Directionality

Noisy environments can be a real pain for people with hearing loss. Here’s where the directionality feature on a hearing aid comes in handy. Instead of just “turning up” the volume on all sounds around you, this feature allows you to hear what’s in closer proximity and help you turn your attention and focus on the person in front of you rather than the noisy environment around you. This is particularly helpful for those who work in loud environments such as restaurants.

Multiple channels

Just because a hearing aid has more channels than another doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. What it means is that these different channels offer ways to adjust different frequencies. Therefore, those dealing with both low-end and high-end pitch problems can adjust the volume on one without necessarily adjusting the volume on another. The idea is that these different channels help even out what a person can hear.

Your Hearing Loss

Of course, the type and severity of your hearing loss will also play a factor in which kind of hearing aid will truly give you the best opportunity to understand those around you. This is something that your otolaryngologist can discuss with you during your evaluation and fitting. There are many options available for those dealing with everything from mild to profound hearing loss.

Are you ready to sit down with an ENT specialist to discuss your hearing aid options? Don’t put off addressing your hearing difficulties. The sooner you treat your hearing loss the better.

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
March 01, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Sinus Infections  
Sinus Infections can cause sinus pressureSinus infections are painful. You have sinuses around your eyes and behind your nose, any of which can harbor an infection. The first sign you may have a sinus infection is a dull, throbbing pain in the area of your sinuses. You may also experience:
  • Pain in your upper jaws or teeth, eyes, nose or forehead
  • A yellowish-green discharge when you blow your nose
  • Congestion caused from swelling in your sinuses
  • Severe headaches and earaches
  • A sore throat and persistent cough
Sinus infections are most often viral, but they can also be bacterial or fungal. Allergies, tooth infections, and nasal polyps can also cause a sinus infection.
 
You can take some steps to avoid painful sinus infections. It’s important to:
  • Use a humidifier, especially in your bedroom; this keeps the air in your house moist, which soothes your sinuses. Dry air irritates your nasal passages and can cause increased mucus production, resulting in congestion and a sinus infection.
  • Try an over-the-counter nasal irrigation kit; these kits, when used daily, can keep your nasal passages clean and free of mucus so bacteria won’t have a place to breed, causing a sinus infection. The saline solution also works to soothe your nasal passages.
  • Wash your hands often, and don’t touch your face, nose, mouth or eyes; this helps to prevent spreading germs and bacteria to other places of your body.
  • Stop smoking, because it increases mucus production and irritates your sinuses, providing an environment perfect for bacteria.
  • Avoid alcohol, because alcohol can make your sinuses irritated and swollen, resulting in a sinus infection.
  • Eat healthy and take your vitamins, especially vitamin C, and get sufficient exercise to keep your immune system at its peak so you can fight off a sinus infection.
 
If you get a sinus infection, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers, antihistamines, and decongestants. If your sinus infection lingers for more than a week or two, or if you have a fever along with the sinus infection, it’s time to see your doctor, preferably an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. Don’t delay; get some help for your sinus infection.
By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
February 05, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Canker Sores  

A canker sore is a painful ulcer that often develops within the mouth or tongue, but can also be found within the throat or on the lips. Canker sores should not be confused with cold sores (fever blisters), which are the result of a virus. There are several factors that can lead to canker sores, from spicy foods and vitamin deficiencies to stress or certain disorders.

While canker sores are benign and don’t require treatment, most of the time people are looking for ways to reduce canker sore pain until the sore heals on its own. There are two types of canker sores: simple and complex. Simple canker sores only appear a few times a year, usually lasting up to one or two weeks. Complex canker sores, on the other hand, aren’t as common and appear more frequently.

What causes canker sores?

While experts still don’t know what causes canker sores, we do know that there are certain things that can trigger the development of a sore. This includes:

  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods (e.g. lemons; tomatoes)
  • Nutritional deficiencies (e.g. zinc; vitamin B-12)
  • Minor injuries to the mouth (e.g. biting your cheek)
  • Food sensitivities
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Poor or weak immune system
  • Celiac disease
  • HIV/AIDS

When should I see a doctor?

It might be time to consult an ENT doctor if you are noticing:

  • Sores that last several weeks
  • Recurrent outbreaks
  • Pain that isn’t responding to at-home care
  • Severe pain that affects eating
  • Extremely large sores
  • Sores accompanied by a high fever

What are some ways to treat canker sores?

Most of the time canker sores do not require any treatment; however, if you are dealing with extremely large, painful or numerous sores then you may need to seek care from an ENT physician. Since canker sores will heal on their own, your doctor’s goal will be to help manage your pain through common treatment options such as:

  • Topical medications: Over-the-counter or prescription medications can be used to numb the pain or even speed up the healing process.
  • Oral rinses: To reduce inflammation or to numb the pain a doctor may prescribe a special mouth rinse.
  • Oral medications: If canker sores aren’t responsive to other treatment options, oral medications may be recommended. Such options include steroids.
  • Supplements: If your canker sores are the result of a nutritional deficiency then a doctor may recommend taking certain vitamins or supplements such as folic acid, vitamin B-12 or zinc.

If you are dealing with painful canker sores that you can’t seem to get under control then it’s time to turn to an ear, nose & throat specialist who can provide you with the answers you’re looking for.

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
January 15, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Sleep Apnea   Snoring   Fatigue  

Sleep Apnea symptoms can be treatedSleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders and yet it’s one that isn’t as often diagnosed since most people don’t even know that they have it. When someone has sleep apnea the airways collapse multiple times throughout the night. As a result, this causes interrupted breathing. Since not enough oxygen is getting to the brain you can imagine the many health issues this problem could cause if left untreated.

So, what are some telltale signs that you have sleep apnea?

One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is loud snoring. While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, most sleep apnea sufferers are also frequent snorers. Along with snoring, your partner may also notice that you might gasp for air in the middle of the night or that your breathing is paused.

The sleep apnea sufferer will complain of extreme fatigue throughout the day. Even if you get enough sleep you may still find it difficult to get out of bed (or you may experience headaches in the morning). While most people feel tired at some point during the day, a true sleep apnea sufferer has intense exhaustion that doesn’t seem to let up.

Sleep apnea can make it more difficult for you to concentrate. You may find that you aren’t able to complete work as efficiently as you should. You may nod off at your desk or while driving home from work. Sleep apnea can be dangerous because it can increase your risk of injury.

How is sleep apnea treated?

It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent health complications and other issues from happening. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. By placing this facemask over your nose and mouth as you sleep, it provides enough air pressure to keep the airways open and to prevent them from collapsing. This is the number one treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea.

Of course, sometimes an oral appliance device is all that you need if you only have minor or moderate sleep apnea. This device is custom-made to fit your mouth and can be used on its own or along with CPAP therapy to help you enjoy a better night’s sleep.

If you think you might have sleep apnea it’s important that you get this evaluated as soon as possible. Talk to our ENT doctor about how we can help you.

By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
January 07, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Tonsillectomy  

What is a Tonsillectomy?


Need a tonsillectomy? Tonsillectomies have been practiced for over 2,000 years. A tonsillectomy is a surgical operation to remove the palatine tonsils. Tonsils are two glands located at the rear of the throat. Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctors, also known as an otolaryngologists, are highly experienced in tonsillectomies. Here's everything you need to know about tonsillectomies.

Why it's Done

A tonsillectomy is used to treat chronic or recurring tonsilitis, complications of enlarged tonsils, and bleeding of the tonsils. A tonsillectomy is also a treatment for sleep-disordered breathing and other rare diseases of the tonsils. The need for tonsillectomies are more common in kids than adults. However, people of any age can experience trouble with their tonsils and require a tonsillectomy.

The Procedure

Tonsillectomy is an operation in which both tonsils are removed from a recess in the side of the pharynx called the tonsillar fossa. Once the patient is asleep, the surgery begins. An instrument is used to hold the patient's mouth open. The tonsils are then cut away with a laser, scalpel, or a heated instrument. Once the tonsils are removed and the bleeding is controlled, the surgery is over. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, which is usually completed in 20 to 30 minutes.

Complications

A tonsillectomy is a common procedure. However, like with other operations, there are some risks with this procedure. These can include bleeding, infection, swelling, prolonged pain, or a reaction to anesthetics. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your physician before the procedure. Anyone who is contemplating surgery must weigh the potential risks against the benefits of the surgery.

Recovery Process

Tonsillectomies are usually performed on an outpatient basis, which allows the patients to go home once they are awake from surgery. Recovery time for a tonsillectomy is usually at least 10 days to 2 weeks. You may experience some pain as as recover from a tonsillectomy. You might have a sore throat after the procedure. Pain relief medication can help you feel better during recovery. Many people are ready to go back to work or school within two weeks after a tonsillectomy.

Post-Op Instructions

An appointment for a checkup should be made two weeks after the procedure. The most important thing one can do after surgery to prevent dehydration is to drink plenty of fluids. Try to drink non-acidic drinks. Soft foods such as gelatin, puddings, and mashed foods are helpful to maintain adequate nutrition. Spicy, hot, and coarse foods should be avoided because they may scratch the throat and cause bleeding. Bed rest is important for several days after the procedure. Strenous activities should be avoided for two weeks after surgery.


You don't have to suffer anymore. If you think you may need a tonsillectomy, talk it over with a board certified ENT specialist. Find an ENT specialist in your area and schedule an appointment today. A tonsillectomy can ease your symptoms and help you get back to a happy and healthy life!