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By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
December 09, 2020
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Dry Mouth  
he Possible Causes of Dry Mouth
Feeling like your mouth is as dry as the Sahara? While dry mouth is fairly common if this is a problem you are dealing with regularly then you may be wondering what’s going on and why it’s happening to you. Common causes of dry mouth include:
 
Medications
There are some medications in which dry mouth is a common side effect. Dry mouth is more common in allergy meds, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants, cold medications, acne treatments, high blood pressure medication, asthma inhalers, or muscle relaxants.
 
Certain Health Disorders
Dry mouth could also be indicative of a health condition. Those with HIV, diabetes, anemia, high blood pressure, or hypertension are more likely to deal with dry mouth.
 
Dehydration
Did you know that most Americans aren’t drinking enough water? If you are one of them, then it’s only natural that you’re going to deal with dry mouth. If you are losing fluids through vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are participating in sports during the summer, you must be consuming enough fluids and staying hydrated to offset the increased loss of fluid.
 
Lifestyle habits
Certain habits could also be contributing to your dry mouth. If you are a mouth breather this is a common reason you could be dealing with this pesky problem. Those who smoke or use tobacco products are also more likely to deal with dry mouth.
 
What are the signs of dry mouth?
While it might be obvious that a dry mouth will feel, well dry, there are other symptoms associated with dry mouth including,
  • Sore or irritated throat
  • Excessive thirst
  • Changes in taste
Less obvious symptoms include hoarseness or dry eyes.
 
When should I see a doctor?
We all know that not drinking enough water or even being stressed out can lead to the occasional bout of dry mouth, but if you are dealing with this problem regularly it’s important to see a doctor since this could be a sign of an underlying health problem that will most likely require treatment.
 
If you are dealing with persistent dry mouth an ENT doctor can determine what’s going on and how to best combat it. Since dry mouth has the ability to lead to bad breath, decay, and gum disease, it’s a good idea to get this problem under control.
By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
November 20, 2020
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Adenoids  
What Are AdenoidsWhen we think about the first line of defense against infection we often think about the tonsils; however, the adenoids also play a part in protecting against infection. Together the tonsils and adenoids make up the lymphatic system and stop viruses and bacteria from entering the mouth and nose. While the tonsils are found in the back of the throat the adenoids sit in the far back of the throat behind the nose. Unfortunately, just as tonsils can get infected and cause problems, so too can adenoids.

What causes enlarged adenoids?

Since adenoids frequently come into contact with germs, it’s common for adenoids to swell a bit to get rid of an infection. Allergies also have the ability to cause enlarged adenoids. While the swelling will often go away on its own, there are instances where the swelling can actually turn into an infection.

What are the symptoms of enlarged adenoids?

While tonsil problems will mostly affect the throat, if you are dealing with enlarged adenoids most of the symptoms are concentrated in the nasal cavity. Those with enlarged adenoids may experience:
  • Trouble breathing through the nose
  • Mouth breathing
  • Dry lips and mouth (as a result of mouth breathing)
  • Snoring
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Chronic or persistent sinus infections
  • Ear infections
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (pauses in the breath that happening while asleep)
Should I have my adenoids removed?

It’s important to talk with your ENT doctor if you or your child are dealing with persistent symptoms of enlarged adenoids. We will ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and go through your medical history to determine whether you could benefit from an adenoidectomy. It may be time to considering having your adenoids removed if:
  • You are dealing with obstructive sleep apnea or poor sleep as a result of enlarged adenoids
  • You are dealing with recurring, antibiotic-resistant ear infections
  • You have recurring adenoid infections that don’t respond to medication
  • Your symptoms are impacting your life, including work or school performance
In some cases, your ENT doctor may recommend getting both the adenoids and tonsils removed at the same time.

If you or your child is dealing with enlarged adenoids or other problems that affect your breathing, you must see an ENT doctor that can provide you with the treatment you need. 
By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
November 05, 2020
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Cleft Palate  
A cleft palate is a common birth defect that occurs in the first six to nine weeks of pregnancy in which the tissue of the roof of the mouth doesn’t fuse. This results in an opening in the roof of the mouth that over time can lead to other problems such as recurring ear infections, difficulty with feedings, and speech problems. This is why it’s important to work with a qualified ear, nose, and throat doctor who can ensure that your child gets the proper treatment to correct their cleft palate.

Detecting a Cleft Palate

During your child’s very first examination after birth, a doctor will be able to easily tell whether your child has a cleft palate through a simple oral exam. From there, your pediatrician may recommend seeing an ENT doctor who can correct the birth defect.

Cleft Palate Treatment

The only way to correct a cleft palate is through a procedure known as a palatoplasty. This usually isn’t performed until the baby is around 10 to 12 months old. A palatoplasty will close the gap in the roof of the mouth to improve feedings and to prevent speech delays. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

The surgery will close up the gap in the palate and repair any of the muscles of the palate, if necessary. Stitches will dissolve on their own and your ENT doctor will provide you with detailed care instructions both before and after surgery. For example, your baby will need to stick with a liquid diet for about a week after surgery and then only eat soft foods for several weeks after.

Even after surgery, your child may require additional surgeries or other specialists and care such as orthodontics or speech therapy. This is something that you can discuss with your ENT doctor. This procedure is designed to not only improve your child’s appearance but also to prevent speech impediments and language delays, as well as breathing, hearing, or feeding problems.

If your baby was born with a cleft lip or palate, an otolaryngologist will be able to provide you with the specialized surgical treatment you need to correct this birth defect. To learn more about this procedure and your child’s treatment options, call your ENT today.
By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
October 20, 2020
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Nasal Irrigation  
Nasal IrrigationDealing with a blocked nose thanks to a cold or a sinus infection? If so, you may be wondering about ways to help alleviate your symptoms until the infection clears up. Many people swear by nasal irrigation, a simple remedy that involves pouring a saline solution into the nose to help wash out mucus and other bacteria. Is this the best way to manage your stuffy nose? Your ENT doctor is here to help you determine the best home remedies for treating blocked or clogged nasal passages.

What is nasal irrigation and how does it work?

Nasal irrigation has roots in ayurvedic medicine and involves flushing out the sinuses to help manage symptoms associated with:
  • Sinusitis (both acute and chronic)
  • Colds and other respiratory infections
  • Allergies
  • Irritants
Most people have heard of a neti pot, a small pot that holds and pours saline solution through the nasal passages. It’s crucial that you only use distilled or sterilized water when using an at-home nasal irrigation system. Your ENT doctor may recommend a neti pot for thinning out mucus and improving your symptoms, particularly if you deal with chronic or recurring sinus infections. In some cases, this may be beneficial for patients to do regularly, especially for those who are looking to avoid surgery to treat partially blocked or clogged sinuses.

By thinning out mucus, some patients also report a reduction in facial pain, nasal congestion, and sinus pressure, which can also reduce your chances of tension or sinus-related headaches.

How do I use my nasal irrigation system?

You can easily purchase a nasal irrigation system over the counter at your local drugstore. It’s important to read all instructions before starting. If you are unsure how to use it you may want to talk with your ENT doctor first, who can show you how to use your neti pot safely and effectively.

In most cases, you will need to mix a special salt and baking soda mixture into distilled or sterilized water. Once the neti pot has been filled with the saline solution, tilt your head slightly and place the spout of the pot into the nostril and slowly begin to pour the solution into the nose (this should be done over a sink). While it might feel awkward at first, it should not be uncomfortable or hurt. Neti pots can be used for people of all ages, including children.

If you are dealing with a recurrent sinus infection or uncontrollable allergy symptoms, you must talk with a qualified ENT doctor to find out what’s going on and how to get your condition under control.
By Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates of Corpus Christi
October 02, 2020
Category: ENT Care
TonsilsIf you open your mouth, it’s fairly easy to see your tonsils, as they are the two soft-tissue organs that lie on either side of the back of the throat. These structures are great for being able to stop bacteria from getting into the body, and they even act as the body’s first line of defense against germs. Unfortunately, even tonsils can become inflamed and infected; however, if you are dealing with regular or recurring tonsillitis, severe infections, or bleeding of the tonsil, then your ENT doctor may recommend tonsil removal surgery.

How long does a tonsillectomy take?

A tonsillectomy is performed as a simple outpatient procedure, which means that you will be able to go home the very same day. Surgery is done right in our ENT practice under general anesthesia. This means that you will be asleep throughout the entire procedure.

There are a variety of different methods that can be used to remove the tonsils and your doctor will talk to you about which method may be the best option for you. The surgery is quick, only taking approximately 20-30 minutes to remove the tonsils.

What is the recovery process like?

You may experience a sore throat for a few days after surgery so you will want to consume softer foods and more fluids to stay hydrated and to make sure that you are getting proper nutrients while your mouth heals. Resting is also very important, and you should avoid any physical activities for about two weeks.

You may need pain relievers to ease your symptoms during recovery. Your otolaryngologist will also let you know when you can return to work or when your child can return to school after surgery.

Could I benefit from tonsil removal surgery?
 
You may want to talk with your otolaryngologist about whether you could benefit from having your tonsils removed if you are experiencing at least seven cases of tonsillitis in one year or more than five cases a year for two years. If antibiotics do not properly clear up your infection, or if an abscess develops behind the tonsils, then surgery to remove the tonsils may also be recommended.

If you are having issues with your tonsils, you may benefit from removal surgery. Talk with your ENT doctor to find out whether a tonsillectomy is a right choice for you or your little one.




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