Ear, nose, throat

Ear, nose, throat Articles

Are you missing early warning signs of hearing loss?

When a person has hearing loss, the person’s spouse or partner may notice the problem first. Early warning signs include asking people to repeat themselves, thinking everyone is mumbling, and missing important sounds like alarms and doorbells. People who have such early warning signs may need a physical exam and a hearing test. For some people, a hearing aid will improve hearing. Many hearing aids now feature high-tech options, such as digital sound that can be programmed and adjusted using a smartphone, and the ability to wirelessly connect a hearing aid to a smartphone for calls. (Locked) More »

Inflamed sinuses: It's best to watch and wait

Sinusitis is caused by infection with a virus or bacteria. This inflames the lining of the sinus passages, producing copious mucus and symptoms such as stuffy head and facial pain. Antibiotics are usually not effective, since most sinusitis is related to viral infections, which antibiotics do not work on. Instead, it’s best to use saline rises, decongestants, and pain relievers to ease symptoms until the body heals itself. When sinusitis is prolonged, severe, or worsening, an antibiotic could be considered. More »

What to do about sinusitis

Sinusitis occurs when blocked sinuses cannot drain and the backed-up mucus gets infected. The simplest and often most effective treatment is daily nasal irrigation. It can also help to drink a lot of water, inhale steam, and sleep with the head elevated. More »

Sinusitis

Millions of Americans get sinusitis each year. The key to a quick recovery is proper drainage, which is best achieved by staying hydrated, inhaling steam several times daily, taking decongestants, and sleeping with the head elevated. More »

Should I worry that I can feel a pulse above my ear?

Q. When I go to bed at night, I feel a pulsing in my head above my left ear. I never feel this when I am sitting or standing. I have high blood pressure and have had three bypasses. Is this something I should be worried about? A. The artery that passes in front of your ear and then above it is called the temporal artery. For reasons that aren't quite clear, atherosclerosis rarely develops in this artery, so you don't need to worry that it is being clogged up by the same kind of blockage as those that led to your bypass operations. (Locked) More »

Air travel health tips

With summer's approach come plans for travel, including flying long distances. But the prospect of a long flight often raises health concerns. Especially in passengers who are older or have certain conditions, air travel and the related stress can have an impact on health. Here are a few trouble areas and some precautions you can take. Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). Not all experts agree on an association between DVT (blood clots in the legs) and air travel. Symptoms may not occur for several days, so it's difficult to establish a cause-and-effect relationship. If there is one, it's likely due to prolonged inactivity. Limited airline space can discourage moving about. Dry cabin air may also increase the risk of DVT. Prolonged inactivity slows circulation, allowing small clots to form in the legs and feet. The body's own clot busters kick in for most people, but in people with certain risk factors, the clots can get big enough to block a vein. These include cancer, heart disease, infection, pregnancy, and obesity, as well as recent injury or surgery. Smoking also raises the risk, as do birth control pills, selective estrogen receptor modulators, and postmenopausal hormones. More »

Treating ear infections in children

If your child is rubbing his ear, should you run to the doctor's office to demand antibiotics? Probably not. Your child may simply have fluid in the ear and not the classic ear infection that parents and children dread. Over 2 million American children experience fluid in the middle ear each year, often following a cold or an acute ear infection. The condition is also called a silent ear infection because many children have no symptoms. Some children, though, may rub their ear or experience mild pain, sleep disturbances, unexplained clumsiness, muffled hearing, or delays in language and speech development. The condition may be diagnosed during a routine well-child visit with the use of a pneumatic otoscope, which allows the doctor to see how easily the eardrum moves. Billions of dollars are spent in the U.S. for diagnosing and treating fluid in the ear each year. However, the fluid most often disappears of its own accord and does not lead to acute ear infections. Also, antihistamines and antibiotics have little effect on the condition and do not help prevent delays in learning or language and speech development. More »