Posts for: July, 2021
There are many reasons you could be dealing with a sore throat, and an infection of the tonsils could be one of them. This infection is better known as tonsillitis, and it happens to everyone from children to adults. Of course, we know that being able to tell respiratory infections apart can be rather challenging and sometimes impossible. This is when turning to an ENT doctor is key to determining whether or not you are dealing with tonsillitis and how to treat it.
What are tonsils?
Your body has built-in defenses that help protect you against infections and harmful bacteria and germs, and your tonsils are your body’s first defense against infection. These two lymph nodes are found on the back of the throat. Unfortunately, even tonsils can fall prey to infection. When this happens, this is known as tonsillitis.
You may be surprised to find out that tonsillitis is contagious, so if a member of your family has this infection it can be spread easily through contact, so it’s important to practice good hygiene and to keep your distance.
What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?
Here are the most common signs and symptoms of tonsillitis:
- A severe sore throat
- Red, inflamed tonsils
- Yellow or white spots on the tonsils
- Painful swallowing
- Bad breath
- Swollen, tender lymph nodes in the neck
Acute tonsillitis will often go away on its own without treatment in about 7-10 days; however, if symptoms get worse or don’t go away then it’s time to turn to your ENT doctor. Sometimes, tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection, in which case your doctor will need to prescribe a round of antibiotics to properly treat the infection. This is one reason it’s always a good idea to visit a doctor if you are dealing with symptoms that you’re not sure about.
You should also turn to an ENT doctor if you or your child is dealing with chronic or recurring bouts of tonsillitis. In some cases, the tonsils may need to be removed if they are causing severe and persistent infections.
If you are dealing with symptoms of tonsillitis, it’s a good idea to turn to an otolaryngologist to find out what’s going on and to find out whether you may require medication. An ENT doctor is going to be the best specialist to turn to when dealing with conditions that impact your ear, nose, and throat.
Nasal polyps are benign growths that develop within the lining of the nasal cavities. There are many reasons why someone may develop polyps, from chronic inflammation to allergies. It is believed that anywhere from 4-40 percent of the US population has nasal polyps, with it impacting men 2-4 more often than women. This condition is also seen more often in young adults and middle-aged adults. While small nasal polyps often don’t cause issues, it’s when they get larger that an ENT specialist sees more patients coming in complaining of pain and other problems.
What are the signs and symptoms of nasal polyps?
Nasal polyps are typically to blame for chronic inflammation and swelling of the nasal cavity. People with nasal polyps may not realize that they have them, but they may be more likely to deal with other problems such as chronic sinusitis.
Chronic sinusitis and other nasal issues are typically what bring people into our ENT practice in the first place. From there, we can run the appropriate diagnostic tests to see if you could be dealing with nasal polyps.
Other warning signs include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Postnasal drip
- Decreased sense of smell
- Loss of smell or taste
- Referred pain in the upper teeth
- Facial pressure and pain
- Recurring nosebleeds
When should I see an ENT doctor?
If you are dealing with nasal symptoms that last more than 10 days, then it’s a good idea to see your otolaryngologist to find out what’s going on. After all, these symptoms can also be caused by other respiratory conditions that may require treatment or special care, and it’s important to be able to determine what’s causing your symptoms so we know how to best treat them.
How are nasal polyps treated?
Medication is typically the first line of treatment for managing symptoms of nasal polyps. The most commonly prescribed medications include:
- Antileukotrienes to reduce inflammation
Patients may also benefit from simple drug-free treatment options such as using a Neti pot or salt water rinse to clean out the nasal passages daily. If you are still dealing with symptoms despite medication and other treatments, your ENT doctor may recommend surgery to remove the polyps. While polyps will eventually come back, it can take months or even years for this to occur.
If you are battling symptoms of chronic sinusitis, you could actually be dealing with nasal polyps. Any sinus or nasal symptoms that last for weeks on end should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist.