Vertigo and dizziness are different
Vertigo makes you feel as if you are moving even though you are standing still. The room around you may spin. You may feel nauseous, or you may even vomit if the vertigo is severe. Dizziness, on the other hand, occurs when you simply feel off-balance or lightheaded. Vertigo truly makes you feel as if you are spinning.
Vertigo is typically the result of a health problem
Vertigo is usually a symptom of an underlying medical condition that impacts the function of the inner ear. How do we know that? Within our inner ears lie our vestibular system, which helps us stay oriented and balanced. Every day, an ENT doctor diagnoses and treats a variety of conditions and diseases that impact the vestibular system and cause vertigo. Some of the most common causes of vertigo include,
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
- Meniere’s disease
- Vestibular neuritis
- Head injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
There are many ways to treat vertigo
It’s important for an ENT doctor to first determine the cause of your vertigo before prescribing any medications or treatments. We need to treat the underlying cause effectively to get rid of your vertigo. Some of how we may treat your vertigo include,
- Medications: Antibiotics or steroids are prescribed to treat infections or inflammation, while other medications may help alleviate nausea and vomiting caused by the vertigo
- Vestibular rehabilitation: If you deal with chronic or recurring bouts of vertigo your ENT may recommend vestibular rehab to help retrain the vestibular system to be able to better recognize the spatial orientation
- Canalith repositioning maneuvers: This technique is most often used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and uses certain head movements to reposition calcium deposits within the canal of the inner ear
While getting your ears pierced by a trained medical professional can greatly lessen the risk of infections and complications, sometimes issues still occur after a piercing. Common problems caused by ear piercings include:
- Allergy to certain metals: If you have an allergy to certain types of jewelry or your skin is particularly sensitive to metals, talk with your doctor about getting jewelry made from materials such as stainless steel or titanium, which are less likely to cause a reaction.
- Infections: We know that it’s fun to fiddle and play with your piercing, but it’s important to leave it alone while it heals and to practice proper aftercare to prevent infection. If you continue to mess with the piercing before the skin heals, bacteria from your hands can lead to irritation or infection. If you develop redness, swelling, pain, or pus, these are all signs of an infection.
- Scarring: Certain individuals are prone to scarring, particularly keloid scars (excessive buildup of scar tissue). Keloids scars can be unsightly and uncomfortable but can be treated with laser therapy, steroid injections, or surgery
Certain individuals may want to talk with their ENT doctor before getting their ears pierced, as there may be an increase in complications. Let your doctor know beforehand if you,
- Are pregnant
- Have diabetes
- Have an autoimmune disorder
- Have a blood clotting disorder (e.g., hemophilia)
What are the signs of postnasal drip?
Along with extra mucus draining from the nose into the back of your throat, other signs of postnasal drip include:
- Persistent cough, often worse at night
- A need to constantly clear your throat
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Painful ear infections
- Sinus infections
- Bad breath
- Nausea (due to mucus going into the stomach)
So, what is triggering all that unwanted and excess mucus that’s now draining down your throat? There are a few possible reasons such as:
- A cold or flu
- Dry, cold air
- Changes in weather
- Deviated septum (a common malformation in the nasal wall that separates the two cavities)
- Certain medications (e.g., blood pressure medication; birth control)
- Chemicals and environmental irritants (e.g., perfumes; smoke)
At-home care and over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines may alleviate your postnasal drip, especially if it is caused by allergies. Saline nasal sprays and neti pots can also provide moisture to the nasal passages. Sleep with your head slightly propped up and make sure that you are staying hydrated throughout the day.
If you’re dealing with recurring postnasal drip, postnasal drip that lasts more than 10 days, or postnasal drip that’s accompanied by fever or green discharge (signs of a bacterial infection), you must turn to an ENT doctor for the appropriate medication and treatment. If a bacterial infection is present, your ENT will prescribe a round of antibiotics. Structural issues such as a deviated septum can only be corrected through surgery.
If other conditions such as acid reflux could be to blame, a doctor can run the right diagnostic tests to determine the cause and to provide you with a custom treatment plan to get your postnasal drip in check.
Common Causes of Nosebleeds
If you get a nosebleed every once in a while, this typically isn’t a cause for concern. Nosebleeds are usually caused by,
- Injury to the nasal membrane
- Picking at your nose
- Cold air
- Dry, heated air
- Repeated use of nasal sprays
- Taking aspirin often
- Blowing your nose regularly
- Respiratory infections (e.g., colds and flu; sinusitis)
- An allergic reaction
- Chemical irritants
Causes of Frequent Nosebleeds
If you’re dealing with persistent nosebleeds, here’s what could be going on,
- You may have ruptured blood vessels in the lining of the nose
- You could have a polyp or growth in the sinuses or nasal cavity
- You could have a health problem that affects blood clotting
- You could have an inherited condition known as Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome, which results in abnormal blood vessels in the nose
An ENT doctor can help you address all of your ear, nose, and throat problems. If you’re plagued with nosebleeds, we can find out what’s causing your symptoms and how to treat them. Call your ENT doctor today to schedule an appointment.
We don’t always realize just how much we rely on our hearing until it begins to diminish. Hearing loss commonly occurs as part of the aging process, but other factors can also affect your ability to hear. If you are experiencing hearing loss, a hearing aid can help you hear better. The exceptional doctors at Arizona Ear, Nose & Throat Physicians in Sun City, and Sun City West, AZ, can recommend specific hearing aids that meet your needs and personal preferences.
Aging is one cause of hearing loss. Other possible causes include illness, infection, or injury to the ear, such as a ruptured eardrum. Hearing loss can also be hereditary for some individuals. Another factor that can affect hearing is exposure to extremely loud noises. For example, attending loud music concerts without wearing earplugs could lead to hearing loss.
There are different types of hearing loss, including central, conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. Each type might be caused by different factors or associated with damage to specific parts of the ear.
Central: Sometimes referred to as central auditory processing disorder, this type of hearing loss is caused by the failure of the central nervous system to send the brain recognizable auditory signals.
Conductive: Associated with damage to the eardrum, middle ear, or ear canal, which can be the result of several factors, including a punctured eardrum, an ear infection, allergies, ear fluid in the middle ear, or congenital abnormalities in the ear.
Sensorineural: Associated with damage to both the inner ear and auditory nerve. Damage can be due to exposure to loud noises, aging, an ear infection, a viral infection, allergies, a head injury, or disease.
Mixed: Associated with damage to the inner, middle, or outer ear, which results in both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Types of Hearing Aids
A hearing aid is a device that can be worn around or inside the ear to improve hearing. Several hearing aid models are available to suit a wide range of personal preferences and needs. Types of hearing aids available at our office in Sun City West include behind the ear, in the canal, completely in the canal, open fit, full shell, and half shell. Some models fit over the ear, while others are worn inside the ear. Additionally, some models have greater volume control. Our experienced doctors can help you select the type of hearing aid that is right for you.
You could benefit from a hearing aid if your ability to hear has diminished. One of the skilled doctors at Arizona Ear, Nose & Throat Physicians in Sun City West, AZ, can determine if you need hearing aids. Call (623) 975-1660 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are also available at our Sun City location by calling (623) 972-2951
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