Ears are responsible for hearing and maintaining balance, so we must care for them properly. If you are showing signs of an ear infection in McKinney, Allen, TX, make an appointment at Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute. Dr. Andrew Senchak, Dr. Joshua Caldwell, and Dr. Annie McRae are experienced ear specialists who can help diagnose and treat your infection.
Signs of an Ear Infection
The most obvious sign of an ear infection involves a sharp or continuous earache. Sometimes it may also feel like a dull pain. Your ears may feel full with muffled hearing. You may also experience ear drainage that resembles pus.
A child with an ear infection may be very restless and experience poor sleep as a result. The child may cry while lying down during bedtime. Parents should look out for fever as well. The most common type of ear infection in children is Otitis Media (OM) - an infection of the middle ear.
Causes of an Ear Infection
An ear infection may be caused by a virus, bacteria, allergies, smoking, air pressure changes, altitude changes, or sinus infections.
How Can My Otolaryngologist Help?
When you visit Dr. Senchak to treat your ear infection in McKinney, Allen, TX, he will examine your ears with a tool called an otoscope. Based on what the doctor observes in your ear, we may have to conduct a CT scan of your head to see if the infection has spread. Our office may test your hearing as well.
We may prescribe ear drops or advise you to take OTC decongestants. Pain may subside with over-the-counter medication like Tylenol or Advil.
Prevent an Ear Infection
Ear infections can occur anytime, but certain practices can prevent them. Avoid crowds and people who smoke - secondhand smoke can affect your ears. Keep your hands clean. Make sure you and your children are immunized as well. Breastfeeding your baby will also help your child avoid an infection of the ear.
Ear infections can cause discomfort in adults and children. Seek professional care for your ear infection in McKinney, Allen, TX, at Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute. Call (469) 678-2211 to get help from Dr. Senchak, Dr. Caldwell, and Dr. McRae.
Do you frequently feel lightheaded, off-balance, or as if your feet aren't planted on the ground? These are signs of dizziness and vertigo. If these symptoms occur on rare occasions, they likely not of concern, but they shouldn't go ignored if they happen repeatedly.
Feeling dizzy can cause a queasy feeling that makes it difficult to stay standing and go about your day. If dizziness and vertigo have you feeling unsteady and nauseous it's time to visit your McKinney, TX, ENT specialists, Dr. Andrew Senchak and Dr. Amy Arnett, also serving Allen, TX.
What Can Cause dizziness?
Dizziness and vertigo, which is a type of dizziness in which you feel like you or your surroundings are moving, can be caused by inner ear problems. Dizziness can come in the form of feeling faint, losing consciousness, or feeling like everything is spinning. The vestibular system instructs your brain to maintain balance but these signals can be disrupted by inner ear issues like infection, inflammation, or ear crystal shifting. Headaches or injuries could also cause dizziness.
How will Your McKinney, TX, ENT specialists also serving Allen, TX, Treat Your Dizziness or Vertigo?
In addition to a hearing test, we may administer vestibular tests including:
- Videonystagmogram or Electrocochleography to detect abnormal eye movements
- Rotational Chair Testing to measure how the eyes and ears work together
- Auditory Brainstem Response to use electrodes to check on the hearing pathways
- Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials to use a repetitive sound stimulus to one ear and evaluate the reaction to the sound.
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your dizziness or vertigo and may include:
- Self-repositioning exercises
- Treating infection
- Standing up slowly
- Avoiding sudden head movements
- Staying hydrated
- Eating in regular increments
- Minimizing consumption of alcohol or caffeine
Find relief from your dizziness with the help of your McKinney, TX, ENT specialists, Dr. Senchak and Dr. Arnett, also serving Allen, TX. Call the Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute today at (469) 678-2211.
Could your dizziness and balance problems be caused by a vestibular disorder? Your McKinney, TX, otolaryngologist, Dr. Andrew Senchak of Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute, can determine the cause of your symptoms and offer helpful treatments.
Vestibular disorder symptoms
Dizziness or nausea isn't uncommon, particularly if you've been feeling a little under the weather. If the symptoms happen often, they could be related to a vestibular disorder. The vestibular system is located in your inner ear and is essential for good balance. If the system isn't working properly, you may experience:
- A spinning sensation called vertigo
- Trouble keeping your balance
- Coordination problems
- Ear pain or fullness in the ears
- Concentration or memory problems
- Ringing in the ears
- Poor depth perception
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
- Trouble tracking objects with your eyes
- Focusing problems
- Motion sickness
A vestibular disorder could be caused by:
- An ear infection
- Head or neck injury
- Medication side effects
- Allergies, colds, and viral infections
- Growth in the ear or on a nerve
- Meniere's disease
- Poor circulation in the ear
How are vestibular disorders treated?
During your visit to the McKinney otolaryngology office, your doctor will review your medications and medical history to determine if an underlying condition could be the cause of your problem. He may also recommend a few tests that will help him make a diagnosis.
If you are diagnosed with a vestibular disorder, your treatment options may include:
- Medication: Antibiotics to treat ear infections and medications for other underlying conditions may ease your symptoms.
- Counseling: Counseling can be helpful if you're struggling to deal with the effects of the vestibular disorder on your life.
- Canalith Repositioning Therapy: Your doctor manipulates your head to reposition crystals inside your ear during this therapy. Vestibular disorder symptoms can occur if the crystals move out of their normal positions.
- Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy: You'll learn exercises that will reduce dizziness, improve balance and enhance the functioning of your vestibular system. Individualized therapy addresses your particular symptoms and challenges.
Do you have any of the symptoms of a vestibular disorder? Call your otolaryngologist in McKinney, TX, Dr. Andrew Senchak of Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute at (469) 678-2211 to schedule your appointment.
Here are some easy things you can do to prevent damage to your hearing.
A shocking 432 million adults and 34 million children around the world are affected by hearing loss. There are many causes for hearing loss including chronic ear infections, age, and exposure to loud noises. Of course, there are steps you can take now to protect yourself and your family from hearing loss. From the office of our McKinney, TX, ENT doctor Dr. Andrew Senchak, here are some strategies for preserving your hearing,
Know safe decibel levels
A safe exposure level of sound is no more than 85 decibels for eight hours a day. 85 decibels equates to the sounds of bustling city traffic. Unfortunately, headphones and MP3 players are often at or above 100 decibels. Even a standard blow-dryer is about 90 decibels.
It’s important to understand that even simple everyday appliances could cause hearing damage if you use them regularly. Knowing this can help to limit your exposure and avoid loud noises.
Protect your ears while listening to music
Listening to MP3 players is one of the biggest risk factors for hearing loss these days, particularly in teens. To prevent hearing damage caused by these electronic devices you must consider using noise-canceling headphones when listening to music, do not go above 60 percent of the maximum volume, and do not use headphones for more than 60 minutes at a time. Breaks are key. If your child is blasting their iPod it’s time to educate them on safer listening volumes.
Get your hearing evaluated
Even if you think your hearing is perfect, it’s a good idea to have your family visit our McKinney, TX, ENT doctor and audiologist to make sure that everything is okay. In fact, gradual hearing loss can be more challenging for people to spot. Children and teens should get regular hearing screenings.
Of course, if you are concerned about your hearing or the hearing of a loved one you must schedule an evaluation as soon as possible. The sooner hearing loss is diagnosed the sooner we can start treating the problem.
If you or someone you love is developing hearing problems as a result of recurring ear infections, our McKinney, TX, ENT team is here to help. Call Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute at (469) 678-2211 to schedule an evaluation.
At Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute in McKinney, TX, Dr. Andrew Senchak provides diagnosis and treatment of vertigo, ear pain, hearing loss and tinnitus. If you are experiencing symptoms of ENT problems, learn more about what we do to help patients feel good and function at their best.
A complex apparatus
That's your ear. It not only transmits sound to your brain, but it also keeps you balanced. Both these functions depend on tiny sensory hair cells present in the inner ear, but like any finely tuned bodily organ, these hair cells may be damaged. These are the common harmful factors:
- Prolonged exposure to loud noise or music
- Infection (swimmer's ear or otitis media, as examples)
- Age (over 60)
- Head injury, such as a skull fracture
When to see an ENT doctor
We ask our patients in the McKinney, TX, area to arrange an appointment with our ENT doctor when they notice the following symptoms:
- Changes in hearing acuity which lasts for more than two weeks
- Tinnitus, a roaring, ringing sound in one or both ears, which may be an early sign of hearing loss
- Dizziness and balance issues
- Ear pain, fever and other signs of possible infection
- Ear drainage or blood from one or both sides of the head
- Injury to the ear--either external or internal as with a blow to the head or an object puncturing the eardrum
- Repeated episodes of motion sickness
- Chronic headaches
- Fullness in the ears
- Hearing sensitivity, both to volume and pitch
Your evaluation at Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute
When you come to our McKinney, TX, office, our ENT doctor will look at both your ears, ask you to describe your symptoms and inspect the inside of your ear canal with a lighted otoscope. This exam generally is painless, although with some conditions, such as swimmer's ear, there may be some mild soreness.
Depending on his findings, Dr. Senchak may have our on-site audiologist, Dr. Amy Arnett, perform a hearing test. With his findings and the results of the audiological exam, he will formulate a treatment plan to address your symptoms.
Also, for problems with balance and dizziness, Dr. Senchak runs specialized tests, such as Rotational Chair Testing, Auditory Brainstem Response and others to pinpoint the reasons behind these issues.
We're here to help
At Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute in McKinney, TX, Dr. Andrew Senchak examines and treats patients of all ages who have disorders and conditions related to their ears. For your consultation with this skilled ENT doctor, phone us at (469) 678-2211.
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