Posts for category: ENT Care
Feel as if the room is spinning around you? If so, your ears could be to blame.
While there are many reasons why someone may experience dizziness, from a drop in blood sugar to stress, we're going to take a look at how the ears can affect your balance. There are a variety of conditions and infections that not just affect the ears but also your balance. These are issues that our McKinney, TX, ENT doctor Dr. Andrew Senchak can treat.
Many causes of dizziness are the result of an inner ear problem. Feeling dizzy or lightheaded? It could be,
This chronic inner ear disorder, which typically affects young or middle-aged adults, can lead to bouts of vertigo (spinning or twirling sensation). Usually, this condition affects one ear. Along with vertigo, you may also experience ringing in the ear, changes in hearing or fullness/pressure in the ears.
This inner ear disorder occurs when one of the vestibular nerves within the inner ear becomes inflamed. Since the vestibular nerves are responsible for spatial awareness and balance, inflammation of the nerves can lead to dizziness, hearing loss and nausea. Sometimes labyrinthitis is brought on by an inner ear infection.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
This is usually the most common cause of dizziness and symptoms can be triggered by changes in head position such as standing up too quickly. Those with diabetes, previous head injuries or another inner ear disorder may be prone to BPPV. Symptoms of BPPV include,
- Blurry vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of balance
You may be surprised to hear that dizziness is actually one of the leading causes of dizziness. If you have been diagnosed with migraines (severe headaches), particularly migraines with auras, then you may also experience bouts of dizziness and vertigo. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few minutes to several days. If you deal with severe, debilitating headaches then you could have migraines.
Since dizziness has many different causes it's important for our ENT doctor to examine you here at his McKinney, TX, practice to run the appropriate diagnostic tests to rule out certain conditions while also making a definitive diagnosis. The most common tests include an Electrocochleography (ECoG) or a videonystagmogram, which tests the inner eye and central motor functions, as well as eye movement.
If you suspect that your dizziness may be caused by an inner ear problem then call our ENT team at (469) 678-2211 to schedule an evaluation. Trust your ear, nose and throat health to the experts at Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute.
- A continuing cough
- Hoarseness of voice
- Unexplained and significant weight loss
- Trouble swallowing easily (dysphagia)
- Pain in the jaw or ear
- White or red patches or sores in the mouth which do not heal
- Nose bleeds
- Swollen tissues anywhere in the head/neck area
- Numbness in the mouth and especially the tongue
- Continual nasal congestion
- Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco
- Excessive alcohol consumption (more than two drinks daily if you a man and more than one a day for women)
- HPV exposure (Human Papilloma Virus) through oral sex
- A diet low in vegetables and fruit
- GERD, or acid reflux disease, in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus
- Trouble with breathing and speaking
How to beat it
- Over-the-counter antihistamines have been known to cause blurry vision, constipation, drowsiness, and possibly weight gain.
- Nasal sprays can lead to constipation, nose bleeds, and an upset stomach.
- Oral decongestants have been linked to high blood pressure.
If you are having trouble breathing or have recurrent sinus infections, you may also have nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths which hang down from the walls of your nasal passages or sinuses. You are at greater risk of having nasal polyps if you have:
Asthma or allergies
Allergic fungal sinusitis
Recurring sinus infections
If you are at greater risk of forming nasal polyps, there is a lot you can do to prevent them. Remember to:
Get treatment to manage asthma and allergies and prevent inflammation of your nasal passages and sinuses.
Avoid tobacco smoke, fumes, dust, and allergens to prevent nasal irritation.
Wash your hands frequently to prevent transmission of virus and bacteria which can cause infection.
Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your home which keeps your nasal passages moist.
Use a saline solution to rinse your nasal passages and sinuses and to help remove irritating substances.
You may not experience any symptoms if you have small nasal polyps, however, larger nasal polyps can cause:
Loss of smell or taste
Headaches or facial pain
Chronic inflammation in your sinuses (sinusitis)
Frequent nasal or sinus infections
Snoring or sleep apnea
Fortunately there are effective treatments for nasal polyps. Your doctor may suggest:
Medications to shrink the size of the polyps or eliminate them; some common medications include:
Nasal corticosteroid spray to reduce inflammation
Injectable or oral corticosteroids in addition to spray
Antihistamines to reduce inflammation from allergies
Antibiotics to treat chronic sinus infections
For larger nasal polyps that don’t respond to treatment with medications, surgery might be indicated. Surgery is performed endoscopically using an endoscope with a camera attached which is inserted into your nostril and guided up your nasal passages into your sinuses. Tiny instruments are used to remove the polyps or other growths interfering with breathing.
Call your ENT today and start breathing better tomorrow!
A sore throat will happen to most people, and while this is usually the result of an infection, if you are dealing with persistent or recurring symptoms, you may be wondering when it might actually be time to see an ENT specialist.
Contagious infections are usually the cause behind most sore throats and these infections are either viral or bacterial. Sinus infections can also cause sore throats, particularly if you are dealing with postnasal drip. If you battle allergies to mold, dust, pollen, or pet dander, then you may also experience a sore throat along with a stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing.
The most common viral infections to cause sore throats include everything from a simple cold and flu to whooping cough and mononucleosis (mono). Mono is one infection that can last weeks and cause severe symptoms including fever, chills, trouble breathing, and extreme exhaustion. If you suspect that your sore throat could be due to mono, it’s important that you see your otolaryngologist for treatment.
Bacterial infections can also lead to a sore throat, more particularly infections caused by the strep bacteria. These infections include pneumonia, sinus infections, and tonsillitis. Along with a sore throat, you may also experience a fever, red or white patches in the back of the throat, inflamed tonsils, and/or swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
Sometimes, your sore throat can simply be irritated, whether that be from the weather, environmental pollutants, or vocal strain. From shouting and singing loudly at a concert to mouth breathing at night, there are many scenarios in which the back of the throat can dry out and cause discomfort. This is usually something that will go away on its own and is usually nothing to worry about.
However, if you find that your sore throat is persistent and occurs most mornings when you first wake up, this could be a warning sign of acid reflux. Acid reflux causes partially digested food and acid from the stomach to flow back up into the throat, which can cause burning and irritation of the throat’s delicate lining. If left untreated, acid reflux can do serious damage to the throat.
If your sore throat is accompanied by vocal changes including hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or difficulty breathing, these issues require an immediate checkup from an ENT doctor, as they could be signs of a polyp, growth, or tumor on the throat or voice box.
If you have been dealing with recurring sore throats or symptoms that last anywhere from 7-10 days then you should seek care. An otolaryngologist will be able to diagnose and treat any and all conditions affecting the ear, nose, and throat, as well as the head and neck. If you are concerned about your sore throat, schedule an appointment today.