Ear tubes are usually considered when a child has fluid in both ears for more than 3 months or has repeated ear infections. The tubes drain the ears of fluid and allow ventilation into the middle ear. Ear tubes usually stay in place for 6-12 months, at which time they fall out on their own or are surgically removed. The tubes are usually effective in preventing ear infection and the buildup of pressure and fluid, but these conditions can return after the tubes are gone.Ear tube surgery, known as a myringotomy, involves a tiny incision in the eardrum.
Hearing loss is most frequently caused by noise and age. Noise-induced hearing loss is gradual but can affect people of all ages. Age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, refers to changes in your ear which cause gradual hearing loss. Hearing loss can also be caused by wax buildup and an object in the ear, which are usually temporary, or an injury or ruptured eardrum, which may be more serious. Common symptoms of hearing loss include muffled hearing, not understanding what people are saying and the feeling that your ear is plugged. Other symptoms can include ringing, hissing or buzzing in the ear. Hearing loss treatment depends in the cause of the problem. The most common treatment method is the use of hearing aids.
Tympanic Membrane Repair
The tympanic membrane, or ear drum, is made of tissue similar to skin and can be easily damaged or perforated by injury or infection. Tympanoplasty is reconstructive surgery for torn or perforated tympanic membranes that can help restore hearing, treat certain types of deafness, and prevent middle ear infections.
Tinnitus is a noise such as ringing or buzzing in the ears. Tinnitus is commonly caused by inner ear cell damage. Damage occurs when the tiny hairs in the inner ear are bent or broken and "leak" random impulses to your brain, causing you to hear these sounds. An audiogram can diagnose tinnitus and a complete audiological exam can help determine the cause. Some treatment options include earwax removal, a change in medication, hearing aids, white noise machines or masking devices.
Allergies are an abnormal response of the immune system triggered by a typically harmless substance. Since most allergens are found in the air, the reaction occurs in the eyes, nose and lungs.
Most allergic reactions result in mild symptoms that include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itching or rashes. Allergy treatments are usually prescribed in the form of over-the-counter or prescription medication. Antihistamines prevent the reaction caused by the release of histamine and reduce symptoms. Decongestants unblock nasal passages and improve breathing. Nasal sprays keep the nasal passages clean and moist and limit the reaction to allergens.
Sinusitis is a condition that refers to an inflammation of the lining within the paranasal sinuses. Sinusitis can be treated through courses of antibiotics, decongestants, saline sprays, or in cases of severe chronic sinusitis, oral steroids. When pharmaceuticals fail, surgery may be an alternative. The goal of the surgery is to improve sinus drainage and reduce blockage.
Balloon sinuplasty is an advanced surgical procedure used to treat sinusitis and other related problems through minimally invasive techniques. Unlike conventional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty inserts a thin endoscope into the nose to clear blocked passageways without disrupting surrounding bone and tissue. This is done by inserting a small balloon that gently inflates to widen the walls of the passageway and allow built-up sinus fluid to properly drain.
The balloon sinuplasty procedure offers patients many benefits over conventional sinus surgery. Some of these benefits include:
- Minimally invasive
- Improved safety
- Shorter recovery time
- Reduced bleeding
Nasal polyps are benign growths that develop within the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses. If large enough, these growths may block the passages and cause breathing difficulties, sinus infections or other complications. They often develop in occurrence with respiratory diseases such as sinusitis and allergic rhinitis or immunodeficiency conditions. Treatment for nasal polyps is often provided through medications that can reduce the size of the polyp or even eliminate it. Surgery may be required to remove the polyp if medication is unsuccessful, and may include a polypectomy or endoscopic sinus surgery.
The two types of nosebleeds are anterior and posterior. Anterior nosebleeds comprise 90% of all nosebleeds. The bleeding usually occurs in the anterior (front) of the nose and flows outward. Posterior nosebleeds are less common and usually occur in the elderly, people with high blood pressure, or those who suffer a facial or nose injury. The bleeding usually occurs in the posterior (back) of the nose and flows down the throat. These nosebleeds are generally more complicated and often require medical assistance.
When we sleep, our throat muscles relax and vibrate when air tries to pass through but it blocked. Snoring can be brought on by nasal congestion, alcohol consumption, sleep apnea or simply the anatomy of your mouth. For those with sleep apnea or just heavy snoring, there are several treatment options available:
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)- surgery that treats obstructive sleep apnea by tightening the tissue in the throat and palate to expand the passageways.
Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP)- TAP is a variety of procedures used to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Some procedures include bipolar cautery, laser and radiofrequency.
Laser Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty (LAUP)- removes the obstruction in the airway with a laser while radiofrequency ablation emits energy to the area to shrink excess tissue in the area.
Genioglossus and Hyoid Advancement- surgically opens up the lower throat and pulls the tongue muscles forward.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)- involves the patient wearing a pressurized mask over their nose while they sleep. The mask pumps air through the airway to keep is open.
Septoplasty and Turbinate Surgery- reduces resistance to air flow through the nose.
An adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoid glands. Adenoids are small lumps of tissue in the back of the throat that help fight ear, nose, and throat infections. An adenoidectomy may be needed if the adenoids become infected and swell up, blocking the nose and making it difficult to breathe. Swollen adenoids are often associated with tonsillitis and may be removed as part of an operation to remove the tonsils. This procedure is called an adenotonsillectomy.
Head & Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancers encompass several different diseases that can affect the mouth, nose, throat and other surrounding areas. Most begin in the lining of moist, mucosal surfaces such as the mouth, nose and throat. The different types of cancer associated with the head and neck include:
- Oral cavity
- Salivary glands
- Nasal cavity
- Lymph nodes
Treatment often includes surgery to remove the cancer, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx (voice box) due to overuse or infection. Inside the larynx are two vocal cords, which normally open and close smoothly to form sounds through their movement and vibration. In laryngitis, the vocal cords swell up, distorting the sounds they produce. This causes the voice to sound hoarse.
Treatment of Neck Masses
A neck mass is a common childhood condition that involves swelling that changes the shape of the neck. Neck masses do not usually cause any symptoms and often disappear on their own. Neck masses caused by infection can be painful and may require antibiotic treatment. Those that last more than a few weeks should undergo diagnostic testing.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition that involves breathing problems during sleep, as the throat muscles relax and block the airway. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea often experience loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, insomnia and waking up with a sore throat.
Once the condition has been diagnosed, there are several treatment options available to manage symptoms and allow patients to enjoy uninterrupted sleep. While there are some nonsurgical treatments available, many patients with sleep apnea need surgery to remove excess tissue from the nose or throat in order to unblock the airways and promote healthy breathing.
Pharyngitis is a viral infection that causes a sore throat and pain when swallowing, and is often a result of the common cold or strep throat. This infection causes an inflammation of the throat and sometimes the tonsils as well. Pharyngitis associated with the common cold has no treatment other than bed rest and over-the-counter medication, while pharyngitis caused by strep throat can be treated with an antibiotic.