My Blog
By MIDWEST ENT
June 01, 2020
Category: ENT Health Care
Tags: Dysphagia  
You may take it for granted, but swallowing water, food, or saliva is actually a very complicated process. It requires vast systems of nerves and muscles working together. Patients that struggle to swallow normally have what is known as Dysphagia. This is not a stand-alone condition but a symptom of something else. It’s why you need to schedule an appointment with an Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist (ENT) right away. The elderly are especially at risk and can end up aspirating. 
 
The Swallowing Process
There are four distinct stages of swallowing. You do this hundreds of times every day without even realizing it. 
  • The oral preparation stage is where the food or liquid is made ready for swallowing. In terms of food, this means chewing your food. 
  • Next is the oral stage where the tongue moves food or liquid to the back of the mouth. This starts the swallowing process.
  • Then comes the pharyngeal stage, where the contents of the mouth go through the pharynx, throat, and esophagus. 
  • Last is the esophageal stage, where it transfers from the esophagus into your stomach. 
Symptoms of Dysphagia
Pay attention to these symptoms if dysphagia is suspected:
  • A constant feeling of something, either water or liquid, being stuck in the throat.
  • Problems controlling saliva production, i.e. drooling.
  • The sensation of a lump in the throat.
  • Discomfort in the chest or throat.
  • Coughing or choking when trying to swallow, drink, or eat. This is due to substances being pulled into the lungs. 
  • Difficulties sustaining a normal weight caused by swallowing interfering with nutritional intake. 
What Is Causing My Dysphagia? 
The most common cause is Gastroesophageal Reflux. This is a GI condition where stomach acid travels up the esophagus and pharynx. Other possibilities include: 
  • Tonsillitis or throat infections
  • Scarring or damage to the esophagus
  • Medication side effects 
  • Tumors in the lungs, esophagus, or throat
  • Nerve diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
What to Expect With Treatment
Your ENT specialist works with you to determine the cause of your dysphagia. Addressing the underlying condition can start a path to recovery. 
 
In some cases the cause is unclear. Your ENT will do everything possible to determine what is behind your dysphagia. They will ask you about the history of this problem and examine your throat. They might recommend a swallow test or various types of laryngoscopy. 
By MIDWEST ENT
May 01, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Hearing Aids  
Hearing loss is a widespread problem that affects large groups of people. It isn’t just caused by age, with younger people and children also being affected. It comes on gradually, with your hearing getting worse and worse. At a certain point, you need to consider investing in hearing aids. Before you talk to your Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist, educate yourself on the common signs of hearing loss. 
 
Do I Have Hearing Loss?
 
In most cases, the people around you will notice your hearing loss before you do. This is because you’ll start needing the things around you to be louder. The TV may sound quiet to you, but to others, it might be unnecessarily loud. They might also notice that they need to speak louder for you to understand them. 
 
Here are a few other common signs of hearing loss: 
  • People seem to be talking very quietly all the time
  • You find it difficult to follow along in conversations
  • Higher pitched sounds, like alarm clocks or birds, are harder to hear
  • Words with higher frequency consonants like f, t, s, p, and h are difficult to distinguish
  • You frequently ask people to repeat themselves
If you are experiencing any of these, schedule an appointment with an ENT. A hearing test can get you started on the right path. After taking the test, your doctor can determine what is causing your hearing loss and recommend hearing aids. 
 
Should I Get A Hearing Aid?
 
Hearing aids take normal sound and amplify it so that you can hear it. You’ll notice a major improvement in your ability to understand and converse with other people. 
 
Depending on your hearing test results, you may require one or two hearing aids. Binaural hearing is the ability to hear out of both ears. Sound reaches your ears at different times, letting you locate where a noise is coming from. You need binaural hearing to live a successful life. If both ears are showing lower levels of hearing, your ENT may recommend two hearing aids. Even if one ear hears better than the other, using two hearing aids improves the quality for the more affected ear. 
 
Contact a Professional Ears, Nose, and Throat Specialist Today
 
If any of the above experiences sound familiar to you, contact your local Ears, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist today. They can help evaluate your hearing and find a solution that works for you. 
By Midwest ENT
April 29, 2020
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Are you experiencing hearing loss? Maybe conversations sound muffled, you increase your TV volume or soft, high-pitched voices seem difficult to decipher. At Midwest ENT in Chicago, IL, help patients with hearing loss, offering precise diagnostics, treatments, and hearing aids for a better quality of life.

Kinds of hearing loss

The Hearing Loss Association of America reports that 20 percent of Americans have some kind and degree of hearing loss. Unfortunately, besides the obvious problem, hearing loss also leads to anxiety, depression, and dementia.

There are three basic kinds of hearing loss:

  • Sensorineural, which involves the sensitive hair cells of the inner ear and also the auditory nerve
  • Conductive, which impacts the structural components of the outer and middle ear
  • Mixed, which combines features of both

While age (presbycusis) and genetics affect hearing acuity, along with some medications and excess hearing wax, excessive noise exposure causes substantial damage. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says loud, damaging noise may be intense, as with an explosion, military service, or occupations in the construction and automotive trades. Additionally, repeated exposure to softer sounds over a longer period of time may reduce hearing clarity and volume.

Getting tested

You may be experiencing these symptoms of hearing loss:

  • Tinnitus, a continual buzzing, roaring or ringing sound in one or both ears
  • Asking people to repeat themselves in conversation
  • Increasing the volume of your TV, computer, radio or other kinds of audio equipment
  • Having difficulty understanding conversations in crowded environments such as parties or restaurants

What can you do about these symptoms?

Contact Midwest ENT for a hearing evaluation and physical exam. Testing pinpoints the kind and degree of your hearing problem and allows your doctor to plan your treatment. Hearing aids in Chicago, IL, often is the treatment of choice, particularly for age-related hearing issues. Sometimes surgery corrects the structural problems associated with conductive hearing loss.

Also, your doctor recommends:

  • Wearing ear protection when working with power tools (even the lawnmower)
  • Avoiding loud recreational environments such as rock concerts
  • Getting routine hearing exams annually after the age of 50

Hear well again

You can when you consult with your doctor and their friendly associates at Midwest ENT in Chicago, IL. To arrange a hearing examination or ask any questions about hearing aids, please call (312) 988-7777.

By MIDWEST ENT; EAR NOSE AND THROAT SPECIALISTS
April 22, 2020
Category: ENT Health Care
Tags: head cancer   neck cancer  

Doctors utilize a multitude of tests to diagnose or confirm the presence of cancer. They may likewise perform tests to figure out which specific treatments might provide the most favorable results. If you’re experiencing symptoms of head and neck cancer, your doctor will note all your risk factors and symptoms and dig deep into your medical history. Your doctor here at Midwest Ear Nose and Throat in Chicago, IL, Dr. Gordon Siegel, may likewise order these tests for diagnosing head & neck cancer:

Urine and Blood Tests and Physical Exams

During your physical exam, your doctor will look for lumps on your neck, cheeks, lips, and gums, and examine your nose, throat, tongue, and mouth for any irregularities. Urine and blood tests may also help alert your doctor to the presence of cancer.

Ultrasound

This utilizes sound waves for producing images of your internal organs.

Biopsy

A biopsy involves the extraction of a tiny tissue sample that will be examined by a pathologist to check for cancer cells.

Endoscopy

This will enable your doctor to view the inside of your body using an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible, lighted tube. It’s usually performed under sedation.

X-Rays and Barium Swallow

X-rays generate images of your internal body structures through the use of radiation. Swallowing barium may be needed to look at any abnormalities in the swallowing passage.

Molecular Tumor Tests

These are basically lab tests done on a sample of the tumor to recognize particular proteins, genes, and other factors that are specific to the tumor. The results from these tests could help in determining your treatment choices.

CAT or CT Scan / Computed Tomography

A CAT scan takes images of your body’s internal structure from various angles with the use of x-rays.

PET-CT or PET Scan / Positron Emission Tomography

This test is typically combined with CAT scans. Like a CAT scan, a PET scan can take photos of tissues and organs inside your body.

MRI / Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Instead of x-rays, an MRI utilizes magnetic fields to generate detailed internal body structure images, particularly of the soft tissues like the tongue’s base portion and the tonsils. Your doctor in Chicago, IL, may also use an MRI for measuring the head & neck cancer’s tumor size.

Bone Scan

This makes use of a radioactive tracer for looking inside your bones and is usually performed to check whether the cancer has spread or metastasized to your bones.

Once the results of your diagnostic tests are in, your doctor will discuss them with you. If you get a head and neck cancer diagnosis, these results will likewise help your doctor better describe what cancer you have and figure out the best treatment plan specific to your circumstances.

For More Information on Head & Neck Cancer, Call Us

Dial (312) 988-7777 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Gordon Siegel here at Midwest Ear Nose and Throat in Chicago, IL.

Midwest ENT is a member of Northwestern Private Practice, a group of independent physicians that provide top medical care to patients living in Chicagoland. We are all physicians with teaching appointments in the Feinberg Northwestern School of Medicine, and have the same privileges as the employed physicians. In most cases, we can see our existing or new patients in a timely fashion. We have physicians in almost every field of medicine and are committed to preserving the best quality of care. You can learn more about us on our website: www.northwesternprivatepractice.com. We look forward to the privilege of serving you now and for many years in the future.

By MIDWEST ENT; EAR NOSE AND THROAT SPECIALISTS
April 01, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Nasal issues  

Congestion and other nasal issues can make you feel miserable and affect your ability to breathe easily. Here are five common nasal problems and discusses treatment options.

Allergic rhinitis

Your nose is particularly sensitive to the effects of allergens in the air. Exposure to pollens, grass, weed, or mold can trigger uncomfortable symptoms, including:

  • Frequent sneezing

  • Congestion that makes breathing more difficult

  • Runny nose

  • Pain and pressure in your sinuses

  • Itchy nose, eyes, ears, and throat

  • Watery eyes

  • Scratchy throat

Allergy medications or shots, prescription nasal sprays, decongestants, and antihistamines can help prevent or reduce your symptoms.

Non-allergic rhinitis

Non-allergic rhinitis isn't caused by airborne allergens, even though the symptoms are the same. Exposure to strong irritants, such as smoke, dust, pollution, and strong odors can cause the problem. Saline nasal spray can help wash away irritants, reducing your symptoms. Decongestants and prescription corticosteroid or antihistamine nasal sprays may also be helpful.

Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds happen to nearly everyone occasionally and are usually caused by dry nasal passages or a blow to the nose. Saline nasals sprays and water-based nasal gels help moisten your nasal passages. If your nosebleed is severe, it may be necessary to cauterize the blood vessel to stop the bleeding.

Deviated septum

Your septum is a layer of bone and cartilage that separates your nostrils. Very few people have perfectly proportional septums. Although many of us have deviated septums, in most cases the deviation is minor and doesn't affect breathing. If the deviation is severe, you may experience:

  • Congestion

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Frequent sinus infections

  • Nosebleeds

  • Headaches

  • Postnasal drip

  • Snoring and sleep apnea

Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are small growths that occur on the lining of your nose. Although they're usually benign, they can make it more difficult to breathe, cause runny noses and sinus pain, and increase your risk of sinus infections. Nasal corticosteroid strays can help shrink polyps, and antihistamines may be useful in reducing chronic nasal inflammation. If your polyps are large and other treatments haven't been unsuccessful, your ENT may recommend surgery.

Not sure what's causing your nasal issues? An ear, nose and throat doctor can diagnose the problem and offer treatments that will help you breathe easier. Call your ENT to schedule your appointment.





This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.