Your voice is one of the traits that make you “uniquely you.” Any significant change in the quality or sound of your voice could be an indication of a problem, like vocal cord lesions. This is a throat-related condition that can be treated by a doctor at Midwest Ear, Nose, and Throat in Chicago, IL.
Your Vocal Cords
The vocal cords are two bands of tissue inside of the larynx, which is located behind the tongue. This tissue is key to forming the sounds that you make when you talk, yell, sing, or hum. Air is pushed out through the lungs, causing the cords to contract and vibrate. As the cords vibrate, sounds are created. The way these cords move, expand, and contract effect the pitch and volume of the voice.
Vocal Cord Lesions
A vocal cord lesion is a benign overgrowth of tissue—a polyp, cyst, or nodule. It is often caused by too much stress on the cords. For example, if you scream for long periods of time at a ball game, or sing night after night, this strain can cause extra tissue to develop on the vocal cords. Smoking can also cause lesions, which is why smokers sometimes have raspy voices. If you’re a singer, speaker, or someone who has to talk often in the course of work, vocal cord lesions can significantly affect the projection and quality of your voice. One of the first symptoms is hoarseness and difficulty getting words out.
Vocal Cord Surgery and Treatment
Vocal cord lesions can be difficult to treat without exploring voice surgery. The first step is usually to rest the voice to see if the problem heals itself or to try steam therapy. Voice surgery is usually recommended when the lesions are big or grow often. Your ENT in Chicago will use laser therapy and anesthesia to remove the growths. The recovery process is faster and easier than traditional surgical methods.
Improve Your Voice
If your ENT in Chicago, IL, discovers that you have vocal cord lesions, consider all treatment options, including voice surgery. Call (312) 988-7777 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gordon Siegel or Dr. Hartman at Midwest Ear, Nose, and Throat.
Oh, no, it's happening again. You recognize the symptoms of another sinus infection: the congestion, the inability to smell, the fever. You've had sinusitis so often this year that the condition basically is chronic. You wonder if sinus surgery from Midwest Ear Nose and Throat in Chicago, IL is the answer. Dr. Gordon Siegel can evaluate you so you both understand your condition and choose the appropriate treatment.
There are four of these cavities in the skull. All are lined with soft tissue, or mucosa. They are called:
- The frontal sinuses, located above the eyebrows
- The ethmoid sinuses, located at either side of the bridge of the nose
- The maxillary sinuses, in the cheekbones
- The sphenoid sinuses, behind the nose
Through chronic inflammation from allergies, deviation of the septum (divider) in the nose, polyps (small benign growths) or sinusitis, a bacterial or viral infection, these sinuses may swell and malfunction. Hence, patients experience pain, stuffiness, runny nose and general malaise.
Pinpointing the causes and treatments in Chicago
To determine treatment for persistent sinus problems, Dr. Siegel listens carefully to his patient's symptoms. Additionally, he may order X-ray imaging and three-dimensional CT scans to view the interior of the sinuses and what abnormalities (such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps) may be present.
Then, based on these findings, he devises an individualized care plan. Typically, otolaryngologists attempt to control active sinus issues with conservative treatments first. Sinus surgery is typically a last resort. Conservative treatments may include:
- Antihistamines and/or antibiotics
- Nasal decongestant sprays
- Nasal corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
Fortunately, most modern sinus surgeries are less invasive and lead to less downtime than older style procedures. Surgery allows the sinuses to drain and removes obstructions such as polyps.
One of the most frequent, effective and easiest to accomplish surgeries is sinus balloon dilation. During this quick, in-office treatment, Dr. Siegel inserts a small instrument through the nostril into the sinus. There, he inflates a small balloon which creates more room within the sinus, allowing for better drainage. Patients typically feel relief right away.
Other surgeries are Image-guided by CT scan, Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, and Caldwell Luc Surgery. Each uses tiny instruments to relieve pressure, remove obstructions and promote proper drainage as needed.
Get some relief from those problematic sinuses. Contact Midwest Ear Nose and Throat today for a consultation with Dr. Siegel in Chicago. Call (312) 988-7777.
Learn more about nosebleeds, why they happen and how you can handle them the next time they happen to you.
It can be rather startling when you notice blood dripping from your nose. While most people will experience a nosebleed at some point in their lifetime, they are often most common in children and adults between the ages of 50 to 80 years old. Of course, where the bleeding is coming from will tell us what kind of nosebleed it actually is.
What is an anterior nosebleed?
The majority of nosebleeds start at the septum, which is the wall that separates your nostrils. The septum is full of blood vessels, which can easily be broken just by simple everyday habits like blowing your nose. If a blood vessel bursts in the nose this leads to a nosebleed. An anterior nosebleed occurs in the front of the nose and is characterized by bleeding from one nostril (this is the most common type of nosebleed).
Why do they happen?
An anterior nosebleed is most common during the dry winter months, particularly if you have indoor heating, as it can dry out the nasal passages. Those who live in dry environments are also more prone to nosebleeds. If you find that these drier climates do increase your risk of nosebleeds you can always apply a small amount of petroleum jelly onto a Q-tip and carefully apply it to the inside of the nose and the septum to keep the nasal membranes hydrated.
Is there a way to stop an anterior nosebleed?
If you experience a nosebleed you may feel a bit panicked but it’s nothing to worry about. They often go away on their own but there are certainly things you can do to help reduce or even stop your nosebleed.
When to seek medical attention?
Most nosebleeds aren’t serious and won’t require care; however, if the bleeding is severe or the result of an injury, if the bleeding hasn’t stopped after following the steps above, or if you are experiencing other symptoms like chest pain then you need to get medical care as soon as possible.
What can I do to stop the bleeding?
The first thing you will want to do is sit up and lean forward so the blood won’t drain into the throat. Blow your nose to remove any clots that may have developed. While you may have heard to apply pressure to the bridge of the nose to stop bleeding, this actually won’t stop a nosebleed. Instead, pinch the soft parts of the nose, on both sides, to help lessen the bleeding.
If you are someone who suffers from frequent nosebleeds there might be a problem, so it’s better to play it safe rather than sorry and contact our otolaryngologist right away. We want to help put a stop to your nosebleeds!
While they tend to be most common in young children, ear infections can affect people of all ages. An ear infection can result from a number of causes, and treatment will depend on the severity, location, symptoms and source of the infection. Many ear infections respond to self care and clear up on their own, while others may require treatment and prescription medication from an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT).
Treating an Ear Infection
The ear is made up of three parts - the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Infections usually develop in the middle ear and can be caused by either a virus, fungus or bacteria. An ENT will check for fluid buildup and determine whether it is a viral or bacterial infection, which helps to determine what the treatment will be. Viral middle ear infections generally clear up on their own over time, and symptoms can be managed with pain relievers like Advil. If the infection is caused by bacteria, an ENT may prescribe antibiotics to help clear up the infection and prevent the bacteria from proliferating. With severe fluid build up, the middle ear may have to be drained of the excess fluid in order to relieve pressure and allow air to flow through the ear.
Types of Ear Infections
In addition to viral and bacterial infections of the middle ear, another common type of ear infection is swimmer's ear, which affects the ear canal in the outer ear from excess water buildup which can lead to bacterial growth in the lining of the ear. Swimmer's ear (otitis externa) is usually treated with medicated drops. In rare cases, an ear infection can be caused by a fungal infection, in which case antifungal medications may be prescribed. Steroids are also sometimes used to help reduce inflammation.
Dizziness can result from a number of external factors, ranging from dehydration and hunger to severe anxiety and panic attacks. The false sensation of dizziness, which makes it feel like a person's surroundings are spinning when they are actually still, is known as vertigo. Because the inner ear helps to regulate balance, a problem or injury to the inner can interfere with the signals the brain receives regarding the body's location relative to its surroundings. This can cause a sense of extreme disorientation and dizziness, even when the person is standing completely still in the middle of an empty room. Problems with the ear are diagnosed and treated by an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT).
Regular Dizziness or Vertigo? What You Need to Know
Everyone experiences a bout of dizziness from time to time, which is completely normal. Prolonged and frequent dizziness that is accompanied by other symptoms typically results from an underlying cause. An ENT can determine whether dizziness is caused by an injury or malfunction in the inner ear.
What Do the Ears Have to Do With Motion and Balance?
The human ear consists of three parts - the inner, middle and outer ear. The brain receives signals and input from the sensory system, which helps it to process information regarding a person's surroundings and fixed point in space in relation to gravity and motion. The inner ear contains sensors that work in conjunction with the eyes and sensory nerves to help the brain accurately process the signals and create a full picture detailing where we are at any given moment. A problem in the inner ear is like a short circuit that disturbs the brain's ability to accurately assess a person's surroundings, resulting in the feeling that the room or surrounding objects are spinning because the information the inner ear is sending the brain does not match with what the eyes and sensory nerves are processing.
What Causes Vertigo?
Infections and fluid buildup in the ear can cause vertigo and interfere with hearing. Migraine sufferers can also experience vertigo as part of their symptoms. The most common form of vertigo is caused by rapid head movements, like standing up too quickly from a seated position, or from trauma to the head. Contact an ENT specialist for persistent dizziness to determine whether treatment is necessary and to prevent complications like hearing impairment or loss.
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