My Blog
By MIDWEST ENT; EAR NOSE AND THROAT SPECIALISTS
April 29, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Sinus Surgery   Sinusitis  

Do you find yourself dealing with persistent sinus infections? Have nasal congestion and facial pressure become the norm? If so, then it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist who can provide you with the relief that you need! While acute sinusitis is usually nothing to worry about and will go away fully after a few weeks of treatment, chronic sinusitis often needs a more proactive solution. If you have been battling a sinus infection for over 12 weeks and it’s not responding to treatment, then it’s time to consider other treatment options. Read on to learn more!

How to Treat Chronic Sinusitis

One of the ways to treat chronic nasal inflammation and blockages is through a simple endoscopic sinus procedure. Unlike traditional surgery, this procedure is minimally invasive and doesn’t require major incisions or removal of bone or tissue.

While this procedure isn’t necessary for patients dealing with acute bouts of sinusitis, if you are someone dealing with a true chronic form of sinusitis, then it might be time to consider endoscopic sinus surgery.

When you come in for a consultation, an ENT doctor will perform a physical exam and talk to you about your symptoms. Common symptoms of chronic sinusitis include,

  • Nasal drainage
  • Nasal obstruction and congestion
  • Facial pressure or pain
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Frequent headaches
  • Reduced smell or taste

Along with a physical exam, an otolaryngologist will insert an endoscope (a small tube with a camera) into the nostrils to look for drainage, blockages, or signs of infection or inflammation. Sometimes a CT scan is necessary to diagnose your infection.

When it comes to treating chronic sinusitis, your doctor will first turn to non-surgical treatment options like prescription steroids, antibiotics, nasal sprays, or allergy treatments (e.g. antihistamines).

If these treatments aren’t giving you the symptom relief that you need, then we will talk to you about whether minimally invasive sinus surgery is the right way to treat your chronic sinus symptoms.

How Minimally Invasive Sinus Surgery Works

During this procedure, an ENT specialist will insert an endoscope into the blocked or inflamed nostril and guide it gently through the sinuses. There are different methods involved in this type of sinus surgery. Sometimes at the end of the endoscope is a camera, which allows us to carefully remove enlarged tissue to improve breathing. Any pus or signs of infection are also drained out. Once this procedure is performed, certain medications are prescribed for long-term management.

Balloon sinuplasty has become another popular minimally invasive sinus procedure because it does not require any tissue removal. Instead of a camera at the end of the endoscope, there is a deflated balloon that is inflated once it’s placed into the blocked or inflamed nasal cavity. As the balloon is inflated, it opens up the blocked passageway so it can properly drain. Then the doctor will clean out the sinuses with a saline solution to remove any remaining pus or bacteria.

Give Us a Call!

Minimally invasive sinus surgery is extremely effective at treating chronic sinusitis. If you are dealing with this condition, then it’s time to talk to your otolaryngologist about whether this procedure is right for you.

By MIDWEST ENT; EAR NOSE AND THROAT SPECIALISTS
April 09, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Hearing Aids  

Find out which type of hearing aid will help you get back in the conversation again.

Has an ENT doctor or audiologist determined that you have hearing loss? If so, you may be wondering, “What now?” Well, the next step is to get fitted for a hearing aid. Of course, with all the advancements in technology there are now so many options when it comes to hearing aids that it can be a bit confusing. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a hearing aid,

The Style

Discretion is usually one of the most important factors that someone mentions when getting a hearing aid (we know being able to hide your hearing aid from others is important). Of course, there are other factors to consider that can help you determine the right style for you. Common hearing aid styles include:

  • Invisible-in-the-canal
  • Completely-in-the-canal
  • In-the-canal
  • In-the-ear
  • Receiver-in-canal
  • Behind-the-ear (often the most versatile hearing aid to accommodate all severities of hearing loss)

Special and Advanced Features

Hearing aids now come with some pretty awesome features and while some may not apply to you or be particularly important for your lifestyle, there are other features that you may wish to have. Top features include:

Noise reduction

This feature separates out dynamic sounds (e.g. television; conversations) from static sounds (e.g. running water) and increases the dynamic sounds while reducing static sounds, making it easier to hear what you actually want to hear.

Directionality

Noisy environments can be a real pain for people with hearing loss. Here’s where the directionality feature on a hearing aid comes in handy. Instead of just “turning up” the volume on all sounds around you, this feature allows you to hear what’s in closer proximity and help you turn your attention and focus on the person in front of you rather than the noisy environment around you. This is particularly helpful for those who work in loud environments such as restaurants.

Multiple channels

Just because a hearing aid has more channels than another doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. What it means is that these different channels offer ways to adjust different frequencies. Therefore, those dealing with both low-end and high-end pitch problems can adjust the volume on one without necessarily adjusting the volume on another. The idea is that these different channels help even out what a person can hear.

Your Hearing Loss

Of course, the type and severity of your hearing loss will also play a factor in which kind of hearing aid will truly give you the best opportunity to understand those around you. This is something that your otolaryngologist can discuss with you during your evaluation and fitting. There are many options available for those dealing with everything from mild to profound hearing loss.

Are you ready to sit down with an ENT specialist to discuss your hearing aid options? Don’t put off addressing your hearing difficulties. The sooner you treat your hearing loss the better.

By MIDWEST ENT; EAR NOSE AND THROAT SPECIALISTS
March 06, 2019
Category: ENT Health Care

Learn more about the causes and ways to treat head and neck cancer.

Head and neck cancers aren’t as often discussed as other forms of cancer; however, it’s just as important that you understand the cancersymptoms and warning signs that you might have head or neck cancer. As with any cancer, it’s important that you see a medical professional as soon as possible so the cancer can be caught early. From the office of our Chicago otolaryngologist Dr. Gordon Siegel at Midwest Ear, Nose, and Throat, find out more about head and neck cancer.

What are the different kinds of head and neck cancers?

Head and neck cancers can affect,

  • The oral cavity (this includes everything from the gums to the lips and tongue)
  • Pharynx (throat)
  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Sinus and nasal cavity
  • Salivary glands

What causes head and neck cancers?

As you might imagine, tobacco use and alcohol consumption are the two most common risk factors for head and neck cancers, particularly cancers that affect the oral cavity, larynx and pharynx.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a certain strain of human papillomavirus (HPV) that has the potential to cause cancer this is something you’ll want to discuss with your Chicago ENT doctor to make sure that you are getting the proper head and neck cancers screening and routine checkups to detect symptoms early on.

What are the symptoms of head and neck cancers?

Symptoms will differ depending on the location of cancer. Symptoms may include,

  • Painful swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chronic hoarseness
  • Persistent headaches
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Ear pain
  • Sinus blockage
  • Eye problems or vision changes
  • Swelling around the jaw
  • Facial swelling
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Issues with the way dentures fit

Any of these symptoms warrant a trip to our office for an evaluation, particularly if you have one or more risk factors.

How are head and neck cancers treated?

Your treatment will be based on several factors including the stage of your cancer, the location of the cancer, the age of the patient and the patient’s overall health. From there, we will work to determine which treatment option is right for you. Common treatment options include:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Surgery
  • A combination of different therapies

Are you experiencing any of the signs or symptoms above? Do you have any questions or concerns about changes to your ear, nose or throat health? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Siegel at Midwest Ear, Nose, and Throat is proud to serve the Chicago area. Call us today at (312) 988-7777 to schedule an appointment with us.

By MIDWEST ENT; EAR NOSE AND THROAT SPECIALISTS
March 01, 2019
Category: ENT
Tags: Sinus Infections  
Sinus Infections can cause sinus pressureSinus infections are painful. You have sinuses around your eyes and behind your nose, any of which can harbor an infection. The first sign you may have a sinus infection is a dull, throbbing pain in the area of your sinuses. You may also experience:
  • Pain in your upper jaws or teeth, eyes, nose or forehead
  • A yellowish-green discharge when you blow your nose
  • Congestion caused from swelling in your sinuses
  • Severe headaches and earaches
  • A sore throat and persistent cough
Sinus infections are most often viral, but they can also be bacterial or fungal. Allergies, tooth infections, and nasal polyps can also cause a sinus infection.
 
You can take some steps to avoid painful sinus infections. It’s important to:
  • Use a humidifier, especially in your bedroom; this keeps the air in your house moist, which soothes your sinuses. Dry air irritates your nasal passages and can cause increased mucus production, resulting in congestion and a sinus infection.
  • Try an over-the-counter nasal irrigation kit; these kits, when used daily, can keep your nasal passages clean and free of mucus so bacteria won’t have a place to breed, causing a sinus infection. The saline solution also works to soothe your nasal passages.
  • Wash your hands often, and don’t touch your face, nose, mouth or eyes; this helps to prevent spreading germs and bacteria to other places of your body.
  • Stop smoking, because it increases mucus production and irritates your sinuses, providing an environment perfect for bacteria.
  • Avoid alcohol, because alcohol can make your sinuses irritated and swollen, resulting in a sinus infection.
  • Eat healthy and take your vitamins, especially vitamin C, and get sufficient exercise to keep your immune system at its peak so you can fight off a sinus infection.
 
If you get a sinus infection, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers, antihistamines, and decongestants. If your sinus infection lingers for more than a week or two, or if you have a fever along with the sinus infection, it’s time to see your doctor, preferably an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. Don’t delay; get some help for your sinus infection.
By MIDWEST ENT; EAR NOSE AND THROAT SPECIALISTS
February 05, 2019
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Canker Sores  

A canker sore is a painful ulcer that often develops within the mouth or tongue, but can also be found within the throat or on the lips. Canker sores should not be confused with cold sores (fever blisters), which are the result of a virus. There are several factors that can lead to canker sores, from spicy foods and vitamin deficiencies to stress or certain disorders.

While canker sores are benign and don’t require treatment, most of the time people are looking for ways to reduce canker sore pain until the sore heals on its own. There are two types of canker sores: simple and complex. Simple canker sores only appear a few times a year, usually lasting up to one or two weeks. Complex canker sores, on the other hand, aren’t as common and appear more frequently.

What causes canker sores?

While experts still don’t know what causes canker sores, we do know that there are certain things that can trigger the development of a sore. This includes:

  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods (e.g. lemons; tomatoes)
  • Nutritional deficiencies (e.g. zinc; vitamin B-12)
  • Minor injuries to the mouth (e.g. biting your cheek)
  • Food sensitivities
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Poor or weak immune system
  • Celiac disease
  • HIV/AIDS

When should I see a doctor?

It might be time to consult an ENT doctor if you are noticing:

  • Sores that last several weeks
  • Recurrent outbreaks
  • Pain that isn’t responding to at-home care
  • Severe pain that affects eating
  • Extremely large sores
  • Sores accompanied by a high fever

What are some ways to treat canker sores?

Most of the time canker sores do not require any treatment; however, if you are dealing with extremely large, painful or numerous sores then you may need to seek care from an ENT physician. Since canker sores will heal on their own, your doctor’s goal will be to help manage your pain through common treatment options such as:

  • Topical medications: Over-the-counter or prescription medications can be used to numb the pain or even speed up the healing process.
  • Oral rinses: To reduce inflammation or to numb the pain a doctor may prescribe a special mouth rinse.
  • Oral medications: If canker sores aren’t responsive to other treatment options, oral medications may be recommended. Such options include steroids.
  • Supplements: If your canker sores are the result of a nutritional deficiency then a doctor may recommend taking certain vitamins or supplements such as folic acid, vitamin B-12 or zinc.

If you are dealing with painful canker sores that you can’t seem to get under control then it’s time to turn to an ear, nose & throat specialist who can provide you with the answers you’re looking for.





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