MIDWEST ENT UPDATE 9/29/2020

As we approach fall and winter, we wish to update you on your ear nose and throat health. We recommend that you have your humidifiers inspected and cleaned. If you don't have one, this may be a good time to purchase. When heaters go on, so should humidifiers. In addition, nasal saline sprays and netty pots often times aid in healthy noses and throats. It is becoming increasingly well known how important good nasal breathing is for our overall health. I am sending a link to a recent story aired on CBS News, featuring James Nestor, author of the recent book, "Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art". It is very insightful and I hope you enjoy it.

We continue to take very strict COVID precautions. We have had no cases as a result anyone coming to our office or having surgery with us at Northwestern Hospital.
Flu season is rapidly approaching and strongly encourage the flu vaccine.
We are very pleased with our results of the Inspire(inspiresleep.com)procedure for sleep apnea. This has proven to be an excellent outpatient procedure for those who are not getting good results with CPAP.
As always, we offer a full range of services for your hearing health. We provide the most current technology for testing your hearing and providing the most appropriate hearing aids for each individual.
Please feel free to call the office(312-988-7777) for further information on all of the above or to set up an appointment. You may also send individual emails through our patient portal.

Wishing you all good health and safety,

Gordon J. Siegel, M.D.,FACS
Assistant Clinical Professor
Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery             
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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Signs and Symptoms of Postnasal Drip

We’ve all experienced it: that nasty feeling when mucus drains down your throat. This problem is known as postnasal drip and it can also kick-up a variety of other unpleasant symptoms. While our throat and nasal passages are always producing mucus to protect against foreign invaders and to fight infections, sometimes the body produces too much mucus, which results in postnasal drip. Find out what causes postnasal drip and how an ENT doctor can help you manage this unpleasant symptom.

What are the signs of postnasal drip?

Along with extra mucus draining from the nose into the back of your throat, other signs of postnasal drip include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Persistent cough, often worse at night
  • A need to constantly clear your throat
  • Scratchy or sore throat
  • Painful ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Bad breath
  • Nausea (due to mucus going into the stomach)

What causes postnasal drip?

So, what is triggering all that unwanted and excess mucus that’s now draining down your throat? There are a few possible reasons such as:

  • A cold or flu
  • Allergies
  • Sinusitis
  • Dry, cold air
  • Changes in weather
  • Deviated septum (a common malformation in the nasal wall that separates the two cavities)
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications (e.g., blood pressure medication; birth control)
  • Chemicals and environmental irritants (e.g., perfumes; smoke)

How is postnasal drip treated?

At-home care and over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines may alleviate your postnasal drip, especially if it is caused by allergies. Saline nasal sprays and neti pots can also provide moisture to the nasal passages. Sleep with your head slightly propped up and make sure that you are staying hydrated throughout the day.


If you’re dealing with recurring postnasal drip, postnasal drip that lasts more than 10 days, or postnasal drip that’s accompanied by fever or green discharge (signs of a bacterial infection), you must turn to an ENT doctor for the appropriate medication and treatment. If a bacterial infection is present, your ENT will prescribe a round of antibiotics. Structural issues such as a deviated septum can only be corrected through surgery.


If other conditions such as acid reflux could be to blame, a doctor can run the right diagnostic tests to determine the cause and to provide you with a custom treatment plan to get your postnasal drip in check.

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