Posts for: August, 2019
You may have allergies that show up in the spring when plants are flowering and grass is growing. You’ve grown used to the itchy, allergies watery eyes and sneezing. But now, you have allergies in winter too, when you’re indoors because of bad weather. Your ENT specialists want you to know that allergies aren’t just seasonal. They can affect you all year long.
Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, is common during the spring and summer months and is caused by an allergic response to tree or grass pollen and various other flowering plants. But allergies aren’t confined to just spring and summer. When you are indoors during the fall and winter, you can experience allergies to pet dander, dust mites, mold and many other indoor irritants. You can also be allergic to certain foods and not even realize it.
Your first step in dealing with allergies is to learn what you are allergic to. Your ENT doctors can test you for food allergies and a variety of both indoor and outdoor allergens. Once you’ve found out what you are allergic to, your doctors may prescribe:
Allergy shots—typically given once a week with either a single injection or multiple injections depending on how many things you are allergic to.
Sublingual drop therapy—a convenient option for people on the go, or those who don’t want injections; your doctors mix up a custom treatment solution which you can take at home and use daily, as a drop under your tongue.
There are also some remedies you can try at home to get relief from allergy symptoms, such as:
- Irrigating your nasal passages with a saline solution
- Over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants
- Using allergy-proof pillowcases and linens
- Using allergy or HEPA filters in your house, especially in the bedroom
- Vacuuming your carpets regularly
- Keeping your pets off of furniture and out of your bedroom
If you have irritating allergies, you already know they can affect your life. They can keep you from doing the things you like, and worst of all, they may not be just seasonal. But now there’s help just a phone call away from your ENT specialists. Call today and get some relief from your allergies!
Are you dealing with the effects of vocal polyps?
Most people don’t notice issues with their vocal cords until the problem has become rather serious. People who use their voice a lot, as well as those who need to shout or work within noisy environments may be prone to vocal issues. It’s important to know whether you might be dealing with a vocal cord disorder and when you should turn to our Chicago otolaryngologist Dr. Gordon Siegel at Midwest ENT for treatment.
Common Vocal Cord Disorders
The most common vocal problems include,
- Nodules: Nodules are hard, callus-like growths that develop on the vocal cords (often the result of irritation and vocal abuse). Teachers, singers and people who have to use their voice on a regular basis for work may be prone to developing vocal cord nodules.
- Polyps: These soft growths are also the result of vocal abuse or exposure to certain irritants such as cigarette smoke. Long-term smokers are at an increased risk of developing polyps.
- Laryngitis: This condition causes inflammation or an infection of the vocal cords. If the inflammation is severe enough you may temporarily lose your voice. Causes of laryngitis include vocal abuse, viral infections, heartburn or allergies.
- Ulcer: Vocal cord ulcers aren’t as common as the other conditions listed above; however, they can cause serious vocal cord erosion. Ulcers are more common in public speakers as well as those who have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).
Symptoms of Vocal Cord Disorders
As you might imagine, those dealing with vocal cord disorders often experience symptoms that impact the sound, quality and tone of their voice. One of the most common symptoms of a vocal cord disorder is hoarseness, which is present in most of the conditions above. If you are dealing with laryngitis caused by an infection then you may also experience a fever, fatigue or sore throat.
Those with ulcers, polyps and nodules may also notice that they have a low-pitched voice that tires easily. Ulcers may also cause throat pain. Our Chicago ENT doctor should evaluate your vocal cords if you’ve been dealing with,
- Hoarseness for more than two weeks
- You have trouble swallowing
- You feel like you have a lump in your throat
- You are experiencing unexpected throat pain
- You have lost your voice for more than a few days
Considering Vocal Cord Surgery
Surgery is usually not necessary unless the patient has not experienced any relief from their symptoms through nonsurgical treatment options. If you are still dealing with hoarseness and inflammation then our otolaryngologist may recommend surgery to remove the benign growth or scar tissue. There are several techniques that can improve these common vocal cord disorders.
About Midwest ENT
Midwest ENT in Chicago is a proud member of Northwestern Private Practice, a group of independent physicians that provide top medical care to patients living in Chicagoland. Our goal is to provide patients with a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible, often within a week.
If you want to discuss whether voice surgery is the most effective way to treat your vocal cysts, polyps or other issues then call our office today at (312) 988-777 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Siegel.