My ENT Blog
When you or a family member presents with a respiratory infection it’s rather difficult to be able to tell which one it is. This is because many of them share similar symptoms. So how do you know whether you are dealing with tonsillitis, the influenza virus, or strep throat? Turning to an otolaryngologist can give you the answers and the relief you’re looking for.
What is tonsillitis?
The two lymph nodes located on both sides of the back of the throat are known as tonsils. They are the body’s first defense against preventing infection; however, even tonsils can become infected and when they do this is known as tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis can happen to anyone but is more common in children and teens. Tonsillitis is contagious, so it can easily spread if you come in contact with someone who is infected. There are three main types of tonsillitis: acute, chronic and recurrent. Most children will develop acute tonsillitis at least once during their lifetime.
What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?
Symptoms of tonsillitis may include:
- A severe sore throat
- Trouble or pain with swallowing
- Persistent bad breath
- Swollen, tender lymph nodes of the neck and jaw
- Red, swollen tonsils
- White or yellow spots on the tonsils
Symptoms of acute tonsillitis usually go away within 7-10 days; however, if symptoms keep coming back throughout the year then your child could very well be dealing with recurrent or chronic tonsillitis. It’s important that if symptoms of tonsillitis worsen or return that you see an ENT doctor.
Furthermore, it isn’t always easy to tell whether a sore throat is the result of a cold, tonsillitis or strep throat; however, sore throats caused by colds are usually mild and will get better within a couple of days. This type of sore throat will often be accompanied by other cold symptoms such as a runny nose.
If your sore throat is caused by tonsillitis or strep the pain will be severe and can make it difficult to swallow. Those with tonsillitis may experience pain located in the back of the throat, where the tonsils are located. In order to diagnose a strep throat your doctor will need to swab the back of the throat to look for bacteria.
How is tonsillitis treated?
Acute tonsillitis will go away on its own but rest and home care can go a long way to relieving symptoms; however, if tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection such as strep, your doctor will need to prescribe a round of antibiotics.
If your child is dealing with chronic or recurring tonsillitis then you may want to talk with your ear, nose and throat doctor about the benefits of having their tonsils removed (known as a tonsillectomy). This is a simple surgical procedure that can often be performed right in your otolaryngologist’s office.
If your child is dealing with severe throat pain and you’re worried that they could have tonsillitis then call your ENT specialist today for an immediate evaluation.
Just like breathing or blinking, swallowing is an involuntary habit that we don’t often think about; however, swallowing is an important part of everything from speaking and socializing to consuming delicious food. Unfortunately, there are disorders that can affect a person’s ability to swallow. A swallowing disorder can be uncomfortable and troublesome, and a visit to an otolaryngologist can give you the answers you’re looking for as to what’s going on.
Some people having pain when they swallow while others may have trouble swallowing certain foods or feel as if there is something stuck in their throat. As a result, they may have trouble getting the proper nutrients and calories they need. Swallowing disorders are more common as a person ages. Swallowing disorders usually fit into one of two categories: esophageal and oropharnygeal dysphagia.
People who often feel like they have something in their throats are often dealing with esophageal dysphagia as a result of:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
- Esophageal spasms
- Achalasia (esophageal sphincter dysfunction)
- Scar tissue of the esophagus
- Certain medications that can cause dry mouth
There are certain conditions that can also affect how the muscles in the throat function, which makes it more difficult to swallow food properly. Common causes include neurological disorders, nerve damage (spinal cord or brain injuries) and cancers of the head, neck, and throat.
Along with trouble swallowing, those with swallowing disorders may also experience:
- Coughing after swallowing
- The sensation of food being stuck in the throat
- Sore throat
- Chest discomfort
If you experience persistent issues swallowing or if you also experience vomiting, regurgitation, or unexpected weight loss along with swallowing difficulties then it’s time to see an otolaryngologist.
Diagnosing Swallowing Disorders
To determine the cause of a patient’s swallowing problems their ENT doctor will go through their medical history, ask questions about the symptoms they are experiencing and then perform a physical examination. Based on the patient’s answers, your doctor will then determine which testing is needed to make a diagnosis. Common diagnostic tests include:
- Esophageal muscle test (manometry)
- CT scan
- Dynamic swallowing study
- Barium esophagram
- 24-hour pH impedance (to evaluate acid reflux and regurgitation)
Treating Swallowing Disorders
As you can see from the list above, there are many conditions and causes that could result in swallowing disorders. Therefore, the treatment you receive will depend on the cause and severity of your symptoms. Your ENT specialist will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan to reduce symptoms. With chronic conditions, your doctor will find ways to help you manage the underlying condition to make swallowing easier.
Are you experiencing hearing loss? Maybe conversations sound muffled, you increase your TV volume or soft, high-pitched voices seem difficult to decipher. At South Florida ENT Associates jn Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, FL, your otolaryngologist, Dr. David Jassir, Dr. Mark Sukenik, and Dr. Sabine Hesse 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.
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 South Florida ENT Associates 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 Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, FL, often are the treatment of choice, particularly for age-related hearing issues. Sometime surgery corrects the structural problems associated with conductive hearing loss.
Also, your doctor recommends:
- Wearing ear protection when working with power tools (even the lawn mower)
- 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 South Florida ENT Associates in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, FL. To arrange a hearing examination or ask any questions about hearing aids, please call (954) 966-7000.
Dealing with allergies? An allergy involves a reaction by your immune system, often to common substances. There are many causes of allergies and symptoms vary from mild to potentially life-threatening. While there's no cure for allergies, treatments can relieve your symptoms. Led by Dr. David Jassir, Dr. Mark Sukenik, and Dr. Sabine Hesse, South Florida ENT Associates (located in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, FL) offers allergy treatments to their patients. Read on to learn about allergy testing and treatment options.
Allergy Testing Options
Prick Testing: Skin tests for allergic disorders have been used successfully for over 100 years. Skin prick testing checks for allergic reactions to many different substances at once. Skin prick testing is usually done to identify allergies to pollen, dust mites, foods, pet dander, and mold. In adults, the skin prick test is usually done on the forearm. About 15 minutes after the skin pricks, your healthcare provider observes your skin for signs of allergic reactions.
Rast Testing: The RAST test is a blood test that is used to test for allergies. The test checks your blood for specific lgE antibodies to find out what substances you may be allergic to. RAST testing can test for a range of allergies, including drug allergies, food allergies, pet allergies, and seasonal allergies. The test is often used in cases of patients who cannot tolerate prick testing because of extreme sensitivity, eczema, or the need to continue taking antihistamines.
Intradermal Testing: Intradermal testing involves injecting a small amount of the suspected allergen into the skin. Intradermal testing is usually performed when a substance does not cause a reaction in the skin prick test but is still suspected as an allergen for that patient. The intradermal test is often used for environmental allergies and drug allergies, but not for latex or food allergies.
Allergy Treatment Options
Allergy Medication: Several types of drugs are used to treat allergies. Allergy medications are available as pills, inhalers, eyedrops, liquids, nasal sprays, and skin creams. Allergy medications help ease and treat annoying symptoms like runny nose and congestion. These allergy medications include decongestants, antihistamines, combination drugs, corticosteroids, and others.
Environmental Control: Environmental control is an effective treatment for allergies. Your environmental control treatment plan depends on the specific allergens you're allergic to. You can benefit from controlling your exposure to the things you are allergic to. Environmental control may involve cleaning your home, placing a dehumidifier in your basement, running an air purifier, or wearing a mask.
Immunotherapy: Allergen immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, is a form of treatment that decreases symptoms for many people with allergies. Allergy shots help your body get used to the substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Each injection from your doctor in Hollywood, FL, contains a small amount of the substances that are causing your symptoms. Allergy shots are not a cure, but in time, you may not have symptoms as often.
Emergency epinephrine: Epinephrine injection is used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions caused by medications, food, insect bites or stings, latex, and other causes. Epinephrine works to reverse the life-threatening symptoms. If you have a severe allergy, you may need to carry an emergency epinephrine auto-injector at all times. An epinephrine injection can reduce your symptoms until you get emergency medical treatment.
Stop allergies from ruining your life. Call South Florida ENT Associates at (954) 966-7000 today to schedule an appointment with one of our ENT doctors in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, FL. Our treatments will relieve your allergy symptoms, so you can live the life you want. You will experience exemplary service and state-of-the-art care at South Florida ENT Associates!
Having trouble hearing those around you clearly? You could benefit from a hearing aid.
Have you suddenly noticed that you need to turn up the volume on the television in order to understand what people are saying? Do you find yourself drifting out of the conversation in loud environments because it’s difficult to hear people? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with some degree of hearing loss and may benefit from hearing aids. If you suspect that you might have hearing loss the sooner you visit our Hollywood, FL, otolaryngologists Dr. David Jassir, Dr. Mark Sukenik, and Dr. Sabine Hesse the better.
So, how can you tell whether you might have hearing loss? You may have hearing loss if:
- You ask people to repeat themselves or you say “what?” frequently
- You have trouble hearing people on the telephone
- You have trouble focusing on conversations when more than one person is speaking
- Your family members complain that the television or radio is too loud
- You feel like you strain to hear or understand what others are saying
- You have particular difficulty hearing people in noisy environments like a crowded restaurant
- You have issues understanding children and women
So, if you notice that you are nodding your head to one or more of these issues above then you might have hearing loss. While it’s normal for even those with great hearing to sometimes have trouble understanding others under certain circumstances, if you notice that these issues are rather frequent then you should schedule a hearing test with one of our Hollywood, FL, ENT doctors.
If we determine that you do need a hearing aid, the sooner you start managing your hearing loss the better. After all, it does take time to adjust to wearing and hearing with the help of a hearing aid.
What does a hearing aid do?
This small device is worn either inside or behind the ear to amplify sounds to make it easier for those with varying degrees of hearing loss to be able to hear certain sounds that may be more difficult for them to hear all on their own. It’s important to recognize that a hearing aid does not restore hearing but will help to make certain sounds clearer and louder so you can distinguish them.
If you are having difficulty hearing friends and loved ones isn’t it time you found out what’s going on? Call South Florida ENT Associates in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, FL, today and let us know that you want to schedule a hearing loss screening or to ask any questions about hearing aids.
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