UNCERTAIN IF YOU HAVE SINUSITIS?
Sinusitis is inflammation of the lining membrane of any sinus. Take the following quiz to see if you have sinusitis.
Choose "yes" if you have any of the following symptoms for ten days or longer; otherwise, choose "no."
1. Facial pressure/pain?
2. Headache pain?
3. Congestion or stuffy nose?
4. Thick, yellow-green nasal discharge?
5. Low fever (99-100°)?
6. Bad breath?
7. Pain in the upper teeth?
*If you answered "Yes" to three or more of the symptoms listed above, you may have a sinus infection resulting from allergies, bacteria, or a response to fungi. An examination by an ear, nose, and throat specialist may be warranted.
*“The preceding is for informational purposes only and not meant to be a substitute for medical advice or care. If you experience any health problems, only a physical examination by a healthcare professional can determine the cause of your symptoms. “
***Compliments of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery are recognized for this survey.
Swimmer’s ear is inflammation of the skin in the ear canal causing significant pain. Swimmer’s ear is predominantly a microbial infection which occurs rather suddenly, rapidly worsens and becomes very painful and alarming to patients. Wax in the ear can combine with any associated pus from infection and cause the ear canal to block, which in turn can also cause temporary hearing deficits. In more severe cases, the infection can spread to the soft tissue of the face that surround the ear and cause intense pain in the jaw making chewing painful. Despite these terrible symptoms, most people can avoid swimmer’s ear altogether.
The skin in the ear canal is fragile and easily insulted; therefore swimmer’s ear typically begins with a physical insult. Most often from injury caused by attempts at self cleaning or scratching with cotton swabs (Q-tips), pen caps, finger nails, hair pins, keys, etc. Another reason for developing swimmer’s ear, which is very common among children in the summertime, is prolonged water exposure in forms of swimming or exposure to extreme humidity. These two exposures compromise the protective barrier function of the canal skin, allowing bacteria to flourish. With all this in mind, there are ways to prevent developing swimmer’s ears.
1. Avoid inserting anything into the ear canal including cotton swabs/q tips.
a. Most normal ear canals have a self cleaning and self drying mechanism
2. After prolonged swimming, a person prone to swimmer’s ear can dry the ears with a low blow dryer. Alternatively, drops with a medicine dropper containing dilute acetic acid (vinegar diluted 3:1) may be used.
3. Avoid swimming in polluted water
4. Avoid washing hair or swimming if very mild symptoms of swimmer’s ear have begun
5. Although the use of ear plugs when swimming may help prevent swimmer’s ear, there are important details in the use of plugs. Hard or poorly fitting ear plugs can scratch the ear canal skin. When ear plugs are used during an acute episode, disposable ear plugs are often recommended.
6. If acute swimmer’s ear is present in a hearing aid patient, it is recommended that they do not wear the hearing aid in that ear until the infection has cleared.
If the patient still develops swimmer’s ear despite following all these recommendations, than it is up to the otolaryngologist to help assist with the treatment. With the use of topical prescription ear drops and appropriate removal of debris from the ear canal, the skilled practitioner can help promote the healing of the infected skin and shorten the recovery time. So, if you think you or a family member may be suffering from swimmer’s ear, please visit us at Coastal Ear Nose and Throat.
Stick Your Tongue Out
Who doesn’t enjoy licking their ice cream cone? However, there are some people who have a difficult time simply because they are tongue tied. Tongue tie is a problem when the tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is too short, thick, broad, or tight. This can limit the movement of the tongue. Many babies with tongue-tie don’t have symptoms. However, it can affect feeding, speech, and oral hygiene. A research study at the University of Cincinnati found that around 16 percent of babies experiencing difficulty with breastfeeding had a tongue tie. Tongue tie often runs in families. It can also occur with other conditions which affect the structure of the mouth such as cleft lip or palate.
In making a diagnosis of tongue tie, the two traditional criteria have been acute malnourishment or misarticulation of tongue tip sounds such as ‘T’, ‘D’, and ‘N’. There are many variations of tongue tie which complicates making a diagnosis based on physical exam. With that being said, the typical appearance is a heart shaped look at the front of the tongue and no tongue tip can be seen. Additionally the patient may not be able to touch the roof of their mouth, move the tongue side to side or stick it out passed the gums. Since the physical exam is just a component of the diagnosis process, we always consider other clues. The other factors include:
-Maternal factors including pain, nipple drainage, bleeding, blanching, distortion of the nipples or difficulty latching during breastfeeding
-Infant factors including low weight, termination of breastfeeding, gagging
-lack of lingual mobility which affects speed and accuracy of tongue movements
-eating difficulties caused by poor coordination of the oral musculature and may have difficulty introducing solid foods.
-dental problems which are severe and wide ranging appearing often in childhood
Despite all of the potential complications that can occur if this is not addressed, it is a relatively easy procedure to correct the issue. In infants and adults, it is a small surgical procedure that can be performed in the office. Some of the older children may require general anesthesia. The benefits are usually immediate with minimal risks. If your infant or child may have any of these symptoms please consider being evaluated by an otolaryngologist at Coastal Ear Nose and Throat.