Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about Ear, Nose and Throat conditions.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a treatable disorder in which a person stops breathing during sleep, often hundreds of times during the night. There are three different types of apnea: obstructive, central, or mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common category of sleep disordered breathing. People who have OSA stop breathing repeatedlyduring sleep because the airway collapses. Airway collapse may be due to such factors as a large tongue, extra tissue in the airway, or decreased muscle tone holding the airway open. As a result, air is prevented from getting into the lungs. Key signs and symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, loud or disruptive snoring, gasping or choking during sleep. People who do not seek diagnosis and treatment for OSA can be at risk for-high blod pressure, irregular heart rhythms or heart disease, heart attack, stroke, increased likelihood of driving or work-related accidents.

When does an allergy begin?

An allergy is a disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur to environmental substances known as allergens. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma, food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees

What is an adenoidectomy?

An adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoids. The surgery is common and most often done as an outpatient procedure. The procedure can be combined with a tonsillectomy.

What is a tonsillectomy?

A tonsillectomy is surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed. Sometimes the adenoids are removed as well. Tonsillectomy is performed if a patient has chronic tonsillitis, has sleep apnea, has difficulty eating or swallowing and has multiple bouts of peritonsillar abscess. Tonsillectomies are usually performed on children but can be performed on adults as well.

What is tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils. There are three types of tonsillitis-acute, subacute, and chronic. Acute tonsillitis can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Subacute and chronic is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms of tonsillitis is a severe sore throat, difficulty swallowing, headache, fever and chills. The tonsills look red, swollen and can sometimes have patches of white (pus). The treatment of tonsillitis includes pain management medications and antibiotics (if the causitive factor is bacterial). Chronic cases may indicate a need for a tonsillectomy. Gargling with a solution of warm water and salt may reduce pain and swelling.

What are sinuses?

Sinuses are air-filled spaces within the bone around your nose. The sinuses are divided into four subgroups: maxillary sinuses (under the eyes), frontal sinuses (hard part of the forehead), the ethmoid sinuses (between the nose and eyes) and the sphenoid sinuses (under the pituitary gland)

What is Vertigo?

The word vertigo comes from the Latin word “vertere” (to turn) and the suffix-igo(condition), thus “a condition of turning about.” It is a type of dizziness with the sensation of spinning or swaying while the body is stationary. Vertigo is often due to an inner ear problem.

What is tinnitus (ringing in the ears)?

Tinnitus is the perception of ringing in the human ear. In some patients it can take such forms as whizzing, buzzing, clicking, roaring, hissing, humming or whistling sound. It can be perceived in one or both ears. Tinnitus is a very common symptom and can be very distracting and annoying for the sufferer.

What causes an ear infection (otitis media)?

An ear infection occurs when there is improper drainage of the fluid that collects behind the ear drum during a cold, allergy or upper respiratory infection and is accompanied with the presence of bacteria or viruses. This causes an inflamation in the middle ear which will give the pain of an earache. Otitis media can vary depending on severity.

What causes sinusitis and how is it treated?

Infection of the sinus cavities often occurs due to inflammation and obstruction of the sinus drainage pathways. Typical symptoms of a sinus infection include facial pain and pressure, nasal obstruction, yellow or green nasal drainage, fatigue and fever. Treatment of a sinus infection may include nasal decongestants and antibiotics. People with chronic sinus drainage may benefit from endoscopic sinus surgery.