Understanding Vertigo and Its Causes

What Is Vertigo?

Vertigo itself is a symptom that something else is going on in the body, it is not a condition. Vertigo is actually a false sensation that you or things around you are moving. Most people describe the sensation as a spinning or whirling movement that can occur horizontally or vertically. Vertigo attacks can be sporadic and can last for seconds or they can be more constant and last for days. There are many specific causes of the symptom and it is important to figure out the root cause in order to treat the symptom.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

This is one of the most common causes of vertigo and is often called BPPV for short. It’s a sudden sensation that you are spinning or that the inside of you heat is spinning. BPPV can cause brief instances of intense to mild dizziness. Most of these vertigo incidents are bothersome, but they are not generally serious. The symptom comes and goes and is usually short-lived. There are several physical therapy maneuvers that can help balance things out and help the symptoms. The Epley maneuver is gentle and requires a series of easy movements to get things back in balance.

Migraines

Migraines are well-known for causing intense head pain that can be coupled with other symptoms. One such symptom is vertigo. Some people who have migraines have symptoms before the headache occurs and there are often things that go along with the migraines. Vertigo can come on before the migraine, or it can occur while your migraine is in full force. Those who get motion sickness easily are more likely to have vertigo in conjunction with migraines. Migraines have a number of treatments, but those looking to suppress vertigo may be interested in vestibular suppressants to balance the center in the inner ear.

Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is an inner ear disorder between the two nerves in the inner ear that send information to the brain. The information is important to a person’s balance control. If one of those nerves is inflamed, Labyrinthitis is the condition that results. The symptoms that come from that condition include nausea, hearing loss, and vertigo. People can take over-the-counter antihistamines to help ease these symptoms. Doctors may prescribe something stronger for several symptoms.

Vestibular Neuronitis

This disorder is recognized as a sudden and severe vertigo attack. When the vestibular nerve is inflamed, the false sense of moving or spinning can result. This nerve is a cranial nerve that helps to control balance. Those who suffer from this disorder could be prescribed with vestibular suppressants to reduce their motion sickness and aid them in dealing with the issue.

Getting Help For Vertigo Symptoms

While there are several different conditions that can cause vertigo including BPPV, migraines, labyrinthitis, and vestibular neuronitis, if the symptoms of vertigo persist and are bothering your everyday life, it’s best to visit with a doctor about the condition that is causing the discomfort. Breathe Clear Institute offers treatments for ear issues that could be causing vertigo as a symptom If you think you have inner ear troubles, or you want to rule that out before you move on to other treatment options, contact the professionals at Breathe Clear for help.

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Eliminating Household Allergens This Allergy Season

Get Proactive During Allergy Season

Allergy season is that time of year when sufferers are downright miserable. Pollen, dust, mold, and other allergens are simply unavoidable during certain times of the year. But you’re not completely powerless in finding relief for those in your household who have allergies. There are steps you can take around the house to make the home atmosphere more bearable during the allergy seasons. Here are some tips to help you get ahead of allergens before they take over the home.

Tip 1: Change Filters Regularly

Check your HVAC filters on a regular basis and change them out, perhaps more than usual, during the allergy season. Get hypoallergenic filters to help clean the air even further. If ducts and pollen get stuck in the filter, it will blow that air around the house, which can exacerbate allergies. Clean filters provide clean air.

Tip 2: Stay On Top Of Dusting

There aren’t many people that actually enjoy dusting, but it’s a necessary chore if you want to get rid of allergens. Dust, pollen, and mold particles are all common allergies. Dust areas from top to bottom so you don’t spread dust to areas that were just cleaned. Get microfiber cloths and dampen them to trap the dust instead of just moving it around. Make sure you remember ceiling fans and window coverings as well.

Tip 3: Wash Pillowcases Regularly

Who doesn’t look forward to snuggling down into their bed after a long day? But your pillows can trap dust mites and cause allergy issues to flare up first thing in the morning. Wash the pillow cases every week, and consider getting a pillow you can wash every month as well.

Tip 4: Limit Pollen Intrusion

While it’s nice to keep the windows open on a pleasant day, it can also let pollen into your home. Keep the windows closed and avoid allowing the pollen in as much as possible. Take your shoes off outside and run the air conditioning so no humidity builds up, which can also prevent mold and dust mites from forming.

Tip 5: Clean The Air Vents

If your air ducts have too much dust and other allergens in them, it doesn’t matter how much you clean, you’re going to have allergens in the air. Get those air ducts cleaned out every few years, especially if you suffer from major allergies during allergy season, so you can provide better quality indoor air for your family.

Tip 6: Splurge On A Good Vacuum Cleaner

If you’re going to buy a new vacuum, get something that works well and includes a HEPA filter to free your home from as many allergens as possible. Bagless vacuums are best because they can be emptied regularly outside. If you have the option, go with hard flooring over carpeting to make cleaning for allergens easier.

Get Allergy Season Help From Professionals

If you want more advice on how to rid your home from as many allergens during the worst of the allergy season, contact Breathe Clear Institute. We can also help you with allergy treatments, medications, shots, and more to make life more enjoyable every season of the year.

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Getting Treatment From A Throat Doctor

Throat Doctor Diagnostics

When your throat is sore, swollen, or has other persistent issues, you just want the pain and discomfort to go away. While you can self-diagnose all you want, you won’t be able to reach a solution until you have a professional take a look and go over the issues you are having. There are disorders that can affect your ability to speak or swallow properly and they can be very painful at the same time. Instead of hoping the ailment will go away, visit a throat doctor for proper diagnostics.

Factors That Affect Throat Conditions

There are plenty of things that come together to affect what happens in your throat. There are also variables that relate to treatment. Your throat doctor will look over things like your age, medications you might be on, the severity of the symptoms, the cause of the ailment, and many other things. It’s somewhat like a giant puzzle and the throat doctor needs all of the pieces to get a clear picture of what needs to be done moving forward. Be upfront and honest about all of the factors that are affecting your condition so your doctor can get the diagnosis correct right away and offer the proper treatment.

Throat Conditions

There are a variety of different throat conditions that you could be dealing with. Here are a few you might hear the throat doctor mention:

Aspiration

This is a medical term for when your food or liquid is inhaled through the vocal cords and into the airway. Instead of swallowing food through the right pipe and into the stomach, it goes through your vocal cords. It can be dangerous and even painful when it occurs.

Dysphagia

This condition means you can’t swallow very well and there are many factors that can cause it. Most conditions are temporary and not life threatening, but it’s best to get advice from the throat doctor either way.

LPR and GERD

When acid reflux occurs form the stomach up into the esophagus, GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs. If that acid travels all the way up into the throat, it’s LPR or laryngopharyngeal reflux. Both can feel like a burning and be very uncomfortable.

It’s All Connected

When you visit a throat doctor, you may find them asking questions about your nose or ears as well and that’s because everything in the ear, nose, and throat region is all connected. You might have throat issues from a problem that stems from your nose. Throat doctors are specialists that also rely on ear and nose regions to help diagnose issues within the throat area.

Treatments From Throat Doctors

When you visit a throat doctor, they will get to the bottom of your throat issue and will give you a treatment plan option. The most common cause of irregularities in the throat are the tonsils, which can become inflamed and infected. Those can be removed in a routine procedure, but they aren’t the only cause of throat problems. Visit with the specialists at Breathe Clear Institute during your consultation and exam to get the right diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific throat ailment.

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Reasons To Visit An Ear Doctor

Grabbing An Appointment With The Ear Doctor

ENT specialists, or otolaryngologists, help treat problems with the ears, nose, and throat. There are so many different doctors in the medical field, it can be hard for people to know who they need to see and when. ENT doctors are specialists that aren’t people patients see for everyday reasons. There are specific times that are good to contact an ENT doctor. Here are a few reasons to find an ENT doctor.

Reason 1: General Practitioner Referral

General practitioners are the doctors you see for any and all reasons. However, they don’t specialize in any one field. If they note that you have an issue in your ears, they may be able to pinpoint and treat it, or they might want you to see an ENT doctor for more specified treatment options. When your general practitioner gives you a referral to an ENT doctor, that is a sure sign that you need one to help your problem.

Reason 2: Persistent Infections

While it’s normal to call your regular doctor for an earache, if you have persistent ear infections that keep arising, you may want to visit with an ENT doctor instead. The ENT doctor is a specialist who has studied ear, nose, and throat issues at long length as well as how those areas are all connected. If you have ear infection after ear infection, they can help get to the bottom of the root cause of the infections instead of just treating the infection. That way, you can gain access to relief, but also get long term help with the actual problem causing the infections in the first place.

Reason 3: Ear Problems That Worsen

You know your body and you have likely had ear infections before. If you get one and it only gets worse and worse, seeing an ENT doctor is in your best interest. You might have something that the general practitioner hasn’t seen or won’t know how to treat specifically. ENT doctors have seen it all and they know just what to do.

Reason 4: Hearing Problems

If you have a hearing condition, or you are starting to feel like you can’t hear, it’s best to see an ENT doctor for preventative treatments. Your sense of hearing is very important and you want someone who knows the connections the ears have with the brain to get everything lined up well so you can prevent further hearing loss and perhaps even restore some or all of your hearing. It might be as simple as impacted ear wax and the ENT doctor can fix that with ease.

Reason 5: Treatment Options

ENT doctors have a lot more options for ear treatments than general practitioners since they specialize in the field. You could get prescription drops, cleanings, antibiotics, ear tubes, or any number of other things. The options are available and the ENT doctor will know what to suggest as the best course of action for your specific set of symptoms.

Getting To The ENT Doctor

If you have ear issues and your doctor recommends you see an ENT specialist, you know for sure you want to move forward with an appointment. But if you have ear infections that just keep coming around, worsening pain, hearing loss or other symptoms, you may want to call on your own as well. The professionals at Breathe Clear Institute can get to the bottom of your ear problems.

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What To Expect From An Allergist

Visiting An Allergist For The First Time

If you have trouble with allergies, the first person you will likely see is your primary care physician. But if your symptoms persist despite their prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, you might consider seeing a specialist. If you suspect food allergies, have shortness of breath, persistent coughing, wheezing, or serious infections, you need to visit with an allergist right away.

What Does An Allergist Do?

Allergists are trained to look at large pictures through background details and specialized diagnostics, so they can put together a treatment plan to alleviate allergies. When you visit with an allergist, they will take a complete personal and family medical history and they will want a description of your allergy symptoms, how you treat them, and when they arise. There will be a lot of questions to go over and you should answer them as thoroughly as possible.

Allergy Testing

After the medical and family history is complete, your allergist will want to perform an allergy test if all signs are pointing to an allergy. This might be done right away or on a follow-up visit. Based on your history and environment as well as your symptoms, the allergist will decide what kind of allergens need to be tested. Results can be misleading if allergens test for a full spectrum of irritants and false positives are common. An accurate allergy diagnosis will combine your test results with your personal history.

Skin Prick Tests

The most common allergy test is called a skin prick test. You will have a small amount of a liquid allergen pricked into your arm or back and if you are sensitive to that item, a raised bump will appear. The test takes only about 30 minutes and can be done in one visit.

Blood Tests

Sometimes, you might need a blood test instead, especially if you can’t undergo a skin test because you have sensitive skin or are taking a medication that would affect your skin’s reaction. Blood tests have to be sent to the lab and results can vary based on the lab that runs the tests.

Allergy Treatment Plans

Once you know what you are allergic to, the allergist will come up with a treatment plan for you, which can be a combination of a few different things. They will often recommend that you simply avoid the allergen, which is easier for some allergies than others. If you are allergic to cats, for example, avoiding them can help. However, if you are allergic to pollen, there’s no way to avoid outdoor air completely. Even if you can’t avoid your allergens altogether, the allergist might have ideas for how you can reduce your symptoms and risks. There are also non-medical therapies that can help symptoms like nasal washes, eye drops, air duct cleanings and HEPA filters and so on. The allergist might also recommend preventative allergy medications or things you can take as-needed. You might also consider immunotherapy, which generally comes in the form of allergy shots that can reduce the severity of your symptoms over time.

Meeting Your Allergist

The first appointment you have with your allergist is just the beginning of an important process to find a solution to your allergies. You can find relief from your symptoms with the right diagnosis and treatment. Contact Breathe Clear Institute to get started on the process.

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Addressing Nasal Polyps

The Problems With Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are small growths inside the nose that can often be seen with a bright light. You may not notice them yourself, but your ENT doctor can easily see them with the right tools. You may have visited the doctor because of the symptoms they have caused. Polyps, for example, can cause severe nasal obstruction. They can be associated with asthma and allergies as well. Some medications can help control them, but removing them is often the best course of action to provide relief. They can often be removed by local anesthesia procedures.

Causes Of Nasal Polyps

There aren’t any known causes, but it is certain that polyps can be linked to allergies, sinus infections, cystic fibrosis and even asthma. You might have polyps if you have issues with any of those. You will also likely notice nasal congestion that doesn’t go away, reduced sense of taste and smell, snoring, a runny nose, more frequent mouth breathing, and a post-nasal drip.

Removing Nasal Polyps: The Benefits

If you are suffering from certain symptoms that relate to polyps, many of them can be relieved by having the polyps removed. You can relieve nasal congestion, for example, and improve your sense of smell and taste. You will be able to breathe clearly through your nose again and you will reduce the pressure to your forehead and the rest of your face.

What To Expect From Removal Procedures

Depending on how many polyps you have and how large they are, you will either get a local anesthetic or a general anesthetic. The ENT doctor will use a video monitor and a small endoscope to pinpoint the location of each polyp. Delicate instruments called shavers remove the polyps as they are pulled back out of the nose. Discomfort is common after the procedure, but the ENT doctor will prescribe medications to alleviate this. Physical activity for the next few days is limited while you heal. Some ENT doctors will place a small Propel device inside the nose, which is temporary and dissolves on its own. This device releases gentle steroids to help you heal faster.

Do You Need Nasal Polyps Removed?

If you have many of these symptoms and you are wondering if you have polyps that need to be removed, make an appointment with your ENT doctor to find out. Write down your symptoms so you don’t forget anything, even if some of them don’t seem to relate to your nose or sinuses. Your doctor will want all of the details and whether anything makes the symptoms better or worse. Also list any other medical conditions you have and treatments you are receiving, especially for asthma and allergies. You’ll want a list of medications you are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, so the doctor can get a full picture of everything that is going on related to your polyps or other such issues.

Ask Questions About Nasal Polyps

If you suspect nasal polyps, your doctor will be able to tell if you have them, but you will have a lot of questions about any procedures or treatments. Ask what you can expect from removal or other recommended treatments long term and whether you have any restrictions before or after the procedure. Ask about alternatives so you can make the final decision as to what is best for your symptoms. Once your questions are answered, you can move forward with peace of mind about the procedure.

When To See An ENT Doctor For Ear Pain

Does Your Ear Pain Call For An ENT?

Ear pain and ear infections are something everyone gets at some point in their life. Usually, if you have ear pain, you would visit a doctor of some kind. It’s preferable to visit an ENT doctor, as they are ear, nose and throat specialists who understand how to treat those specific areas. But, does your ear pain call for a doctor or is it something that will go away on its own?

Types Of Ear Infections

Ear pain is often caused by ear infections and there are three general types. They occur in the inner ear, outer ear, and middle ear. Outer ear infections are the easiest to diagnose because they can be visibly seen, even by you. They often start as an itchy rash and can lead to pain, tenderness, and even swelling. The middle ear infections are caused by fluid being trapped behind the eardrum, which means the eardrum bulges and you have ear pain. You might feel like your ear is full and there could even be drainage from the ear. Inner ear infections are often caused by inflammation and not infections. They come with other symptoms like dizziness, vomiting, nausea, and ear pain.

Ear Pain Treatment

The treatment for your ear pain depends on the root cause of the pain or infection. A warm compress over the ear can help lessen the pain in any type of ear infection. If you have an outer ear infection, you might get a salve to help clear up the infection. Middle and inner ear infections call for over the counter painkillers, but they don’t always get rid of the problem—they simply lessen the pain. To know whether you need antibiotics, it’s best to visit with an ENT doctor.

Possible Surgical Needs

Some people, especially children, have recurring ear pain from infections. Children ’s eustachian tubes are smaller and more level than in adults. This makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear. Whether it’s a child or an adult, a visit to the ENT doctor can help the ear pain stay away for good. Surgical tubes may need to be inserted to help the ear and eustachian tube to heal. If you have ear pain that keeps recurring, an ENT doctor can assess and make recommendations for you.

Visit Your Doctor About Ear Pain

When you need help with your vision, you visit with an ophthalmologist. If you have ear pain, it’s best to see an ENT doctor. Perhaps over the counter medications will be all you need. However, antibiotics or other means of treatment may be needed. No one likes to live in pain and ear pain can be debilitating. Reduce your worries by visiting the ENT doctors at Breathe Clear Institute.

Ear Infection FAQs For Kids

The Questions You Have About Ear Infections Answered

Ear infections are one of the most common reasons doctors see young patients. Most children have at least one ear infection in their youth and many have more than one. Since ear infections can happen any time of the year, it makes sense that a lot of parents have questions about them. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding ear infections.

What Is An Ear Infection And What Causes It?

An ear infection occurs when the middle of the ear has infected fluid in it. A doctor can look into a child’s ear and see the infection. It is caused when the fluid is trapped in that area and is not able to drain. The area can become inflamed and the fluid can become infected when it doesn’t drain away as it should.

What Are The Common Symptoms?

Ear infections present themselves in a number of ways, but most children will have ear pain, even if they can’t tell you that something hurts. Many will also have a fever, but this can commonly occur with a cold or allergies. Watch for children who are irritable, have trouble sleeping, lose their appetite, pull at their ears, or do not feel well in general.

Do Children Always Need Antibiotics?

The doctor will prescribe antibiotics based on a number of factors. They will take the child’s age and history of ear infections into consideration along with the severity of the infection. The body can clear up these infections on its own, but antibiotics can ease the pain and take things to a healthier level in a faster manner.

What Is The Best Way To Relieve Pain?

If you’ve ever had an ear infection as an adult, you know they hurt. They’re even worse for a child because they don’t understand what’s going on. Over the counter medications can help, as well as warm compresses on their ears to help reduce the pain.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Most children will feel better 2-3 days after they are diagnosed and start antibiotics. If improvements don’t happen within that timeframe, another trip to the doctor may be warranted.

Why Do Some Children Get Repeated Ear Infections?

Some children are more susceptible to ear infections than others and there can be a genetic component to that. Children with multiple ear infections should see an  Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to evaluate if there’s something going on that can reduce their frequency. Ear infections can’t be avoided completely, but there might be some recommendations and changes the parents can make to prevent them.

Who Should We See About Ear Infections?

You can go to your pediatrician or family doctor about ear infections, but you are also welcome to visit Breathe Clear Institute, especially if your child has recurring issues with ear infections. We want to get to the bottom of the issue to prevent this from happening to your child.

What Allergy Tests Do You Need?

Uncovering Necessary Allergy Tests

When you suffer from allergies, all you want is relief, which isn’t always easy. Allergists have to determine the origins of your allergies to know how to treat you. This includes allergy tests, which can be very specific. It is important to understand what tests you will need and how these tests will work?

Determine Your History

Many allergists say that your history and background are huge determining factors in your diagnosis. Does someone in your immediate family suffer as well? What aggravates them? All of these details can help.

Skin Testing

For any skin allergy testing, you will have to limit certain medications before you have the allergy test. Once the skin test is complete, your doctor will be able to determine possible allergens that could be affecting you. This test includes injecting allergens under your skin with a small syringe. There could be up to 32 different injections in your upper arms. Patients report it doesn’t hurt much and feels somewhat like a mosquito bite. After ten minutes, the doctor will check your skin to see if a reaction occurred. You will also be able to detect any delayed reactions. Some allergens can take days to show their full reaction, so you will want to keep an eye on the areas and report back to your doctor about any delayed reactions.

Skin Prick Testing

Instead of using individual syringes, this type of skin testing is done through a device that can deliver multiple allergens at one time. This test is good for food allergies, and also works well for environmental allergens. You’ll have it done on the inner forearm and in 15 minutes, you will be able to measure your reactions with a professional. There can be false positives, but there are very few false negatives in this test.

Blood Testing

Blood tests allow you to assess your allergies without stopping any medication. A vial of blood is drawn to test food and inhalant allergens. The blood sample will be assessed for certain allergy antibodies to specific foods or inhalants and the labs will validate the results after the tests are complete.

What Happens After Allergy Tests?

You and your doctor should decide what type of testing is best for your symptoms. If your test shows that you had a positive allergy result, you may want to consider immunotherapy. Immunotherapy consists of customized allergy drops or shots that can help you build up a tolerance to the allergen over time and helps decrease your allergy symptoms. Drops are something you can administer yourself once a day for the next 3-5 years to help keep allergies at bay Another option includes allergy shots which are twice weekly injections at your doctor’s office that will eventually taper off over the next 3 years after you have built up to your maintenance dose. Contact Breathe Clear Institute to start your allergy testing process–and we can help determine what allergy test will be best for you.

Why Do You Have Swollen Tonsils?

Get Treated For Swollen Tonsils

If your tonsils are swollen, you usually know it. You can feel them in the back of your throat and it’s not a comfortable feeling. Tonsils are collections of tissues that form part of the immune system. When they are swollen, it’s uncomfortable and unpleasant, but fortunately, it’s not usually a major health concern. That doesn’t mean you won’t want to take care of it as quickly as possible, especially if you have swollen tonsils on a regular basis. Swollen tonsils are often caused by tonsillitis. Learn more about this condition from Breathe Clear Institute below.

Tonsillitis Facts To Understand Swollen Tonsils

Tonsillitis causes swollen tonsils and can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. Most cases will clear up on their own within 10 days, but ENT doctors can examine the throat and take a bacterial swab to diagnose the issue for sure. There are a range of agents that can cause the illness and infection. The tonsils often become swollen and infected because they are the first line of defense against external infectious agents that invade the body.

Symptoms That Often Come With Swollen Tonsils

If your tonsils are swollen due to tonsillitis, you are going to have a sore throat and pain when you swallow.  You might also be able to see red and swollen tonsils when you look in the mirror. You could have a headache, temperature, and you will likely be tired. Tonsillitis can come with a cough as the infection works its way through your body and you may also have pain in the ears and neck area.

Do You Need A Doctor?

You don’t have to see a doctor every time you have swollen tonsils, but sometimes the case can become severe or if can occur multiple times that treatment is necessary. If you have a fever over 103, a stiff neck, or your muscles are week, you should get to the doctor. You will also want to go in if your throat is sore for more than three days.

How Diagnosis Works

When you get to the ENT doctor, they will examine you and look at your swollen tonsils. They may also swab the infected area to determine if the swollen tonsils are a result of a bacterial or viral infection and even carry out a blood cell count to give them more information.

Treating Swollen Tonsils

If your home remedies haven’t worked, doctors may prescribe pain-killing medications or antibiotics to help the healing process. Surgery is sometimes an option when you have recurring swollen tonsils for a number of years. Before you start to guess about the treatments you will need, it is best to see a professional for a diagnosis and proper treatment. Visit with Breathe Clear Institute and make an appointment to get your swollen tonsils taken care of as soon as possible. You don’t even need to be in pain when the ENT physicians at Breathe Clear help. No matter what condition you’re in, count on us to bring you back to normal.

The Misery Involved In Ear Pain

Ear Pain: Causes And Relief

If you have ever had ear pain, you know how miserable it can be. Luckily, most ear pain clears up on its own without any treatment. But if it doesn’t get better or the symptoms worsen, it’s a good idea to visit with an ENT doctor. Earaches happen most often to children, but it can also occur in adults. Sometimes it affects both ears, but many times, it’s one ear or the other. Ear pain can be burning, sharp, or dull and it can be constant or come and go. Pain in this area can also have a number of causes, such as an ear infection or an early sign of a cold or the flu.

Children With Ear Pain

Pretty much every child has ear pain at some point in their life. The hard part is that younger children cannot tell their parents what is wrong. Earaches are one of the most common reasons parents take their kids to the pediatrician, whether they know their child is in pain or not. While experts say that 3 out of every 4 babies will develop an ear infection at some point, diagnosing the cause of that pain can be hard. Children with ear pain will be more irritable and they may tug at their ears. They might also have trouble sleeping or even be more clumsy. Sometimes ear pain comes with a fever as well.

Ear Pain Causes Are Varied

There is no one cause for ear pain when a person feels discomfort in any part of the ear. The most common cause is an ear infection, but that is not always the case. Some of the other common causes include:

  • Air pressure changes (like when flying on a plane)
  • A foreign object in the ear
  • Earwax buildup
  • Sinus infections
  • Water or soap in the ear
  • Strep throat
  • Overuse of cotton swabs

Some of the less common causes include:

  • A torn eardrum
  • Arthritis in the jaw
  • An infected or impacted tooth
  • Ear canals with eczema
  • Braces on the teeth

Treating Your Ear Pain

If you or your child has ear pain, the treatment for the ailment depends on the cause of the pain. It might be best to try over-the-counter medications for the right age group. Warm compresses can also help ease the pain. Most of the time, ear pain will go away without any treatment at all, but if it doesn’t fade or if there are other symptoms that go along with it, it is best to see an ENT doctor for help. They can pinpoint the cause of the pain and treat that cause instead of just the pain itself.

If the pain is treated without getting to the root cause, the pain may subside, but it will likely come back again and it may be worse the next time. Contact Breathe Clear Institute if you or your child have ear pain along with other symptoms or ear pain that doesn’t seem to go away on its own.

Yes, It’s Finally Time To See An Allergy Specialist

Learn How An Allergy Specialist Can Offer Relief From Your Worst Symptoms

Not everyone likes visiting the doctor. Some people might even put it off at all costs, but at a certain point, they will need to do what’s best for their health and make an appointment. Allergies are tricky because they affect people in different ways. Some people will experience mild seasonal allergies, while others suffer from chronic symptoms. If your symptoms are having a negative impact on your overall quality of life, it’s time to contact an allergy specialist.

Why People Experience Allergies

The body’s self-defense system is complex and is critical to our survival, but sometimes it can become too aggressive. We want it to keep us safe from harmful intruders like viruses or bacteria, but not from harmless materials like dust, mold, and pollen. When the body identifies these as harmful, the immune system starts to attack the supposed intruder, which causes the allergy symptoms so many people experience.

Anyone Can Experience An Allergic Reaction

Regardless of age, race, gender, or ethnicity, anyone can experience the symptoms of an allergic reaction. It is most common for allergies to arise during childhood, but new allergy symptoms can occur for people at any age. It’s also possible for people to experience severe allergies as children, have them clear up as they start to age, and then reappear later in life.

Symptoms Telling You It’s Time To See An Allergy Specialist

Allergy symptoms can reveal themselves in a variety of ways and at different severity levels. Some can be managed with over-the-counter medication, but others will require formal treatment or prescription medication. Some symptoms that indicate it’s time to see a specialist include not just hay fever but chronic sinus infections, nasal congestion, chronic cough and wheezing. Even itchy skin can be a sign of allergies. Also, if you are experiencing hay fever or other allergy symptoms for several months out of the year, you should see a specialist. As a general rule, if your allergies are so severe and happen so frequently that they are having a substantial negative impact on your daily routine, it’s time to get help from a professional.

The Most Common Cause Of Allergies In Winter

As the temperature starts dropping people tend to close their windows, bring out extra blankets from storage, and let the family pets inside of the house more. For people who are allergic to pet dander and dust mites, this means that their allergy symptoms could very well flare up. Dust mites love beds, bedding, and carpets, so no matter how clean your house is, you have them. The dust mite allergy is one of the most common, and its symptoms include chronic nasal congestion and sneezing. A few things people can do to limit their reaction is to remove stuffed animals (and other dust collectors) from the bedroom, vacuum carpets regularly using a HEPA filter, and get an allergen encasement for mattresses and pillows.

The Most Effective Treatments For People Suffering From Allergies

Ideally, we would be able to avoid the things that we are allergic to, but often that’s not possible. For some allergy sufferers, a steroid nasal spray or antihistamines can provide adequate relief. For more severe cases and for people who want to get rid of their allergies, and not just treat them, we offer immunotherapy. We expose the body to trace doses of the allergen so the immune system stops seeing it as an invader. One method of doing this is through injection, and the newer, more modern means, is through allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy. When you come into the Breathe Clear Institute for your appointment, we will give you a full evaluation and recommend the best treatment option for you.

What To Do About Swollen Tonsils

Treating Swollen Tonsils

If you’ve ever had a sore throat, it’s possible your tonsils are swollen. Tonsils are the two lymph nodes on each side of the back of the throat and they act as a defense mechanism to prevent your body from getting an infection. When they get infected themselves, you have a condition called tonsillitis. This can occur at any age, but it is very common in children. Along with the swollen tonsils, a fever and sore throat can occur. The condition is contagious and can come about from many different viruses and bacteria, like strep throat. If you have swollen tonsils, it’s easy to diagnose and the symptoms generally go away between 7-10 days.

Causes Of Swollen Tonsils

Tonsils help prevent your body from other illnesses. They combat the bacteria that enter your body through your mouth, but they can also get infections themselves at times. If you have swollen tonsils, it could be because of a common cold. Viruses are the most common cause of swollen tonsils, but they can also happen from a bacterial infection. Because children are around so many germs at school and on the playground, they are more vulnerable to swollen tonsils.

Swollen Tonsils: Symptoms

If you have swollen tonsils, you will have a sore throat and it might be hard or at least painful to swallow. You might have a scratchy voice, a fever, chills, and even earaches. You could also have bad breath and a stiff neck along with a headache. If your neck and jaw are tender, it could be because of the swollen tonsils. You can take a look inside your mouth in a mirror and see if your tonsils are red and swollen. They might also have yellow or red spots on them.

When To See A Doctor

Most people will experience swollen tonsils at some point in their life, but that doesn’t always mean you have to rush to the doctor. Many cases are normal and will go away on their own. However, sometimes the throat can swell up so much it can cause trouble breathing and other dangers. If you have a fever higher than 103, you will want to get an appointment as soon as possible. If you have a stiff neck or muscle weakness, or a sore throat doesn’t get better after 2 days, you will also want to get an appointment with your ENT.

Swollen Tonsil Treatments

Mild cases generally don’t need treatment if they are caused by a cold. But severe cases that are diagnosed as tonsillitis could include anything from antibiotics to a tonsillectomy. If you are treating yourself with a mild case, drink many fluids and get lots of rest. Gargle with salt water and moisten the air in your home with a humidifier. Other treatments will need to be determined by your doctor. The professionals at the Breathe Clear Institute don’t want you to suffer. We’ll help bring the swelling down and get you back to your everyday life as soon as possible. Make an appointment today. We’re here to help!

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Diagnosing And Treating Sleep Apnea

If you think you might have sleep apnea, the first thing you need to do is visit with an ENT doctor to get a diagnosis. You may have to see a sleep specialist as well. You will give a detailed account of your medical history because some of it may be relevant to sleep apnea. You may be asked to do a sleep study in a sleep lab or at your own home. This will help record the activity during your sleep in order to figure out what is going on. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, there are several outlets for treatments.

Positive Airway Treatment Devices

Positive airway pressure machines can have a variety of masks and are widely used devices when it comes to treating sleep apnea, whether it is moderate or severe. The mask is placed snugly over the nose or even the nose and mouth when you sleep to provide pressurized air that flows continuously or from time to time into your throat. The increased pressure prevents your airway from collapsing. The CPAP machine is one of the most commonly used devices. Those who have sleep apnea and use the device say they feel better and more rested. It can also help with snoring if sleep apnea is causing snoring to occur.

Oral Appliances

Oral Appliances are increasing in popularity for sleep apnea treatments as the public becomes more aware of how they can help. There are over 100 different oral appliances that are FDA approved and they can treat sleep apnea, snoring, and many other ailments. The appliances are worn in the mouth, like a mouth guard, when you sleep. They basically hold the lower jaw forward enough to keep the airway open so the tongue and muscles don’t collapse and block the airway. This is often the first line of treatment for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea and it is a good option for those who can’t tolerate wearing a CPAP device.

Weight Loss

About 70% of the people who have sleep apnea are overweight and that is the cause of their issue. Health care professionals may advise them to lose weight, which can lead to less or lighter snoring and diminished effects from sleep apnea. There may even be weight loss medications prescribed or other forms of healthy weight loss in order to aid the progress.

Surgery

Sometimes, surgery is the best answer for a serious condition. The surgeon can determine the part of the upper airway that is causing the obstruction and treat that site in a number of ways. Some surgeons have a very high success rate with these surgeries.

Consult The Experts

The professionals at Breathe Clear Institute want you to breathe clearly at all hours of the day or night. Contact us to book an appointment and let’s take a look at your medical history and current sleep apnea issues and see what we can do to moving you toward a solution and a good night of sleep at least!

 

When To See A Doctor For Ear Pain

Ear Pain: Causes And Treatments

When you have a sharp or even a dull pain in your ear it can cause you quite a bit of discomfort. You might find it hard to move on with your daily activities. The ear is something we often take for granted, but it is actually a very complicated part of our body with several sensitive tissues and small bones that come together to allow us to hear. The ear is also connected to the nose and throat so there are many different conditions that can cause discomfort. Ear pain, especially when it’s very sharp and severe, can be hard to deal with. There are multiple causes of ear pain, some of which may not be obvious.

Outer Ear Infections

An infection in the outer ear can be a very uncomfortable and painful experience. The outer ear is made up of two parts: the part you can see and the ear canal which you can’t see. It is the ear canal that is most susceptible to infection. Water exposure puts people – especially kids – at risk for an outer ear infection commonly referred to as Swimmers Ear. Other causes of an ear canal infection include scratching your ear with your fingernail, q-tip or other objects. Even a minor abrasion to the canal skin can result in a painful bacterial infection.

Middle Ear Infections

The part of the ear that contains the hearing bones is called the middle ear. It is the part of the ear that is behind the eardrum. When this part of the ear gets infected it can be very painful. Kids are at risk for this kind of infection in part because their natural ear drainage pathways, called Eustachian tubes, are not as developed as they are in an adult.  Something as simple as the common cold or a sinus infection can trigger an ear infection as well.  The fluid that builds up in the middle ear space can cause pressure and pain and can also cause a temporary drop in hearing.

Surfer’s Ear

Also known as exostosis, surfer’s ear occurs when the ear canal is narrowed because of small bony growths. The growths can then trap water inside the ear causing muffled hearing, pain, or even an infection. It is extremely important to get surfer’s ear treated in a timely manner because if left untreated for too long the ear canal can become completely closed off.

Referred Pain

The nerves that travel between the brain and the ear are complex. As a result, problems in other areas of the head and neck can be experienced as ear pain. Sources of “referred pain” include throat lesions and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). TMJD typically causes pain in both ears and may be accompanied by ringing and a plugging sensation.

Visit The Breathe Clear Institute

If you have unbearable ear pain or minor pain that isn’t going away on its own, it is best to visit the professionals at the Breathe Clear Institute for fast relief. We’ll examine your ears and give you a diagnosis along with the proper treatment so you can move on with your daily life. Contact us today for an appointment.

What Parents Need To Know About Ear Infections

Ear Infections In Children

No parent wants their children to be in pain, but as little human beings, they go through illnesses just like adults. The problem is, they can’t always tell us what’s wrong. One of the common ailments children and parents will have to deal with is an ear infection, either in one or both ears. In fact, some children get them so often, they have to have tubes inserted into their ears. As a parent, you want to watch out for illnesses in your child so you can ease their discomfort—especially from painful ear infections.

Why Are Kids Prone To An Ear Infection?

Ear infections happen when fluid gets stuck in the middle ear, (the air-filled space between the eardrums), and a virus or bacteria infects that middle ear fluid. It happens when the passageway between the throat and the middle ear gets blocked, which can happen easily during a cold. Ear infections often develop as a cold is on the way out. Allergies can also inflame the area and cause an infection. While children get a lot of colds, they are also prone to ear infections because the tube that connects those areas is shorter and less angled. Because children’s immune systems are still in the developing stage they can’t fight viruses and bacteria as well, so more germs can get trapped in the middle ear.

How Do Parents Identify An Ear Infection?

Because babies and infants don’t have control over their language yet, it’s hard to know how they are feeling and what hurts. An ear infection can be hard to catch. Older kids can tell you that their ear hurts, but younger ones can’t. Many infants will tug on their ears or they will be more upset when they are lying down. If the child has trouble sleeping, doesn’t eat much, or has a fever, they might have an ear infection. They may also have trouble hearing because their ears are blocked with fluid. Of course, a red flag for an ear infection is pus draining from the child’s ear.

Are Antibiotics Necessary For An Ear Infection?

Though antibiotics are often used for ear infections, they don’t always have to be used in order for the infection to clear up on its own. Infections caused by bacteria can improve on their own, and repeated antibiotics can develop resistant bacteria, which is another big problem. But when they are absolutely necessary, antibiotics can relieve pain quickly for an ear infection.

Better Safe Than Sorry

When it comes to your child’s health, your best option is to see a doctor and get a professional evaluation to determine if your child is suffering from an ear infection. Whether you have dealt with ear infections in your children before, or think they have the symptoms but just aren’t sure, visit Breathe Clear for help. We want your child to get back to their everyday activities as soon as possible, so give us a call for an appointment.