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By Dubuque ENT Head & Neck Surgery
August 15, 2017
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Tinnitus  

Are you wondering what that annoying ringing in your ears could be? While quite a few people will experience tinnitus at some point during their lifetime, it’s often aTinnitus symptom that manifests when another issue is present. While tinnitus will often come and go for people, there are some people who deal with it all the time.

What could be causing your tinnitus? Unfortunately, that answer isn’t as simple as one might expect. Just as abdominal pain is a symptom of so many different health problems so too is tinnitus. There are many reasons why someone may experience tinnitus including:

  • Head injury
  • Migraines
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Hearing loss
  • Hypertension
  • Certain medications
  • Wax build up
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Since tinnitus is a symptom, it’s a good idea to visit your otolaryngologist if you are dealing with persistent ringing in the ears. Through exams, hearing tests and other professional evaluations we could potentially pinpoint the cause of your symptoms to help create a treatment plan that will help reduce or even eliminate your tinnitus.

Since there is no test for tinnitus, your ENT doctor will sit down with you and ask you a series of questions. Through your answers, an audiologist can provide you with the information you need to manage your tinnitus.

As you may have assumed, the best way to treat tinnitus is to treat the underlying issue, if it’s something that can be pinpointed. If tinnitus is the result of a treatable health problem, either an ENT specialist or a medical specialist will treat you, depending on the cause. If the cause of your tinnitus isn’t determined, then choosing the right treatment plan may be difficult or impossible. In this case, an otolaryngologist may recommend other alternative therapies to reduce your symptoms. These therapies may include biofeedback or electrical stimulation.

If you are dealing with tinnitus and want to get to the root of your problem then it’s the best time to turn to an ear, nose and throat doctor to get the proper care you need. Since all treatments won’t work the same way for everyone with tinnitus, it’s important that you come in for a thorough evaluation before we come up with a way to manage your tinnitus.

By Dubuque ENT Head & Neck Surgery
August 14, 2017
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Balloon Sinuplasty  

Sinus infections are one of the most common illnesses in the United States. However, when sinus infections become chronic, they can balloon sinuplastylead to a dramatic decrease in quality of life. Luckily, your ear, nose and throat doctor can help you overcome your sinusitis for good with balloon sinuplasty. Find out more about balloon sinuplasty and if it is the right treatment for you with Dubuque ENT Head & Neck Surgery in Dubuque, IA.

What is chronic sinusitis? 
Sinusitis occurs when the sinuses become swollen and inflamed. The inflammation eventually causes mucus buildup, causing congestion and difficulty breathing through the nose. Other symptoms of sinusitis include pain behind the sinuses, facial tenderness and sinus headaches. Sinusitis becomes chronic when it lasts for 12 weeks or longer and does not respond to treatments. In this situation, your doctor may suggest balloon sinuplasty.

What is balloon sinuplasty? 
Balloon sinuplasty is a treatment for chronic sinusitis and other sinus-related conditions. During the procedure, your doctor inserts a balloon into the sinuses and expands it. This expands the sinuses, allowing the built up mucus to drain freely. Most balloon sinuplasty procedures last about an hour and require minimal downtime and recovery afterward. The sinuses heal completely after about two weeks, helping patients breathe correctly and get back on their feet.

Balloon Sinuplasty in Dubuque, IA
Balloon sinuplasty is a safe, effective, and quick procedure which provides positive and almost immediate results. Some patients, such as those with a deviated septum or nasal polyps, may require a different procedure to solve their sinus issues. A good candidate for balloon sinuplasty is in good overall health and is able to undergo the local anesthetic required for the procedure.

For more information on balloon sinuplasty, please contact your ear, nose, and throat doctor at Dubuque ENT Head & Neck Surgery in Dubuque, IA. Call (563) 588-0506 to schedule your appointment with your doctor today!

You’re walking down the street when suddenly everything around you starts to spin. You feel off balance and a little startled. You worry you might pass out as youInner ear inflammation, Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Labyrinthitis, Vestibular neuritis, Meniere’s disease, Dizzy reach for something to stabilize you. There are many reasons why someone may start to feel dizzy or lightheaded. While occasional dizziness does happen, if you find yourself dealing with these nasty spinning bouts more often than not then you may want to turn to an otolaryngologist to find out if there could be a problem within the ears that could be affecting your balance.

Sure, there are a ton of other reasons why you may be dizzy. Perhaps you are prone to motion sickness and just getting into a car has you feeling lightheaded. Maybe you have low blood pressure, so you are prone to these unpleasant episodes. Of course, there are also quite a few ear disorders and issues that could lead to dizziness such as:

  • Inner ear inflammation: If you get sudden bouts of vertigo along with hearing loss then you may be dealing with inflammation in the inner ear, which requires immediate medical attention.
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): This is the most common type of vertigo that people experience. This intense spinning sensation occurs when you jerk the head suddenly in a certain direction.
  • Labyrinthitis: This viral infection affects the outer wall of the inner ear, known as the labyrinth.
  • Vestibular neuritis: Another viral infection that causes the vestibular nerve to become inflamed.
  • Meniere’s disease: If you experience ringing in the ears (tinnitus) along with severe vertigo, then your vertigo could be caused by Meniere’s disease.

How an Otolaryngologist treats your dizziness will depend on the root cause of your symptoms. We will need to perform a thorough physical evaluation and also discuss all of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing before reaching a diagnosis. If you have Meniere’s disease you may receive two different kinds of treatments, one to handle your bouts of vertigo and another to lessen the frequency of your symptoms.

There are also certain exercises we can give you to train the brain to overcompensate if you are having inner ear problems. Rehabilitation therapy may be one of the best options for reducing the frequency and severity of your vertigo. In some cases where therapy and other treatments aren’t working or the vertigo is severe, your ENT doctor may recommend surgery to correct structural problems within the ear that could be leading to your vertigo.

By Dubuque ENT Head & Neck Surgery
July 18, 2017
Tags: Gastric Reflux  

Does just the thought of sitting down to spicy food have your chest preemptively burning? Do you hate that you’ll be suffering not long after enjoying aGastric Reflux beautiful meal? Those with gastric reflux, or chronic heartburn, deal with some pretty miserable symptoms that can really zap the joy out of eating. Those with gastric reflux won’t just experience miserable heartburn but also a persistent sore throat, unpleasant bleaching and possibly even breathing problems.

Of course, you want to be able to enjoy your favorite foods and mealtimes without worrying about the pain and discomfort that you’ll be in shortly after. Luckily, there are certain measures you can take to reduce your chances of gastric reflux such as nixing caffeine and alcohol from your diet, quitting smoking, eating smaller meals and staying away from spicy or acidic foods like chocolate, citrus and or tomatoes.

If you are following all these bits of advice and still aren’t finding a lot of relief from over-the-counter antacids or other heartburn medications then it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist who specializes in treating and managing conditions that affect the ears, nose, and throat. It’s particularly important that you seek treatment if you are dealing with hoarseness or other vocal changes, if you are having problems swallowing or if you are dealing with a chronic sore or irritated throat.

Through a simple physical examination, an ENT doctor can easily diagnose whether your symptoms are that of gastric reflux or another issue. If we diagnose you with gastric reflux you’ll want to make some serious lifestyle modifications to help reduce your chances of heartburn.

We will also provide you with different medications, from histamine antagonists to proton pump inhibitors. Based on the symptoms you are experiencing we will determine which kind of prescription medication will best manage your gastric reflux symptoms. We will also continue to monitor your health to make sure that the medication is providing ample relief.

If you find that no medication is able to effectively treat your gastric reflux symptoms then your otolaryngologist may recommend surgery. There are several different kinds of surgeries employed, depending on the type and extent of damage done by heartburn. Procedures can be done either through traditional methods or through laser therapy.

If you aren’t sure how to handle your gastric reflux disease then it’s time you turned to a medical professional who can provide you with the answers you’ve been looking for.

By Dubuque ENT Head & Neck Surgery
July 05, 2017
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Tonsils   Adenoid Issues  

You may rarely think about your tonsils, but these soft-tissue masses located in the back of your throat are rather important, as they are the first defenseTonsils your body has to protect you from infection. While you can see your tonsils when you open your mouth, the adenoids will not be visible (they are nestled behind the nasal cavity); however, adenoids also play a crucial role in your immune health. White blood cells are floating throughout the adenoids, ready to attack bacteria that want to infect the body.

Of course, even tonsils and adenoids can develop infections. After all, they are the first line of defense, so it seems only natural that sometimes they can’t tackle all these issues. Some of the most common problems include enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which can make it difficult to properly swallow or breath if it’s bad enough, and infections of the tonsils and adenoids.

Chances are good that you’ve heard of tonsillitis, an infection that can lead to some rather unpleasant symptoms such as a sore throat, red swollen tonsils, a white coating over the tonsils, fever and bad breath. With tonsillitis, you’ll find it very painful and possibly even difficult to swallow.

If you or your child is dealing with a severe sore throat or swollen tonsils/adenoids, it’s a good idea to visit an otolaryngologist for proper care. An ENT doctor can examine your nasal passages and throat to determine if you are dealing with tonsillitis or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. In some scenarios, the doctor may need to swab the throat and take a sample to test for strep throat or other infections. Blood or imaging tests may also be necessary.

How do you know when you are dealing with enlarged tonsils and adenoids? You may start suddenly start snoring in your sleep when you normally don’t, or you may feel as if one side of your nose is completely stuffed up or blocked. Conversely, you may end up dealing with a persistently runny nose. This condition can also increase your chances of developing sleep apnea.

If your ENT doctor has discovered that your inflamed tonsils or adenoids are due to a bacterial infection, then antibiotics will be the best course of action for treating the issue. Only in severe cases where you are dealing with chronic infections, sleep apnea or other serious health complications will a medical professional recommend removing the tonsils or adenoids altogether.

If you are dealing with a sore throat or enlarged tonsils and desperately need relief, don’t hesitate to turn to your otolaryngologist for the care you need.





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