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By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
November 13, 2017
Category: ENT Care
Tags: hearing loss  

Struggling to hear the TV? Can't filter out what one person is saying when you are in a crowded room? And, what's that buzzing noise hearing lossyou're always hearing? Well, don't be alarmed, but all these and more may be early signs of hearing loss. In Cary, NC, Dr. Pankaj Gupta and Dr. Susan O’Brien, AuD team up to bring you the best hearing care in the area. Come see them with your hearing issues. Dr. Gupta will investigate possible medical causes, and Dr. O'Brien will test your hearing and help you with hearing aids if necessary. You can hear well again!

You and millions of others

The Hearing Loss Association of America estimates that 20 percent of Americans--a full 48 million--have some degree of hearing loss (presbycusis), and surprisingly, many people don't even know it. However, their loved ones, friends and coworkers usually observe signs such as:

  • Needing to repeat words and sentences
  • Loud TV volume
  • Inability to hear soft, high-pitched voices such as those of children and young women
  • Difficulty understanding a conversation in a crowded room

Additionally, hearing loss sufferers may continually hear a buzzing or squealing noise. This is called tinnitus, and it may be accompanied by dizziness or vertigo.

The causes of hearing loss in Cary

As with so many medical conditions, heredity plays a big role. Hearing loss seems to run in families, but also, trauma to the ear drum, continual exposure to loud noises or music (a noisy occupation or listening to your favorite rock band for years) take their toll.

Further, the Better Hearing Institute states that some prescription medications, such as NSAIDS, may be ototoxic--that is, damaging to the auditory nerve. An accumulation of cerumen, or ear wax, frequently blocks the ear canal, or fluid behind the eardrum from repeated ear infections muffles sounds. Both of these physical obstructions may be treated by your primary care physician or otolaryngologist at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists.

Finally, two less common causes of hearing loss include Meniere's Disease, an autoimmune disorder that reduces hearing and precipitates vertigo. A benign tumor of the auditory nerve, called an Acoustic Neuroma, is another cause.

What happens at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists

Dr. Gupta performs a medical evaluation on his hearing loss patients to pinpoint the reasons behind presbycusis. Also, patients see Dr. O'Brien for an audiogram which tests the ears' responses to various electronic tonalities and for a tympanogram to determine the degree and kind of hearing loss.

Contact the office

If you, your loved ones or your family doctor suspect you have a hearing loss, please contact Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists. The highly qualified staff will get to the source of your concerns and develop a treatment plan specific to your needs. Call today: (919) 851-5638.

By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
August 23, 2017
Category: ENT Care

Is getting through the day a challenge due to constant congestion, headaches, fatigue and sinus pain? Balloon sinuplasty offers a gentle,Balloon Sinuplasty, Chronic Sinusitis minimally invasive way to treat your condition. With the help of Dr. Pankaj Gupta of Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, this innovative treatment can decrease sinus infections and ease congestion and other symptoms.

What is balloon sinuplasty?

Sinus surgery used to be the only way to relieve congestion common in chronic sinusitis. Although technological advances have made it possible to perform the surgery endoscopically, the procedure still involves cutting tissue or bone in your sinus passages.

Faced with the prospect of surgery and a somewhat painful recovery period, some people in Cary who have chronic sinusitis choose to simply live with their symptoms. Unfortunately, chronic pain and headaches can interfere with your ability to function at work or school and may decrease your enjoyment of life.

Luckily, balloon sinuplasty offers another treatment option. During your treatment, a small balloon is inflated in your sinuses, widening the walls and easing congestion. Before your procedure begins, you'll receive a local anesthetic to ensure that the minimally invasive procedure is pain-free. The balloon is inserted in your sinuses using a thin catheter, then inflated when it's in the proper position. After the balloon is deflated, a stream of saline solution is used to remove mucus from the lining of your sinuses.

What are the benefits of balloon sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty offers several benefits, including:

  • Easier Recovery Period: It takes about a month to recover from endoscopic sinus surgery. When you undergo balloon sinuplasty, you'll be able to resume your normal activities in about two days.
  • Less Pain: Pain is an unfortunate consequence of any procedure that involves cutting tissue. Because there is no cutting in balloon sinuplasty, you'll experience less pain after your procedure. You may experience a sinus headache, which will go away a few days after surgery. Over-the-counter pain medication can help control any pain after the procedure.
  • No Nausea: General anesthesia tends to cause nausea and grogginess. When you choose balloon sinuplasty, you won't feel sick after your procedure and won't have any food or beverage restrictions before or after surgery.

Balloon sinuplasty offers an effective treatment for chronic sinusitis and sinus infections. Call Dr. Gupta of Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, at (919) 851-5636 to learn if you're a good candidate for the procedure.

By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
June 23, 2017
Category: ENT Health Care
Tags: Allergy  

Your watery eyes itch. Your nose is running, and your throat feels scratchy. Do you have a cold? No, these are symptoms of your seasonalAllergy allergies in Cary, NC. How can you feel better? Dr. Pankaj Gupta, board-certified otolaryngologist, suggests several common strategies which reduce the unpleasantness of allergies.

What are your triggers?

Common allergy triggers--things or environmental conditions which instigate symptoms--are dust mites, pollen, wood smoke, mold and animal dander. Many individuals experience sensitivities to certain foods, medications, and fabrics as well.

While Dr. Gupta recommends you seek testing and treatment (shot therapy, sublingual drop therapy or over the counter medication) for more severe symptoms, less problematic allergies can be dealt with using simple lifestyle changes. These changes are especially helpful with seasonal allergies--those sensitivities which happen as winter changes to spring, summer changes to fall and so on.

So know your triggers, and plan to control them as they enter your environment or you enter theirs.

Simple preventives in Cary

There are many things you can do daily which help mitigate allergy discomforts. Just think about them, apply them intentionally and routinely, and you'll experience less intense symptoms. Here are some great examples from Dr. Gupta and from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology:

  1. Leave your shoes by the door. You'll keep your floors clean and track far less tree and grass pollen into the house.
  2. Wipe your dog down with a damp washcloth after a walk. This removes the pollen and road dust your pet inevitably picks up on his or her coat. Regarding cats, keep them inside if at all possible.
  3. Take a shower after you have been working or working out (jogging, walking, biking) outdoors. You, too, drag pollen into your home. The steam from your shower also opens your nasal passages and airway for better breathing.
  4. Reduce the humidity in your home with a dehumidifier. Less than 60 percent is ideal so mold growth is inhibited.
  5. Wear sunglasses to keep pollen from entering your eyes, and stay indoors if possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when pollen is at its highest.
  6. In warm weather, close up the house and car, and use your air conditioning. Keep your HVAC units clean, and invest in HEPA filters to reduce the dust, animal dander, pollen, mold and other airborne particulates. Buy an allergen-reducing vacuum cleaner, and keep your floors and furniture clean.
  7. Wear long-sleeves and pants when working in dusty or pollen-filled environments.
  8. Check your local TV and radio news for area pollen counts during peak seasons. Also, there are many allergy alert apps for your smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices which can keep you informed on current trigger levels in your area.

You can feel better

Get relief from your allergies in Cary, NC. Contact Wake Ear, Nose And Throat Specialists for more information or a one on one consultation with Dr. Gupta. Call (919) 851-5636.

By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
April 20, 2017
Category: ENT
Tags: Sore Throat  

While often a condition which resolves itself within a few days, a sore throat can sometimes be the sign of other underlying conditions. sore throatHowever, learning how to spot signs that you should consult with your doctor while experiencing a sore throat can help you catch conditions early and get the treatment you need. Learn more about sore throats and their causes with Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC.

What causes a sore throat? 
Some cases of sore throats come from simply singing along too loudly to your favorite song. However, there are other, more serious causes which are important to recognize early, including:

  • Viral Infections: From the common cold to mononucleosis, a viral infection is the most common cause of a sore throat. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics.
  • Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections can cause conditions like tonsillitis and strep throat and are often treated with antibiotics.
  • Trauma or Injury: Swallowing a too-big piece of food or other injuries to the throat can cause pain and discomfort.
  • Toxins: Toxins or irritants can cause a sore throat. Smoking cigarettes, pollution, and medical conditions like allergies fall into this category.

When should I see my doctor about my sore throat? 
If you have a sore throat, it may clear up on its own with some simple at-home treatments like gargling with warm salt water, stopping smoking, letting your voice rest, or drinking warm fluids like tea. However, if you experience a sore throat which lasts more than a few days or is accompanied by a fever or rash, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. You should also see your doctor if your sore throat keeps you up at night, blocks your airway making it difficult to breathe, or is very severe.

Sore Throat Treatments in Cary, NC
Treatments for a sore throat depends greatly on the underlying cause of the condition. For example, if a bacterial infection causes your sore throat, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to clear it up. However, if a condition like tonsillitis, caused by a viral infection which does not respond to antibiotics, causes repeated sore throat attacks, you may require a surgery to remove the tonsils called a tonsillectomy. Consult with your doctor for the best treatment plan for your sore throat.

For more information on sore throats, please contact Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC. Call (919) 851-5636 to schedule your appointment with your doctor today!

By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
February 08, 2017
Category: ENT
Tags: Sinusitis  

If you can’t get your sinus infection under control, our ENT doctors in Cary, NC, may be able to help.sinusitis

While most people will deal with a sinus infection at some point in their lifetime, in most cases this condition will go away with simple at-home treatments. However, if your sinus infection feels like it’s been going on forever and nothing seems to be getting rid of your symptoms, it’s time you turned to our Cary, NC, otolaryngologist, Dr. Pankaj Gupta, for treatment.

So, what exactly is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is just another way of saying that you have a sinus infection. A sinus infection occurs when the nasal passages become inflamed or begin to swell. If the swelling becomes too severe it can lead to blockages in the sinus cavities or cause a buildup of mucus. As a result, the germs that stay trapped in the nose can lead to a sinus infection.

What causes sinusitis?

This condition may be the result of a cold, allergies, nasal polyps or a deviated septum.

Are there different kinds of sinusitis?

A sinus infection may be acute, subacute, chronic or recurrent. In the majority of cases, sinusitis is acute, meaning that symptoms only last between two to four weeks. Those with subacute infections will deal with symptoms that last between four to 12 weeks. If you have a chronic form of sinusitis then symptoms could go on for 12 weeks or more. If you have recurrent sinusitis it means that the infection may come and go several times throughout the year.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

If you have an acute form, you may deal with facial pressure, a stuffy or runny nose, nasal congestion or cough. Bad breath, fever and dental pain can also occur in those with acute sinusitis.

If you have chronic sinusitis, you may also have thick, green postnasal drip that is accompanied by congestion and/or facial pain. Our doctors may also detect pus in the blocked or inflamed sinus cavity.

How is this condition treated?

If you have an acute sinus infection simple over-the-counter decongestants will usually do the trick to help ease your symptoms while your body fights the infection. In some cases, we may prescribe a round of antibiotics.

We will also provide you with a list of simple at-home measures like warm compresses or nasal sprays that can also manage your symptoms.

Those with severe, chronic or recurrent forms of sinusitis that don’t seem to respond to conservative treatments or medication may have to consider endoscopic surgery to treat the blockage.

Don’t let facial pressure and nasal congestion be common issues. Turn to Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, to get the relief you need. Let’s talk about your options and see whether balloon sinuplasty is right for you.

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