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By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
July 02, 2018
Category: ENT Care
Tags: ear infection   ENT  

Ear infections can be quite the nuisance, particularly if it’s something that your little one deals with often. While anyone can develop ear infections, babies and young children are at an increased risk for ear infections. Since children’s Eustachian tubes (a structure that connects the middle ear with the pharynx, the cavity that lies behind the nose and mouth) aren’t fully developed it makes it easier for factors such as a common cold to lead to blocked Eustachian tubes and ear infections.

If there is a family history of ear infections, if your child is exposed to secondhand smoke or if your child develops colds and flus regularly then they may be at an increased risk for an ear infection. The most common types of ear infections are a middle ear infection, swimmer’s ear (which affects the outer ear canal), and labyrinthitis (causes inflammation of the inner ear or nerves of the inner ear).

Of course, babies and toddlers won’t be able to tell you that they are experiencing ear pain; however, there are other signs to look out for, including:

  • Tugging or pulling at the ear
  • Drainage coming from the ear
  • Increased irritability or crying more often
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Increased fussiness or clinginess
  • Lack of energy

If your child is displaying any of these symptoms it’s a good idea to take them in to see their pediatrician. Of course, if your child is often dealing with recurring or severe ear infections, visiting an otolaryngologist might be the best medical professional to help you figure out what’s causing these frequent infections and how to put a stop to them.

Of course, adults may also face ear infections. You may wake up in the middle of the night with an ear that is throbbing and painful. If this is the case, turning to an ENT doctor can help alleviate your symptoms. Depending on the type and severity of you or your little one’s ear infection, an ENT specialist will tell you whether or not antibiotics will be necessary for fighting the infection.

Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and applying a warm compress to the ear can also help you manage your discomfort until the ear infection goes away. Leaving an ear infection untreated is never a good idea, as it can lead to complications such as hearing loss. This is why it’s important that you or your child receive the proper medical attention necessary if you suspect an ear infection.

By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
June 19, 2018
Category: ENT Care

At some point in your lifetime, you may end up dealing with symptoms or issues that affect your ears, nose or throat. While some people may exhibit obvious symptoms this doesn’t mean that everyone will. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what’s going on with your ear, nose and throat health. Here are just some of the most common ENT problems and how they are addressed.

Ear Infections

This is by far the most common ENT problem that a doctor will diagnose and treat. While ear infections are more likely to develop in young children, people of all ages can develop this infection. One of the classic symptoms of an ear infection is ear pain, discharge, muffled or reduced hearing, and a red, inflamed ear. If you are experiencing an earache, it’s important that you visit your otolaryngologist. Not treating an ear infection could lead to serious long-term complications.

Sinusitis

Many people will face a sinus infection at some point during their lifetime, but most of the time it will be completely innocuous and self-limiting. Of course, you may need help managing your symptoms or making sure that the symptoms you are experiencing are truly due to a sinus infection and not something else.

While a sinus infection can easily be diagnosed just by going through the symptoms you are experiencing, we may also need to perform an endoscopy to be able to look inside the nasal passageways to determine if there is a blockage. While sinus infections will often go away on their own, there is the possibility that you may face chronic sinusitis (which lasts more than 12 weeks and doesn’t respond to self-care measure). If this happens it’s important that you turn to your doctor for help.

Strep Throat

This infection leads to painful, inflamed tonsils (the tissue in the back of the throat). While a sore throat may also be the result of a viral infection, if you are faced with a severe sore throat that doesn’t go away, it’s important that you visit an ENT doctor who can provide a proper diagnosis. Just by swabbing the back of the throat and looking for the presence of streptococcal bacteria, an ENT specialist can easily diagnose strep throat. If we detect strep throat, you will be prescribed a round of antibiotics to kill the bad bacteria.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially dangerous sleep condition that causes a person to stop breathing many times while asleep. Some people can experience hundreds of breathing cessations throughout one evening. Those with sleep apnea find themselves extremely exhausted when first waking up (even if they got enough sleep) and may struggle to get through the day. Sleep apnea can also lead to serious health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure or stroke if left untreated. If you are a loud snorer if you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, if you wake up with headaches or if you find yourself feeling excessively tired throughout the day then it’s time to see a specialist.

Whether you are experiencing symptoms or you just have questions about ENT health, it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist who can answer all of your questions and prevent, diagnose and even treat a host of ENT issues.

By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
June 05, 2018
Category: ENT Care
Tags: hearing loss   Hearing Aids  

Maybe you didn’t even notice it but other members of your family pointed out the fact that you need to blast the TV in order to hear it or that you have to asked people to repeat themselves quite often. If people often sound like they are mumbling or difficult to understand then you could be dealing with hearing loss. Approximately 48 million Americans deal with some degree of hearing loss. If you are part of this statistic then it’s important that you turn to an otolaryngologist you can trust.

 

While you may not realize it, an ENT doctor is exactly the specialist you want on your side to not only diagnose your hearing loss but also to provide the hearing aid you need to improve your hearing. While a hearing aid is not designed to restore hearing it can help amplify certain sounds to make hearing much easier.

 

There are a variety of different hearing aid options available to you, and the style you choice will really depend on your goals, lifestyle, degree of hearing loss, budget and any special features you are looking for. Common hearing aids styles include:

 

Invisible-in-the-Canal (IIC): Just as the name suggests, this style of hearing aid is placed deep within the ear canal so it’s completely invisible. It’s a great option for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

 

Completely-in-Canal (CIC): Also good for mild-to-moderate hearing loss, this style will allow the hearing aid to be completely invisible within the ear canal. The only difference is that a clear tab on the hearing aid is used to place and remove it.

 

In-the-Canal (ITC): A small portion of this hearing aid is visible but it is flesh-colored so it won’t be obvious to those around you. It’s a great style for those dealing with mild to severe hearing loss.

 

In-the-Ear (ITE): This style is also capable of handling a wide variety of hearing loss, from mild to severe. This hearing aid is custom-made to fit the outer area of the ear rather than sitting within the ear canal.

 

Receiver-in-Canal (RIC): This allows the speaker to sit within the ear canal where it is out of sight; however, the speaker is connected to the amplifier (which sits behind the ear) by wires rather than tubing. It’s a discreet option for those with mild-to-severe hearing loss.

 

Behind-the-Ear (BTE): This type of hearing aid allows the speaker to lie hidden within the ear canal. The speaker is attached to a clear, thin tube that is connected to the amplifier, which sits behind the ear. This is a great option for those with moderate-to-severe hearing loss.

 

It’s important to find the right hearing aid to fit your unique needs, and an ENT doctor can provide you with the quality hearing aid you’re looking for so that you can be part of the conversation again.

By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
May 16, 2018
Category: ENT
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Snoring is normally an occurrence that affects your bed partner more than yourself and is normally nothing to worry about. However, it cansleep apnea sometimes be the sign of a condition called sleep apnea, which, if left untreated, can turn into a severe and complicated illness. Learning the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can help you and Dr. Pankaj Gupta diagnose and treat sleep apnea early. Find out more about sleep apnea and its treatments with Dr. Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC.

What is sleep apnea?
By definition, an apnea is a temporary stop in breathing. Sleep apnea occurs when someone experiences pauses in their breathing while asleep, resulting in shortness of breath, gasping, and other symptoms. Sleep apnea most commonly occurs due to an obstruction of the airway in a condition known as obtrusive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea may also occur due to mixed or failed signals between the brain and lungs which results in apneas, classified as central sleep apnea (CSA). Someone may have both types of sleep apnea, a condition known as complex sleep apnea.

Do I have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea often goes unnoticed as its symptoms occur while the sufferer is asleep. Those who share a bed with a person with sleep apnea often notice their symptoms first. Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • pauses in breathing (apneas) during sleep
  • daytime fatigue and sleepiness
  • morning headaches
  • morning dry mouth
  • insomnia
  • excessive snoring
  • waking abruptly
  • waking and gasping for breath

Treating Sleep Apnea in Cary, NC
Treating sleep apnea begins with consulting with your ear, nose, and throat specialist to determine your best treatment options. Your doctor may begin with suggesting lifestyle changes like losing weight or changing your sleeping position. Many patients benefit from a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine. The machine blows a steady stream of air through the airway to keep it from collapsing, allowing the patient to sleep soundly through the night. In persistent or severe cases, surgery may be needed.

For more information on sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC. Call (919) 851-5636 to schedule your appointment for a consultation today!





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