Posts for category: ENT Care
From environmental and seasonal elements to food and pet triggers, allergies can be caused by a variety of elements, especially when it comes to children's allergies. While over-the-counter medications and avoiding triggering materials can relieve mild symptoms, severe and potentially life-threatening allergies will require medical treatment and management. Fortunately, Dr. Pankaj Gupta of Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC, offers allergy testing and treatment to all of his patients—read on to learn if you should come into the office for a visitation.
Q: What causes allergies?
A: An allergic reaction occurs when the body identifies common allergens like mold, pollen, dust, or pet dander as a threat and issues an immune response to "attack" the invader. The release of chemicals like histamines in response to allergic triggers causes the familiar symptoms like sneezing, congestion, itchy/watery eyes, or difficulty breathing in severe cases. While allergic reactions are caused by exposure to specific triggers like food or high pollen counts, it is not clear what the underlying cause for developing allergies may be. Although many allergies develop in childhood, anyone can develop allergies at any time.
Q: How are allergies treated?
A: Treatments vary depending on the type and severity of the allergy, and can range from over-the-counter anti-histamines to allergy shots and inhalers for asthma.
Q: When should I see a doctor for allergies?
A: Allergy tests from our Cary office can help to identify specific allergies and their triggers. They also help your ENT doctor to develop the best treatment plan for your situation. Generally, it is recommended to see a doctor if your allergy symptoms persist for more than a few days or reoccur frequently throughout the year. You should also schedule an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist if you have difficulty breathing (seek emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions, as they may be life-threatening), or if you suffer from chronic sinus infections.
Find an ENT Doctor in Cary, NC
For more information about allergy testing and treatment, contact Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center by calling (919) 851-5636 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gupta today.
Hearing plays an important part in our lives—it helps keep us vigilant to our surroundings and contributes to our ability to enjoy activities, such as listening to music and watching movies. Unfortunately, hearing loss currently affects about 48 million Americans according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. If you are struggling with this issue, an ENT here at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, can help develop a treatment plan just right for your situation. Read on to learn more!
What Causes Hearing Loss?
If you’ve ever put on a pair of headphones and tried to turn up the volume on your device, you may have received a warning message about the importance of protecting your hearing—and for good reason! Many people have reduced hearing from continued exposure to loud sounds and music, two common causes of tinnitus. In other cases, hearing quality is reduced by an ear infection, obstruction, or the presence of water in the inner part of the ear. Hearing loss is prevalent in children because their ears are in the early stages of development, making them more susceptible to damage. Additionally, some patients are born with partial or complete hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Treatments
Signs that you may be experiencing hearing loss include muffled sounds, inadvertently turning the radio or TV up to excessively high volumes, and constantly requesting that others repeat themselves. Treatments for hearing loss here at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, include:
- An audiometry test to evaluate hearing.
- Hearing aids (a number of different modern devices are available).
- Cleaning or clearing the ear of foreign matter that could be causing hearing problems.
- Antibiotic therapy to clear up an ear infection.
Dealing with Hearing Loss
Though hearing treatments provided by your ENT doctors can help improve your ability to process sounds, you may still have to deal with some level of hearing loss. Here are some tips on how to deal with this issue:
- Wear your hearing aid whenever you plan to be in social settings, or when out in public for safety reasons.
- Avoid exposure to loud sounds in order to avoid more advanced hearing problems.
- Feel comfortable letting others know that you have some hearing challenges to ensure optimal communication.
An ENT Can Help
Get ahead of a hearing loss problem by seeing an ENT at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC. Call (919) 851-5636 today to schedule a visit with either Dr. Pankaj Gupta or Dr. Casey Polcari, two doctors who have a passion for helping patients preserve their hearing health.
Find out if your daytime exhaustion and snoring could be the result of a sleep disorder.
Your partner tells you that you snore all the time and that it’s so loud that it keeps them up at night. While this might sound like an amusing story that happens to many couples, for some snorers, these symptoms are unfortunately due to a sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea which causes pauses in breath or shallow breathing throughout the night. Read on to learn whether you might have sleep apnea, and if you are concerned about having the condition, contact Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, for treatment!
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
It isn’t always easy to determine whether or not you are dealing with sleep apnea, particularly since symptoms only occur while you are sleeping; If your partner has noticed pauses in your breath while sleeping or that you gasp for air in the middle of the night, these are serious warning signs of sleep apnea and you should have your ENT doctor evaluate you immediately.
Other warning signs of sleep apnea include,
- Extreme daytime fatigue
- Persistent sore throat
- Headaches in the morning
- Restless sleep or insomnia
- Trouble concentrating
- Irritability or mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
While a lot of these symptoms can be indicative of other issues, if you are having trouble sleeping as well as experiencing some of these symptoms, then it’s worth a closer look into what’s going on.
Why You Should See a Doctor
If you do have sleep apnea and you don’t receive proper treatment, it can lead to some serious long-term health problems. In fact, untreated sleep apnea has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and chronic respiratory disorders. This is why you shouldn’t put off seeing a doctor if you suspect that you might have the condition.
Treating Sleep Apnea
The most common treatment option for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy (continuous positive airway pressure), where a nosepiece is worn to deliver pressurized air to keep the passages open while you are asleep. Those with mild obstructive sleep apnea may also turn to oral appliance therapy to manage their symptoms.
Concerned? Give Us a Call!
If you suspect that your symptoms may be caused by sleep apnea, then it’s a good time to call Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, to schedule an evaluation with otolaryngologist Dr. Pankaj Gupta and audiologist Dr. Casey Polcari. Let us help you get better quality sleep, by dialing (919) 851-5636.
Have you ever wondered why you still feel tired after a long, full night of sleep? The problem may be sleep apnea, a condition that is not easily diagnosed. Many people don’t realize that they have sleep apnea and struggle for months or years with the effects. Learn more about the causes of this condition as well as the symptoms and treatment options with Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC.
Sleep Apnea Causes
Many cases of sleep apnea are caused by an obstruction in the airways that only occurs when you are sleeping. If you have a tendency to lay down in a certain way (such as on your back) or you have an excess of soft tissue in the back of your throat, that could increase the chances of sleep apnea. The muscles in the back of the throat relax when you sleep, so the soft tissue is more likely to block the airway. Patients who are overweight often struggle with this sleep disorder. In some cases, sleep apnea is hereditary and children may have this problem due to enlarged tonsils or major dental overbites. Smoking or excessive alcohol consumption could also contribute to sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Loud, consistent snoring is one of the clearest signs of sleep apnea. But obviously, since the patient is asleep at the time, he or she doesn’t recognize this symptom until another person says something about it. Other symptoms include:
- A tired feeling when waking in the morning.
- Fatigue throughout the day.
- Problems with memory and concentration.
- Irritability and changes in mood.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Dr. Gupta will discuss several different treatment options with you if you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea. These treatments may help:
- CPAP device (worn at night to aid normal breathing).
- An oral appliance to adjust the jaw and prevent blockages.
- Surgery to help the airways stay open, such as a tonsillectomy or repair of a deviated septum.
If you’ve recently discovered that you may be experiencing the symptoms of sleep apnea, get assistance from an ENT who is familiar with this disorder. Call (919) 851-5636 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC.
A cleft palate is a birth defect that affects the shape and formation of the roof of the mouth, causing a split in either the soft tissue or the bony portion. This condition occurs early on in pregnancy as the baby is developing. Of course, a cleft palate will not be detected until after a baby is born. While this malformation can be disheartening and stressful for parents, it’s important to understand this birth defect and how it can be repaired.
Depending on the severity of the cleft palate, your otolaryngologist will be able to determine how many surgeries will be necessary. The first surgery alone can improve the function of the middle ears, improve how the palate functions and even ensure that teeth and certain bones within the face develop properly.
In some cases, your child may also require bone grafting surgery at some point during childhood to improve the health of your gums and to make sure that permanent teeth are properly supported. As you might imagine, getting cleft palate surgeries early on will also improve your child’s speech and prevent impediments.
Additional surgeries may also be required to improve certain areas of the face such as the nose, as well as to improve breathing or to realign the jaws. After the surgeries are complete, other procedures may be performed in order to reduce the appearance of the scar.
It’s important to know that despite the lengthy treatment process and multiple surgeries that children who undergo cleft palate repair early on in life can achieve a greater quality of life. Not only do these surgeries provide a more natural appearance, but they prevent certain health problems (e.g. hearing loss) while also restoring proper speech and chewing.
If your baby was born with a cleft palate or cleft lip it’s important that you find an ENT doctor that you can trust to discuss surgery and to find out if this is the best option for your little one.