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Posts for category: ENT

By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
October 29, 2018
Category: ENT

AllergiesIn the midst of allergy season, controlling your itchy eyes and runny nose can seem like an endless undertaking. However, with help from your ear, nose, and throat doctor, you can overcome your symptoms to get back to your normal daily activities as soon as possible. Learn more about allergies and their treatments with Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC.

What causes an allergy? 

An allergic reaction occurs when a substance enters the body and the immune system mistakenly identifies it as a threat. The immune system then creates antibodies which attack the substance (now designated as an allergen). This triggers the production of histamines, which causes an expansion of the blood vessels and results in the symptoms we associate with allergic reactions. However, the body creates these antibodies particularly for each allergen, which is why someone may be allergic to pollen but not to peanuts.

Do I have allergies? 

There are several types of allergies with their own kinds of symptoms:

  • Food allergies: A food allergy can cause issues like abdominal cramping, numbness in the face or mouth, swollen tongue, or difficulty swallowing. You may also experience skin irritations such as hives.
  • Seasonal allergies: Seasonal allergies cause reactions to substances like pollen or mold. The symptoms associated with seasonal allergies often include itchy, red, and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, or a scratchy throat.
  • Skin allergies: Contact dermatitis, which occurs when the skin reacts to an allergen, causes issues like rashes and hives. This reaction occurs after the skin comes into contact with an allergen.
  • Drug allergies: Some drugs cause an allergic reaction such as a skin reaction like hives but can also cause fever, itching, wheezing, runny nose, or shortness of breath.

Allergy treatments in Cary, NC

Treating allergies depends on the type of allergens you are allergic to. Often, an over-the-counter antihistamine, which blocks the histamines produced during the allergic reaction, is enough to minimize the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Sometimes, patients require a stronger, prescription-strength antihistamine to treat their symptoms. Severe allergies require emergency medications like injectable epinephrine which patients carry with them in case of an allergic reaction. Finally, immunotherapy may also help some patients. It follows the same idea as a vaccination and introduces small amounts of an allergen into the body, building up a tolerance over time.

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

By Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists
August 30, 2018
Category: ENT
Tags: face pain   sinus  

If you’ve ever suffered from a stuffy nose, facial pain, and pressure around the nose, cheeks, and eyes, or experienced postnasal drip (in which nasal mucus drains down your throat), then you’ve experienced a sinus infection before. A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, occurs when the nasal passages become inflamed or irritated. Sometimes an infection can be so bad that the inflammation can actually block these airways. Acute forms of this infection often come about after a cold; however, those with nasal polyps or a deviated septum may be prone to recurring bouts of sinusitis.

 

Acute sinusitis can last anywhere from two to four weeks and the condition will often clear up by itself. Of course, sometimes it’s necessary to see an otolaryngologist for treatment. For example, it’s a good idea to call a specialist if you’ve been trying to handle your symptoms at home but they haven’t improved after a few days. You should also schedule an appointment if symptoms get worse.

 

To manage symptoms of acute sinusitis you may try over-the-counter decongestants and nasal sprays to help reduce inflammation and drain the sinuses. If these medications don’t improve symptoms within a couple of days then you may need a stronger medication such as corticosteroids. In some cases, antibiotics may actually be necessary to clear the infection.

 

Chronic sinus infections last more than 12 weeks and most sufferers experience the exact same symptoms as those with acute sinusitis such as nasal congestion, facial pressure, or a partial or complete blockage of the nasal cavity. It’s important that you visit an ENT doctor as soon as possible to find out what your treatment options are. In some cases, a prescription medication along with over-the-counter medications and alternative remedies can help ease symptoms until the problem subsides. In more severe cases, the patient may need to consider more aggressive measures.

 

In the past, the only option for those dealing with severe and chronic sinus infections was to undergo surgery. Luckily, technology has come a long way and now ENT specialists can also offer a simple non-surgical procedure known as balloon sinuplasty. No incisions or cutting is required; the only tool used is a small flexible tube with a deflated balloon at the end of it.

 

The tube is carefully guided into the obstructed nasal passage where the balloon is inflated to open up the airways and drain the sinuses. Once this occurs, the scope is removed but the airways remain open. The side effects from this procedure are minimal and most patients can return to their normal activities 2 days later.

 

Of course, sometimes it’s necessary to perform sinus surgery to effectively treat chronic sinusitis. To decide the right treatment option for you, it’s important to schedule a consultation with an otolaryngologist you trust.

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!

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.