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By ENT Clinics of San Antonio
March 14, 2018
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Mouth Sores   Mouth  

Woman in pain from mouth soresAlso known as canker sores and ulcers, mouth sores usually result from bite injuries or allergic reactions. They can also be a symptom of an underlying health condition. Unlike cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HS1 and HS2) and develop on the lips and the skin around the mouth, non-Herpes related mouth sores can form on the gums, tongue, lips, the lining of the cheeks and throat. Canker sores are not contagious, and usually clear up on their own. They tend to be painful and can be treated with topical over the counter analgesics, mouthwashes and rinses. If mouth sores do not resolve on their own and last longer than three weeks, it may be necessary to seek treatment from an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.

Common Causes of Mouth Ulcers and Canker Sores

Accidental biting is the most common cause, along with friction from toothbrushing, orthodontics or dentures. Diet can also play a role, in the form of food allergies to anything from coffee, chocolate and highly acidic foods and citrus fruits. Deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals like folic acid, B12, iron, folate and zinc can also cause mouth ulcers. Sodium lauryl sulfate in toothpaste and oral bacteria like Helicobacter pylori (which is also responsible for stomach ulcers) can cause lesions in the mouth as well.

Lifestyle factors like smoking and elevated stress levels are another cause. Ulcers that persist for more than a few weeks, do not respond to self-care and over the counter treatments and are accompanied by additional symptoms like fever, excessive pain, swelling and difficulty eating and drinking, can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Schedule an appointment with an ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • swollen lymph nodes
  • fever
  • difficulty swallowing or speaking

Is an Underlying Medical Condition Causing My Mouth Sores?

Persistent and chronic mouth sores can sometimes be a symptom of immune deficiencies or inflammatory conditions like lupus, Celiac, Behcet's and Chron's Disease. Contact an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) for more information on treatment options and symptom relief.

By ENT Clinics of San Antonio
March 02, 2018
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Hearing Aid  

If you hear only mumbling when other people speak, need the television louder than others or strain to hear conversations, you may haveMan needs hearing aidshearing loss. Hearing loss is more common as we age, but can occur for a variety of reasons. If you think what you’re experiencing may be hearing loss, talk to your ear, nose and throat doctor about a hearing aid.

Signs of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is more than just a lowering of the volume. Hearing loss may make it difficult to distinguish one sound from another. To consider whether you need a hearing aid, ask yourself if you experience any of the following:

  • Needing the phone volume turned all the way up
  • Difficulty understanding people when you can’t see their faces
  • Feeling impatient and withdrawn because conversations are becoming difficult
  • Difficulty hearing high pitched sounds
  • Difficulty focusing when more than one person speaks

If you experiencing any of these common symptoms of hearing loss, make an appointment with your ENT for a hearing test and medical evaluation.

What Can a Hearing Aid Do?

A hearing aid will help to amplify the sound to a volume that you can comfortably hear. It can also improve your ability to understand speech so it doesn’t sound like people are mumbling to you. Certain hearing aids can help to amplify the higher pitched sounds. They can also enable you to hear someone speaking in a noisy environment.

One or Two Hearing Aids?

Some people wonder if they need a hearing aid for each ear. Even if you only have hearing loss in one of your ears, your doctor may recommend wearing a hearing aid in each ear to improve the quality of sound.

If you think it may be time about a hearing aid, your ENT has services to meet all your hearing needs. Schedule a consultation today to get on the road to hearing clearer, more vibrant sounds with a hearing aid.

By ENT Clinics of San Antonio
February 16, 2018
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Hearing Aids  
You may need hearing aids and not know itHearing loss can scare you and the idea of wearing a hearing aid can be frightening too. The truth is, you may be missing more conversation and sounds than you should. You deserve to hear everything, because sounds and conversation contribute greatly to your quality of life.
You may be experiencing hearing loss if you:
  1. Hear muffled speech and muffled sounds
  2. Have difficulty distinguishing words from background noise
  3. Need people to speak more clearly, loudly and slowly
  4. Have trouble hearing consonants
  5. Tend to withdraw from conversations
  6. Avoid social situations
If you experience any of these symptoms, you can certainly benefit from a hearing aid or other type of hearing device. You might consider these types of hearing aids:
CIC, or completely in the canal-which fits inside your ear canal. It has the advantage of being the least visible hearing aid, but it doesn’t have volume control or a directional microphone.
ITE, or in the ear-are made either to fit your entire outer ear, or only the lower part of your ear. It has the advantage of having volume control and ease of handling, but it is more visible than a CIC.
BTE, or behind the ear-are made to hook over the top of your ear and rest behind your ear; it has a tube that connects it to an earpiece inside your ear canal. The BTE is the largest hearing aid, but it has better amplification of sound.
Cochlear implants are another option for severe hearing loss. Cochlear implants do the work of parts of your inner ear that aren’t working or are damaged.
A hearing aid can greatly enhance your quality of life. Hearing aid users experience:
  • An improved, more positive view of life
  • Increased self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Closer personal relationships
  • Less depression
If you think you might be losing your hearing, you are not alone. In fact, according to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) more than 30% of adults over 65 have some degree of hearing difficulty. ASHA also recommends that you should visit your ENT specialist for a hearing screening at least every 10 years through age 50, and every three years after age 50. If you think you might need a hearing aid, it’s time to take action. Don’t miss out on conversations and the sounds around you. Do everything you can to enjoy the sounds of your life, so call today!
By ENT Clinics of San Antonio
February 06, 2018
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Sinus Infections  
Sinus Infections can cause sinus pressureSinus infections are painful. You have sinuses around your eyes and behind your nose, any of which can harbor an infection. The first sign you may have a sinus infection is a dull, throbbing pain in the area of your sinuses. You may also experience:
  • Pain in your upper jaws or teeth, eyes, nose or forehead
  • A yellowish-green discharge when you blow your nose
  • Congestion caused from swelling in your sinuses
  • Severe headaches and earaches
  • A sore throat and persistent cough
Sinus infections are most often viral, but they can also be bacterial or fungal. Allergies, tooth infections, and nasal polyps can also cause a sinus infection.
You can take some steps to avoid painful sinus infections. It’s important to:
  • Use a humidifier, especially in your bedroom; this keeps the air in your house moist, which soothes your sinuses. Dry air irritates your nasal passages and can cause increased mucus production, resulting in congestion and a sinus infection.
  • Try an over-the-counter nasal irrigation kit; these kits, when used daily, can keep your nasal passages clean and free of mucus so bacteria won’t have a place to breed, causing a sinus infection. The saline solution also works to soothe your nasal passages.
  • Wash your hands often, and don’t touch your face, nose, mouth or eyes; this helps to prevent spreading germs and bacteria to other places of your body.
  • Stop smoking, because it increases mucus production and irritates your sinuses, providing an environment perfect for bacteria.
  • Avoid alcohol, because alcohol can make your sinuses irritated and swollen, resulting in a sinus infection.
  • Eat healthy and take your vitamins, especially vitamin C, and get sufficient exercise to keep your immune system at its peak so you can fight off a sinus infection.
If you get a sinus infection, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers, antihistamines, and decongestants. If your sinus infection lingers for more than a week or two, or if you have a fever along with the sinus infection, it’s time to see your doctor, preferably an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. Don’t delay; get some help for your sinus infection.
By ENT Clinics of San Antonio
January 15, 2018
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Allergies  
Allergy problemsIt’s never too early to seek help for your allergies. Allergies can affect your way of life, at all times of the year. During springtime, you may feel the effects of hay fever. In winter, when you are indoors for long periods, you may suffer from mold allergies. If you have pets, you already know how pet dander can cause you problems. You can recognize an allergy if you have itchy watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing.
You can try home remedies first, and they may help alleviate symptoms. Common home remedies for allergies include:
  • Taking over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants
  • Irrigating your nasal passages with saline and water
  • Trying linens and pillowcases that are allergy-proof
  • Placing allergy or HEPA filters in your house, especially your bedroom
If you try home remedies and are still suffering from allergy symptoms, it’s time to seek help from your allergist. Your allergist will recommend allergy testing if you have:
  • Nasal congestion, a runny nose and watery eyes
  • Coughing, wheezing or chest congestion
  • A rash, itchy skin or eczema
  • An itchy throat, nose or eyes
He or she will recommend various types of testing, depending on what you are sensitive or allergic to. The most effective allergy tests include:
  • Skin tests- during which tiny amounts of different allergens are injected just under your skin; you will know you are allergic to the substance if you see swelling or a rash within 20 minutes.
  • Challenge tests- used to diagnose medication and food allergies, during which you inhale or ingest a tiny amount of allergen to test for a reaction
  • Blood tests- a sample of your blood is sent to a laboratory where testing is completed
Once your allergist has determined what you are allergic to, treatment to relieve your allergy symptoms can begin. Typical allergy treatments involve allergy shots given weekly to target specific allergens. Sublingual drop therapy is also common and convenient because you can self-administer the drops in the privacy of your home for a specified period of time.

Remember it’s never too early to seek help from an allergist. Your allergist can help you get relief from allergies at any time of the year. Don’t wait! Call today and feel better tomorrow!

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