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04/Nov/2019

If you have not had your first ENT appointment, you may wonder what to expect when you walk into the appointment. ENT (Ear Nose & Throat) doctors take care of diseases and disorders of the ears, sinus, neck, and throat. ENTs address issues relating to sinus and breathing problems that can stem from allergies and sleeping disorders. After you go through your paperwork with the front office, you can expect your ENT to discuss your medical history, give you an examination and may offer to test you depending on what he or she finds at your initial consultation.

Medical History

It is essential to bring with you any information that will help your ENT understand your unique situation. Such as previous tests or other studies. It is also important to bring a list of medications you are taking so you can discuss the results of taking over the counter or any prescription medications.

Examinations

The ENT will want to examine your ears, your throat, and your neck. This is quick, painless, and a part of the initial appointment. During the examination, the doctor may have more questions for you. So if it helps, make a list of things you would like to know more about or discuss during your visit with your doctor.

Tests

If you have a recurring problem related to sinuses, ear infections, and throat infections, the doctor may want to run some tests to confirm or rule out any concerns. These tests can range, but typically these tests comprise an allergy test, hearing tests, CT scans, and nasal endoscopy.

  • Allergy tests take a little time and are scheduled.
  • Hearing tests are between twenty and thirty minutes.
  • CT scans may be performed elsewhere. Your doctor may not perform this at the office and may refer you, and it takes between 15 and 30 minutes. If your doctor orders a scan without contrast, you will eat and drink as usual. If you are getting a CT scan with contrast, then you cannot eat or drink three hours before the appointment.
  • Nasal Endoscopy is two minutes. Quick and painless but can be a little uncomfortable,  there is not a need to schedule this for a later time.

Treatment

Depending on when the tests are performed, you will discuss treatment options necessary, depending on your unique situation. Each person is unique and has different needs.

  • Prescription medications for allergies or infections
  • Allergy shots based on allergy test panel results
  • Nose sprays can be over the counter or prescription.
  • Home treatments

There are steps you can take at home to help ease any issues you are having. For example, you can buy a nettie pot for your sinuses if you have allergies.

If the pollen is high, you can put a little Aquaphor or Vaseline around your nose when you go outside and wash it off your face once you come in.

  • Wear a hat when you go out if you do not plan to wash your hair immediately after coming inside.
  • Leave all jackets or sweaters you wore in a place isolated from areas of the house you reside in more often.
  • If you have an ear infection and cannot wait, schedule an appointment immediately.

If you have an appointment scheduled with your ENT, make sure to arrive 15 minutes early to complete any paperwork and fill out your medical history. If you need to have tests administered, you will more than likely have to schedule those for a later time. If you are going in for an allergy panel test, they may ask you to reduce or limit any antihistamine 24 hours before your appointment.


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21/Oct/2019

Having mold in your home can impact more than just your home; it affects the health of you and your family. There are classic signs of mold, such as spotting a small patch that looks dark or soot-like to large water damaged areas. Even if you spot a small area of mold that shows the conditions in your home are optimal for mold growth, and it is likely there is more you cannot see.  Though there are several types of mold, there are common molds in homes.

Common Household Molds

Here are just a few common household molds. Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, and there are several mold species.

  • Mold grows all over the Earth and can be found in your kitchen, shower, or bathtub. This kind of mold is called Ulocladium. Typically, black and grows in the grooves of the shower where the tile has caulk. You can find it outside windows that house air conditioning units.
  • Trichoderma and Cladosporium live wet or damp surfaces such as floors, carpet, and wallpaper. It can even be spotted in areas of high condensation around HVAC units. Reactions to this mold have been linked to pulmonary and liver problems.
  • Stachybotrys is the typical black and slimy mold that grows in high humidity that maintains the same environment for weeks. It has been linked to depression, fatigue, and sinus problems.
  • We may use penicillin to treat infections. If this mold is in your home, it causes a lot of respiratory problems and can be easily inhaled by children and pets.
Mold can grow in more than just bathrooms.

Be Proactive

Once mold begins, it can multiply, so keep an eye out around areas such as your sinks and bathtubs in your home.

  • You can purchase cleaning solutions from your local store to use after you have showered or washed dishes.
  • If you have had a recent leak in your home, check the surface and the areas close to where the leak occurred. If it has grown into your drywall or flooring, you will need to have a professional come out and restore the impacted areas.
  • Monitor places such as basements. Depending on the climate you live in, your home may be naturally susceptible to growth mold. If you live in a humid area, invest in a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in your house.
  • If you suffer from chronic allergies and you use a humidifier during the winter, examine the room and areas close to the humidifier for mold and make sure you clean your humidifier.

If you find that you have a significant mold problem, find a local contractor or restoration company that can fix the mold problem in your house. Next, reach out to your doctor for a check-up especially if you have the symptoms associated with mold.


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26/Jun/2019

Everyone has cleared their throat at one time or another. The reasons differ from person to person; frequent throat clearing can be a sign of an underlying health condition related to allergies.  Apart from allergy-related conditions, frequent throat clearing can show other health-related problems or a habit.

Sometimes you may clear your throat to get another person’s attention or because you felt a tickle in your throat.  Frequent throat clearing may not only indicate a health condition, but it can also damage your vocal cords depending on how much you do it.

Other Throat Conditions

Conditions such as Zenker’s Diverticulum, a person has an unusual pouch that stops food from passing from the esophagus to the stomach.  When this happens, it may cause excess mucus in the throat.   Chronic Motor Tic Disorder starts in children and has other associated symptoms from spasms such as facial grimacing, rapid eye blinking, groans, and grunts.  Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that also creates habits where grunting or throat clearing is a part of a habit or behavioral issue.

If you are not experiencing any conditions relating to neurological disorders, you may have acid reflux.  This can cause a person to clear their throat from a buildup of stomach acid coming up from the esophagus.

Medications can cause you to feel a tickle in your throat or as though something is stuck. Coughing or trying to clear your throat will not help.  Allergy medications such as Sudafed, for example, will dry your mouth out and will cause your throat to feel dry and scratchy.

  • Smoking or being around second-hand smoke can irritate your throat.
  • Environmental allergies like pollen and dust.
  • Food allergies can trigger your throat to tighten or tickle.
  • The side effect of medications can cause a dry mouth and throat.

 

Allergies

Most often, if allergies are something that you deal with, the frequent throat clearing causes excess drainage, at night while you have been laying down and mucus drains when you are sleeping.  If you suspect that your frequent throat clearing is because of any neurological related symptoms, please contact your doctor so you can receive proper testing.  However, if food or environmental allergies are your concern, it may be time to call your allergy or ear nose and throat doctor.

While you are waiting to get into your doctor for an appointment, there are things you can do to ease some symptoms.  Drink plenty of water if you are taking a medication that dries out your mouth.  Avoid smoking or being around anyone who is smoking.  Keep a journal of times when you eat when your throat restricts or you feel a tickle in your throat during or after you eat.  You can use this if you suspect food allergies for notes to provide to your doctor.  Avoid areas where your allergies flare or wear a mask when cleaning or mowing.

Frequent Throat Clearing


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Holly Spring ENT is a state of the art practice specializing in ear, nose, and throat treatments for children, teens, and adults. Our practice was designed with patients in mind and our team of highly skilled physicians and staff look forward to serving you and your family.

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