The Cold That Wouldn’t Die: Why Medical Help is Necessary

2 Types Of Hearing Aids To Consider And Their Benefits

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Types Of Hearing Aids To Consider And Their Benefits

Buying a hearing aid can often be an extremely confusing and difficult task, mostly because it is hard to decide between the various hearing aid options, especially since every one of the options provides its own unique set of benefits. Listed below are two types of hearing aids and their benefits in order to help you narrow down your choices. Behind-The-Ear One of the most common and popular hearing aid options available is a behind-the-ear aid, also known as a BTE aid. This type of aid is designed to rest over your ear with most of the electronic components located in a plastic container behind your ear. The rest of the hearing aid components are located within an earmold that rests in your ear and allows the sound picked up by the aid to reach your ear canal. The main benefit to this option is that it is quite a bit less expensive than other hearing aids. In addition, a BTE hearing aid is larger than other hearing aids, which makes it much easier to access the aid’s volume controls and change the battery, but this does make the aid harder to hide from other people if you are self-conscious about wearing a hearing aid. In-The-Ear Another option to consider when buying a hearing aid is an in-the-ear model, also known as an ITE aid. This type of hearing aid requires that most or all of the aid be located within your ear canal. One of the key benefits of ITE aids is that there are a variety of types that can help you achieve your goals, like the ITE aid that rests entirely in your ear canal if you want a hearing aid that is very easy to hide. If you are not comfortable with having the aid entirely in your ear, you can choose one that has portions of the aid in the canal and the rest in the outer ear, which is both more discrete than a BTE aid and easier to remove than an aid that is completely in your ear canal. One downside to this type of aid is that it is typically not the best choice if you have severe hearing loss because the tiny size of these aids limits their power. Contact a doctor like Mark Montgomery MD FACS in order to discuss which kind of hearing aid would be the best option for your level of hearing loss. Both BTE and ITE aids are great choices that can benefit you in a variety of...

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What To Expect When You Have Surgery For Your Sleep Apnea

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Expect When You Have Surgery For Your Sleep Apnea

There are different treatment options your doctor can try when you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea. If you’re overweight, your condition may respond to losing weight. You might need to wear a breathing apparatus when you sleep to keep your airway open. It’s possible you could even need surgery to remove excess tissue and make your airway wider.  Sleep apnea surgery is called an uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP. Here is a little more information about the procedure. When UPPP Is Indicated Your doctor will probably try other ways of treating your sleep apnea first, such as weight loss or wearing a CPAP mask at night while you sleep. When these treatments aren’t effective, or if you can’t lose weight or tolerate wearing a mask all night, then surgery might be the only other option. Another reason your doctor may decide surgery is the best option is if you have an abnormality in your airway such as a wide tongue base or big tonsils. Any tissue that obstructs your airway can lead to snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Removing the tissue reduces the risk of your airway becoming blocked at night when your airway muscles relax. How An Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty Is Done Your ENT specialist will remove the tissues that cause your problem such as your uvula, tonsils, adenoids, soft palate, or throat tissue. You may even need to have part of your tongue removed. You’ll probably need to have an uvulopalatopharyngoplasty done at a hospital as an inpatient with an overnight stay. Your doctor needs to monitor your progress after removing the tissues in your airway. However, if the surgery is done with an electric scalpel, there shouldn’t be much bleeding to worry about since the cuts are sealed as they are made. Still, since you may develop swelling that interferes with your breathing, a hospital stay is generally recommended. You’ll be put to sleep with a general anesthetic, so you won’t have any discomfort until you wake up from the surgery. Once all the medication wears off, you’ll probably have a sore throat for a few days. What To Expect After Having The Sleep Apnea Procedure Your throat will be sore for a few days, so you should plan on eating a soft diet. Your doctor may give you an anesthetic spray to help with the pain, but you may not be able to take pain pills or sleeping pills after having a UPPP. Your doctor will probably want to wait to be sure your sleep apnea is under control before you take those medications. The surgery removes excess tissue so you probably won’t snore any longer, but it may not be a complete cure for your sleep apnea. If you become overly relaxed by taking medications, you could still have bouts of apnea, but not know it since you don’t snore. You’ll need to avoid strenuous activity until your surgery has healed, but you will need to move around each day and stay mobile. You should sleep with your head elevated during your recovery period, and your doctor may advise you to apply a heating pad or ice pack to your neck to help with pain or swelling. If you used a CPAP machine before your sleep apnea procedure, your doctor may want you to continue using it until you...

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The Many Types Of Hearing Aids

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Many Types Of Hearing Aids

If you need to get a hearing aid, either for yourself or a loved one, then you have four main options. Each offers certain benefits and drawbacks. To help you get a better idea of which is most suited for your needs, here is a brief overview of each: Behind-the-Ear (BTE) – Your first option is also the most visible. BTE units rest behind the near, as the name would suggest, which means that they are quite easy to spot. If someone is looking at you from the side or behind, they will see the actual hearing aid fairly quickly. When someone is looking at you from the front, they will likely see the wire leading to the components that rest inside the ear. However, only a small portion of the hearing aid actually rests inside the ear, which can be a lot more comfortable. If you value comfort and being able to easily remove a hearing aid, then a BTE unit might be your ideal option. On-the-Ear (OTE) – Next you have OTE units, which are a little smaller than BTE’s, yet mostly function in the same way. As you might expect, this miniaturization can lead to either higher costs or reduced quality and power. If you want an OTE that has the same effectiveness as a BTE, then you will need to pay more. Ultimately, if a BTE unit sounds good to you, but you want something that is a little easier to conceal, then an OTE hearing aid might appeal to you. In-the-Ear (ITE) – Your third choice is quite a bit different and mostly rests inside the ear. This does make the hearing aid a lot easier to hide, since it won’t be particularly visible if someone is looking at you from the side. That being said, they are still easy to see if someone is looking at your head directly from the side. If you want, you can get a flesh-colored ITE unit, which will be pretty hard to see at a passing glance. If you want to hide your hearing aid, but don’t want it to be too deep in your ear, then an ITE unit is a good pick.  In-the-Canal (ITC) – Finally, you have ITC units, which rest deep inside the ear. They are the least comfortable and need to be shaped to fit your ear, but they are practically invisible in almost all cases. If you absolutely need to hide your hearing aid, then you can’t do much better than an ITC unit. To learn more about hearing aids, contact a company like Clarity & Comfort Hearing...

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Skin & Blood Allergen Testing

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Skin & Blood Allergen Testing

According to WebMD, one in five Americans suffer from allergies. There are many things that can cause an allergic reaction, including specific types of pollen, foods, animal dander, dust, medications, and almost anything else you may encounter on a regular basis. Allergic reactions can range from mild irritation to asphyxiation, so it’s very important to ensure that your potential allergies are treated properly. Part of your diagnosis and treatment may include allergy testing. Skin Testing Skin testing is one of the primary methods for diagnosing many allergies. During this type of test, a tiny amount of allergen is applied to the skin or injected directly beneath the skin through a series of pin pricks. The application or injection sites are then monitored closely for signs of allergen, including redness, itching, or irritation. Some reactions may not show up for a day or two, so a follow-up consultation may be required. There are several benefits to skin prick, intradermal, or patch tests. This type of testing is relatively noninvasive and provides results quickly. Pain is usually pretty low as well, but there may be discomfort caused by lingering skin irritation. Skin testing also allows for testing of multiple potential allergens at a time, making it a very efficient method of allergy testing. In addition, skin testing can be more reliable than blood testing for certain airborne allergens, such as pet dander or pollen. Blood Testing There are some situations in which skin testing may be impossible or inadvisable. Blood tests for allergies may be used in these situations. During a blood allergy test, a sample of blood is taken and analyzed for specific antibodies that the body makes in response to exposure to certain allergens. However, blood tests are generally more expensive and less sensitive than skin allergy tests. It can also take longer to get lab results back. Allergen blood testing is often used when a skin test is not practical. For example, patients who have shown severe allergic reactions may opt for blood testing. Other reasons for blood testing include certain medications, skin conditions, or numerous positive allergen results. Blood testing can also be seen as less invasive for certain patients because it is a single needle stick instead of multiple. Allergies can make you very miserable — or cause life-threatening situations. Properly treating severe allergies is a very important step for healthful living. Allergy testing is often used to help diagnose and prescribe treatment methods for those suffering from allergies. To learn more about allergy testing, visit a website...

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Stop Snoring For A Quiet Night’s Sleep And A Happier Partner

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stop Snoring For A Quiet Night’s Sleep And A Happier Partner

If your snoring is affecting your sleep and has become an annoyance to your partner, it’s time to stop the noise. There may be a simple anatomical problem causing the snoring. An ENT doctor can examine your nose, mouth and throat to uncover the source of the snoring sound. Your doctor will then recommend one of the many ways to treat snoring that will solve your problem. Here is where that noise is coming from and some of the ways your doctor can get rid of it. Factors That Cause You to Snore When something restricts your airway, making it difficult for you to breathe at night, parts of your nose, mouth and throat may begin to vibrate. The harder you must breathe to get enough air, the louder the vibration, and sound, will be. Some of the reasons this vibration occurs include: The soft palate in the roof of your mouth is swollen or thicker than normal. The uvula, which hangs down in the back of your throat, obstructs your airway. Swollen sinuses or nasal congestion restricts the airway. The cartilage in your nose is deformed and reduces the size of the airway. Addressing even one of these issues allows you to breathe easier at night so you sleep better and stop disrupting your partner’s sleep. Treatment for Snoring Most treatments for snoring focus on opening up the airway. They range from simple, non-invasive approaches you can get at the drug store to surgical reconstruction. Anti-snoring strips – These are small adhesive strips that attach to the outside of your nose. They are slightly springy and hold your nostrils open to enlarge the nasal airway. These are available at your local drug store. Oral appliances – These devices look like a mouth guard used in sports. Some hold your mouth open slightly while others restrict the vibration of the soft palate on the roof of your mouth. A few of these are available in the drug store. Your ear, nose and throat doctor can order a custom appliance that will be more comfortable than the over-the-counter versions. Nasal surgery – Your doctor may recommend reconstructing the cartilage in your nose, the septum, to be straighter and less obstructive of your airway. This procedure, called rhinoplasty, is often done when the cartilage in the nose has been broken from an accident. Throat and mouth surgery – A portion of the soft palate can be removed, if it is vibrating. The uvula can also be removed if it is part of the problem. For more treatment options and information, visit a local ENT doctor, such as those at Mid America Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic...

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Did Your Doctor Order A Thyroid Ultrasound? Here’s What You Should Know

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Did Your Doctor Order A Thyroid Ultrasound? Here’s What You Should Know

If you find yourself struggling with persistent weight gain paired with overwhelming fatigue and hair loss, your doctor may opt to test your thyroid function. If your visit to the doctor includes a complaint of difficulty swallowing or your doctor determines that your thyroid is enlarged, he or she may request an ultrasound. Here’s a look at what you should know about thyroid ultrasounds and what to expect. Understanding the Basics An ultrasound will provide a clear picture of your thyroid by using sound waves. The technician will apply gel to your skin, then use a wand to examine your thyroid. The picture is a real-time evaluation of your thyroid’s condition, allowing your doctor to spot any issues such as swelling, nodules or other problems. Reasons for a Thyroid Ultrasound Your doctor will order an ultrasound of your thyroid for many reasons. If he or he feels a lump of any kind, an ultrasound will help identify if it is on your thyroid or somewhere else. It also makes it easy for your doctor to monitor the condition of any nodules on your thyroid. This will help your doctor identify the need for biopsy as well. Biopsies are typically requested if subsequent ultrasounds show growth in the nodules. Ultrasounds are also typically used to provide line of sight for a needle biopsy. Since you need to reach the thyroid to obtain the cells for this, your doctor will typically use the ultrasound as a way to guide the needle to the correct location. Why Might Your Doctor Request a Biopsy? If there are nodules appearing on the ultrasound, your doctor will want to monitor them closely. Sometimes, nodules growing on your thyroid can be tumors, and your doctor will want to know if the nodules are cancerous or not. If your doctor is seeing the nodules grow larger from one ultrasound to the next, he or she will likely request a biopsy right away to be sure that the nodules are benign. An ultrasound alone cannot determine this, but does help to determine the need for further testing. Any time you’re diagnosed with a thyroid condition, your doctor will monitor the size and shape of your thyroid. While this usually starts by feeling your thyroid by hand, ultrasounds are the next line of defense to monitor your condition and identify potentially serious conditions. If your doctor has requested an ultrasound of your thyroid, this information can help you understand why and what it can tell you. If you suspect problems with your neck or throat, contact a healthcare office such as Alpine Ear, Nose & Throat,...

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