- Skin tests; injecting small amounts of allergen slightly under the skin; a positive reaction usually happens within 20 minutes.
- Challenge tests; you ingest or inhale a small amount of allergen and wait for a reaction; this test is used to determine food or medication allergies.
- Blood tests; a small amount of blood is sent to a laboratory for testing.
Once the allergy testing is complete, there are effective treatments to cope with your allergies, including allergy injections and sublingual drop therapy.
- Taking over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants
- Nasal irrigation with saline solution to clean out your nasal passages
- Placing allergy or HEPA filters in your house, especially your bedroom
- Frequently vacuuming or replacing carpeting with hardwood floors
- Using hypoallergenic pillowcases and bedding
- Keeping pets from coming into your bedroom and off of furniture
- Closing windows and doors in spring and summer to limit pollen exposure
Acid reflux, also called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, is a condition in which fluids in the stomach flow upward into the esophagus. The rush of fluids into the esophagus often produces a burning sensation in the throat, which is referred to as heartburn. In addition to causing discomfort, chronic acid reflux could lead to other side effects over time. At our Ear, Nose, and Throat practice in Garland, a plan for treating chronic acid reflux can be developed by our board-certified otolaryngologist, Dr. James Maddox.
What can cause acid reflux?
Several factors can contribute to acid reflux, including certain foods and beverages. Foods that can increase the possibility that acid reflux will occur include chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods, and dishes prepared with tomato sauce. Acid reflux can also develop as a result of drinking citrus beverages, coffee, or a lot of alcohol.
Some health conditions are also associated with chronic acid reflux. For example, chronic acid reflux is often a problem for many women during pregnancy. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of developing chronic acid reflux. Smoking regularly can also lead to chronic acid reflux.
What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
Acid reflux is characterized by several symptoms. Heartburn is a common symptom experienced by many individuals with acid reflux. Heartburn is associated with a burning sensation in the chest and throat. The feeling of burning is caused by stomach fluids that have traveled up the esophagus to the mouth, which can lead to a bitter taste in the mouth.
Additional symptoms that can occur in conjunction with acid reflux include belching, regurgitation, bloating, nausea, sore throat, trouble swallowing, dry cough, wheezing, and frequent hiccuping. Some individuals might also experience noticeable weight loss in association with persistent acid reflux. At our office in Garland, we can help you achieve relief from acid reflux symptoms.
What options are available for treating acid reflux?
Several options are available for treating acid reflux. Individuals who only experience minor acid reflux on occasion can usually achieve relief with over-the-counter antacids. However, individuals who struggle with severe or persistent acid reflux can benefit from professional treatment. Professional acid reflux treatments include prescription-strength antacids and the use of a proton pump inhibitor, which reduces acid reflux by blocking the final step of acid production in the stomach. Our otolaryngologist can develop an individualized treatment approach for you.
Relief is available from the symptoms of chronic or severe acid reflux. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Maddox to discuss possible options for treating your acid reflux by calling our office in Garland at (972) 272-5555.
Allergies can be difficult to deal with and can affect people regardless of age. Allergies are when a person's immune system overreacts to something harmless that the person could have ingested or been exposed to through their environment. Dr. James Maddox of Garland, TX, helps patients suffering from allergies.
Here's more about what you need to know about:
Allergies aren't limited to issues like hay fever, where a person constantly sneezes, has a runny nose, suffers from nasal stuffiness and itchy, watery eyes. Allergies can be a chronic health problem.
Allergies may cause:
- chronic sinus problems
- post-nasal drip
- head congestion
- frequent colds
- recurring ear infections
- chronic cough
- stomach and intestinal problems
- skin rashes
- chronic headaches
Visiting an Otolaryngological specialist like Dr. Maddox in Garland can help tremendously. He'll be able to diagnose your problem and recommend treatment. If you're not from Garland, no problem. Dr. Maddox treats patients in the Rowlett area as well.
The three commonly used and accepted approaches to treating allergies are:
- Avoiding the things a person is allergic to: Once an allergen has been identified, you'll need to eliminate or avoid contact with it.
- Pharmacotherapy (medications): Medications can help control symptoms. Medications include: antihistamines and decongestants, among others.
- Immunotherapy (allergy shots or desensitization): If previous treatment options don't work, Dr. Maddox will work to improve the patient's immune system by injecting the patient with allergens incrementally. This should help reduce the sensitivity and reaction a person's body has to the allergen.
Don't ignore your allergy symptoms. You should visit your physician when you experience allergies, as they can impact your body in other ways:
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Nasal Polyps
- Fluid In The Middle Ear
- Chronic Ear Infections
Want to learn more about treatments for allergies from Dr. James Maddox? Call his Garland, TX, office at (972) 272-5555. Also serving the Rowlett, TX, area.
Do you hear constant buzzing, ringing or other sounds in your ears? You may have tinnitus, a condition that affects more than 45 million Americans, according to the American Tinnitus Association. Your Garland & Rowlett, TX, ENT, Dr. James Maddox, can help you manage this annoying condition.
Why do I have tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Loud Noise Exposure: Loud noises can damage the hair cells in your inner ear, causing tinnitus symptoms.
- Age: Aging can also damage hair cells and trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus can be an early sign of age-related hearing loss.
- Too Much Earwax: An earwax blockage may be responsible for tinnitus symptoms in some cases.
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ): TMJ affects the hinge joints in your jaw. In addition to pain and stiffness in the joints, tinnitus can also occur.
- Spasms: The strange sounds in your ear may happen if tiny muscles in your inner ear spasm.
- Changes in Your Middle Ear: Tinnitus can sometimes occur if the bones in your middle ear no longer vibrate. Vibrations pass sound waves from the middle to the inner ear. The problem can occur if you experience abnormal bone growth in your middle ear.
- Injuries: Injuries to your head or neck can damage your nerves or inner ear, causing tinnitus.
- Meniere's Disease: Tinnitus may be one of the first symptoms of Meniere's disease, which can cause ear pain and pressure, dizziness, vertigo and hearing loss in addition to tinnitus.
- Acoustic Neuroma: A non-cancerous tumor called an acoustic neuroma can also cause tinnitus. The tumor forms on the nerve that connects your brain to your inner ear.
- Medications: Tinnitus can be a side effect of certain medications, including some antibiotics or antidepresssants, cancer medications, drugs used to treat malaria, and high-doses of aspirin.
How can my Garland & Rowlett, TX ENT help me?
Treatment for tinnitus varies depending on the cause. If you have an earwax blockage, removing the wax offers an easy solution to your problem. Changing a medication can be helpful if your symptoms are a drug side effect, while monitoring, radiation therapy, or surgery may be helpful if you have an acoustic neuroma.
Your ENT may prescribe medications that will reduce your symptoms and recommend a few strategies that will make the sounds less annoying, such as using fans, white noise machines or hearing aids, or wearing a device that helps mask the sounds.
Has tinnitus affected the quality of your life? Call your Garland & Rowlett, TX, ENT, Dr. James Maddox, at (972) 272-5555 to schedule an appointment.
One of the most common problems that Americans have is gastroesophageal reflux disease, better known as acid reflux. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates that up to 30 percent of the American population may struggle with it at some point in their lives. It’s common for patients who have a history of eating foods that disrupt their digestive system. You can get help dealing with acid reflux from Dr. James Maddox in Garland, TX.
What Is Acid Reflux and What Causes It?
When acid regurgitates from your stomach back into your esophagus, this is called acid reflux. It happens because a valve entering the stomach doesn’t close completely after you consume food. Patients who have a hernia may be more prone to this condition. The symptoms include a feeling of burning in the chest, excess mucus in the throat, bad breath, constant burping or hiccups, nausea, and bloating of the stomach. Eating foods (especially spicy ones) right before bed can aggravate symptoms, and patients who are overweight or frequently drink acidic beverages may also have recurrent acid reflux.
Acid Reflux Treatments
Garland ENT Dr. Maddox may have a solution to help you calm your acid reflux symptoms. Here are a few options you’ll talk about:
- Endoscopy or X-rays to look at the esophagus and stomach.
- Esophageal monitoring to see how the acid levels vary in your stomach during the course of a day.
- Prescription medication to reduce stomach acid after eating.
- Dietary modifications, including a nutritional consultation.
- Fundoplication surgery to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter.
Managing Acid Reflux at Home
After you consult your doctor and get treatment for acid reflux, you must also manage the condition at home and make important changes. Here are a few tips for how to keep symptoms in check:
- Avoid eating foods or snacks right before you lay down (at any time of day) and take a walk after a meal instead.
- Eat more vegetables and reduce your consumption of foods or beverages that are spicy, salty, carbonated, or acidic.
- Quit using tobacco products.
- Take action to lose weight and maintain a normal BMI.
Get Treatment for Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can be a difficult condition to manage, but a doctor can help. Call (972) 272-5555 today to schedule a visit with Dr. James Maddox, an ENT serving patients in Rowlett and Garland, TX.
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