Sinuses giving you trouble? Here’s how an ENT can help.
Springtime is here. While that means warmer, sunnier weather is ahead, it also means that a lot more people are dealing with sinus and nasal problems. If you’ve been dealing with the symptoms of a sinus infection for weeks now and at-home care isn't providing you with relief, then it may be time to see our Garland, TX, ENT doctor, Dr. James Maddox, for more effective treatment.
What are the signs of chronic sinusitis?
If you are someone who battles with recurring sinus infections, or you deal with symptoms for up to three months or more at a time, then you might very well be dealing with chronic sinusitis. Since chronic sinusitis can cause damage to the sinuses, it’s important to spot the symptoms so that you can turn to our Garland, TX, ENT physician for treatment.
The problem is that the symptoms of sinusitis are often similar to a cold or allergies, so you may not think you need to see a doctor when you actually do. If you’ve been suffering from three or more of these symptoms, it’s time to see an otolaryngologist:
- Facial pressure and pain
- Thick yellow or green nasal discharge
- Mild-grade fever
- Referred pain in the upper teeth
- Post-nasal drip (sore throat in the morning)
- Nasal congestion
- Persistent bad breath
How can a doctor manage my sinus pain?
When you come into the office for evaluation we will go through your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms. From there, we will perform a quick physical examination where we will check the nasal passages. If we suspect that your sinus pain may be caused by polyps or structural abnormalities (e.g. deviated septum), we may request imaging tests or an endoscopy to diagnose the condition.
The type of sinusitis you’re dealing with will determine the treatment plan and treatments that our Garland, TX, otolaryngologist will recommend. For example, some forms of chronic sinusitis will respond to antibiotics; however, if your sinusitis is due to a viral infection, then antibiotics will not be effective. Prescription nasal corticosteroids may also be provided to manage pain and swelling.
If chronic sinusitis is making it difficult to breathe and isn’t responding to any medication, then your ENT doctor may recommend a minimally invasive procedure known as balloon sinuplasty, an alternative to traditional sinus surgery, in which an endoscope is used to open up the blocked nasal passages and help properly drain the sinuses. This procedure can provide years of relief.
Interested? Give us a call
Providing comprehensive ENT care to people living in and around Garland, TX, Dr. Maddox and his team are here to help you tackle sinus pain, allergies, and other ear, nose and throat problems. To schedule an appointment with us, please call (972) 272-5555.
If spring’s approach has you concerned, here’s how to cope with seasonal allergies.
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, so if you’re one of them you’re definitely in good company. However, our Garland, TX, ENT Dr. James Maddox wants you to be able to welcome the beautiful springtime and not fear it. If you have allergies, here’s what you can do to manage your symptoms:
Know What Triggers Your Symptoms
Half the battle is just knowing why you’re waking up with undereye swelling, watery eyes, and an itchy nose; however, sometimes you may need to turn to our Garland, TX, otolaryngologist for allergy testing in order to find out what type of allergies you’re dealing with. Once you know, you can avoid or at the very least limit your exposure. Some habits that may help you avoid triggers include:
- Make bedrooms a no-pet zone
- Bathe pets weekly
- Use allergen-proof bedding
- Wash sheets (including pillowcases) at least once a week
- Use a dehumidifier in your home
- Limit time spent outdoors and keep windows closed when outdoor allergens are at their highest
Try Over-the-Counter Medications
Allergy medication can help many people get their allergies under control. Of course, over-the-counter medications may be most effective for those dealing with mild to moderate allergies, while those dealing with severe or unresponsive allergy symptoms should turn to our allergy specialist for prescription-strength medication. Either way, allergy medication is an important part of managing symptoms. Some of these medications may include:
- Antihistamines: great for tackling watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing
- Decongestants: helps with a stuffy nose and nasal congestion
- Eye drops: addresses itchy, watery, and red eyes
- Steroid nasal sprays: reduces nasal inflammation and itchy noses
For those with more severe symptoms, you may want to talk with our doctor about whether immunotherapy or allergy shots, are right for you.
Rinse Out Your Sinuses
If you battle with a stuffy nose during allergy season this could be the result of nasal congestion. While nasal sprays can provide some short-term relief, if you’re not keen on taking medication or you’re just looking for another way to treat your nasal allergies, nasal irrigation is a safe, effective and non-medicinal way to clear out the sinuses. To pursue this last option, we recommend using the NeilMed Sinus rinse Kit.
If allergies are driving you crazy then it’s time to call our Garland, TX, allergy doctor to find out what treatments and medications could finally help you get your symptoms under control. Call us today at (972) 272-5555 for a comprehensive evaluation.
- 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.
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