Posts for category: ENT Conditions
Here’s how to keep acid reflux in check.
While the majority of people will experience acid reflux every once in a while, as many as 20 percent of Americans will develop acid reflux two or more times a week. This is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and this can cause serious damage to the tissue of the esophagus if left untreated. Wondering whether you should treat acid reflux yourself or turn to our Garland, TX, ENT doctor Dr. James Maddox for care?
Can I treat acid reflux myself?
If you deal with little episodes of acid reflux every once in a while, then you may be able to control it through simple lifestyle changes. For example, many of the foods and drinks we consume can contribute to acid reflux. If you are prone to acid reflux, you’ll want to avoid these foods and drinks as much as possible:
- Carbonated beverages
- Citrus fruits
- Garlic and onions
- Spicy foods
- Tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Processed and fried foods
It’s important to eat smaller meals rather than one larger meal, which can also contribute to acid reflux. Make sure to avoid lying down after eating or to eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime. If you’re a smoker, this is also a contributing factor. Talk with your doctor about the best ways to quit.
For those occasional bouts of acid reflux, you may even reach for an over-the-counter antacid.
When should I see a doctor?
While a night of acid reflux will certainly not send you to the doctor for an evaluation, if you are dealing with acid reflux on a weekly basis then it’s time to consult with our Garland, TX, ENT. After all, GERD isn’t something that can just be treated by taking antacids all the time. In this case, our gastroenterologist may prescribe a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which blocks acid production in the stomach rather than just neutralizes acid like an over-the-counter antacid.
If you are living with acid reflux in Garland, TX, and it’s happening regularly, then it’s time to turn to an ENT for more effective treatment. Over-the-counter antacids are not considered a viable treatment option for managing long-term or chronic acid reflux. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Maddox, call us at (972) 272-5555.
Tinnitus, which is actually a symptom of an underlying condition, affects more than 12 million individuals in the U.S. It manifests as phantom sounds in both or just one ear. While not life-threatening, it could be challenging to manage and may need proper treatment. In most cases, it’s a symptom of problems with your hearing but it can also be a symptom of something else.
This means that an accurate diagnosis by your ENT doctor Dr. James Maddox in Garland, TX, is crucial to determine what’s causing your tinnitus.
Possible Causes of Tinnitus
It’s commonly associated with a malfunctioning kidney, allergies, and high blood pressure. Tinnitus could likewise occur due to:
- Side effects of certain medications
- Cardiovascular issues
- Hearing loss
- A neck or head injury
- Exposure to loud sounds
- Bones in your middle ear that have hardened
In addition, tinnitus could worsen or result from hearing loss. Common hearing loss causes that could aggravate your tinnitus include:
- Earwax buildup
- An ear infection
- A ruptured eardrum
Unfortunately, tinnitus isn’t curable and could be a permanent symptom unless you have the underlying cause treated. It’s vital to obtain a diagnosis from your ENT doctor in Garland, TX. You will need to undergo some tests to find out what’s causing your tinnitus.
While you can’t possibly ease your tinnitus without addressing the underlying cause, you could do some things to try and silence the annoying noises, such as:
- Prescription medications
- Hearing aids to alleviate the ringing and magnify sounds
- An electronic device called a masker to conceal the noises, along with retraining therapy
Relaxation and mindfulness techniques as well as counseling can help in managing the depression, anxiety, fear, or other emotional health concerns that typically come with tinnitus.
Likewise, tinnitus isn’t always preventable, but you could try to safeguard your hearing and ears. Refrain from exposing yourself to loud sounds such as machinery, concerts, blaring music and such, without ample ear protection.
For Concerns or More Information on Tinnitus, Talk to Us
Dial (972) 272-5555 to book a meeting with Dr. James Maddox in Garland, TX, today.
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.
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.
A runny nose, itchy, reddened eyes, sneezing...these miserable symptoms represent something millions of Americans suffer from. It's allergies, and Dr. James Maddox, your Garland & Rowlett, TX ENT doctor, helps patients of all ages manage their symptoms. Learn how this experienced physician pinpoints the triggers of allergic reactions and relieves them.
What are allergies?
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that broadly speaking, allergic symptoms occur when your body's own immune system reacts too strenuously to something you have eaten, touched, or inhaled. Common allergic triggers are:
- Plant pollen
- Insect bites
- Latex gloves and condoms
- Animal dander (tiny bits of an animal's skin--typically from a pet cat or dog)
- Some medications, such as antibiotics
Symptoms range from mild to severe (anaphylactic shock is rare but life-threatening as it threatens the ability to breathe and have proper organ function). At our Garland office, allergies can be identified, alleviated, and managed so that patients feel good and function at their best.
Common allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Nasal congestion and copious mucus production
- Post-nasal drip
- Sinus headaches
- Drop in hearing
Testing for and treating allergy symptoms
Blood work and skin testing help your otolaryngologist determine what environmental triggers, food allergies, and tactile irritants cause your various allergy symptoms. Dr. Maddox also listens carefully to patient input on what they believe may trigger their symptoms, the allergies' exact nature, how long they last, and what may worsen or improve them. The doctor then carefully creates a care plan tailored to individual need, medical history, age, lifestyle and of course, results of allergy testing.
Common strategies for avoiding or managing allergy symptoms include:
- Avoidance of known triggers (if possible)
- Immunotherapy (ie allergy shots) which expose the patient to a small number of allergens to desensitize the immune system's reactions
- Antihistamine medications to block the production of the natural substances that the body makes when exposed to a trigger
- Nasal decongestants, including steroidal medication if needed
- Corticosteroidal creams to reduce the itching and inflammation from skin reactions
- Self-injected epinephrine (epi-pen) which reverses the severe symptoms associated with insect bites, food, and medications
People with persistent allergies should keep a diary of symptoms and triggers whenever possible, and those with life-threatening conditions should alert family, coworkers, teachers, and so on. Medical alert jewelry, such as a bracelet or necklace, is helpful, too.
Your allergy symptoms needn't rule your life. Identify and manage them with the knowledgeable assistance of Dr. James Maddox. Call his Garland office today for a helpful consultation: (972) 272-5555. We also serve the Rowlett, TX area!