Posts for category: ENT Conditions
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!