Ear, Nose & Throat Care
Our physicians diagnose and treat diseases of the ear, head, throat and neck, including care for cancer, repair of facial skin and bone injuries, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the face, and care for voice and upper airway disorders. Also available are laser surgery, speech and voice therapy, evaluation of balance and learning disorders, fitting hearing aids, and facial scar repair.
Hearing loss can affect patients of any age. Causes and treatments vary depending on the circumstances. Hearing loss impairs the ability of a person to communicate and interact with their surroundings and negatively impacts quality of life. Our physicians will diagnose the problem correctly, and recommend appropriate treatment.
Hearing loss may be gradual or sudden and affects us emotionally, physically, and socially. These common behaviors and responses may indicate hearing loss.
Some common complaints that our patients have with hearing loss include:
- Asking people to repeat frequently
- Turning up or sitting too close to the TV
- Misunderstanding words or meanings
- Talking too loud
- Denial, social withdrawal, isolation, and loneliness
- Impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
- Irritability, frustration, and anger
- Diminished psychological and overall health
There are two common types of hearing loss:
- Conductive hearing loss is a mechanical problem in the ear canal or middle ear that blocks the sound to the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss is often reversible.
- Nerve Deafness is caused by damage to the inner ear, auditory nerve, or auditory nerve pathways to the brain. This type of loss is not reversible, but it can be treated.
There are many patients who suffer from sinus problems, including headaches and drainage. Sinus problems can be made worse by allergies.
Our patients often have following conditions:
- Acute Sinusitis causes the cavities around your nasal passages to become inflamed and swollen and is treated with a course of antibiotics. Patients will find it difficult to breathe through the nose.
- Chronic Sinusitis is an inflammatory process that involves the paranasal sinuses and typically lasts for twelve weeks or longer. Symptoms persist when patients are off antibiotics.
Our sinuses are bony cavities which lie between and below the eyes. They have small openings which connect them to the inside of the nose. Usually air can easily pass from the nose into the sinuses. Occasionally, the nasal membranes swell up because of a cold, allergies, or turbulent airflow. The tiny holes which drain the sinuses into the nose are then closed by the swollen membranes. When this happens, the sinuses become filled with fluid, which can then become infected.
Patients may also experience difficulties in clearing the ears which can sometimes lead to fluid behind the eardrum. Occasionally the fluid may even become infected. This can often be helped by straightening the septum and restoring normal airflow patterns within the nose.
Our physicians offer patients several options to help reduce sinus episodes, reduce ear fluid, and breathe easier.
Sinus surgery is usually an outpatient procedure, which means that you will be able to return home on the same day as the surgery. We offer three types of sinus surgery:
- Endoscopic sinus surgery is surgery performed using small telescopes, which are called endoscopes. It involves enlarging the natural drainage openings of the sinuses into the nose so that a little bit of swelling will not lead to the sinus becoming blocked off and then filling with fluid.
- Balloon Sinuplasty is a procedure in which a small balloon is introduced into the sinus drainage ports and inflated in order to enlarge the port.
- Septoplasty is a procedure to straighten the wall which divides the left from the right side of the nose. If crooked, the wall blocks drainage holes as well. If this is the case, the wall is straightened through surgery. Swollen internal nasal membranes are often reduced at the same time which improves breathing dramatically.
Performed under local or general anesthesia, all surgery is done through the nose and there are no external incisions. No packing is used. Occasionally, thin soft plastic splints are inserted and removed on the first postoperative visit. Surgery takes about an hour and patients return home, resuming full schedules after a week.
Throat problems can disrupt sleep, breathing, and general good health. Fortunately, treatments can be fairly routine and effective for these patients. Our physicians offer surgical treatments, including tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy as well as many conditions related to voice, swallowing, hoarseness and infections.
Tonsillectomy surgery involves removing your tonsils which are almond-shaped collections of the lymphatic or immune system. Tonsils can cause problems when they are enlarged or swollen. Common conditions are upper airway resistance syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea and chronic tonsillitis.
Patients can expect same day surgery which lasts about 30 minutes. Both adults and children can be treated. Recovery time is usually about one week.
Adenoidectomy surgery involves removing the adenoids. Adenoids are tonsillar tissue located behind the soft palate at the back of the nose. Enlarged adenoids can cause blockage or infection in the eustachian tube, cause nasal obstruction and difficulty breathing, and chronic sinus infections.
Surgical removal of the adenoids is minor surgery, taking 30 minutes and patients return home the same day.
Common hoarseness, swelling of the vocal cords or laryngitis, is caused by a viral infection, post nasal drainage, acid reflux, using your voice too much, mucosal lesion or paralysis of the vocal cords.
We offer a full spectrum of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery for both children and adults, including nose surgery, facial rejuvenation (eyelid surgery, eyebrow lifts, facelifts, botox injections, dermal filler injections), cosmetic ear surgery, and facial reconstructive surgery to repair the effects of trauma, cancer excision, Mohs surgery, and facial paralysis. We also specialize in facial prosthetics to reshape the face and for treatment of microtia (severe congenital deformity of the ear), offering both surgical reconstruction with cartilage or prosthetic replacement with silicone.
Our physicians offer a comprehensive program to address our patients' allergy symptoms, using current best practices to resolve your allergy problems.
Many options exist for treating allergies. If the symptoms are mild or occasional, then antihistamines or nasal sprays may be all that is needed. If complaints are persistent or severe, a course of immunotherapy and food evaluation may be the better option.Allergy therapy can address many chronic symptoms experienced by patients, including key complaints like:
- Frequent colds
- Post nasal drip
- Nasal congestion
- Recurring polyps
- Hearing loss
- Eustachian tube dysfunction
- Skin problems
- Eye irritation
- Sore throat
We understand the disruptive nature of snoring, both to the patient and to family, and work closely with individuals to improve or eliminate this common ailment.
Snoring usually comes from vibration of the soft tissues in the throat. It can be made worse by nasal obstruction from allergies or a crooked wall inside the nose. Sometimes snoring is worse when a person lies on their back. Often snoring can be greatly improved by some relatively simple measures including:
- Sleeping on your side.
- Opening the nasal passages with either medication or surgery.
- Oral appliances which can reposition the tongue.
- Procedures which can stiffen some of the tissues in the throat.
Sleep apnea happens when patients stop breathing momentarily during sleep because of a collapse of the soft tissues in the throat. If these pauses occur frequently and last long enough, usually 10 seconds at a time, then a patient may have a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. The effects include increased sleepiness due to disrupted sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, morning headaches, feeling fatigued and even high blood pressure.
Sleep apnea can be diagnosed with a sleep study and if the patient does have sleep apnea then there are many methods of treatment including:
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) which is the use of a machine to help push the air into the throat to keep it open.
- An oral appliance to help pull the tongue and jaw forward during sleep.
- Surgery to help open the nose.
- Removal of the tonsils if they are large.
- Palatal surgery, known as a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), which is trimming of the soft palate.