Ear infections are a painful, irritating condition which can quickly slow you down. However, knowing what to do if you find yourself with an ear infection could help you identify the problem quickly, so your doctor can help you with diagnosing and treating the issue before it becomes a more complex condition. Find out more about ear infections and how to deal with them with Augusta Ear, Nose and Throat with offices in Augusta, Evans and Thompson, GA, and Aiken, SC.
What causes an ear infection?
Ear infections occur due to the Eustachian tube, which lies inside of the ear’s canal, becoming inflamed, swollen or blocked or when fluid builds up inside the ear. Some common causes for ear infections include sinus infections, using tobacco, having excess mucus buildup, the common cold and allergies. Those who undergo sudden altitude or climate changes are at risk for ear infections, as well as children who use pacifiers.
Do I have an ear infection?
An ear infection often occurs alongside another illness like a cold or the flu. You may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- pain inside the ear
- hearing loss
- ear drainage which may resemble pus
- pressure within the ear
- fussiness or ear-grabbing in infants
Ear infections often come and go, but can become chronic, especially in children.
Ear Infection Treatments in Augusta, Evans, Thompson and Aiken
Treating an ear infection is often dependent on the cause of the ear infection itself. Your doctor will diagnose the ear infection by looking inside the ear for abnormalities like fluid buildup, draining fluids or damage to the eardrum. Treatment may begin conservatively with over-the-counter medications or ear drops and applying a warm compress to the ear. However, if these treatments fail, your doctor may suggest prescription medications or antibiotics. For those suffering from frequent ear infections, tubes placed within the ears to promote the flow of fluids can also help.
For more information on ear infections or their treatments, please contact your doctor at Augusta Ear, Nose, and Throat at one of their offices in Augusta, Evans and Thompson, GA, and Aiken, SC. Call (706) 868-5676 to schedule your appointment at one of the Georgia offices or (803) 649-0003 to schedule your appointment at the South Carolina office today!
Chronic sinusitis - ongoing sinus infection - is a problem that affects 1 in 7 American adults, according to the CDC. This makes sinus-related problems one of the chief complaints from patients at Augusta Ear Nose and Throat in Aiken, Evans, Thomas and Augusta, GA. Our team of otolaryngologists have identified a few of the main causes behind sinus problems here.
If the passages from the nose to the sinuses are blocked, it may lead to chronic sinus problems. Nasal polyps are commonly treated by your ENT as a cause for sinusitis. This small, soft tissue growths are painless and benign, and many people aren't aware of their presence, but larger polyps may prevent normal sinus drainage. Oral steroids like prednisone or a nasal spray containing steroids can help to shrink the polyps and reduce sinusitis symptoms. For extreme cases, surgery to remove the polyps may be the most effective option.
If the septum - the middle portion of the nose that divides the nostrils - is severely crooked, it can also block breathing and sinus drainage. Some people are born with this imbalance, while others acquire it from an injury. Your Aiken, Evans, Thomas and Augusta ENT will do a thorough evaluation of the structure of your nose to determine if a deviated septum is causing your sinus problems. Surgery to reduce the cartilage and tissue on the crooked side of the septum yields excellent results.
The sneezing, irritated eyes and itching nose associated with allergies affects many people worldwide. But the inflammation that happens inside the sinuses may be making your allergies even worse. By discussing your medical history with your ENT, you may discover that the allergies you've been dealing with for most of your life are the main cause of your sinus problems. There are many different kinds of medication and nasal sprays to combat allergies; avoiding triggers like dust, animal dander or mold may also help prevent flare-ups.
There are other causes of sinusitis, including immune-related conditions and exposure to pollution. If you have sinus problems, we at Augusta Ear Nose and Throat can help you uncover the cause behind them. Contact the office that's most convenient for you - Augusta, Evans, Thomson or Aiken, GA - to find relief from your sinus problems!
How hearing aids from your ENT specialists in Aiken, Evans and Augusta can help you
If you are experiencing hearing loss, you may be thinking about hearing aids. When you think of a hearing aid, do you think of a huge, uncomfortable apparatus you have to wear? If so, think again! Modern hearing aids are state-of-the-art, discreet and comfortable. You won’t have to keep missing out on conversations around you. Your doctors at Augusta Ear, Nose & Throat in Aiken, Evans and Augusta, GA, want to help you hear again and get back to enjoying your life.
You may be unsure if you need a hearing aid. If so, the first thing to do is get a hearing screening. You may need a hearing aid if you experience:
- Difficulty picking out words from background noise
- Hearing only muffled sounds and speech
- Difficulty hearing consonants in speech
- Needing people to speak more clearly and loudly
At Augusta Ear, Nose & Throat you can choose from a wide range of hearing aids, like these:
- CIC hearing aids--which are completely in the canal; these aids fit entirely inside your ear canal. CIC aids are the least visible however they don’t have a volume control or directional microphone.
- ITE hearing aids--which are in the ear; these aids loop over your outer ear and are more visible than CIC aids. ITE aids have volume control and ease of handling.
- BTE hearing aids--which loop over the top of your ear and behind it; the aid connects to an earpiece inside your ear canal. BTE aids are the largest hearing aid, providing superb sound quality.
Cochlear implants are another choice, perfect for people with severe hearing problems. They function for parts of your ear that may not be working correctly.
Modern hearing aids can help you enjoy life, without sacrificing looks or comfort. You deserve to hear all of the wonderful sounds and conversations around you. Don’t miss out! Call your doctors at Augusta Ear, Nose & Throat with offices in Aiken, Evans and Augusta, GA. Call today!
Sleep disorders can leave you feeling exhausted and irritable. Unfortunately, sleep apnea can leave you with much more complex problems than just these. Since it occurs while asleep, sleep apnea can prove to be difficult to diagnose. However, learning the signs of symptoms of sleep apnea can help you seek treatment before the condition develops into something more serious. Learn more about sleep apnea with your doctors at Augusta Ear, Nose, and Throat in Evans, Thompson and Augusta, GA.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea causes apneas, or pauses in breathing while sleeping. This dangerous condition could have severe consequences if left untreated. However, sleep apnea is treatable with help from your Evans, Thomson and Augusta ear, nose, and throat doctor. The most common type of sleep apnea, obtrusive sleep apnea or OSA, occurs when an obstruction blocks the airway, causing an apnea. Central sleep apnea, shortened to CSA, occurs when there is a complication between your brain and the signals which command your lungs to breathe. Sometimes, patients suffer from both OSA and CSA, known as complex sleep apnea.
Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs while you sleep which sometimes makes diagnosis difficult. Your bed partner may notice your symptoms before you do. If you suffer from one or more of the following, you may suffer from sleep apnea:
- excessive snoring
- waking gasping or short of breath
- morning headaches
- daytime sleepiness
- a sore or dry throat upon waking
Your bed partner may notice one or more of the following:
- pauses in breathing during sleep
- waking up due to your loud snoring
- gasping or sputtering for breath
If you think you may have sleep apnea, you should contact your doctor at Augusta Ear, Nose, and Throat immediately.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Evans, Thompson and Augusta
The leading treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure machine, called a CPAP machine for short. The machine has a mask which patients wear over their nose and mouth. The mask and machine work together to send a stream of air through the airway, ensuring it stays open while you sleep. Most patients report that they experience immediate results upon their first time using the machine.
For more information on sleep apnea, please contact your ear, nose, and throat doctors at Augusta Ear, Nose, and Throat in Evans, Thompson and Augusta, GA. Call to schedule your appointment today!
Explore Your Allergy Testing And Treatment Options
Overwhelmed with allergies? An allergy involves a reaction by your immune system, often to common substances such as pollen or foods. Allergies can cause a variety of symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, and swelling. If you have allergies and live in Augusta, you should go see a doctor. Read on to learn about allergy testing and treatment options.
Allergy Testing Options
Prick Testing: A prick test checks for allergic reactions to around 40 different substances at once. The prick test is usually done to identify allergies to foods, dust mites, pet dander, mold, and pollen. About 15 minutes after the skin pricks, your doctor observes your skin for signs of allergic reactions.
RAST Testing: A RAST test is a blood test that can measure your immune system's response to specific allergens. The test is often used in cases of individuals who cannot tolerate skin prick tests because of extreme sensitivity, eczema, or the need to continue taking antihistamines.
Intradermal Testing: The intradermal test involves injecting a small amount of the allergen solution into the skin. The intradermal test is typically performed when a substance doesn't cause a reaction in the SPT but it still suspected as an allergen for that individual.
Allergy Treatment Options
Environmental Control: Environmental control is the most effective treatment for allergies. Environmental control may involve running an air purifier, placing a dehumidifier in your basement, or wearing a mask. Your environmental control treatment plan depends on the specific allergens you are allergic to.
Medications: There are several types of allergy medications available to treat and ease your allergy symptoms. These allergy medications include decongestants, antihistamines, combination drugs, and others.
Allergy Shots: Allergy shots help your body get used to the substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Each allergy shot contains a small amount of the substances that are causing your allergy symptoms. Allergy shots are not a cure, but in time, you may not have symptoms as often.
Allergies can affect your day-to-day activities and make life frustrating and miserable. Get relief today with your Augusta allergy doctors! Call Augusta ENT at 706-868-5676 today to schedule your appointment. We will provide all the relief you need, with relatively little expense or hassle.
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