Could your earache be caused by an infection?
Even though children are far more likely to deal with ear infections, anyone can develop an ear infection. Of course, it isn’t always easy to tell if the symptoms you are experiencing are due to an infection or something else. Find out the telltale signs and know when it’s time to visit our Valdosta, GA, otolaryngologists Dr. Ronald Allen, Dr. Thomas Phillips and Dr. Theodore Kanne for treatment.
There are three different kinds of ear infections: inner, middle and outer. The type of infection you are dealing with will often present with different symptoms.
Inner Ear Infection
If you have an inner infection, it’s important that our Valdosta, GA, ENT doctor examines the ear. After all, it could actually just be inflammation and not an infection; however, sometimes a more serious issue such as meningitis may be the cause. If you have an inner ear infection you may experience dizziness (vertigo), nausea and vomiting. You may also have trouble with balance. You may also notice some degree of hearing loss in the affected ear.
Middle Ear Infection
The middle ear lies behind the eardrum and this infection occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Therefore, the most common symptom is ear pain, pressure, and fullness. You may even notice fluid draining from your ear or have difficulty hearing (sounds may be muffled).
Outer Ear Infection
An outer ear infection, known as otitis externa, will start at the eardrum and affect the outside portions of the ear. More often than not, those with an outer ear infection may develop an itchy rash on their ear. The ear may also be red, swollen or tender to the touch.
Ear Infections in Children
As an adult, it’s pretty easy to know when it’s time to see a doctor and when you might be able to handle symptoms on your own. Unfortunately, infants and toddlers will not be able to tell you that they are experiencing an ear infection; however, here are some behaviors to be on the lookout for:
- Pulling or tugging at the ear
- Drainage coming from the ear
- Increased fussiness or clinginess
- Crying when lying down
- Difficulty sleeping
- Trouble hearing those around them
If your child is displaying any of these symptoms it’s best to play it safe and bring them in for an evaluation. Some infections will clear on their own but others with require antibiotics or medication to prevent complications.
Here at ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia, we are here to make sure that you get the quality ear, nose and throat care you deserve. No matter whether you are dealing with seasonal allergies or an ear infection, we can provide you with the treatment you need within Valdosta, GA, and the surrounding community.
Most sore throats go away on their own, but some require a visit to the ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor. Dr. Ronald Allen, Dr. Thomas Phillips and Dr. Theodore Kanne help Valdosta, GA and surrounding community, residents recover from sore throats and other ear, nose and throat problems.
What causes sore throats?
Sore throats are a particularly common ailment. In fact, approximately 15 million Americans visit doctors every year due to sore throat pain, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Common sore throat causes include:
- Viral Infections: Sore throats often occur if you have a cold, the flu or another virus. In most cases, your throat will feel better in a week or two. Over-the-counter pain medication, gargling with salt water and drinking warm beverages can help ease y our symptoms.
- Strep Throat: Symptoms usually occur quickly if you have a strep throat. The bacterial infection often causes severe throat pain and a fever over 101F. If you have strep throat, you may notice white or yellow spots on your throat and swollen lymph nodes or tonsils. Antibiotic treatment is needed if you develop strep throat.
- Allergies and Environmental Factors: Allergies, smoke and strong chemicals can irritate the lining of your throat and cause throat pain. Taking allergy medication and avoiding environmental irritants can help ease your symptoms and prevent throat pain in the future.
- Laryngitis: A sore throat often accompanies laryngitis, an inflammation that affects your voice box. Laryngitis is more likely to occur if you have a viral infection, were exposed to environmental irritants or sang or yelled for a long period recently.
- Tonsillitis and Inflamed Adenoids: Inflammation of your tonsils and adenoids can be very painful. Although viral tonsillitis will go away on its own, you will need antibiotics if your illness is caused by a bacterial infection. If you experience frequent bouts of tonsillitis, your Valdosta ENT may recommend removal of your tonsils and possibly your adenoids.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD): GERD occurs when strong stomach acids flow into your esophagus and irritate the sensitive lining. Although heartburn is a common sign of GERD, some people also experience sore throats.
When should I see an ENT?
Call your ENT if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Severe throat pain
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Fever higher than 101F
- Earache, rash or joint pain in addition to a sore throat
- A sore throat that lasts more than one week or hoarseness that lasts longer than two weeks
- Blood in your phlegm or saliva
Your ENT can help you find relief for your sore throat symptoms. Call Valdosta, GA, ENT Dr. Ronald Allen, Dr. Thomas Phillips and Dr. Theodore Kanne at (229) 244-2562 to schedule your appointment.
Occasional dizziness happens to many people and is usually nothing to worry about. However, severe or persistent dizziness can be a sign of other issues. It is important to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor if your dizziness is severe, persistent, associated with hearing loss, or occurs in conjunction with taking certain medications. You should also see an ENT doctor if you are suddenly experiencing dizziness when you have not previously had a problem with it. The doctors at ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia Dr. Thomas Phillips, Dr. Ronald Allen, and Dr. Theodore Kanne treat dizziness in Valdosta, GA.
Causes of Dizziness
Dizziness is often caused by a sense of disorientation or being off balance. The inner ear helps us maintain our sense of balance by sending signals to the brain about body movement and positioning. When the signal from the inner ear to the brain is blocked or misfires, dizziness can occur. Various conditions can cause dizziness by interfering with the signals traveling from the inner ear to the brain. Some conditions that can lead to dizziness include certain neurological diseases, poor circulation, anxiety, or vertigo.
Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness. It is often accompanied by nausea or vomiting. Vertigo can be caused by several different conditions, such as:
- Inner ear injuries
- Viral infections
- Benign positional vertigo
- Meniere’s Disease
Treatments for Dizziness
Dizziness can be treated through several different methods. Treatments include balance exercises, antibiotics, antihistamines, and other medications. The right treatment for you depends on what is causing your dizziness. Different medications can clear up infections or reduce inflammation so the inner ear can better communicate with the brain. Balancing exercises can help you improve balance and reduce dizziness. An ENT doctor can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your dizziness in Valdosta.
Dizziness can be caused by a variety of factors or conditions. An ENT doctor can identify the cause of your dizziness and prescribe the right treatment. For treatment of your dizziness in Valdosta, GA, schedule an appointment with one of the doctors at ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia by calling the office at (229) 244-2562.
Have you noticed a change in your hearing? Our Valdosta, GA, otolaryngologists, Dr. Thomas Phillips, Dr. Ronald Allen, and Dr. Theodore Kanne, share information on several causes of hearing loss.
Exposure to loud noises is a common cause of hearing loss. The problem may occur if you spend long periods of time in a noisy environment and don't wear ear protection, but may also happen after sudden exposure to a very loud noise, such as an explosion. Sounds above 85 decibels can damage the hair cells in your ear and eventually cause them to die. Unfortunately, once cells die, they don't grow back.
Otosclerosis is an inherited condition that causes abnormal bone growth in the ears. As a result, the bones can't vibrate freely, and hearing loss or ringing in the ears may occur.
Ear wax accumulation
Hearing loss isn't a sign of a serious condition. In some cases, it may occur if ear wax becomes impacted in your ear canal. Fortunately, wax can be easily removed during a visit to our Valdosta office.
Damage to your head or brain may also lead to hearing loss. If you've had a hole in your eardrum or damage to your middle ear or had a skull fracture or traumatic brain injury in the past, you may be more likely to develop hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss
Difficulty hearing is a common symptom of aging that occurs due to hair cell death or damage or changes in the nerves that lead from the ears to the brain. Signs of age-related hearing loss include trouble following conversations in person or on the telephone and difficulty hearing the dialogue in TV shows or movies.
Meniere's disease causes hearing loss,
Otolaryngologists offer treatments and devices, such as hearing aids, that can improve your ability to hear. Call Valdosta, GA, otolaryngologists, Dr. Phillips, Dr. Allen, and Dr. Kanne, at (229) 244-2562 to schedule your appointment.
Find out the cause of your sore throat and how to treat it.
Yikes! You woke up with a sore throat. Now what? Our Valdosta, GA, otolaryngologists Dr. Ronald Allen, Dr. Thomas Phillips and Dr. Theodore Kanne are here to tell you the causes of acute (and persistent) sore throats and how to treat this issue when it arises.
Causes of an Acute Sore Throat
There are many things that can bring about a sore throat, and it will be difficult to self-diagnose yourself without visiting us for a proper evaluation. Common causes include,
Viral infections: This is the most common cause of acute sore throats. Common viral infections include everything from the common cold and respiratory infections to flu, mononucleosis and mumps.
Bacterial infections: While a less common cause, bacteria can still contribute to a sore throat. Tonsillitis (an inflammation of the tonsils), diphtheria and even certain STDs (e.g. chlamydia) can bring about this acute symptom.
Environmental elements: If you are a smoker, work in an environment surrounded by certain chemicals, or you live somewhere with elevated air pollutants, then you may be more likely to develop a sore throat from time to time.
Causes of a Chronic Sore Throat
If you are dealing with a sore throat that lasts over a week or if you get frequent sore throats, several conditions or issues could be going on.
Everything from excessive alcohol consumption and smoking to air pollution and cheering loudly at a sporting event can lead to a lingering sore throat. If you find that your sore throat comes about from drinking alcohol or eating spicy foods (and is accompanied by other symptoms like heartburn) then you could be dealing with a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
When to See a Doctor
You need to seek immediate medical attention if you or a child is having difficulty swallowing or breathing due to a sore throat. This is considered a medical emergency.
While not a medical emergency, it’s a good idea to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with one of our Valdosta, GA, ENT doctors if you or a child is dealing with a lingering sore throat (lasting more than a week), if you have trouble or pain when swallowing, if you develop a rash or a fever, or if you notice a lump in your neck.
If you are dealing with a severe or a chronic sore throat, then it’s time you turned to the experts at ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia to get the answers you need. Call our Valdosta, GA, ENT office today to schedule an appointment with us.
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