Update: 5/1/20

We are open and seeing patients while providing the safest possible environment. In accordance with hospital and CDC guidelines, we are continuing to screen all patients prior to their appointment and are limiting the number of patients for social distancing. We request you do not bring anyone with you to your visit unless you have mobility issues or the patient is a minor.

Our staff is continuing all sterilization protocols and wearing masks. If you have a personal mask or other facial covering (scarf, bandana, etc.), please bring it with you for your appointment. Additional information about facial coverings can also be found here.

ATTENTION PATIENTS: Please read our updated notice on COVID-19.

We are offering telemedicine appointments for appropriate new and current patients during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. If you have ENT-related concerns and a smartphone with access to video and text messaging, you are a candidate for a telemedicine visit. Please call us at (865) 244-4396 or contact us through our patient portal with any questions, concerns, or to schedule an appointment.
Click here to download our Telemedicine Consent Form.

GKENT Allergy Clinics remains dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of our patients and staff. Our allergy clinics are now open with the following hours.

North Office:
Monday- 9am-11:30am and 1:30pm-4:30pm
Tuesday- Thursday- 8:30am-11:30am and 1:30- 4:30pm
Friday- 1:30pm-3:30pm

UT Office:
Monday- Thursday- 8:30am-11:30am and 1:30pm-4:30pm
Friday- 1:30pm-3:30pm

West Office:
Monday- 9:00am-11:30am and 1:30pm-4:30pm
Thursday- 8:30am-11:30am and 1:30pm-4:30pm

AUDIOLOGY PATIENTS: Please read our update here.

COVID-19 and Asthma

People with moderate to severe asthma are at a higher risk of getting very sick from coronavirus disease (better known as COVID-19).

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. It causes respiratory-like symptoms like cough, fever, and fatigue. Some people also experience symptoms like sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, headaches, and nausea, or diarrhea.

The disease is primarily spread through direct contact with an infected person when they sneeze or cough. The problem is, there are people who may be positive for COVID-19 but aren’t showing symptoms or are only showing mild symptoms.

As of this writing, there is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19.

Asthma and COVID-19

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with moderate to severe asthma belong to the high-risk group for COVID-19. If you’re asthmatic, this doesn’t mean though that you’re going to get it. It just increases your odds. 

If you have asthma, both your immune system and respiratory health are compromised. Either is considered a risk factor in itself. Having both can make the outcome of the infection worse. 

It was observed that people with asthma who have been infected with COVID-19 tend to have more severe symptoms compared to those without it.

What to do in this pandemic if you have asthma

If you are asthmatic, it’s important to be well-prepared for COVID-19. This means:

  • Stocking up on supplies
  • Following social distancing protocols
  • Cleaning your hands properly with soap and water or with an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Avoiding non-essential travel
  • Avoiding crowds
  • Avoiding sick people
  • Avoiding sharing personal household items like cups and towel
  • Keeping your hands away from your face especially on your eyes, nose, and mouth

It’s also important to have an asthma control action plan. These may include steps like:

  • Continuing your current medication, which may include inhalers with steroids
  • Discussing any health and treatment concerns with your healthcare provider 
  • Knowing and avoiding your asthma triggers

If you are having a cough and it’s getting worse, if you’re experiencing difficulty in breathing, or suspecting you have COVID-19, please do not delay in seeking medical help. 

Although there is no treatment for COVID-19 right now, it’s important to be examined so you can receive the appropriate attention immediately.






Important Update for Audiology Patients

We, at Greater Knoxville Ear, Nose, & Throat, know that this time of “distancing” can be especially difficult for our patients who suffer from hearing loss. While we need to distance to keep everyone safe, this practice can be associated with feelings of loneliness and isolation. We want to remind our patients that we are here for you! If you are in need of any service or product related to your hearing or hearing devices, please reach out to our audiology department (865-512-1291), and we will do everything we safely can to help!

Services we are providing to help our patients at this time include: setting up captioned telephone deliveries, assisting in the download of call-to-text smartphone apps, shipping assisted listening devices for the television or for a conversation with others in the home, shipping hearing aid batteries and supplies, and helping with hearing aid repairs over the phone or in-office if needed.

We do offer curbside hearing aid repairs at our Tennova North and UT Medical Center locations. Please contact the audiology department if you would like to set up a curbside repair. Telehealth visits for hearing aid adjustments are available for patients with certain hearing aid technology.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and need to be hospitalized, there are some communication tips you can share with your healthcare providers. The providers should make sure they have your attention before speaking to you, face you directly while speaking, avoid background noise when possible, and repeat or re-phrase if you do not understand the first time.

Our office hours have been reduced during this time of distancing, so if you reach our voicemail, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We are wishing safety and health to all our patients and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Can COVID-19 affect your sense of smell and taste?

For the past weeks, some patients who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus have been reported to be experiencing a loss of sense of taste and smell. But does the virus actually cause it?

In an analysis of data collected through a symptom app created by scientists to monitor the pandemic, it now looks like losing the sense of taste and smell could be the best way to tell if someone has the COVID-19.

The scientists use a mathematical model to determine which combination of symptoms, including loss of taste and smell, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and persistent cough, are more accurate in predicting the COVID-19 infection. 

Based on the data, it seems like the loss of taste and smell, when combined with other symptoms, provides good predictability if one has the infectious disease.

What to do if you suspect you have COVID-19

If you think you might have the novel coronavirus, it’s important to do the following:


  • Isolate, isolate, isolate


COVID-19 is already a pandemic. You can help prevent the spread by keeping yourself isolated. 

If you don’t live alone, it’s important to stay in a designated “sick” room. If possible, use your own bathroom and avoid sharing eating utensils and personal items like blankets and towels.


  • Rest and hydrate


Unless you’re experiencing difficulty in breathing and other serious symptoms, treat it like you’re having a cold. Get a lot of rest and make sure you’re well-hydrated. 


  • Wear a face mask when around people


We have a shortage of masks right now. So, use it only when you’re around people. 


  • Get help if you need it


If you have kids or need help in getting groceries or other essentials, ask for help from trusted friends and family. Make sure that you and the people helping you are following safety protocols to prevent further spread of the virus. 

When to see a doctor

With the surge of COVID-19 patients in hospitals right now, healthcare workers struggle to find room for everyone. So, unless you’re experiencing the following symptoms, it’s best to stay at home:

  • Constant chest pain or pressure
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Severe dizziness
  • Slurring of speech
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Confusion
  • Bluish lips or face

If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 or seek medical help immediately.

COVID-19 can cause serious complications to certain groups (e.g. asthmatic or have other respiratory health problems, immunocompromised, have heart disease, smoker, diabetic, have kidney disease, over the age of 60). If you are a person at risk, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider before your symptoms get worse.

Not sure if your symptoms are due to cold, allergies, or COVID-19? Our specialists at Greater Knoxville ENT can help! You may call us at (865) 244-4396.






Is vaping bad for your health?

There has been a rise in the use of vape in recent years, especially among the young people. In one 2018 report, about 37 percent of 12th graders were reported to be vaping. That’s a 9 percent increase, compared with the 27 percent in 2017.

Some people turned to vaping from smoking actual tobacco because the former seems to be less harmful. It may seem like it but vaping is still an unhealthy option

How does vaping work?

Vaping pertains to the act of inhaling vapor created by devices like electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). 

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices. They have cartridges for filling liquids that contain nicotine, chemicals, and flavorings.

These devices work by heating the liquid, turning it into a vapor which the user inhales. Hence, using e-cigarettes is also referred to as vaping. 

Why are the health effects of vaping?

Vaping hasn’t been around for too long to have data for its long-term health effects. However, health experts have seen serious lung health issues among those who vape. There are even reports of deaths.

Before you jump into the trend of vaping, here are some facts about it that you should know:

  • It may expose you to fewer chemicals compared to tobacco smoking but it’s still harmful.

Inhaling liquid containing nicotine and other substances doesn’t really make vaping a better option than tobacco smoking. 

  • It’s highly addicting. 

In both regular and e-cigarettes, nicotine is one of the primary content. You don’t have to vape every day to develop an addiction. There are people who became addicted to vaping even if they don’t use it every day.

  • It’s potentially harmful to your lungs and heart.

There are still so many things to know about vaping and its long-term health effects. However, the current data show that it can potentially lead to chronic lung and heart health issues.

  • It doesn’t really help you quit smoking.

Some people think that using e-cigarettes can help them quit tobacco smoking but it’s far from the truth. Studies found out that those who resort to vaping to quit regular smoking ended up continuing the habit with both the regular and e-cigarettes.

If you’re struggling to quit your smoking habit, a specialist may help you. Our doctors at Greater Knoxville ENT can provide you with cessation resources or tools. To request an appointment, you may call us at (865) 244-4396.






Allergy Skin Testing

Allergies are your immune system’s response to a foreign body. The severity of the reaction varies from person to person. It can range from minor irritation to a potentially serious one (e.g. anaphylaxis). 

The best way to minimize your allergic reaction is by avoiding your allergens (a foreign substance that triggers the reaction). Performing an allergy skin test is one way of identifying these allergens.

Different Types of Allergy Skin Test

There are different ways of doing an allergy skin test. The three main ways are the following: 

  • Scratch test (also known as the skin prick or puncture test)

During a scratch test, the doctor or nurse will clean your forearm with alcohol before marking and labeling different areas of the skin with a pen. They will then drop a potential allergen on each spot and scratch or prick the outer layer of the skin using a lancet to let the allergen in (a new lancet is used for every allergen).

After about 15 minutes of administering the test, the doctor/nurse will check the skin to check for any sign of allergic reaction. 

You can be allergic to an allergen if you develop a wheal (a raised, red bump).

  • Intradermal test (also known as the skin injection test)

In this type of skin allergy test, the doctor or nurse will inject a small amount of allergen under your skin. 

The area will be checked after 15 minutes of administering the test. 

The intradermal test is usually used for checking allergy to insect venom or penicillin.

  • Patch test

A patch test is done to determine if a certain substance is causing skin irritation. This test is helpful in detecting delayed allergic reactions.

In this test, allergens are introduced on your skin through patches. During this test, you may be introduced to 20 to 30 extracts of substances that may be causing you to contact dermatitis. 

This test is very helpful in identifying allergies to dyes, preservatives, certain perfume, and latex.

Compared to the scratch or skin injection test, you won’t be able to know the result of the test after 48 hours. As the patches will be on your skin for that long, you will be advised to avoid bathing and doing activities that may cause excessive sweating.

After 48 hours, the patches are removed. Whichever causes irritated skin indicates your allergy to that substance.

Benefits of Doing Skin Allergy Tests

Having a skin allergy test done can help your doctor create an effective allergy treatment plan for you. 

These tests are useful in diagnosing a wide range of allergic reactions, including:

  • Hay fever
  • Food allergies
  • Latex allergy
  • Skin asthma
  • Contact dermatitis

Greater Knoxville ENT performs skin allergy tests. We also have specialists who can develop an allergy management plan for you once we get the results. 

To request an appointment, you may call us at visit: https://www.greaterknoxent.com/contact/. 





Online Hearing Test

Undetected hearing loss can have serious consequences. Research shows it can cause relationship issues (both personal and professional), diminished cognitive function, and poor mental health.

One can significantly decrease his/her chance of these hearing-related issues if early intervention is sought. And early intervention begins with early detection.

Am I suffering from hearing loss?
Constantly asking someone to repeat him/herself might tell you something about your hearing but that doesn’t paint the whole picture. There are several factors to consider before a specialist could diagnose you with hearing loss.

Greater Knoxville ENT now offers an online screening tool. While this is not a replacement for seeing a specialist, it provides quick and useful feedback about your hearing.

This is a 3-minute test comprised of a series of questions and a tone test to determine the sound threshold your ears could detect.

You will receive your online hearing test result after completing the test. You will then have an option to request an appointment with one of our on-site audiologists for in-office testing and consultation.

GKENT’s Audiologist, Danielle King, wants you to understand, “over 31 million Americans have hearing loss. Our passion here at Greater Knoxville Ear Nose & Throat is to reconnect our patients to their world, and to improve their overall wellness by healthy hearing.”

Visit the “audiologist” section of our website to take our online hearing screening! Don’t let hearing loss affect your quality of life. Get screened and seek professional help.

For questions, you can call us at (865) 512-1291.

Understanding Adenoid Infections

Most cases of sore throat are usually attributed to inflamed and infected tonsils. But did you know that your tonsils aren’t the only glands in your mouth prone to infection?

Your adenoids could get infected as well.

What You Need to Know About Adenoids

Your adenoids are masses of lymphatic tissue that helps your body fight infection. 

Located behind your nose and roof of your mouth, your adenoids keep you healthy by trapping harmful microorganisms that pass through your nose and mouth. They also produce antibodies to help your body fight infection.

Causes of Adenoid Infection

Adenoids may play roles in fighting infection but they too could get infected. When they are overwhelmed with bacteria and viruses, they could get inflamed and swollen. This condition is called adenoiditis.

Adenoiditis is more common in children as adenoids shrink progressively through childhood. 

Children who have recurring infections in their throat, neck, or head are more susceptible to developing adenoiditis. 

Symptoms of Adenoid Infection

The most common symptom of adenoiditis is difficulty breathing through the nose. This happens as swollen adenoids could block the airways.

Aside from difficulty in breathing, one may also experience the following:

  • Dry throat from mouth breathing
  • Sounding nasally when speaking
  • Snoring 
  • Ear pain
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose with greenish or discolored mucus

The symptoms could vary, depending on the cause of infection.

Treating Adenoid Infection 

If adenoiditis is caused by bacteria, it’s usually treated with antibiotics. However, if the patient gets frequent infections including ear or sinus infections and antibiotics don’t seem to help, surgery may be recommended.

Adenoidectomy or surgical removal of adenoids is usually the procedure of choice. This is performed by a doctor specializing in ears, nose, and throat surgery.

If your child constantly suffers from adenoiditis, come and see us. 

At Greater Knoxville ENT, we have doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating new and recurring adenoid infections.

You can request an appointment by calling us at (865) 244-4396.






When is it time for my child to see an ENT?

If your child suffers from recurring throat or ear infections, you should see a specialist as soon as possible. Greater Knoxville ENT’s Dr. Allen Rosenbaum explains why: 

Recurring Throat Infection

Strep throat is one of the most common causes of throat pain/discomfort in kids.

It is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. 

“When your child suffers from Strep throat, he/she could have trouble swallowing, loss in appetite, headache, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and when you inspect his/her throat, you could see red and white patches in it.”

Why You Should See a Specialist

“When left untreated, Strep throat could lead to serious complications. Just two weeks without treatment could cause the spread of the bacteria into other organs.”

In the past, tonsillectomy was viewed as the best solution for recurring throat infections. Recent studies, however, show that this procedure may come at the cost of your child’s respiratory health. 

“Seeing an ENT specialist can help pinpoint the possible causes of your child’s recurring throat infection and point you out to the most appropriate treatment/intervention.”

Recurring Ear Infection

Although ear infections are common in kids, recurrent ear problems aren’t. 

If your little one suffers from recurrent ear infections, seeing a doctor should be in your priority list. This could be a case of chronic ear infection.

Chronic ear infections can be chronic otitis media with effusion (occurs when the fluid stays in the ear for an extended period of time) or chronic suppurative otitis media (patients with this condition have recurring and persistent ear discharge).

When left untreated, chronic ear infections could lead to mastoiditis (an infection of the mastoid, the bone behind the ear) and cholesteatoma (growth of skin cells in the middle ear).

When To See a Specialist

If your child has a history of ear infections and you notice any of the following, then start setting an appointment with an ENT specialist:

  • difficulty speaking or reading
  • having difficulty responding to speech
  • limited attention
  • poor sense of balance

Greater Knoxville ENT has specialists who have years of experience in diagnosing and treating throat and ear infections. We have doctors who specialize in kids’ ENT problems.

To request an appointment, you may call us at (865) 244-4396.






What Are Winter Allergies?

Do you notice more allergy symptoms even when you’re spending more time indoors?

You may be having winter allergies.

What are winter allergies?

The cold season may give you a break from your pollen allergy but winter may also come with a different set of allergies.

When it’s getting cold and your furnace starts to kick in, it may send some dust mites, mold spores, and insects into the air. Once they get into your nose, it may trigger a reaction and hence, the allergy symptoms.

The Indoor Allergy Triggers

The following are some of the most common indoor allergy triggers:

  • Dust mites
    Usually lurking in furniture, bedding, and carpets, dust mites love warm, damp environments. Their dead bodies and poop can easily get into the household dust.

    Unwashed bedding and indoor heating can both make them worse and send them out into the air. 
  • Mold
    Mold loves dark, moist areas like your bathroom and basement. A damp environment, which could develop as a result of leaky pipes can further promote their growth. 
  • Pet dander
    If you have a pet, then their dander may trigger an allergic response from you.

Do you have allergies or cold?

Allergies and cold produce similar symptoms but are two different things.

An allergy is your immune system’s response to irritants like mold or pet dander while a cold is caused by a virus. 

You are most likely having an allergic reaction if:

  1. Your mucus is clear.
    With an allergic reaction, your mucus is watery or clear and it will stay like that (in contrast to a cold where the mucus will become discolored).
  2. You’ve had the sniffles for more than a week now.
    Cold symptoms like the sniffles usually clear up within a week. If it lasts more than a week, then you are most likely having an allergic reaction.
  3. You’re not having body aches, fever, or cough.
    There are over 200 strains of viruses that can cause colds. Each produces different symptoms, including body aches, cough, and fever. An allergy usually doesn’t cause these.
  4. Your symptoms remain the same.
    If you have the same symptoms day after day, it is most likely an allergy.
    The symptoms are usually intense for the first few days but they often don’t progress to something else.
  5. Your symptoms show up in certain situations or places.
    Allergy symptoms typically occur in certain situations or places (e.g. staying indoors for too long, being in a house with a cat, etc.).Allergy symptoms can ruin your days. So, it’s important to avoid the possible triggers and see a specialist like an ENT find the most appropriate treatment options for you.

Greater Knoxville ENT has specialists who can help you. To request an appointment, you may call us at (865) 244-4396.






Sleep Apnea in Children

Does your child snore? Does he/she constantly toss and turn so much at night? Does he/she constantly appear sleepy during the day? If you answer YES to these, then your child may be suffering from sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which the child has brief pauses in breathing while sleeping.

This condition affects about 1 to 4 percent of children in the United States. Although it can affect children at any age, this is usually seen in kids between the ages of 2 and 8.

What causes it?

Obstructive sleep apnea in children can be brought about by obesity and enlarged tonsils or adenoids. These extra tissues can partially or totally block the airway.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

The following are the common symptoms of sleep apnea in children

  • Loud snoring at night
  • Mouth breathing
  • Coughing or choking at night
  • Sleep terrors
  • Sleeping in odd positions 
  • Bedwetting

Sleep apnea can disrupt a child’s sleep. Hence, you may notice the following during the daytime:

  • Fatigue
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning 

Is there a treatment for sleep apnea in children?

Some children outgrow sleep apnea. So, the doctor may monitor the condition for a while.

In some cases, topical nasal steroids may be prescribed to relieve nasal congestion.

If obesity contributes to sleep apnea, lifestyle changes will most likely be recommended. For obstructive sleep apnea caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids, surgery may be needed

When sleep apnea doesn’t improve with the aforementioned treatment options, your child may need continuous positive airway pressure therapy or CPAP. 

With CPAP, your child will wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose while he/she sleeps. A machine will provide a continuous flow of air to keep their airway open.

If you suspect that your child suffers from sleep apnea, our specialists at Greater Knoxville ENT can help. You can schedule an appointment by calling (865) 244-4396.





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