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Do you breathe through your mouth?

Are you snoring, have a dry mouth, and experience chronic fatigue? Then you may be breathing through your mouth. Some people don’t realize that they breathe through their mouths instead of their noses. 

What causes mouth breathing?

A person may be a mouth breather for several reasons.

Kids who breathe through their mouths may do it as a result of a habit, their bite being off, or may have abnormally large tonsils that can obstruct breathing. 

For adults, mouth breathing may happen due to their medication or damaged glands as a result of radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Why mouth breathing can be a problem?

An excessively dry mouth is one of the problems resulting from mouth breathing. Normally, the saliva continuously washes bacteria from the mouth. But when the mouth is too dry, it’s easier for the bacteria to take hold of the mouth and cause problems like cavities. 

Mouth breathing in children can also cause problems. Mouth breathing may cause the growth of the upper jaw (rather than the lower jaw), which can result in an overbite and gummy smile.

Breathing through the mouth can also cause sleeping difficulties. This is why chronic fatigue is common in those who are doing it.

What can be done about mouth breathing?

Just like anything else, it’s important to understand the underlying cause of mouth breathing before certain interventions could be recommended. 

If it’s due to abnormally large tonsils, then removing them might help. If it’s due to structural problems (e.g. child can’t close the flaps of his/her lips over front teeth), then orthodontic treatment may be sought.

If mouth breathing is a problem you’ve been struggling with for quite a while now, we can help. Greater Knoxville ENT has specialists who can help determine the cause of your mouth breathing. To request an appointment, you can call us at (865) 521-8050.

 

References:

https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/oral-health/mouth-breather/

https://www.healthline.com/health/mouth-breathing

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319487.php


How to treat strep throat in kids

Strep throat is common among school-age kids. Although a sore throat is a common symptom of the condition, not all cases of it are due to strep.  

What causes strep throat in kids?

Strep throat is caused by the streptococcus bacteria (hence the name). It is contagious and can be spread to others through droplets. 

When an infected child coughs, sneezes, or talks, the bacteria can be breathed in or caught by others through touching contaminated objects or surfaces.

What are the symptoms of strep throat?

A child with strep throat may manifest the following symptoms:

* Difficulty or pain in swallowing

* Bright red, swollen tonsils

* Fever

* Tender glands in the neck

* Irritability

* Sleeping more than the usual

* Tiny red spots at the back throat of the mouth

* Poor appetite

* A red rash on the body that feels like sandpaper

How is strep throat treated?

Once confirmed, a child with strep throat will be prescribed with antibiotics. This should be taken as instructed to avoid other problems.

Usually, after a day or two of antibiotic therapy, your child will start feeling better. 

Aside from antibiotics, there are other solutions that can help your kid to feel better. This includes acetaminophen for the fever and throat pain, plenty of fluids, and soft foods that are easy to swallow.

It isn’t easy seeing your kid suffer from strep throat. If you suspect your child has it, see a specialist immediately. Strep throat can cause complications when left untreated. 

Greater Knoxville ENT (GKENT) has a team of specialists who are well-experienced in assessing, diagnosing, and treating conditions of the ears, nose, and throat. Call us at (865) 244-4396 to request for an appointment. 

 

References:

https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/strep-throat.html

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/strep-throat

 


Dr. Rosenbaum Discusses Sinuva

Greater Knoxville ENT’s Dr. Allan Rosenbaum discusses Sinuva, an FDA approved sinus implant created to reduce nasal congestion and nasal polyps.






How do you protect your hearing?

Our hearing is one of the most important senses we have. Once we damage it, it can be a challenge to bring it back to where it was before. 

It’s never too early to start protecting your hearing. Here are some ways on how you can do it:

 

  • Use ear protective devices when surrounded by loud noise
    Concerts, chainsaws, lawnmowers, and clubs create a different kind of noise. This kind of noise is never healthy and can be very damaging to the ears especially if they’re unprotected.

    About 15 percent of the American population have noise-induced hearing loss as a result of work or leisure environments. If you are constantly working in a noisy environment, it’s always best to wear earplugs or similar devices to protect your ears.
  • Turn down the volume
    Listening to loud music through earphones and headphones greatly increases your chance of suffering from noise-induced hearing loss.

    You don’t have to give up listening to music through headphones or earbuds. You just have to follow the 60/60 rule, which is 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes in a day.
  • Opt for a gentler way to clean your ears
    Ear wax is there for a purpose. It stops dust and other harmful particles from getting into your ear canal. Although it’s very common to use cotton swabs for removing the excess wax, it’s really not the best thing to use. It increases the risk of damaging sensitive organs like the eardrum.

    If you have excessive wax, it’s better to use a damp and clean cloth.
  • Keep moving
    Did you know that exercise doesn’t just benefit vital organs like the heart? It can also benefit other body parts such as the ears. Cardio exercises get the blood pumping to different parts including the ears. Good blood flow to the ears keeps them healthy and allows them to work at their maximum potential.
  • Take your medications as directed
    There are medicines that can have an impact on your sense of hearing. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen can contribute to hearing loss if abused.

 

If you have concerns regarding your hearing, it’s best to see a specialist. 

Our ENT and Audiology specialists at Greater Knoxville ENT can assess your hearing and recommend the next steps for you. You can call us at (865) 244-4396.

 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/infographic/

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/top-10-tips-to-help-protect-your-hearing/

https://www.earq.com/blog/9-ways-to-protect-your-ears


What is vertigo and why does it make you feel dizzy?

Vertigo is a symptom rather than a condition in itself. It’s experiencing a sense of spinning dizziness. This can happen as a result of problems in the inner ear, brain, or sensory nerve pathway.

What causes vertigo?

There are several conditions that can cause vertigo. These include:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
    This is the most common cause of vertigo. It is characterized by experiencing a spinning motion for a few seconds to minutes. It is usually initiated by sudden head movements or moving the head in certain directions.
  • Labyrinthitis 

Also known as inflammation of the inner ear (the labyrinth), labyrinthitis can have a viral or bacterial cause. Its symptoms, including vertigo, may last for days until the inflammation subsides.

  • Acoustic neuroma
    This condition pertains to a type of tumor that affects the inner ear. Vertigo with one-sided ringing and hearing loss are some of its symptoms.
  • Meniere’s disease
    People suffering from Meniere’s disease often experience a sudden onset of vertigo and fluctuating hearing loss.

    The exact cause of Meniere’s disease is still unknown but medical experts believe it has something to do with allergies, viral infections, and head injury.
  • Multiple sclerosis
    Vertigo is usually a presenting symptom of multiple sclerosis, alongside the inability of the eyes to move past the midline toward the nose.

What’s the difference between dizziness and vertigo?

Although vertigo is similar to dizziness, it creates a slightly different kind of dizzying sensation. 

When you have vertigo, you may feel that the room is spinning or you’re off-balance. These sensations can be triggered even by simple movements like rolling over in bed and changing positions.

Dizziness, on the other hand, is a feeling that many patients describe as about to pass out. It’s also described as having sensations of floating or lightheadedness. 

How is vertigo treated?

Some cases of vertigo improve over time without treatment. However, there are those cases on which vertigo may persist for months or even years.

Treatment options for vertigo vary, depending on its underlying cause. 

Patients with BPPV may benefit from a series of simple head movements known as Epley maneuver. Vertigo patients may also benefit from medicines such as prochlorperazine and some antihistamine drugs. 

Vestibular rehabilitation training (VRT) can also help. It’s a series of exercises designed for people with dizziness and balance problems.

Vertigo can affect your quality of life. If you think you have one, it’s important to see a specialist to determine what causes it and to find out the best treatment option for you. 

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

 

References:

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/vertigo/article_em.htm

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/knowledge/160900/vertigo-causes-symptoms-treatments

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/ears-nose-and-throat/vertigo

http://www.aocphysicians.com/blog/vertigo-vs-dizziness


Thyroid Disorders and Surgeries

The thyroid gland is one of the most vital endocrine glands in the body. It secretes hormones that regulate certain functions of the body including metabolism. 

What’s a thyroid disorder?

Millions of Americans are affected by diseases involving the thyroid gland. The most common issues of the thyroid include:

  • Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid)
  • Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid)
  • Enlargement of the thyroid as a result of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism

How are thyroid problems treated?

Treatment for issues involving the thyroid gland would depend on several factors, including the type of thyroid issue one has and one’s general health condition. 

  • Hyperthyroidism

Generally, for hyperthyroidism medication (for blocking the excessive production of the thyroid hormone), radioactive iodine, or surgery is recommended.

  • Hypothyroidism

In most cases, thyroid hormone replacement pills are suggested for patients with an underactive thyroid.

  • Goiters or lumps

To give the doctor more information on the lump, a fine needle aspiration biopsy is done. If the lump turns out to be malignant or if the enlargement causes compression of the esophagus or windpipe, surgery may be recommended. 

What is thyroid surgery?

The extent of your thyroid surgery should be discussed between you and your surgeon. Removal of the thyroid or thyroidectomy can be classified as partial or complete (removal of all or most of the thyroid tissue).

Partial thyroidectomy can be classified as:

  • Open thyroid biopsy
    It’s a rarely done procedure on which the nodule is excised directly. 
  • Hemi-thyroidectomy
    It’s a procedure in which one lobe or one half of the thyroid is removed.  
  • Isthmusectomy
    Usually done for small tumors found in the isthmus, isthmusectomy involves the removal of the bridge of the thyroid tissue between the two lobes.

The extent of the thyroid surgery would depend on several factors including the reason for the surgery and the severity of the thyroid disease.

Greater Knoxville ENT has specialists who can evaluate and treat thyroid conditions. To request an appointment, you can call us at (865) 244-4396.

Reference:

https://med.uth.edu/orl/2010/06/30/thyroid-disorders-surgery-2/

https://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-surgery/


What is Pharyngitis?

Pharyngitis, commonly known as a throat infection, is an inflammation of the back part of the throat (pharynx). Most cases of pharyngitis involve some or all of the parts of the throat – the tonsils, soft palate, and the back third of the throat. 

What causes pharyngitis?

Bacteria is the most common cause of throat infections. About 90 percent of pharyngitis cases are caused by viruses that also cause the common cold, influenza, or mononucleosis. 

As with the bacterial throat infection, the most common cause is group A streptococcus. Although rare, pharyngitis may also develop as a result of other bacterial infections such as gonorrhea, corynebacterium, and chlamydia. 

What are the symptoms of pharyngitis?

Sore throat and pain in swallowing are some of the most common symptoms of the infection. Other symptoms may vary, depending on the cause.

In viral pharyngitis, the sore throat may be accompanied by a runny or stuffy nose, redness of the eyes, hoarseness of voice, dry cough, or a red throat. 

For bacterial pharyngitis, sore throat and pain in swallowing may be accompanied by fever, headache, body ache, swollen and tender lymph nodes, and enlarged tonsils with white spots. 

How is pharyngitis diagnosed and treated?

The diagnosis for pharyngitis is usually made after a thorough physical exam, throat culture, and blood tests.

Treatment for throat inflammation depends on its cause. If it’s viral, home remedies like drinking plenty of fluids, gargling with warm salt water, using a humidifier, and rest may help in alleviating the symptoms.

For bacterial pharyngitis, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Amoxicillin and penicillin are the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for a throat infection.

If you suspect that you have pharyngitis, it’s important to see a specialist for proper treatment. Greater Knoxville ENT has specialists who are well-experienced in diagnosing and managing throat infections. 

 

References: 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/sore-throat-pharyngitis-a-to-z

https://www.healthline.com/health/pharyngitis#causes

 


How to Treat a Sinus Infection

Sinus problems including sinusitis can be avoided during summer if you take extra precautions. These precautions include: watching out for the pollen, keeping your nasal passages moist, and keeping away from both the known and potential irritants.

If you tried those and still end up with a sinus infection, don’t fret. There are several ways to manage sinusitis.

What causes sinusitis?
Sinusitis or inflammation of the sinuses is often caused by a bacterial infection. In some cases, it may be caused by viruses and fungi.

Common symptoms of sinusitis include postnasal drip, nasal stuffiness/congestion, frontal headaches, coughing, fever, fatigue, and tenderness of the face (usually under the eyes or at the bridge of the nose).

What are the treatment options for sinusitis?
Treatment options for sinusitis would depend on the cause and severity of one’s condition. Generally, sinusitis is managed through the following:

1. Home remedies
Some of the symptoms of sinusitis can be managed at home. This includes the use of over-the-counter medications for pain, fever, and headache, hydration, rest, and the use of nasal spray, humidifier, or nasal irrigation.

2. Drug therapy
If your sinus infection lasted for over 7-10 days, a doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics, but only if the infection is bacterial. Fungal causes of sinusitis are treated with antifungal medicines or oral steroids if the infection is so severe.

3. Surgery
Surgery is only considered if drug therapy doesn’t improve your condition. The surgeon can open up closed passages or fix defects that contribute to it. This includes nasal polyps and defects in the bone separating the nasal passages.

If you are constantly suffering from a sinus infection, schedule your appointment with us by calling us at (865) 244-4396, or by filling out this form. Our specialists at Greater Knoxville ENT can look into your case and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for you.

 

References:
https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/summer-sinus-problems#1
https://acaai.org/allergies/types/sinus-infection