Who hasn't experienced the raspy hoarseness associated with a cold or the flu? This annoying laryngitis resolves by itself within a few days to a week, but if you aren't sick, what could be causing this vocal weakness? The Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England ask their Northampton and Springfield, MA patients to tell them when hoarseness persists more than two weeks. While the cause of it may not be sinister, lasting hoarseness should be evaluated by the experts.
The causes of hoarseness in Northampton and Springfield
When you see your ear, nose & throat specialist, he or she will ask you about your symptoms, how long they have been happening and what may help or worsen them. Also, the doctor will review your medications and order tests as necessary to visualize your vocal folds and larynx (voice box).
These examinations happen right in the office, usually with a fiberoptic scope or videostroboscopy. The images allow the doctor to seek the internal anatomy of the throat and also how the larynx functions in real time.
The underlying reasons for hoarseness are many, and may include:
- Benign nodules and polyps (sometimes originating in overuse of the voice as with singers)
- HPV-related warts
- Upper respiratory infections
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Asthma and asthma medications (such as inhaled corticosteroids)
- Thyroid problems (the thyroid is an H-shaped organ located on the larynx)
- Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption
Your ENT doctor will treat your hoarseness according to his or her diagnostic findings. For small benign growths, in-office endoscopic resection (involving a lighted tube inserted down the throat) may suffice. Laser treatments help eliminate or reduce the size of papillomas (warts) in the throat.
Many lifestyle modifications help alleviate hoarseness as well, state ENT experts at the Cleveland Clinic. They include:
- Staying well hydrated in the winter weather
- Getting sufficient in-house humidification
- Controlling acid reflux with diet and medications
- Avoiding overuse of the voice (no yelling)
- Using a spacer when using an inhaled steroid for asthma maintenance (as recommended in Health Central)
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting caffeine and alcohol
Is your voice hoarse?
If this persists, find out why. Contact Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England to arrange a consultation with one of our seven physicians. We have three locations to serve you. In Springfield, call (413) 732-7426. In Northampton, phone (413) 586-2033, or for our Mary Lane Hospital office, call (413) 967-2249.
Find out how this simple treatment could smooth away facial lines and wrinkles.
The goals of our Northampton and Springfield, MA, otolaryngologists are to make sure that you feel great and that you are confident in your appearance. You may not realize it but we offer not only services to handle all of your ear, nose and throat needs, but we also provide cosmetic services, too. If you want to temporarily reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles without undergoing surgery then Botox may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
What is Botox?
Most people have heard about Botox but they don’t always know what it entails. These thin needles contain a safe, purified form of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin that interrupts signal sent from the brain to the muscles that tells the muscles to contract. When these needles are injected into the skin they prevent muscle contractions, which instantly reduces the appearance of certain lines and wrinkles.
What kinds of wrinkles can Botox treatment handle?
This cosmetic procedure has been a wonderful option for many people looking to treat everything from minor to more severe wrinkles and lines of the face because it doesn’t require cutting or other invasive techniques. Botox works best on dynamic wrinkles, or wrinkles that appear as a result of certain facial expressions.
For example, take a moment to smile in the mirror. Do you notice lines and wrinkles that appear around your mouth, eyes, nose and forehead when you smile? If so, these are the signs of aging that Botox can treat.
What goes into getting Botox treatment?
This treatment is simple, straightforward and only takes a couple of minutes. In fact, the only thing our Northampton and Springfield ENT doctors will need to do is administer the needles into the areas that you wish to treat. Of course, we also understand that people are squeamish when it comes to needles, even if the needles are incredibly small. While most patients can easily tolerate the minor and fleeting stinging sensation that comes from administering the needles, if you are still a bit nervous talk to us about applying a numbing cream to the areas before your treatment.
When will I notice results?
Most people assume that results will appear immediately, but this is simply not the case. It will take a couple of days to start to see the effects of the Botox treatment with full effects appearing within one week. Botox results are only temporary (they usually last up to six months). Of course, if you love your new look you can continue to get maintenance treatments to help your beautiful appearance last longer.
Whether you are dealing with an ear infection or you want to find out if you are an ideal candidate for Botox, turn to the experts at Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England. We offer locations in Springfield and Northhampton MA, to serve you better.
Many people don’t realize they’re experiencing hearing loss. In other cases, embarrassment may prevent a patient from seeking help. You might be secretly wondering if a hearing aid can help you hear better. Learn more about hearing aids and how wearing one prescribed by a Northampton, Mary Lane Hospital, or Springfield, MA ENT at Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England could help you deal with hearing loss.
Modern Hearing Aids
There are a number of different types of modern hearing devices available to patients. Some can be placed discreetly inside of the ear, while others sit behind the ear like a wireless headphone. Some patients are good candidates for implantable hearing aids. Now, thanks to technological advances, devices can be fine-tuned to perfectly meet your needs.
Would a Hearing Aid Help?
A patient with mild to moderate hearing loss could significantly benefit from wearing one of these devices. In some cases, the hearing can’t be restored but it can be enhanced. If you have any of the following symptoms, a hearing aid may help:
- Significant difficulty hearing conversations, even when in close company.
- Frequent problems understanding your favorite television programs, requiring closed captions.
- Hearing loss that affects your ability to work or navigate your surroundings.
Have Your Hearing Evaluated
Before your Northampton, Mary Lane Hospital, or Springfield ENT can prescribe a hearing aid, you must have a hearing exam. A test called an audiometric evaluation will determine what is causing the hearing loss and if a hearing aid will help. In some cases, a different treatment may be recommended, such as medication to clear up a middle ear infection, removal of wax buildup, or a surgical procedure.
Restore Your Hearing
By wearing custom hearing aids, you can return to a time when you didn’t have to constantly ask for people to repeat themselves. Call Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England in Northampton, Mary Lane Hospital, or Springfield, MA ENT to schedule a hearing consultation. Call (413) 732-7426 today!
Know when the symptoms you are experiencing are indicative of an ear infection.
While it should be rather obvious when you develop an ear infection, not all infections will cause symptoms. This is why it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether the changes that you notice could be warning you of an infection or something else. Plus, if your little one develops an ear infection (a common problem in young children) they may not be able to verbalize what’s going on. In this case, it’s up to you to put the puzzle pieces together and take them to one of our Springfield, Northampton and Mary Lane Hospital otolaryngologists.
If you are experiencing symptoms of an ear infection then you may notice:
- Ear pain (this can range from a dull ache to a sharp, constant pain)
- Ear drainage
- Feeling as if there is pressure or fullness in the ears
Of course, if you suspect that your little one has an ear infection then they may not be able to tell you that they have one. This is why it’s a good idea to keep your eyes out for signs of an infection such as pulling or tugging at the ear. They may become fussier than usual or more irritable.
If your child has an ear infection they may also have trouble sleeping through the night. You may notice that they don’t have much of an appetite or that they even have a slight fever. Drainage from the ear may also occur.
When should you seek medical attention?
There comes a time when at-home treatment and care just isn’t going to cut it and you’ll need to visit our Springfield, Northampton and Mary Lane Hospital ENT doctors to get the treatment you need to eliminate the infection. It’s time to give us a call right away if:
- You have a fever over 100.4 degrees F (particularly important if this occurs in children)
- You (or your child) develop ear infections regularly
- You (or your child) notice that you have trouble hearing
- You (or your child) also develop a stiff neck (this is a medical emergency)
Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England offers three convenient locations in Springfield, Northhampton and Ware, MA, to serve you better. If you have symptoms of an ear infection give us a call today.
Are you experiencing all of the telltale signs of someone who has hearing loss?
You wish you could enjoy sitting around the table listening to the wonderful sounds of your family, but you often find it difficult to understand what everyone is saying. Maybe it sounds like they are mumbling or perhaps you feel as if the only sounds you actually notice are obnoxious ambient noises: the scratching of utensils against the plates, the clattering of someone in the kitchen. If so, then it might be time to see one of our Springfield, Northampton and Mary Lane Hospital audiologists.
It isn’t always as easy as you might think to pinpoint hearing loss. It takes all different forms. You may be dealing with hearing loss of some kind if you notice:
- That people seem to be mumbling more often. You may have to ask people around you to repeat themselves more than usual.
- You have trouble understanding people, particularly in loud environments like a crowded restaurant.
- You have to turn up the radio or television in order to actually hear it.
- You find yourself spacing out and not engaging in conversations, mostly because you can’t follow or understand what everyone is saying.
- You find yourself going out less and being less social because of your hearing difficulties.
When should you see our Springfield, Northampton and Mary Lane Hospital ENT doctor for an evaluation?
If you find that hearing troubles are affecting your everyday life in some way then it’s time to get a screening to check the extent of your hearing loss. Whether you are finding that you have to keep raising the volume on the TV or you find that you often don’t understand what people are saying about you, this is a good time to see us.
If you’ve suddenly lost hearing in one or both ears, this is a serious medical emergency and you need to get treatment right away!
Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England offers three offices throughout the Springfield, Northampton and Mary Lane Hospital areas so that everyone can get the ear, nose and throat care they need when they need it most. Schedule your hearing consultation by calling them today at (413) 732-7426!
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