Ear infections are caused by bacteria or viruses that are painful because of fluid buildup. If you think you have an ear infection, you need to visit one of the doctors in Springfield, Northampton, and Ware, MA, at Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England.
Types of ear infections
Ear infections can be chronic or acute:
- Chronic ear infections don’t clear up or they recur and may cause permanent damage to the middle and inner ear.
- Acute ear infections have a short duration.
What are the symptoms of ear infections?
- Ears swell
- Blockage because of fluid build-up in the middle ear
- Pain or discomfort inside the ear
- Persistent pressure inside the ear
- Infants may become fussy
- Pus-like ear drainage
- Hearing loss
- Children may experience fever
What may be the cause of an ear infection?
- sinus infections
- excess mucus
- changes in air pressure
What treatments are available?
There are a variety of treatment options available but first, you need to speak with your ENT specialist about what's best for you when visiting their offices in Springfield, Northampton, and Ware.
Mild ear infections may require applying a warm cloth to the infected ear, using over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication like ibuprofen, or using prescription ear drops.
If symptoms worsen, schedule an appointment with your doctor. they will diagnose the type of ear infection you have and prescribe antibiotics appropriately (This also applies to children).
Note, you must finish the entire course of antibiotics and surgery may be an option if your ear infection isn’t eliminated with non-invasive or medicinal treatments.
Need to speak with a specialist?
At Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England, your doctors can diagnose and treat ear infections. Call any of their three MA locations in Springfield at 413-732-7426, in Northampton at 413-586-2033, or in Ware at 413-967-2249.
For many people, hearing loss occurs gradually as they age. Around 30% of Americans between the ages of 65 and 75 have a certain degree of hearing loss. After the age of 75, that number increases. However, you don’t have to live with the debility of hearing loss. In most cases, it can be managed. The otolaryngologists at Springfield’s Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England can provide you with a hearing test and treatment for hearing loss.
Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
There are three types of hearing loss:
- Conductive: affecting the outer ear
- Sensorineural: affecting the inner ear
- Mixed: affecting both
Springfield patients who are noticing the following issues may be suffering from hearing loss:
- Speech and other close sounds seem muffled
- You are struggling to hear words, particularly if there is background noise
- You find yourself frequently asking people to repeat themselves
- You need to turn up the volume of the TV to hear it
- You tend to withdraw from conversations
- You avoid recreational activities or social situations
Although most types of hearing loss are irreversible, our otolaryngologists can help you find a hearing aid that will improve your level of hearing.
Preventing Hearing Loss
These steps can help you reduce your risk of hearing loss due to noise damage:
- If you work in an environment with loud noises, protect your ears with earplugs or earmuffs.
- Get regular hearing tests to ensure your hearing is not being affected by your work environment.
- Avoid listening to loud music using earbuds or headphones for long periods of time.
If you would like to visit Springfield’s Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England for a hearing test, call our Springfield office at 413-732-7426, our Northampton office at 413-586-2033, or Mary Lane Hospital at 413-967-2249.
Is it time to see an allergy specialist about your symptoms?
If watery, itchy eyes, a cough, and a runny nose are becoming commonplace then you may just want to consider seeing our Springfield, Northampton, and Ware, MA, otolaryngologists for your allergy symptoms. While most people can manage minor allergies with simple lifestyle changes and over-the-counter treatments, we know that sometimes this isn’t enough. Know when enough is enough.
You should schedule an appointment with our Springfield, MA, ENT doctors if:
You aren’t sure whether your symptoms are due to an allergy or the common cold
Indeed, the common cold and allergies can often mimic one another, so if you aren’t sure whether your sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion are due to a cold or simply allergies to pollen, dust, or dander, then it’s time to find out. An ENT specialist will be able to quickly determine whether you’re dealing with allergies.
Your symptoms are affecting your quality of life
We know just how miserable sinus infections, earaches, nasal congestion, and tension headaches can be. If you find yourself having trouble getting through the workday or if your allergy symptoms are affecting your sleep, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with our Springfield, MA, team. We can help you figure out your allergy triggers to find more sustainable ways to avoid them, as well as prescription medications that will provide more effective relief so you can get back to what matters.
Over-the-counter medications aren’t working
Not feeling better after a few days of at-home care? If so, this is definitely a sign that you are dealing with allergies and not just the common cold; however, if you also find that over-the-counter allergy meds just aren’t doing the trick, then this is another indicator that it’s time to talk with your otolaryngologist for more effective solutions.
Do allergy symptoms have you hiding indoors most of the year? Why not embrace the beautiful seasons of Springfield, MA? Let the team at Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England make that possible with proper allergy treatment. Call our Springfield, Northampton or Mary Lane Hospital, MA, office at (413) 732-7426, (413) 586-2033 or (413) 967-2249.
Find out when you should seek medical attention for a hoarse voice.
We’ve all heard how raspy our voices get the day after singing our lungs out at our favorite concert. We also know that certain winter infections can also affect our voice; however, what if you notice that your voice is regularly scratchy or raspy? Here’s what you should know about hoarseness and when you may need to see one of our Northampton, Ware, and Springfield, MA, otolaryngologists.
There are many reasons why someone may experience hoarseness including,
- Overuse or straining your voice: shouting at a game or singing loudly at a concert
- Laryngitis: can be caused by a cold, respiratory infection or allergies
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): frequent or chronic heartburn and acid reflux can irritate the tissue in the back of the throat, as well as the vocal cords
- Vocal cysts or polyps: these benign growths that develop on the vocal cords are more common in singers
- Vocal fold hemorrhage: if you’ve immediately lost your voice after intense vocal straining you could be dealing with a hemorrhage in the vocal cords
Other less common causes include,
- Larynx injury
- Laryngeal cancer (rare)
- Thyroid problems
- Neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s disease; stroke)
When should I see a doctor?
You should schedule an appointment with our ENT doctor if you’re dealing with hoarseness that hasn’t gone away within three weeks. If you have a respiratory infection or cold that isn’t going away it’s particularly important that you see a doctor.
If you are experiencing other symptoms such as pain or trouble swallowing, difficulty speaking or a lump in the throat it’s important that you see a doctor as soon as possible.
What should I expect when I come into the office?
First, your otolaryngologist will go through your medical history and ask you questions about your hoarseness and symptoms you are experiencing. From there, they may be able to rule out certain causes and determine which diagnostic tests need to be performed.
In most cases, your otolaryngologist will examine your throat with an endoscope to examine the vocal folds to look for inflammation, injury, a hemorrhage or nodule. Your doctor may recommend additional tests in order to fully determine what’s going on and how to best treat it.
Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England has offices in Springfield, Northampton and Mary Lane Hospital, MA, to serve you. If you are dealing with any of the issues above don’t hesitate to call one of our offices. In Springfield, phone (413) 732-7426. In Northhampton, call (413) 586-2033, and for the Mary Lane Hospital location, call (413) 967-2249.
Has your hearing loss started to impact your life? At Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England in Northampton, Ware, and Springfield, MA, our seven otolaryngologists and four audiologists can tell you when hearing aids would help. Hearing instruments and communication strategies improve the quality of life for all kinds of hearing loss.
Your hearing loss
Both you and your family, friends and co-workers notice it. Frankly, at the end of the day, you're feeling fatigued from struggling to understand the conversation, hear instructions or understand a TV program.
Typically, these are the signs that you should consider a complete hearing evaluation at Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England:
- You constantly ask people to repeat themselves--particularly young children and people with higher-pitched, softer voices.
- You cannot differentiate between some consonant sounds such as f, s, th, and sh.
- Noisy environments, such as a restaurant or check-out line at the store, are challenging. You can hear people speak, but you cannot understand what they are saying.
- You understand conversation better if you can see people's faces and lips.
- Your TV volume is very loud.
- You have trouble hearing on the phone.
- Your hearing evaluation at Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England shows deficiencies in several frequencies, or pitches, of hearing.
Additionally, hearing experts at the Cleveland Clinic say that family members and friends often realize a loved one has a hearing loss before that person does. They observe him or her misunderstand words or sentences. Unfortunately, hearing difficulties can impact interpersonal relationships as both parties withdraw from social interactions and even ordinary conversations.
It's no shame
A hearing loss is not a sign of weakness. It can be a sign of disease or aging, but even these are not always the case. Your audiologist at Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England will discuss your symptoms of hearing loss with you and perform a complete audiological exam. Plus, if you need hearing aids, our experts can fit you with the latest Northeast Hearing Instruments and tune them to your specific loss.
Get back in the game
When you improve your hearing with hearing aids from Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England, you'll enjoy a fuller life. Call for an evaluation. In Springfield, phone (413) 732-7426. In Northhampton, call (413) 586-2033, and for the Mary Lane Hospital location, call (413) 967-2249.
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