For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you.
As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.
- Breathing Problems
- Snoring/Sleep Apnea
- Sore Throat
- Ear Infection
- Hearing Loss
- Mouth Sores
- Neck Pain
- Head and Neck Cancers
- Oral Cancers
The inner ear serves two purposes: hearing and balance. There are mechanisms in the ear that inform the brain about your position, orientation in space and movement and all times — to keep you in balance. A false sensation of spinning or whirling, known as vertigo, can occur when the signal to the brain is blocked or misfires. Read More »
The ear is made up of three sections: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Each of these areas is susceptible to infections, which can be painful. Young children have a greater tendency to get earaches. While most ear pain resolves itself in a matter of days, you should get a physical examination to understand the type of infection, prevent it from spreading and obtain treatment to help alleviate the pain. Read More »
Hearing loss has a lot of different causes and manifestations. It can be sudden or gradual. It can occur in one ear or both ears. It can be temporary or permanent. It happens to people of all ages and is associated with the aging process. Before discussing causes and treatments for hearing loss, it is important to understand how hearing works. Read More »
There are a variety of sores that can occur in or around the mouth. Most are benign, but some may be indicative of cancer.Read More »
Neck pain is often a result of overuse of the muscles and ligaments in the neck from sports, recreational activities, work or household chores. It is generally characterized by stiffness, a kink or severe pain in the neck, shoulders, upper back and/or arms. Neck pain can also be caused by stress, trauma or injury or may be a symptom of the flu or meningitis. Read More »
The nose serves three primary functions: to warm, humidify and filter air as it passes into the body. Breathing problems may impact one or multiple of these functions. Breathing problems can be temporary or chronic, mild or severe, but they usually increase with age. Read More »
Snoring is a noise produced during sleep that originates in the back of the throat or nose. Snoring occurs when the muscles in the back of the mouth, tongue and throat relax while sleeping, which narrows or blocks the airway. Breathing causes your uvula (soft palate) to vibrate and knock against the back of the throat, resulting in the snoring sound. Read More »
Everyone experiences sore throats when they have a cold or flu. But there are other reasons for sore throats that may be symptomatic of more serious problems.Read More »
Most head and neck cancers are relatively preventable since they are highly correlated with tobacco use and alcohol consumption. They are also generally curable if caught early. Symptoms to watch out for include pain swallowing, trouble breathing, ear pain, a lump in the neck that lasts longer than two weeks, a growth in the mouth and bleeding from the mouth, nose or throat.Read More »
Oral cancers appear as red or white patches of mouth tissue or small ulcers that look like a canker sores, but are painless. Oral cancers usually form on the tongue or floor of the mouth, but can occur on any tissue in and around the mouth.Read More »
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that resides at the base of the neck and produces hormones that regulate metabolism (how the body converts food into energy). Abnormal production of thyroid hormones results in thyroid disease. Two main causes of thyroid problems are overproduction of thyroid hormones, known as hyperthyroidism, and underproduction of thyroid hormones, known as hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism can be caused by Grave's Disease (overproduction of the thyroid hormones), growths on the thyroid (either nodules or a goiter), inflammation of the thyroid and, in rare cases, pituitary gland malfunction or cancer. Symptoms include a feeling of speeding up or nervousness, shaky hands, fast heartbeat, sweatiness, red or itchy skin, frequent bowel movements, weight loss and weakness or tiredness. For mild to moderate symptoms, the treatment is usually antithyroid medicine. In more severe cases, radioactive iodine may be swallowed by the patient to destroy the harmful part of the thyroid.
Hypothyroidism is caused by underproduction of thyroid hormones (Hashimoto's Disease), exposure to excessive amounts of iodide (an old treatment for croup in children), high levels of lithium and removal of the thyroid gland. Symptoms usually appear gradually over time and may include feeling tired, weak or depressed, lower energy level, brittle nails, dry skin, constipation, memory problems and feeling cold more often. For women, it may also cause heavy or irregular menstrual periods. Hypothyroidism is treated with thyroid hormone pills.
A thyroid nodule is a growth on the thyroid. A goiter is a swelling of the thyroid gland itself. Thyroid nodules are usually benign - only five out of every 100 thyroid nodules are cancerous. Most thyroid nodules are small and difficult to detect. However, bigger nodules may lead to swelling of the neck and problems with breathing or swallowing. Thyroid nodules and goiters may be indicative of hyperthyroidism. They can be diagnosed with a combination of blood tests to evaluate how well the thyroid is functioning; a thyroid scan, which uses a radioactive material and a camera to visualize the thyroid; ultrasound to see the number, size and placement of nodules; or fine needle biopsy, where a piece of tissue is removed from the nodule to determine if it is benign or malignant. In cases where cancerous or pre-cancerous cells are present, surgical removal is generally recommended.
Thyroid cancer is usually recognized by thyroid nodules or swelling of the thyroid gland (goiter). A benign thyroid nodule is called an adenoma. Diagnostic techniques used to identify thyroid cancer are ultrasound, fine needle biopsy, nuclear medicine or CT scan. Other symptoms include hoarseness, difficulty breathing or swallowing, neck pain, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss or coughing. In addition to surgery to remove the cancerous tissue, your doctor may recommend a radioactive iodine treatment. In more serious cases, radiation and/or chemotherapy may be required. Note that if any or all of the thyroid is surgically removed, you will have to take replacement thyroid hormones in pill form for the remainder of your life to keep your metabolism functioning at an optimal level for your good health.
If you have trouble swallowing or breathing, feel a lump in your throat or experience ongoing swelling in the neck, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our otolaryngologists.