Posts for category: ENT Health
Adenoids are easy to miss, located at the back of your throat. Tonsils, their neighbors, tend to be more well known. But just like with their neighbors they only get attention when there is something wrong. To learn more about them reach out to the professionals of the Ear, Nose, and Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center in Fredericksburg and Stafford, VA.
When they are functioning properly adenoids, just like your tonsils, help your body by producing antibodies as part of your body's immune system. When you are young they play a role in preventing infection by trapping bacteria. But as you grow older they tend to shrink, and may even disappear when you become an adult.
The problems arise when this tissue, instead of protecting, becomes the source of infection. Infected adenoids tend to enlarge leading to complications.
When they're swollen they can cause difficulty in swallowing, breathing, and sleeping.
They can also lead to frequent ear infections which can create serious problems, including problems with hearing and with it, speech development. This is why your Fredericksburg and Stafford, VA, ENT specialists may have to remove the inflamed adenoids.
Even though they are part of your immune system, they are not a critical component and can usually be safely removed. It's a relatively simple procedure with few risks.
Nevertheless, the treatment your doctor chooses will depend on the severity of the problem, an adenoidectomy may not always be necessary.
Adenoids sometimes shrink on their own after an infection has passed, so medication alone may be recommended. If they are enlarged but not infected, your doctor could decide to wait until they naturally shrink as your child gets older.
But if these approaches prove unsuccessful then removal is common. It's also possible that your doctor will also remove the tonsils during the same procedure.
Children who suffer from frequent ear infections or have some of the problems mentioned above should consult with an ENT doctor. Make an appointment today with the experts of the Ear, Nose, and Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center by dialing (540) 371-1226 to reach their Fredericksburg and Stafford, VA, locations.
The thyroid is part of the body’s endocrine system, which is responsible for producing and releasing many of the hormones in the body. The thyroid produces two hormones that play a key role in regulating the metabolism, which is the body’s system for converting food into energy. When the thyroid does not function properly, various problems can develop. The physicians at Ear, Nose & Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center in Stafford and Fredericksburg, VA can diagnose thyroid conditions and develop a course of treatment to improve functioning.
The function of the Thyroid
The thyroid is a gland involved in the regulation of metabolism. One of its primary functions is to convert iodine from the diet into two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The cells in the thyroid are the only ones in the body with the ability to absorb iodine. Once absorbed, they convert the iodine by combining it with tyrosine, an amino acid. The hormones are then released into the bloodstream. As they travel throughout the body, T3 and T4 increase cellular activity and regulate cellular metabolism.
Thyroid problems can occur when there is either too little or too much of the T3 or T4 hormones. Some thyroid conditions include:
Hyperthyroidism — occurs when there is an overproduction of thyroxine (T4). Too much of the T4 hormone can speed up the body’s metabolism and cause unexplained weight loss. It can also lead to a rapid heartbeat. Other symptoms include shaky hands, sweatiness, frequent bowel movements, and tiredness.
Hypothyroidism — occurs when there is an underproduction of thyroid hormones. A deficiency in these hormones can affect metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. Some symptoms associated with this condition include unexplained weight gain, fatigue, constipation, dry skin, feeling cold, and a slow heart rate.
Thyroid nodules & goiters — Nodules are small growths on the thyroid, while a goiter is a swollen or enlarged thyroid. Both conditions can make swallowing and breathing more difficult and are sometimes an indication of hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid.
Thyroid Cancer — Thyroid cancer is often first detected by the presence of nodules or a goiter. Other possible symptoms of thyroid cancer include swollen lymph nodes, neck pain, coughing, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and weight loss.
Treatment of Thyroid Conditions
See a physician if you are experiencing symptoms associated with any type of thyroid condition. The highly skilled doctors at our office in Stafford and Fredericksburg treat many thyroid conditions and can recommend a specific treatment approach for you. Hyperthyroidism can be treated with antithyroid medicine, while thyroid hormone pills are used to treat hypothyroidism. Treatment of thyroid nodules might involve surgical removal of them. Several methods can be used to treat thyroid cancer, including surgery, radioactive iodine treatment, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
We diagnose and treat thyroid conditions. If you are experiencing unusual symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced doctors for an evaluation of your thyroid by calling Ear, Nose & Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center of Fredericksburg at (540) 371-1226. We also have a location in Stafford, VA.
Have you or your child been struggling with frequent bouts of tonsillitis or sleep apnea? A tonsillectomy performed by the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors at Ear, Nose & Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery of Fredericksburg in Stafford and Fredericksburg, VA, might be a good option for you.
What are tonsillectomies?
Tonsillectomies are surgical procedures used to remove your tonsils. Tonsils are two fleshy masses located at the back of your throat. They trap germs and can help reduce the risk that you'll become sick if you're exposed to viruses or bacteria.
Although your tonsils help you fight illness, they can become infected themselves. If you have tonsillitis, your tonsils may become red and painful, and you may notice a yellow or white film over them. Tonsillitis can be accompanied by a fever, swollen glands, and difficulty swallowing.
During a tonsillectomy, your ENT removes your tonsils by cutting or shaving them. Before the procedure begins, you'll receive a general anesthetic to ensure that you don't feel a thing.
When are tonsillectomies recommended in Fredericksburg and Stafford?
You won't necessarily need to have your tonsils removed if you develop tonsillitis. Infrequent bouts of tonsillitis can usually be treated with antibiotics and pain relievers. Although tonsillectomies were more common decades ago, ENTs only recommend the surgery today if you have seven or more throat infections per year, five infections per year for the last two years, or three infections per year for the last three years.
A tonsillectomy may also be needed if you've developed a growth on a tonsil, or your swollen tonsils are interfering with your breathing. Sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when an obstruction blocks your airway, can be caused by swollen tonsils.
Sleep apnea occurs when you experience short breathing pauses throughout the night. These pauses deprive your brain of oxygen and increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and other serious heart conditions. If your friends or family members tell you that you snore loudly and you frequently feel tired during the day, despite getting a full night's sleep, you may have sleep apnea.
Do you suffer from sleep apnea or frequent tonsillitis? Call Ear, Nose & Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery of Fredericksburg at (540) 371-1226.
A hearing aid is a device you wear to help you hear more clearly. When you have hearing loss, a hearing aid is a smart option to help you communicate with others. You wear it in or behind your ear. Hearing aids amplify sounds, perfect for both quiet or noisy environments. If you wear hearing aids and live in Fredericksburg or Stafford, schedule an appointment with our doctors at Ear, Nose & Throat Facial Plastic Surgery. Our experienced doctors can help you with a variety of medical conditions, including hearing loss. Keep reading to learn more about how you can take care of your hearing aids.
Kinds of Hearing Aids
There are three main types of hearing aids, behind the ear, in the ear, or canal. If you need hearing aids and live in Fredericksburg or Stafford, your doctor will determine which hearing aid is best for your unique needs.
- Behind-the-ear hearing aids, also known as BIE, have two parts. The first part of the hearing aid sits behind your ear. A thin, clear tube connects it to an earmold that sits inside the ear canal.
- In-the-ear hearing aids, also known as ITE, fit entirely inside your outer ear.
- Canal hearing aids fit more deeply in the ear canal so that they are nearly invisible to the eye.
Taking Care of Your Hearing Aids
- Hearing aids improve your quality of life, allowing you to hear better and improve your ability to communicate. Taking care of your hearing aids will ensure that they function effectively and last for a long time. The following are some tips to keep your hearing aids in great shape:
- Ear wax and ear drainage can damage your hearing aids. This is why it's so important for you to keep your hearing aids clean. Follow your doctor's instructions to ensure that you are cleaning them properly.
- If the hearing aid batteries die, immediately replace them. Keep the battery door open when not using your hearing aids. If you keep your batteries inside the hearing aids for a long time, they can corrode and damage the device.
- Avoid using hair care products while wearing your hearing aids.
- Moisture and heat can damage your hearing aids, so keep them away from damp and hot environments.
Schedule Your Visit
Hearing loss negatively affects your ability to communicate with others. Fortunately, if you need hearing aids and live in Fredericksburg or Stafford VA, one of our experienced doctors can help you determine which hearing aids are appropriate for your needs. Schedule an appointment by calling us at 540-371-1226.