Abnormal parathyroid glands

The parathyroid glands produce hormones. These glands secrete a hormone called PTH, (parathyroid hormone) that controls calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels in the blood. If the gland is malfunctioning, producing too much or too little of the hormone, it can lead to abnormalities in blood calcium levels.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux disease is a disorder in which the LES (lower esophagus sphincter) between the esophagus and stomach is not functioning correctly and allows stomach acid to rise in the esophagus. When the stomach acid moves upward, it causes indigestion, heartburn, and can damage the throat due to scarring.

Chronic tonsils and adenoid infections

The tonsils and adenoids serve the body’s immune system by sampling bacteria and viruses that are breathed in. The structures can be prone to chronic tonsillitis. When the tonsils and adenoids are chronically inflamed due to infections, the condition can lead to difficulties breathing, swallowing, and sleeping, along with painful abscesses.

Complicated ear disorders

Some ear disorders must be surgically repaired. These include placing ear tubes to treat chronic earaches, eardrum repair if damaged by infections, trauma, or exposure to loud sounds, repairing the ear structure damaged by repeated ear infections, ear blockages, or problems with the inner ear that result in balance issues, hearing loss, pain, or fluid drainage.

Congestion (nasal blockage)

When the nasal passages are inflamed, swollen, and producing excess fluid, the condition may be associated with allergies, a cold or other virus, or a sinus infection. If the condition does not resolve in a reasonable period of time, it should be assessed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Orlando ENT Associates.

Deviated nasal septum

The cartilage separating the nostrils is called the “septum.” This structure may be damaged due to trauma, or unevenly formed at birth. The uneven structure, with one airway larger than the other, can lead to difficulty breathing through one nostril, chronic nasal congestion, excessive snoring, or sleep apnea.

Difficulty swallowing

Difficulty swallowing is “dysphagia.” This condition can make it almost impossible to swallow or cause extreme pain when swallowing. To treat dysphagia requires comprehensive testing to identify the cause of the condition. The esophagus may have narrowed, a tumor or growth may be blocking the throat, or it may be a result of acid reflux disease.

Dizziness

An ENT should evaluate the sensation of dizziness or vertigo. The condition may be diet related, or a symptom of an inner ear problem. The inner ear sends nerve messages to the brain related to balance and could be affected by a fluid buildup or infection of the vestibular nerve.

Ear infections

An ear infection results from a bacterial or viral infection affecting the middle ear. These infections are painful, as the excess fluid puts pressure on the eardrum, which may burst. If the ear infection is bacterial, it may be treated with antibiotics. If chronic, common in children, ear tubes may be needed.

Enlarged lymph nodes

The human body has about 600 lymph nodes. They are connected to the lymphatic vessels, a critical part of the body’s immune system. A bacteria or virus may infect lymph nodes in the groin, neck, armpits, and groin, causing swelling. This condition must be diagnosed and treated, as in some cases, it is a symptom of cancer.

Environmental allergy

Environmental allergies are a common condition, often a reaction to pollen, flowers, weeds, perfume, exhaust, dust mites, pet dander, mold, or another allergen. Several types of allergy tests can be performed to identify the allergen. An allergy can be treated with medications, nasal sprays, and practical methods to avoid allergy triggers.

Head and Neck Cancers Evaluation and Treatment

Cancers can develop in the mouth, tongue, throat, or other areas of the head and neck. The symptoms may be non-healing mouth sores, trouble swallowing, or lumps on the neck. An accurate diagnosis and rapid treatment are critical. The earlier cancer is treated, the better the outcome.

Hearing Loss

Losing your hearing can be the result of aging, ear trauma, earwax buildup, or infection. The cause of the loss should be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. The treatments vary based on the diagnosis, and may involve medications, surgery, or the use of hearing aids.

Hoarseness 

A hoarse or breathy voice can be a symptom of several conditions. The cause of the changes in your voice can be identified with diagnostic tests. After the underlying cause is identified through testing, the correct treatment can be administered, such as vocal therapy, medications, surgery, or at-home treatments.

The loss of taste and smell

The loss of taste and smell is often related to a minor illness and resolves with time. In other cases, the condition persists, and diagnostic tests may reveal nasal polyps, chronic sinus infections, or allergies. If the condition does not naturally resolve when the sinuses clear, it should be evaluated by the specialists at Orlando ENT Associates.

Nasal drainage

Some unhealthy conditions can lead to continuous and unpleasant nasal drainage. The excess production of mucus may be the result of allergies, a cold, a sinus infection, or a virus. The treatment for nasal drainage may be medication, allergy treatments, or a balloon sinuplasty, a procedure to open the nasal passages.

Nasal fractures

A broken nose can damage the airways and leave the nose visibly off center. This condition can be surgically corrected, both straightening the nose to be aesthetically pleasing, and correcting damage to the airways to promote healthy breathing. A broken nose can be surgically corrected to treat pain, swelling, breathing problems, and cosmetic issues.

Neck masses

When the neck has developed a lump, it is imperative that you see a specialist without delay. The neck mass could be a symptom of several diseases, including cancers, lymphoma, leukemia, or may be a benign condition in which the lymph nodes in the neck are enlarged due to an infection, which can be treated with medication.

Salivary gland masses

The mouth contains several salivary glands. These glands produce saliva to help the body digest food. Any of these glands can swell under certain conditions and should be treated by an ear, nose, and throat specialist. In some cases, surgical intervention is necessary, and in others, medication may resolve the swelling.

Sinus infections

The sinuses are usually filled with air, but can be blocked with fluid, causing swelling, pain, and breathing difficulties. A sinus infection can typically be treated with antibiotics, but for some patients, sinus infections are a chronic condition. A balloon sinuplasty may be indicated to open the sinuses and restore healthy breathing, or a surgical treatment to remove a blockage.

Sleep apnea

In sleep apnea, breathing stops and starts during sleep, leading to snoring, choking, and waking up gasping for breath. Sleep apnea can be treated with a “breathing machine” (CPAP), or an advanced approach, in which a medical device is implanted, which may be ideal for those who can’t tolerate the breathing machine.

Snoring 

Chronic snoring can affect the ability to sleep soundly, leaving you feeling exhausted and less alert. Constant snoring may be a symptom of a more serious health condition. To identify the cause of excessive snoring, a set of tests can be performed. You may require surgery to open the airways, or a sleep apnea treatment.

Thyroid masses 

The thyroid gland regulates the body’s temperature, digestive processes, and some factors in healthy heart function. A thyroid mass may be a symptom of thyroid cancer, excessive tissue growth, a dietary deficiency, or a cyst. Diagnostic testing will reveal the cause, and a treatment plan implemented, which may be hormone therapy, thyroid medication, surgery, or other treatment. 

Vocal Cord Nodules and Polyps

When the vocal cords are impacted by nodules or polyps, voice sound is altered, changing tone, or sounding hoarse or breathy. When the voice is overused, such as by singing, shouting, or yelling, the vocal cords may develop growths. Resting the voice, vocal training, or surgery may be indicated to treat the condition.

Vocal cord tumors

The vocal cords may develop tumors, whether benign or cancerous. When vocal cord tumors are identified through testing, a biopsy will be performed to discover whether cancerous cells are present, and to remove the tumor. Early intervention is important in the rare case that cancer cells are found. 

Vocal tremors and spasms

If the voice trembles, is difficult to control, or stops and starts, it may be a condition called “spasmodic dysphonia.” This condition is neurological, affecting the normal function of the larynx (voice box). For trouble speaking loudly, a strained voice, or other voice issues, speech therapy or BOTOX injections to reduce vocal cord spasms may be needed. 

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