Posts for: August, 2016
Your sinuses are more than just holes in your head. Located above the mouth and behind your forehead, your sinuses are deliberate voids in your skull meant for specific purposes. Dr. Andrew Parker of Parker Ear, Nose and Throat takes care of these important craniofacial structures and treats their various maladies.
As a Diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology, Dr. Parker is a well-respected and trusted physician who believes in empowering patients with the knowledge they need to make good decisions about their health. As such, he offers answers to frequently asked questions about your sinuses in Norwalk, Westport and New Canaan, CT.
FAQS about Your Sinuses
- Where are the sinuses? The sinuses are located behind the forehead, along the sides of the nose and posterior to the cheekbones. They extend over the roof of the mouth. Essentially, sinuses are empty spaces in the skull. The 4 kinds of sinuses are the frontal, maxillary, ethmoid and sphenoid, and there are 4 pairs of sinuses in all
- What do the sinuses do? They perform many important functions. Their primary function is to warm and filter air. Some researchers say they also act as shock absorbers for the skull, aid the sense of smell and contribute to the tone of the human voice. The pink mucosal lining secretes a thin, watery fluid called mucous which traps pollutants and humidifies the air.
- What is sinusitis? The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says that sinusitis, or sinus infection, affects millions of people each year with pain, thick discharge, pressure, post-nasal drip, headaches, bad breath, ear pain and coughs. Just like the common cold, sinusitis may be viral, or some versions come from bacteria, allergies or an obstruction due to trauma, congenital malformation or a foreign body. Allergies, nasal polyps and air pollution contribute to this common infection.
- What helps sinusitis? Fluids and over the counter oral and nasal spray decongestants relieve the symptoms of sinusitis. Some people use plain salt water (saline) sprays to keep nose and sinuses clean. However, a bacterial infection may require antibiotic treatment. Some individuals need surgery to correct defects such as a deviated septum in the nose or other obstruction which blocks the free flow of mucus and air.
- When do I to visit my Norwalk, Westport and New Canaan, CT ENT doctor? Repeated sinus infections signal the need for referral to a board-certified otolaryngologist such as Dr. Andrew Parker. A nasal endoscope, digital x-ray, MRI or CAT scan visualize the sinuses and assist the physician in diagnosing the nature of the problem.
If you are concerned about the health and function of your sinuses, contact Parker Ear, Nose and Throat to arrange a consultation. You can feel better again. Call (203) 866-8121.
Are your tonsils inflamed? If you, or more likely, your child aged 5 to 15, is diagnosed with tonsillitis, it means the tonsils are swollen, red and painful. Dr. Andrew Parker, your New Canaan and Norwalk otolaryngologist, diagnoses bacterial and viral tonsillitis, treating it accurately so young patients make a full recovery.
What are Tonsils?
Tonsils are oval-shaped pieces of lymphoid tissue located at the back most sides of the throat (pharyngeal tonsils) and back of the tongue (lingual tonsils). While small and insignificant looking, they defend against viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, tonsils themselves become infected with the very things they try to protect us from--micro-organisms such as:
- the Herpes visus
- Streptococcus pyogenes
- the Epstein-Barr virus
- the measles virus
Kinds of Tonsilitis
Inflamed tonsils fall into three categories: acute, chronic and recurrent. While young children and adults may contract tonsillitis, the most common age group is school children, ages 5 to 15. Left untreated, tonsillitis, though common, can lead to serious complications such as rheumatic fever, which affects the heart and joints, and post streptococcal pyelonephritis, a serious infection of the kidneys.
Problems accompanying tonsillitis are a hoarse voice, fever, fatigue, bad breath, and difficulty/soreness associated with swallowing. Typically, these signs and symptoms bring patients to Dr. Parker's New Canaan or Norwalk office.
Other problems associated with inflamed tonsils include pus-filled abscess of the tonsils, labored and obstructed breathing and even sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when tonsils are so enlarged they block the airway, causing loud snoring and episodes of breathing cessation.
Diagnosing and Treating Enlarged Tonsils
At Parker Ear, Nose and Throat in New Canaan or Norwalk, your otolaryngologist will look down your throat with a small flashlight. He will also feel the cervical lymph nodes, check for fever and palpate the abdomen as the spleen sometimes is involved in tonsillitis. He will also swab the throat to test for strep bacteria.
When a throat culture is positive for strep bacteria, the doctor will prescribe penicillin or comparable antibiotic and recommend rest, extra hydration. saltwater gargling and over the counter pain relievers as needed. Very enlarged and repeatedly infected tonsils may require surgical removal, or tonsillectomy, usually performed on an outpatient basis.
Don't Ignore Inflamed Tonsils
If you or a loved one are suffering from sore, inflamed tonsils, don't wait. Call Dr. Andrew Parker at Parker Ear, Nose and Throat in Norwalk and New Canaan. Dr. Parker is a Diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology. You can trust him for accurate and compassionate diagnosis and treatment. Call (203) 866-8121 for an appointment.