Category Archives: Ear Nose Throat

Under pressure: Tiny tubes can cause big discomfort

The eustachian tube (named after Italian physician Bartolomeo Eustachio) is a small passage extending from the back of the nose to the middle ear. You have one for each ear. Its function is to regulate pressure between your ear and the external environment. Ideally, the pressure is balanced. The eustachian tube opens when you swallow or yawn in order to equalize pressure. The other function is to allow any fluid that has accumulated in the middle ear to drain into the back of the nose. At rest, it remains closed to prevent reflux (back-flow) from the nose into the middle ear space.

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image of the word otolaryngology

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Let’s just say “ENT”

Think about your routine interactions with the environment. Could you breathe easily today? Were you able to walk a straight line? Was it no trouble to talk with and listen to your friends? We usually don’t think about such things unless there’s a problem. Issues with our ears, nose and throat, even when relatively minor, can have a large impact on our quality of life.

Otolaryngologists, or ENTs, are specialty physicians who treat disorders of the ears, nose and throat (ENT). After medical school, doctors pursuing a career in ENT complete 5-8 years of additional training. Physicians certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology are the most reputable and knowledgeable in the field.

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Research leads to new surgical guidelines for parathyroidectomy.

Tertiary hyperparathyroidism occurs more than primary or secondary hyperparathyroidism but it is rare and is seen in patients with renal disease and post kidney transplant. Because it is a rare problem, guidelines for surgical treatment and prognosis have not been well repeated in the past. This study establishes guidelines for parathyroid surgical intervention.

In a scholarly and systematic review, Dr. Michael Friedman and associates studied outcomes of hundreds of patients with tertiary hyperparathyroidism who underwent a parathyroidectomy (removal of the parathyroid gland). Control of symptoms and hypercalcemia cure rates were as high as 94% in many studies.

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Could that pain in your mouth be a salivary stone?

While most everyone is familiar with kidney stones and gallstones, salivary stones (also called) sialoliths are also a real disorder. They are caused by a buildup of calcium in the salivary gland or duct Salivary stones may remain in the gland, unnoticed. They become problematic when they partially or totally block the natural flow of saliva into your mouth, causing pain and inflammation, and can even lead to infection. Sialoliths most often occur in the submandibular glands, found under the jaw. Less common are stones in the parotid and sublingual salivary glands.

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Trying CPAP for the First Time? Tips to Understanding Machine Use and Insurance

If you or someone you know suffers from sleep apnea, you are likely familiar with the CPAP machine, a medical device that helps patients breathe easy through the night. Dr. Friedman and his team of expert ENTs, allergists, head and neck surgeons, board-certified sleep specialists, as well as dental sleep specialists now treat snoring and sleep apnea with a number of non-invasive and minimally invasive treatment options. One of many treatment options is a CPAP machine.  Continue reading Trying CPAP for the First Time? Tips to Understanding Machine Use and Insurance

New Kids on the Block: Could Your 2nd “Hidden” Tonsils Be Causing Snoring or Sleep Apnea?

Most people are aware of tonsils that are present in the back of the throat. Tonsils are often the cause of sore throat and sometimes strep throat that are painful and require antibiotic treatment. Sometimes tonsils also accumulate debris and form little pockets that fill with white or yellow cheesy material, known as tonsiliths or cryptic tonsillitis. This debris is not dangerous but often annoying. It can cause halitosis (bad breath) and discomfort. Often the only solution is tonsillectomy in severe cases. Continue reading New Kids on the Block: Could Your 2nd “Hidden” Tonsils Be Causing Snoring or Sleep Apnea?