Vertigo, dizziness and unsteady balance: When is it time for Balance PT?

By Anthony Curtis, PT

Dizziness, unsteady balance, and vertigo can be scary. Patients who experience a sudden or gradual onset of symptoms such as lightheadedness or wobbliness may worry about the underlying cause of their disorientation. Here we will discuss common causes, when to seek medical attention, and what you can expect from a visit to Virginia ENT.

Summertime Ear Pain: Swimmer’s Ear or Ear Infection?

The season of sunshine and fun is here. Summer means pool parties, evenings on the lake and beachfront getaways. When annoying ear pain gets in the way of all the festivities, many are quick to assume it’s a case of swimmer’s ear. Often, that is an accurate diagnosis, but if ear discomfort coincides with summertime allergies or a cold, an ear infection could be a culprit.

Inner Ear Crystals and BPPV

I Have Crystals In My Ears?

As strange as it seems, everyone has microscopic crystals residing in their inner ears. These crystals are called Otoconia and are found in the Otolith organs, which are two pouches inside the vestibular system that are filled with fluid. The pouches are lined with small hairs and the small hairs are lined with the Otoconia. When the head tilts, the crystals attached to the hairs move through the ear fluid and send nerve signals to the brain. 

ENT For Your Child: 3 Things To Be Aware Of

 

Dr. George Tarasidis

As the end of August draws near, back-to-school shopping is in full swing. Every Target, Walmart, and Office Depot is flooded with 1000s of parents and children all looking for the exact same items on their school-approved shopping list. After fighting your way through the hordes of family units, checking out at the understaffed front register, and trying your best to keep the kids supplies separated you head to your primary care doctor to check Physical Examinations off the mental list. However, even with a thorough Physical, there are some things only you may be able to catch when it comes to your child's ear, nose, and throat health. Here are 3 things to be aware of before sending your child back to school:

Wireless Connectivity for Hearing Aids

“Wireless connectivity” is a hot topic in the world of hearing aids and we want to help you understand what it is, and whether it is, for you!

Sciton Halo Laser (HFL)

Virginia ENT has a new aesthetic laser, Sciton’s Halo™ - Hybrid Fractional Laser (HFL). It’s a fantastic new addition to our list of non-surgical aesthetic offerings. With the Halo HFL, we have a new option for maximizing results and minimizing downtime!

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Facts

What is eustachian tube dysfunction and what does the eustachian tube do?

The eustachian tube is a connection between the middle ear and the back of the nose. It opens and closes when we swallow to let small amounts of air into our middle ear. When it isn’t working well, the pressure next to our eardrum isn’t equalized, and the eardrum retracts, much like ear pressure on an airplane when your ears don’t equalize.

Virginia Ear Nose & Throat is Among First to Offer the SINUVA™ Sinus Implant, a New In-Office Treatment Option for Recurring Nasal Polyps

New Technology Provides Sustained Relief for Managing Chronic Condition

Richmond, VA– February 21, 2018 – Virginia Ear Nose & Throat is among the first in the United States to offer a new technology recently approved by the FDA to treat nasal polyps in adults who have had previous ethmoid sinus surgery (ESS).

Common Signs of Hearing Loss You May Not Consider

When most people think of hearing loss, they may think of someone asking others to repeat themselves, or needing to turn up the volume on the TV. These are among the more common signs of hearing loss. But there are other symptoms of hearing loss that are less visible. Not all of them are easy to spot unless you know what you're looking for. What are these symptoms, and what should you do if you experience them?

Preventing Health Problems with a Sinus Rinse

You may have heard about the health benefits of a sinus rinse -- how it can keep your nose healthy and prevent sinus problems. But what is it?

Ear Pain Isn’t Always About Your Ear: 3 Other Causes

In many cases, ear pain is caused by an infection of the ear canal. But did you know some ear pain may not be connected to ear-related problems at all? Many of these problems require a physician's knowledge to distinguish one problem from another. But here are a few other causes of ear pain you may not know about.

Taking Your Hearing Seriously in 2018

Hearing is vital to our quality of life. Hearing issues can affect so many facets of our lives, from employment to interpersonal relationships. People with hearing issues often end up avoiding or withdrawing from social situations because of the difficulty it can cause. And the more they withdraw, the less likely it is they will return to those social situations in the future.

Common Causes of Chronic Laryngitis

Laryngitis is a common inflammatory condition of the larynx (or voice box). Much of the time laryngitis is painless, although some patients can experience pain. Laryngitis most often presents as voice hoarseness, frequent throat clearing, or a raspy or breathy voice. A sore throat and trouble swallowing may also occur.

Have a Stuffy Nose All Winter? Here’s Why

Do you know someone who seems to deal with a stuffy nose all winter long? Is it you? Sometimes it seems like the winter months and a stuffed-up nose go hand-in-hand. Contrary to popular belief, cold weather itself doesn't cause a stuffy nose -- but rather, the conditions that come with cold weather often do. Here are a few reasons why you might have a stuffy nose this winter, and what you can do about it.

Hearing Aid Cleaning - Are You Cleaning Them Correctly?

How often should you clean your hearing aids? Would you be surprised to learn you should clean them every day? Many hearing aid owners might not know that properly cleaning their hearing aids can lead to years of quality performance and long service.

Why Do I Lose My Voice All the Time?

Voice loss and hoarseness are common problems cared for in the otolaryngologist’s (ENT) office on a daily basis.  The frequency of these complaints does seem to increase in the winter months. It’s likely that upper respiratory infections are playing a role in this seasonal increase.

Should I Call Out of Work with a Sinus Infection?

Winter is a season for sinusitis and sinus infections, and that often means lost productivity, as workers either call in sick or try to power through. It's difficult to be at your best when you're suffering from the symptoms of a sinus infection, and your productivity will almost always take a hit as a result. But is it necessary to call out of work, for the sake of your own health as well as that of others?

Where to Get a Hearing Test in Richmond, VA

Here in Richmond, Virginia, there are several different resources for obtaining a hearing test, but the best place to go depends on your objectives in obtaining the hearing test. Here’s a review of the different types of hearing tests offered.

Treating Chronic Sinusitis to Eliminate Brain Fog

What is chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS)? It is defined as 12 weeks of ongoing inflammation of the nose and sinuses. Symptomatic patients will present with nasal discharge or drainage, facial pain and pressure, nasal congestion or obstruction on examination or with a CT scan. CRS is not an infectious disease although acute sinusitis may be. Different causes of CRS have been investigated over the years. Despite much research, the jury is still out on what causes CRS. CRS is likely caused by a combination of contributing factors such as:

The Benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

You may have heard of platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP), but you may not actually know much about it. What is PRP used for? Who can be a candidate for PRP? What should you do if you're interested in PRP?

How to Prepare for Fall Allergy Season in Richmond, VA

Fall will hit Richmond before you know it -- and with that comes fall allergies. Allergy sufferers know all too well how autumn can worsen allergies. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help mitigate the effects of seasonal allergies. In this article, we'll discuss the most common allergens that arrive with the autumn leaves, what you need to do now, and when to see a doctor or specialist.

How to Avoid the Most Common Back to School Illnesses

Back-to-school can be a busy time, not just for parents and students, but for illnesses as well. The close quarters of a school environment become a breeding ground for germs, all while seasonal allergens are in full swing. What can parents do to prepare their children before school begins? We've put together a quick guide to help parents make back-to-school season a little healthier.

Important Questions To Ask Richmond Balloon Sinuplasty Doctors

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that dilates the sinus openings. Many individuals who suffer from chronic sinusitis may benefit from having a balloon sinuplasty procedure to help treat their blocked sinuses. Many may also be wondering if a balloon sinuplasty is the right procedure for them or would they even qualify for it. Other questions may include: what will the procedure be like, how long do the effects last, what care will be required afterward, does it require going to the hospital, and/or can you drive home afterward? These are all questions you should ask your balloon sinuplasty doctor before having the procedure.

Can You Cure Chronic Sinusitis? Treatment Options to Consider

Commonly, sinusitis is acute. Acute sinusitis can be triggered by a cold or allergies, and it often goes away on its own. Its less-common relative, chronic sinusitis, can linger for months or longer and has symptoms that include loss of smell, congestion, and a runny nose. Patients who suffer from chronic sinusitis may wonder if there is a cure, and what treatments options are involved. Can it be treated or managed at home? Does it require surgery? Read on to learn more.

Where to Find the Best Hearing Aid Repair in Richmond VA

For many hearing aid users, their first instinct when an aid stops working is simply to stop using it. You may not be aware that hearing aids can usually be repaired for a fraction of the original price, often within hours. For hearing aids that are still under warranty, there is no cost for repair. Repairs can also be done on aids that are out of warranty for a fee. Virginia ENT can handle the repair of many different styles and manufacturers of hearing aids, even those that are several years old.

Read This Before Shopping for a Hearing Aid in RVA

A hearing aid is not like other electronic devices -- To be truly effective, a hearing aid needs to be fit and fine-tuned to your particular hearing needs. If you're in need of a hearing aid, the search should begin with looking for an audiologist.

Common Signs of Tinnitus and Hearing Loss

Tinnitus is an oft-misunderstood ailment. There aren't really any traditional "signs" of tinnitus -- it's either there, or it isn't. Tinnitus is defined as any sound that's not present in the environment, but is still perceived in the auditory system. It often manifests as a humming, ringing, buzzing, clicking, “crickets,” or a rumbling noise. One might also notice a "fullness" or feeling of pressure in the ear.

Ailments You May Need an ENT for in Summer

When you think of seeing an ENT doctor, what ailments do you think they treat? With summertime fast approaching, you may not be aware your ENT can help with certain issues. Here are some common (and not so common) summertime issues you may need an ENT for this season.

Protective Hearing Equipment to Invest in This Summer

Summer is fast approaching: a time for concerts, yard work, and outdoor activities. Did you know however, that all of these activities can potentially cause permanent damage to your hearing?

10 Things About Post-Nasal Drip You Didn't Know

Post-nasal drip is a condition that people can often find confusing. What exactly is it? What causes it, and what are the best treatments? When should you talk to a doctor? Here are some things you may not have known about post-nasal drip.

7 Changes You May See After Treating Sleep Apnea

Something you may not have known about sleep apnea: over 90 percent of children who suffer from sleep apnea have enlarged obstructive tonsils and adenoids. In these cases, parents often choose the option of tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy and overwhelmingly, have great results afterwards. Adults who treat their sleep apnea symptoms may be in for a few surprises as well. Here are some changes you may see after treating your sleep apnea.

Skin Cancer Treatment Options

One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. There are different types of skin cancers with different treatment options.  

Virginia ENT: May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Every year, over five million cases of skin cancer are treated in the United States alone.

Skin cancer is more common than breast, lung, and colon cancer combined.  One in five Americans will develop it at some point.

Speech and Hearing: Signs That Your Child Needs a Hearing Test

Hearing is a crucial part of a child’s cognitive and social development. Detecting hearing loss and getting treatment can affect a child’s ability to develop speech and language appropriately.

Hearing Loss Incidence Rates Rival That of Heart Disease

Did you know that at age 65, 1 out of 3 people have a hearing loss or that 20% of Americans report some degree of hearing loss? How about that men are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss after age twenty? Or that two to three of 1,000 children born in the United States are born with detectable hearing loss?

Finding Support for the Hard of Hearing in Richmond, VA

For those losing their hearing in Richmond (or anywhere else), it can be a trying experience, both emotionally and physically.

Recognize the Link Between Hearing Loss and Depression

Many of us are familiar with the symptoms of depression: loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss or gain, withdrawal, an absence of pleasure in the things one used to enjoy. But did you know that there can be a link between hearing loss and depression symptoms?

A Month-by-Month Guide to Seasonal Allergies in Richmond, Virginia

We often think of spring as "allergy season." But if you're an allergy sufferer, every season can seem like allergy season. What steps can you take to keep your allergies from becoming an irritation all year round?

How Your Air Quality Affects Your Allergies

Air quality can make a significant impact on your allergies. Spring and summer are often the worst months for allergy sufferers, but air pollution and other factors can make allergies a problem year round.

Is Your Cough Due to the Richmond Weather?

As the weather in Richmond changes from warm to cold and back again, you may find yourself dealing with an unexpected cough.

March is National Sleep Awareness Month - Are You Sleeping?

March is National Sleep Awareness Month. This month, most of the country moved the clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time-- an event that can often disrupt sleep and impact our work and school days. At times like this, it's important for us to think about how good sleep -- or the lack of it -- can have an effect on our lives.

Finding Rechargeable Hearing Aids in Richmond, VA

Rechargeable hearing aids are a recent development for the hearing loss community, having come on the market within the last six to eight months. Unlike older hearing aids, these rechargeable models don't require a separate battery that must be taken out and recharged. The entire unit is recharged in a charging case, and the battery lasts the life of the unit.

How to Recommend a Hearing Test to a Significant Other

If you suspect a loved one or significant other is suffering from hearing loss, convincing them to get a hearing aid -- or even to get their hearing tested -- may not always be easy.

Looking for a Balloon Sinuplasty in Richmond? Start Here.

What is a Balloon Sinuplasty?

You may have heard or read about the term "balloon sinuplasty" before, particularly if you have had ongoing trouble with your sinuses. A balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure where a balloon catheter dilates the sinus so it can function better. This technique is often done in-office and involves no cutting of bone or nasal tissue. Recovery usually takes a few days.

Croup Symptoms: What to Look For

When a child starts making the distinctive "barking" coughs associated with croup, it can be concerning or even frightening to parent and child alike.

4 Surprising Reasons Your Ears May Feel Clogged

Is your clogged ear just annoying, or might it be the symptom of another problem?

One of the trickier aspects of diagnosing this particular ear problem is the variety of reasons a patient may feel a clogged sensation in the ear. Common causes include colds, sinus infections, wax build-up, water in the ear, altitude changes, hearing loss, jaw problems, and more.

5 Tips to Prevent Voice Hoarseness Despite the Richmond Cold

Is the Richmond weather making your voice scratchy and hoarse? The cold temperatures and harsh winds of winter can be hard on your voice. Here are some easy ways to take care of your voice during the cold winter months.

Winter Nosebleeds: Treatment & Prevention

Nosebleeds are a common occurrence, so common that in the United States, one of every seven people will develop a nosebleed at some point in their lives. They’re commonly caused by ruptures of the small blood vessels inside of your nose, and can be fairly frequent. We see them in patients of every age, but are most common in children and older adults.

Save Your Ears on New Year's Eve: NIHL Culprits

New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration and renewal. It’s also a time for loud parties and fireworks, which can inflict hearing damage. New Year’s Eve can be a particularly troublesome time when it comes to noise, but it’s possible to safeguard the hearing of yourself and your family without missing out on the fun.

Skip the Chronic Sore Throat This Winter

Winter is coming, and that means more than just holidays and cold weather. It also means the arrival of colds, coughs, and sore throats. If you want to avoid suffering with a sore throat all season, here are the most common causes of sore throats, and how you can help prevent them.

18 Tips for Hearing Loss Patients Over the Holidays

Holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year! For those people dealing with hearing loss however, it can bring on a multitude of issues such as increased blood pressure, depression, trouble concentrating, anxiety and social withdrawal. If you are a person living with hearing loss, there are some ways to help make the holidays easier for yourself and others.

Evaluating Your Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

As you may already know, sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing temporarily stops during sleep. Obvious symptoms of sleep apnea such as loud snoring can indicate the possibility of sleep apnea -- but how is officially diagnosed, and how is it treated? Do more severe cases require surgery, or are there more comfortable remedies available?

Loss of Smell: Understanding Your Symptoms

Loss of smell, or anosmia, is a condition that can range from nuisance to safety hazard. The loss of smell can affect the taste of food or appreciation of pleasant odors -- but a complete loss of smell could mean being less alert to dangerous situations, like fire or a gas leak. While rarely an indicator of a serious condition, loss of smell can impact quality of life.

4 Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition affecting one in fifteen Americans, or approximately eighteen million people. Although most people associate the condition with loud snoring, sleep apnea can cause serious problems if left untreated.

What is Sensorineural Hearing Loss?

There are two major types of hearing loss: sensorineural and conductive. If you are suffering from hearing loss (or think you may be), you might be wondering which type of hearing loss you have. What are your treatment options? What causes each type of hearing loss? In this article, we explain the difference between the two types, who is most affected, how hearing loss is generally diagnosed, and sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) management.

Selecting Your Next Hearing Aid: What's Changed

How long has it been since you have upgraded your hearing aid? If it’s been awhile since you’ve updated, you may be surprised at the improvements in hearing technology. If you find yourself pursuing a hearing aid for the first time, we can help guide you through the different options on the market and help pick the one that is best for you!

Hard of Hearing Products to Enhance Your Lifestyle

Hearing loss affects approximately 20 percent of Americans -- more than 48 million people. Being hard of hearing means it’s not only harder to hear the things you want to hear -- it’s more difficult to separate out the things you don’t want to hear. Hearing loss occurs due to the death of hair cells in the ear that amplify sound. When these cells die, it makes it more difficult for people to hear in noisy environments and areas with a lot of background noise. Fortunately, advancements in hearing technology have made significant strides in recent years, making life easier than ever for the hard of hearing.

ENT Problems That GERD Can Cause

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a condition wherein acidic stomach juices flow back up into the esophagus. GERD can have many causes and happen at any age, although it tends to be more common in adults.

The Hard Facts on Sunscreen: What to Look For, What to Avoid

“Always use sunscreen.” No doubt you will hear this advice sometime over the summer, and for good reason. Using sunscreen is one of the most important things you can do for your health, skin-related or otherwise. But did you know that not all sunscreen is created equal, or that “sunscreen” does not always mean an application of lotion or cream? Here are some sunscreen facts that could make a huge difference in your health.

Why See an ENT Doctor to Treat My Allergies?

Those suffering from allergies must overcome the daily challenges they cause. Whether patients know the specific allergens to avoid or not, one of the most important questions they seek an answer to is who should they turn to for help.

Guide to Buying Hearing Aids

If you’re currently in the market for a hearing aid, you may find yourself tempted by some of the inexpensive models available on the Internet or advertisements in newspapers. Unfortunately, taking an online hearing test or buying an inexpensive device online is very unlikely to get you the hearing assistance you need and deserve and can be a waste of your finances as well. Hearing aids have become very technical and advanced.  This guide will walk you through the steps of choosing, buying, and getting fitted for a hearing aid that will offer you the best possible results -- not just the lowest price.

I'm Dizzy - Understanding BPPV and Vertigo

Many people will suffer an episode of mild vertigo in their lives: a moment of dizziness or disorientation that passes in a few minutes. In most cases, this is nothing to worry about. For some, however, this condition can be ongoing, inconvenient, and even dangerous. Vertigo, and its many forms, is not life-threatening by itself, but can create difficulties with mobility and daily life.

Effects of Allergies on Your Other Medical Conditions

If you live in Richmond, Virginia, you know it is spring when friends and family start to complain about itchy, watering eyes, sneezing, and scratchy throats. While seasonal allergies are often just accepted and handled here, there’s more to it for many people.

Here’s how allergies attack your body, and how they can interfere with other medical conditions such as asthma, sleep apnea, upper respiratory infections, and chronic sinus infection.

Is Ear Pressure A Sign of An Ear Infection or Something Else?

It can sometimes be challenging to determine the exact cause of ear pressure. It could be from a sinus infection or an ear infection. But in some cases, ear pressure could also be caused by hearing loss.

It's important to diagnose the correct cause of the ear pressure, as the potential treatment options are vastly different.

How to Care for Your Hearing Aids

If you are about to be fit with your first set of hearing aids, you may have questions regarding what to expect from your new aids and how to properly care for them. Let's take a look at a few tips for care and maintenance to get the most out of your hearing investment.

Protecting Your Ears and Hearing In The Summer Months

Summer is officially here, and along with it comes higher temperatures, sunny days, and fun in the sun, sand, surf, and sound! While you’re having fun this summer, remember to keep your ears and your hearing safe and protected.

How Can a Deviated Septum Interfere With My Sinuses?

Patients diagnosed with a deviated septum may not understand what this diagnosis entails and how a deviated septum may impact their lives. Whether a deviated septum can impact the sinuses is just one of the potential questions patients may have.

Here’s a look at how a deviated septum affects the function of other parts of the nose. We'll also discuss when and how we can fix a deviated septum.

Hearing Loss Is the Third Most Common Health Problem in the United States

Hearing loss currently affects more than 36 million Americans today. Although hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing-impaired persons are younger than 65. With the increased use of personal music players (MP3s) and earbuds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing.

Are There Surgical Options for Chronic Nasal Congestion?

Have you ever felt like you just can’t breathe through your nose because your nose feels stuffy? Many of us experience this sensation when we have a cold. But for patients experiencing chronic nasal congestion, that feeling doesn't go away.

When diagnosed with chronic nasal congestion, many patients try lifestyle modifications and medicine. But sometimes the cause is something that can’t be treated with medicine. Here’s a look at when patients should consider surgical treatment for chronic nasal congestion.

How To Overcome Background Noise When Experiencing Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is never easy to deal with. Understanding what other people are saying in busy, noisy situations can be especially difficult. Environments with poor acoustics can also be challenging.

Let’s take a look at how you can overcome background noise with the right tools.

Ear Infection or Sinus Infection? Treating Your Symptoms Quickly

Sometimes it’s hard to know whether you are experiencing an ear infection or a sinus infection because of the similarities in symptoms. Both diagnoses involve significant pressure or pain in the head/neck area and both infections may trigger a fever response in your body.

So, why is it important to know whether you’re suffering from a sinus infection or an ear infection? Because the treatment option selected will only be effective if you have the right diagnosis.

Preparing for Your Child's Tonsillectomy as a First-Time Parent

A tonsillectomy is a common surgical procedure where enlarged or infected tonsils are removed. It's normal to feel anxious about your child undergoing this type of surgery, but there are steps you can take to make it easier for you both.

Does My Child Need Both Their Tonsils and Adenoids Removed?

As parents, considering surgery for our children can be daunting. However, it is sometimes the best option. Such is the case when discussing tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for persistent infections or difficulty sleeping.

Why You Should Treat Snoring in Children

Snoring is an issue that affects many adults but with children, snoring should not be ignored, as it can be a sign or symptom of something more significant than just noisy sounds at night.

Let’s take a look at the underlying issues that snoring may indicate and then discuss other symptoms to look for that make it clear it is time to bring your child to the doctor.

Must-Take Steps If Your Baby Has Noisy Breathing

Noisy breathing is one of the most common complaints that ENT doctors hear from new parents, and in most cases it doesn't pose a serious threat and is easily managed.

However, noisy breathing can indicate a condition that may need a thorough medical evaluation. If your baby has noisy breathing, here are a few steps to think about that will help both parents and the treating physician understand the situation.

My Child Needs a Hearing Aid: How Can I Help?

If you have been told that your child has failed a hearing test and will need a hearing aid, you may be wondering what you need to do next. Here are the next steps and how we can help.

When to See an ENT for Your Toddler’s Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are a common occurrence for children of all ages and have various causes that range from benign to serious. In toddlers, nosebleeds are usually related to minor accidents, nose picking, inflammation, or dry winter air. Most nosebleeds stop a few minutes after pressure is placed on the nasal passages.

As a parent, you’re almost certain to deal with at least one nosebleed during your child’s life but if your toddler experiences frequent nosebleeds, you might need to seek medical assistance.

My Newborn Failed the Infant Hearing Screening: What's Next?

Hearing loss can affect your baby's ability to learn and develop speech and language appropriately. Fortunately, early detection of hearing loss can lead to preventive steps or treatment that will help your child reach these important developmental milestones.

Winter and Nosebleeds: What's the Connection?

Within the United States, one of every seven people will develop a nosebleed at some point in their lives. Nosebleeds are commonly caused by ruptures of the small blood vessels inside of your nose, and can sometimes be fairly frequent. We see them in patients of every age, but are most common in children and older adults.

When to Consider Immunotherapy over OTC Allergy Treatment

Treatment for allergies runs the gamut from avoiding allergy triggers to allergy immunotherapy. For the nearly 30 percent of Americans who have allergies, it may be difficult to decide which treatment option should be pursued. While your physician can help you determine which treatment is best for you, having an understanding of your options can help you manage your allergy symptoms.

Facing Seasonal Allergies in Richmond

Richmond’s humidity and geography make it a perfect destination for many different allergens to be present. Whether it’s the grasses in the summer, ragweed in the fall, the ever-popular pollen in the Spring, or all of the above, many Richmonders suffer from seasonal allergies. Whether you have lived in Richmond all of your life, or if you just recently moved to the area, you will need to know effective ways to fight your seasonal allergies.

Frequently Asked Questions about Scheduling ENT Surgery

If you’re faced with an upcoming surgery, details like health insurance may be the last thing on your mind. Nonetheless, understanding your health insurance coverage is important. There can be a lot of information to process - so figuring out which details apply to you under what circumstances can sometimes be overwhelming.

Below are some frequently asked questions (and answers) about health insurance and your upcoming surgery at Virginia Ear Nose & Throat.

Is Sublingual Immunotherapy Right for Me?

Sublingual (under the tongue) immunotherapy is a treatment for allergic rhinitis. It works by boosting a patient's tolerance to specific allergens thereby decreasing allergy symptoms, rather than simply suppressing symptoms. Here's what you need to know to determine if sublingual immunotherapy is right for you.

FAQs on Robotics Surgery for ENT Procedures

Transoral Robotics Surgery, or TORS, is a procedure used by some ear, nose & throat surgeons (ENT) to remove problematic patches from the throat with the da Vinci robot. It is a great breakthrough in treating certain cancers because it allows surgeons to access areas of the mouth, throat and voice box that were previously difficult to get to.

9 Myths About Ear Infections in Children

Ear infections are often caused by fluid that is trapped in a child’s middle ear. This is a common problem in young children.  Fluid build-up comes from poor Eustachian tube function. The Eustachian tube runs from the back of the nose to the middle ear. That’s how the middle ear ventilates. A child’s Eustachian tube is not fully formed. As a result, it has a hard time getting air into the middle ear space. As the air goes back into the body, the air isn’t replaced and it causes negative pressure in the middle ear. That causes fluid to build up.

An Audiologist’s Perspective on Hearing Aids

If you’ve reached the point where you think you may need to consider a hearing aid, you may be unsure of where to start. There are salespeople and stores that sell hearing devices, but how do you know what you really need and when? An audiologist is a doctoral level hearing specialist that can give you the right guidance when it comes to choosing a hearing aid.

Sinusitis and Balloon Sinuplasty: Evaluating the Risks

Sinusitis is a condition that causes inflammation and swelling of sinus lining. This can cause blockage of the openings and  when they become blocked they can get infected. Sinusitis is a general term used to describe sinus inflammation due to a cold, allergy, or bacterial infection.

Chronic Sinusitis Causes and Treatment Options

A stuffy nose, post nasal drainage, loads of congestion - and it’s not even flu season. What’s going on? If you experience these symptoms, along with pain and tenderness in the face, ear pain, an achy jaw and sore throat, you might have sinusitis. If you have these symptoms for more than three months and no treatment is helping, you may be experiencing what we call chronic sinusitis. Let’s take a look at what causes sinusitis and how your ENT physician can help you treat your chronic sinusitis.

The Concerned Parent’s Guide to Ear Tubes

If your child has persistent ear infections or has trouble hearing associated with frequent or chronic ear infections, your pediatrician might suggest seeing an ENT physician for ear tubes. Imagining your child needing any kind of procedure can be scary if you don’t understand the benefits. Understanding what ear tubes are, how they are inserted, what they do and how they can benefit your child is important in feeling comfortable with this simple and effective treatment.

5 Tips for Safer Earwax Removal

Earwax, or cerumen, is a fatty substance produced by glands inside the ear that is often thought to clean, lubricate, and protect the lining of your ear. Earwax doesn't cause problems, but if it builds up, it can create obstructions in the ear canal; these obstructions are one of the most common problems ear, nose and throat (ENT) physicians see.

When to See an Audiologist for a Hearing Test

People who have trouble hearing or parents of children who exhibit signs of hearing loss may wonder what to do to find out what is going on. While a lot of people associate loss of hearing with older people, sometimes children experience hearing loss because of ear infections, liquid in the ear, and other reasons. No matter what the age, when a person can’t hear very well, or they notice a decline in their ability to hear, it’s best to see an audiologist.

What Causes Snoring In Children?

Child SnoringSnoring occurs when the soft tissues in the throat relax and partially block the airways. As air passes around the blockage, these tissues vibrate, producing a rattling sound. Snoring is fairly common in children. Many children snore occasionally, and around 10 percent snore on most nights. Let's take a closer look at what may be behind all that noise and what you can do to make it stop.

Do I Qualify for Balloon Sinuplasty?

Traditional sinus surgical procedures require cutting, via a microscopic drill, into the sinuses to remove sinus bone and tissue. A balloon sinuplasty is a procedure that takes the theory of “less is more” to heart. It does not involve cutting, can be done as an in-office procedure, and requires far less recovery time. But is it right for you? Let’s take a look at what balloon sinuplasty is and what indications it has.

Reasons Children’s Adenoids Are Removed

Adenoids are a lymphoid tissue that lies at the back of the nose at the top of the throat, behind the soft palate. Like any other lymphatic tissue, they respond to infection. When people have viral infections, adenoids and tonsils (made of the same type of tissue) enlarge to fight the infection.

As a child grows, their adenoids also grow. The adenoids reach peak size between the ages of 5-7. As the child gets older, the adenoids atrophy, or waste away, as the body finds other ways to fight the infection. By the teenage years, adenoids are usually very small, if not undetectable.

Preventing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) in Teens

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a gradual loss of hearing caused by excessive noise exposure. It can result from a single exposure to a very loud noise, or from listening to loud noises over an extended period. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of NIHL due to the unsafe use of audio devices such as MP3 players, exposure to damaging levels of noise in entertainment venues such as nightclubs and bars, and loud workplaces such as construction sites and factories.

Why Are My Ears Draining?

Otorrhea is a term that refers to any fluid that comes out of the ear. Normal ear discharge includes water that comes out after exiting a pool or shower, and earwax. Earwax exists to protect your ear from dust and other foreign objects that can cause bacteria to build up. Drainage of water or earwax is classified as spontaneous drainage and is not a cause for concern. However, there are some forms of ear drainage that could indicate a bigger issue. Let’s take a closer look at why your ears may be draining.

7 Common Misconceptions About Choosing Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are lighter, smaller and more effective than ever before, yet many people don't wear them because misconceptions have kept them from experiencing their benefits. Here are seven hearing aid misconceptions, along with the facts to dispute them.

4 Tips for Choosing an ENT for Your Child

Choosing any sort of doctor for your child can be complicated. There are a lot of things to think about to make sure your child gets the best care available. The doctor’s credentials, the type of equipment and testing available in the office, and whether or not the doctor’s office has ready access to surgical facilities in the event a procedure is needed are all things parents should thoroughly understand. This holds true with choosing an ENT for your child.

Children tend to have more ear infections, adenoid and tonsil issues and sinus problems than adults, so a good ENT is crucial to your child’s health and well-being. Let’s take a look at some attributes you should think about when choosing your child’s ENT.

Treating Your Conductive Hearing Loss Properly

If you have been diagnosed with conductive hearing loss, you might wonder what comes next. What can be done to allow you to hear better? Determining the best cause of treatment will start with proper identification of the cause of your hearing loss. Causes like an object in the ear, or earwax are easily treated, but there are some causes of this type of hearing loss that require a careful treatment plan. Luckily, there are procedures and devices that can help you recover your hearing.

Reasons Your Baby Might Get an Ear Infection

As a parent, it can cause great stress knowing your child is sick and not knowing how to soothe him/her. It is especially frightening when your child is not old enough to tell you what hurts. Ear infections are common in children from infancy until age 2 or 3, because their Eustachian tubes are not yet fully formed. In an adult, the Eustachian tube is hard and curved, and works to improve airflow to the middle ear to reduce fluid buildup. In a young child, the Eustachian tube is long and floppy, and is more prone to infection because of that fluid. There are factors that can increase a child’s likelihood of developing an ear infection. Let’s look at the symptoms and some possible causes.

10 Possible Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be separated into three main types. Sensorineural hearing loss comes from the inner ear and its pathways to the brain. Conductive hearing loss is related to poor sound transmission. Sounds do not get to the inner ear in an efficient way. Finally, there is a mixed type of hearing loss that has components of both. Conductive hearing loss is usually the easier of the three to correct with some sort of medical or surgical intervention. In order to effectively treat conductive hearing loss, it’s important to understand the structure of the ear and the possible causes of conductive hearing loss to determine the best method of correction.

Acute Sinusitis vs. Chronic Sinusitis

Sinusitis affects 37 millions people in the U.S., and is defined as the inflammation of the lining of the nasal passages blocking the drainage of mucus. If not treated properly, sinusitis can lead to more serious health complications. There are two specific forms of sinusitis: acute and chronic.  It’s important to know the difference between the two so proper care is received.

Winter & Sinusitis

Sinus problems are usually considered seasonal, more prevalent in Spring and Summer.  Winter also causes sinus problems due to cold weather and closed, damp houses without proper ventilation.

At first there is a cold or flu.  This causes the skin inside your nose and sinuses to swell. The swollen sinuses cannot drain properly and mucus starts building up. This trapped mucus becomes the perfect place for bacteria to breed resulting in a sinus infection. You then start to feel stuffed up with persistent headaches, slight fever and other awful symptoms of sinusitis. Winter sinusitis may also be due to nasal polyps or even allergies.

Rhinitis & Allergies

Inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane is called rhinitis. The symptoms include congestion, sneezing and runny and/or itchy nose, caused by irritation in the nose. There are two types: allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis.  Allergy testing with an ear, nose and throat specialist will clarify whether symptoms are an allergic response or not.

Tonsils, Adenoids, Sleep Apnea & Children

Millions of children are evaluated yearly for large tonsils and adenoids, which can cause problems ranging from obstructive sleep apnea to recurrent throat infections and ear infections. Symptoms usually include snoring and loud breathing, open-mouthed breathing, restless sleep, and pauses in breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to daytime sleepiness and crankiness, or may paradoxically lead to hyperactivity. Many children diagnosed with behavioral disorders such as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, may actually have obstructive sleep apnea!

Put hearing health on your back to school list!

Gearing up for another school year presents families with long to-do lists.  Top on the to-do list should be taking care of necessary medical physicals for school and sports.  Making sure your child has the ability to succeed in the classroom and at play is essential.  During routine visits to the pediatrician parents should ask that their child have their hearing checked for a quick screening of potential hearing problems. 

Back to School & Sleep Apnea

As the time approaches for going back to school, the importance of children and adults getting a good night sleep increases. Unfortunately many children and adults suffer from sleep apnea, which prevents sound, restful sleep on a regular basis.