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.