Problems Smelling? If You Can’t Smell Anymore Read This

Does it feel as if you’ve lost your sense of smell? Has your spouse, child, family member or friend asked, “Do you smell that?”

If your answer is oftentimes, “No I can’t,” then it may be time to visit one of our otolaryngologists at Northeast Atlanta Ear Nose & Throat in order to determine what is causing your smelling problems.

A smelling disorder is typically caused by an underlying problem, which is why it is important to visit one of our ENT locations in Lawrenceville or Johns Creek, GA in order to be evaluated by one of our doctors. Once we understand what is causing your problems, we can help you smell again.

What are smell disorders?

When talking with someone who has lost their sense of smell, it is important to make the distinction between individuals who have lost their sense of smell partially (hyposmia), and those who have completely lost their ability to smell anything (anosmia).

Hyposmia is a more common condition than anosmia, but we see and treat the underlying causes for both conditions at Northeast Atlanta Ear Nose & Throat.

What causes a person to lose their sense of smell?

Most of the time a root cause can be determined, but this is not always the case. In some circumstances, the reason for the loss of smell is a mystery, even after a variety of medical conditions known to cause hyposmia and anosmia are ruled out.

Here are a few of the most common reasons that lead people to say, “I can’t smell anymore.”

  • Recent head injury such as a concussion

  • Upper respiratory system infection or sickness

  • Sinus infections (long term, chronic sinus infections are often the culprit)

  • Tumors or polyps in the nasal cavities

  • Changes in hormone levels

  • Exposure to chemicals (are you exposed to chemicals consistently at work?)

  • Some medicines have been linked to a loss of a person’s sense of smell

  • Head and neck cancer radiation treatment can cause a decreased sense of smell

If you have experienced a loss in your sense of smell, it could be due to one of the conditions above. This is why it is important to schedule an appointment with an ENT as soon as possible (we have locations in Johns Creek, and Lawrenceville, GA).

Is losing my sense of smell a serious health concern?

It depends on the underlying root cause. In some cases losing your sense of smell is due to a recent infection of the upper respiratory system or sinus cavities, which is easily treated. Once your infections subside, your sense of smell should return.

However, it would be dangerous and irresponsible to assume that losing your sense of smell is nothing serious. It can be a sign of a tumor or polyps, and thus any loss of smell should be evaluated and serious conditions ruled out.

Also, losing your sense of smell can be an early warning signal for a variety of conditions that you may not think are related. In fact, conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, and more could be linked to problems with your sense of smell.

How are these problems diagnosed and treated?

Regardless of what is causing your difficulty smelling things, it is important to seek treatment immediately. Just as with any medical issue, early detection is key.

If you have experienced a reduction in your ability to detect certain odors, or cannot seem to smell anything at all, then we encourage you to contact one of our Northeast Atlanta ENT offices today to schedule an appointment.

You can reach us in Johns Creek at 770-623-1608, or in Lawrenceville at 770-237-3000. Or you can contact us online here to setup your appointment.

Don’t wait to seek treatment for a potentially serious issue that is not going to resolve itself. Contact us today!

Deviated Septum Surgery in the Atlanta, GA Area

Do you experience recurring nosebleeds? Or how about nasal congestion that includes difficulty breathing (usually worse on one side), or recurring sinus infections? If you or someone you know have experienced any of these symptoms, then there is a possibility it could be due to a deviated septum.

At Northeast Atlanta Ear Nose & Throat, we have two convenient locations in the Atlanta area (Lawrenceville & Johns Creek, GA) where we perform deviated septum surgeries for patients if surgery is the best treatment for their case.

I can’t possibly have a deviated septum, can I?

Many people think a deviated septum only occurs after some form of a major trauma (such as a car accident). However, this is not always the case. In fact, not everyone with a deviated septum experiences the above symptoms. Surgery to fix a deviated septum (known as a septoplasty) is typically not performed unless the condition worsens over time and surgical correction is the most viable alternative.

How does a deviated septum occur?

A deviated septum occurs when the nasal septum dividing the nostrils evenly shifts away from the center, thus causing one side of the nasal cavity to become obstructed. Difficulty breathing through the nose is one of the most common reasons people seek treatment for a deviated septum, and oftentimes the deviation from the center will cause drainage issues that result in recurring sinus infections.

If you are experiencing difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils, and experience chronic sinus infections, then making an appointment with one of our ENT offices in the Atlanta area would be a great first step to get on the road to recovery and to experience clear breathing. Even if you are not suffering from a deviated septum, we can help diagnose what is causing your sinus problems.

What to expect at your appointment

If you decide to contact us and schedule an appointment, we want you to be prepared for your visit with us! Here are a few things that one of our doctors will go over with you during your evaluation:

  • Discussion of symptoms

  • Questions regarding any past trauma you may have experienced in the nasal region

  • An examination of the nasal septum, including positioning of the septum and thorough examination of both nostrils.

Are there any non-surgical treatments for a deviated septum?

Certain medication may be prescribed to try and clear up your symptoms, but these are often just a temporary fix. A septoplasty is the preferred surgery for a deviated septum, as it is a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure that typically can be completed in just 1-2 hours. The procedure is performed entirely through the nostrils, leaving minimal signs of surgery.

Depending on the severity of your case and the exact cause of your symptoms, a septoplasty may be combined with other surgeries (each case is different, and thus an appointment is needed to determine exact treatment).

What should I do now?

Whether you have a deviated septum or another condition causing your symptoms, it is important to seek medical treatment, as these issues typically do not resolve themselves.

If you do not have a deviated septum, but are experiencing many of the issues associated with it, then our doctors will work with you to get to the root of your problem, and provide appropriate treatment so you can get relief from your symptoms.

You can contact our Lawrenceville office here, or our Johns Creek location here to schedule your appointment.

We want to help you, so give one of our offices a call today. We look forward to seeing you, treating you, and helping you get your life back. Contact us today!

11 Things You Should Know When Choosing an ENT Doctor

Choosing a doctor for you and your family is not the easiest decision in the world, but it is definitely an important one.

Let’s see if one of these scenarios sounds familiar:

Scenario A.

You wake up in the morning, and you are so congested it almost feels like you can’t breath. Maybe this has just started or maybe it’s been going on for months.

You go about your day just “dealing with it” because you know that you’re healthy for the most part…until one day you just can’t take it anymore and realize it’s time to pay the doctor a visit.

Scenario B.

You’re a Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa and little Susie is at home with an ear ache or a sore throat. Poor thing…she looks absolutely pitiful.

Meanwhile, you have other responsibilities (other kids, your spouse, a job, etc.) and you can’t afford to have a sick kid for very long.

We get it. You have a problem!

Note: If you would rather read this post as an infographic, click here.

You are looking for the best solution that will solve your problem quickly and effectively. We understand that your time is valuable, and that selecting the right ENT doctor for your particular situation is a critical decision.

We would like to make that decision a little bit easier for you. In this article we’ll talk about 11 important things that you must take into consideration when choosing an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor for you or a family member.

Remember, dropping the ball on just one of these points could lead to choosing the wrong ENT practice, so read carefully!

1. Experience & Credentials of doctors in the practice are important.

Let’s say you decide one day that you want to learn how to play golf. Your first inclination is to go to your neighbor, Frank, who plays golf occasionally on the weekends and has done so for the past 10 years. Can he show you a few things? Probably so.

But what if…what if you had a chance to learn from a real expert? What if you had the chance to learn how to play golf from a teacher who had worked with professional golfers around the world? Would you be interested? All other things being equal, isn’t that the choice you would make? Of course it is!

The same is true with your health, except dealing with medical issues is far more important than golf! When you have health problems, you want experienced, educated doctors on your team. The good news is these doctors are right here in your own backyard, and you’ll find them here at Northeast Atlanta ENT.

You can meet our doctors at either of our 2 office locations— Johns Creek, GA and Lawrenceville, GA. We have 4 doctors— both male and female— on staff to care for you and your family.

Instead of just telling you that we have great doctors at Northeast Atlanta Ear Nose & Throat, why don’t we show you? In fact, if you click the links below you’ll see that several of the doctors at our ENT practice have been featured on the U.S. News Health Report:

The overflow of expertise and qualifications doesn’t stop there. All of these ENT doctors are Fellows of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (FAAO-HNS), and have been voted as a top MD in the Consumers Checkbook.

As you can see, we are as qualified as any ENT doctor in the Atlanta area. We treat a variety of ear, nose, and throat problems interfering with people’s daily lives.

Our doctors specialize in pediatric and adult ENT problems including: sinusitis, sleep apnea, snoring, insomnia, head and neck cancer, laser surgery, pediatric otolaryngology, surgical treatment of ear disease, sinus disease, endocrine surgery, and otology.

We keep up with the latest technology and treatment options to deliver the care you deserve. We truly care about your health and we care about each and every patient. Simply put, you aren’t going to find better doctors anywhere in the Atlanta area to treat your ENT issues.

2. If surgery is necessary, where is it performed?

No one wants to have surgery, and we understand that. However, in certain circumstances surgery is inevitable. If surgery is required wouldn’t you like to know you’re in the care of a qualified, highly-trained doctor at a reputable hospital known for treating conditions just like yours?

At Northeast Atlanta ENT, we will evaluate your symptoms and make a diagnosis. Depending on the diagnosis, we can either provide treatment here at our office or refer you to a surgeon for more specialized care. Rest assured, you’ll receive proper treatment to relieve your symptoms.

To learn more, we encourage you to visit our page dedicated to office visits and surgery here.

3. Does the ENT doctor offer allergy testing and treatment?

Constant sneezing, a sore throat, watery eyes…when will it all stop? The honest answer is that it likely won’t stop until you understand what is causing the problem and how to fix it.

If you suffer from allergy symptoms year in and year out, a trusted ENT doctor is who you’ll need to see. He or she can help keep your pesky allergy symptoms at bay.

One of our many services we offer is allergy testing for adults and children. Our doctors test patients for allergies to dust, cats, dogs, roaches, molds, and a variety of trees, grasses, and weed pollens.

In addition, we can also test for a large number of food allergies.

If allergies are identified and present, we will evaluate your case and provide treatment options. Such treatment options can include allergy drops (sublingual immunotherapy), allergy shots, or prescription medication.

You don’t have to live like this…there is a better way. Take control of your allergies with allergy testing services offered at both of our Northeast Atlanta Ear Nose & Throat locations.

Don’t forget: For allergy sufferers, we provide up-to-date status of local pollen levels in the area— so be sure to check back on our website often to view pollen levels!

4. Does the ENT physician offer treatment for sinusitis?

Waking up and not being able to breath is flat out annoying, and it can easily put you (or your child) in a bad mood, ruining the whole day.

Sinusitis can be a frustrating, debilitating health issue for anyone who is unfortunate enough to suffer from it. Fortunately it can be treated, and at Northeast Atlanta Ear Nose & Throat we have the most qualified doctors in the Atlanta area (Johns Creek & Lawrenceville, GA) to do just that.

If you are one of the many people who suffer from sinusitis, choose an ENT doctor who’s knowledgeable on the diagnosis and treatment of sinusitis. Doing so will increase your chances of getting the right treatment.

Our ENT physicians have many years of combined experience with diagnosing and successfully treating sinusitis (infection of the sinus cavities). This is one of the many services we offer. We will evaluate your symptoms to determine if you have sinusitis.

Treatment options at our ENT offices include: antibiotic therapy, intensive antibiotic therapy, or outpatient sinus surgery. To learn more about sinusitis, including symptoms, prevention, and treatment, visit our webpage here.

5. Does the ENT office accept my health insurance plan?

If you have excellent health insurance, you want to choose a doctor who accepts your health plan.

At Northeast Atlanta ENT, we accept most major insurance plans. We also accept CareCredit® as a form of payment.

We invite you to call us at either office to ensure we accept your plan and to learn more about payment options: Johns Creek, GA (770-623-1608) or Lawrenceville, GA (770-237-3000).

6. Are pediatric ENT services offered?

If you have children, you know how frequently they can get ear infections, sinus infections, sore throats and more. Having an ENT doctor on speed dial is an essential tool for any parent to have in their arsenal.

After all, who wants to go to a general practitioner every single time, just to be referred to an ENT? Save your time and money by directly booking an appointment with our pediatric ENT office.

If your son or daughter is suffering from tonsillitis, sinusitis, or other common ENT problems, call us. During the appointment, we will conduct a general ear, nose, and throat exam, as well as review your child’s medical history.

We are equipped and dedicated to provide the latest pediatric ENT treatments. Also, when necessary, we perform all of our pediatric surgeries at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta— one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country.

Rest assured, your son or daughter will be in great hands under our care.

7. Evaluate office environment and communication style.

Of course you and your family want to feel comfortable and at ease while visiting the doctor’s office. When you go to the office for the first time, what’s your first impression? Do you feel uptight or at ease? Are the staff members courteous and helpful, or rude and quiet?

Evaluate all of your feelings as you sit in the waiting room and while speaking with the doctor(s) and team members.

Our doctors and team members have created a relaxing, worry-free office environment with you in mind. We want you to feel comfortable. We want you to ask us questions. We want to provide the healthcare you and your family deserve!

In fact, we invite you to stop by either of our locations in Lawrenceville or Johns Creek, GA at any time to tour our office and to experience the difference that Northeast Atlanta ENT has to offer.

8. Make sure the doctors have reviews/testimonials from satisfied patients.

Would you eat at a restaurant or buy a product online without reading reviews? Absolutely not! Nowadays, most of us make decisions based on patient reviews or product testimonials. That’s a fact. If you’re in the market for a new laundry machine, do you go online to view product reviews from people who bought the same appliance you want? Most likely.

In today’s world, a lot of people choose their doctors using the same decision making process. You either get a referral from someone, search the web, or see an ad in the local magazine. Nowadays, what do most people do next?

They type in the practice name or the doctor’s name into Google and read patient reviews. We invite you to do this with our office because we know you’ll be satisfied with what you find.

As a matter of fact, we’ll make it easier for you—-just click any of the following links to read our patient reviews:

Our Lawrenceville, GA Facebook page
Our patient testimonials webpage

9. Are cosmetic services offered (such as products to reduce smile lines)?

At Northeast Atlanta Ear Nose & Throat we do more than make you feel good; we make you look good, too! If you feel you need treatment to get rid of smile lines, laugh lines, or other wrinkles, we offer a treatment that is tailor-made just for you.

Specifically, we offer wrinkle fillers and Botox, as well as various skin care products. If you want to get rid of smile lines, marionette lines, or vertical lines on your face, Botox® or facial wrinkle treatments (fillers) might be right for you.

If you have problem skin or if you simply want to take care of your skin the best way possible, we can create a customized skin care program for you. Our patients love this!

This can include soothing or purifying cleansers, exfoliants, glycolic facial toning, green tea treatments, facial serums, clay masks, sunless tanning lotions, eye and lip serums, antioxidant moisturizers, renewal creams, and more.

No doubt, a customized facial care program will give you clean, beautiful skin you’ll love!

10. What types of hearing aids do the doctors offer?

Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are different types of hearing aids available based on your lifestyle, daily activities, and what you are looking to get out of wearing a hearing aid. Our hearing aid audiologists at Northeast Atlanta ENT will talk with you to understand your needs and to recommend the best hearing aid for you.

There are six types of hearing aids we offer: Open Canal, Behind the Ear, In the Ear, In the Canal, Completely in the Canal, and Invisible in the Canal. These come in various styles and in over 30 brands— a huge selection to choose from!

Plus, we offer packages to provide you with a warranty and free hearing batteries for up to three years. To learn more about the hearing aids we offer, visit our hearing aids page!

11. What about treatment for ear infections or tinnitus? Is that offered?

Is it a buzz? Or maybe it sounds like someone keeps tapping a spoon against a glass in order to get your attention…right in your ear!

Either way, you may be one of the many people who suffer from ear infections or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Prior to undergoing treatment, we recommend choosing an ENT doctor who is specialized and trained on these common ear problems.

Our otolaryngologist and audiologist will conduct a thorough exam and evaluation during your appointment. We will determine if tinnitus exists and try to understand its causes. Some individuals who have tinnitus also suffer from middle ear problems.

We will perform audiological tests, tests of balance function, and other laboratory work to determine the root cause of your tinnitus symptoms. Our doctors will determine which treatment will work best to reduce the ringing in your ears.

For those suffering from frequent ear infections and otitis (infection of the middle ear), we offer treatments for that, as well. We will perform necessary tests to determine underlying causes and provide treatment options, such as medication.

So, what’s the next step for you?

Now that we have given you an actionable plan for selecting an ENT doctor, what should you do next? We encourage you to contact our office and schedule an appointment!

If you have any questions or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call either of our office locations (Johns Creek, GA at 770-623-1608, or Lawrenceville, GA at 770-237-3000), or visit our contact us page.

You don’t have to suffer with the ear, nose, and throat issues you are currently experiencing. We can help you solve these problems and get you on the path to feeling great once again! Give our ENT office location nearest you a call today, or contact us here.

7 Signs of Fall Allergies and Your Treatment Options

The cool, fall weather doesn’t give much relief to allergy sufferers.

In fact, during the fall months, 30 million Americans suffer from symptoms related to pollen allergies—allergic rhinitis (or hay fever). You might actually suffer from fall allergies until the first freeze comes in winter.

What Causes Fall Allergies?

What is causing your allergy symptoms in the months of September, October, November and even into December? A few major causes of fall allergies are:

  • ragweed pollen

  • weed pollen grains

  • mold spores (often found on damp, wet leaves outdoors)

  • dust mites

If you suffer from allergies during other months, keep an eye on your health during the fall months. You might have allergy symptoms during the fall, as well.

7 Signs of Fall Allergies

Many types of plants can cause hay fever in the autumn season. In addition, the 17 varieties of ragweed are the biggest threat of causing hay fever. As a matter of fact, 3 out of 4 people who have pollen allergies are actually allergic to ragweed.

When someone inhales the tiny particles of pollen grains and ragweed, they can suffer from a variety of symptoms.

There are 7 signs of fall allergies and symptoms, including:

  1. Sneezing

  2. Congestion

  3. Fatigue

  4. Coughing

  5. Post-nasal drip

  6. Itchy eyes, nose, and throat

  7. Asthma attacks

Treatment Options for Fall Allergy Sufferers

One of the best treatment options is to avoid allergy triggers as much as possible. We know this might not be feasible for many people, however. For those who simply cannot avoid the triggers, see an allergy specialist.

At Northeast Atlanta ENT, our doctors provide testing and treatment for allergy sufferers. For instance, we offer the following allergy treatments:

  • allergy drops, known as sublingual allergy immunotherapy

  • allergy shots (immunotherapy)

  • prescription medications, including topical nasal sprays (Astelin, etc), oral antihistamines (Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec, Clarinex, Georgeson, etc), eye drops, topical nasal corticosteroids, Singulair for asthma sufferers

  • non-prescription remedies, including nasal lavage, eye drops, nasal irrigation, over-the-counter decongestants

Other Ways to Minimize Fall Allergy Symptoms

Aside from the allergy treatments our doctors can provide, there are a few actions you can take to minimize your symptoms.

  • Figure out your allergy triggers. As we mentioned earlier, there are 7 common signs and symptoms that may indicate allergies. Keep an eye out for these symptoms. If you experience them, keep a log to pinpoint what is causing your symptoms. Do you often sneeze outdoors? Do your eyes burn and itch when you’re in a certain room in your home? When you begin to figure out the triggers, you can avoid them as much as possible.

  • Use common sense and DIY practices. Do you have a dog that might track in pollen from the outdoors? Does the dog sleep in your room at night, which just so happens to be the time of day when you sneeze like crazy? Do you wear sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from pollen? There are many circumstances throughout your day to evaluate and protect yourself from allergy triggers as much as possible.

  • Be aware of your allergy symptoms while you eat and drink. Many people who have autumn ragweed allergies often experience more symptoms when eating certain foods. Bananas, zucchini, chamomile tea, sunflower seeds, cucumbers, and melons can provoke symptoms in those people suffering from ragweed allergies. If you know you are allergic to ragweed, it might be best to either eliminate or limit your intake of these foods during the fall months.

What Should I do Now?

As you can see, evaluating your allergy symptoms and triggers is not an easy task. Sometimes it is best to leave it up to the experts.

If you’ve been experiencing fall allergy symptoms for longer than you’d like, get relief now. Schedule your appointment with one of our knowledgable doctors at Northeast Atlanta ENT.

We have 2 convenient office locations: our Johns Creek ENT office and our Lawrenceville ENT office.

It’s time to put your sniffling and sneezing to rest. Experience a restful night’s sleep and less daily symptoms. Call us today!

Experiencing Nose Bleeds on a Regular Basis: Let Us Help!

Do you have a nosebleed that just won’t seem to go away? Does you notice blood in your tissue almost every time you blow your nose? Do you wake up and blow your nose only to find traces of blood in the tissue?

If you are suffering from chronic nosebleeds, you are not alone. Many people suffer from chronic nosebleeds.

For those chronic nosebleed sufferers who are living in or near Johns Creek, GA or Lawrenceville, GA, our ENT doctors can help. We can help you get relief for your symptoms.

Why do People Suffer from Chronic Nosebleeds?

There are several reasons, including:

  • facial trauma

  • allergies

  • repeated nose blowing

  • changes in weather (changes in hot and cold outdoor temperatures)

  • dry air (i.e. sleeping in a room where you breathe in dry air all night)

  • sinus infections

No matter which reason pertains to your case, nosebleeds are not a fun thing to experience— especially when they happen day in and day out.

Types of Treatment for Nosebleeds

In many cases, you can treat nosebleeds on your own without the need for medical intervention. If you or a loved one experiences a nosebleed, here are the steps to take:

  • Lean the person’s head forward.

  • Pinch the nostrils together for approximately 10 minutes.

  • After the ten-minute mark, the bleeding should stop.

  • Once you notice that the bleeding has stopped, the person should refrain from sneezing or blowing his or her nose for the next 24 hours.

Performing these steps should help stop common, infrequent nosebleeds.

However, in cases where at-home nosebleed treatment is not enough (or is not working), call Northeast Atlanta ENT to schedule an appointment. We can help pinpoint the underlying cause to determine treatment options.

If the above steps do not work, it is important to call us immediately so you can prevent further, more serious complications from arising.

If we determine that the underlying causes cannot be handled with common treatment, we may recommend more invasive treatment. Such treatment options can include cauterization (to prevent future nosebleeds).

If your nosebleeds are connected with underlying issues, such as a sinus infection (or problem), nasal blockage, or allergies, we provide customized care at our office.

Ways to Prevent Future Nosebleeds

There are a few preventive measures you can take on your own to prevent the occurrence of future nosebleeds. These methods can help minimize the frequency of nosebleeds.

You can try any of these solutions, depending on your symptoms and underlying nosebleed causes:

  • Try using saline nose drops. You can buy these over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.

  • Use a humidifier or a vaporizer in the most frequently used rooms in your home, especially in your bedroom. You may be very surprised at how effective this can be when using on a routine basis!

  • Avoid habits that may trigger nosebleeds, such as nose picking, nasal trauma, and other activities involving the nose.

Our ENT doctors want you to know that you do not have to suffer from chronic nosebleeds any longer.

Our ENT doctors are here to help you! To schedule an appointment, find our office nearest you here, and give us a call today. We treat patients in Lawrenceville, Johns Creek, and the surrounding areas and welcome the opportunity to help you solve your nose bleed problems.

Treatment for Swimmers Ear at our Johns Creek and Lawrenceville ENT Offices

Are you experiencing the common symptoms of swimmers ear? If so, you are probably seeking treatment at this exact moment. If you are wondering which treatment options are available for swimmers ear, please keep reading.

What is Swimmers Ear?

Swimmers ear is technically called acute otitis externa. It is a condition which affects the outer ear. The symptoms can become very painful, especially for children.

Symptoms include:

  • ear pain

  • inflammation or swelling

  • irritation

  • infection

  • itchy ears

  • discharge (clear at first, but then yellowish, cloudy, or pus-like)

When water gets trapped in your ear, the symptoms often appear. Sometimes the trapped water can lead to infection, spread of bacteria, or spread of fungal organisms. It is important to note that swimmers ear cannot be spread from one person to another.

Since this particular condition commonly affects swimmers, it is known as swimmers ear. Who would have thought?

However, the following groups of people can also experience swimmers ear at some point in their lives:

  • non-swimmer children, teenagers, and adults

  • people suffering from eczema

  • people who have excess earwax

Pretty much anyone who comes into contact with water on the ears are at risk for developing swimmers ear. It is caused by increased moisture trapped within the ear canal.

That is why it is very important to always keep your ears as dry as possible. You can wear a bathing cap, a custom-fitted swim mold (for swimming), or ear plugs.

Signs and Symptoms of Swimmers Ear

  • Drainage

  • Fever

  • Sensation or a feeling that the ear is blocked or full

  • Decreased hearing

  • Swollen lymph nodes around either ear or near the upper neck region

  • Swelling and/or redness of the skin near your ear

  • Intense pain that could spread to the side of the head, face, or neck

It is very important that you seek treatment as soon as possible if you begin to experience symptoms. This is the best case scenario.

Treatment for Swimmers Ear from Northeast Atlanta ENT

If symptoms are left untreated, severe implications can occur. Untreated swimmers ear can potentially lead to:

  • hearing loss

  • bone and cartilage damage

  • recurring ear infections

To treat swimmers ear, our ENT doctors will perform an evaluation and speak with you regarding the symptoms you are experiencing. After this happens, we can determine which treatment method is right for you.

The following treatment options may help:

  • prescriptions to reduce your pain

  • prescriptions to get rid of infection

  • certain at-home treatments

  • antibiotic ear drops

If you are suffering from swimmers ear symptoms and you want to get an evaluation, call our office today. We have two convenient locations in Johns Creek, GA and Lawrenceville, GA. Call us today!

And don’t forget: We have Spanish, French, Hindi, and Urdu speakers on our team!

Suffering from Acid Reflux? We Provide GERD Treatment

Heartburn can be called many things such as acid reflux or GERD. One thing common amongst these names— acid reflux oftentimes creates uncomfortable symptoms.

Our patients often ask us about treatment methods for GERD (prescription, non-prescription, and natural remedies). In this article, we will talk about this topic. If at any point you have questions, please contact one of our offices in Johns Creek/Suwanee or Lawrenceville and we would be happy to help answer your questions.

What is GERD?

Acid reflux, or GERD, is the result of when the lower esophagus muscles function improperly. During improper functioning, the food and stomach acids leak back (or reflux) into the esophagus. Heartburn is oftentimes a symptoms of GERD.

Types of Treatment for Heartburn and GERD

There are several methods for treating heartburn and GERD. Our doctors will determine which method will successfully treat your symptoms. Treatment options include:

  • stomach antacids (over-the-counter)

  • surgery

  • medications (H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors, etc)

  • prescription strength antacids

Lifestyle Changes and Natural Treatments for GERD

Many people do not want to go the route of taking medications, whether or not they are prescription or over-the-counter. Some choose not to partake in those treatments, and that is okay. If you are one of these people, you will be happy to know there are natural treatments for GERD, including some lifestyle changes that should occur. These include:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.

  • Avoid heartburn triggers. If you know that you suffer from heartburn after drinking a cup of coffee, avoid drinking coffee as much as possible.

  • Lose weight. This can minimize heartburn symptoms, along with other types of health problems you may be experiencing.

  • Eat slowly. Don’t be in a rush when you are eating. A good trick to slow down is to put your fork down sometimes between bites.

  • Do not overeat. You do not have to eat big portion sizes (skip the Big Mac or quadruple-size value meals). Instead, try eating 3-5 small meals throughout the day instead of 3 big meals.

  • Do not go to bed with a full stomach. During the 2-3 hours before lying down, do not eat meals. You want to give your body a chance to digest the food. Lying down during this process may cause GERD.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Avoid alcohol consumption.

  • Keep a diary to record when you experience heartburn. This can help you pinpoint your GERD triggers when consuming certain foods or beverages.

If you notice that your heartburn is worse when lying down, try eating earlier before bedtime, or raise the head of your bed (your head and chest should be higher than your feet). As always, drink as much water throughout the day as possible, especially if you exercise. If exercising triggers heartburn, wait approximately 2 hours after a meal before exercising.

Seeking Help from Northeast Atlanta ENT for GERD

If you have tried everything you could think of to help relieve your GERD symptoms, but cannot seem to minimize heartburn, come see us. Even if you just started experiencing heartburn or acid reflux and you do not want to try treatment on your own, come see us.

Our doctors will be more than happy to speak with you about your acid reflux symptoms. We can provide proper treatment and lifestyle suggestions to relieve your symptoms. Call us today, or contact us here at one of our two convenient locations (Johns Creek/Suwanee or Lawrenceville) to schedule your appointment, and start feeling better!

Trouble Swallowing? Here are a Few Possible Reasons Why

Swallowing is so simple. It’s one of those everyday things we usually don’t even notice until we have difficulty doing them. What about you? Are you or your child having trouble swallowing?

Difficulty swallowing, both when accompanied by pain or not accompanied by pain, is more common in older adults and babies, and is often not a serious problem. But it is important to pay attention to your symptoms, which may include gagging or choking when swallowing, the sensation of food or liquid getting stuck in the throat or chest, or weight loss.

If you regularly have problems (i.e. more than once or twice), you should see a doctor who specializes in these types of issues, an ear, nose and throat doctor.

In the medical community, the term for having difficulty swallowing is dysphagia. Here are a few possible reasons why you might be having trouble passing liquid or food from your mouth to your stomach.

A cold, sore throat, or tonsillitis

Not being able to swallow easily could be the result of inflammation. Maybe you have a sore throat, a cold, or tonsillitis. In these cases, your problem is not serious and can be taken care of through medication and taking extra care of your body.

You may also want to visit an ear, nose, and throat doctor if your problems persist. At Northeast Atlanta Ear, Nose & Throat, we offer pediatric services and adult services to those experiencing trouble swallowing in Johns Creek/Suwanee and Lawrenceville, GA.

Gastroesophageal reflux

One common cause of dysphagia is gastroesophageal reflux (otherwise known as gastro or acid reflux). This occurs when stomach acid moves up to the esophagus to the pharynx, causing discomfort.

Treatment can come from changing living and eating habits, such as elevating the head of the bed at night, avoiding food close to bedtime, and from antacids or other medications.

Damage to the nervous system

Damage to your nervous system can cause you to have difficulty swallowing. This includes:

  • Stroke

  • Brain injury

  • Spinal cord injury

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Cerebral palsy

  • Alzheimer’s disease

Problems and disorders affecting the head and neck

There are a variety of other problems that may affect your head and neck:

  • Injuries to the head, neck, and chest.

  • Dental problems or dentures that don’t fit properly.

  • Ulcers in the esophagus.

  • Esophageal spasm– the muscles of the esophagus suddenly squeeze and can sometimes prevent food from reaching the stomach.

  • Scleroderma– tissues of the esophagus become hard and narrow.

  • Diverticula– there are small sacs in the walls of the esophagus or throat.

  • Goiter is the abnormal increase in the size of your thyroid gland.

  • Cancer of the head, neck, or esophagus may cause swallowing problems. If you notice a small lump on your throat or neck, it is very important to get your neck mass checked out by a doctor.

  • Sometimes people are born with abnormalities affecting their swallowing mechanism, such as babies being born with cleft lips.

  • Allergies to food or things in the air.

  • Stress or severe anxiety disorders can make it hard for the muscles to relax.

Ease your pain and worry by seeing an ENT doctor

If you or your family have been experiencing pain and trouble swallowing normally, don’t just say you have no time to deal with this issue. This could be a serious health concern, so it’s important to see someone who understands your problem: an ear, nose and throat doctor.

If you’re in the Lawrenceville or Johns Creek area, Northeast Atlanta ENT wants to help you. Call us today at 770-237-3000 for our Lawrenceville location, or at 770-623-1608 for our Johns Creek location to talk to an expert about your swallowing problems, and to schedule an appointment for you or your family member as soon as possible.