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Your ears, nose, and throat are all part of your upper respiratory system, explains Paul Jones, MD, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
When left untreated, an ear infection can lead to a more serious infection, permanent hearing loss, and problems with speech and language development — so speak to your doctor right away if you think you or child have an ear infection.
Ear wax is a natural protector against infections, explains Jones, and you should never try to remove it or you may end up pushing the wax further in … and needing to have it removed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
However, in some cases, excessive ear wax can accumulate in the ear canal, possibly causing ear pain, a plugged sensation in the ear, itching, ear odor — even hearing loss. Nosebleeds happen due to a number of different causes — dry air, allergies, colds, migraine headaches, even cocaine use.
When you speak, air moving through your vocal cords (1) causes vibrations and results in sound.
Lifestyle choices are often to blame for a dry throat, Jones says — too much caffeine or alcohol, not enough water, and smoking cigarettes (menthol, too, can dry out the throat). From our SponsorsEveryday Solutions are created by Everyday Health on behalf of our sponsors.
Blocked nose, facial pressure, persistent post-nasal drip and decreased sense of smell and taste are some of the presenting symptoms experienced by patients with 'sinus' problems.
Examples of these are episodes of recurrent acute sinus infections which present with the above symptoms in conjunction with fever.
Examples of these are nasal tumours, unilateral nasal polyps (polyps on one side of the nose only). The outflow tracts of the sinuses are opened to enable drainage and ventilation of the sinuses. The actual sinuses that have to be targeted would have been previously decided during the consultation.
While antibiotics may be effective, it is also important to keep in mind these medicines can cause a number of side effects. Note : Aspirin is not recommended for children or teens with a current or recent viral infection. In children, ear drops that have a local anaesthetic (eg, ametocaine, benzocaine, or lidocaine) can help decrease pain, especially when the drops are used with oral pain relievers. If your child has a history of ear infections, talk to the doctor about long-term antibiotic use.
Xylitol is a natural sugar that is used as a sweetener in gum, candy, and other types of food. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Ear Infection ENT-Conditions and Tratment from Subang ENT Specialist Clininc in Subang Jaya, Malaysia. The primary symptom of otitis externa is ear pain, which can be severe and gets worse when the outer part of the ear is pulled or pressed on. Swelling of the ear canal might make a child complain of a full or uncomfortable feeling in the ear.
They share anatomy and have similar mucous membrane linings, which means they get similar infections; an infection, an allergy, or another problem affecting one of them (from ear pressure pain and strep throat to problems with your sinuses and constant phlegm in the throat) may also affect the others.
Otitis media, an ear infection of the middle ear, occurs when the mucosa (the lining of the upper respiratory tract that secretes mucus) swells because of a cold, respiratory infection, or allergy, and the Eustachian tube (3) gets blocked. The doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to kill the bacteria and recommend pain medications or prescription ear drops. If you want a way to keep ear wax to a minimum, says Jones, you can try flushing your ears by putting a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear once a week. Their function is to equalize internal and external pressure — that’s why you experience ear-popping with elevation changes on airplanes.


The septum divides it vertically (one external nostril on each side), but the nose is also separated into front and back parts.
Sometimes a nosebleed can be due to blood clotting disorders or being on blood-thinning medication.
Doctors test for strep when someone has a sore throat because of its dangerous complications, such as heart problems that can happen later if the strep is not treated. When all the working parts don’t come together properly, your voice can sound strained, raspy, or hoarse. View all.ConnectDon't miss out on breaking news, live chats, lively debates, and inspiring stories. Each episode may resolve with optimised medical treatment but if frequency and longevity are present with time off work, surgery is an option.
A septoplasty may need to be done first to gain access to the sinuses and to remove any other pathology. The procedure, risks and benefits will be discussed in full during your consultation with Dr Para. The air comes through a narrow channel called the Eustachian tube which connects the middle ear to the back of the throat and noseThe Eustachian tube is closed but you can open them briefly when you swallow or yawn (or pinch your nose and blow air in it, like you do on an airplane). The earache can be caused by a disorder in a close by part of you body, this is called referred pain or radiationThe original cause may be dental problems like caries or tooth decay or teething in babies. Most middle ear infections can be diagnosed by looking into the ear with a lighted instrument, called an otoscope. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic for your child and ask you to use the medication if the pain or fever lasts for a certain number of days. Eating food with xylitol on a regular basis may help to reduce your risk of ear infections. The outer ear may become reddened or swollen, and lymph nodes around the ear can become enlarged and tender.
Understanding the anatomy of your ears, nose, and throat will help you know how to keep them in good health and free of infections. The canal leads into the slightly angled eardrum (2), also called the tympanic membrane — this transmits sound to the middle ear, which is behind the eardrum inside the skull. Adults get fewer ear infections than kids because their Eustachian tubes are bigger and more angled. Ear wax will come out naturally on its own, and constantly removing it can disturb the wax-producing glands. The front, visible part of the nose is called the anterior, which is made from cartilage; the section that leads into the throat is called the posterior. An increase in mucus production is usually due to an infection or an obstruction, which the body wants to flush out. Strep throat is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, and symptoms of strep include sore throat, swollen tonsils, telltale white patches on the throat, fever, body aches, and even stomach pain.
Hoarseness happens for a number of reasons — your vocal cords can be swollen from a cold virus or laryngitis (which occurs when the vocal cords become inflamed or swollen, or simply because you’ve been yelling or overusing your voice). While some factors, including age, can’t be changed — as we age, our mucous glands dry up — others can be soothed. Join the conversation!Free NewslettersPersonalized tips and information to get and stay healthier every day. Some of these patients may have co-existing illnesses like asthma and may be quite unwell on presentation.
The image is magnified by the use of a monitor and this allows precise application of the instruments.
The cold can cause the tubes to swell enough to become blocked trapping fluids inside your ear.


Most middle ear infections (including bacterial ones) tend to improve on their own in 2-3 days. Some discharge from the ear canal is possible; it might be clear at first and then turn cloudy, yellowish, and pus-like. The middle ear includes the Eustachian tube (3), which connects to the throat, and the ossicles (tiny bones) (4), through which sound travels.
If you do get infections, you may have a Eustachian tube that genetically doesn’t work correctly, Dr. Surrounding the nose are the sinuses, normally air-filled pockets that can cause pain if they become mucus-filled or infected. If mucus is too thick, a medication like Mucinex can make the mucus thinner so that it’s more easily swallowed.
And the laryngopharynx (3), or lower section of the throat, is in front of the esophagus (4); this is where the larynx, or voice box, and the vocal cords are housed (5).
However, prolonged hoarseness can also indicate a serious problem, such as cancer, so see an ENT specialist if your symptoms don't go away. For example, a dry throat could be a sign that you’re getting a cold, Jones says, so cold medications may help. If the system works well, the nasal airway functions efficiently even in the presence of an upper respiratory tract infection. A combination of a fibreoptic nasendoscope and CT scan of the sinuses is required as part of the examination and investigation for accurate diagnosis and management plan. Again after optimisation of medical treatment, if nasal obstruction persists and especially in the case of asthmatics if asthma control is becoming difficult, surgery is an option to control the airway. This makes it an ideal place for viruses, germs and bacteria to grow and cause an infectionBecause in children these tubes are obviously smaller they get blocked more easily so they suffer more from middle ear infections than adultsA lot of the times in young children this ear infection often accompanies a cold, sore throat and cough.
Hearing might be temporarily affected if pus and debris or swelling of the canal blocks the passage of sound into the ear. But when it’s dysfunctional, such as when dust or allergies are irritating the lining, you may need to decongest it.
There are four sinus cavities — frontal sinuses, maxillary sinuses, ethmoid sinuses, and sphenoid sinuses.
These are not symptoms but can be a sign that your child may also be developing an ear infectionAllergiesAllergies like hay fever or nutritional allergies, can also cause inflammation and the build up of fluids in the middle ear.
Other types of ear infections include otitis externa (an outer ear infection, or swimmer’s ear) and otitis interna (an inner ear infection). Sinus tissue and your nasal passages are covered with cilia, microscopic hairs that capture dust and dirt so we don’t breathe in bacteria.
Using saltwater solutions and irrigating the nose helps; talk to your doctor about appropriate techniques. A number of common problems can affect the throat: strep and other infections that cause sore throats, hoarseness, laryngitis, and tonsillitis are just a few.
Very rarely, says Jones, a malfunctioning Eustachian tube could be a sign of blockage by head or neck cancer. The septum has many blood vessels near its surface, which is why the nose bleeds rather easily. Viral infections generally resolve themselves, while bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. As with a blocked Eustachian tube, tumors could mimic sinusitis symptoms, especially if symptoms are on one side.



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