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Specializing in problems of the Ear, nose, sinuses and throat.

An ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) is a physician trained in the medical and surgical treatment of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. They have special expertise in managing diseases of the ears, nose and nasal passage sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face. ENT is the oldest medical specialty in the United States.

Same day appointments available. 

212-867-4813


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Blog Posts are Below:


Hoarseness/Hoarse voice

What Is Hoarse Voice?

A hoarse voice is an irregular variation in the voice box. Some experience a lower pitch voice, while other a high pitch. Every hoarse voice is different from the other; it all depends on the kind of symptoms the person experiences.

Causes of Hoarse Voice

You get a hoarse voice when the voice box experiences damage. Even if your voice box has been irritating and you feel certain rash in the throat, then it’s a sign that your voice box is not in good shape.

The most occurring cause of hoarse voice is Acute laryngitis, which is a condition in which a person’s vocal cords swell up. Inflammation is usually a result of extreme yelling or a high pitch singing. Also, a viral infection in the respiratory system can cause inflammation of the vocal cords make the voice different from normal.

There are several other causes of hoarse voice, some of which are:

  • Allergies
  • Vocal Cords disruption
  • Lung problem
  • Smoking
  • Extreme Trauma
  • Larynx cancer
  • Stroke
  • Thyroid Problems

Symptoms

You would instantly know when your voice sounds different. If you have a low pitch voice normally, then it would turn into a high pitch. Similarly, a smoother voice tone will turn into a harsh and irritating voice. The symptoms vary, and not even one person can say that he/she suffered from the same thing when going through the hoarse voice condition.

Treatment

The treatment of the hoarse voice depends on the cause.

For example, if the hoarse voice was a result of disruption or irregular activity in the respiratory system, then taking cough syrups and humidifying the throat through effective fluids can help eradicate the problem.

  • If your vocal cords hurt, then it is advisable to practice silence for a few days, or speak in a light, low voice, so there is less pressure on the voice box. This way, it will heal faster, and you can have your normal voice back too.
  • Try to avoid taking any antibiotic. Also, you will receive the same advice from many medical professionals too.
  • Quit Smoking
  • If the hoarse voice has been there for a long time, and no treatment works, opting for a voice box surgery is the only practical option.

How to Prevent the hoarse voice?

There are several ways to avoid hoarse voice such as,

  • Try singing at a low pitch. But you have to sing a high pitch song then gargle with salt-water afterward.
  • If you have a speech or have to sing, then avoid speaking too much during the day. Doing this will keep the voice box calm and not harsh.
  • If you’re a chain smoker, then start reducing the number of cigarettes every day, until you smoke none.
  • Avoid consuming spicy foods, or food with nicotine or tar in it.

Bottom Line

Suffering from a hoarse voice can be a horrifying experience. Also, it is difficult to treat if the voice box if the damage is serious. To avoid such medical condition, frequent gargle, consumption of hot fluids, less yelling, and practicing silence can be helpful.

When you believe the issue is serious, get in touch with our NYC Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctors at your earliest for instant help.

Ear, Nose & Throat of New York
Michael Burnett MD
212-867-4813

 

Earaches –All You Need To Know

Earaches are mostly common in children. Three out of four infants may suffer from ear pain. However, ear pain or earache does not exclude adults. It may affect one of your ear or both. You may experience ear pain for a short time, or it may become persistent. The severity of the ear pain varies from dull to sharp, or even burning depending upon the cause.

Ever experienced ear muffling or mild hear loss with earache after a long flight? Jetlag and earache are temporary. However, some earaches are so terrible that your body becomes “all ears” in a different way; the pain encompasses the whole body.

What Causes Earaches?

Your ear may hurt because of a problem in the ear’s inner, middle layer, or the outside. An earache does not necessarily occur due to an infection. Interestingly, sometimes, the ears are not responsible for an earache.

An earache may announce the arrival of cold, flu, or an infection. Multiple factors can cause mild to severe ear pain. Let’s have a look at some of the possible reasons for ear pain.

1) Earwax Blockage

The wax in our ear serves as a protective shield for the ear canal against water, bacteria, or an injury. Ear produces and gets rid of the wax itself. When the process gets affected due to any reason, excess wax builds up in the ear.

Hardened earwax blocks the ear canals, causing pressure, and sometimes pain in the ear. You may also feel sensation in the ear, or face hearing and ringing. Using cotton swabs to clear the wax may push it down further into the ear canal. The impacted ear may lead to itching, gunk discharge, or an ear infection.

2) Imbalanced Air Pressure

Behind our eardrum is a small, air-filled cavity, called the middle ear. A narrow passage known as the “Eustachian tube” connects our middle air to our throat through. It is the route through which air enters our middle air. This tube is responsible for equalizing the pressure on either side of our eardrums.

A sudden change in the air pressure –especially on a plane –may block the tube. Blockage in the Eustachian tube causes mild hearing loss, popping in the ear, muffling, or temporary ear pain. Chewing gum or swallowing may instantly relieve the pain.

3) Ear Infections

Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is an outer ear infection causing itching and severe ear pain – especially while pulling your earlobe. It occurs when water gets trapped in the ear canal serving as a breeding ground for germs.  Red, itchy-swollen ears with yellowish discharge, are common symptoms of this infection.

Middle Ear Infection

Otitis media or middle ear infection occurs when the fluid behind the eardrum builds up and gets infected. The infection may cause severe earache, fever, and in some cases, nasal congestion. Your eardrum may rupture because of the fluid buildup thereby causing ear drainage.

4) Other Causes

A neck or head injury may rupture your eardrum leading to severe earache, or a permanent hearing loss. Some ear pains do not originate in the ear; the sensation you feel in the brain, jaw, or throat may lead to earache.

For instance, a decayed or cracked tooth may cause pain in the ear too. Eroded temporomandibular joint (TMJ) –connecting the lower jaw to the skull –may cause tenderness around the ear canal.

Remedies

Earaches can be extremely painful. Treatment of the earache depends on the root cause and intensity of the pain. Temporary ear pains are generally relieved with the over-the-counter products –such as ibuprofen, or naproxen.

You may rest your infected ear on a warm heating pad for comfort. Decongestants and antihistamines are also helpful for clearing the blockage in the Eustachian tube. It is better to seek medical help in case of chronic earaches.

Conclusion

Earaches can cause severe discomfort, and if not treated properly, may lead to other problems. For consultation and treatment, contact the best Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist in NYC today.

Michael C. Burnett, MD
115 East 57th Street Suite 600
Between Park + Lexington Avenues
212-867-4813

Filed Under: Ear

ENT Doctor: Ear Infections

If you have infants at home, you may have often consulted pediatrics for their ear infections. Young children are prone to developing an ear infection more than other age groups. No wonder half of all the antibiotics prescribed for the American children are for ear infections.

Earache and ear infections are often confused with each other. There is a distinction between the two. Earache is a common symptom of an ear infection. Ear infections can cause annoyance, discomfort, or ear-discharge.

Most of the inner ear infections develop and disappear on their own shortly. However, some infections may haunt you with frequent comebacks.

How Does an Ear Infection Develop?

Viruses are the root cause of an ear infection. Just behind our eardrums, there is a small air-filled cavity called “middle ear.” A passageway connects our middle ear to the back of the throat. Air also enters our middle ear through this route, i.e., the Eustachian tube.

The passageway is responsible for draining out the fluid of the middle ear.  A virus attack on the fluid behind the eardrum may lead to an ear infection. Our middle ear needs ventilation, and when it does not get sufficient air, it becomes dry and warm.  Germs breeding in the sinus or nose may enter the middle ear through the Eustachian tube.

Ear infections or otitis media is often the result of a blockage in the tube. An allergy, sinus infection, common cold or flu, and adenoid problems may clog the passageway.

Types of Middle Ear Infections

Let’s have a look at some of the Middle ear problems that may result in an ear infection.

·      Acute Otitis Media (AOM)

Clogged Eustachian tubes cause fluids to build up in the middle ear. If the fluid behind the eardrum gets infected, it causes acute otitis media. The common symptoms include earache, fever, nausea, or sometimes ear-discharge.

·      Otitis Media with Effusion (OME)

This infection is common in children. The bacteria or virus is not involved in otitis media with effusion (fluid buildup) in the middle ear. It usually occurs when fluid buildup persists in the middle ear even after an infection gets better. A blockage in the Eustachian tube may also cause OME.

·      Chronic Otitis Media with Effusion (COME)

When the fluid in the middle ear remains trapped for a longer period –more than three months, it transforms into Chronic Otitis Media With Effusion. Children with COME are vulnerable to other ear infections and may lead to hearing problems.

·      Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media (CSOM)

If an infection does not go away with regular medication, it may result in a hole in the eardrum.

There is no particular symptom to suggest if a person is suffering from a chronic ear infection. People with chronic ear infections report hearing problems. They may respond late or experience difficulty in speaking or reading.

Treatment

If your ear infection is not going away on its own, it’s time to seek medical help. For OME, the American Academy of Otolaryngology does not recommend antibiotics, decongestants, or antihistamines. Antibiotics may work in case of an acute ear infection.

For treating chronic ear infection, you may try one of these options:

  • Flush out the ear wax with dry mopping –of course with a doctor’s help.
  • Over-the-counter pain killers and fever reducers may help with an ear infection too.
  • Antibiotic drops may be effective if the infection has ruptured your eardrum, or has made a hole in the middle ear.
  • Excess use of antibiotics may adversely affect your ears.

Bottom Line

If your ear infection is persistent and is recurring, you should visit an ENT specialist immediately. Contact us today and book an appointment with the best Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor in NYC.

Choosing an ENT Doctor

Otolaryngology is one of the oldest medical specialties in the US. Every year, millions of Americans visit otolaryngologists.  You may not have heard this word before, but you must be familiar with an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) specialist.

ENT doctors manage and diagnose disorders and diseases related to ear, nose, throat, head, and neck. They can treat ordinary conditions that you frequently encounter like clogged ears, a stuffy nose, or a sore throat. Additionally, they can treat severe disorders including tumors and cancers. Otolaryngologists treat diseases with medical and surgical skills both –depending on the intensity of the condition.

What to Look For in an ENT?

Ear, nose, and throat are crucial to the proper functioning of the rest of the body. You can’t afford to take any risk for treating disorders related to them. No one wants to compromise on health, and surely you won’t either. Before booking an appointment with an ENT, make sure to consider some important facts.

1.    Credentials

ENT doctors have to complete 15 years of education and training to qualify as an expert in Otolaryngology. The journey starts from a four-year undergraduate degree followed by another four-years in the medical school.

A doctor has to finish a residency program of five years. He/she needs to dedicate time to general surgeries, critical care, and anesthesia.  The next step is to undergo an evaluation and get certified. For this, the trainee otolaryngologist has to pass a written and oral examination. The American Board of Otolaryngology (ABOto) administers this exam.

There are various online sources that you can visit to check the credentials of your ENT; National Committee for Quality Assurance is one of them.

2.    Specialized Area

Though most of the ENT physicians are professionally ready to treat otolaryngological diseases, some pursue additional training in one of the subspecialty. The specialized areas include

  • Allergies: allergy sensitivities using medicines or immunotherapy
  • Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: cosmetic, reconstructive, or trauma surgery
  • Head and Neck Surgery: For removal of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
  • Laryngology: throat diseases and disorders
  • Otology/ Neurotology: ear problems including infections, traumas and nerve pathway disorders
  • Pediatric otolaryngology: treatment of children and infants with a congenital disability
  • Rhinology: nasal disorders and sinuses
  • Sleep Disorders: ENT disorders affecting sleep

So, if you have an enlarged thyroid problem, make sure you are not contacting an ENT specialized in allergies.

3.    Age Matters

Not talking about your physician’s age; your age matters. If your infant is suffering from any disease or disorder, you would prefer to visit an ENT trained in Pediatric otolaryngology. Some ENTs treating may not have specialized in the field but may have a vast experience.

Hearing loss is common in people in the US aging between 65 and 75. If you are one of them, you will look for an ENT who is abreast on the hearing issues. Age does come into play while choosing an otolaryngologist.

4.    Location

Nose, ear, and throat diseases are so common that people often don’t seek medical help –especially if the clinic is at a far distance. Driving through a long route to see a doctor is not pleasing, especially when you have nasal congestion or an ear infection.

So, keep your feasibility in mind. Make a list of the best ENTs practicing within your area or adjacent to it. Also, check if the visiting hours suit you or not.

Bottom Line

Your primary physician can manage some of your nose, throat, or ear problems. But, you may require an expert’s help in certain disorders and diseases. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor in NYC.

Michael C. Burnett, MD
115 East 57th Street
Suite 600
Between Park + Lexington Avenues
212-867-4813

Allergies – Ear, Nose & Throat

An allergy refers to a reaction to allergens, which are present in the environment and can be harmful, mildly harmful or severely. Allergens include, dust mites, molds or ticks. These allergens tend to trigger different types of allergies. Your immune system detects these foreign substances and comes to the rescue. It fights back by producing anti bodies that help kill bacteria and get rid of the allergens.

ENT Allergies- Symptoms

Allergies that affect your ear, nose and throat usually result in skin inflammation, sinus problems and air pathway issues. If you are suffering from an allergic reaction the first symptom that you may notice is a stuffy nose. Other than that, having a sore throat or irritation in your ears is also very normal.

Ear allergies are very common in children. They usually suffer from allergic rhinitis. You will see people referring to it as hay fever. This affects the middle part of their ear and can cause abnormal swelling and inflammation around the nose and the ear canal. It may also cause conjunctivitis and red puffy eyes.

Nose related allergies usually affect the sinuses of your head and nose. These are hollow air pathways that produce germ-killing mucus. Allergens typically enter your body when you inhale something that carries bacteria e.g. pollen or dust grains. These allergens cause a sinus infection that makes you sneeze and your nose itchy and red.

Throat allergies or a sore throat are the most common allergies. The main symptom of this allergy is post nasal drip. It causes congestion in the sinuses. Post nasal drip occurs when you are unable to swallow your mucus. This happens when the mucus gets thicker than usual, making it hard to swallow. If you have a post nasal drip, you will cough excessively in an attempt to clear out your throat. This can make your throat scratchy. Mild discomfort and irritation is normal if you are suffering from a post nasal drip. Another major symptom is that it makes your breath stink and causes you to spit a lot.

Treatment

Your ENT allergist will guide you best on what you need to do to treat your problem. They will recommend you suitable treatments after proper diagnosis. Also, once they have identified the cause of the allergy (allergen), they will help you get rid of it before things get severe. For example, you may be allergic to your newly adopted pet cat’s fur. It is vital to keep your environment clean and free of any type of allergen.

Doctors will prescribe decongestants to help ease the passing of mucus. Decongestants are available in the form of pills or sprays. Other than that, nasal sprays can also be a part of the prescription. Thanks to the advancements in medical sciences, immune therapy is another option available for this purpose. In fact, it is a very innovative medical discovery. It involves injecting the same allergen that caused the allergy in small amounts inside your body. It fights the allergy and helps reduce your symptoms.

Immunotherapy is useful in fighting rhinitis, inflammation, asthma and other allergy symptoms.

Bottom-Line

If you have detected any of these allergy symptoms in yourself and you don’t know what to do to get rid of them, you should not worry anymore. You must seek professional help and find out ways to tackle your problem. Get in touch with Dr. Burnett, the best ENT Allergist in NYC.

Schedule your appointment now.

Sinus Surgery: What to Expect

What are sinuses?

Sinuses are hollow air spaces or tissue linings inside your head and nose that clean out bacteria and germs that enter your system as you breathe. They also produce mucus, which is a fluid that traps the germ particles and passes through your nose.

Sinus Surgery

Sometimes, the swelling and inflammation of this region blocks the pathways and makes its hard for the fluid to pass through sometimes. You call this condition sinusitis. It causes irritation in your nose, swollen eyes, congestion, continuous cold and stuffiness. In some cases, sinusitis gets severe. It becomes hard to treat and that’s when the need for a surgery strikes in.

Sinus surgery aims to open the blocked pathways and clear the way for the mucus to pass through with ease. Initially, doctors try other easy ways of treatment and home remedies. Surgery becomes necessary, when nothing else seems to work and the sinusitis keeps coming back; recurrent sinus infection. Surgery is usually the last resort. Also, anyone who has an abnormal sinus structure (septum deviation) would have to undergo surgery.

Sinus Surgery Options

Functional endoscopic Surgery; this surgery involves inserting an endoscope, which is a thin tube like tool, into the patient’s nose. Doctors remove the substances or tissues that come in the way and block the pathway with the help of this tool and micro-telescopes. It may cause discomfort and irritation but only for a short period. The patient is under the influence of anesthesia during the procedure.

Thanks to the advancements in medical sciences, Balloon Sinuplasty is another recent procedure option that helps get rid of sinus problems. This also involves the inserting of a tube inside your nose, but the only difference in this procedure is that there is a balloon on one end of the tube.

Once properly inserted, the doctor inflates the balloon that clears out the blockages. This procedure is safe and quite famous for how effective it is. Some doctors say that it is the best for congestion and sinus related problems.

Recovery

The procedure may take 4 to 5 hours to complete. Doctors recommend sleepy or resting with the head elevated. An ice pack helps stop the bleeding, that is very normal after surgery. The nose tends to bleed, so you have to be calm. However, if bleeding gets uncontrollable, nasal packing is there as an option. Nasal packing is a gauze like sheet that is sterile and it helps stop bleeding.

It takes about a week to recover completely but can take more time if other factors such as age or diabetic conditions are present. Also, mild discomfort and fatigue is normal after the procedure. It is vital to be extra careful about your hygiene after the surgery. Make sure your surroundings are germ free. Use a humidifier to filter out bacteria present in the air, so you breathe in pure air. Also, do deep inhaling exercises in the morning after a refreshing walk in the park.

Bottom-Line

It is not wise to suffer in silence. If you are someone who has sinusitis symptoms and you can’t seem to figure out the reasons behind your stubborn congestion and stuffiness, seek professional help immediately. Don’t worry because your help is near.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Burnett,  top Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist in NYC.

212-867-4813

Swallowing Dysfunction

Swallowing is a basic bodily function that is easy to take for granted. Because most people swallow without effort, it can be easy to forget that swallowing is a complex mechanical process that requires multiple muscles and nerves. Many people deal with problems swallowing, also known as swallowing dysfunction, as they get older, but that doesn’t make the problem any less scary. Read on to learn more about swallowing dysfunction so you and your doctor can find the right solution.

What Causes Swallowing Problems?

Difficulty swallowing (also called dysphagia) can be caused by a variety of different issues. The first step to determining the cause of your problem is to identify which part of your body is creating your symptoms.

First of all, problems related to your esophagus or digestive system such as acid reflux (GERD) can cause swallowing dysfunction. If you are experiencing stomach pain, digestive problems, or heartburn in addition to your swallowing difficulties, investigate these issues with your doctor.

Nervous system conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) often begin with swallowing difficulties. These problems are serious, and early detection is crucial. If you develop swallowing problems and are also experiencing numbness, pain, or lack of mobility in other parts of your body, see a doctor right away.

Signs of a Swallowing Disorder

 

Because swallowing dysfunction can be caused by a variety of issues, it can present with a variety of symptoms. General signs of a swallowing problem include coughing during or after eating, a wet or strained voice after eating, and having a hard time breathing after eating. People with this condition might also get food stuck in their mouth or have issues keeping food in their mouth.

People who have problems swallowing may also be limiting their food intake without even realizing it. Weight loss is a common sign of a swallowing disorder, especially in the elderly. Secondary symptoms due to a lack of food intake are also common signs of a swallowing disorder, such as dehydration or nutritional deficiencies. Patients may also experience food going into the lungs or airways, which can cause lung infections or even pneumonia.

Because eating is often a social activity, these problems can be embarrassing and lead to isolation. If you are caring for an elderly person who suddenly wants to eat alone, have a doctor evaluate their swallowing.

Visiting a Doctor

michael-burnett-mdIf you or someone in your care is dealing with a swallowing problem, seek medical help. Before offering a treatment plan, a doctor will perform tests to determine the cause of a person’s swallowing dysfunction. These tests can include X-rays, swallowing tests, endoscopies, or CT scans.

These tests can sound intimidating, but they will allow doctors to determine the exact cause of the swallowing problem. After diagnosis, your doctor will create a treatment plan to help ease your symptoms. Treatments might include medication, surgery, physical therapy, or speech therapy.

If you are having problems swallowing, don’t wait to find relief.

Contact Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813 to schedule an ENT appointment today.

Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches are often the most painful part of a sinus infection. These headaches cause pain that radiates and is often severe enough to impact your daily life. In fact, sinus headaches are often confused with other types of headaches like migraines, making them difficult to treat. Read on to learn about sinus headaches so you can get the correct treatment for your problem.

What Causes a Sinus Headache?

Sinus headaches are caused by inflammation or infection of the sinus cavities. Your sinuses are a connected series of cavities near your nose. These cavities are very delicate and prone to irritation and infection. During a sinus infection, a patient will experience a variety of symptoms such as nasal congestion, postnasal drip, and fever. One of the most common sinus infection symptoms is a sinus headache that is caused by this irritation.

These types of headaches usually start with a painful or full feeling in your forehead or above your cheekbones. If the pain is severe, it can radiate across your entire face and head. Like other types of headaches, you may experience dizziness or sensitivity to light and sound when dealing with a severe sinus related headache.

Difference Between Sinus Headache and Other Headaches

Knowing the difference between sinus headaches and other types of headaches is an important part of finding relief. Different headaches respond to different treatments, and your sinus headache will only heal if you address your sinus symptoms specifically.

Headaches of the sinuses are often confused with migraines. Many sinus infection symptoms, such as nasal congestion and forehead pressure, are also migraine symptoms. Pay attention to the timing of your headaches. Sinus headaches will usually occur during a sinus infection, while migraines can occur at any time. Migraines also tend to be hereditary and are more common in women. In addition to migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches can also be confused with sinus headaches. Take detailed notes on your symptoms and monitor the exact location of your pain. Only your doctor will be able to truly diagnose your type of headache.

Preventing and Treating Sinus Headaches

The good news about sinus headaches is they usually respond very well to treatment. If you are experiencing sinus headaches due to chronic sinusitis, your doctor will first determine the cause of your infections and prescribe a medication to help. Many people with frequent sinus infections do not realize they need antibiotics to treat their symptoms. Over-the-counter medication and home remedies can also be helpful, especially for patients who want to prevent more sinus issues in the future. Saline rinses and humidifiers are simple and affordable ways to keep your sinus cavities clear and comfortable.

Chronic sinusitis is the most common cause of sinus headaches. However, growths such as polyps or tumors can also be to blame. Your doctor might recommend a laparoscopy or CT scan to get a better look at your sinus cavities.

Suffering from sinus headaches can majorly impact your life. Don’t wait to find relief. Contact Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813 to schedule an ENT appointment today.

Nasal Polyps

If you deal with chronic nasal congestion, postnasal drip, or sinus infections, you are probably desperate for relief. Many different problems can cause these symptoms, but if you’ve been trying different remedies with no relief, you may be dealing with nasal polyps. Nasal polyps aren’t life-threatening, but they can cause symptoms that disrupt your life.… Continue Reading

Ear Infections

Most people will deal with an ear infection at some point in their lives. This condition is very common among children but can affect people of all ages. There are many different ear infection symptoms. Regardless of the type of ear infection you have, you will want to deal with the pain and irritation right… Continue Reading

Michael C. Burnett, MD

115 East 57th Street
Suite 600
Between Park + Lexington Avenues

212-867-4813