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Dr. Michael Burnett Specializes 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.



Common Throat Problems

What are the most common throat problems? The throat or pharynx is a tube that helps food transfer from the mouth to the esophagus. Furthermore, it also works as an air passage bringing air to the larynx and windpipe. There are numerous reasons to develop throat problems. Therefore, it is a common condition. You can develop viral infections, allergies, acid leaks, and other problems. Here are some common throat problems that require medical attention:

  • Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils
  • Throat cancer
  • Croup is a condition common in children. In this condition, the patients experience barking coughs because of inflammation.
  • Laryngitis occurs when the voice box swells. You can also refer to this condition as loss of voice or hoarse voice.

The treatment for these common throat problems depends on the severity of the condition.

Common Throat Problems

1.     Tonsillitis

While suffering from tonsillitis, you develop two oval-shaped tissue pads at the back of your throat. You will experience one tonsil on one side. The symptoms of this condition include a sore throat, swollen tonsils, tender lymph nodes, and difficulty swallowing. The common reason for the development of tonsillitis is a common virus. This virus causes an infection that leads to this condition. Furthermore, you can also develop bacterial infections because of tonsillitis.

Before treating this condition, the doctor will identify the cause for the development of tonsillitis. Therefore, it is essential to seek an accurate and immediate diagnosis. For the removal of tonsils, you require surgery. However, the doctor will recommend surgery only when you frequently develop tonsils.

Swelling and inflammation of the tonsils are the main symptoms. The inflammation may get so severe that you may experience breathing problems. Here are some other symptoms of this condition:

  • Fever
  • Red tonsils
  • Throat pain
  • Headache
  • Throat ulcer and painful blisters
  • A yellow and white coating on the tonsils
  • Ear pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever along with chills
  • Inflammation of neck or jaw glands
  • Problem swallowing
  • Muffled or scratchy voice
  • Stiff neck
  • Bad breath

2.     Croup

If your child experiences a barking cough or trouble breathing, you might be suffering from croup. This condition is an infection of the upper airway. Young children mostly suffer from this condition. Your child develops the symptoms of croup because of inflammation of the trachea, larynx, and bronchi tubes.

Sudden cough causes barking noise because the passageway to the vocal cords swells due to inflammation. Heavy breathing will also produce a whistling sound.

The symptoms of croup are common in children under the age of three. This happens because the respiratory system of a child is small. Here are some common symptoms for croup that you will notice:

  • Fever
  • Cold symptoms including runny nose and sneezing
  • Heavy breathing
  • Barking cough
  • Hoarse voice

If your child is unable to breathe properly, they need instant care. Here are some symptoms that need urgent attention:

  • Difficulty to swallow
  • Wheezing
  • Skin color turns gray or blue around mouth, nose, and fingernails

3.     Laryngitis

You develop laryngitis because of the inflammation of the vocal cords or voice box. Irritation, infection, or overuse of the vocal cord leads to this condition. Laryngitis can be acute or chronic. The acute or short-term laryngitis lasts for almost three weeks. However, you will experience chronic or long-term laryngitis for more than three weeks.

You can develop laryngitis for numerous reasons, including bacterial infections, environmental factors, or viral infections. If you develop this condition because of a virus, it may last for a couple of weeks. Here are some symptoms of laryngitis:

  • Voice loss or weak voice
  • Hoarseness
  • Dry throat
  • Sore throat
  • The rawness and ticking sensation of the throat
  • Dry cough

Common Throat Problems

4.     Throat Cancer

In this condition, you develop cancer within the organs for breathing, swallowing, and speaking. The throat is the common location to develop throat cancers. You can refer to this location as the pharynx, and it includes the tube behind your nose till your neck. However, other areas include the larynx or voice box. Throat cancers grow quickly. Therefore, you require immediate treatment for this condition. The common symptoms of throat cancer are:

  • Ear pain
  • Cough
  • Change of voice
  • Difficulty to swallow
  • Soreness in the throat
  • Weight loss

Common Throat Problems: Conclusion

All the above conditions are common throat problems that require immediate treatment. Throat problems are unusual conditions that are the result of allergies or colds. Furthermore, you may develop this condition due to smoking, inhaling dry air, and overusing your vocal cords.

However, if your condition gets worse over time or you find it hard to breathe, you need to visit a professional ENT surgeon. If you want to consult a professional ENT surgeon in New York City, you can visit our clinic Ear, Nose & Throat of New York.

Schedule an appointment today by contacting us at 212-867-4813.

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Michael C. Burnett, MD

115 East 57th Street
(Between Park + Lexington Ave.)
Suite 600
New York, NY 10022