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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.

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Category Archives: Ear Infection

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.

The Problem With Polyps

Your nose can suffer from a variety of health problems. You can have sinusitis. You may get a cold or another infection. You can also suffer from something called nasal polyps.

What Are Nasal Polyps?

Polyps are small, soft growths (tumors) that attach themselves to the walls of their target surface using small stems. Nasal polyps attach themselves to the linings of your nose. They resemble grapes, particularly if they cluster together and hang down into the nasal passageway or sinuses. They may be miniscule or as large as a grape. However, even though polyps are tumors it is extremely rare for nasal polyps to be malignant.

The Causes of Polyps

The medical professionals and scientists are not precisely sure of the causes of polyps. They do know, however, you stand a higher chance of getting them under certain conditions. They are common if you suffer from chronically inflamed sinuses. The inflammation can be the result of several conditions including:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Drug sensitivity
  • Some immune disorders such as
  • Recurring infection
  • Polyps may often accompany common cases of chronic sinusitis. The symptoms or results are similar to those connected with colds and sinus infections or sinusitis.

Results of Polyps

This will block your nasal and sinus cavities. In turn, this means:

    • Congestion
    • Runny nose
    • Difficulty in breathing through your nose
    • Impaired sense of smell
    • Decrease sense of taste
    • A sensation of pressure in your forehead, face and/or upper teeth

The problem with polyps is increased if they are large in scope. This results in:

Blockage of the natural draining process of your nasal passages
Increased growth – even an overgrowth of bacteria, in your nasal cavities
The sometimes excruciating pain of a sinus infection
Fortunately, there are ways to treat the medical problem.

Treatment of Polyps

If you have nasal polyps, the best treatment is one that shrinks them. Elimination is best, but reducing their size will alleviate many of the problems of polyps. The initial approach undertaken by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist is medication. He or she will probably prescribe corticosteroids, including

    • Beclomethasone
    • Budesonide
    • Ciclesonide
    • Fluticasone
    • Flunisolide
    • Mometasone
    • Triamcinolone

You can try them first in a nasal spray form. If this proves ineffective, your doctor may recommend oral or injectable versions of the drug treatment. Only if these methods fail and the problem persists, causing severe problems will your ENT recommend surgery.

Contact us at 212-867-4813 to schedule a consultation

How Serious Are Ear Infections?

Ear infections – they can cause problems for anyone of any age. Children commonly get them. They arrive with earaches, sore throats and a stuffy nose. In the United States, ear infections account for approximately half of all prescriptions written for antibiotics for children.

What Are Ear Infections?

Ear infections are common and treatable conditions that can negatively affect the ability of you to hear. It may occur in the space behind the eardrum or in the skin of the ear canal. The most common type of ear infection for adults and children is otitis media.Ear infections can be categorized as acute or chronic. Acute ear infections are generally short if painful.

They do not last for more than a few days. Chronic ear infections, however, are of longer duration. They may last a month or adopt a pattern of short but repetitive durations. In other words, a chronic ear infection is one that simply refuses to leave and may permanently recur.

Causes and Treatment of Ear Infections

The most common type of ear infection is otitis media. It occurs when the middle ear swells and is infected. In many cases, the problem will clear up in a short period without requiring medical attention. Yet, in other instances, particularly if the problem is chronic, your ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist will have to consider your options. This is true for all types of ear infections.

The culprit of infection may be a bacteria or a virus. Determining which causes it is important. It will determine what means of treatment your ENT specialist can employ. If you suffer from a bacterial ear infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. This should prove to be effective against the problem. However, if the source of your ear infection is viral, he or she will have to adopt another approach.

Why Is Treatment Necessary?

If you fail to address an ear infection, the result can be serious problems. Complications can follow what starts out as a simple ear infection. These include:

  • Hearing loss – although this can be short term during and following an ear infection, it can be more permanent if the problem is left untreated
  • Eardrum puncture
  • Facial nerve paralysis
  • Meningitis
  • Mastoiditis – a rare inflammation of those bone adjacent to the ear and around the skull)
  • Meniere’s disease in adults

While it is true that many ear infections disappear in a short time without any indication of damages, it is important to monitor the condition. If you have an earache, make sure you talk to your doctor and follow his or her directions. If it becomes chronic ear infections, talk to an ENT. They are specialists in this field and can provide you with the help you need to ensure your simple ear infection does not evolve into a more serious condition.

Contact us at 212-867-4813 to schedule a consultation

Does Your Child Have Too Many Ear Infections? Here’s When to Get Help

In some situations, parents worry about ear infections because they tend to happen all of the time. Children who experience ear infections on a regular basis may need more advanced care. Ultimately, if your child is experiencing ear infections one after another, or multiple times a year, it is important to bring him or her into a specialist. By working with our ENT doctor, you can determine if the amount or frequency of these infections is worrisome and warrants taking additional steps.

Does Your Child Keep Getting Ear Infections?

Often times, children will experience ear infections quite readily. If they have an ear infection that keeps coming back, it is important to understand the underlying causes if there is one and to take steps to prevent those risks. For example, children who have them frequently should not be around people who smoke. They should also not go to bed with a bottle because this can lead to an increased level of risk.

In some cases, doctors will recommend that there are more advanced treatments needed when a child has five or six ear infections of the middle ear in a year. If this does happen, or medications do not seem to help, your child may need more advanced care. The most common option is to have a surgical tube inserted in the ear. This is a surgical procedure that will place a small tube for ventilation in the eardrum. It works to improve the amount of air flowing in and out of the year. And, ultimately, it works to prevent a fluid backup from occurring. This fluid backup is very commonly the cause of the ear infections for many children.

The tubes will stay in place in the year for six to nine months. Generally, they will remain present until they fall out. If, after they fall out, the child no longer suffers from the repeated ear infections, they may not need additional tubes. If they do, though, they may need to have the procedure again.

Keep in mind that the tubes themselves do not prevent the ear infections. Proper care and taking steps to prevent ear infections can ultimately be the best option for overcoming this risk.

When children need a specialized level of care, contact our ENT doctor in New York at 212-867-4813. Let us help you resolve your child’s ear pain.

Ear Infection

Ear infections are the most common childhood infection requiring antibiotics, and Dr. Michael Burnett, one of New York’s top Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctors, sees many patients in his practice who developed inflammation or infection of the middle ear. A middle ear infection refers to an infection that affects the ear drums, and frequently begins with another type of respiratory infection, like a cold or a sore throat, that is the result of a virus or a bacteria that infects those areas before spreading to the middle ear. Otitis media is the medical term for this infection, and it refers to inflammation of the middle ear, but typically this term is also used to denote middle ear infections and inflammation.

Ear Infection, or Otitis Media

Acute otitis media will develop rapidly, but it rarely lasts for longer than a few days. Patients with otitis media will have pain and sometimes experience fever. Dr. Michael Burnett may examine your ear and find signs of fluid that are accumulating in the middle ear, and your eardrum may appear to bulge when it is examined with an otoscope. Sometimes, otitis media can result in a bulging eardrum or a perforation of the ear drum, which results in drainage of pus from the middle ear.

Patients who visit Dr. Michael Burnett with chronic otitis media may have developed inflammation in the middle ear that has persisted for at least a month. Chronic otitis media is the result of fluid buildup behind the ear drum, or tympanic membrane, during an episode of acute otitis media. The pressure from chronic otitis media can result in continuing damage to the eardrum and to the middle ear. Patients who have chronic otitis media may experience a small amount of hearing loss, and they may have had pressure in the ear, or popping, for an extended period of time.

Ear Infection in Children

About 75% of American children will experience otitis media at least one time before they reach the age of three years old. Children may complain of pain in the ear, but sometimes younger children may simply appear to be irritable and fussy, and may be having difficulties feeding or sleeping. Many times, fever occurs, and the symptoms of an ear infection are frequently seen in children who have signs of other upper respiratory infections, including runny nose or cough. Ear infections aren’t contagious, although the colds or other infections that accompany the ear infection may be contagious.

Young children get ear infections frequently because the canal that runs between the middle ear and the back of the nose and throat, known as the Eustachian tube, is shorter in young children, which allows pathogenic bacteria and viruses to easily enter the middle ear and cause an infection. Treatment depends upon the age of the child, and the certainty of the diagnosis. Some children may continue to have recurrent episodes of otitis media, and may need to have a tube placed to drain fluid from the middle ear.

If you or your child is suffering from recurrent or persistent symptoms of otitis media, call us at 212-867-4813 or email us today to make an appointment for an evaluation with Dr. Michael Burnett, New York’s top ENT doctor.


 

Michael C. Burnett, MD

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

212-867-4813