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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: ENT Doctor

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.

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. Read on to learn more about this condition.

What are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps are soft growths that form in the sinuses or nasal cavities. They are not cancerous and usually not painful, though their growth can cause pain in the surrounding areas. Nasal polyps can occur at any age but are mostly found in adult patients.

Small polyps usually don’t cause any symptoms, so most patients do not know they have them. However, larger polyps can cause inflammation and obstruct the nasal passages and cause a person to have a variety of nose and sinus issues. Common symptoms include a chronically runny or stuffy nose, frequent postnasal drip, headaches, sinus pressure, and chronic sinusitis. Not all cases of chronic sinusitis are caused by nasal polyps though. If you’re dealing with this issue, your doctor will be able to determine the exact cause of your sinus infections.

Treating and Preventing Nasal Polyps

If you have nasal polyps, there are a few different treatment options available. The first treatment offered to patients is usually medication, which will target the polyps and help to keep the nasal passages clear. If over-the-counter sinus infection or allergy medication does not relieve your symptoms, your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic or nasal steroid spray to give you relief.

If your nasal polyps do not respond to the prescription medication, your doctor might also recommend surgery. Small polyps can be removed in an outpatient procedure called a polypectomy which uses a small suction device to remove the polyps. Larger polyps might require laparoscopic sinus surgery. During this procedure, your doctor will use insert a small camera into your nostril to monitor your polyps during removal. While this procedure is more involved than a polypectomy, it is still usually performed as an outpatient procedure.

When to See Your Doctor

If you suspect you are dealing with chronic sinusitis or have other persistent nasal or sinus issues, make an appointment with an ENT to check for nasal polyps. Your doctor will be able to easily diagnose these polyps in their office. If you have them, addressing them might finally provide you with sinus relief.

Following your doctor’s instructions can also help you to prevent more polyps in the future. While this isn’t a guarantee for everyone, your ENT will be able to determine the cause of your polyps and recommend home remedies and triggers to avoid. Working these into your lifestyle (along with your medication) can help you feel better.

Do you think you might have nasal polyps? Don’t wait to get your symptoms checked. Contact Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813 to schedule an ENT appointment today.

ENT doctor for Tinnitus NYC

What is Tinnitus?

When damage occurs to the inner part of the ear, tinnitus can develop. Imagine going to a concert and standing towards the very front of the stage, right next to the speakers. At first, the music may sound very loud but after a while, you get used to the volume. It won’t be until after the concert is over and you end up shouting instead of speaking that you realize exactly what you put your ears through. Go to enough concerts and stand right by the speakers enough times and you can develop tinnitus.

Unlike traditional hearing loss, tinnitus only describes damage that occurs to the tiny hairs located on the inside of the ear canal. Normally, sound is interpreted by the human ear when these tiny hairs vibrate. When tinnitus occurs, an annoying buzzing sound can replace certain frequencies, causing irritation. It isn’t to be confused with hearing loss as you can hear perfectly fine and still have tinnitus.


The only way to develop tinnitus is to damage the inner part of the ear indirectly. What this means is that tinnitus is caused by exposure to high volumes and loud sounds over a long period. If you work in construction and use tools like jackhammers, tinnitus can develop if you don’t wear protective ear buds. Musicians are also prone to develop tinnitus as they can be exposed to music that goes well over the standard decibel level recommended by doctors. If you listen to your music too loud or watch television at heightened levels, there is a chance that tinnitus could develop.

Signs and Symptoms

Any time you hear a ringing sound in your ears that doesn’t go away, you should consult with a doctor. Sometimes people can experience

periods of hearing loss or ringing in the ears and not have tinnitus. If you hear ringing sounds that don’t go away after you yawn, take a nap and get away from all audio devices, you might be suffering from tinnitus.


There aren’t any known treatments for tinnitus that alleviate all the symptoms or reverse the disorder. On the other hand, some medications are known to provide sufferers with relief and lesson the ringing sensations they experience. If tinnitus is paired with hearing loss, then sometimes hearing aids can be helpful.

Treatment options for tinnitus exist, but you do have to see an ENT. It is best to reach out and get help as soon as you are experiencing symptoms. Get treatment for tinnitus by contacting the best ENT doctors in NYC.

Common Ear Ache Causes

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists handle a variety of problems. Among children, earaches are among the most common conditions affecting them. Adults, too, can suffer from this health problem, but children tend to get earaches more frequently. This includes infants and not simply school age children.

What Are Ear Aches?

As the name suggests, an earache is a condition that causes pain inside the ear. It may be a mild ache or a more severe pain. You or your child may require medical attention is the pain is severe and is accompanied by other symptoms including:

  •  Dizziness
  •  High fever
  •  Severe headache
  •  Swelling around the ear
  •  Discharge from the ear e.g. mucus or blood

These may indicate the potential of a ruptured eardrum.

Common Causes of Ear Aches

The causes of earaches vary. Anything that creates the conditions for a buildup of fluid in the middle ear can result in an earache. Earaches are often the result of any of the following occurrences:

  • Ear Infection: This is the most common reason you or your child may have an earache. Although otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear), is the major cause of infection, the basis of the problem may differ. The medical condition may be the result of a viral or bacterial infection. Bacterial infections are easily treated with antibiotics; viral infections are not.
  • Earwax Buildup
  •  Employing Cotton Swabs: Cleaning the ears with this or other devices, may damage the ear or create conditions causal factors in earaches. Never use sharp devices or anything that may harm your ears
  •  Foreign Object in the Ear
  • Pressure Changes: When you fly, the pressure may alter. This can result in a shift in fluid creating the conditions for an earache. The same may apply for climbing and other changes in altitude
  •  Sinusitis: Infection of your nasal cavities or sinuses
  •  Strep throat
  •  Water Trapped in the Ear: Any water or water-based product e.g. shampoo, that becomes trapped in the ear can create the discomfort known as earaches. Water may become trapped in your inner ear if you swim regularly. Infection may result if the water remains inside for an extended period or the water is contaminated with bacteria or other toxins
    Many of these problems can occur during the course of your day. If you seem prone to earaches, it is important you take precautions to decrease the number of incidents. Be careful when you wash your hair and wear a swim cap or ear plugs if you swim. Talk to your doctor or ENT specialist about any measures you can take to reduce your risk of the pain from earaches.

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

What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is one of the most common ear, nose and throat conditions amongst adults and children in the United States. Tonsillitis affects the tonsils, which are two lymph nodes that are located at each side of the throat. Contrarily to popular opinion, people of all ages can get tonsillitis and it is not confined to children only. However, cases are less frequent in adults due to their stronger immune systems.

Tonsillitis is contagious and can be caused by many conditions, such as bacterial infections. Here are some of the causes, symptoms and treatment options for tonsillitis.

What Causes Tonsillitis?

To understand tonsillitis, you have to understand the function of the tonsils in the first place. The role of your tonsils is to work as a primary line of defense. They work by producing large amounts of white blood cells to help your body combat infections. They prevent various bacteria and viruses from entering through the throat area.

Since tonsils can prove to be vulnerable to these pathogens, inflammation may occur after exposition. Viruses are usually the main culprit for tonsillitis, Epstein-Barr being the most common one. In other cases, direct exposition to bacteria and contagion may be at cause. Children who are in contact with other children during play may contract tonsillitis due to exposition to viruses and bacteria.

What are the Symptoms of Tonsillitis?

Some of the most common symptoms of tonsillitis are a scratchy and sore throat, difficulties swallowing, voice extinction, fever, bad breath, stiff necks, headaches, and stomachaches. Other symptoms may include neck and jaw tenderness, chills and bouts of fever.

What is the Treatment for Tonsillitis?

Since tonsillitis is usually a minor condition, treatment isn’t always necessary. If the cause is due to a virus, in many cases over the counter antihistamines or a prescription throat spray may be recommended. In more severe cases, you might be prescribed antibiotics and in some cases you may require a tonsillectomy, which is the removal of the tonsils.

While tonsillectomy was very prevalent in the past, the procedure is now only prescribed for those who suffer from severe tonsillitis and show no signs of improvement after traditional treatments.

What Should I Do if I Have Tonsillitis?

If you feel like you’re experiencing symptoms such as an inflamed throat and difficulty swallowing accompanied with a bout of fever, then it’s a clear sign that you may be dealing with severe tonsillitis. If that’s the case, you should consult an ENT doctor today for an appointment. If you’re living in the NYC area, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best ENT doctor in NYC.

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

What is Meniere’s Disease?

Meniere’s disease is a condition that targets the inner ear area. One of the main symptoms of the condition is vertigo, but it can exhibit many other symptoms as well. Meniere’s disease affects a fairly large portion of the population, and while the disorder can affect people of any age, symptoms usually manifest themselves in people between the ages of 20 to 50.

The Main Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease

One of the main symptoms of the disease is repeated episodes of vertigo. These can appear with no warning at all and last anywhere from 20 minutes to a whole day, but rarely more than 24 hours. These episodes of vertigo can sometimes lead to other symptoms like vomiting and nausea.

Another major symptom of Meniere’s disease is loss of hearing. At the beginning, hearing loss can vary in sufferers, but eventually this leads to permanent loss to various degrees. Tinnitus, or ear ringing, is another hearing related sign of Meniere’s.

In some cases, people have reported that they feel some kind of pressure in both ears.

The Causes of Meniere’s Disease

At the time of writing, no specific cause has been identified for Meniere’s. The general consensus is that it has to do with something surrounding the amount of fluid in the inner ear. Other factors that may contribute to it include fluid drainage issues, genetic predisposition, viral infections and head trauma.

What Treatment is Available

There is no definite cure for Meniere’s disease, however, there are treatments for its symptoms. For vertigo, for instance, you might be prescribed medication for motion sickness, such as diazepam or meclizine. Promethazine can be prescribed in some cases to control nausea.

In addition to that, your doctor may prescribe diuretics to deal with fluid retention as well as non intrusive treatments such as rehabilitation, hearing aids or therapy using a Meniett device. The device works by applying pulsating pressure through your ear canal to reduce the effects of vertigo and inner ear pressure.

In more severe cases, doctors may prescribe some forms of steroids or surgical procedures such as a vestibular nerve section or labyrinthectomy.

What to do?

If you feel like you have any of the symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease, consult your doctor immediately. He might be able to tell you if you actually have Meniere’s disease or if your symptoms are caused by another disorder. If you’re living in the New York area, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best ENT doctor in NYC.


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

A Look at the Most Common ENT Problems in Children

It’s not uncommon for children to be afflicted with the same conditions as adults. But in many cases, especially when it comes to ear, nose and throat problems, the symptoms can be very different, both in duration and severity. Also, while certain treatments may be appropriate for adults, they may not be recommended for children. Here, we’re going to explore some of the most common ENT health problems in children.

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is very common among children. Many factors can be at cause for hay fever, such as indoor allergens. Outdoor allergens, such as grass, pollen and weeds can present seasonal symptoms.

Allergic rhinitis typically occurs due to hereditary reasons and the over exposure to allergens. Allergic rhinitis can also be triggered by exposition to certain foods, such as milk protein, for instance. It usually expresses itself through flu like symptoms such as nose itching and discharge, sneezing, and congestion. It can also cause skin rashes and eczema.

Deviated Septum

A deviated septum is also a common condition among children, and it is estimated that about 80% of the whole population’s septums are deviated to a certain extent. In the most severe cases, a septum is so deviated that it can cause difficulties with breathing, which may lead to multiple sinus infections.

The septum is the part of the nose that separates both nasal cavities, and is entirely made of cartilage. When the septum is deviated too far to the left or the right, drainage becomes more difficult, leading to a variety of conditions. A septum can be deviated from birth, it can become deviated after treatment, or it may be deviated due to an accident. In many cases, the only permanent solution is to undergo surgery.

Tonsillitis and Pharyngitis

Tonsillitis and pharyngitis are both conditions that cause infections and inflammation in the throat area. Pharyngitis affects the throat specifically and tonsillitis affects the tonsils. While the symptoms might seem similar for both, the treatment is different. In the case of pharyngitis, a virus is the main culprit, so over the counter or prescription anti inflammatory medication may be recommended. This is also the case with tonsillitis, except that removal of the tonsils may be prescribed as well.

Ear, nose and throat issues can be alarming, especially for children. This is why it is important to consult a qualified ENT doctor as soon as the first symptoms appear. If your child is showing any of the symptoms in this article, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best ENT doctor in NYC.

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

How to Find the Best Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor for You

If you’re having an ear, nose, throat or any problem relating to structures connected to them, you may need the help of an otolaryngologist, most commonly known as an ENT doctor. However, if you’ve never had to deal with these issues before and this is your first time around, finding a good doctor might be confusing. In this article, we’re going to explore the criteria you should be looking for in a good ENT doctor.

Start with Referrals

Referrals offer one of the fastest and easiest ways to start building a list of potential doctors. If you have a primary care doctor, start with him first. He should be able to refer you to a doctor that will be able to suit you the best. Also make sure that you do your due diligence and do a background check on the doctor’s credentials. As you compile your list, make sure that you contact each and every one of them to schedule an initial appointment.

Checking the Credentials

When it comes to credentials, the first thing you should check is if the doctor is board certified. Next, check if he has ever had malpractice charges laid or disciplinary actions against him. Sites like Healthgrades.com will allow you to check a doctor’s alma mater, certifications, and training hospital, among other things. They will also allow you to check a doctor’s disciplinary and malpractice history.

Check the Doctor’s Experience

Experience is essential when finding an ENT. Not only in the field in general, but for your condition in particular. When consulting a doctor, don’t be afraid to ask if he has a subspecialty relating to your particular diagnosis. The more experience a doctor has with your condition, the higher the chances of success.

Check the Facility

Having a good ENT is a good start, but if the facilities from which he operates aren’t up to par, the quality of your treatment will most likely suffer. Check out the quality of the equipment and general state of the facility. Also check out the staff and how they treat you and other patients. Check if they are truly attentive to patients’ needs or are simply going through the motions.

The location of the hospital should also be taken into consideration as well. In the case you have to go in for several visits, you want your commute to and from the hospital to be as easy as possible.

Finding a great ENT doctor shouldn’t be that difficult now that you know exactly what you should be looking for. If you live in the New York area, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best ENT doctor in NYC. Our staff will be more than happy to answer all of your questions and our doctors have years of experience in the field.

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

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is a very common condition that affects a large number of adults and children of all ages. Most cases of sinusitis are caused by a viral infection and the symptoms can last from anywhere between one or two days to two weeks. The sinuses work as a lining of the nasal passages, and can… Continue Reading

What is Laryngitis?

Laryngitis is the swelling and inflammation of the larynx area, also referred to as the voice box. Laryngitis affects a large number of Americans and can be treated in most cases. The larynx houses the vocal cords. Vocal cords are membranes that are covered by a mucous and can become infected and inflamed due to… Continue Reading

Michael C. Burnett, MD

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