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Dr. Michael Burnett Specializes in Problems of the Ear, Nose, Sinuses and Throat.

As of June 1st, We have reopened our office and are now taking in office consultations.

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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Michael Burnett, MD

Category Archives: Throat Doctor

Top 9 Causes of Throat Pain

Top Causes of Throat Pain

What causes throat pain? Throat pain can be anything from slight discomfort to severe irritation and scratchiness. Although throat pain can occur due to a variety of reasons, the most common cause is the flu or the common cold.

In a mild throat pain case, you would feel difficulty or discomfort in eating or drinking. However, in a more severe case, you can experience a sharp and painful sensation every time you swallow. Throat pain, when left untreated, can lead to other disorders, complications, and even unhealthy weight loss.

For these reasons, you should know what causes throat pain, so you better prepare yourself.

What Causes Throat Pain?

While the most prevalent and common cause of throat pain is a common cold virus, it is not the only one. Throat pain can occur due to a wide variety of reasons and alignments.  Most of us experience it during some point in our life.

9 Most Common Cause of Throat Pain

1)    Viral Infection

Viral infections can cause throat pain. The most common diseases include flu, cold virus, measles, and chickenpox. Alternatively, mono and even mouth blisters can also cause sore throat. A childhood illness like croup, known for its rough barking cough, also causes throat pain.

2)    Bacterial Infection

Conditions like strep throat caused by a bacterial infection, like Streptococcus pyogenes, can lead to difficulty in swallowing and severe throat pain. While most bacterial infection swells the tonsils, others, like the Arcanobacterium haemolyticum, can cause rashes and severe pain in the throat. Bacterial infection, when left untreated, can lead to severe complications like kidney or heart damage. The treatment for this infection includes antibiotic medicines.

3)    Sinus Or Nasal Passageway Infection

During sinus and conditions like flu, where a runny nose can lead to postnasal drip, viruses, bacteria, and even fungus travel with that drip. This infects the mucus membrane at the back of the throat. The infected mucus membrane leads to a painful or sore throat.

Top Causes of Throat Pain - Best ENT NYC 02

4)    Allergies

Allergies are also among one of the leading causes of throat pain. Allergies like dust, mold, pollen, or dander contribute directly to the sore throat. Some allergies indirectly affect the throat by contributing to the postnasal drip, inflammation, and irritation of the throat.

5)    Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is the acid from our stomach that travels to the esophagus, up to our throat and mouth. Not only is acid reflux a leading cause for throat pain, but it is also a very prevailing cause of tooth erosion. Acid reflux is worse in the morning as compared to the night while we sleep.

6)    Irritation

Throat irritations from inhaling chemicals, dry air or cigarette, and tobacco smoke can cause sore, rough, and itchy throat. Other things that can cause throat irritation are breathing through your mouth for too long, chronic nasal congestion, outdoor pollution, eating spicy foods, and drinking alcohol.

7)    Laryngitis

Laryngitis can occur when there is an excessive strain or overuse of the voice. This is most common in signers and individuals who have regular use of loud voice in their occupation. Laryngitis can cause hoarseness and muscle strain, as well.

8)    Surgery and Post-Intubation

Post intubation is a sure cause of sore throat. It is a pain you experience when you have a breathing tube inserted due to an injury, illness, or after surgery. Fortunately, it is a temporary discomfort that subsides after a day or two after the removal of the tube.

Similarly, procedures like a thyroidectomy and EGD can cause throat pain.

9)    Cancer and Tumor

Throat pain because of cancer or other growth, is a rare yet plausible situation. The signs and symptoms of these conditions include difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, noisy breathing, feeling a lump in the back of your throat, or having blood appear in the phlegm or saliva. If you notice more than one of these symptoms in yourself, then book an appointment with a certified ENT specialist to get yourself evacuated. Nothing is worse than finding a cancerous throat, tongue, or voice box tumor at the very last stage.

Final Thoughts

Throat pain can happen due to any number of reasons, from mild infections to severe tumors. Therefore, certified Otolaryngologist and ENT specialists like Dr. Michael C. Burnett, MD, suggests evaluating your sore throat as early as you can. For more information about your throat pain, you can contact Dr. Burnett by calling 212-644-8350 or visiting the clinic on suite 600, between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue, New York.

Neck Mass: Causes and Treatment

Neck mass is an abnormal lump present in the neck. Depending on what’s causing the neck mass, they can be painful or painless. The painless neck mass is so subtle that they can go unnoticed for an extended period. Doctors are usually the ones to discover them during an examination.

Neck Mass: Causes and Treatment

What Causes A Neck Mass?

Neck masses are enlarging lymph nodes; other times, they are congenital cysts, enlarge salivary glands, or thyroid glands.

1.     Enlarged Lymph Nodes

Enlarged lymph nodes are most common among younger people. This neck mass in the lymph nodes develops because of any of the following reasons:

  • Direct lymph node bacterial infection known as lymphadenitis. Nodes infected with this bacterial infection are very tender to touch.
  • Reaction or response to nearby infections, like the dental, throat, or upper respiratory infection;
    since they are not tender but soft in this situation, they return to their standard shape once the infection goes away.
  • Reaction to certain systematic infections can cause multiple lymph nodes enlargement, some of which are present in the neck. The most common type of such neck mass comes in the form of conditions like mono, HIV, and tuberculosis.
  • One severe form of enlarged lymph node neck mass is the serious cancerous neck lumps.

2.     Congenital Cysts

Cysts masses in the neck are hollow and fluid-filled. These masses are typically harmless. When infection of any sort spreads to these masses, it is then that they become harmful.

The reason for them being harmless is that some cysts, like the epidermoid cyst, develop inside the skin. In addition, complications in fetal development can also lead to abnormalities like cysts being present in the neck since birth.

3.     Enlarge Salivary Glands

Neck mass can also occur in the form of salivary glands enlarging. These glands are present under the jaw, also known as the submandibular gland. They form neck mass when a stone blocks them, they get infected or develop cancer.

4.     Enlarge Thyroid Glands

Thyroid glands enlargement is the most common cause of neck mass. These glands are present above the breast bone in the middle of the neck. Among the types of thyroid gland enlargement, the most common is the goiter that is benign or noncancerous. Cancerous and inflamed thyroid gland neck mass are less common.

5.     Cancerous Neck Lumps

Maligant neck lumps are cancerous. These neck mass occur most commonly in elderly individuals but can also happen in younger people. These cancerous lumps or nodes are not tender or painful, but they are rock hard to touch.

These cancerous lumps can possibly be masses of nearby structures, such as, from the throat or mouth, which has grown to the neck. These lymph nodes can also form when cancer spreads from a distant part of the body. Moreover, they can also occur when cancer arises in the lymphatic system itself as in lymphoma.

ENT Doctor NYC for Neck Mass

How Is A Neck Mass Treated?

The treatment for any neck mass varies with the cause of neck mass. However, treating a cancerous neck lumps follows a standard surgical procedure. When doctors find no sign of cancer cells anywhere else, other than the ones found in enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, then they remove the entire lump containing the cancer cells. Moreover, doctors sometimes remove additional lymph nodes and fatty tissues present in the neck along with the cancerous lump. As a precautionary method, if the tumor in the neck mass is large enough, then the doctors might also have to remove the internal jugular vein with nearby nerves and muscles.

Final Thought

It is better to get your neck mass examined as soon as you notice any swelling or lump. Many certified Otolaryngologist and ENT specialists, like Dr. Michael C. Burnett, MD, suggest that the painless neck mass are the most worrisome. As a precaution, get them checked immediately. ENT specialists also provide us with a brief list of warning signs that we should keep a lookout for. These include:

  • Having a tough lump
  • Noticing any sort of growth or lump in your mouth
  • Experiencing hoarseness or difficulty in swallowing
  • Noticing a new lump

For more information about your neck mass, call Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813.

Hoarseness: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

What Is Hoarseness?

Hoarseness is a change in the pitch or volume of your voice. The abnormal change can include your voice being harsh, deep, raspy, weak, strained, or even breathy. It can also include any other change in volume or pitch of your voice that you consider to be abnormal. Hoarseness can occur due to a wide range of reasons. However, it most commonly happens when the larynx or vocal folds in your throat are suffering from any disorder.

Hoarseness Causes Symptoms Treatment 01

While Hoarseness itself isn’t a disease, it is known to be a symptom of many diseases, which is why it is a good idea to know more about it,and find out and find out what the causes are how you can treat it.

What Cause Hoarseness?

Hoarseness can happen due to several reasons. However, the most general cause of Hoarseness lies in the disorders of the larynx or the vocal cords.

The vocal cords are present in the larynx, also known as the voice box, which is a part of our respiratory tract. You might have heard of the outer layer of the larynx since it is most commonly known as the “Adam’s apple.” Inside the larynx, the vocal cords form a very prominent “V” shape, with two bands of muscles. It is these bands or vocal cords that vibrate and produce sound every time we speak or sing. If your vocal cords were to suffer from any disorder, the quality of the sound they create would be different from what you are used to.

In other words, injury, irritation, or inflammation to the vocal cords can result in hoarseness. Fortunately, the causes of this hoarseness usually are viral, temporary, and tend not to last long. If it lasts less than two weeks, then that is normal. However, if hoarseness causes difficulty in breathing or if it lasts longer than two weeks, then that can be a sign of a more serious issue. For that reason, consider booking an appointment with an ENT specialist immediately.

Apart from this most common cause of Hoarseness, other causes may include:

  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Cysts, benign vocal cord nodules or polyps
  • Allergies, or the common cold
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • GERD or the gastroesophageal reflux
  • Thyroid problem
  • Smoking
  • Trauma to the vocal cords or larynx
  • Inhaling respiratory tract irritants
  • Larynx cancer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Neurological disorder and conditions like Parkinson’s disease
  • Vocal abuse

Signs and Symptoms

The dead giveaway of Hoarseness is the quality of your sound. Hoarseness typically gives your voice a harsh or raspy sound. Other associated symptoms, and the rapidity of the onset of those symptoms, all depend on the underlying cause of it.

The signs, symptoms, or any other abnormality that you might notice, are your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. You would do well not to take this lightly.

Hoarseness Doctor

Hoarseness that is recurring or persistent can very well be a warning sign of larynx cancer. The degree and severity of your diagnoses will depend entirely on your physical examination and your medical history. For this reason, we advise you to consider getting a diagnosis from a certified health care provider rather than self-diagnosing it.

Treatment of Hoarseness

While you can take easy preventive measures for Hoarseness like avoiding strenuous use of your voice and ceasing smoking, the proper treatment is somewhat tricky. The course of treatment for Hoarseness varies with each underlying cause.

For example:

  • Acute laryngitis can require conservative treatments.
  • Irritation and injury to the vocal cord can demand vocal rest.
  • GERD or gastroesophageal reflux can require medication.
  • Treating a Trauma to the vocal cords, Polyps or benging nodules, and larynx cancer may require surgery.

Final Thoughts

If Hoarseness persists for more than two weeks or is causing difficulties in breathing, then have it evaluated as soon as possible. Moreover, certified Otolaryngologist and ENT specialists like Dr. Michael C. Burnett, MD, highly suggest urgent medical attention to Hoarseness that is associated with throat pain.

In any case, you should not take Hoarseness lightly. You can get more information about your Hoarseness from Dr. Burnett by calling 212-867-4813 and visiting us at 115 East 57th Street
(Between Park + Lexington Ave.) Suite 600, New York, NY 10022.

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


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.


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


ENT Doctor for Throat Pain

Do you need an ENT Doctor throat pain?Sore throats are one of the most common complaints during cold and flu season. Throat pain is a symptom of a variety of conditions, ranging from the common cold to complex issues requiring surgery. Regardless of the condition, a sore throat is no fun. In this article, we’ll several go over different types of pain, as well as some treatment options that can help.

Types of Throat Pain

The most common type of throat pain is the result of a cold. In fact, a sore throat is often the first symptom that a person will experience when they are coming down with a cold. A sore throat usually gets better as the cold progresses, but some people can have their sore throat for the entire duration of their cold.

Strep throat (streptococcal infection) is another common cause of throat pain. This condition is caused by streptococcal bacteria and will require antibiotics to treat. Strep throat pain is typically more severe than throat pain caused by a cold or other respiratory infection. It can be quickly diagnosed by a strep test performed by your doctor.

Other conditions, such as sinus infections, allergies, or even tonsillitis can cause throat pain. A doctor will be able to look at your throat, test for these conditions, and treat your throat pain.

Remedies and Treatments

There are plenty of medications and home remedies to try if you’re suffering from throat pain. Gargling warm salt water is a simple and virtually free way to relieve the pain. You might also try drinking tea with honey or using steam (either from a warm shower or a humidifier) to open your nasal passages and calm swelling.

Try over-the-counter medications as well. Throat lozenges and sprays will give you instant pain relief. Cold medications and pain relievers can also help reduce swelling and tame other symptoms you might be experiencing, like nasal congestion and fever. You can also an over-the-counter treatment with a home remedy for added relief, just be sure to ask a professional before combining multiple medications.

When to See a Doctor

If you are still dealing with throat pain after trying these remedies, you may need an antibiotic or other prescription treatment. A doctor will be able to prescribe you with the medications you need and will also monitor your symptoms. If you’re dealing with a sore throat and you don’t see improvement in your symptoms within a week, go and see a professional.

You should also see a doctor if you are dealing with recurring throat pain. Your doctor can determine if your sore throat is being caused by a virus, bacterial infection, or other serious condition that might require something like surgery. Regardless of the cause, a doctor will be able to give you a sore throat solution.

You don’t have to suffer from throat pain. If you’d like to find a treatment that works, contact Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813 to schedule an ENT appointment today.

Signs of Cancer in the Throat

Throat cancer is a type of cancer that specifically forms on the throat, voice box, or on the tonsils. Most cancers will begin in the flat cells that line the inside of the throat, but the voice box and other areas can also be impacted by this development. Often times, those who suffer from this cancer will have some types of signs or symptoms of it, especially as it progresses. However, some people do not suffer any symptoms until the condition worsens significantly. If you notice symptoms or your doctor tells you that you may need additional treatment, it is best to seek it out.

Common Symptoms of Throat Cancer

Though symptoms will vary from one person to the next, the most common signs that cancer may be present include the following:

  • A persistent cough
  • Changes in the voice, often seeming hoarser than it was
  • Not speaking as clearly as he or she once did
  • Ear pain that is unexplained otherwise
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Weight loss, often due to painful eating
  • Sore throat that does not seem to go away
  • Lump or a sore that does not heal

If you have any of these symptoms, it is best to seek out the help of your doctor right away. If your systems do not clear up on their own within a few days or they seem to worsen even if you are taking medication, it is best not to put off getting help for this condition.

Treatment Options

Like all cancers, doctors will need to determine the stage or severity of the cancer as well as what other systems of your body may be impacted to determine what the best treatment options are for you. In addition, your overall health, personal needs, and the treatment options available to you are all factors that will play a role in how this condition is treated. In most cases, radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and rehabilitation are all likely treatment options. There is no way to know how severe your condition is until your doctor performs a variety of tests. In many cases, treatment options are available.

If you think you have some of these symptoms, call and schedule a consultation with the best ENT in New York to find out what is behind them. From there, you can secure the proper doctor to diagnose and treat any cancer found.

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

Improving Swallowing: How an ENT Can Help

Swallowing may seem like a simple action but it takes multiple muscles and key brain connectivity to make it happen. Difficulty swallowing is actually not uncommon and it can happen to people of all age groups. It tends to be worse in those that are elderly, those that have suffered a stroke, those who have suffered traumatic brain disorders, or those who are very young. No matter what you are experiencing, though, it is ultimately very important for you to turn to a specialist to help you to overcome the limitations you face. Improving swallowing is something your ENT can help you with in many cases.

Why Are You Struggling?

The first step for the ENT is to understanding the underlying problem. Often times, these problems do not indicate that a specific disease or limitation is present. In other words, struggling with this does not mean you have a tumor that is worsening. Rather, it is often a temporary condition, one that can be treated, and one that is not life threatening. Do you have symptoms of a swallowing disorder? Some of those may include:

  • Drooling
  • Voice changes
  • Discomfort located in the chest or the upper throat, often feeling as though reflux is occurring as well
  • A feeling that there is something stuck in the throat especially after eating or drinking
  • Weight loss often brought on by inadequate nutrition for a long period of time
  • Coughing or chocking during the eating process.

What Can Be Done?

Every individual’s needs are different. Ultimately, you will work closely with your doctor to better understand the underlying cause and the treatment option best for you. Options may be available that can help. For example, some medications can help to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach, which can reduce reflux. In other cases, the use of muscle relaxants can help to reduce the risk of throat muscles contracting. And, there are other options available to help with other causes.

The first step is to contact our offices to schedule an appointment with the best ENT in New York. Then, we can conduct a study to determine if a swallowing concern exists and the severity of it. From there, a swallowing therapy session can begin to give you the help and support you need to overcome this condition and to improve your overall ability to swallow properly.

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

Lymph Node Pain in Neck

ENT Doctor for Lymph Node Pain in Neck

Contacting an ENT doctor for lymph node pain in the neck is an important step in getting the help you need for this condition. There are various reasons the lymph nodes can become painful or tender. It is not often a good idea to put off getting help for this condition. The lymphatic system, of which the lymph nodes are a part, also contains a network of organs and vessels that run throughout the body. Pain isn’t something to ignore and your ENT is sure to provide you with more information about the underlying cause.

Why Do Swollen, Painful Lymph Nodes Occur?

The causes of lymph node pain can range widely. Only your doctor can provide specific information about the underlying causes. The most common causes include the following:

  • Mononucleosis
  • Strep throat
  • Measles
  • Skin or wound infections
  • Infected tooth
  • Tuberculosis
  • Some types of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

In some situations, the pain can also stem from immune system disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. They can also be painful and swollen due to the presence of cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia as well as cancers that may have spread from other parts of the body. This is often not the first sign of a problem, though.

Why Do They Swell?

A lymph node is a small cluster of cells. This round connective tissue produces protein particles. These particles help to capture viruses that are coming into your body. They help to work as a filter as the lymphatic fluid moves through your system. However, in some cases, they become infected. This can be from a simple viral infection or they can be from a parasitic or bacterial infection. When they become infected, they become inflamed, which leads to the swelling and the pain that you feel.

If you have pain from this area of the body, you will need to consider calling a professional. An ENT doctor for lymph node pain in neck will examine the overall area as well as other symptoms you may have. Numerous tests can also provide your doctor with the information necessary about the underlying cause of the swelling and pain.

If the swelling and pain does not improve quickly, contact your ENT, such as our ENT in New York, call us at 212-867-4813 to get an appointment to discuss the symptoms you are having.

ENT Doctor for Thyroid

How can an ENT doctor help you with your thyroid? There are various reasons to turn to an ENT doctor for thyroid help and support. The thyroid is a gland located at the base of your neck. It aids in the production of hormones. Those hormones race through your body, telling organs how to function… Continue Reading

Chronic Cough

Chronic coughs are coughs that last for longer than eight weeks. If the chronic cough occurs in someone who smokes, it is called chronic bronchitis, and can be successfully treated by smoking cessation. Cause of a Chronic Cough Causes of a chronic cough in people who don’t smoke can include asthma, nasal allergies and sinusitis,… Continue Reading

Michael C. Burnett, MD

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