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A range of problems – from sleep apnea to facial paralysis – canbe treated with a visit to an ear, nose and throat specialist (orotolaryngologist). However, not all medical issues in their arearequire drastic measures such as surgery or rehabilitation, andsome can be solved by simple hearing tests. Ifyou or a loved one experience any of the following symptoms,consider visiting an ENT specialist to learn if you require specialattention and treatment.

* Sinus pain: Pain in the ear, on your face, in the upper teethand between your eyes is usually accompanied by nasal congestion,obstruction and abnormal drainage. Frequent sinus pain is oftenconfused with allergies. Antibiotics and steroids can help treatflare-ups, and you should see a doctor to rule out more seriousconditions.

* Congestion: This feeling of head pressure often comes fromabnormal contact between the nasal passage and sinuses, which meansthat you may have an infection or allergic rhinitis (allergyproblems). Sudden, infrequent onsets can be caused by viralinfections, seasonal allergies and acute bacterial infections, andtreated with over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Chroniccongestion may be due to allergies or anatomic abnormalities, likea deviated septum, that needs an ENT specialist’s attention.

* Hearing loss: Conductive hearing loss means there could be aproblem with the eardrum, ear canal and/or the three bonesconnected to the eardrum. Common causes include fluid behind theeardrum or excess wax in the ear canal, both of which can betreated with surgery. Sensorinural hearing loss occurs because ofdamage to the inner ear or auditory nerve from noise exposure andaging, and digital hearingaids can often help bring back lost sounds.

* Airway obstruction: Inability to breathe through the nosecomfortably may be due to a viral infection or headache. However,if this condition appears at night only, it may be because yourreclining position pumps more blood into the many vessels in yournose and swells the area already suffering from existing nasalproblems. See an ENT to discuss different pillow and surgicaloptions.

* Headaches: Individuals often wrongly assume that headachespaired with sinus problems are related to congestion in the sinuscavity. Some are actually caused by acute upper respiratoryinfections, chronic sinusitis or anatomic abnormalities. Headachesaccompanied by few sinus symptoms should be checked out by aspecialist who will often do a CT scanearly in the diagnosis for more effective treatment.

* Drainage: This symptom usually appears in the form of postnasal drip and/or a runny nose. Chronic post nasal drip can be aform of acid reflux (Laryngo-pharyngeal reflux) that often isn’taccompanied with indigestion or heartburn, and should be addressedby a specialist. Many medicines and supplements are currently onthe market to treat this issue.

Courtesy of ARAcontent