This is the year! Maybe not to fulfill those gym resolutions you have every year, but definitely the year to have a healthier ear, nose and throat. For many people, problems such as hearing loss, chronic sinusitis, year-round allergies, and sleep disorders are just things they choose to live with. But, we’ve created a list of health tips for your ear, nose and throat. This way, you can tell those issues, “NO MORE!”
We’ll start the health tips with the ear.
Health Tips: The Ear
#1: Wear hearing protection
This one should go without saying, but there are those in scenarios they can’t help. For instance, hearing protection hasn’t always been the greatest in the military, leading even younger veterans to have hearing loss and tinnitus. In many situations though, we have that option. For instance, wearing hearing protection at a concert, the shooting range, or even sporting events will make all the difference.
#2: Buy hearing aids
For many with hearing loss, the idea of buying hearing aids is a terrifying notion. They’re generally associated with aging and becoming handicapped, but that’s a wrong judgment. With today’s technology, hearing aids are more innovative than they’ve ever been. Now they act as more of a healthable, tracking your physical and mental health. The newest tech even allows for completely invisible or minimally visible hearing aids, so you don’t have to worry about being treated differently.
#3: Clean out the earwax
Maybe don’t do this one yourself, but getting them cleaned out every so often by a physician will ensure that you remain healthy. This will help prevent ear infections and even temporary tinnitus.
#4: Come in for a hearing screening
It’s good to catch hearing loss before it becomes difficult to live with. Although hearing loss is a slow but sure process, it’s best to keep track of where your hearing is. You can schedule a hearing screening with one of our audiologists for a same-day or Saturday appointment.
Health Tips: The Nose
#1: Flush out the nose and sinuses
Every now and then, it’s good to flush out the sinuses of any pollen or dust. This prevents allergic reactions or sinus infections. For those that deal with year-round allergies or even chronic sinusitis, it may be best to rinse the sinuses more often. One great tool is the Neti Pot, an irrigation bottle and water dispenser that you can find at any pharmacy or drugstore. Make sure to use filtered water though, not tap.
#2: Get a proper diagnosis
Not everything is allergy related or even sinus infection related. To make sure that what you have is properly diagnosed, talk to your doctor or ent specialist about receiving an allergy test. Once diagnosed, the right treatment should come through your physician.
#3: Balloon sinuplasty
One of the best treatments for chronic sinusitis is balloon sinuplasty, a non-invasive procedure using a small device that inflates in the sinuses, opening up the passageways for better mucus flow. It’s known to cure people of their debilitating sinus problems.
When it comes to allergies, some of those allergens can be avoided. This isn’t always the case. Pollen, dust, and mold aren’t so easily removed from our daily lives. Many people even choose to keep their pets, despite the allergies to pet dander. But if your symptoms are bad enough, understanding what you’re allergic to and avoiding those things will save you a lot of trouble.
Health Tips: The Throat
#1: Check your reflux
Acid reflux and GERD actually have the potential to cause esophageal cancer. Not only that, but it damages the lining of the esophagus. Things like smoking and drinking can also cause esophageal cancer. The ENT Institute has the proper equipment to check for acid levels.
#2: Drink plenty of water
Dry throat is never fun. Drinking water is good for our entire system, but it definitely makes sure that our throat and vocal chords are as healthy as can be.
#3: Come see a speech therapist
If you have trouble swallowing or with speech, the Ear, Nose and Throat’s speech therapists and pathologists are highly trained to help you. Dealing with swallowing issues can be dangerous while eating and drinking, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment.
Health Tips: Sleep
#1: Get ready for bed the right way
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, it’s possible you’re not preparing your mind and body for a full night’s rest. Are you staring at a TV or a phone screen just before you close your eyes? If so, STOP IT! Instead of doing those things, read a book. Also, if you find yourself lying in bed for longer than 20 minutes without falling asleep, get up and do something else until you feel tired enough. You need to train your body to understand that the bed is for sleeping. Don’t forget that hot showers relax the body and that walnuts/almonds are great for falling asleep faster.
#2: Take a sleep study
Are you waking up in the morning feeling tired? Does your loved one complain that you’re snoring too much? It’s possible you have sleep apnea; a condition where someone stops breathing while sleeping, preventing decent rest. To find out if you have sleep apnea, come to us for an at-home sleep study. Normally you’d have to get them at the hospital, but our technology allows you to be tested in the comfort of your own home.
#3: Stress management
Stress is an obvious factor into why we might not be able to sleep. Managing stress is no easy thing to do, but reducing the effects just before bed is possible. One thing you can do is work on breathing exercises.
Health Tips: Dizziness and Concussions
#1. Stay hydrated
If you’ve read these blogs before, then you’ve probably heard this a million times. But dizziness can be caused by dehydration. That means drinking plenty of water, not caffeine or alcohol, which causes further problems.
#2. Wear protective sports gear
It may seem obvious, but it still needs to be reinforced. When your kids and loved ones are playing sports, they should wear protective gear to help prevent concussions. Although this doesn’t stop concussions completely, it does help considerably.
#3. Baseline concussion screening
At our physical therapy locations at the ENT Institute, we offer pre-concussion testing that lets our physical therapists see what normal brain activity looks like per person, so once a concussion is suspected, it can be confirmed by looking at pre and post-contact numbers. Just schedule a same-day or Saturday appointment with us.
We hope these health tips for your ear, nose and throat have been helpful. For all of these issues, you can come to the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute for proper diagnosis and treatment. To schedule a same-day or Saturday appointment, call 770-740-1860 or fill out the form at the top.
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