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Jacksonville ENT Surgery has included these Frequently Asked Questions as an educational resource for our online visitors. This information is not intended nor suited to be a substitute for medical advice regarding any medical condition. We urge you to always seek the advice of a doctor with respect to a specific medical problem, diagnosis or treatment.

When should I consult with an ENT doctor?

If you or a family member have been suffering from an ear, nose or throat problem that causes an inordinate level of discomfort or dysfunction, it may be time to see an ENT specialist.

What is balloon sinuplasty?

A balloon sinuplasty is a procedure used in select patients to enlarge blocked openings of a patient's sinus cavities (usually caused by swelling related to allergy, infection, etc.) thereby allowing the sinuses to drain.

What's the difference between allergy and a cold?

While allergy symptoms and cold symptoms are very similar, allergies are a direct result of exposure to allergens whereas a cold is an infection. A visit to a medical clinic or ENT doctor is the best way to determine what is causing the discomfort and what options you have for treatment.

What causes fluid on the ear?

Fluid on the ear is usually a result of infection or changes in pressure when flying, swimming or diving. The fluid can accumulate in the space between the ear drum and inner ear causing discomfort, hearing loss and/or a sloshing sound. This is typically treated with medications or placement of ear tubes.

How well do ear tubes work?

Ear tubes are often used in pediatric and sometimes in adult patients when middle ear infections become chronic. Small tubes are surgically inserted into the eardrum to equalize pressure and prevent the accumulation of fluids. Typically the patient's hearing improves and their pain level is reduced.

Does excessive wax in the ears cause problems?

If you or a child secretes an excessive amount of wax or if the earwax isn't cleared effectively, the buildup could block your ear canal. More often, blockages occur when someone attempts to clean their ears using cotton swabs or other items that pushes wax deeper into the ear canal. An ENT doctor will correctly clean and examine the ears to determine if excessive wax is causing problems.

Why do children have earaches?

Earaches have many causes. About 80% of pediatric patients will experience an ear infection before age 5. Examination by an ENT specialist can help determine what's going on, whether intervention is necessary and what's the best course of corrective actions.

How do I get rid of my allergies?

It is estimated that 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from nasal allergies (runny nose, stuffy nose and sneezing). A higher percentage of children have allergies than adults, suggesting allergies may subside with age. Unfortunately, most medications only treat the symptoms. ENT doctors do treat sinusitis and rhinitis (usually as a secondary bacterial or viral infection) and may suggest surgical intervention for chronic cases.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism means your body is not making enough thyroid hormone, which is used to regulate the body's metabolism. Symptoms can include fatigue, weakness, weight gain, dry skin or hair, cold intolerance, cramps and muscle aches, depression and irritability, memory loss, decreased libido and abnormal menstrual cycles.

What is a goiter?

A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland. Its presence does not mean the thyroid gland is diseased or cancerous. It does indicate there is a condition causing it to grow at an abnormal rate.

Do I need surgery for a lump in the front of my neck?

Most lumps in the front of the neck are caused by an over-active thyroid gland. Our ENT doctors will work closely with an endocrinologist to determine the underlying cause before deciding upon medical or surgical intervention.

Why do I need a needle-aspiration biopsy?

Fine needle aspiration is used to rule out cancer and aid diagnosis of cause in abnormal appearing tissue or body fluid. This procedure is frequently a first step in diagnosing thyroid problems.

Is it normal for my child to snore?

Generally speaking, it is not normal especially for your child to snore loudly. Snoring in a pediatric patient is often caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids. If left untreated, it can lead to learning disabilities like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Removal of the child's tonsils and adenoids may be the recommended treatment.

What should I do for a sore throat?

There are numerous causes of sore throat from infections to allergies to environmental exposure. Fortunately, most sore throats can be treated with traditional remedies like gargling with warm salty water. However, recurring or long-lasting sore throats should be examined by a medical professional.

Why did President Obama speak out against tonsillectomies?

That is an unfortunate misnomer that is attributed to the media attention following Obama's address on healthcare reform. Tonsillectomy is the third most common pediatric surgery following circumcision and ear tubes. There are no hard-fast rules but an ENT doctor will normally recommend a tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy to correct chronic ENT infections, recurring sore throats, breathing problems, hearing loss, etc.

Why did I lose my voice?

There are many reasons why people lose their voice including: abuse (screaming at a sports event), infection (laryngitis), vocal cord nodules, smoking, cancer of the larynx, swallowing a foreign object and acid reflux. The symptoms usually go away in a few days. If not, the throat should be examined by a professional.

What can be done about the ringing in my ears?

Tinnitis is the perception of noise (ringing, buzzing, etc.) in the ears. It is a symptom; not an underlying condition and usually is not a sign of something serious. Based upon the probable cause, an ENT doctor can recommend the appropriate audiological screening and/or medical or surgical intervention.

Can my infant's hearing be tested?

Yes. Our Otoacoustic Emissions test does not require patient participation and can be used to test an infant's hearing. This test is painless and can be performed in a few minutes even if the baby is asleep.

Why are the lymph nodes in my neck swollen?

Generally speaking, infections are the most common causes of lymph node enlargement in the neck, under the jawbone or behind the ears. These small glands filter the fluid that circulates through the lymphatic system. If the swelling doesn't subside, an ENT exam should be performed to rule out cancerous causes.

What can I do to relieve dry mouth?

Saliva is important to maintaining healthy teeth and mouth hygiene. The remedy is really based upon the cause. An ENT doctor can rule out cancer or benign tumors as well as check the medications and over-the-counter drugs that may be contributing to the problem. Limiting caffeine intake and not using tobacco products and alcohol-based mouthwash may help.

What are the advantages of coblation tonsillectomy?

Faster recovery and less pain. Coblation-assisted tonsillectomy is a gentle alternative to the traditional electrocautery and cold knife approach. Reduced tissue damage minimizes pain and speeds the recovery in most patients.

Can cosmetic surgery be done at the same time as ENT surgery?

Jacksonville ENT Surgery provides subspecialized care for pediatric patients requiring plastic or reconstructive surgery for deformities and abnormalities of the head and neck. Our doctors also work closely with adult patients who may be considering a cosmetic procedure in conjunction with an ENT surgery.

Do you offer a treatment for snoring?

Jacksonville ENT Surgery provides patients with treatment options for snoring based on the cause, severity and other complications. Injection snoreplasty is a non-surgical treatment for those who do not suffer from sleep apnea or cessation of breathing.

Can vestibular testing eliminate my dizziness?

Not exactly. Vestibular testing consists of a number of tests that help an ENT doctor determine if something is wrong with the balance or vestibular area of the inner ear. Our ENT doctors use these tests (like an ENG) to isolate dizziness symptoms for accurate diagnosis and treatment of the cause. The ENG (electronystagmography) test is considered to be the "Gold Standard" for diagnosis of inner ear disease. It measures involuntary eye movement while the patient's balance system is stimulated in differing ways.

Will a septoplasty provide relief for my snoring?

A septoplasty straightens a patient's deviated septum and provides relief from impaired breathing and symptoms such as snoring.

Why can't I just live with my sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a very serious multi-factorial disease that is known to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, so it is a good idea to consult an ENT doctor. At Jacksonville ENT Surgery, we specialize in both medical and surgical treatment of snoring and sleep apnea.

Do you provide forms for new patients prior to their initial visit?

Yes. The majority of necessary forms and policies can be downloaded and printed prior to your first appointment. If you have any questions, give our friendly staff a call for personalized assistance.

Can I schedule appointments at different locations?

Jacksonville ENT Surgery has multiple locations for the convenience of our patients. If you live between locations, feel free to schedule your appointments accordingly. You'll receive the same level of professional service. NOTE: Some procedures may not be offered at all locations.

What is EMR?

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are a faster and more efficient method of recording and storing critical patient information. In addition, the EMR software is packed with tools, such as medication review which cross references any new prescription to avoid drug interactions. EMR helps to eliminate mistakes due to a physician's poor handwriting and provides disease-specific treatment protocols for improved patient care.

How do I know if you take my insurance?

Jacksonville ENT Surgery participates and is a provider for most health insurance programs. Visit our Insurance page under Resources to see if your carrier is listed. If not, give us a call and we'll be glad to check on your specific policy.

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