Adenoids and Tonsils
Tonsils and adenoids are masses of tissue that are similar to the lymph nodes or “glands” found in the neck, groin, and armpits. Tonsils are the two masses on the back of the throat. Adenoids are high in the throat behind the nose and the roof of the mouth (soft palate) and are not visible through the mouth without special instruments. Tonsils and adenoids are near the entrance to the breathing passages where they can catch incoming germs, which cause infections. They “sample” bacteria and viruses and can become infected themselves. Scientist believe they work as part of the body’s immune system by filtering germs that attempt to invade the body, and that they help to develop antibodies to germs.
This happens primarily during the first few years of life, becoming less important as we get older. Children who must have their tonsils and adenoids removed suffer no loss in their resistance.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
A test that measures the brain’s response to sound
Allergies and Hay Fever
Hay fever describes the symptoms of runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, uncontrollable sneezing and sometimes itching of the skin. It is not caused by hay, and does not produce fever. The correct name for the condition is seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Laryngeal – Dysphonia
A test of balance function in which eye movements are recorded during stimulation of the balance system.
Dizziness and Motion Sickness (Vertigo)
Some people describe a balance problem by saying they feel dizzy, lightheaded, unsteady or giddy. This feeling of imbalance or dysequilbrium, without a sensation of turning or spinning is sometimes due to an inner ear problem. Some people describe their problem by using the word vertigo, which comes from the Latin verb “to turn.” They often say that they or their surroundings are turning or spinning. Vertigo is frequently due to an inner ear problem.
Earache (otitis media) the inflammation of the middle ear, the inflammation occurs as a result of a middle ear infection. It can occur in one or both ears. Otitis media is the most frequent diagnosis recorded for children who visit physicians for illness. It is also the most common cause of hearing loss in children. Although otitis media is most common in young children, it also affects adults occasionally.
Never put anything smaller than your elbow in you ear! Cotton swabs are for cleaning bellybuttons – not ears.
The skin of the outer part of the ear canal has special glands that produce earwax. Earwax is supposed to trap dust and dirt particles to keep them from reaching the eardrum. Usually the wax accumulates a bit, dries out and then comes bumbling out of the ear, carrying the dirt and dust with it. Or it may migrate slowly to the outside where it can be wiped off. The ear canal may be blocked by wax when attempts to clean the ear push wax deeper into the ear canal and cause a blockage. Wax blockage is one of the most common causes of hearing loss.
One in 10 Americans has a hearing loss that affects his/her ability to understand normal speech. Excessive noise exposure is a common cause of hearing loss. The damage caused by noise is called sensorineural hearing loss or nerve loss, can be caused by several factors other than noise, but noise-induced hearing loss is different in one important way – it can be reduced or prevented altogether.
Most nosebleeds (Epistaxis) begin in the lower part of the septum (anterior nosebleed), the semi-rigid wall that separates the two nostrils of the nose. More rarely, a nosebleed can begin high and deep within the nose and flow down the back of the mouth and throat even if the patient is sitting or standing (posterior nosebleed).
Sinus problems (sinusitis) is an infection of the sinuses – can be classified as acute, which means that it comes on suddenly, often right after an upper respiratory infection such as a cold or flu. Or sinusitis can be chronic, meaning that it is an ongoing problem. In either case, when the discomfort of sinusitis is severe or the symptoms persist, a comprehensive medical examination with appropriate treatment is recommended.
Forty five percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and twenty five percent are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and overweight persons, and it usually grows worse with age.
The noise sounds of snoring occur when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This area is the collapsible part of the airway where the tongue and upper throat meet force the soft palate and uvula. When these structures strike each other and vibrate during breathing, this is snoring.
Spasmodic Dysphonia, also known as laryngeal dysphonia, is a neurological voice disorder. The disorder involves involuntary “spasms” of the vocal cords causing interruptions of speech and affecting voice quality. Spasmodic dysphonia causes the voice to break up or to have a tight, strained or strangled quality. Often a great deal of effort is needed to speak, and occasionally no sound is produced.
Tinnitus (ringing in ears) is the name for head noises and they are very common. Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from this discomfort. Tinnitus may come and go, or you may be aware of a continuous sound. It can vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal or whine, and you may hear it in one or both ears. When the ringing is constant, it can be annoying and distracting.
Voice Disorders, General Voice Care and Vocal Hygiene
If you rely on your voice for you livelihood, then you are a professional voice user. This includes clergy, broadcasters, attorneys, teachers, telephone operators, actors, and singers. If you are a professional voice user, then it is of the utmost importance that you take good care of your voice.
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