Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Knowledgebase Topics about the Ear

Ear, Nose, and Throat
Provides links to info on sore throats, ear infections, and sinusitis. Also has info on mononucleosis tests and decision aids for sleep apnea and allergies.

Ear Examination
An ear exam is a thorough check of the ears. It is done to screen for ear problems, such as hearing loss, ear pain, discharge, lumps, or objects in the ear. An ear exam can find problems in the ear canal, eardrum, and middle ear. These…

Ear Infections
Is this topic for you?This topic covers infections of the middle ear, commonly called ear infections. For information on outer ear infections, see the topic Ear Canal Problems (Swimmer’s Ear). For information on inner ear…

Objects in the Ear
Objects (foreign bodies) inserted into the ear usually do not cause significant damage. But objects that are inserted forcefully can damage the ear canal or penetrate the eardrum.

Ear Canal Problems (Swimmer’s Ear)
Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is a painful inflammation and infection of the ear canal. It occurs when the protective film that covers the ear canal (lipid layer) is removed. This causes the ear canal to look red and swollen. The ear…

Home Ear Examination
A home ear examination is a visual inspection of the ear canal and eardrum using an instrument called an otoscope. An otoscope is a handheld instrument with a light, a magnifying lens, and a funnel-shaped viewing piece with a…

Tubes for Ear Infections
Learn how temporary ear tubes help treat ear infections.

Tubes for Ear Infections
Ear tubes are plastic and shaped like a hollow spool. Doctors suggest tubes for children who have repeat ear infections or when fluid stays behind the eardrum. A specialist (otolaryngologist) places the tubes through a small surgical…

Complications of Ear Infections
Complications from ear infections are rare, but they can arise. Some problems that can occur include:

Tympanocentesis for Ear Infections
Tympanocentesis is the removal of fluid from behind the eardrum. The doctor uses a special needle with a tube attached to collect the sample of fluid. A culture and sensitivity test is usually done on the sample of fluid.

Symptoms of Ear Infection
Ear pain may be the first symptom of an ear infection, especially if you have moderate to severe ear pain during or shortly after you have a cold. Other symptoms of an ear infection may include:

Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)
Many people experience an occasional ringing (or roaring, hissing, buzzing, or tinkling) in their ears. The sound usually lasts only a few minutes. Ringing in the ears that does not get better or go away is called tinnitus. You may hear a…

Tympanometry in Ear Infections (Otitis Media)
Tympanometry tests the movement of the eardrum when an ear infection or other middle ear problem is suspected. A doctor places the tip of a handheld tool into the child’s ear. The tool changes the air pressure inside the ear and produces…

Ear Problems: Changes in Air Pressure
Ear injuries can occur when air pressure outside the ear increases or decreases while the air pressure inside the ear remains the same. This might happen when an airplane changes altitude or when a scuba diver descends or ascends under water.

Recurrent Ear Infections and Persistent Effusion
If a child has repeat ear infections (three or more ear infections in a 6-month period or four in 1 year), you may want to consider treatment to prevent future infections.

Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa)
Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is an inflammation or infection of the ear canal, the passage that leads from the outer ear to the eardrum. This condition is called swimmer’s ear, because it commonly occurs in people who have been…

Ear Infection and Hearing Loss
An ear infection may sometimes cause a temporary or reversible hearing loss. This generally occurs because the infection blocks sound from passing through the ear canal or middle ear to the inner ear. When sound is blocked like this, it is…

Ear Problems: Should My Child Be Treated for Fluid Buildup in the Middle Ear?
Guides through decision to treat fluid buildup in the middle ear. Discusses risks and benefits of treatment such as ear tubes, antibiotics, and adenoid surgery. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

Ear, Patella, Short Stature Syndrome
Ear-patella-short stature syndrome (EPS), also known as Meier-Gorlin syndrome, is a rare genetic disorder characterized by small ears (microtia), absent or small knee caps (patellae), and short stature. Additional findings may include various skeletal abnormalities, early feeding difficulties, and poor weight gain. In…

Ear Problems and Injuries, Age 11 and Younger
Ear pain in children may be a sign of an infection in the space behind the eardrum (middle ear). Ear infections (otitis media) most commonly occur when cold symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose and a cough, have been present for a few days.

Ear Problems and Injuries, Age 12 and Older
Ear problems may be caused by many different health problems. In children, ear pain is more likely to be a symptom of an inflammation, infection, or fluid buildup in the external or middle ear. But ear pain at any age may be a symptom of:

Ear Infection: Should I Give My Child Antibiotics?
Guides through decision to use antibiotics for a child’s ear infection. Covers symptoms of an ear infection. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision. This topic is only appropriate for children 2 and older.

Hearing Protectors
Being exposed to loud noises can result in hearing loss. As the loudness of a sound increases, the amount of time you can safely listen to the sound decreases. One way to protect your hearing is to wear hearing protectors, which reduce…

Earwax
Earwax is a naturally produced substance that protects the ear canal. It is a mixture of skin, sweat, hair, and debris (such as shampoo and dirt) held together with a fluid secreted by glands inside the ear canal (ceruminous glands). The ear…

Scrapes
Scrapes (abrasions) are skin wounds that rub or tear off skin. Most scrapes are shallow and do not extend far into the skin, but some may remove several layers of skin. Usually there is little bleeding from a scrape, but it may ooze pinkish…

carbamide peroxide (otic)
Carbamide peroxide otic (for the ears) is used to soften and loosen ear wax, making it easier to remove. Carbamide peroxide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Congenital Contractural Arachnodactyly
Congenital contractural arachnodactyly (CCA) is an extremely rare genetic disorder characterized by a Marfan-like body habitus (tall, slender), the permanent fixation of certain joints (e.g., fingers, elbows, knees, and hips) in a flexed position (contractures); abnormally long, slender fingers and toes…

Infant and Toddler Health
Provides links to topics that cover common parenting questions about infant and toddler health. Includes info on how to stop thumb-sucking, how to manage an episode of croup, and whether to give your child antibiotics for an ear infection.

acetic acid (otic)
Acetic acid is an antibiotic that treats infections caused by bacteria or fungus. Acetic acid otic (for the ear) is used to treat infections in the ear canal. This medicine will not treat an inner ear infection (also called otitis media). Acetic acid may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Laryngitis
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box, or larynx (say “LAIR-inks”), that causes your voice to become raspy or hoarse.

Swallowing Study: Barium and Dynamic
A swallowing study is a test that shows what your throat and esophagus do while you swallow. The test uses X-rays in real time (fluoroscopy) and records what happens when you swallow. While you swallow, the doctor and speech pathologist watch a…

Laryngoscopy
Laryngoscopy is an examination that lets your doctor look at the back of your throat, your voice box (larynx), and vocal cords with a scope (laryngoscope). There are two types of laryngoscopy, and each uses different equipment.

Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis
Labyrinthitis (say “lab-uh-rin-THY-tus”) is a problem inside the inner ear. It happens when the labyrinth, a part of the inner ear that helps control your balance, gets swollen and inflamed.

Strep Throat
Discusses strep throat, an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria. Covers symptoms like sore throat and fever. Includes info on rapid strep test and throat culture. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery (tonsillectomy).

Nosebleeds
Most nosebleeds are not usually serious and can be stopped with home treatment. Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose (anterior epistaxis) and involve only one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat….

Esophagitis
Esophagitis is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from your throat to your stomach. Esophagitis can be painful and can make it hard to swallow.

Blocked Eustachian Tubes
What are the eustachian tubes, and how do they get blocked?

Snoring
Contains information on snoring. Does not cover sleep apnea or sleep disorders. Includes info on what causes snoring. Discusses things you can do to stop snoring. Covers snoring treatments such as medicines, oral breathing devices, or surgery.

Hearing Tests
A hearing (audiometric) test is part of an ear exam that tests how well a person is able to hear. It is done by measuring how well sound can reach the brain.

Voice Problems
Voice problems usually include pain or discomfort when you speak or difficulty controlling the pitch, loudness, or quality of your voice.

Hearing Aids
Hearing aids make sounds louder. There are many different styles of hearing aids. And you can add special features to your hearing aids. But almost all hearing aids have these parts:

How We Hear
The sounds we hear are the result of vibrations of air, fluid, and solid materials in our environment. The vibrations produce sound waves, which vibrate at a certain speed (frequency) and have a certain height (amplitude). The vibration speed…

Hearing Loss
Includes info on hearing loss. Discusses causes and symptoms like tinnitus, muffled hearing, and vertigo. Covers exams and tests used to diagnose hearing loss. Discusses treatment with medicine, hearing aids, or cochlear implant.

Ménière’s Disease
Ménière’s (say “men-YEERS”) disease is an inner ear problem that affects your hearing and balance. It normally occurs in only one ear at a time. But over time, it develops in the other ear in up to half of those who have it.

Salivary Gland Scan
A salivary gland scan uses a special camera and a tracer (radioactive chemical) to take pictures of the salivary glands. This can help your doctor find the cause of dry mouth (xerostomia) or swelling in the salivary glands.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Discusses benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Distinguishes between dizziness and a feeling of spinning (vertigo). Covers how it is diagnosed. Discusses treatment with head exercises (Epley and Semont maneuvers) and medicines.

Allergic Rhinitis
Discusses allergic rhinitis. Covers common immediate and chronic symptoms. Looks at what increases risk. Covers treatment options. Offers prevention and treatment tips.

Strep Throat: Home Treatment
There are many ways that you can make yourself feel better while you are waiting for strep throat to go away.

Rapid Strep Test for Strep Throat
Explains rapid strep test to test for bacteria that cause strep throat (streptococcal pharyngitis). Explains when test is done and what results mean.

Sinusitis
Discusses sinusitis, which is infection or inflammation of the lining of the sinus cavities. Covers acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Looks at causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery.

Electronystagmogram (ENG)
An electronystagmogram (ENG) measures normal eye movement and involuntary rapid eye movements called nystagmus. It also checks the muscles that control eye movements. ENG checks how well the eyes, inner ears, and brain help you keep…

Sleep Studies
Describes various sleep studies used to diagnose sleep disorders. Discusses problems like snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy. Covers common sleep studies, including polysomnograms, multiple sleep latency tests, and the maintenance of wakefulness test.

Anosmia
Anosmia (say “ay-NAWZ-mee-uh”) is the loss of the sense of smell. It can be a problem by itself or a symptom of another health problem. It can last a short time, such as when you have a stuffy nose from a cold, or it can be permanent.

What Is a Sleep Study?
Learn what sleep studies are and why they’re done.

Throat Culture
Discusses test used to find cause of a sore throat. Covers conditions caused by fungal or bacterial infection. Covers how test is done. Looks at what results might mean. Links to info on rapid strep test, throat culture, and sensitivity testing.

Epley and Semont Maneuvers for Vertigo
The Epley and Semont maneuvers are exercises used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). They are done with the assistance of a doctor or physical therapist. A single 10- to 15-minute session usually is all that is needed.

Brandt-Daroff Exercise for Vertigo
The Brandt-Daroff exercise is one of several exercises intended to speed up the compensation process and end the symptoms of vertigo. It often is prescribed for people who have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and …

Objects in the Nose
Young children are more likely than older children or adults to put small objects—such as beads, dried beans, popcorn, plastic toy pieces, foam rubber, or small batteries—up their noses. If the child doesn’t tell you about it, your first clue…

Strep Throat Complications
Complications of strep throat are rare but can occur, especially if strep throat is not properly treated with antibiotics. Complications can be related either to the strep infection or to the body’s immune response to the infection.

Bad or Changed Breath
Everybody has bad breath from time to time, especially first thing in the morning. You also may have bad breath when you are hungry, when you are dieting, or after eating foods with a strong odor, such as garlic, onions, or pastrami.

Dry Coughs
Dry coughs that continue after other cold symptoms clear or that occur without other symptoms may be caused by a variety of health problems.

Frequent Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds that recur often are commonly caused by bleeding from the front of the nose (anterior epistaxis). Common causes of this type of nosebleed are:

Disc Battery in the Nose
Disc batteries (also called button cell batteries) are found in toys, watches, hearing aids, cameras, calculators, and some remote-controlled devices. These batteries are small, usually less than 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) across, and can be easily…

Sore Throat and Other Throat Problems
Looks at symptoms of sore throat caused by virus and bacteria infections and irritants. Covers common cold, mononucleosis (mono), strep throat, and flu. Covers symptoms such as swollen glands and pain. Discusses antibiotics and home treatment medicines.

Tonsillitis
Discusses tonsillitis. Covers symptoms like sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. Includes causes like the bacteria that cause strep throat. Discusses home treatment, nonprescription pain medicines, surgery to remove tonsils (tonsillectomy).

Motion Sickness
If you’ve ever been sick to your stomach on a rocking boat or a bumpy airplane ride, you know the discomfort of motion sickness. It doesn’t cause long-term problems, but it can make your life miserable, especially if you travel a lot.

Oral Breathing Devices for Snoring
Several oral devices have been tested to treat people with snoring, including a tongue-retaining device that is worn while sleeping. It pushes the tongue and jaw forward, improving airflow. Changing the position of the lower jaw enlarges the…

Scarlet Fever
Briefly discusses scarlet fever, a term used for strep throat with a rash. Covers symptoms like red rash on chest, on abdomen, and in skin folds. Covers how it is treated. Also covers complications.

Tinnitus
Summary Tinnitus is a common condition characterized by the perception or sensation of sound even though there is no identifiable source for the sound. Tinnitus is often referred to as a “ringing in the ears.” The sounds associated with tinnitus have also been described as hissing, chirping, crickets, whooshing, or…

acetic acid and aluminum acetate otic
Acetic acid is an antibiotic that treats infections caused by bacteria or fungus. Aluminum acetate helps reduce itching, stinging, and inflammation. Acetic acid and aluminum acetate otic (for the ear) is a combination medicine used to treat ear infections. Acetic acid and aluminum acetate otic may also be used for…

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Head and Face
A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to make pictures of the head and face.

Sleep Apnea
Focuses on obstructive sleep apnea. Discusses causes, including narrowed airways and obesity. Covers symptoms like snoring, gasping during sleep, and daytime sleepiness. Info on treatment with CPAP and oral or nasal breathing devices.

Ménière’s Disease and Sodium
The cause of Ménière’s disease is unknown, but it may be related to a fluid imbalance in your inner ear. When the fluid builds up, it causes excess pressure. This pressure affects the sensory systems in your inner ear that are used to maintain…

How to Stop a Nosebleed
Learn simple steps you can use to stop a nosebleed.

Mononucleosis (Mono)
Discusses mononucleosis (also called mono or the kissing disease) caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Covers symptoms including high fever, severe sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes (swollen glands), tonsils, and spleen. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

Stopping a Nosebleed
Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose and involve only one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat. These nosebleeds typically are not serious, and you can generally treat them yourself at home.

Colds
Everyone gets a cold from time to time. Children get more colds than adults.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Hearing loss caused by noise can occur in people of any age. It may develop suddenly or gradually, depending on the source and intensity of the noise. Noise can affect hearing in several ways.

Sleep Apnea: Oral Devices
Oral devices (also called oral appliances) are sometimes used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). They push the tongue and jaw forward, which makes the airway larger and improves airflow. This also reduces the chance that tissue will…

Marine Stings and Scrapes
Walking on a beach or swimming in the ocean can be fun and relaxing. But just like any other activities, accidents can happen. This topic will help you determine the next steps to take if you have a jellyfish or Portuguese man-of-war sting,…

Broken Nose (Nasal Fracture)
Covers how broken noses can happen. Discusses symptoms such as nose pain, swelling, and crooked or bent appearance. Covers diagnosis and treatment. Also covers possible complications, such as infection and breathing difficulty.

Diuretics for Ménière’s Disease
The cause of Ménière’s disease is unknown, but it may be related to a fluid imbalance in the inner ear. This fluid (endolymph) is contained in a part of the inner ear called the endolymphatic sac.

Vertigo: The Epley Maneuver
Learn how the Epley maneuver can help you get rid of your vertigo.

Pressure Injuries From Scuba Diving
Scuba diving can expose you to high waves and dangerous sea life. But the more likely dangers are those you can’t see. You can be injured if your body isn’t able to adjust to the increasing and decreasing pressure of the water as you breathe…

Allergy Shots for Allergic Rhinitis
Explains what allergy-shot immunotherapy is, why it is done, and what allergies it can help. Covers how it is done, how well it works, and what to expect after treatment. Covers risk factors.

Monitoring During Anesthesia
People receiving anesthesia must be carefully watched, because the medicines used for anesthesia affect the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system (airway and lungs). Anesthesia suppresses many of the…

Swallowed Button Disc Battery, Magnet, or Object With Lead
Button disc batteries are found in watches, cameras, calculators, hearing aids, and computer games. They are easily swallowed by children. These batteries, which contain corrosive fluids, can come apart when swallowed and quickly damage…

Ginger for Motion Sickness
Some people drink ginger ale or ginger tea or take powdered ginger capsules to try to prevent motion sickness.

Acupressure Bands for Motion Sickness
Several brands of acupressure bands are available. These bands use pressure, electricity, or both to stimulate the P6 acupuncture point. This point is located about two finger-widths from the crease on the underside of the wrist. The elastic…

Hay Fever and Other Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies occur at the same time of the year every year, if you continue to live in the same part of the country. Hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis) is the most common seasonal allergy.

Environmental Illness
An environmental illness can occur when you are exposed to toxins or substances in the environment that make you sick. These health hazards may be found where you live, work, or play.

Stages of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when you regularly stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on the number of times an hour that you stop breathing (apnea) or that airflow to your lungs is reduced…

Vertigo: Head Movements That Help
Learn simple head movements to help with vertigo and balance problems.

Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty is surgery to reshape the nose. It can make the nose larger or smaller; change the angle of the nose in relation to the upper lip; alter the tip of the nose; or correct bumps, indentations, or other defects in the nose.

Blocked Tear Ducts: Infracturing
Infracturing is a type of surgery that involves breaking and repositioning one of the bones within the nose (inferior turbinate) to help resolve a blocked tear duct. This procedure may be done if the nose structure is pressing against and…

Dix-Hallpike Test for Vertigo
The Dix-Hallpike test (also called Nylen-Barany test) determines whether vertigo is triggered by certain head movements. Your doctor will carefully observe any involuntary eye movements (nystagmus) that may occur during this test…

Types of Allergens
Pollen, molds, dust mites, or animal dander cause most allergic rhinitis and trigger asthma attacks in some people.

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring is a major symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But even though most people who have sleep apnea snore, not all people who snore have sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea: Fiber-Optic Pharyngoscopy
Fiber-optic pharyngoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look into the upper part of your respiratory system. He or she may use it to help decide how to treat your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Sleep Apnea: Less Common Surgeries
The first treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or not drinking alcohol before bed, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). If these do not work, or if an obvious tissue or…


Nose Knowledgebase

Ear, Nose, and Throat
Provides links to info on sore throats, ear infections, and sinusitis. Also has info on mononucleosis tests and decision aids for sleep apnea and allergies.

Nose Injuries
Nose injuries often occur during play, sports, accidents, fights, and falls. Pain, swelling, and bruising are common, even with minor injuries. Home treatment can usually help relieve your symptoms.

Objects in the Nose
Young children are more likely than older children or adults to put small objects—such as beads, dried beans, popcorn, plastic toy pieces, foam rubber, or small batteries—up their noses. If the child doesn’t tell you about it, your first clue…

Disc Battery in the Nose
Disc batteries (also called button cell batteries) are found in toys, watches, hearing aids, cameras, calculators, and some remote-controlled devices. These batteries are small, usually less than 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) across, and can be easily…

Broken Nose (Nasal Fracture)
Covers how broken noses can happen. Discusses symptoms such as nose pain, swelling, and crooked or bent appearance. Covers diagnosis and treatment. Also covers possible complications, such as infection and breathing difficulty.

Using a Rubber Bulb to Clear a Baby’s Nose
Learn how to use a rubber bulb to remove mucus from a baby’s nose.

Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty is surgery to reshape the nose. It can make the nose larger or smaller; change the angle of the nose in relation to the upper lip; alter the tip of the nose; or correct bumps, indentations, or other defects in the nose.

Nosebleeds
Most nosebleeds are not usually serious and can be stopped with home treatment. Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose (anterior epistaxis) and involve only one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat….

Cosmetic Surgery and Procedures
Looks at surgery or procedures that change or restore your appearance. Covers Botox, dermabrasion, face-lift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), nose job (rhinoplasty), breast augmentation and reduction, liposuction, and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).

acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, and dextromethorphan
Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. It affects the cough reflex in the brain…

Tests for Bacterial Vaginosis
Tests for bacterial vaginosis take samples of fluid from the vagina. The samples are looked at under a microscope to see if they show signs of infection.

chlorpheniramine and dextromethorphan
Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. It affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex. Chlorpheniramine and…

phenylephrine nasal
Phenylephrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose). Phenylephrine nasal is used to treat nasal congestion and sinus pressure caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu. Phenylephrine may be used to treat congestion of the…

potassium chloride and sodium chloride
Potassium is a mineral that is found in many foods and is needed for several functions of your body, especially the beating of your heart. Sodium chloride is the chemical name for salt. Sodium is an electrolyte that regulates the amount of water in your body. Sodium also plays a part in nerve impulses and muscle…

Kissing Bugs
Kissing bugs are wingless insects that are about 0.75 in. (1.9 cm) long. Kissing bugs are dark brown or black with red or orange spots along the edge of their bodies. They are also called assassin bugs or cone-nosed bugs. Like mosquitoes, kissing…

Laryngitis
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box, or larynx (say “LAIR-inks”), that causes your voice to become raspy or hoarse.

Swallowing Study: Barium and Dynamic
A swallowing study is a test that shows what your throat and esophagus do while you swallow. The test uses X-rays in real time (fluoroscopy) and records what happens when you swallow. While you swallow, the doctor and speech pathologist watch a…

Laryngoscopy
Laryngoscopy is an examination that lets your doctor look at the back of your throat, your voice box (larynx), and vocal cords with a scope (laryngoscope). There are two types of laryngoscopy, and each uses different equipment.

Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis
Labyrinthitis (say “lab-uh-rin-THY-tus”) is a problem inside the inner ear. It happens when the labyrinth, a part of the inner ear that helps control your balance, gets swollen and inflamed.

Strep Throat
Discusses strep throat, an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria. Covers symptoms like sore throat and fever. Includes info on rapid strep test and throat culture. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery (tonsillectomy).

Esophagitis
Esophagitis is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from your throat to your stomach. Esophagitis can be painful and can make it hard to swallow.

Blocked Eustachian Tubes
What are the eustachian tubes, and how do they get blocked?

Snoring
Contains information on snoring. Does not cover sleep apnea or sleep disorders. Includes info on what causes snoring. Discusses things you can do to stop snoring. Covers snoring treatments such as medicines, oral breathing devices, or surgery.

Hearing Tests
A hearing (audiometric) test is part of an ear exam that tests how well a person is able to hear. It is done by measuring how well sound can reach the brain.

Voice Problems
Voice problems usually include pain or discomfort when you speak or difficulty controlling the pitch, loudness, or quality of your voice.

Hearing Aids
Hearing aids make sounds louder. There are many different styles of hearing aids. And you can add special features to your hearing aids. But almost all hearing aids have these parts:

How We Hear
The sounds we hear are the result of vibrations of air, fluid, and solid materials in our environment. The vibrations produce sound waves, which vibrate at a certain speed (frequency) and have a certain height (amplitude). The vibration speed…

sodium chloride (inhalation)
Sodium chloride is the chemical name for salt. Sodium chloride can reduce some types of bacteria in certain body secretions, such as saliva. Sodium chloride inhalation is used to produce sputum (mucus, or phlegm) from the mouth to help improve lung function in people with cystic fibrosis, or to collect sputum for…

sodium chloride (oral)
Sodium chloride is the chemical name for salt. Sodium is an electrolyte that regulates the amount of water in your body. Sodium also plays a part in nerve impulses and muscle contractions. Sodium chloride is used to treat or prevent sodium loss caused by dehydration, excessive sweating, or other causes. Sodium chloride…

sodium chloride (flush)
Sodium chloride is the chemical name for salt. Sodium chloride can reduce some types of bacteria. Sodium chloride flush is used to clean out an intravenous (IV) catheter, which helps prevent blockage and removes any medicine left in the catheter area after you have received an IV infusion. Sodium chloride may also be…

Ménière’s Disease
Ménière’s (say “men-YEERS”) disease is an inner ear problem that affects your hearing and balance. It normally occurs in only one ear at a time. But over time, it develops in the other ear in up to half of those who have it.

Ear Examination
An ear exam is a thorough check of the ears. It is done to screen for ear problems, such as hearing loss, ear pain, discharge, lumps, or objects in the ear. An ear exam can find problems in the ear canal, eardrum, and middle ear. These…

Home Ear Examination
A home ear examination is a visual inspection of the ear canal and eardrum using an instrument called an otoscope. An otoscope is a handheld instrument with a light, a magnifying lens, and a funnel-shaped viewing piece with a…

Salivary Gland Scan
A salivary gland scan uses a special camera and a tracer (radioactive chemical) to take pictures of the salivary glands. This can help your doctor find the cause of dry mouth (xerostomia) or swelling in the salivary glands.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Discusses benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Distinguishes between dizziness and a feeling of spinning (vertigo). Covers how it is diagnosed. Discusses treatment with head exercises (Epley and Semont maneuvers) and medicines.

Allergic Rhinitis
Discusses allergic rhinitis. Covers common immediate and chronic symptoms. Looks at what increases risk. Covers treatment options. Offers prevention and treatment tips.

Strep Throat: Home Treatment
There are many ways that you can make yourself feel better while you are waiting for strep throat to go away.

Rapid Strep Test for Strep Throat
Explains rapid strep test to test for bacteria that cause strep throat (streptococcal pharyngitis). Explains when test is done and what results mean.

Sinusitis
Discusses sinusitis, which is infection or inflammation of the lining of the sinus cavities. Covers acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Looks at causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery.

Electronystagmogram (ENG)
An electronystagmogram (ENG) measures normal eye movement and involuntary rapid eye movements called nystagmus. It also checks the muscles that control eye movements. ENG checks how well the eyes, inner ears, and brain help you keep…

Sleep Studies
Describes various sleep studies used to diagnose sleep disorders. Discusses problems like snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy. Covers common sleep studies, including polysomnograms, multiple sleep latency tests, and the maintenance of wakefulness test.

Anosmia
Anosmia (say “ay-NAWZ-mee-uh”) is the loss of the sense of smell. It can be a problem by itself or a symptom of another health problem. It can last a short time, such as when you have a stuffy nose from a cold, or it can be permanent.

What Is a Sleep Study?
Learn what sleep studies are and why they’re done.

Hearing Loss
Includes info on hearing loss. Discusses causes and symptoms like tinnitus, muffled hearing, and vertigo. Covers exams and tests used to diagnose hearing loss. Discusses treatment with medicine, hearing aids, or cochlear implant.

Ear Infections
Is this topic for you?This topic covers infections of the middle ear, commonly called ear infections. For information on outer ear infections, see the topic Ear Canal Problems (Swimmer’s Ear). For information on inner ear…

Throat Culture
Discusses test used to find cause of a sore throat. Covers conditions caused by fungal or bacterial infection. Covers how test is done. Looks at what results might mean. Links to info on rapid strep test, throat culture, and sensitivity testing.

Epley and Semont Maneuvers for Vertigo
The Epley and Semont maneuvers are exercises used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). They are done with the assistance of a doctor or physical therapist. A single 10- to 15-minute session usually is all that is needed.

Brandt-Daroff Exercise for Vertigo
The Brandt-Daroff exercise is one of several exercises intended to speed up the compensation process and end the symptoms of vertigo. It often is prescribed for people who have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and …

Ear Problems: Changes in Air Pressure
Ear injuries can occur when air pressure outside the ear increases or decreases while the air pressure inside the ear remains the same. This might happen when an airplane changes altitude or when a scuba diver descends or ascends under water.

Objects in the Ear
Objects (foreign bodies) inserted into the ear usually do not cause significant damage. But objects that are inserted forcefully can damage the ear canal or penetrate the eardrum.

Strep Throat Complications
Complications of strep throat are rare but can occur, especially if strep throat is not properly treated with antibiotics. Complications can be related either to the strep infection or to the body’s immune response to the infection.

Bad or Changed Breath
Everybody has bad breath from time to time, especially first thing in the morning. You also may have bad breath when you are hungry, when you are dieting, or after eating foods with a strong odor, such as garlic, onions, or pastrami.

Dry Coughs
Dry coughs that continue after other cold symptoms clear or that occur without other symptoms may be caused by a variety of health problems.

Frequent Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds that recur often are commonly caused by bleeding from the front of the nose (anterior epistaxis). Common causes of this type of nosebleed are:

Sore Throat and Other Throat Problems
Looks at symptoms of sore throat caused by virus and bacteria infections and irritants. Covers common cold, mononucleosis (mono), strep throat, and flu. Covers symptoms such as swollen glands and pain. Discusses antibiotics and home treatment medicines.

Tonsillitis
Discusses tonsillitis. Covers symptoms like sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. Includes causes like the bacteria that cause strep throat. Discusses home treatment, nonprescription pain medicines, surgery to remove tonsils (tonsillectomy).

Motion Sickness
If you’ve ever been sick to your stomach on a rocking boat or a bumpy airplane ride, you know the discomfort of motion sickness. It doesn’t cause long-term problems, but it can make your life miserable, especially if you travel a lot.

Oral Breathing Devices for Snoring
Several oral devices have been tested to treat people with snoring, including a tongue-retaining device that is worn while sleeping. It pushes the tongue and jaw forward, improving airflow. Changing the position of the lower jaw enlarges the…

Removal of Nasal Adhesions
Removal of nasal adhesions is a procedure to separate scar tissue within the nose that has become connected, or fused. Fused tissue is called an adhesion. Adhesions in the nose are also called synechiae. Adhesions are a common, usually…

Scarlet Fever
Briefly discusses scarlet fever, a term used for strep throat with a rash. Covers symptoms like red rash on chest, on abdomen, and in skin folds. Covers how it is treated. Also covers complications.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Head and Face
A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to make pictures of the head and face.

Sleep Apnea
Focuses on obstructive sleep apnea. Discusses causes, including narrowed airways and obesity. Covers symptoms like snoring, gasping during sleep, and daytime sleepiness. Info on treatment with CPAP and oral or nasal breathing devices.

Tubes for Ear Infections
Learn how temporary ear tubes help treat ear infections.

Ménière’s Disease and Sodium
The cause of Ménière’s disease is unknown, but it may be related to a fluid imbalance in your inner ear. When the fluid builds up, it causes excess pressure. This pressure affects the sensory systems in your inner ear that are used to maintain…

How to Stop a Nosebleed
Learn simple steps you can use to stop a nosebleed.

Mononucleosis (Mono)
Discusses mononucleosis (also called mono or the kissing disease) caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Covers symptoms including high fever, severe sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes (swollen glands), tonsils, and spleen. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

Stopping a Nosebleed
Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose and involve only one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat. These nosebleeds typically are not serious, and you can generally treat them yourself at home.

Colds
Everyone gets a cold from time to time. Children get more colds than adults.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Hearing loss caused by noise can occur in people of any age. It may develop suddenly or gradually, depending on the source and intensity of the noise. Noise can affect hearing in several ways.

Sleep Apnea: Oral Devices
Oral devices (also called oral appliances) are sometimes used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). They push the tongue and jaw forward, which makes the airway larger and improves airflow. This also reduces the chance that tissue will…

Diuretics for Ménière’s Disease
The cause of Ménière’s disease is unknown, but it may be related to a fluid imbalance in the inner ear. This fluid (endolymph) is contained in a part of the inner ear called the endolymphatic sac.

Vertigo: The Epley Maneuver
Learn how the Epley maneuver can help you get rid of your vertigo.

Pressure Injuries From Scuba Diving
Scuba diving can expose you to high waves and dangerous sea life. But the more likely dangers are those you can’t see. You can be injured if your body isn’t able to adjust to the increasing and decreasing pressure of the water as you breathe…

Allergy Shots for Allergic Rhinitis
Explains what allergy-shot immunotherapy is, why it is done, and what allergies it can help. Covers how it is done, how well it works, and what to expect after treatment. Covers risk factors.

Monitoring During Anesthesia
People receiving anesthesia must be carefully watched, because the medicines used for anesthesia affect the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system (airway and lungs). Anesthesia suppresses many of the…

Swallowed Button Disc Battery, Magnet, or Object With Lead
Button disc batteries are found in watches, cameras, calculators, hearing aids, and computer games. They are easily swallowed by children. These batteries, which contain corrosive fluids, can come apart when swallowed and quickly damage…

Ginger for Motion Sickness
Some people drink ginger ale or ginger tea or take powdered ginger capsules to try to prevent motion sickness.

Acupressure Bands for Motion Sickness
Several brands of acupressure bands are available. These bands use pressure, electricity, or both to stimulate the P6 acupuncture point. This point is located about two finger-widths from the crease on the underside of the wrist. The elastic…

Hay Fever and Other Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies occur at the same time of the year every year, if you continue to live in the same part of the country. Hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis) is the most common seasonal allergy.

Environmental Illness
An environmental illness can occur when you are exposed to toxins or substances in the environment that make you sick. These health hazards may be found where you live, work, or play.

Stages of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when you regularly stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on the number of times an hour that you stop breathing (apnea) or that airflow to your lungs is reduced…

Vertigo: Head Movements That Help
Learn simple head movements to help with vertigo and balance problems.

Body Piercing Problems
Body piercing is very popular with both men and women. Many areas of the body are used for piercing. Most people who have piercings do not develop any problems.

Earwax
Earwax is a naturally produced substance that protects the ear canal. It is a mixture of skin, sweat, hair, and debris (such as shampoo and dirt) held together with a fluid secreted by glands inside the ear canal (ceruminous glands). The ear…

Blocked Tear Ducts: Infracturing
Infracturing is a type of surgery that involves breaking and repositioning one of the bones within the nose (inferior turbinate) to help resolve a blocked tear duct. This procedure may be done if the nose structure is pressing against and…

Dix-Hallpike Test for Vertigo
The Dix-Hallpike test (also called Nylen-Barany test) determines whether vertigo is triggered by certain head movements. Your doctor will carefully observe any involuntary eye movements (nystagmus) that may occur during this test…

Types of Allergens
Pollen, molds, dust mites, or animal dander cause most allergic rhinitis and trigger asthma attacks in some people.

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring is a major symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But even though most people who have sleep apnea snore, not all people who snore have sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea: Fiber-Optic Pharyngoscopy
Fiber-optic pharyngoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look into the upper part of your respiratory system. He or she may use it to help decide how to treat your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Sleep Apnea: Less Common Surgeries
The first treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or not drinking alcohol before bed, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). If these do not work, or if an obvious tissue or…

Sinus Surgery for Sinusitis
Briefly discusses surgery to treat chronic sinusitis. Covers how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Lists risks.

Needle Puncture and Aspiration of Sinus Contents for Sinusitis
For this test, the sinus cavity is punctured with a needle, and a sample of the sinus contents is obtained. A culture and sensitivity test is often done on the sample to identify the bacteria, virus, or fungus causing the…

Classification of Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
Cleft palate and cleft lip may occur independently of each other or at the same time. The terms below are often used to describe and classify cleft lip and cleft palate and to describe a cleft more precisely.

Sleep Apnea: Uvulopalatoplasty
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is a technique that uses lasers to perform surgery for some sleep-related breathing disorders. It may be used if you have:

Children and Cough and Cold Medicines
Learn what’s safe—and what isn’t—when it comes to your child and over-the-counter cold remedies.

Over-the-Counter Medicines for Allergies
Many over-the-counter medicines are available to control symptoms of allergies, including allergic rhinitis. These medicines work well but can have side effects. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

Mononucleosis Complications
Most people recover from mononucleosis (mono) without any complications. But there are many possible complications of mono. These include:

Pregnancy: Nosebleeds and Bleeding Gums
Some women get nosebleeds when they are pregnant. That’s because there is more blood flow to the tissue inside the nose (mucous membranes) when you are pregnant.

Blocked Tear Ducts: Endoscopic and Laser Dacryocystorhinostomy
Endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy is a type of surgery sometimes used to treat blocked tear ducts in adults. It is rarely used in children. During this procedure, the surgeon inserts a thin fiber-optic light device through the tear duct…

Chemical Ablation for Vertigo
Chemical ablation is sometimes used to reduce severe symptoms of vertigo from Ménière’s disease. The goal of treatment for Ménière’s disease is to eliminate symptoms while keeping as much hearing in the ear as possible.

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