Is Your Child Dealing With Recurrent Ear Infections?
Ear infections can be miserable, and when it comes to children the painful condition is distressingly common. Dr. Christine Gilliam at Everyone's ENT and Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX treats many pediatric patients for recurrent ear infections, and she can help put your child on the path to recovery as well.
What causes ear infections?
Ear infections occur when the Eustachian tube, which equalizes the middle ear, develops fluid or pressure buildup. This happens more frequently in babies, toddlers, and preschool-age children as their Eustachian tube is not yet fully sized and matured. In addition to the immaturity of the Eustachian tube, environmental factors such as exposure to secondhand smoke, allergies, sinus or bacterial infections can lead to a sinus infection. If your child is enrolled in day care or school, you may find they are quicker to develop contagious ear infections.
What can a pediatric ENT do for my child's ear infections?
At our San Antonio, TX office a pediatric ENT may recommend medicinal or surgical options for your child's ear infection, depending on the cause, severity or duration of the infection.
Prescription antibiotics are typically the first course of action for an ear infection, with the type, dosage and length of treatment determined on an individual basis. If your child is in need of more intensive treatment, your pediatric ENT may opt to surgically place pressure equalization tubes in your child's ears. This procedure involves putting your child under anesthesia while your pediatric ENT makes a small incision in the ear drum to drain out any built-up fluid and insert the tube. This process should take under 10 minutes, and your child will be able to return home right after.
The tube will likely remain in place up to a year, falling out on its own. During this time, your child will be seen by your pediatric ENT at our San Antonio, TX office every six months to monitor the tube and progress in treating the infection.
How effective are pressure equalization tubes?
Most pediatric patients will have lasting results with a single set of tubes, but more sets may be needed, especially if the tubes fall out before the ear infection has been remedied. You will want to schedule regular visits for your child with a pediatric ENT at our San Antonio, TX office to monitor their ear health.
If your child is suffering from persistent, painful ear infections, call Everyone's ENT and Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX at 210-647-3838.
No cold should last for weeks. Yet, you've had a runny nose, watery eyes and headaches for more days than you can count. Could you have an undiagnosed allergy? Here at Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, your otolaryngologist, Dr. Christine Gilliam, provides allergy testing to investigate your symptoms and get you on a treatment plan for lasting relief.
What are allergies?
Allergies are the immune system's overreaction to a substance that enters the body through the skin, respiratory system, or GI tract. In other words, allergens, or symptom triggers, are everywhere in the environment, ready to be breathed in, ingested, or touched.
Millions of Americans of all ages have allergies to one degree or another. Some allergies go silent for years, only to express themselves again with a change in living conditions, medication, or overall health. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that 200,000 Americans visit hospital ERs annually because of food allergies.
What are the symptoms?
Allergy symptoms vary, as do their intensity. Some reactions are so mild and transitory the sufferer does not notice them much. Others, such as anaphylactic shock in response to a bee sting, are so severe they are life-threatening. That's why Dr. Gilliam's team urges patients to undergo allergy testing if they, or their physicians, suspect they have undiagnosed allergies.
Common symptoms include:
- Watery eyes
- Facial numbness or tingling
- GI upset
How does your physician diagnose allergies?
Paying close attention to symptoms, their onset, severity, and what may relieve them is critical to allergy diagnosis and management. Common allergens are pet dander, plant molds, dust mites, pollen, shellfish, peanuts, and insect vectors. Household products, such as laundry detergent, often precipitate atopic dermatitis, an itchy, red skin rash.
Besides noting triggers, Dr. Gilliam uses allergy testing in her San Antonio office. Skin prick tests, which introduce a tiny amount of suspected allergen under the skin, are the most common diagnostic tools and are "read" by the doctor right in the office. Challenge tests involve ingesting a suspect substance such as a medication or food. Finally, blood work is a very accurate way to measure allergic responses. With results in hand, your ENT doctor will formulate a plan of trigger avoidance, oral medications, or immunotherapy (allergy shots or drops) to control your symptoms.
We can help
If you wish to feel and function better, get a handle on your allergies. Dr. Christine Gilliam at Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center helps you be in control. For more information or a consultation on allergy testing, contact her San Antonio office at (210) 647-3838.
If you suffer from repeat sinus infections, you know how frustrating and debilitating this problem is. At Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, Dr. Christine Gilliam uses state-of-the-art balloon sinuplasty to relieve the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. The procedure achieves remarkable results, and patients experience practically immediate relief of symptoms.
Repeat sinus infections with their headache pain, fatigue and nasal stuffiness impact about 37 million Americans annually, say experts at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center. Missed work and school and generalized low function are common to sinus sufferers. Often, nasal sprays and antibiotics are stop-gap measures until the next round of symptoms begin.
What's the solution to chronic sinusitis? At Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, Dr. Christine Gilliam has an innovative and effective way to manage and even eliminate the problem of chronic sinusitis. It's called balloon sinuplasty, a simple in-office procedure that opens sinus passages quickly.
How balloon sinuplasty works
After Dr. Gilliam reviews your symptoms and medically clears you for this procedure, she introduces local anesthetic to the nose. Then, the doctor introduces a very thin catheter into the nostril. The catheter is lighted and allows Dr. Gilliam to see the inside of the sinuses.
Then, she inflates a small balloon which is an integral part of the catheter. A saline wash rinses out any pus, mucous or other debris. Thus, the passage is opened and cleared, freeing you from the congestion and pressure of chronic sinusitis.
Afterwards, you can go home to rest for the balance of the day. Many people return to work and other normal activities the next day.
Amazingly, balloon sinuplasty produces little to no bleeding, leaving both hard and soft tissues inside the nose and sinuses intact. Of course, results vary from patient to patient, but most report freer breathing, far less congestion, fewer headaches and a greatly improved quality of life.
Find out more
At Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, balloon sinuplasty helps scores of people feel better and improves daily function and well-being. Why not find out more about this treatment? Call for a consultation with your board-certified otolaryngologist, Dr. Christine Gilliam: (210) 647-3838.
Sinus surgery can put an end to chronic sinus pain, congestion, headaches and other symptoms. The surgery is usually recommended if symptoms are severe or medication no longer helps. Your San Antonio, TX, ENT, Dr. Christine Gilliam, offers several types of sinus surgery at Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center.
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS)
Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery is used to remove blockages, scar tissue, growths, and polyps; improve drainage; ease breathing; treat infections; and correct deviated septums and other structural problems.
Your San Antonio ENT inserts a thin, lighted endoscope into your nasal passages. A tiny camera attached to the end of endoscope sends images to a digital monitor, giving your doctor a clear picture of your sinuses. She'll consult the monitor as she performs surgery using tiny instruments inserted through your nostrils.
Image-guided surgery improves the precision of your procedure with computed tomography (CT) scans and infrared signals that provide more detailed information about the anatomy of your sinuses.
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This type of surgery can improve sinus drainage in the maxillary sinus, located under the eye. During the surgery, your doctor makes an incision above your second molar and creates a new drainage opening in the sinus cavity.
Balloon sinuplasty offers an alternative to sinus surgery. Your doctor inserts a catheter that contains a small balloon into your sinuses. Once the catheter is in place, the balloon is inflated. Inflating the balloon expands the walls of the sinuses and reduces congestion.
After the balloon is deflated, excess mucus is removed with a stream of saline solution. A shorter recovery period and less post-procedure pain are benefits of balloon sinuplasty.
Who benefits from sinus surgery?
Your ENT may recommend sinus surgery if you have:
- Chronic sinusitis
- Three to four sinus infections per year
- Pain and inflammation that lasts longer than 45 days
- An obstruction in your nasal passages, such as a polyp, deviated septum, growth, cyst, or bone spur
- An infection that's spread to your facial bones or skull
Are you tired of living with chronic sinusitis? Sinus surgery may ease your painful symptoms. Call your San Antonio, TX, ENT, Dr. Christine Gilliam, at (210) 647-3838 to schedule an appointment.
Does your child have asthma? Asthma is a condition that inflames and narrows the airways, causing difficulty in breathing. Childhood asthma can be controlled with proper treatment. Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, offers treatments for asthma. Dr. Christine Gilliam is one of the finest Pediatric ENT's in San Antonio, TX. Read on to find out how childhood asthma is treated.
Quick-relief medications provide immediate relief of asthma symptoms and last four to six hours. They are also called rescue drugs. Children take them when they are coughing, having trouble breathing, wheezing, or having an asthma attack. Although medications work quickly, they can't keep your child's asthma symptoms from coming back. If your child has severe or symptoms, he or she will need to take a long-term control medication such as an inhaled corticosteroid.
Long-term control drugs are usually taken every day on a long-term basis to control persistent asthma. These drugs can be used seasonally if your child's symptoms become worse during certain times of the year. Your son or daughter needs to take long-term control medications to prevent asthma symptoms, even when the asthma seems better. Skipping doses can put children at risk for asthma flare-ups, or attacks.
There are three basic types of devices that deliver inhaled medications. The most common is the metered – dose inhaler (MDI), which uses a chemical propellant to push the medicine out of the inhaler. Dry powder inhalers deliver medicine without using chemical propellants, but they require a strong and fast inhalation. Nebulizers deliver fine liquid mists of medicine through a tube or mask that fits over the nose and mouth, using oxygen or air under pressure.
Immunotherapy, or allergy shots may help if your child has allergy-induced asthma. Allergy shots help your child's body get used to the substances that cause an allergic reaction. Your child will probably need shots once a week for a couple of months, then once a month for a period of three to five years. Your child's asthma symptoms and allergic reactions should gradually diminish even after treatment is stopped.
Asthma can affect your child's everyday activities and make life frustrating and miserable. Don't delay- call Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center at 210-647-3838 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gilliam in San Antonio, TX. Our asthma treatments will relieve your child's symptoms, so your child can rest, and you can relax.
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