What your pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist in San Antonio wants you to know
If your child has a sore throat, it’s difficult to know whether it will go away on its own, or whether it’s a sign of a more serious condition, like tonsillitis. Dr. Christine Gilliam at Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX wants to help you understand the difference.
Tonsillitis is a condition in which a child’s tonsils, located at the back of the throat, become inflamed. Your child can get tonsillitis from a viral or bacterial infection like strep throat. Tonsillitis can affect young children and teenagers. Common signs and symptoms to look for include:
- Swollen, red tonsils
- A white coating on your child’s tonsils
- Sore throat and difficulty swallowing
- Fever and swollen lymph nodes
- A hoarse or scratchy voice
- Chronic bad breath
- A headache or stiff neck
Very young children can also experience a pain in the stomach, drooling, lack of appetite and fussiness. If you suspect your child might have tonsillitis, you should seek out Dr. Gilliam. She may recommend:
- Antibiotic medications for less severe cases of tonsillitis
- Surgical removal of tonsils for recurrent or severe tonsillitis
Surgical removal of the tonsils, known as a tonsillectomy is the one sure way to prevent recurrent, chronic tonsillitis. A tonsillectomy is performed in the operating room and your child will go home the same day. Before the procedure your child will receive a sedative medication and then be placed under general anesthesia in the operating room. The tonsillectomy procedure takes about 30 minutes with recovery time requiring an average of between 1 and 4 hours.
There are many helpful things you and your child can do to prevent tonsillitis. Remember to have your child:
- Wash their hands frequently and thoroughly several times a day
- Avoid sharing utensils, glasses, food and beverages with others
- Use a new toothbrush after an illness, especially tonsillitis
- Cover their mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing
For more detailed information about tonsillitis and other common pediatric conditions, please visit the pediatric ENT page on the website at http://www.everyonesent.com/pediatric-ent.html
Tonsillitis is painful, and can lead to other chronic medical problems. If your child has tonsillitis, don’t delay. Instead, call Dr. Gilliam at Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX. Get some help for your child by calling today!
How your San Antonio, TX, doctor can help with allergy testing
What You Need to Know About Allergy Testing
The itchy watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing are just a few symptoms that can be causing allergies. Allergies effect people all year long, like in spring, when flowers bloom and pollen is abundant, or winter, when we all spend most of our time indoors and away from the cold.
If you suffer from the symptoms mentioned above, you need to call your San Antonio doctor. You will need to test for allergies to find out exactly what triggers allergies.
Your allergist is likely to recommend allergy testing if you exhibit:
- Itchy skin, a rash or eczema
- Itchy eyes, nose and throat
- Nasal congestion, runny nose and watery eyes
- Coughing, wheezing or chest congestion
- Cramping, diarrhea or vomiting after eating certain foods
- A severe response to an insect sting or bite
Common allergy tests include:
- Skin tests: The doctor injects you with a small dose of allergen. If you see a rash or swelling within 20 minutes, this is an indication that you're allergic to the substance you were injected with. If there is no response, then you're not allergic.
- Challenge tests: This is similar to the skin test where you're exposed to an allergen. If you inhale or ingest a small amount of allergen, this will help doctors determine what foods or medications you're allergic to.
- Blood tests: Your doctor will draw blood and send it to a laboratory. This test takes a bit longer than the other tests, but it is more accurate.
Once your San Antonio doctor have identified what triggers your allergies, there are several ways to control and treat symptoms.
Here are some options you may want to consider:
- Allergy shots, usually given every week.
- Sublingual drop therapy, which you can administer at home.
If you are interested in learning more about allergy testing, call our San Antonio, TX office at (210) 647-3838 today!
Don’t let your allergies dictate how you live your life.
While some people may only deal with the occasional sniffle, runny nose or itchy eyes, there are others out there that battle severe seasonal allergies each and every day. These are the people who loathe having to step outside even just to get in their car because being bombarded by pollen and ragweed is enough to send them into a fit. If this sounds like you, our San Antonio, TX otolaryngologist Dr. Christine Gilliam is here to provide some ways to control your symptoms.
Filter Out the Gunk
Where you hang your hat every day shouldn’t be a big allergy trigger waiting to happen. Fortunately, there are ways to keep allergens down in your home. If you don’t have one already, you need to get a HEPA air filter, which can trap pollen. This is particularly important during the summer months when you have central AC running all the time.
Clean it Away
Another way to keep your home an allergy-free haven is to make sure your furniture and surfaces aren’t harboring allergies. The best way to do this is to vacuum all furniture and carpets at least once a week (if not more) and clean surfaces regularly. You’ll also want to wash all bedding in warm water once a week.
Protect Your Face
Even if your local weather channel has reported a low mold, pollen and ragweed count, if you are someone who battles allergies regularly then you may still find that your trip outdoors was a big mistake. If you love being outdoors, or it’s just your turn to just mow the lawn, make sure to wear a facemask that covers the nose and mouth. Furthermore, making sure you wear sunglasses whenever you are outside will reduce your exposure to pollen and other outdoor allergens.
Know When to See a Doctor
There are times when even these measures aren’t enough to tackle your allergy symptoms. While some people who suffer from minor allergies may be able to get way with taking an over-the-counter allergy medication, if OTC medications aren’t cutting it then it’s time to visit our San Antonio ENT doctor to find out what prescription medication (e.g. oral antihistamines) will help you get your allergies under control.
Do you want to breathe a bit easier or see the world through non tear-filled eyes? Here at Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX we think everyone should. Call us today to schedule your allergy testing or to get the relief you need.
Find out whether or not your child could be displaying signs of an infection.
Nothing is worse for a parent than dealing with a sick child. Unfortunately, an ear infection is something most children will experience at some point. Ear infections are a common issue that your San Antonio, TX, pediatric ENT doctor, Dr. Christine Gilliam can assist with. Here’s what to be on the lookout for.
Unfortunately, one of the issues with ear infections is that they often appear in children who aren’t able to speak yet. If your child isn’t old enough to verbalize that they are having issues with their ears, you may be a bit confused as to why they may be acting out of sorts. Here are some signs that your child might just be dealing with an ear infection:
- Tugging or playing with their ears
- Fussing or crying
- Redness or swelling of the ear
- Discharge or pus coming from the ear
- Difficulty hearing
- Problems with balance
- Inability to sleep
In most cases, ear infections are caused by bacteria and often accompany another infection like a sore throat or respiratory problem. There are some cases in which a virus such as a cold can also cause an ear infection. Since most ear infections are bacterial they will require antibiotics from our San Antonio children’s otolaryngologist to properly treat the infection. Remember to follow this medication exactly as instructed. Your child should never stop taking this medication even if they start to feel better.
Once they start taking their medication you should notice an improvement in their symptoms after just a couple of days. If you don’t see any changes in their symptoms after a few days or if symptoms only get worse then you need to give us a call. We will prescribe another type of antibiotic that should be more effective.
While your child is healing, make sure they are getting plenty of rest and fluids. The more they rest the better their bodies will be able to combat the infection. Keeping them hydrated is also important for a speedy recovery. If your child is showing signs of dehydration then you need to bring them in right away.
If you are concerned that your child may have an ear infection then the best choice is to call Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, to get your child in to see their ENT doctor, Dr. Christine Gilliam, right away.
Are you tired of living with constant congestion and frequent sinus infections? Sinus surgery may help you breathe easier and reduce the number of infections you get. San Antonio, TX, ENT physician Dr. Christine Gilliam shares some information about the surgery.
When is sinus surgery recommended?
Sinus surgery may be helpful if you experience any of these issues and haven't been helped by decongestants, antihistamines or other treatments:
- Sinus Infections: Although antibiotics are often helpful in treating sinus infections, sometimes the infections can become chronic. If you typically experience sinus infections three or four times throughout the year or have had an infection for 45 days or longer, you might benefit from surgery. Surgery may also be needed if you have an infection that has spread to your bones.
- Obstructions: It's not easy to breathe easily when air doesn't flow freely through your sinuses. The problem can be caused by a deviated septum, polyps, bone spurs or enlarged adenoids or turbinates. Sinus surgery can remove the obstructions or reshape your septum.
- Cysts and Tumors: Sinus surgery is also used to remove cysts and tumors that grow in your sinuses. Although cancer is always a possibility, most cysts and tumors are benign.
What is involved in sinus surgery?
During surgery, a thin, flexible endoscope is inserted into your nose. A camera at the end of the endoscope transmits images of your sinuses to a digital screen. During the surgery, your ENT uses tiny instruments to remove tissue, bone, polyps, cysts or tumors.
You may notice an improvement immediately after surgery, but you'll probably feel a little congested for a few weeks, due to swelling in your sinuses. Once the swelling subsides, you'll be able to breathe much easier. Although it's certainly possible to get sinus infections even after surgery, you'll probably experience them much less often and have milder symptoms.
Sinus surgery can help relieve your pain and other sinus symptoms. Call San Antonio, TX, ENT physician Dr. Christine Gilliam at (210) 647-3838 to schedule an appointment to discuss which treatment option is best for you.
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