Common ENT Conditions & Terms
The adenoids are a patch of tissue that are located high up in the throat, behind the nose. Hanging above the tonsils, the adenoids are also part of the body’s immune system and help filter bacteria and viruses. Adenoiditis occurs when the adenoid glands become infected, producing inflammation.
Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma)
Acoustic Neuroma is a rare benign (non-cancerous) tumor that grows very slowly on the eighth cranial nerve. If they become large, they can affect hearing and balance.
An allergy is an immune system response to an otherwise harmless substance that your body deems harmful. Allergies may lead to infections in the ear, sinuses, or nasal passages, or to irritations of the throat.
Asthma is a lung condition that causes the airways to become inflamed. In addition to making extra mucus, asthma causes the airways to narrow which leads to breathing difficulties.
Breathing problems can be caused by a range of conditions that impact the lungs and airways, making it challenging to breathe easily. This includes asthma, allergies, sinusitis, and sleep apnea.
The septum is made up of cartilage and bone that separates the nasal cavity. A deviated septum occurs when this membrane is off-center. It is not uncommon for this to lead to snoring.
Ear tubes are tiny mental or plastic tubes that are surgically inserted into the eardrum. This helps the middle ear to drain, allowing airflow. Ear tubes help prevent recurring buildup of fluid behind the eardrum which leads to ear infections.
Epistaxis (nose bleeds)
The tissues lining the inside of the nasal cavity contain many tiny blood vessels. When they lose blood, it’s called Epistaxis or a nosebleed. The most common cause is dry air.
A headache is a pain in the head or face region. It may be isolated to one area or occur on both sides of the head. The pain consists of signals coming from blood vessels, muscles and nearby nerves.
Hearing loss has many different causes. It may be sudden or gradual and occur in one or both ears. While it can manifest at any age it is associated most commonly with the aging process.
Hoarseness (also called dysphonia) is an abnormal change in the quality of your voice, making it sound raspy, strained, breathy, weak, higher or lower in pitch, inconsistent, fatigued, or shaky, often making it harder to talk.
Meniere’s Disease (Idiopathic Endolymphatic Hydrops)
Meniere’s disease is a chronic disorder of the inner ear that can lead to dizziness (vertigo), hearing loss, and tinnitus. It has an unknown origin although head injury, smoking, stress and inner ear infections have been associated causes.
Mouth sores are common and are usually short lasting minor irritations. They can occur around the mouth, lips, tongue, cheeks, and gums. In some cases, mouth sores can indicate mouth cancer or viral infection.
Nasal fractures, or a broken nose, impact the bone and cartilage of the nose. This can change one’s appearance as well as lead to breathing difficulties. .
Otitis Media (Ear Infection)
Otitis media is any type of inflammation or infection of the middle ear. Ear infections can be caused by the common cold, sore throat, and allergies.
Polyps are abnormal tissue growths. They may develop from swollen nasal, sinus or ear canal linings and should be evaluated by a medical professional.
The lubricating fluid found in the mouth and throat are made by Salivary Glands. These glands contain enzymes that begin the process of digesting food. When salivary glands become obstructed or blocked, they can lead to infections or other disorders.
Sinuses are hollow spaces in the head that are connected through narrow channels. Sinusitis (rhinosinusitis) occurs when these spaces become inflamed from viruses or bacteria.
The body’s largest organ, the skin consists of two layers: epidermis and dermis. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin and is made up of cells that provide the skin with its color and protect the skin from damage. Skin cancer results from cancerous cells found in this layer of skin.
Smell and Taste Disorders
Smell and taste disorders can include a partial or total loss of smell and taste. They can also cause you to detect an unpleasant odor or taste. These disorders typically highlight an underlying health condition.
Snoring is the noise that occurs when there is a partial obstruction to the 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 the soft palate and uvula. Snoring occurs when these structures strike each other and vibrate during breathing.
Temporary cessation of breathing during sleep; results from blockage of upper air passages in the throat. Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring and lethargy.
Swallowing involves a complex process that involves muscle movements of the mouth, throat, and esophagus. Swallowing disorders can result from issues with these nerves and muscles that coordinate swallowing or infections and tumors.
Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa)
Swimmer’s Ear is an infection of your ear canal. It includes redness or swelling, irritation and sometimes drainage.
Throat cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that develops in your throat or voice box. The most common type of throat cancer is squamous cell carcinoma which affects the lining of the throat.
Tinnitus is the sensation of ringing, hissing, or buzzing sounds in one or both ears with no external source. It may be intermittent or continuous and range in pitch from low to high. It is considered persistent if it lasts more than 6 months. Tinnitus is extremely common affecting more than 50 million Americans.
The tonsils are the two lymph nodes located on each side of the back of your throat. Tonsillitis occurs when these become inflamed and infected.
Vestibular Disorder (Dizziness)
Dizziness is a common symptom of a balance disorder that occurs in the inner ear. The vestibulocochlear nerve sends balance and movement information to the brain and when this nerve becomes inflamed, it produces dizziness and other symptoms.
Wax Impaction (Impacted Cerumen)
Earwax is a substance naturally produced by your body to help protect your outer ear. When this wax becomes built up, hard or blocks the ear canal it’s called a wax impaction. Symptoms may include hearing loss and irritation of the ear canal. Treatments include at home or in office remedies for more severe impaction.