Are you bothered by ear, nose and throat problems every now and then? You are not alone! Most ear, nose and throat problems are related to each other even in terms of signs and symptoms. The most common ear, nose and throat problems are listed below.
1. Ear Infections
Ear infections are one of the most common ENT disorders. They occur when germs are trapped inside the ear. The Eustachian tube usually keeps unwanted germs out of the ear canal; it is like a tiny tube from the ear that drains into the back of the throat. If the Eustachian tube is clogged by mucus or fluid, microorganisms may get trapped in the tube, causing an ear infection.
Signs and symptoms of an ear infection include:
- Pain and pressure in the ear
- Loss of balance
- Difficulty hearing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Recent history of an upper respiratory infection
- Fluid discharge from the ear (this indicates perforation of the tympanic membrane)
2. Sore Throat or Pharyngitis
Strep is an abbreviation for a family of bacteria called “streptococci.” When the surface of your throat is infected with germs, strep throat will occur.
Have an actual test by your doctor to be certain that you have this infection.
Symptoms are usually abrupt and include the following:
- Red, sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Enlarged tonsils
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- White patches on the tonsils or in the back of the throat
- Body aches
- Skin rash (rare)
Sinusitis occurs when germs find their way into the hollow recesses of the skull that surround your eyes and nose. There is inflammation, pressure and pain in those areas if germs are trapped there.
Symptoms of sinusitis are:
- Nasal discharge of various colors and consistencies
4. Common Cold
Common cold symptoms are sneezing, sore throat, stuffy nose and coughing. This infection that is caused by cold viruses is acquired by touching your eyes or nose after you touch contaminated surfaces. You can also inhale these viruses.
5. Sleep Apnea
If you stop breathing for brief periods of time while sleeping, you most likely have sleep apnea. It can cause severe health problems if untreated.
If you have these symptoms, talk to your doctor:
- Waking up frequently in the middle of the night
- Feeling unrefreshed upon awakening
- Daytime drowsiness
- Mood swings
- Waking up with a dry, sore throat
- Morning headaches
While some of these conditions may resolve on their own without treatment, prolonged and more severe symptoms may warrant doctor consultation. If these symptoms persist, consult your doctor!
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