ENT Blog

Posts for category: Otolaryngology

By The Head and Neck Center, P.C.
November 03, 2021
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Hearing Loss   Tinnitus  

When you are dealing with hearing loss in Bethlehem, serving Allentown, PA, The Head and Neck Center and Dr. Andrew Pestcoe can give you the information you need about common causes of tinnitus. 

Tinnitus 

Tinnitus is a common condition that affects the ears. It is both a neurological and audiological condition. It is not a disease but is often reflective of some underlying illness. With this condition, you hear a sound that doesn't exist outside your ear. It may be a ringing sound, but that is not the only description used to describe what is being heard. It can be clicking hissing and even rarely music. 

In the US, 50 million people suffer from this condition. Of that 50 million, 10 million have cases that affect their ability to function optimally. Not everyone has the same degree of tinnitus. It can be intermittent or constant, it can be in one ear or in both ears, it can be a low pitch or a high pitch. But it is always annoying at the very least. 

Tinnitus has several common causes. Hearing loss is the most common cause but it may also be caused by an obstruction in the middle ear, TMJ, and traumatic brain injury, just to name a few. You need to have your ears examined for hearing loss in Bethlehem, serving Allentown, PA, to determine what the cause is. 

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is most often associated with tinnitus. The two most common types of hearing loss are:

Age-related- After the age of 60 hearing often deteriorates. It usually happens in both ears. Usually, the loss is of high-pitched sounds. It does explain why so many cases of tinnitus are in the elderly. 

Noise-induced- Working or living in an environment where you are exposed to loud noises either on one occasion or over years can lead to hearing loss. It can be a traumatic event or just your lifestyle. This type of hearing loss can happen in only one ear or both. 

Obstruction of the External/ Middle Ear

A blockage can cause damaging pressure in the middle ear as a result of wax, dirt, or head congestion. In most cases, removing the blockage cures tinnitus. 

TMJ

TMJ affects the temporomandibular joint, where the jaw connects to the skull. This is located right in front of the ear. Damage in this area can result in tinnitus. Having the condition treated will usually resolve the tinnitus. 

Traumatic Brain Injury

This accounts for more than half of tinnitus cases in veterans who have been injured. In Bethlehem, serving Allentown, PA, treating hearing loss means calling the Head and Neck Center and Dr. Pestcoe. Don't wait, call today at 610-691-2552

By The Head and Neck Center, P.C.
July 01, 2021
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Allergy  

If allergy symptoms are impacting your daily routine, we can help!

Are you battling allergy symptoms? Finding over-the-counter solutions to be less than helpful in managing your stuffed up or runny nose, congestion and postnasal drip? If so, our Bethlehem, Allentown, PA, ENT doctor Dr. Andrew Pestcoe can help you find the relief you’re looking for from your allergies. An ENT doctor is a medical professional who specializes in treating conditions that impact the ear, nose and throat. If you are looking for allergy relief, you’ve come to the right place.

Signs of Allergic Rhinitis

Our Bethlehem, PA, otolaryngologist commonly treats allergies that impact the nasal or sinus passages. This is often referred to as allergic rhinitis or “hay fever”. Allergies can be brutal, especially if you don’t have them under control or if you deal with them all year long. Common warning signs of allergic rhinitis include,

  • Sneezing
  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy face (often the nose, mouth or skin)
  • Congestion
  • Persistent cough
  • Sinus pressure
  • Fatigue

If you are experiencing these symptoms and they are persistent or severe then it’s time to turn to our Allentown, PA, ENT team for help.

How our ENT Team Can Help

The problem with sinus symptoms is that you may think you have allergies when you are really deal with another nasal problem entirely such as chronic sinusitis or nasal polyps. If you’ve never been diagnosed with allergies before but you’re dealing with nasal symptoms then our ENT team can help you. An ENT is different from an allergist.

While issues such as a skin rash, watery eyes or swollen lips may be better addressed by an allergist, Dr. Pestcoe and his team can address symptoms that impact the ears, nose and throat. We can even work closely with your allergist to make sure that you get the most comprehensive treatment plan possible.

Treating Allergies

The severity of your allergies and the type of symptoms you’re dealing with will determine the best course of action when it comes to managing your allergies. Common treatment options include,

  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays or antihistamine sprays
  • Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Mast Cell Stabilizers
  • Oral steroids
  • Immunotherapy (aka: allergy shots)

Whether you’re dealing with allergies or chronic sinusitis, our Bethlehem, Allentown, PA, otolaryngologist Dr. Pestcoe and the team at The Head and Neck Center is here to help. To schedule a consultation with us, call (610) 691-2552 today.

By The Head and Neck Center, P.C.
March 24, 2021
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Listening is a key component of communication, so if you're having trouble hearing, it can impact your life in many ways. Hearing loss can hinder your enjoyment of music and movies, make conversations and comprehension more difficult, and otherwise create issues in your everyday life.

While you may think you are too young for hearing aids, or you picture them as being bulky and conspicuous, hearing aids have come a long way over the years. At the Head and Neck Center in Bethlehem, PA, we can help you find an effective and comfortable way to restore your hearing to its best so you can enjoy all the sensations life has to offer.

How do hearing aids work?

Hearing aids come in several versions but all work by using tiny microphones to detect sounds. A small amplifier transforms the sound into digital code, the most advanced technology available, and the signals are converted into sound waves. Hearing aids adjust the sound depending on your level of hearing so the sound coming through the speakers in your hearing aids is clear and neither too loud nor too quiet.

Features of the new wave of hearing aids include directional microphones, which can help your comprehension of sounds in loud environments. they have digital feedback reduction, which helps prevent disruptive "feedback". they use gain processing to increase the level of important sounds, and have digital noise reduction, which lowers the volume of background noises.

What are my options for hearing aids?

Hearing aids come in in-the-canal, over the ear, and behind the ear styles. Depending on your level of hearing loss and desire for discreetness, you may find one style preferable over another.

In-the-canal versions are the least visible, while in the ear and behind the ear versions can come in skin tone colors but are still visible. Behind the ear, styles leave the ear canal open for more natural sound.

Can I treat my hearing loss without hearing aids?

Some forms of hearing loss can be remedied using alternate methods. If your hearing loss is the result of ear infections, antibiotics or decongestants may be effective. If your ears are filled with fluid, myringotomy uses tubes for drainage to clear your ear canal and restore your hearing.

Trust the experts at Head and Neck Center in Bethlehem, PA, to find the best solution for your hearing loss. Call us today at 610-691-2552.

By The Head and Neck Center, P.C.
January 12, 2021
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Sinusitis  

It's normal for cold and flu symptoms to persist for several days, sometimes about a week. But if they prolong then it's important to seek out your Bethlehem, PA, doctor as this is often a sign of sinusitis, and to rule out any other conditions. So contact Dr. Andrew Pestcoe of The Head and Neck Center, P.C., to learn more.

Sinuses

Your sinuses are spaces behind your face that help in several ways but are mainly involved in your respiratory system. Air that you breathe passes through these passages and they, in turn, create mucus that helps to filter bacteria and other contaminants, and also lubricates your nose.

If your sinuses are working correctly air flows through and mucus lubricates and drains without a problem.

Symptoms

Allergies, the general shape of your sinuses, or bacteria from a cold or the flu can create a clog and bring about the well-known symptoms of sinusitis.

If the flow of air or mucus is obstructed you may begin to feel that throbbing pressure, and pain, behind your forehead, your nose, your cheeks, or between your eyes. Some have likened the pain to that of a toothache because of the proximity of it all.
You may feel headaches and cold symptoms that last for more than 10 days, including fever.

Sinusitis Treatment in Bethlehem, PA

Home treatments can help ease the effect of some of these symptoms, but your doctor can best help advise you on what would be most beneficial, and most importantly diagnose the reason behind them. Sometimes medication may be prescribed and can often alleviate acute sinusitis in less than four weeks, sometimes just one.

Chronic sinusitis can last for longer, despite treatment, and may require surgical intervention.

If you are suffering from sinusitis symptoms or a cold that just won't go away, make an appointment today. Call Dr. Pestcoe of The Head and Neck Center, P.C., in Bethlehem, PA, by dialing (610) 691-2552.

By The Head and Neck Center, P.C.
October 07, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Hearing loss can be due to various factors and could be mild to severe. The most common consequence of unmanaged hearing loss is difficulty understanding others, especially in noisy environments. This could negatively affect your interaction with others and make navigating your personal, school, or work-life much more challenging. With this in mind, it’s crucial that you undergo a hearing test with a hearing specialist, like Dr. Andrew Pestcoe, your ENT here at The Head and Neck Center, P.C. in Bethlehem, PA.

Kids and Unmanaged Hearing Loss

Studies have demonstrated that kids living with moderate or mild hearing loss could experience learning difficulties and challenges developing important language and speech skills for cultivating self-esteem and succeeding at school and the workplace. If not detected and managed as early as possible, hearing loss could even change how your child speaks, interacts, and learns.

Knowing your child’s hearing abilities as soon as he or she is born will give you the proper tools you need to manage it and make your child’s quality of life better. But even for older kids, when proper treatments are implemented, they can continue down the route of proper and age-appropriate language and speech development. This is why working with your ENT in Bethlehem, PA, is crucial.

Potential Health Risks Related to Unmanaged Hearing Loss

Left undetected and unmanaged, hearing loss could result in other detrimental health and social impacts that go beyond the reduced ability to hear. Studies have likewise linked unmanaged hearing loss during adulthood to social withdrawal, fatigue, impaired memory, and depression.

In most cases, these consequences are due to challenges in communicating with other people and embarrassment or shame about their condition. In addition, health impacts from untreated hearing loss could include elevated blood pressure levels, muscle tension, headaches, and increased stress.

Reach Out to Us For Any Concerns or Advice on Hearing Loss

Arrange an appointment with your ENT, Dr. Andrew Pestcoe of The Head and Neck Center, P.C. in Bethlehem, PA, by calling (610) 691-2552.