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By Spartanburg & Greer ENT
June 14, 2017
Category: General
Tags: Sleep Disorders  

What's preventing you from getting a good night's sleep? Do you wake up frequently and suddenly during the night? Is daytime fatigue sleep apneaand foggy thinking occurring more often? These symptoms and others could signal one of the most common sleep disorders--sleep apnea. Often life threatening, sleep apnea may be successfully treated by the caring ear, nose and throat physicians at Spartanburg & Greer, SC, ENT.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a medical condition affecting approximately 18 million adults in the United States, according to the National Sleep Foundation. While this sleep disorder tends to happen with overweight males over the age of 40, sleep apnea appears across the population--even in children.

Its main symptom is exceptionally loud and persistent snoring. Additionally, patients with sleep apnea experience:

  • Repeated periods of breathing cessation (apnea) lasting 10 seconds or more
  • Startled awakening
  • Gasping for air
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased libido
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Fatigue and drowsiness

Most people with sleep apnea have OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea in which the soft tissues at the back of the throat relax and cover the airway. Others suffer from CSA, or Central Sleep Apnea, in which the brain does not tell the respiratory system to keep breathing. Some individuals have a combination of the two kinds.

Unfortunately, this sleep disorder contributes to systemic health issues, too, such as diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. In short, sleep apnea must be diagnosed and treated.

How Spartanburg & Greer ENT can help

Drs. Foster, Butehorn, Weir, and Steiniger see many patients with a variety of sleep disorders in their office, including sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. To pinpoint why an individual is experiencing sleep difficulties,
the physician may recommend an in-office or at-home sleep study.

For instance, a polysomnogram measures the individual's vital signs, body movements, and oxygen levels while he or she sleeps. This test gives the doctor valuable information to understand the sleep problem.

With a diagnosis in hand, the doctor may prescribe one or more treatment modalities. For sleep apnea, the two most common treatments are:

  • CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure This bedside apparatus delivers a steady stream of oxygen through a facial mask. The airflow keeps the throat open, stopping snoring and sleep apnea.
  • Oral appliance therapy Worn nightly, a customized mouth guard puts the tongue and jaw in more forward positions, opening the airway so oxygen moves freely.

Some patients benefit from a combination of CPAP and an oral appliance. Additionally, the highly skilled doctors at Spartanburg & Geer ENT can use lifestyle modifications (such as weight loss) and some specialized surgeries to modify the soft tissues of the mouth and throat to keep the airway open.

Is your sleep disturbed?

Whether you are snoring, experiencing insomnia, have restless legs or other sleep problems, please contact Spartanburg & Geer, SC, ENT for a personal consultation. They'll help you achieve a good night's sleep and better overall well-being.

By Spartanburg & Greer ENT
March 13, 2017
Category: General
Tags: sinus problems   allergies  

Chronic sinus and allergy problems are more than annoying. They can adversely affect your quality of life. If you suffer from chronic sinus problemssinus or allergy symptoms that show little improvement with over-the-counter medications, there are alternative therapies that can help. Your sinus and allergy doctors at Spartanburg & Greer ENT in Spartanburg and Greer, SC, offer a variety of sinus and allergy therapies, including balloon sinuplasty, allergy shot therapy, endoscopic sinus surgery and at-home, painless allergy drop therapy.

Sinus Therapies

For patients with chronic sinusitis, surgical sinus therapies can provide long-term relief. Two common surgical sinus therapies are endoscopic sinus surgery and balloon sinuplasty. Endoscopic sinus surgery is performed by inserting a nasal endoscope inside the nose so that the doctor can view the sinuses and remove blockages, such as excess tissue or polyps. Following the procedure, patients experience improved breathing, better drainage and better airflow through the nose.

Balloon sinuplasty involves the insertion of balloons into the sinuses using a flexible catheter. Once in place, the balloons are inflated to expand the sinus pathways. The expanded sinus passages are then sprayed with saline to flush out mucus and other materials that might be clogging them. Once the sinus pathways are clear, the balloon and catheter are removed. Following the procedure, the sinuses passageways should remain open and clear for easier breathing and better drainage.

Allergy Therapies

Many people with allergies successfully treat them with antihistamines, nasal sprays or other over-the-counter medications. For individuals with more severe allergy symptoms, alternate allergy therapies are needed. These can include allergy shots or allergy drops. Allergy shot therapy and allergy drop therapy are both immunotherapy treatments. They help the immune system become less sensitive to allergens and better tolerate them. A long-term goal of these therapies is to reduce the need for allergy medications over time.

Both allergy shot therapy and allergy drop therapy reduce sensitivity to allergens by exposing the patient to small amounts of the allergen. This exposure helps the immune system build up a greater tolerance to the allergen(s). Allergy shot therapy involves administering shots containing small doses of the allergen, which can also be referred to as an antigen. Allergy drop therapy exposes patients to small doses of the allergen through drops placed under the tongue. Your Spartanburg and Greer area allergy doctor can determine which therapy is right for you.

Sinus and allergy problems affect many people and can have an adverse impact on their quality of life. When over-the-counter medications and therapies are ineffective, alternate sinus and allergy therapies can help. For treatment of sinuses or allergies, contact Spartanburg & Greer ENT. To schedule an appointment, call (864) 582-2900 for the Spartanburg office or (864) 699-6970 for the Greer office.

By Spartanburg & Greer ENT
December 08, 2016
Category: Hearing
Tags: Hearing Aids  

Find out whether you might need a hearing aid in order to improve your ability to hear those around you from your Spartanburg and Greer, SC, otolaryngologists.

It might seem like a silly question to ask yourself since it might seem obvious whether you might need a hearing aid or not, but it’s not hearing aidsalways as clear cut as it seems. This is when it’s time to turn to your Spartanburg and Greer, SC, otolaryngologists, who will be able to determine whether hearing aids are right for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself; they may help you determine whether you might benefit from wearing a hearing aid.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it sound like people around you mumble?
  • Do you have to turn the volume up on the TV or radio in order to hear it?
  • Do you need people to repeat themselves often?
  • Is it difficult to understand people on the phone?
  • Do you find yourself withdrawing from conversation, particularly in a group or in noisy settings?
  • Do you find yourself reading lips or really focusing on someone when they speak?

If you said yes to some of these questions then you could certainly be dealing with some form of hearing loss. One fairly common type of hearing loss is being able to hear people in a normal pitch but not being able to heard higher-pitched sounds.

Before getting a hearing aid it’s important to note that unlike glasses, which can correct visual impairments, hearing aids are not able to fully restore your hearing back to normal. However, a hearing aid can amplify voices and sounds to make it easier to hear them. Wearing a hearing aid can make it easier to join in and hear normal conversations. Some advanced features also offer amazing technology to make it easier to communicate in a noisy setting. Some hearing aids can also be used to amplify high-pitched sounds.

Since there are so many different technologies, styles and features when it comes to getting a hearing aid in Spartanburg and Greer, SC, it’s a good idea to talk to us about what is right for you. We can perform hearing tests to determine the extent of your hearing loss and the cause. Turn to Spartanburg & Greer ENT today!

By Spartanburg & Greer ENT
September 06, 2016
Category: Throat
Tags: Sore Throat  

Sore throat pain can make you feel miserable and even interfere with sleep. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ease your pain. John A. Foster, M.D.; H. Frederick "Fritz" Butehorn, III, M.D.; Richard M. Weir, M.D.; and Erik D. Steiniger, M.D.; your Spartanburg, SC, ENT doctors at Spartanburg & Greer ENT, share a few tips that will help you cope with a sore throat.Sore Throat

Gargle with saltwater

Think gargling with saltwater to reduce sore throat pain is just an old wives' tale? This old folk remedy not only reduces pain temporarily, but also loosens phlegm and cleans your throat. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water. Gargle with this mixture up to eight times per day.

Try a pain reliever

Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen sodium can help relieve sore throat pain. If you have any of signs of the flu, such as aching muscles and joints, dry cough, runny nose and fatigue, don't take aspirin if you have a sore throat. Using aspirin when you have the flu can cause Reye's syndrome, a serious condition that can lead to death if it's not treated promptly. Although you may associate Reye's syndrome with children, it can occur at any age.

Have a cup of tea

Drinking any warm liquid, such as tea or warm water with honey, may help you feel better. Hot beverages thin sinus mucus and allow it to drain, which can reduce your painful symptoms.

Buy a vaporizer or humidifier

Using vaporizers and humidifiers while you sleep prevents the air from becoming too dry while you sleep. Don't have a vaporizer or humidifier? Add a pan of water to your room at night.

See your ENT

If your sore throat doesn't get better, make an appointment with your ear, nose and throat doctor. In some cases, sore throats can be caused by other conditions, such as acid reflux. Although heartburn is the classic symptom of acid reflux, some people don't experience this problem but do develop a chronic sore throat or a constant lump-in-the-throat sensation. Once the reflux is controlled, the sore throat will go away.

Are you concerned about a chronic sore throat? Call Drs. Foster, Butehorn, Weir and Steiniger, your Spartanburg, SC, ENT doctors at Spartanburg & Greer ENT, at (864) 582-2900 to schedule an appointment.

By Spartanburg & Greer ENT
May 27, 2016
Category: Hearing
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Like visual impairment and trouble remembering things, progressive hearing loss is typically thought of as an ailment that comes with hearing lossold age. And while getting older is one of the most common causes, everyone is susceptible to infections or injuries in the ear that can also lead to impaired hearing.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

If you're over the age of 65, there's a good chance (roughly 1 in 2, to be exact) that certain sounds seem a bit more muffled and less audible than usual. Has the whole world suddenly started mumbling? Not likely. Prolonged exposure to loud noises and the effects of time account for a majority of hearing problems among older adults. Other factors, like wax buildup and infections, can also affect the ear's ability to process and properly transmit the electrical signals to the brain that interpret different sounds. So how do you know if your hearing is fading, or if your ears just need a good cleaning? In addition to getting our hearing checked from time to time, especially as we get older, knowing the signs of progressive hearing loss and addressing the problem as early as possible is the best way to prevent permanent damage.

The hearing specialists at Spartanburg & Greer ENT in South Carolina advise their patients to pay attention to the following signs and symptoms of partial hearing loss:

  • Sounds and speech sound muffled
  • Frequently feel the need to turn up the volume on music or t.v.
  • Difficulty understanding speech and distinguishing sounds against background noise
  • Difficulty following conversations against background noise

Hearing Loss Prevention and Treatment in Spartanburg

Treatment options depend on the cause and severity of the hearing loss, and range from medication, hearing aids, and surgery.

Contact an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor in Spartanburg

For more information on hearing impairment and ear injury treatment, contact Spartanburg & Greer ENT by calling 864-582-2900 to schedule an appointment with an otolaryngologist today.

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