Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throat

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Our eyes, ears, and nose are our connection to the world around us, and a number of health conditions can compromise our ability to see, hear, and smell. Treatments range from medications and assistive devices to surgery.

For instance, hearing loss is a common affliction with age. Yet ringing in the ears, called tinnitus, can affect people of all ages. Damage to the inner ear produces the sound, which can range from ringing to buzzing or hissing. Treating the underlying medical condition that’s causing the sound can often make it go away.

Vertigo is a dizzying, spinning sensation. Though it has nothing to do with hearing, vertigo is caused by damage to the inner ear. The condition is triggered when calcium carbonate crystals move into the fluid-filled chambers of the inner ear—the part of the ear that keeps us upright, balanced, and oriented. Vertigo treatment often involves a technique called canalith repositioning maneuvers, in which the doctor moves the head into different positions to move the crystals into an area of the ear where they won’t cause symptoms.

By age 80, nearly everyone will have developed cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s clear lens. This clouding is what causes cataract symptoms like blurred vision, trouble with night vision, and halos around lights. Removing the cataracts with surgery can correct the problem and restore clear vision.

Glaucoma is another common vision problem that affects older adults. In glaucoma, a buildup of pressure inside the eye damages the optic nerve and can eventually cause blindness. Looking for glaucoma symptoms alone won’t always catch the disease in time, because the condition often causes no pain or vision loss until the damage is already significant. That’s why early detection with dilated eye exams and measurement of pressure inside the eye are important.

An estimated 16 million doctor visits each year are due to sinus problems, including sinus infection. The sinuses are the spaces behind the nose and eyes, and they can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Antibiotics can clear up a sinus infection, while decongestants relieve the congestion it causes.

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Hearing Aids Extend Longevity

· · Aging & Independence
A recent study featured in The Lancet Healthy Longevity suggests that wearing hearing aids can be crucial for those who need them but aren’t using them. Lead researcher Janet Choi, MD, MPH, an otolaryngologist at Keck Medicine, reveals that adults with hearing loss who consistently wear hearing aids lower their … Read More
ptosis woman with droopy eyelid

How to Fix a Droopy Eyelid

Droopy upper eyelids that occur with age affect both eyes. Your eyelids themselves don’t really droop. The skin above your eyelids gets loose and droops over your lids. As you age your skin loses fat and elasticity, becoming thin and saggy. Because the skin of your eyelids is some of … Read More

Droopy Eyelids Can Interfere with Vision

· · Aging & Independence
Just like the rest of the body, the skin, and muscles of and around the eyelids become lax with age. If your peripheral vision seems compromised and/or your eyelids often feel heavy and tired when reading or doing other activities, you may be a candidate for common surgical interventions that … Read More
ent doctor examining tinnitus case

How Long Does Tinnitus Last?

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, tinnitus is a sound in your ears that only you can hear. It is often referred to as ringing in the ears, but for some people, it may sound more like roaring or hissing. Most people with tinnitus … Read More
ENT doctor examining patients ear

What Causes Excessive Ear Wax?

According to a review in the medical journal American Family Physician, the medical term for earwax is cerumen, and it serves an important function. Earwax keeps the thin layer of skin in your ear canal clean, moist, and protected from germs. Earwax is a combination of wax secreted by cerumen … Read More

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