throat disorders

Ever Feel like Something Is Stuck in Your Throat?

Do you ever feel like something is stuck in your throat? At one time or another, many of us experience an itchiness or ‘blockage’ right behind the tongue or tonsils. This feeling may drive us mad or be a mild irritant. It may only happen once in a while, while others experience these symptoms nearly everyday. Sometimes, we feel like these throat irritants when we feel other symptoms, which may include pressure in the chest, excess saliva, hoarseness, loss of appetite, or weight loss.

For most people who experience occasional difficulties swallowing, it’s probably not a big deal. However, persistent difficulties should motivate you to seek medical attention at a highly regarded ear, nose and throat center, such as the ENT Center of Utah. The main reasons we have difficulty swallowing, which is called dysphagia, are because of an actual blockage or it could be due to muscle and/or nerve issues.

After examination, doctors may suggest these one of these therapies:

Antibiotics for throat infections like tonsillitis

Stomach acid reduction medications for symptoms caused by GERD and esophagitis

Diet restrictions to help you avoid food that can cause allergic reactions or intolerances, such as coffee, sour foods, alcoholic drinks, and spicy foods.

Minor surgery or procedure to remove objects that are actually stuck in the throat

Surgery and radiotherapy may be necessary to remove a tumor inside or around the throat

Behavioral therapy is good for some who just need to chew food carefully and eat slowly

Of course, early detection and effective treatment of the underlying cause behind throat issues can lower your risk of more serious problems. Contact us if your symptoms persist for more than one week. But if you ever have sudden difficulty breathing, call 9-1-1 immediately as it might be life threatening.

guy picking his nose

Be Careful when You Pick Your Nose or Pluck Your Nose Hairs

Everybody picks their nose, right?

You need to pick now and then. Maybe something is hangin’ out or it itches like crazy. However, if you pick too frequently, or really get into it, then you could cause cuts or irritations, as well as infections. Tears of the nasal septum, the partition separating the nostrils, are common among people who mine their nostrils for 15-30 minutes or more a day, according to a study from Wisconsin’s Dean Foundation. The less time you spend picking and more care you take to extract those little piece of dry mucus, the better.

You also pluck your nose hairs.

Keep in mind, those hairs are there for a reason. At the same time, no one likes to look at tufts of hair descending from the nostrils of friends or co-workers. Experts say these hairs keep contaminants and harmful microorganisms from entering your brain and respiratory system. But when they aren’t even in your nose? Trim the tips but keep the bases embedded in the nostrils. If you pluck them out, you create tiny open wounds in the skin inside your nose and you become susceptible to infection from all those same microorganisms caught in the protective, surrounding hairs.

Utah pediatrician for tonsils

Why Do Kids Gain Weight after Tonsil Removal? Should You Worry?

Kids can gain weight after they have their tonsils out. Parents have noticed that for years. But it is something to worry about if your child is already overweight?

Weight gain in children after they have their tonsils removed (adenotonsillectomy) occurs primarily in children who are smaller and younger at the time of the surgery, and weight gain was not linked with increased rates of obesity.

About 500,000 children in the United States have their tonsils removed each year. The childhood obesity rate prompted reevaluation of the question of weight gain after adenotonsillectomy.

The authors reviewed medical records and the final study consisted of 815 patients (ages 18 years and younger) who underwent adenotonsillectomy from 2007 through October 2012.

The greatest increases in weight were seen in children who were smaller (in the 1 st through 60 th percentiles for weight) and who were younger than 4 years at the time of surgery. Children older than 8 years gained the least weight. An increase in weight was not seen in children who were heavier (above the 80 th percentile in weight) before surgery. At 18 months after surgery, weight percentiles in the study population increased by an average of 6.3 percentile points. Body mass index percentiles increased by an average 8 percentile points. Smaller children had larger increases in BMI percentile but larger children did not.

“Despite the finding that many children gain weight and have higher BMIs after tonsillectomy, in our study, the proportion of children who were obese (BMI >95 th percentile) before surgery (14.5 percent) remained statistically unchanged after surgery (16.3 percent). On the basis of this work, adenotonsillectomy does not correlate with increased rates of childhood obesity.”

So kids may gain weight after removal of their tonsils, but it is usually the kids who need to pack on a few pounds anyway. It usually won’t make extra-large children even bigger.

Source: JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. “Weight gain in children occurs after tonsil removal, not linked to obesity.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 17 Apr. 2014.