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February 21, 2017 | Ear, Nose, Throat • Family Medicine
The ears and nose are important parts of the body. They assist us in everything from oxygen intake to balance. The ears and nose regulate several different functions in the body, so it’s important to keep them healthy.
A family medicine doctor can treat many conditions of the ears and nose in people of all ages. Here are some common conditions that can be treated by a family medicine doctor.
People of all ages can get nosebleeds, and there are two main types:
Nosebleeds are more common during winter months and in dry or cold climates. They’re most frequently seen in children between ages 2 and 10, or in adults ages 50 to 80.
Some causes of nosebleeds include:
Treatments for nosebleeds can vary depending on how severe they are and where they originate from. Many are home remedies you can do without a doctor’s help, and these can be effective at stopping bleeding.
People who are at higher risk for nosebleeds, or have them often, can take a few precautions:
Also known as acute otitis media, ear infections are more common in children than in adults. In most cases, they’re caused by an infection—either viral or bacterial—that affects the middle ear. The middle ear is the space behind the eardrum that holds the vibrating bones in the ear.
Symptoms of ear infections can include all of the following in children (the top three symptoms are also found in adult ear infections):
If these symptoms last more than a day, or if they’re present in children under 6 months old, you should speak to your family medicine doctor. You should also do so if you see discharge coming from their ears, or if their pain and sleep issues become extremely severe, especially right after a cold or infection.
Ear infections can be caused by several different factors, and there are others that may increase your or your child’s risk of infection.
Most ear infections can be diagnosed simply by a doctor using an item called an otoscope to look at areas like the ears, throat and nasal passage. In some cases, there might be extra tests performed. In cases where an ear infection is diagnosed, there are three possible categories it might fall under:
Treatments for ear infections depend on how severe the infection is. In many cases, they’ll resolve themselves without needing any medication or treatment. Some of the approaches that are taken when treatment is needed can include:
If you or your child have frequent ear infection symptoms or fluid in the ears, speak with your family medicine doctor about your potential solutions.
As a physician, I love helping people through stressful times when they may be sick or hurt. I want to be the kind of doctor that I would want for my own family. When a doctor takes the time to help their patients understand what is happening and what the plan is, a patient’s anxiety can be greatly reduced. The patient should receive all the information they need to be an equal partner in decision-making and feel empowered about caring for their body. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
“Nosebleeds.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/nosebleeds-causes-and-treatments
“Ear infection (middle ear).” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ear-infections/home/ovc-20199482
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.