Hi, I'm Pao Vang, MD, Otolaryngology, ENT Clinic at Hudson Hospital Specialty Clinics - Welcome to my blog!
It’s fall again and soon winter will be upon us. Infection of the ears, sore throat, sinus infection are more common around this time of the year.
Besides eating an apple a day, there are a few things you can do should you come down with any of these common infections.
- Ear infection - It is more common in the winter than at any other time of the year. How can you tell if your child has an ear infection? Children with ear infection are usually irritable, tugging at the ears, crying more than usual, have a loss of balance, fever higher than 101 F, and drainage from the ears. Most ear infection will get better with oral fluid and over-the-counter Tylenol or Ibuprofen. If your child does not get better after three days, has a fever higher than 101F, or drainage from the ears, then call and go see your doctor.
- Sore throat - is also very common. Frequently it is caused by a viral infection such as a cold or the flu. Besides sore throat, you may also have fever, chills, body aches, running nose, nausea and vomiting. Treat it with fluid and Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Most will resolve by itself. However, see your doctor if you develop difficulty breathing or swallowing or your child has unusual drooling, or if the sore throat last longer than one week.
- Sinus infection - The most common cause of acute sinus infection is the common cold. With a sinus infection you may experience thick drainage from the nose, facial pain, sensitive upper teeth, decrease smell, and cough at night. You may also have headache, fever, and ear pain as well. A simple remedy that is very effective at speeding up the recovery is daily sinus rinse (such as NeilMed Sinus Rinse found over the counter). If the sinus symptoms last longer than 7-10 days, go see your doctor.
- Running nose - It is defined as excessive nasal discharge. It may drain out of your nose or run down the back of your throat. It may be cause by anything from allergy to infection. Catching the common cold will cause your nose to run as well. Treat it with over-the-counter medications like Claritin or Allegra. These medications will dry up the nose and decrease the discharge.
- Cough - Coughing is probably the most common complaint when the weather changes. The list of things that cause coughing is very long but, frequently, the virus causing the common cold, the flu, and pneumonia are the main culprits. Others include allergy, bronchitis, asthma, and nasal discharge running down the back of the throat (postnasal drip). If it is a dry cough, you can treat it with simple home remedies such as drinking plenty of fluid, moisturize the air with a vaporizer or steam from a hot shower. Candies and cough drops will also help soothe the throat and help minimized the cough. However, see your doctor if you are coughing up thick, green or yellow phlegm, have wheezing, become short of breath, or have fever that is more than 101 F.
As always, if you are unsure what to do you can always pick up the phone and call us. We are always happy to help and eager to answer any questions you may have. Have a safe winter and stay warm!
Contact the Hudson Hospital Specialty Clinic - ENT Clinic at (715) 531-6700 for an appointment. Learn more about our ENT Clinic.
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