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Throat Care Services

You rely on your voice to communicate with others. If your throat health begins to decline, you may experience discomfort or difficulty speaking. The doctors at Independence Ear, Nose, & Throat have the expertise needed to help diagnose and treat your throat issues. That’s why we offer the following services:

Sore Throat

Sore throats are indicated by pain and a scratchy or irritated sensation that is usually worse when you swallow. Usually, a sore throat is caused by a viral infection, though bacterial infections can also cause sore throats. These sore throats, such as strep throat, require treatment with antibiotics to prevent complications, while sore throats caused by viruses typically resolve on their own. 
 
Most people experience a sore throat during their life. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the throat
  • Scratchy or irritated sensation in the throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen glands around the neck or jaw
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Hoarse or muffled voice
  • White patches or pus on tonsils

Additional symptoms accompanying a sore throat include typical cold symptoms, such as:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting

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Difficulty Swallowing

When an individual has dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, it is most often a sign of an issue with the throat or esophagus. While dysphagia can happen to anyone, it is most common in older adults, babies and individuals with nervous system or brain issues. 

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Hoarseness

The throat becomes hoarse when the vocal cords become irritated or injured. A number of conditions can cause hoarseness, including:

  • Acute laryngitis
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Misuse of voice, such as yelling or singing too much
  • Allergies
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Benign vocal cord nodules, cysts or polyps
  • Inhalation of respiratory tract irritants
  • Smoking
  • Thyroid problems
  • Certain neurological problems, such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Cancer of the larynx

Treatment for hoarseness depends on the main cause of the issue. Gargling warm salt water can help the immediate symptoms, but you should visit a doctor for accurate diagnosis and testing. 

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Reflux

Reflux, or commonly referred to as heartburn, is a digestive disorder that occurs when the esophagus, or food pipe, is irritated from stomach acid. Reflux is characterized as a burning pain or discomfort in the upper or mid-chest, and sometimes in the neck and throat. Common symptoms of reflux include:

  • Heartburn
  • Bitter taste in mouth
  • Constant, dry cough
  • Symptoms are worse when lying down

Reflux is not often a serious condition and can be caused by issues other than some underlying disease. For example, reflux that can be easily remedied by simple lifestyle changes, including:

  • Eating spicy food
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Overeating
  • Wearing too tight of clothing
  • Laying down after eating

Reflux can be easily remedied by avoiding certain foods, such as fats, chocolate or citrus, which can irritate the stomach lining. If reflux symptoms occur after eating, antacid medications, which are available at any over-the-counter drug or prescription store, will typically ease symptoms.

If symptoms persist, increase or don’t respond to over-the-counter antacids, contact Independence Ear, Nose, & Throat for a consult today. 

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