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Bell’s Palsy and Facial Paralysis: 3 Important Questions

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ENT doctorsPartial or full-face paralysis can be frightening, especially if symptoms develop rapidly. Facial weakness and drooping can be a sign of serious medical conditions, but can also result from a less dangerous condition, Bell’s Palsy. Although you may be worried, understanding what could be causing facial paralysis and what to expect for treatment are essential to a speedy and low-stress recovery.

Is It Bell’s Palsy or a Stroke?

Bell’s Palsy occurs when facial muscles become paralyzed, most often resulting in temporary drooping and weakness on one side of the face. Although doctors are still unclear on the exact cause, viral illnesses that swell the facial muscles (like meningitis or the flu) can disrupt nerve function and lead to paralysis.

In contrast, stroke is a medical emergency caused by a blood clot or rupture that prevents proper oxygenation of the brain, causing cells to die. Common warning symptoms include paralysis and weakness in one side of the body.

In both conditions, symptoms can develop rapidly, and it is important to get medical help quickly to rule out stroke. If the paralysis is limited to the face area only, the condition is likely Bell’s Palsy.

How Long Does Bell’s Palsy Last?

Bell’s Palsy is temporary in most cases, but recovery time can vary greatly depending on the cause of the condition and the extent of nerve damage. Doctors may use blood tests to check for diabetes or infection that could be causing the paralysis and influencing how long healing will take. ENT doctors (ear, nose, and throat specialist) will use an electromyography (EMG test), MRI, or CT scan to evaluate nerve damage.

Recovery begins between two weeks and six months after the first onset of symptoms. Often, return of full normal function comes between three and six months. In a few cases, symptoms never fully disappear. In rare and unusual cases where atypical symptoms are present, such as pain, general physicians refer their patients to ENT doctors.

Will I Need Surgery?

Most likely, no. Mild cases improve on their own, and other cases improve with treatment of the underlying cause, such as infection. Steroids have also been used to reduce swelling, and facial exercises and massage can help with muscle strengthening. However, in some cases where symptoms linger, ENT doctors will evaluate patients to see if reanimation surgery is necessary. Botox injections are also occasionally used to help with relaxing tight facial muscles.

Even though patients can expect several weeks of facial weakness, which influences social interactions and can be very uncomfortable, in general, the prognosis for Bell’s Palsy is positive. Very few individuals require surgery, but specialists have a variety of effective methods to speed along a full recovery.

Swimmer’s Ear: Exploring Causes and Proper Treatment

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doctor in planoEar infections come in many different types and severities, but one of the most common types of infections is swimmer’s ear. Typically, swimmer’s ear clears up within seven to 10 days, but the key to a swift recovery is recognizing when there’s a problem as soon as possible and proceeding to seek proper care. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of swimmer’s ear as well as its treatment process.


Swimmer’s ear occurs when water essentially gets trapped within the ear canal. This, in turn, causes bacteria and/or fungus to multiply and infect the opening of the ear. While swimming in a pool or any body of water is the most probable cause, the condition can also arise after taking a shower or soaking in a bath or hot tub. However, contrary to popular belief, water isn’t the only cause of the condition — it can also result from irritation relating to a wound within the ear.

“Sometimes swimmer’s ear develops not from trapped water but from a cut or scrape just inside the ear canal. Overly aggressive cleaning with cotton swabs tends to cause it; if the swab scratches the skin inside the ear, bacteria can thrive and trigger an infection. People with excessive ear wax or the chronic skin condition eczema, which causes itching and redness, are also more likely to develop swimmer’s ear, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,” writes Cathie Ericson on Health.

Treatment Plan

Swimmer’s ear may resolve itself on its own in minor cases, but if irritation persists for more than a few days, it’s important to see an ENT to get a proper diagnosis and receive antibiotics, which may be administered through eardrops or tablets. If you can’t get to a doctor right away, you can treat the pain temporarily with an over the counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen. But make sure to take some course of action, as the pain can be excruciating in severe cases.

Ultimately, understanding this vital info about swimmer’s ear can help you seek proper treatment from an ENT doctor in Plano and make a swift recovery. For more information about finding the right ear nose and throat doctor in Plano, contact Ear Nose and Throat Associates of Texas PA.

Meniere’s Disease: Your Questions Answered

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doctors in planoMeniere’s disease is an issue ENT doctors diagnose and treat quite frequently. Meniere’s disease is typically seen in people in their 40s and 50s, but anyone of any age can see symptoms of it. Before you seek treatment for any symptoms that may be related to this condition, it’s important to understand which symptoms are most prevalent and how treatment is administered. Here’s a quick FAQ to help you understand the basic symptoms and treatment methods of Meniere’s disease.

What causes Meniere’s disease?

Unfortunately, the causes of Meniere’s disease just aren’t fully understood. Some theories regarding the disease have been proven, however, and they can help to provide a proper diagnosis.

“One popular theory that hasn’t been proved is that Meniere’s disease appears to be the result of the abnormal amount of fluid (endolymph) in the inner ear. This often shows on autopsies, but it’s not clear that it causes the episodes. Factors that affect the fluid, which might contribute to Meniere’s disease, include improper fluid drainage, perhaps because of a blockage or anatomic abnormality, abnormal immune response, allergies, viral infection, genetic predisposition, head trauma, and migraines,” says Mayo Clinic.

Keep in mind that these factors combined are likely to put one at the largest risk for the disease. But in the medical sense, there is not one single cause of the condition.

What are the most prominent symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease?

There are a number of symptoms identified as being associated with the disease, including recurring episodes of vertigo, which is the feeling that you’re spinning or are generally dizzy. This can range from mild to severe and last from a few minutes to several hours. There’s also the potential for hearing loss, which can eventually become permanent. Aside from that, there’s the possibility of ringing in the ear, known as tinnitus, and a general feeling of aural pressure or fullness on the side of the head.

When should I see ENT doctors in Plano TX?

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact us, the best ear nose and throat doctors in Plano TX. We’ll be able to provide a swift and accurate diagnosis based on the timing, nature, and severity of your symptoms, enabling us to form a proper treatment method that prioritizes your health every step of the way.

Meniere’s disease can affect anyone, and understanding the basics of the condition enables you to make the best decisions for your health.

Experiencing These 3 Symptoms? You May Have an Ear Infection

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One in four people in the United States aged 65 and older struggle with disabling hearing loss. Hearing loss has a number of causes, but getting too many ear infections could contribute to your risk. Ear infections typically come with several symptoms, and if detected early enough, you can minimize damage to your ear canal and receive treatment from ENT doctors as quickly as possible. Here are just a few common symptoms of ear infections.

Ear Pain/Pressure

Experiencing pain and pressure in your ear is one of the most prevalent signs of an ear infection. The pain can range from a dull throbbing to a more severe pressure that also makes it difficult to hear. Left unchecked, the pain from ear infections can become unbearable. If you’re experiencing pain or pressure on the inside of one or even both of your ears, you should see an ENT in Frisco right away to diagnose the problem and find the right treatment.


Though a fever is your body’s normal response to many different types of germs and infections, many people don’t quite realize that they can also occur as a result of an ear infection. Usually, a fever itself is accompanied by other symptoms, some obvious and others less so. If you have a fever and don’t have any other obvious symptoms, or if you have a fever accompanied by ear pressure or pain, it’s time to see a team of ENT doctors to help diagnose your issue and get you treated.


Nausea and vomiting, believe it or not, could also be symptoms indicative of an underlying ear problem or infection. This is usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as the ones above, along with potential loss of balance and/or hearing. There’s no need to be immediately alarmed if nausea is your only symptom, but if it persists in combination with the symptoms above, if could be due to a problem in your ear. See an ENT in Frisco for treatment.

About 15% of adults ages 18 and older have some form of trouble hearing. There are many different types and signs of ear infections, and understanding how to determine whether you’re at risk is the best way to receive a quick diagnosis and treatment plan. For more information about ear nose and throat doctors, contact our team of Ear Nose and Throat specialists in Texas.

What to Expect From Your First ENT Doctor Visit

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If you’ve been having issues with your ear, nose, or throat, your primary doctor may have referred you to an ENT doctor. Visiting an ENT doctor is nothing to be afraid of, but if you’ve never been before you might not know what to expect. Here is what you need to know about visiting an ENT doctor.

Call and Set Up an Appointment

If your doctor recommended you see a specific person, they’ve likely given you a referral card. When you’re ready, call the number listed on that card and give them all of the information. They will also ask you about your insurance, so be sure to have that ready for discussion. The staff member will be able to set you up with an appointment on that call unless they need further information from your doctor.

Go to Your Appointment Prepared

It’s so important to go anywhere new prepared, especially to a new doctor. Before your visit, take a moment to come up with some questions you might have. Write those down and write down how you’ve been feeling lately. Sometimes when we go to new appointments, we can get overwhelmed. That overwhelming feeling may cause us to forget everything we wanted to talk about. If you’ve been having problems with your vocal cords, you need to tell them that. Especially since almost 10,000 cases of vocal cord cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States. So, it’s always a good idea to write things down.

What Will Happen During the Exam

During your visit, the doctor will use a handheld tool to check inside your throat, your nose, and your ears. By doing that, they will be able to get an idea of what’s going on with you. They might even be able to fully diagnose you right then and there. If you’re having serious sinus issues, they may decide to do a nasal endoscope, which uses a thin, lighted camera to see inside your sinuses. The tool gets inserted through your nose and the entire procedure only takes a few minutes. At the end of your appointment, you may leave with a prescription, some instructions, or a follow-up visit where they can do a more thorough look.

ENT doctors can help will a bunch of different problems. But it can be scary if you’ve never visited them before. For more information on ENT procedures, contact Ear Nose and Throat Associates of Texas PA today.

Experiencing Any of These Symptoms? It’s Time to See an ENT Doctor

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About 15% of adults ages 18 and older have some form of trouble hearing, and one in four people in the United States 65 and older struggle with disabling hearing loss. Fortunately, ENT (ear nose and throat) doctors are trained to diagnose and treat various problems involving your sinuses, nasal cavities, ear canals, and more. However, understanding which symptoms indicate potential issues is the key to receiving prompt treatment. Here are just a few symptoms that indicate that you should see an ENT doctor as soon as possible.

Sore Throat

It’s one thing to experience a sore throat in tandem with other various symptoms of a common cold, like congestion or a runny nose, but to experience an ongoing sore throat for an extended period of time may indicate a deeper and more serious underlying issue that requires immediate attention. With this in mind, if you’ve taken a full dose of antibiotics and continue to experience a sore throat, it’s best to see an ENT in Plano as soon as possible.

Hearing Loss

As mentioned, hearing loss is more common than many people think. If you experience hearing loss in one or both ears, there may be something wrong with your eardrum and/or ear canal. Or, it could be a more serious issue that’s related to the bones surrounding your eardrum. The most common culprit of hearing loss is a buildup of fluid or ear wax within the ear, and solving this issue usually requires the help of an ENT, who may prescribe antibiotics or use a special device to clean out your ears.


Finally, ongoing headaches are often caused by an underlying issue within the sinuses, but many patients fail to realize that headaches can also be caused by certain respiratory issues. Sometimes, chronic sinusitis or anatomic abnormalities can also play a role. If you’re experiencing ongoing headaches or migraines, see an ENT in Plano immediately.

Ultimately, understanding the signs and symptoms that indicate that it’s time to see an ENT is the key to maintaining positive respiratory and sinus health. For more information about the signs and symptoms associated with ear, nose, and throat issues, contact Ear Nose and Throat Associates of Texas PA.