Urgent Care for Ear, Nose and Throat
The nose and throat are made up of several parts that work together to carry out important functions. The nasal passages contain tiny hairs and mucous membranes that filter the air you breathe and keep dirt and debris out of the respiratory system. The nose also consists of the nostrils, external meatus, septum, and sinuses. The throat acts as a passageway and helps you speak. It is made up of the tonsils, epiglottis, adenoids, and larynx, and the ear is linked to both nose and throat.
If you develop ear, nose and throat problems, or you undergo a pre-employment physical exam that produces potentially concerning results, see a provider as soon as possible.
Sore throats can be caused by injuries, irritants, bacterial infections, or viral infections. If you trip or fall while walking with a sharp object, you can cut or pierce the throat. This type of injury causes throat discomfort and other symptoms. Exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke and air pollution can cause hoarseness and sore throat, as can postnasal drip and low levels of moisture in the air.
If bacteria gets into your throat, they can cause bacterial infections. Strep throat is one of the most common throat infections caused by bacteria. Epiglottitis, tonsillitis, and uvulitis are also caused by bacterial organisms. Sore throats are most often caused by viruses, so antibiotics are not always necessary. Viruses can cause laryngitis, mononucleosis, or the common cold. Mumps and influenza can also cause a sore throat.
An occasional nose bleed shouldn’t cause any problems, but you should see a provider if you have frequent nose bleeds or a bleed that doesn’t stop after 20 minutes. The nose contains many small blood vessels, so nose bleeds are rather common. In most cases, they are nothing to worry about. Some causes of nose bleeds include allergic reactions from rhinitis, blowing the nose too hard, overuse of nasal sprays, upper respiratory infections, or exposure to dry air. A nose bleed might also occur if you have a bone injury to your nose or sneeze repeatedly.
The lining of the sinuses can become swollen or inflamed, causing them to fill with fluid. This creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and viruses, increasing the risk for infection. Acute sinusitis usually lasts for one month or less, while subacute sinusitis can last from one to two months. Some people have chronic sinusitis, which lasts longer than two months. If you have several bouts of sinusitis in a short period of time, you may be diagnosed with recurrent sinusitis, which can cause ongoing respiratory problems and make conditions such as asthma worse.
If you experience facial pain, loss of smell, nasal congestion, nasal drainage, fever, dental pain, or bad breath, schedule an appointment with one of our providers at Physicians Now. If you have a bacterial sinus infection, an antibiotic can kill the bacteria and relieve your symptoms. Decongestants and nasal sprays can also help relieve sinus pain and congestion.
The Eustachian tubes connect your ears to the back of your throat. When they are working properly, these tubes drain the fluid produced in the middle ear. If the tubes are blocked, the fluid from the middle ear backs up and increases the risk for infection. Ear infections are especially common in babies and children because their Eustachian tubes clog more easily than those of adults. Allergies, tobacco use, sinus infections, and colds can all cause Eustachian tube blockages. People who have overgrown adenoids are also at risk for developing ear infections due to blocked tubes.
Several things increase the likelihood of a child developing an ear infection. They include climate changes, exposure to cigarette smoke, pacifier use, altitude changes, and other illnesses. Children who attend daycare also have a higher risk of developing ear infections. Babies and young children are often very irritable when they develop ear infections. Adults and older children usually experience ear pain, temporary hearing loss, fullness in the ear, and general feelings of illness. Some people also have vomiting and diarrhea.
Untreated ear infections can lead to permanent hearing loss and other problems, so visit our urgent care center if someone in your family has ear pain or other symptoms of an infection. One of our providers will examine the ear and look for redness and swelling. A provider can also prescribe medications and other treatments to relieve pain and clear up the infection as soon as possible.
Your Healthcare Partner
If you have any signs of a nose and throat problem, getting prompt treatment can reduce your discomfort and put you back on the road to good health. Call to schedule an appointment so you can partner with one of our providers and take charge of your health.