ENT Health Resource Library
Dr. Dorrity and Dr. Mancell diagnose and treat a variety of ear, nose, throat, head, and neck conditions. Some of the most common conditions and treatments are arranged by alphabetical order below. Personalized treatment is offered by Prairie Lakes Ear, Nose, & Throat. Schedule an appointment by calling 605-882-7740.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Do you get a spinning vertigo or dizziness sensation in certain head positions? For example, turning to a particular side when you’re lying in bed, or lying flat on your back without any pillows to support you, or tilting your head back to look up, or tilting your head down as if to tie your shoes? Is it severe, feeling like it lasts several minutes when it probably only lasts a few seconds?
Cholesteatoma is an abnormal skin growth or skin cyst trapped behind the eardrum, or the bone behind the ear. Cholesteatomas begin as a build-up of ear wax and skin, which causes either a lump on the eardrum or an eardrum retraction pocket. Over time, the skin collects and eventually causes problems like infection, drainage, and hearing loss. The skin may take a long time to accumulate and can spread to the area behind the eardrum (the middle ear space) or to the bone behind the ear, called the mastoid bone.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss results when there is any problem in delivering sound energy to your cochlea, the hearing part in the inner ear. Common reasons for conductive hearing loss include blockage of your ear canal, a hole in your ear drum, problems with three small bones in your ear, or fluid in the space between your eardrum and cochlea. Fortunately, most cases of conductive hearing loss can be improved.
The bone and cartilage that divides the inside of the nose in half is called the nasal septum. The bone and cartilage are covered by a special skin called a mucous membrane that has many blood vessels in it. Ideally, the left and right nasal passageways are equal in size. However, it is estimated that as many as 80 percent of people have a nasal septum that is off-center. This is called a deviated septum, which may or may not cause certain symptoms.
Dysphagia means that you can’t swallow well. Dysphagia is not a diagnosis; it is the symptom. Many factors may cause dysphagia, and most are temporary and non-life-threatening. In uncommon situations, swallowing difficulties can be related to a tumor or a nerve system disorder. It happens to people of all ages, but more often in the elderly. If swallowing is difficult on a regular basis, you should see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist, or otolaryngologist.
Earwax (Cerumen Impaction)
Earache, or pain in the ear, is common and can occur in both children and adults. Earaches can be due to a problem with the ear or structures close to the ear. The pain may be dull, sharp, or burning and can occur in one or both ears. It may be constant or come and go.
Fine Needle Aspiration
Fine needle aspiration (FNA), also called fine needle biopsy, is a type of biopsy where a needle is inserted into a lump or mass to collect a sample of cells. These cells are then looked at under a microscope to help your doctor determine if the mass or lump is cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). Benign lumps may also be related to infection or inflammation. FNA can be performed on a variety of lumps that are either felt or identified on imaging tests (such as ultrasound or CT scan).
Goiter refers to an enlarged thyroid gland. A single or multiple nodules, Graves’ disease, and hyperthyroidism can all lead to the development of a goiter. A goiter can develop in one or both sides of the thyroid gland. In some people, the goiter will start to grow down into the chest. This is referred to as a substernal goiter.
Head and Neck Cancer
Each year, more than 55,000 Americans will develop cancer of the head and neck (most of which is preventable). Nearly 13,000 will die from cancer of the head and neck. Head and neck cancers are curable if caught early. Fortunately, most of them produce early symptoms. You should know the potential warning signs so you can alert your physician as soon as possible. Successful treatment of head and neck cancer depends on early detection. Knowing and recognizing its signs can save your life.
Hoarseness (also called dysphonia) is an abnormal change in the quality of your voice, making it sound raspy, strained, breathy, weak, higher or lower in pitch, inconsistent, or fatigued, often making it harder to talk. This usually happens when there is a problem in the vocal cords (or folds) of your voice box (larynx) that produce sound. Your vocal cords are separated when you breathe, but when you make sound, they come together and vibrate as air leaves your lungs. Anything that alters the vibration or closure of the vocal cords results in hoarseness.
A broken nose, or nasal fracture, can significantly alter your appearance. It can also make it much harder to breathe through your nose. Getting struck on the nose, whether by another person, a door, or the floor is not pleasant. Your nose will hurt, usually a lot. You’ll likely have a nose bleed and soon find it difficult to breathe through your nose. Swelling develops both inside and outside the nose, and you may get dark bruises around your eyes (black eyes). Nasal fractures can affect both bone and cartilage. A collection of blood (called a septal hematoma) can sometimes form on the nasal septum, a wall made of bone and cartilage inside the nose that separates the sides of the nose.
Neck Mass in Adults
A neck mass is an abnormal lump in the neck. Neck lumps or masses can be any size—large enough to see and feel, or they can be very small. A neck mass may be a sign of an infection, or it may indicate a serious medical condition. It does not necessarily mean you have cancer, but it does mean you may need additional evaluation to receive an accurate diagnosis.
Nosebleeds (called epistaxis) are caused when tiny blood vessels in the nose break. Nosebleeds are very common and affect many people at some point in their lives. In the United States, one out of every seven people will develop a nosebleed in their lifetime. They can happen at any age, but are most common in children around the ages of two to 10, and adults around the ages of 50 to 80. Children can have nosebleeds during sleep.
Otosclerosis describes a condition of abnormal bone growth around one of the three small bones in the middle ear space called the stapes. When bone around the stapes hardens, the bone cannot move freely, which limits the ability to properly transmit sound. This results in hearing loss; the less movement of the bone, the greater the degree of hearing loss.
Pediatric Hearing Loss
Three million children under the age of 18 have some kind of pediatric hearing loss. At birth, one in 1,000 children have significant permanent hearing loss. When mild hearing loss is included, six in 1,000 children are affected. By age 18, 17 in 1,000 people have some degree of permanent hearing loss (this does not include the type of hearing loss caused by fluid in the ears or ear infections).
Sinusitis (rhinosinusitis) in children can look different than sinusitis in adults. More often, children have a cough, bad breath, crankiness, low energy, and swelling around the eyes, along with a thick yellow-green nasal or post-nasal drip.
Mucus is normally swallowed unconsciously, but when there is a feeling of the mucus gathering in the throat or dripping from the back of your nose, it is called post-nasal drip. Glands in your nose and throat continually produce mucus, normally one to two quarts per day. Mucus moistens and cleans the nasal lining, moistens air, traps and clears what is inhaled, and helps fight infection.
Pain in the sinus area does not automatically mean that you have a sinus disorder. Sinus headache is a common term used by patients and some healthcare providers to describe pain or pressure in the face, over the cheeks or forehead, or between or behind the eyes (where the sinuses are located). Sinus headache, however, is not a medical diagnosis, but rather a description of symptoms of headaches.
Have you ever felt like you had a cold that wouldn’t go away? If symptoms of discolored nasal drainage and blockage hang around for more than 10 days, or worsen after they start getting better, there’s a good chance you have sinusitis, an infection or inflammation of the sinuses.
Snoring, Sleeping Disorders, and Sleep Apnea
Snoring is bothersome to others, but it can also be a sign of a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is present in three percent of the general population. OSA is characterized by multiple pauses in breathing greater than 10 seconds at a time due to upper airway narrowing or collapse. This lowers the amount of oxygen in the blood, and causes the heart to work harder. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, they may be sleepy during the day, which decreases their performance. Untreated OSA can contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, workplace or motor vehicle accidents, and more.