ENT Blog
By The Head and Neck Center, P.C.
March 24, 2021
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Listening is a key component of communication, so if you're having trouble hearing, it can impact your life in many ways. Hearing loss can hinder your enjoyment of music and movies, make conversations and comprehension more difficult, and otherwise create issues in your everyday life.

While you may think you are too young for hearing aids, or you picture them as being bulky and conspicuous, hearing aids have come a long way over the years. At the Head and Neck Center in Bethlehem, PA, we can help you find an effective and comfortable way to restore your hearing to its best so you can enjoy all the sensations life has to offer.

How do hearing aids work?

Hearing aids come in several versions but all work by using tiny microphones to detect sounds. A small amplifier transforms the sound into digital code, the most advanced technology available, and the signals are converted into sound waves. Hearing aids adjust the sound depending on your level of hearing so the sound coming through the speakers in your hearing aids is clear and neither too loud nor too quiet.

Features of the new wave of hearing aids include directional microphones, which can help your comprehension of sounds in loud environments. they have digital feedback reduction, which helps prevent disruptive "feedback". they use gain processing to increase the level of important sounds, and have digital noise reduction, which lowers the volume of background noises.

What are my options for hearing aids?

Hearing aids come in in-the-canal, over the ear, and behind the ear styles. Depending on your level of hearing loss and desire for discreetness, you may find one style preferable over another.

In-the-canal versions are the least visible, while in the ear and behind the ear versions can come in skin tone colors but are still visible. Behind the ear, styles leave the ear canal open for more natural sound.

Can I treat my hearing loss without hearing aids?

Some forms of hearing loss can be remedied using alternate methods. If your hearing loss is the result of ear infections, antibiotics or decongestants may be effective. If your ears are filled with fluid, myringotomy uses tubes for drainage to clear your ear canal and restore your hearing.

Trust the experts at Head and Neck Center in Bethlehem, PA, to find the best solution for your hearing loss. Call us today at 610-691-2552.

By The Head and Neck Center, P.C.
January 12, 2021
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Sinusitis  

It's normal for cold and flu symptoms to persist for several days, sometimes about a week. But if they prolong then it's important to seek out your Bethlehem, PA, doctor as this is often a sign of sinusitis, and to rule out any other conditions. So contact Dr. Andrew Pestcoe of The Head and Neck Center, P.C., to learn more.

Sinuses

Your sinuses are spaces behind your face that help in several ways but are mainly involved in your respiratory system. Air that you breathe passes through these passages and they, in turn, create mucus that helps to filter bacteria and other contaminants, and also lubricates your nose.

If your sinuses are working correctly air flows through and mucus lubricates and drains without a problem.

Symptoms

Allergies, the general shape of your sinuses, or bacteria from a cold or the flu can create a clog and bring about the well-known symptoms of sinusitis.

If the flow of air or mucus is obstructed you may begin to feel that throbbing pressure, and pain, behind your forehead, your nose, your cheeks, or between your eyes. Some have likened the pain to that of a toothache because of the proximity of it all.
You may feel headaches and cold symptoms that last for more than 10 days, including fever.

Sinusitis Treatment in Bethlehem, PA

Home treatments can help ease the effect of some of these symptoms, but your doctor can best help advise you on what would be most beneficial, and most importantly diagnose the reason behind them. Sometimes medication may be prescribed and can often alleviate acute sinusitis in less than four weeks, sometimes just one.

Chronic sinusitis can last for longer, despite treatment, and may require surgical intervention.

If you are suffering from sinusitis symptoms or a cold that just won't go away, make an appointment today. Call Dr. Pestcoe of The Head and Neck Center, P.C., in Bethlehem, PA, by dialing (610) 691-2552.

By The Head and Neck Center, P.C.
October 07, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Hearing loss can be due to various factors and could be mild to severe. The most common consequence of unmanaged hearing loss is difficulty understanding others, especially in noisy environments. This could negatively affect your interaction with others and make navigating your personal, school, or work-life much more challenging. With this in mind, it’s crucial that you undergo a hearing test with a hearing specialist, like Dr. Andrew Pestcoe, your ENT here at The Head and Neck Center, P.C. in Bethlehem, PA.

Kids and Unmanaged Hearing Loss

Studies have demonstrated that kids living with moderate or mild hearing loss could experience learning difficulties and challenges developing important language and speech skills for cultivating self-esteem and succeeding at school and the workplace. If not detected and managed as early as possible, hearing loss could even change how your child speaks, interacts, and learns.

Knowing your child’s hearing abilities as soon as he or she is born will give you the proper tools you need to manage it and make your child’s quality of life better. But even for older kids, when proper treatments are implemented, they can continue down the route of proper and age-appropriate language and speech development. This is why working with your ENT in Bethlehem, PA, is crucial.

Potential Health Risks Related to Unmanaged Hearing Loss

Left undetected and unmanaged, hearing loss could result in other detrimental health and social impacts that go beyond the reduced ability to hear. Studies have likewise linked unmanaged hearing loss during adulthood to social withdrawal, fatigue, impaired memory, and depression.

In most cases, these consequences are due to challenges in communicating with other people and embarrassment or shame about their condition. In addition, health impacts from untreated hearing loss could include elevated blood pressure levels, muscle tension, headaches, and increased stress.

Reach Out to Us For Any Concerns or Advice on Hearing Loss

Arrange an appointment with your ENT, Dr. Andrew Pestcoe of The Head and Neck Center, P.C. in Bethlehem, PA, by calling (610) 691-2552.

By The Head and Neck Center, P.C.
September 23, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Allergies  

What are allergies?

Allergies are when your body's immune system overreacts to an allergen(s), an external harmless substance. Examples of allergens are weeds, grasses, trees, molds, dust mites, and animal dander.

There has been a "rise in prevalence of allergic diseases...in the industrialized world for more than 50 years," according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

People suffer from:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy and runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy, red, watering eyes
  • Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Rashes
  • Swollen lips, tongue, eyes, or face

Types of allergies include drug allergy, food allergy, insect allergy, latex allergy, mold allergy, pet allergy, and pollen allergy.

Allergy Testing

Step One: Your Bethlehem, PA doctor asks about your personal and family medical history.

Step Two: Dr. Andrew J. Pestcoe will ask you to stop taking certain medications, like prescription and over-the-counter antihistamines, heartburn treatment medications, and tricyclic antidepressants.

Step Three:

Skin tests: Your doctor places an allergen on your skin, lightly puncturing the skin for further exposure to the allergen, and closely monitors how your skin reacts to the foreign substance. If allergy symptoms, redness, and swelling appear, then you're allergic to that allergen. Another form of skin test is the patch test, which involves adhesive patches containing allergens being placed on your skin for 72-to-96 hours.
 
Blood tests: If a skin test is too dangerous for you, your doctor uses a blood test. Your blood is tested at a laboratory to detect antibodies that fight specific allergens.
 
Elimination diet: This is pretty straightforward. Your doctor uses this test to determine what foods you're allergic to. He does this by removing food from your diet, then adding them back to determine which foods cause problems.
 

Treating and Managing Allergies

There is no cure for allergies but there are several ways to manage them. This includes allergy shots, over-the-counter antihistamines, and avoiding the allergen altogether.

Do you have any questions?

If you would like to speak with Dr. Ziv Harish, then you can reach him at his office, The Head and Neck Center, P.C in Bethlehem, PA, when you call (610) 691-2552.

By The Head and Neck Center
May 27, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Allergies  

Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. Although allergies are so common, that does not mean that diagnosing and treating them is a simple affair. However, medical professionals who specialize in allergies are able to perform tests that help to identify different types of allergy and provide effective treatments. Dr. Andrew J. Pestcoe is an otorhinolaryngologist at The Head and Neck Center, P.C located in Bethlehem, PA. One of his specialties is diagnosing and treating allergies—read on to learn how he can help you.

The Two-Step Process of Allergy Diagnosis

There are two essential steps to allergy diagnosis.

  • Medical history: Your medical history can provide your doctor with as much helpful information as the allergy tests themselves. Important details include:
    • Past and current health conditions
    • Any family history of allergies
    • Medications you take on a regular basis
    • How long you have been experiencing symptoms of an allergy
  • Allergy testing: Along with medical history, allergy skin testing is the most common method for allergy diagnosis. Your doctor will prick the surface of your skin with a tiny amount of allergen. This test can be used with common allergens such as:
    • Eggs
    • Peanuts
    • Milk
    • Shellfish
    • Plant pollens
    • Mold

If you are allergic to one of the substances, your skin will appear red at the site of the prick. If the results from the prick test are not clear, an intradermal test may be used to inject a small amount of allergen under the upper layers of your skin.

In some cases, your Bethlehem doctor may recommend an allergy blood test rather than a skin test. For example, if you are taking certain medications that may interfere with allergy test results or if you have a serious skin condition. In this case, the sample will be sent to a lab and examined for allergen antibodies.

If you live in Bethlehem and you suffer from allergies, call Dr. Pestcoe today at (610) 691-2552 to make an appointment for a consultation.





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