THROAT

Helping You Manage Your Throat Issues

Gastric Reflux

Gastric reflux also called heartburn or acid reflux disease is a burning sensation in the chest that may occur after eating, bending, stretching, exercising or lying down. It occurs when the contents of the stomach travel back up into the esophagus and can happen when the esophageal valves, which control the passage of food from the esophagus to the stomach or the mouth to the esophagus fail to close correctly. Reflux that happens often over a long period of time can damage the esophagus, the mouth and the teeth. The reflux can reach the back of the throat and possibly the back of the nasal airway. This reflux can affect the larynx and cause symptoms such as coughing, hoarseness, excess mucus and phlegm, throat clearing, the sensation of a lump in the throat, inflammation and sore throat, and cancer due to chronic irritation. Proper treatment of gastric reflux is required due to the potential of long-term, critical damage.

Hoarseness

Hoarseness 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. Hoarseness occurs when there is a problem in the vocal cords. 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. Hoarseness is a symptom and not a condition on its own. It can be caused by laryngitis, lesions on the vocal cords, neurological disorders or diseases, vocal cord atrophy or hemorrhage, smoking or gastric reflux. If hoarseness lasts for a long time especially without other symptoms, you need to see an ENT.

Strep Throat

While a sore throat may be the result of a viral infection, a severe sore throat that doesn’t go away may be strep throat. This infection leads to painful, inflamed tonsils and pain when swallowing. It’s important that you visit an ENT doctor who can provide a proper diagnosis by swabbing the back of the throat and looking for the presence of streptococcal bacteria. If strep throat is detected, you will be prescribed a round of antibiotics to kill the bad bacteria. Chronic strep throat needs to be monitored by an ENT to ensure all necessary care is administered.

Swallowing Disorders

Difficulty swallowing is usually a sign of a problem with your throat or esophagus. Although it can happen to anyone, it is most common in older adults, babies and people who have problems of the brain or nervous system. There are many different problems that can prevent the throat or esophagus from working properly both minor and more serious. If you have trouble swallowing on a regular basis, you may have a more serious problem that needs treatment. Issues with swallowing fall into two categories, the muscles and nerves that help move food through the throat and esophagus are not working right or something is blocking your throat or esophagus. Both issues are serious and you need to be seen by a doctor.

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy

Tonsils are small, round pieces of tissue located in the back of the mouth on both sides of the throat. Adenoids are similar to tonsils but located in the back of the nasal cavity. Tonsils and adenoids are often removed when they become large and inflamed and begin to cause frequent infections. The procedure to remove tonsils is known as a tonsillectomy, and the removal of the adenoids is called an adenoidectomy. They are often removed at the same time. These surgeries are most commonly performed in children on an outpatient basis. This means your child will have surgery and then go home the same day. During the surgery, the child will be anesthetized in the operating room. The surgeon will remove the child’s tonsils and/or adenoids through the mouth. There will be no cut on the skin.

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“For years I have experienced chronic ear issues with eczema. Dr. Lenkowski’s diagnosis and treatment was spot on. He answers all of my questions and is quite caring which is important to me. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a great ENT.”

“Dr. Lenkowski was interested in the reason I was there to be checked, he thoroughly examined my ears, nose, throat and neck and ask questions. When I was ready to leave he told me to come back if I had any other problems. I would recommend Dr. Lenkowski to any of my family members or friends.”

“Very personable and knowledgeable Doctor with a very pleasant manner. Would definitely recommend!”

“Very knowledgeable and explained the issues in a very articulate manner. I was impressed with the amount of time he was willing to allow me to discuss other concerns. I highly recommend him to anyone wanting an excellent ENT specialist.”

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