Otolaryngologists care for patients with diseases and disorders of the nose, ear, throat, and other structures related to the head and neck. The special skills they perform include diagnosis, surgery and management of diseases of the sinuses, ears, oral cavity, larynx and upper pharynx, the latter encompassing the mouth and throat. Additionally, they deal with conditions in the structures of the neck and face. The doctors in Guatemala treat and diagnose both adults and children.

 

What conditions do the otorhinolaryngologist treat?

 4 of the most common conditions that the Otolaryngologists are:

  • Chronic sinusitis     
  • Deviated septum
  • Sinusitis in children
  • Hypertrophic adenoids

Chronic sinusitis is caused when the sinuses, the spaces inside the nose and head, are inflamed for three months or more, even though they have been treated. This disease interferes with the normal drainage of mucus and causes the nose to become congested. Breathing becomes difficult and the area around the eyes may swell or feel tender. This may also be called chronic rhinosinusitis and can include growths of nasal polyps, inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, or infection. The most common symptoms of sinusitis are: difficulty breathing through the nose, nasal swelling, colorless and thick discharge from the throat and nose, reduced sense of taste and smell.

A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall between the nostrils, called the nasal septum, moves to one side. Many patients have a deviated septum, causing one of the nostrils to become smaller. When the deviation of the nasal septum is large, a part of the nose may become blocked and airflow may decrease, making breathing difficult. Due to a deviated septum, the area often becomes dry and this may cause bleeding and crusting in certain individuals. The deviated septum may also cause a blockage, nasal congestion, or swelling of the tissues lining the nose. Usually, nasal obstruction is treated with medications that reduce swelling, or nasal dilators that enlarge the nostril openings.

Rhinosinusitis or sinusitis in children is also usually treated with the same symptoms and treatments as adults. The best way to prevent sinusitis in children is to wash their hands often with soap and water, especially before meals. Avoid tobacco smoke and polluted air as much as possible, as these can inflame and irritate the lungs and nasal passages. Also, if the air in your home is very dry or you use air conditioning a lot, a good option is to use a humidifier. Make sure the humidifier is sanitized and free of mold on a regular basis.

The adenoids are an area of tissue high in the throat, behind the nose. Tonsils and adenoids are part of the lymphatic system, which keeps body fluids balanced and eliminates infection. In addition, they trap germs that enter the mouth and nose. In general, the adenoids begin to get smaller and smaller, starting at age five. Over time, they disappear almost completely. The body then fights off the germs in other ways. Hypertrophic adenoids are a common problem in children. They usually swell from an infection and cause the child to breathe through the mouth. This must be treated to avoid ear infections, snoring, and other problems.

 

What treatments and procedures does the otorhinolaryngologist practice?

4 of the most common treatments and procedures performed by Otolaryngologists in Guatemala are:

  • Tonsillectomy
  • Septoplasty
  • Speech therapy
  • Turbinate surgery 

Tonsillectomy is a surgery in which the tonsils are removed. It is usually performed on children. Tonsils are two glands located in the back of the throat. It is common for the tonsils to be removed along with the adenoids. One of the main functions of the tonsils is to protect against infection, but some children may have large tonsils, causing problems breathing at night. The tonsils also trap bacteria, which can sometimes be excessive, often causing sore throats. This causes the child’s tonsils to become more harmful than protective and a tonsillectomy may be necessary.

Septoplasty is a surgery to align the septum, which is the bone and cartilage that divides the two nostrils. A deviated septum can make it difficult to breathe through the nose and can increase the risk of sinus infections, because the nose does not drain efficiently. In septoplasty, the deviated septum is repositioned in the middle of the nose. This may involve the surgeon removing fragments of the nasal septum, so that they can be reinserted in the proper location. Once you have recovered from a septoplasty, you will probably feel that it is easier to breathe and will no longer be affected by nasal stuffiness.

Speech therapy can help children with language problems such as stuttering, dyslexia, dyspraxia, language delays and auditory processing disorders. Speech therapy helps improve communication skills in children who have language difficulties.

Turbinate surgery is performed to fix blocked airways and improve breathing, because allergies or other nasal problems can cause turbinates to swell and make it hard to breathe. The nasal turbinates are the inner walls of the nose, which have 3 pairs of long, thin bones covered with tissue, which can expand.