Is Your Asthma Misdiagnosed Vocal Cord Dysfunction?

vocal cord dysfunctionHave you or someone you love been diagnosed with asthma, but are finding that the asthma medication you’ve been prescribed isn’t really helping? It could be that you are actually suffering from vocal cord dysfunction (VCD), also known as Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement (PVFM). This misdiagnosis can happen because the two have similar symptoms and asthma is a common diagnosis for breathing issues. In addition, it is common for someone to have both asthma and VCD, making a proper diagnosis even more difficult.

 

Symptoms

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) , the symptoms of VCD can include:  

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Throat tightness
  • Hoarse voice
  • Voice changes

Adding to the confusion, AAAAI tells us that “breathing in lung irritants, exercising, a cold or viral infection, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) may trigger symptoms of VCD.” However, where asthma involves airways and the immune system and is an allergic reaction, VCD does not. The latter occurs when the vocal cords aren’t working properly. Usually, the vocal cords remain open as you breathe in and out, closing (and vibrating) when you speak. In VCD, they inappropriately tighten as you inhale, subsequently making it difficult to take air in. It is the reverse for asthma sufferers who have trouble exhaling.

Another difference between the two conditions is that vocal cord dysfunction is not life-threatening and requires little more than the person relaxing for the issue to subside. Asthma, on the other hand, can be fatal if not treated properly; therefore, it is extremely important to have a correct diagnosis.

 

Diagnosis

In order to properly diagnose your condition, your doctor will first discuss your symptoms and your medical history. He or she will then have you take a breathing test called spirometry. This test measures how much air you inhale and exhale as well as how quickly you can exhale. Basically, it detects how well your lungs are working. Your doctor may also perform a laryngoscopy, which involves looking at the vocal cords with a camera that is attached to a flexible tube inserted in your throat. Both procedures can usually be done right in the doctor’s office.

 

Treatment

If you are diagnosed with vocal cord dysfunction, there is no need to panic. Treatment that teaches how to relax and open up the vocal cords through speech therapy and deep breathing techniques is highly successful. In addition to these techniques, your doctor will help you manage any conditions that trigger VCD including asthma, GERD, post-nasal drip and stress.

If you believe you are experiencing vocal cord dysfunction, make an appointment with one of our expert physicians at Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat. From the minute you pick up the phone and call, you will experience our patient-centered philosophy of care. When you come in, we’ll take the time to sit down with you and talk about all of your symptoms and concerns. Next, we’ll administer thorough, state-of-the-art testing to figure out exactly what is causing your breathing problems. Once we do, we’ll sit back down with you and discuss the pathology and develop an individualized treatment plan for you. We’re not horsing around and before you know it, you’ll be breathing and speaking comfortably again.

 

Call us today at (203) 574-5997 and schedule an appointment at one of our three conveniently-located locations.

For all things ear, nose and throat, visit the Westwood ENT website and blog.


Stop Spinning: Dizziness and Balance Disorders

SpinningDo you ever have the sensation that the world is spinning around you? We mean aside from the feeling that time is just flying by out of control. If you experience dizziness or spinning sensations, a feeling like you’re going to fall, lightheadedness, blurred vision or disorientation, you may have a dizziness or balance disorder. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, they can have a huge impact on your day-to-day functioning, especially since they often including nausea, vomiting and the real possibility of falling and hurting yourself.

Dizziness is actually a blanket term covering four common conditions, listed below with descriptions from WebMD.

  • Vertigo. About half of all dizziness complaints are vertigo, which is the feeling of motion when there is no motion, such as you spinning or your environment spinning.
  • Lightheadedness. This condition makes you feel as if you are going to faint or pass out, and you may actually do so.
  • Disequilibrium. With this condition, sufferers will feel unsteady while standing or walking.
  • Anxiety. At times when people are very nervous or scared, they may actually feel somewhat light-headed in addition to anxious.

The good news is that occasional bouts of dizziness, especially lightheadedness, are normal and resolve themselves on their own. However, If you are experiencing them regularly, you’ll want to see a physician. Chronic dizziness can be caused by a number of serious medical conditions such as:

  • Problems with the inner ear
  • Drop in blood pressure and blood flow to the brain
  • Getting up too quickly from a sitting or lying down position
  • Medications
  • Migraine
  • Head injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Meniere’s disease

Our physicians at Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat have the experience and expertise to bring your spinning world to a halt. Schedule an appointment today to find out how we can help you. When you come in, we will take time to thoroughly discuss your medical history and your symptoms. Next, we’ll examine your ear, nose and throat to see if there are any issues there and do series of tests, which may include:

  • Testing of nerve function
  • Blood pressure test
  • Balance tests
  • Hearing evaluation
  • Tests of your eye motion
  • In some cases, blood tests or a heart evaluation
  • Less often, a CT scan or MRI of your head

Once we get results, we’ll help you understand them and the available treatment options. Whether a separate health problem needs to be addressed, a medication causing symptoms needs to be changed, or balance exercises should be implemented, we’ll do what it takes to get you on the path to stability.

Call Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat today at (203) 574-5997 and schedule an audiology appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices.

And for all things ear, nose and throat, visit Westwood ENT’s website and blog.


Patch Testing for Contact Dermatitis

Contact DermatitisSometimes allergies affect the skin. While the symptoms are not life-threatening, they can be quite uncomfortable and even embarrassing. In a blog on our sister practice’s website, “Scratching Out Skin Allergies,” we looked at some of the ways allergens can affect skin: hives (urticaria) and angioedema, eczema (atopic dermatitis) and contact dermatitis. Here we are going to focus on contact dermatitis and what to do if you’re experiencing it.

There are two types of contact dermatitis:

  1. Irritant contact dermatitis is a non-allergic inflammatory reaction that is a type of injury caused by things that irritate the outer layer of skin, such as chemicals (e.g., detergents or dyes) and environmental factors (e.g., cold weather, airborne substances).
  2. Allergic contact dermatitis, like respiratory allergies, involves an immune system reaction that manifests on your skin. Common triggers include: cleaning products, topical medications, nickel and fragrances.

Contact dermatitis is easily recognized. The symptoms, per Mayo Clinic, are as follows:

  • Red rash or bumps
  • Itching, which may be severe
  • Dry, cracked, scaly skin, if your condition is chronic
  • Blisters, draining fluid and crusting, if your reaction is severe
  • Swelling, burning or tenderness

Often the culprit causing contact dermatitis is not as obvious. If you find yourself breaking out in rashes and don’t know why, you should contact a doctor such as the expert physicians at Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat. When you come in for your appointment, we will take the time to sit down with you and thoroughly discuss your medical history and symptoms. Next, we will do a series of tests in order to figure out exactly what your are having the allergic reaction to.

A patch test (contact delayed hypersensitivity allergy test) is the typical diagnostic tool for finding the cause of contact dermatitis. Mayo Clinic describes the process:

During a patch test, small amounts of potential allergens are applied to adhesive patches, which are then placed on your skin [usually on your upper back]. The patches remain on your skin for two days, during which time you’ll need to keep your back dry. Your doctor then checks for a skin reaction under the patches and determines whether further testing is needed. Often, people react to more than one substance.

Once the allergen(s) is determined, our team will work with you to develop an individualized treatment to end your discomfort. Whether it be medication, avoidance of trigger or both, you’ll walk away from dermatitis without a scratch.

Call (888) 230-3715 today to schedule your appointment at one of Westwood’s four conveniently- located offices.

For more information on sinus and allergy conditions, visit the CT Sinus website and blog.

For more information on ear, nose and throat conditions, visit the Westwood ENT website and blog.


Managing Laryngopharyngeal (Silent) Acid Reflux

laryngopharyngealFor most people, the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are pretty obvious, however when it comes to laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), the problem isn’t always so easily recognized. This is because with LPR,  heartburn — GERD’s telltale sign — doesn’t always accompany the flare-up.

In fact, the symptoms of LPR can often be confused with symptoms of other ailments, and the disorder is often referred to as “silent reflux” because it is not easily diagnosed. The most common signs, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), include:

    • Bitter taste in mouth
    • Burning in throat
    • Throat clearing
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Post-nasal drip
    • Persistent cough
    • Hoarseness
    • Trouble breathing

Laryngopharyngeal reflux affects infants and children as well with the following symptoms (per the AAO-HNS):

  • Hoarseness
  • “Barking” or chronic cough
  • Reactive airway disease (asthma)
  • Noisy breathing or pauses in breathing (apnea)
  • Trouble feeding, spitting up, or inhaling food
  • Trouble gaining weight

At any age, reflux occurs when the muscle, which is responsible for keeping stomach acid from rising up into the throat isn’t working properly. This muscle is called the sphincter, and as a result of the malfunction, the acid can reach as high as the voice box (larynx) and the back of the nasal airway. Needless to say, this creates a very uncomfortable feeling.

When LPR occurs in infants and children, it is often due to a sphincter and/or esophaguses that has not had time to fully develop. In adults, the reflux can occur because of many causes, which the AAO-HNS cites as:

  • Malfunctioning or abnormal lower esophageal sphincter muscle (LES)
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Abnormal esophageal contractions
  • Slow emptying of the stomach
  • Diet (chocolate, citrus, fatty foods, spices)
  • Overeating, alcohol and tobacco abuse
  • Pregnancy

Most adults will have LPR at some point in their lives, however, when it becomes a chronic condition, the consistent pooling of stomach acid becomes dangerous. If you feel that you are experiencing any of the symptoms, make an appointment at Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat to find out for sure.

When you arrive, we will sit down with you to thoroughly discuss what you have been experiencing and your medical history. We will also evaluate your vocal quality, efficiency and speaking technique. To further pinpoint the problem, we’ll proceed with physical and diagnostic testing, which may include:

  • Endoscopic exams – Your physician will use a thin, flexible tube to look at your throat and vocal folds on a monitor.
  • pH monitoring – Your physician will place a small catheter through your nose and into your throat and esophagus. During this procedure, sensors detect the amount of acid present and a small computer worn at the waist records findings during a 24-hour period.

Whether treatment involves dietary changes, medication, or both, our expert physicians will create an individualized plan that will help you better manage your laryngopharyngeal reflux and get back to living life comfortably.

Call Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat at (888) 230-3715 today to make an appointment at one of our three conveniently-located offices.

And for all things ear, nose and throat related, visit our website and blog.


5 Unusual Things That Can Trigger Your Allergies

Allergy TriggersWhen you think of the things that trigger sinus and skin allergies, you probably think of the usual — pollen, dust, mold, pet dander, food — but there are some other things out there that can cause reactions too. And these may surprise you. Let’s take a look:

  1. Leather shoes. If your feet are sore and itchy, it could possibly mean that you have been spending too much time standing, your shoes don’t fit right, or you are having an allergic reaction to your shoes. While not a common allergy, some people react to the chemicals that are used to treat the leather and end up with a rash, contact dermatitis, on their feet.
  2. Water. Believe it or not, some people, mostly women, can get hives just from touching water. While the cause of aquagenic urticaria is difficult to pinpoint, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that the onset is often around puberty and cites studies that suggest it occurs when:
    • A substance dissolved in water enters the skin and triggers an immune response. In this theory, the hives are not caused by water, specifically, but rather an allergen in the water.
    • An interaction between water and a substance found in or on the skin generates a toxic material, which leads to the development of hives.
  3. Exercise. Yep, you read that correctly. You can be allergic to exercise. However, before you give up your gym membership, keep reading a little further. There are two types of exercise allergies and neither is very common. The Merck Manual explains:
    • Rarely, vigorous exercise triggers a widespread, potentially severe allergic (anaphylactic) reaction. In some people, this reaction occurs only if they eat a specific food (especially wheat and shrimp) before exercising. Breathing becomes difficult or blood pressure falls, leading to dizziness and collapse. An anaphylactic reaction can be life threatening.
  4. Nickel.  If you are allergic to nickel, the material that composes coins, money may not buy happiness. It may, however, cause contact dermatitis. In fact, for anyone with a nickel sensitivity, other items that contain nickel such as jewelry, snaps on jeans, makeup, lotions, soaps, and shampoos can cause a reaction as well. For more information on this skin allergy, visit this blog from our subsidiary CT Sinus Center: “Scratching Out Skin Allergies.”
  5. Temperature. In “5 Things to Know About Allergies at the Beach,” we discussed solar urticaria, in which people break out in red, itchy hives. If the reaction is severe enough, it can lead to anaphylactic shock. On the opposite end of the spectrum is cold urticaria. Mayo clinic explains, “Cold urticaria symptoms begin soon after the skin is exposed to a sudden drop in air temperature or to cold water.”

If you think you are suffering from allergies, either any of these or one of the more common types, contact Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat at (888) 230-3715 and schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians today. And for all things ear, nose and throat related, visit the Westwood ENT website and blog.


The Truth About Food Allergy Testing

Food AllergyA food allergy is a life-threatening condition that can have dire consequences if not recognized and treated immediately. According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE):

  • Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies and the number of sufferers is on the rise for no known reason.
  • This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S.
  • Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department – that is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year.
  • It is possible to have anaphylaxis without any skin symptoms (no rash, hives).
  • Failure to promptly (i.e., within minutes) treat food anaphylaxis with epinephrine is a risk factor for fatalities.

Fortunately, what most people think is a food allergy is actually an intolerance, which while uncomfortable, is not serious. The problem is that a few of the symptoms of each can be similar, although they can vary in degree, and if the allergy symptoms aren’t treated immediately, the result can be fatal. For more information on the difference between food allergies and food intolerance, visit the CT Sinus Center (our sister office) blog: “Food for Thought: Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance.”

Other than experiencing a reaction, which is definitely not ideal, the best way to figure out if you have an allergy or intolerance is to be tested by an allergy specialist. There are two types of allergy testing: skin prick and blood.

  • Skin Prick Test (SPT): A drop of liquid containing extract from a specific food is placed on the skin. Next, the allergist lightly scratches (pricks) the area so that the liquid can get underneath, exposing the patient to the allergen. An allergy is indicated by the development of a wheal, which FARE defines as a “a raised white bump surrounded by a small circle of itchy red skin.” This quick test is usually conclusive within 30 minutes.
  • Blood Test: Like any other blood test, a sample is drawn and sent to a laboratory, where it is exposed to food allergens. A positive result is determined when the blood produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in response to the specific triggers. Blood test results take several days to process.

Unfortunately, food allergy tests aren’t perfect, and there are several factors that can influence the results. According to FARE, “About 50-60 percent of all SPTs yield ‘false positive’ results,” and certain medications, particularly antihistamines, can have an impact on the outcome. Blood tests aren’t 100% accurate either, and throw in the fact that different labs use different test brands and scoring, the doctor’s interpretation of the results can be off. Furthermore, FARE explains, “The [blood] results are not very helpful for predicting the severity of an allergy. Instead, the test gives information about the chance that there is an allergy. This test is not like a pregnancy test, in which a person is or is not pregnant.”

All that said, in the hands of experienced allergists, such as those at Westwood ENT, both skin and blood tests are effective tools in helping to diagnose food allergies when combined with other diagnostic methods, such as:

With the expert evaluation and diagnosis you’ll receive at Westwood ENT, you can be assured that your diet is safe, albeit not always “diet.”

Call (888) 230-3715 today to schedule your appointment for food allergy testing at one of our four-conveniently located offices.

(And for all things ear, nose and throat related, visit the Westwood ENT website and blog.)


Listen Up About Hearing Loss

Hearing LossHave you noticed that your hearing isn’t as sharp as it used to be? Or maybe your loved ones keep telling you that you need to get your hearing checked.

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America:

  • About 20 percent of Americans, 48 million, report some degree of hearing loss.
  • At age 65, one out of three people has a hearing loss.

Unfortunately, many people who experience hearing loss are very reluctant to admit it and get help. Some people Others just don’t realize that they have an impairment. However, there really is no reason to suffer from even a minimal deficiency. Let us show you.

At Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat we have been offering a full range of audiology services for almost 20 years. With over 25 years experience between them, our audiologists specialize in identifying, managing, and preventing hearing loss, as well as treating dizziness / imbalance disorders and other ear-related issues. Our services include:

When it comes to hearing aids, our expert audiologists will take the time to sit down with you and thoroughly discuss your needs and answer any questions or concerns you have. Next, they’ll use up-to-date diagnostic tools to determine your level of hearing loss, which they will then explain to you in friendly, easy-to-understand terms.

If it is determined that you will need a hearing aid, our audiologists will fit you with one that best meets your needs and delivers the highest level of performance and comfort.  We provide primary hearing aids manufactured by Phonak and Resound, brands known for the highest performance and reliability, highest level of technology, best available environment adaptability, and top-rated sound quality and listening comfort.

Because we understand that wearing a hearing aid can take getting used to, we will provide a testing/trial period and help you schedule a consultation and general maintenance appointments.You won’t find this quality and personalized care at any retail outlet.

Now is the time to stop ignoring your hearing loss, and start hearing everything life has to offer.

Audiology services in all four of our conveniently-located offices, including our soon-to-open one in Fairfield County.Call (203) 574-5997 or visit EarNoseandThroatCT.com to schedule your evaluation today. To learn more about Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat’s services, please visit our website and blog.


Sleep Is Good for Your Health

SleepThere is nothing like retiring to bed after a long day or sleeping in on a weekend morning. In fact, sleeping is literally the most relaxing thing you can do. But sleep isn’t just periodic downtime, it’s an act that is essential to your good health.

In a Health.com feature, Raymonde Jean, MD, director of sleep medicine and associate director of critical care at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, explains,
“Many things that we take for granted are affected by sleep. If you sleep better, you can certainly live better. It’s pretty clear.”

Of course you know that a good night’s sleep makes you feel rested, but some of the other benefits may surprise you. The following list from WebMD describes the ways that getting enough sleep keeps you healthy. (All quotes are from WebMD unless otherwise noted.)

  • Overall better health: “[S]tudy after study has found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity.” During sleep our bodies take the time to repair and rejuvenate themselves. Also, per Mayo Clinic, “During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress … In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.”
  • Clear thinking: It’s no surprise that when you’re tired, you thinking is impaired. Have you noticed that your attention span, patience and decision-making are affected as well?
  • Less pain: “Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and lower pain threshold.” Also pain leads to less sleep so creating a vicious cycle.
  • Lower risk of injury: This is because the more tired you are, the more accident-prone or careless you tend to be.
  • Weight control: The first part is obvious. When you’re tired you may not want to exercise or cook a healthy meal. In addition, you may not realize when you’re tired, your leptin levels drop — leptin is the hormone that helps you feel full. So if you find yourself craving unhealthy foods when you’re really tired, it’s not all in your mind.
  • Better memory: As we sleep, our brains process information and transfer it from our short-term to our long-term memory through a process called consolidation. “If you don’t get enough sleep, it seems like those memories might not get stored correctly — and can be lost.”

Unfortunately for some people, a good night’s sleep is something they can only dream about. Many of these people suffer from a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea not only makes you tired, but also if not treated, can cause serious long-term health issues, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure, irregular heart beats, and heart attacks
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Worsening of ADHD
  • Headaches

If you or someone you love is consistently having problems with getting a good night’s sleep, Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat can help. Schedule an appointment today with one of our expert physicians for a consultation. With a patient-centered approach, we will take the time to thoroughly discuss your symptoms and develop an individualized treatment plan, which can be either surgical or non-surgical. Surgical treatments include radiofrequency turbinate reduction (RFTR, shrinks swollen tissues in nose), procedures which aim to enlarge and stabilize the airway in the upper portion of the throat, a tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, procedures that reduce the size of the tongue, orthodontic procedures like palatal stiffening, surgery for a deviated septum, or treatments for many of the other conditions described on our site that block the airways.

For up-to-date issues on sleep apnea and ear, nose, and throat conditions, visit our website and our blog.


What’s Causing Your Sore Throat?

Sore Throat

A sore throat is a symptom of an illness and not an illness itself. In fact, there are many things that can cause your throat to hurt, and they can range from minor to serious. However, no matter what is causing your sore throat, the symptoms are pretty much the same. Mayo Clinic lists them as:

  • Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat
  • Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore, swollen glands in your neck or jaw
  • Swollen, red tonsils
  • White patches or pus on your tonsils
  • Hoarse or muffled voice

Mayo Clinic also explains that it is common to experience the following alongside your sore throat:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting

Many times, a sore throat is caused by a virus, allergy or irritant and the reaction will run its course … eventually. But, if you are experiencing any of the below, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, it’s time to seek medical help:

  • A sore throat that is severe or lasts longer than a week
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Joint pain
  • Earache
  • Rash
  • Fever higher than 101 F (38.3 C)
  • Blood in saliva or phlegm
  • Frequently recurring sore throats
  • A lump in your neck
  • Hoarseness lasting more than two weeks

At Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat, we specialize in treating laryngology, the branch of medicine that deals with the throat, head and neck. Our physicians, experts in their fields, take a patient-centered approach to treating whatever it is that is causing your sore throat. Call us today and schedule an appointment to find out how we can relieve your suffering.

When you come in, our doctors will take the time to put your anxieties to rest and answer all your questions. We will perform thorough testing, carefully explain our findings and possible options, and then develop an individualized plan that addresses your specific needs.

Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat has the expertise and up-to-date technology to effectively treat any of the following disorders that can result in a persistent sore throat:

So, if you are suffering from a persistent sore throat, it’s time to do something about it because even if the pain is caused by something minor, it greatly affects your quality of life. And you deserve to live pain-free. Schedule an appointment in one of our three conveniently-located offices by calling (888) 230-3715.

To keep up with important ear, nose and throat news, visit the Westwood website and blog.


What a Neck Mass Can Mean

Neck Mass

When you aren’t feeling well and go get checked out, one of the first things the doctor does is feel for a mass in your neck caused by swollen lymph nodes. This is because tender, swollen lymph nodes are a sign of illness.

There are numerous things that can cause a neck mass, and fortunately, most of the time the swelling is due to a minor viral infection, such as the common cold. When this is the case, an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-inflammatory, fluids, and rest should do the trick. Other times, however, the swelling can be due to a bacterial infection in the mouth, head or neck. Strep throat, ear infections or an abscessed (infected) tooth can all cause enlarged lymph nodes. While painful, these conditions are easily treated with medication.

In rare cases, a neck mass can be a sign of a serious immune system disorder or cancer. As many as 90 percent of head and neck cancers can be attributed to exposure to risk factors such as use of tobacco and alcoholic beverages. Long-term exposure to the sun and human papilloma virus (HPV) are contributors as well.

Of course the best way to avoid falling prey to these illnesses is through preventative measures and regular check-ups, but if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should call Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat:

  • fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit
  • swelling persists over 2 weeks
  • hardened lump that won’t move when you press on it
  • red skin over lump
  • night sweats
  • unexpected weight loss
  • lump larger than 1 inch and/or growing

(If at any time, you are having difficulty breathing or swallowing, call 911 immediately.)

Luckily when detected early, most cancers of the head and neck can be cured without major side effects.  

In the case of swollen lymph nodes, it is best to have them examined. So if you do find a neck mass, don’t panic, but do schedule an appointment to come into Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat and talk to one of our knowledgeable physicians. During your appointment, we will take the to time sit down with you, discuss your symptoms, and present a diagnosis  and treatment options in language that will put you at ease. Whatever is causing your lymph nodes to swell, we can help. Call Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat at (888) 230-3715.