- Inflammation of the pharynx (sore throat).
- Inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Acute sinusitis is usually precipitated by an earlier upper respiratory tract infection.
Acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
- Infections which involve the upper respiratory tract, including the nose, sinuses, pharynx (throat) or larynx (voice box).
Allergies / Allergic Rhinitis
- Allergic rhinitis is commonly known as hay fever.
- Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Chronic sinusitis lasts longer than three months, and can be caused by one or more of a variety of disorders that share chronic inflammation of the sinuses as a common symptom.
Deviated Nasal Septum
- A deviated septum is a condition in which the nasal septum (the bone and cartilage that divide the nasal cavity of the nose in half) is significantly off-center or crooked, making breathing difficult.
- There are three main types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem conducting along the route through the outer ear, tympanic membrane (eardrum), or the middle ear (ossicles). Sensorineural hearing loss is a type of hearing loss in which the cause lies in the inner ear (cochlea and associated structures) or in the vestibulocochlear nerve (auditory vestibular nerve), which transmits sound and equilibrium (balance) information from the inner ear to the brain.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, and is characterized by upper airway obstructions that occur repeatedly during sleep and cause breathing to stop (apnea) when the obstruction is complete, or to be shallower than normal (hypopnea) when the obstruction is partial. These obstructive events usually result in measurable drops in blood oxygen saturation, which returns to baseline levels when the person’s breathing resumes. Episodes of OSA typically end with the person waking up briefly in order to reopen his or her airway. People who are afflicted by OSA snore loudly between episodes and can also gasp and/or choke. As a result of the pattern of airway obstruction and multiple awakenings that occur during the night, people with OSA have sleep fragmentation and often experience excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Otitis media is a group of inflammatory diseases of the middle ear. The two main types are acute otitis media (AOM) and otitis media with effusion (OME). Acute otitis media describes inflammation of the middle ear, in which there is fluid in the middle ear, accompanied by signs or symptoms of ear infection. Otitis media with effusion is a collection of non-infected fluid in the middle ear space. OME can be a result of poor functioning of the eustachian tube, which is the canal that links the middle ear with the throat area. The eustachian tube helps to equalize the pressure between the air around you and the middle ear. When this tube is not working properly, or has become blocked or swollen, it prevents normal drainage of fluid from the middle ear, causing a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum. Otitis media commonly occurs in small children.
- Nasal polyps are soft, painless, noncancerous growths on the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses. They hang down like teardrops or grapes, and result from chronic inflammation due to asthma, recurring infection, allergies, drug sensitivity or certain immune disorders.
- People who have a smell disorder either have a decrease in their ability to smell, or changes in the way they perceive odors.
Hyposmia is a reduced ability to detect odors.
Anosmia is the complete inability to detect odors. In rare cases, a person may be born without a sense of smell (congenital anosmia).
Parosmia is a change in the normal perception of odors, such as when the smell of something familiar is distorted, or when something that normally smells pleasant now smells foul.
Phantosmia is the sensation of an odor that is not present.
- Swallowing disorders, also called dysphagia, can occur at different stages in the swallowing process:
Oral phase – sucking, chewing, and moving food or liquid into the throat
Pharyngeal phase – beginning the swallowing reflex, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent food or liquid from entering the airway
Esophageal phase – relaxing and tightening the openings at the top and bottom of the feeding tube in the throat (esophagus), and squeezing food through the esophagus into the stomach
- Difficulties can range from a total inability to swallow, to coughing or choking because the food or liquid is entering the windpipe (aspiration). Food may get stuck in the throat, or individuals may drool because they cannot swallow their saliva. Neurological conditions that can cause swallowing difficulties are: stroke, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease and other degenerative neurological disorders such as ALS, multiple sclerosis, progressive supranuclear palsy, Huntington's disease, and myasthenia gravis. Muscular dystrophy and myotonic dystrophy are also accompanied by dysphagia. In addition, swallowing disorders can be caused by injury, surgery or illness involving the head and neck, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), decayed or missing teeth, or poorly fitting dentures. Difficulty with swallowing isn’t always indicative of a medical condition, as this symptom may be temporary.
- Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears.
Dr. Hsu will examine your ears using an otoscope, and will check for anything in the ear canal which could affect your hearing test results. He will then conduct a series of hearing tests which will assess:
- Whether there is a hearing loss
- The cause of the hearing loss (to the extent possible)
- The degree and configuration (one or both ears) of hearing loss
- The best treatment options
Myringotomy and Tympanostomy
- A myringotomy is a surgical procedure in which a tiny incision is created in the eardrum (tympanic membrane) to relieve pressure caused by excessive buildup of fluid, or to drain pus from the middle ear. A tympanostomy tube is inserted into the eardrum to keep the middle ear aerated for a prolonged time and to prevent re-accumulation of fluid. Without the insertion of a tube, the incision usually heals spontaneously in two to three weeks. Depending on the type, the tube is either naturally extruded in 6 to 12 months or removed during a minor procedure.
Please note that Dr. Hsu does not currently perform hospital surgeries, but does perform in-office procedures involving local anesthesia.