Ashford Clinic Blog | Archive
How Are You Sleeping?
It's common knowledge at this point that sleep is vitally important to our overall health, but so many of us deal with sleep issues and disorders night after night. Every year, some 40 million Americans suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders and an additonal 20 million have occasional sleep issues...
The Link Between Snoring and Sinuses
Snoring is tied to other health problems, from cardiac issues to sleep apnea. But something that rarely gets mentioned about snoring is its connection to sinus issues. Snoring occurs when the free flow of air through the nose and throat is interrupted, and there are several things that can cause this interruption - from large tonsils and the shape of the head and neck to abnormally relaxed muscles and excessive weight.
3 Ways That ENT Issues Affect Overall Health
Because ENT issues are common in so many adults, it is easy to think that issues like allergies and tinnitus only have the power to affect the ears, nose, and throat. However, these seemingly isolated problem areas are not always as narrow as we think they are. While these illnesses may be easiest to distinguish in localized areas, their symptoms have the potential to negatively impact your whole body and overall health. We’ve come up three of the most common results of ENT problems related to overall health to help you discern if your symptoms are contributing to a bigger problem.
Why Am I Always Hoarse?
During cold, winter months, it is common to experience the uncomfortable feeling of a sore throat or a hoarse voice after a long night of sleep, or after overextending your voice in chilly weather. In situations like these, a scratchy throat usually clears up quickly, or can easily be soothed with a warm drink or gargling saltwater. However, for those experiencing chronic hoarseness and throat discomfort, this can be more difficult to relieve, making talking strained and difficult. Chronic hoarseness can also be a sign of a bigger problem that may require medical attention. Before you buy throat drops, or chalk it up to a change in the weather, here are some reasons that may be causing your chronic hoarseness.
Who Needs to Watch for Thyroid Issues?
Thyroid issues are very common, though the causes of many of these conditions remains unknown. It is estimated that over 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition at some point in their lives. While 12 percent may not seem like a particularly large number, it means that roughly 20 million people have some form of thyroid disease. What is more alarming is that 60 percent of individuals who have a thyroid issue are unaware of their condition.
Breathe Easy in 2017
Early in the New Year, many people make resolutions to improve their lives. Whether they are related to personal or professional goals and accomplishments, diet and exercise, or overall quality of life, resolutions are meant to provide something to strive for in the year to come. Those who suffer from constant sinus infections and chronic sinusitis (which is the most common cause of missed work and decreased productivity in the country) may feel that this is the year to finally do something more than just taking a steady stream antibiotics to treat their symptoms. If you want to rid yourself of the constant congestion, sniffling, headaches, and other symptoms associated with chronic sinus infections, that’s a resolution that Ashford Clinic can help you keep this year!
3 Causes of Earache
It goes without saying that our ears are very important. Between hearing and balance, there is a lot that our ears contribute to that can easily be taken for granted. When pain is experienced in the ear, it can negatively impact quality of life very quickly. This can make routine activities like talking and eating uncomfortable and unpleasant. While there are several things that can cause earaches, there are three causes that tend to be the most common.
What to do if you find a Lump in your Neck
Finding a lump in your neck can be very alarming, but don’t panic. Lumps in the neck often occur in the thyroid tissue located at the edge of the thyroid gland. Most thyroid lumps and nodules are benign, but you should still have them examined. Here are some things to know should you find a lump in your neck.
5 Ways To Stay Healthy Over The Holidays
The holiday season is upon us once again. This time of year can be lots of fun, but it also creates several opportunities for illness. The travel, family gatherings, meals, shopping and other festivities can take a toll on your health if you are not careful. From elevated stress levels to colds and viruses, there is a lot to be mindful of over the next month or so. Here are 5 ways to stay healthy so you can enjoy this festive season.
Ashford Clinic Surgical Center
One of the things that separates Ashford Clinic from other ENT practices is our new surgical center. Since opening its doors earlier this year, the surgical center has greatly expanded the level of care we are able to provide our patients, as well as the types of procedures that can be performed on-site, instead of going to the hospital. Since we are able to do in our office what most other ENT practices would have to send you to a hospital to accomplish, the process for getting treatment is simplified and the overall cost of care is reduced in most cases.
3 Reasons to have Balloon Sinuplasty Right Now
If sinus infections are a regular occurrence for you, there are certain aspects of this time of year that you may not be looking forward to. The colder months tend to bring more germs and viruses with them, which only increases the risk and frequency of sinusitis. With that said, Ashford Clinic specializes in a wonderful and effective solution for those who suffer from chronic sinusitis. Balloon Sinuplasty is a short, in-office procedure that has a quick recovery time and provides immediate, lasting relief for acute sinus pressure.
Common ENT issues in the Fall
There is a lot to like about autumn. The cooler weather, changing leaves, and many holidays make it a particularly fun and festive time of year. However, the change in the weather can also mean new challenges and illnesses for your ears, nose and throat. While many of these issues are more prevalent for children, there are plenty of ENT problems to go around for every age group. Here are some of the things to look out for during the fall:
Nasal Irrigation Demonstration
Check out this video of Dr. Alex Ashford demonstrating a saltwater Nasal Irrigation technique for keeping your sinuses clear. Dr. Alex also describes who would benefit from Nasal Irrigation and why saltwater is necessary for the technique. If you are struggling with chronic sinusitis or other sinus issues, give us a call at 706-248-6860 to schedule an appointment.
What to Expect after a Tonsillectomy
If you or your child is experiencing chronic tonsillitis, it is very likely that a tonsillectomy has been recommended. This procedure involves removing the tonsils, which are masses of immune cells found in lymph glands located in the mouth. The procedure is performed in order to prevent symptoms associated with chronic tonsillitis, including recurring sore throat, abscess, upper airway obstruction causing difficulty swallowing, snoring and sleep apnea, dental malocclusion, and bad breath. Tonsillectomy is a very common outpatient procedure, particularly for children, but there are some things to know for after the procedure.
What Does an ENT Do?
What is an ENT? What is Otolaryngology? Can’t my family doctor take care of my ears, nose, and throat? If you’re unfamiliar with what an ENT physician does, you’ve likely had questions like these. The medical profession is filled with so many areas of specialty, that it can be difficult to keep up with which doctor helps with what. With that in mind, we’d like to specifically address the field of otolaryngology and explain what it is an ENT specialist does and when you should see one.
Why Do I Keep Getting Sinus Infections?
Do you keep getting sinus infections over and over again? You’re not alone. Many people suffer from what seems like a cold or allergy attack that just wouldn’t go away. While these symptoms may seem like allergies or a cold, it is very likely that the root cause is actually sinusitis. Sinusitis is one of the most common health conditions in the US - over 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year, and even that number does not include the countless cases in which people suffering from these symptoms never seek proper medical help. In many instances, people will experience frequent sinusitis with symptoms lasting up to three months or more. If this sounds like what you are experiencing, you may be suffering from chronic sinus infections, or chronic sinusitis. Let’s explore why this happens and how you can get relief.
3 Causes of Nasal Obstruction
Do you sometimes have trouble breathing through your nose? It’s not an uncommon problem, as this issue affects people of all ages ­ from toddlers to adults. It is important that the mechanisms behind breathing through your nose work flawlessly most of the time, as the nose serves to filter, clean, humidify, and warm the air we breathe. Here are the three most common causes of nasal obstruction.
Meet our patient, Pamela
Pamela was experiencing several health issues related to her thyroid that are no longer a problem thanks to Dr. Beth Ashford, the thyroid specialist here at the Ashford Clinic. We understand that there is no “one size fits all” treatment to many ENTrelated health issues. Our mission is to get to the bottom of our patients’ issues and provide the best treatment possible. If you or someone you know is suffering from thyroid issues, give us a call today at 706-248-6860 to make an appointment.
What Thyroid Patients should know about Thyroid Surgery
“Surgery” is no one’s favorite word, and it’s certainly a daunting prospect for anyone who is facing circumstances that require surgery. This can certainly be true for thyroid patients, as an operation involving the neck can seem very unsettling.
What are Parathyroid Glands?
Thyroid...parathyroid...probably the same thing, right? Not at all! These glands serve two very different purposes. While the thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism (among other things), the parathyroid glands regulate and maintain calcium levels in the blood. Though their names are very similar, the thyroid and parathyroid actually have very little in common aside from their location and the fact that both are part of the endocrine system. Here are some important things you should know about your parathyroid glands.
5 Signs You Might Have A Thyroid Nodule
Thyroid and parathyroid disorders are very common, affecting millions of Americans each year, but we understand that it can be hard to know what to look for when it comes to these disorders. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if you are having an issue with your thyroid because the neck is home to various glands and organs with different functions and purposes, including the vocal cords, windpipe, tonsils, esophagus, etc. Since thyroid nodules and cysts rarely cause symptoms, here are 5 signs that you may have a thyroid nodule, and what to do about it.
Thyroid Nodule vs a Goiter
Thyroid issues and disorders are very common and affect millions of Americans. With that said, it can be very alarming to discover a lump in one’s neck and there is often some confusion about these issues and their implications for your health. In this blog, we will specifically address Thyroid Nodules and Goiters and the differences between the two.
Loud Noises and Hearing
Noise is an unavoidable part of everyday life. From the hum of your refrigerator to normal conversation to sirens, we live in a noisy world. Most sounds and noises that we regularly experience in our environment occur at safe levels that do not harm our hearing. However, loud noises, even those experienced for a brief time, can be harmful and even cause temporary or permanent hearing damage. There are things you should know about noise and how it can impact your hearing.
5 Things You Might Not Know About Your Thyroid
The thyroid is a small, but vitally important gland located in the front of the neck, just above the collarbone. As part of the endocrine system, the hormones produced by the thyroid have an effect on every cell and all organs of the body. Since the thyroid gland’s functions are so broad and all­encompassing, there are several things that you might not know about this part of the human body. Here are just a few things you might not know about the thyroid gland.
Ears and Altitude
f you have ever travelled by air, it is likely that you have experienced ear problems, particularly during takeoff and landing. Many people suffer from “popping” or “blocked” ears, commonly referred to as Airplane Ear, during air travel. In fact, ear problems have become the most common medical complaint among people using air travel. While these incidents are usually nothing more than minor annoyances, they have the potential to result in temporary pain and hearing loss.
Dr. Beth Ashford brings her expertise to Athens, GA
We want our patients to know that they are in excellent hands with Dr. Beth Ashford and the Ashford Clinic. Dr. Ashford is a highly skilled and expertly trained head and neck surgeon who trained at the top ranked Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL.
Vocal Cord Paralysis
Your vocal cords and voice box are very important. The vocal cords (or vocal folds) are involved in much more than simply producing sound, they play a role in protecting your airway and keeping you from choking by helping to keep food, drink, and saliva out of your trachea (or windpipe). Disorders of the voice can be very distressing, especially if you depend on your voice for your livelihood. There are many types of vocal injuries and disorders, but Vocal Cord Paralysis and Vocal Cord Paresis can have profound implications on your ability to speak and even breathe.
Tonsillitis. All kinds of things come to mind at the very mention of this condition strep throat, tonsillectomies...unlimited ice cream. While infection and inflammation of the tonsils occurs most commonly in children nearly all children in the United States experience at least one episode of infected or inflamed tonsils, it is also possible for an occurrence in adults as well. Here’s abrief guide to this very common condition:
What is Hoarseness?
Most people have experienced changes in the voice during an upper respiratory infection or after misuse or overuse of the voice. These abnormal changes in the voice are referred to as hoarseness. When your voice is hoarse, it can sound breathy or strained, or you may have a more raspy voice than usual. Changes in the volume and pitch of your voice are also common.
Dr. S. Elizabeth Ashford: My Approach to Patients
A 30-year-old athletic, healthy mother of two young children was referred to my clinic one afternoon with a large right neck mass. She was rather hysterical, having just been told that she has cancer. She had been putting on sunscreen at the beach during her family vacation a few weeks earlier when she felt the thyroid mass herself for the first time and then went to her PCP for evaluation. In reality, her primary physician probably informed her that she needed to be evaluated by an expert, in the very unlikely chance that the neck mass was cancer. CANCER?! The “C” word had been used! Like most patients, thoughts of the worst-case scenario dominate any rational thinking.
Snoring & Sleep Apnea 101
We all know that restful sleep is very important. It is a key factor in quality of life, as well as your overall health. Oddly enough, something as common as snoring can keep you from getting the restful sleep you need. In fact, 45% of adults snore at least occasionally and 25% snore habitually. A heavy snorer should seek medical care when it starts to affect quality of life, as this can be an indicator of obstructed breathing and other serious health concerns.
3 Things to Know about Hearing Loss
Do you have trouble hearing? Are you concerned about maintaining your ability to hear? If so, you are one of 36 million Americans who suffer from loss of hearing. In fact, hearing loss is the third most common health issue in the country. Here are a few things you should know about this very common health problem:
Do you find yourself regularly losing balance, experiencing episodes of spinning, feeling woozy or lightheaded, suffering injuries, or getting into accidents? If so, you are experiencing what is commonly referred to as feeling dizzy. While it is fairly common, particularly among older adults, recurring bouts of this sensation are likely indicators of something more serious. Most instances of dizziness are treatable once the root cause is determined, but it is important to take note exactly what symptoms you are experiencing. Since “dizzy” is a broad term that is used to describe several sensations, including lightheadedness and vertigo, keeping track of the symptoms you experience can help point to the root of the issue.
What is Tinnitus?
Have you ever noticed a ringing in your ears or perceive sounds when there is no actual external noise? This sensation is referred to as Tinnitus, and it is one of the most common health conditions in the US. It is estimated that 15% of the population in the US deal with some form of tinnitus. Additionally, about 20 million people suffering from chronic tinnitus and around 2 million people suffer from debilitating or extreme tinnitus. Since these hearing problems are so common, there are a few things you should know about tinnitus and tinnitus treatment.
What to look for with your Thyroid
Thyroid problems are unsettlingly common in the United States, 30 million Americans suffer from a thyroid disorder and half of those cases are undiagnosed. Unfortunately, odds are even worse if you are a woman. Women are reportedly ten times more likely than men to have thyroid problems, and, if you are a woman over the age of 35, the odds are as much as 30% higher.
What is Sinusitis?
There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding sinus infections. Since the symptoms are similar to that of the common cold, allergy attacks, or even the flu, this very common condition can certainly be mistaken for something else by those who suffer from it. Every year, 37 million Americans suffer from at least one sinus infection, or sinusitis. We’ll discuss what sinusitis is, and is not, and what can be done about it.
Is it Allergies or the Weather?
Changes in the weather have long been blamed for numerous ailments, from achy joints and headaches to sinus infections. While it is difficult to prove exactly what impact the changing weather has on our health, many experts say that the weather can be attributed to some adverse health symptoms.
When to see an ENT
There can be some confusion about Otolaryngology, the field of medical specialty that addresses conditions and disorders of the ear, nose, and throat and other areas of the head and neck, as well as Otolaryngologists, or ENT doctors. Otolaryngology is not a recent modern medical “fad”. In fact, this exciting field is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. But what does that mean for you? When should you see an ENT?
How to Prep for Allergy Season
Spring Allergies begin earlier than you might expect, with milder winter temperatures causing plants to pollinate as early as February in much of the US. The severity and time frame for allergy season is different across the country, and other factors can extend symptoms into early fall, but there are still some things you can do to prepare yourself for allergy season.
Everything You Need to Know about the Common Cold
They call it the common cold for a reason. Many people suffer from cold symptoms at various points in the year, including the early spring months. With over 100 viruses that can cause a cold, there are vast opportunities for exposure, so prevention is key. There are also a number of options for cold treatment. Here is everything you need to know about the dreaded common cold
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Chronic sinusitis is the most common cause of missed work and decreased productivity in the U.S. Do you suffer from chronic sinusitis? Are you constantly battling a sinus infection that just won’t go away? If so, you may want to look into Balloon Sinuplasty, a minimally-invasive, in-office procedure that is far less painful and invasive than traditional sinus surgery. More than 380,000 patients have benefited from this groundbreaking procedure, and you can, too!