Find out if it’s just the common cold or a sinus infection.
Sinus infections are fairly common but yet they share a lot of similar symptoms to the common cold that they can often be overlooked. Of course, it’s important to be able to tell the difference so that you know how to effectively treat your symptoms and know what over-the-counter medications to take. Our Pittsfield, MA, otolaryngologist, Dr. Giulio Cavalli, weighs in on the telltale signs of a sinus infection and when you should see a doctor.
What is sinusitis (sinus infection)?
This condition is characterized by red, inflamed nasal passages that can often become blocked if the condition is severe enough. A sinus infection is often viral in nature, but can also be the result of bacteria or fungus.
What are the symptoms?
Sometimes it’s challenging to pinpoint whether the symptoms you are dealing with are truly due to a sinus infection. Our Pittsfield ENT doctor is here to help you tell the difference between sinusitis and other respiratory problems. You may have a sinus infection if you have:
- Sinus headaches
- Nasal congestion
- Facial pain or pressure (you may feel pressure behind the eyes)
- Nasal discharge or postnasal drip
- Sore throat
When should you visit a doctor?
While not all sinus infections will warrant a trip to the doctor, it’s a good idea to give us a call if you notice a fever along with these other symptoms, or if your symptoms last more than 10 days. You should also schedule an appointment with us if your symptoms keep returning.
While a fever is not a common symptom of a sinus infection it could indicate that another respiratory infection is present, which should be treated as soon as possible.
Can a sinus infection become chronic?
Yes, it is possible to deal with chronic sinusitis. While this isn’t as common, those with a true chronic infection will experience symptoms that last more than 12 weeks and don’t go away with at-home care. If this occurs, you may need to talk to us about balloon sinuplasty or other more aggressive measures for treating your sinus infection.
Don’t let a severe or chronic sinus infection affect your life. Turn to our ENT specialist, Dr. Cavalli, in Pittsfield, MA, for the individualized care and treatment plan you need to breathe a little easier.
Does it seem like everyone is mumbling these days? Hearing loss can make it difficult to interact with friends and family members or even enjoy your favorite TV show. Luckily, hearing aids offer an effective way to improve your hearing. Our Pittsfield, MA, otolaryngologist, Dr. Giulio Cavalli, explains how hearing aids can help you.
How do hearing aids work?
Hearing aids amplify sounds and also reduce background noise that may make it hard to hear. A hearing aid is a good option when your hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells in your inner ear. Although spending a lot of time around loud noises can damage hair cells, the problem may also occur due to the natural effects of aging or as a medication side effect, or may happen if you have certain diseases.
How can I tell if I need a hearing aid?
Do you have trouble hearing your more soft-spoken friends, or have you noticed that you don't hear every word in a conversation? A hearing aid can help you ensure that you don't feel left out or miss crucial information due to your hearing loss. Watching a movie in a theater can be difficult when you can't hear well. If you've noticed it's impossible to hear the dialogue above the background music, you may benefit from a hearing aid. In some cases, hearing can even cause problems in your relationship, particularly if your partner thinks you are ignoring him or her or not paying attention.
Aren't hearing aids ugly and uncomfortable?
Years ago, hearing aids were large and extremely noticeable. Luckily, there have been significant improvements in hearing aid technology in recent years. Manufacturers discovered how to decrease the size of hearing aids and also improve their effectiveness. Depending on your symptoms and your preferences, we may recommend a in-ear or over-the-ear hearing aid if we determine that you have hearing loss when you visit our Pittsfield office. Today's hearing aids don't just have one setting. You can adjust them as needed depending on the noise level around you.
Are you interested in finding out if a hearing aid could help you hear better? Call our Pittsfield, MA, otolaryngologist, Dr. Cavalli, at (413) 443-6116 to schedule an appointment.
Hearing issues can occur gradually and aren't always easy to recognize. Dr. Giulio Cavalli at Giulio Cavalli Medical in Pittsfield, MA, shares a few signs that may indicate that you have a hearing loss and explains how you can benefit from hearing aids.
How do I know if I have a problem?
In addition to a noticeable problem with your hearing, you may experience some of these more subtle signs of hearing loss, such as:
- Missed Words: Do you only catch every other word when you're talking to someone or frequently have to ask them to repeat themselves? Although it's possible that the person mumbles or just doesn't speak loudly enough, if the problem occurs no matter who you speak to, a hearing problem may be to blame.
- You Need Visual Clues: If it's hard to hear people if they aren't in the same room with you, you may be relying on visual clues to augment your hearing.
- Telephone Conversations are Challenging: Difficulty hearing while using the telephone can also be a sign of a problem. If no one else has difficulty when they use your phone, you may have developed hearing loss.
- Movies Aren't Enjoyable: Is it hard to hear the dialogue over the background music at movies? Going to a movie isn't much fun if you can't follow the action.
- You Need to Turn Up the Volume: People who have hearing loss may not even realize that there's an issue until friends or family members complain of too-loud TVs and radios.
Is a hearing aid right for me?
Hearing aids don't just amplify sounds. They also help decrease background noise that can make it difficult to hear conversations or the dialogue in your favorite TV show. Thanks to improvements in hearing aid technology, aids don't have to be large or obtrusive. Analog and digital aids are available and can be worn in or over the ear, depending on the type. When you visit Dr. Cavalli's Pittsfield office, he and his staff will help you find the perfect hearing aid for your particular problem.
Don't let hearing problems keep you from enjoying life. Call your Pittsfield, MA, ENT, Dr. Cavalli at Giulio Cavalli Medical, at (413) 443-6116 to schedule an appointment.
Are you suffering from a hoarse voice that just won’t go away?
Hoarseness is a condition in which there is a change in the voice. Those suffering from hoarseness will experience changes to the pitch of their voice often characterized by raspiness or an unusual deepness. This is usually the result of irritation or injury to the vocal cords. So, what could be causing your hoarseness and when should you visit our Pittsfield, MA otolaryngologist, Dr. Giulio Cavalli, for treatment?
There are many reasons why you might be experiencing hoarseness. The most common cause is acute laryngitis, which causes vocal cord inflammation. Laryngitis is usually the result of an upper respiratory infection or from overuse (less common).
Other causes of hoarseness include:
- Thyroid problems
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Vocal cord polyps or nodules
- Being exposed to respiratory irritants
- Vocal cord trauma
- Larynx cancer
- Neurological conditions
When should I visit an otolaryngologist?
If you have symptoms that last for more than three weeks, if you have a cold or flu or if you have difficulty swallowing, these all warrant a trip to our Pittsfield ENT office for care. Other reasons to visit us regarding hoarseness include:
- If there is blood when you cough
- If you have pain when swallowing or speaking
- If hoarseness is affecting your quality of life
- If you have lost your voice or you are experiencing severe changes to your voice that last several days
- If you have a lump in the neck
How is hoarseness treated?
The type of treatment that we recommend will depend on the root cause of your symptoms, which is why it’s always a good idea to get a proper diagnosis from our Pittsfield, MA ENT doctor. If a cold or flu is the cause, these illnesses will often clear up on their own with rest and fluids. We will recommend certain lifestyle changes such as drinking lots of water, staying away from smoke, using a humidifier and avoiding spicy foods. Sometimes surgery is necessary if there is a polyp or nodule on the vocal cords that needs to be removed.
If you have been experiencing a hoarse voice for a while now and require treatment then it’s time you called our very own Dr. Cavalli for the care you need.
Dealing with a sore throat can be stressful—especially when you have a long day ahead of you at work or school. Find out the common (and not as common) causes of sore throats and how your ENT doctor at Giulio Cavalli Medical in Pittsfield, MA can help you get relief from the soreness and discomfort.
When You Have a Sore Throat
In some cases, a sore throat will go away on its own after a few days. But some patients struggle with the soreness for many days or even weeks. That sore, scratchy feeling makes it hard to speak and swallow in the course of a normal day. Sometimes it becomes really painful to swallow. When these symptoms persist or get worse, it may be a more concerning problem that should be looked at by a doctor.
Causes of Sore Throats
A sore throat can be a symptom of a number of different health concerns. Here are some of the most common causes of sore throats in patients:
- The common cold.
- Flu symptoms.
- Inflamed tonsils (also called tonsillitis).
- Strep throat (bacteria in the throat—this is a contagious condition).
- Laryngitis or Pharyngitis (inflammation of the larynx or pharynx).
- Epiglottitis (inflammation of flap behind the tongue).
In any of these cases, your ENT doctor in Pittsfield can help you get relief from your sore throat so that you can get back to feeling, eating and speaking normally again.
Your doctor will evaluate the exact cause of your sore throat so that a viable treatment plan can be prescribed. Here are a few common treatments and therapies for patients:
- Cough and flu medication.
- Antibiotic therapy to eliminate a bacterial infection.
- Use of a moist air humidifier to relieve cold symptoms.
- Surgery in some cases (such as a tonsillectomy).
Solutions for Sore Throat Sufferers
If you’re a chronic sore throat sufferer, find out what's causing this symptom and how it can be resolved by making an appointment with Dr. Giulio I. Cavalli at Giulio Cavalli Medical in Pittsfield, MA. Call the office at (413) 443-6116 today for assistance.
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