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CLASSIC LIST

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12/Aug/2019

 

Many people suffer from seasonal allergies, while others may suffer all year round.  There are ways to keep allergies in check. There are allergy shots, over-the-counter medication, and the doctor can prescribe medicine.  Despite a plethora of options, most people still suffer despite all the proactive measures. Unfortunately, they have to get through the sneezing, watery eyes, headaches, coughing, and wheezing.  There is another common symptom. However, it is common; it can feel debilitating.  It is fatigue.

Fatigue

Everyone gets tired from daily life.  If you are an allergy sufferer, you may notice you feel more tired than usual. Maybe you chalk it up to being apart of allergies or another unrelated symptom that you accept as part of a symptom.  Fatigue can be a sign of many things going on; however, if you suffer from allergies, the likelihood of your fatigue increase is probable in correlation with allergies, What causes fatigue in association from allergies?

Histamine

Your adrenal glands though small and sit right above your kidneys play a significant role in your health and wellbeing.  They produce cortisol in response to daily stresses and anything foreign that enters the body.  They also respond to histamine overload.  Pollen, dust, mold, and even food allergies can prompt mast cells to release histamine into the body.  The histamine increases blood flow, and inflammation to the area affected, such as nasal passages, eyes, and skin.  When the body is inflamed, the adrenal glands increase cortisol in the body, along with the endocrine system.

Cortisol

It sounds complicated; however,  these reactions, your body goes through to protect you.  After long periods of elevated cortisol, the adrenal glands will continue to produce the cortisol until they give out.  Once this happens, a person will notice a multitude of other symptoms.  You will feel much more tired when allergies are elevated.  You will also be more susceptible to other illnesses because your body’s immune system is compromised.  Those who suffer may find they get sick more often with other ailments such as the common cold, inability to fight off infections and it may seem they catch anything.

 Be Proactive

To protect your overall health if you are an allergy suffer is don’t wait to treat the symptoms.  Look for ways to reduce the body’s response to the allergens.  This can be done by visiting your E.N.T.  Your doctor can order an allergy test to find out what you are allergic to.  Depending on your allergies, you may need shots and prescription medication.  Schedule an appointment today and in the meantime, eat a healthy diet of low inflammation foods.  Doing so will keep you proactive in fighting your allergies and protecting your overall health.   Increase foods high in vitamin C and choose leafy greens over high inflammation foods such as fried and sugary foods.


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05/Aug/2019

 

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that closes the airways at night. There are three forms of the disease: Obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, or mixed sleep Apnea. Not all symptoms involve snoring; However, this is the most obvious.  When the collapsible airway where the tongue and upper throat connect with the palate with obstruction is when snoring is audible.  Large tonsils, adenoids, and extensive throat tissue are contributing factors and having a cold or sinus infection can cause temporary snoring.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

There are some symptoms to look for if you suspect you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea.  We all experience fatigue; However, if it lingers on for several weeks when there is no other apparent reason you are tired, you may suffer from sleep apnea.  If you are struggling with short-term memory loss, that is a sign of not getting a restful night’s sleep from the interruptions in breathing.  Your dentist can even tell if you may have it just by looking at your teeth.

If after seeing your doctor and they identify you may suffer from sleep apnea, the great news is that this is a treatable condition.  One option regularly used as a surgery alternative is the CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure.  This machine comes with a mask that sleep apnea sufferers use at night.  Another method is through a mouthpiece worn at night for those who cannot withstand the CPAP. Sleep position therapy is another method of using a device worn at night during sleep to keep your body positioned on your side versus lying on your back.

 

Talk to Your ENT

Allergy and sinus sufferers are among the candidates for those who may have sleep apnea.  If you exhibit the symptoms combined with allergies, contact your ENT.  Here are some questions to ask your ENT and/or sleep doctor.

  • Ask about referrals to a sleep study.
  • If they diagnose you, find out which type of sleep apnea it is.
  • Ask for a copy of your sleep study report once they complete it.
  • Ask if you can choose your CPAP supplier if they prescribe one.
  • Find out about general care of your CPAP machine.

 

Surgery

If you have narrowed down that you will have to have surgery, there are different surgeries than can be completed by stages depending on your unique situation.

·         Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

·         Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction

·         Genioglossus Advancement

·         Hyoid Suspension

·         Midline glossectomy and lingualplasty

·         Maxillomandibular osteotomy (MMO) and advancement (MMA)

·         Palatal implants

·         Laser-assisted uvuloplasty (LAUP)

 

Narrowing down the possibilities can begin with just an appointment with your health care provider.  With the sleep apnea treatment options, your doctor can discuss and help you determine the best approach for you.  Don’t suffer in silence; If you feel you have symptoms of sleep apnea, it is essential to see your doctor.   Making an appointment today can mean the difference tomorrow.


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29/Jul/2019

50 million people suffer from allergies each year in the United States, according to the College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.  Managing allergies is not a small task, and to do a great job requires being proactive versus reactive once an allergy triggers a reaction.  Here are five tips in surviving allergies.

Know Your Symptoms

To remain proactive, you first have to identify what triggers your allergies.  The range can be significant depending on the severity; However, it is important not to dismiss some of these symptoms as ‘the sniffles.’

  • Runny Nose
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Sore Throat
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Skin Rash

Keep Allergens Outside

The first step is to keep allergens outside your home.  Walking to your mailbox or walking the dog is a sure way for those annoying allergens to sneak right into your house.  They attach to your hair and get into your pet’s fur.  So, if you have to be outside for any length of time, make sure you wash your face and change your clothes immediately and when time permits, shower and wash your hair.   Wipe your pet down before you go inside the house.

Make Your Home a Sanctuary

We all want comfort in our homes.  Relax, read, or enjoy a great show and spend time with family.  That is hard to do if you feel lousy.  There are things that you can do inside your home to keep your allergen defense up.  Refrain from using a ceiling fan, especially at night when you are sleeping.  Clean your blinds and avoid hanging curtains for window coverings.  If you love carpet, you may have to admire it somewhere other than your home.  Carpet traps dust, mites, and allergens, and no matter how often you vacuum, it is impossible to rid your carpet of allergens 100 percent.

Antihistamines

It is best practice to take your antihistamines weeks before the allergy season begins.  Depending on where you live, and your unique allergies will be the factors you need to consider when deciding when to start and which medications are best for you.  Sites you can check when and what is pollinating in your local area.  If over-the-counter medications aren’t helping, it is essential to check in with your doctor to find if a prescription would be better.

Medicine for Your Nose

There is a lot to choose from for nose sprays to curtail the allergens getting into your nasal lining that creates inflammation.  If your sinuses are suffering, there are sprays that help.  The best ones contain AstelinAstepro, and Patanase.  These will help with congestion and are less likely to cause drowsiness.  The medications that have these ingredients are by prescription only, so you will need to contact your doctor for an appointment.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C gets a lot of attention for its benefits.  This can’t be over-emphasized for allergies.  Vitamin C helps your adrenal glands by fighting the inflammation caused by histamine in the body.  Make sure you are taking your multivitamin and take an additional vitamin C supplement.

 


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26/Jun/2019

Everyone has cleared their throat at one time or another. The reasons differ from person to person; frequent throat clearing can be a sign of an underlying health condition related to allergies.  Apart from allergy-related conditions, frequent throat clearing can show other health-related problems or a habit.

Sometimes you may clear your throat to get another person’s attention or because you felt a tickle in your throat.  Frequent throat clearing may not only indicate a health condition, but it can also damage your vocal cords depending on how much you do it.

Other Throat Conditions

Conditions such as Zenker’s Diverticulum, a person has an unusual pouch that stops food from passing from the esophagus to the stomach.  When this happens, it may cause excess mucus in the throat.   Chronic Motor Tic Disorder starts in children and has other associated symptoms from spasms such as facial grimacing, rapid eye blinking, groans, and grunts.  Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that also creates habits where grunting or throat clearing is a part of a habit or behavioral issue.

If you are not experiencing any conditions relating to neurological disorders, you may have acid reflux.  This can cause a person to clear their throat from a buildup of stomach acid coming up from the esophagus.

Medications can cause you to feel a tickle in your throat or as though something is stuck. Coughing or trying to clear your throat will not help.  Allergy medications such as Sudafed, for example, will dry your mouth out and will cause your throat to feel dry and scratchy.

  • Smoking or being around second-hand smoke can irritate your throat.
  • Environmental allergies like pollen and dust.
  • Food allergies can trigger your throat to tighten or tickle.
  • The side effect of medications can cause a dry mouth and throat.

 

Allergies

Most often, if allergies are something that you deal with, the frequent throat clearing causes excess drainage, at night while you have been laying down and mucus drains when you are sleeping.  If you suspect that your frequent throat clearing is because of any neurological related symptoms, please contact your doctor so you can receive proper testing.  However, if food or environmental allergies are your concern, it may be time to call your allergy or ear nose and throat doctor.

While you are waiting to get into your doctor for an appointment, there are things you can do to ease some symptoms.  Drink plenty of water if you are taking a medication that dries out your mouth.  Avoid smoking or being around anyone who is smoking.  Keep a journal of times when you eat when your throat restricts or you feel a tickle in your throat during or after you eat.  You can use this if you suspect food allergies for notes to provide to your doctor.  Avoid areas where your allergies flare or wear a mask when cleaning or mowing.

Frequent Throat Clearing


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20/Jun/2019

Having a runny nose is not only a nuisance; It can be an indicator of other underlying health conditions. In 2017, a national health survey conducted found that 30.8 million adults suffer from rhinitis. A runny nose is caused by an irritant or inflammation inside the nose. Infections such as influenza and allergies are typically the causes of irritation in the nasal tissues. A runny nose generally clears up on its own with some at home care in a couple of weeks other times it can persist indicating a need for medical treatment.

Home Care

Until it is necessary to see a doctor, there are a few things you can try at home to clear up your runny nose. Gently blowing your nose to clear the mucus and avoid any environmental allergies you know of. If your symptoms are accompanied by sneezing and watery eyes, you may suffer from allergies. You can try over-the-counter nose spray medications such as Rhinocort or Flonase. If a nasal spray is not enough, you can try over-the-counter medications. Antihistamines such as Benadryl, Allegra or Claritin. Other studies have revealed that the use of a nose spray with capsaicin will help reduce the symptoms on non-allergic rhinitis.

Allergies

If you have a history of allergies from the environment, aside from simple remedies, there are a few things you can try. These steps may reduce your allergy symptoms from worsening and until you have an appointment with your doctor.
Use a humidifier at night will keep your nasal passages from drying out from low humidity and blowing your nose. To lower the irritants inside the nasal passage, try a saline solution spray. When you are cleaning out places in your home that may have a high level of allergens, wear a mask. Places like this are closets, basements and other storage areas. If you smoke, try to quit and avoid second-hand smoke as much as possible. The chemicals in smoke can inflame nasal tissues making symptoms worse.

Time to See the Doctor

If your symptoms do not clear up on their own even with self-care, it is time to see your doctor or allergist. If you are running a fever or if the mucus is yellow or green, you may suffer from a sinus infection or bacterial infection. You may feel pain in the sinuses if it is a sinus infection. If you spot blood in your mucus and recently suffered a head injury, call your doctor immediately.
Getting top quality medical care is important to a healthy lifestyle. If you are one who suffers from chronic runny nose or rhinitis, it may be time to call the doctor. Talk to your allergist about any symptoms you have over an extended period. Your treatment plan may be a combination of over-the-counter medications and a test for allergies. Your doctor may also recommend prescription medication for allergies or for an infection. Don’t suffer any longer, contact us today and set an appointment.


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11/Jun/2019

Making time for regular medical checkups is important in the early detection of some diseases and ailments.  Preventative measures may reduce the likelihood of an ailment progressing into something worse.  Taking into consideration factors that may seem trivial, however, it may show something more serious.  Seeing a regular doctor and your allergist annually are collectively important to your health and early detection of diseases.  Here are some symptoms to know of; however, it is best to schedule a check-up with your doctor at least once a year.

  • Constant headaches
  • Mucus that is discolored, green or brown.
  • A cough that will not go away.
  • Tightness in your chest that keeps you from breathing normally.

Symptoms to Not Ignore

When allergy season strikes, there are other symptoms aside from sneezing and watery eyes.  Some individuals may develop headaches and mucus that is discolored.  The headaches may recur with minimal breaks.  Weather changes can contribute to the condition; However, a headache that is severe may be a migraine from allergies or another underlying cause.  Here are just a few causes of an ongoing headache that should not be ignored:

  • Sinus Infection
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Vision changes that require checking
  • Injury
  • Neck/back problems
  • Lack of sleep
  • Conditions relating to blood pressure

Coughing to clear your throat doesn’t seem to be any real problem.  However, if the coughing is persistent, this could be a sign of asthma, the flu, or another allergy that may not be diagnosed.  If you have a persistent cough that does not go away within 7-10 days, it may be time to call your doctor.

If your chest feels tight, or you wake up unable to get the air you need to rest comfortably this can represent something very serious beyond asthma or other breathing related problems.  A tightened chest particularly at night, can point to heart trouble and possibly other related ailments.

If your vision is getting worse, there are many possibilities associated with that.  Things from diabetes, an injury, cataracts, and just being tired can cause compromised vision. Make sure to get a good night’s rest and have your eyes checked.

Developing a Relationship with Your Doctor

By seeing your doctor regularly, you are setting yourself up for better communication and relationships with your care provider.  Here are some other reasons to keep seeing your health care provider regularly.

  • Continuity of your medical records.
  • Personalized relationships with your care providers.
  • More focused treatment plans.

 

Annual Check-ups

Seeing your doctor for regular medical checkups, at least once a year gives them the opportunity to identify anything going on that you may be unaware of.  By doing so, will set you up for success in treating any ailment that may result from something you were unaware of.  Things such as checkups for your eyes and teeth are also just as important.  Making a handful of appointments over the course of a year will put you in the driver’s seat with a personal relationship and continuity with your health care providers.


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24/May/2019

Ear nose and throat doctors are just as important to babies and children as they are to adults. ENTs treat a range of symptoms from the shoulder to the neck, ears, throat, and head. Most of us have suffered a cold, a sinus infection, or a runny nose. These symptoms do not warrant a trip to the ENT. However, if your child is suffering from a chronic runny nose, sneezing, chronic ear infections, or if the symptoms have persisted for a long time there could be an underlying condition.

ENTs specialize in surgical procedures that ease your child’s allergy and sinus-related symptoms. By catching these symptoms early, you may help your child avoid the constant use of antibiotics and potential hearing loss from recurrent ear infections.

Here is a list of some conditions they treat:

  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Throat
  • Head / neck/thyroid
  • Sleep
  • Birth Defects of the Head and Neck

Ears

They often check newborns before the hospital releases them to go home.  If your infant is suffering any kind of hearing problem, often it is an ENT that they will refer you to. A toddler or infant who has recurring ear infections, they can identify the causes and suggest alternatives such as tubal litigation. If there has been any hearing loss, the doctor can also help with hearing aids.

Nose

Does your baby always have a runny nose?  Is your baby fussy much of the time? ENTs can diagnose the cause of the continual drainage. This could be more than just a runny nose or a cold; it can be an allergic reaction to the environment such as dust, pollen or dust mites.  It could also be a sinus infection.

Throat

ENTs treat symptoms of throat problems. They can diagnose problems with tonsils and adenoids. This can include sore throat tumors, acid reflux, also known as GERD, and they also treat other conditions associated with vocal cords.

Neck

Other treatments that ENTs offer is for Graves disease and anything related to neck swelling or enlargement.

Sleep

Are you concerned that your little one is not sleeping because of any breathing issues?  They can also help with any kind of sleep problems that your infant or toddler are experiencing, such as snoring. It may seem cute to you that your little one snores but this is not considered normal from an infant or toddler.  If the snoring is persistent, reach out to your doctor.

Surgery

 Plastic surgery is another treatment option they offer for birth defects, deformities, and cleft palates.

All About the Babies

There are many children each year who are diagnosed with recurring and constant ear infections that require further treatment, such as tubes. When a child is left untreated with a serious condition resulting from chronic ear and sinus infections, this can often lead to a developmental delay if there is an excess of fluid in the ear canal reducing your child’s ability to hear and communicate. If you suspect that your child is struggling to hear and has been treated for constant ear infections, reach out to your doctor.


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24/May/2019

The little balloon that is changing the lives of sinus suffers is a great alternative to otherwise more invasive procedures or suffering continued sinusitis symptoms. Since FDA approval of the procedure, doctors have used it to help sufferers of chronic sinusitis as opposed to surgery or other medications.  From 2011 to 2014, there has been a 59% increase in the procedure.  What exactly is this new alternative?  Are you a candidate?  Find out how you may remedy chronic sinusitis.

A balloon sinuplasty or known as DSP is a procedure where a small flexible balloon catheter opens up blocked sinus passageways. This facilitates drainage of the mucus that builds up from chronic sinusitis symptoms. Before balloon sinuplasty, all a person could rely on was a functional endoscopic sinus surgery or conventional medicines.  Despite this is still a successful procedure, many individuals hesitate to undergo invasive surgery of the sinuses. Today, another option using balloon sinuplasty is an effective and safe method for those who are suffering from sinusitis. It is non-surgical and minimally invasive, so there are fewer side effects reported.

Are You a Candidate?

If you are a long-term sufferer of chronic sinusitis, this may be the right procedure for you.  Here is a general list of symptoms of those who are candidates for BSP.

  • Recurrent sinus infections that do not heal with medication.
  • Headaches that are most often felt around your eyes.
  • If you suffer from chronic bad breath or if you have a foul taste in your mouth.
  • If you chronically have difficulty breathing through your nose.
  • Overall chronic nasal problems.

Balloon Sinuplasty

 Since this procedure is minimally invasive, it makes the process simpler than regular surgery.  Patients only have a small amount of downtime with a quick recovery.

  • Once the balloon is inserted, the doctor inflates the balloon and with this, it restructures the walls of the sinus passageway.
  • The procedure is also great at maintaining the integrity of a person’s sinus lining.
  • Recovery is simple and most patients can go home after just a few hours.

Balloon Sinuplasty is Clinically Safe and Effective

  • There is no cutting or incisions made, only minimally invasive.
  • Less pain, minimal bleeding and bruising.
  • Not as much swelling or risk of infection.
  • Most often, no tissue or bone removal is needed.
  • You may not need nasal packing.
  • In less time than traditional surgery, you can resume normal activities in just a couple of days.
  • Patients often report an overall improvement in wellbeing and a better quality of living.
  • Children may also be candidates.

If you are one of the 37 million people who suffer from chronic sinusitis with these symptoms, it may be time to call your doctor to discuss your treatment options. You don’t have to suffer in silence.  Reach out to your doctor and find out if the little balloon that is changing lives can change yours too.


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24/May/2019

Sinus pain can debilitate depending on how severe and how often a person is affected by sinus related health problems.  Sinus pain can be in your face, your temple, behind your eyes, and sometimes, pain can be felt in your upper jaw in the gum area.  Pressure and pain can cause vision-related problems and make daily activities trying.

Your sinuses are cavities of air located in different areas in your face.  Where are your sinus located?  Your maxillary sinuses are the largest and are near your cheekbones.  The low center of your forehead is where the frontal sinus is located and between your eyes are the ethmoid sinus.  In the bones behind your nose is the sphenoid sinus.

When the sinus region of the respiratory system is inflamed, it is called sinusitis.  Infection can also result in the inflammation from a virus, bacteria, or allergies.  A cold or viral infection can resolve on its own most times.  Other times, the cold can turn into a sinus infection from an overgrowth of bacteria.  If a bacterial infection causes inflammation, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics.  However, there are some stubborn cases of chronic sinusitis.  Don’t ignore sinus pain that goes on for several months.

 

When to call the doctor?

If sinusitis symptoms do not improve or worsen, you need to contact your doctor for:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Change in vision
  • Swollen eye socket
  • Neck stiffness
  • Severe sore throat
  • Yellow or green mucus and discharge.

Short-Term Remedies

There are some home remedies you can do to help relieve your short-term symptoms:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid dry environments
  • Keep a humidifier in your home to use when needed.
  • Stay hydrated.

Don’t Ignore Sinus Pain

If you are still suffering for longer than three months, you may have chronic sinusitis that will require more treatment from your doctor.  This chronic condition is still difficult to treat; However, there are some methods to help ease symptoms.   In severe cases left untreated, having an ongoing sinus infection can cause it to spread to the brain or eyes.  If an infection that goes undiagnosed or does not resolve on its own in the rear center of one’s head can spread to the brain leading to meningitis or brain abscess.

Other Causes

For some, sinus care is ongoing and not seasonally as it may be for others.  If your symptoms are every so often, here are some tips.

  • Have your allergies checked.
  • If 10 days pass and you still have sinus-related symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor and let them swab the inside of your nose to make sure there isn’t a bacterial infection.
  • Over-the-counter medicines such as Mucinex may help.
  • Check into nose sprays.

If you are suffering from chronic sinus pain, do not ignore it.  Reach out to your doctor to make sure that there are no other underlying causes of your condition.  If allergies are the main culprit, discuss this and find out what other treatment options are available to you.


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21/May/2019

 

The spring is something many people look forward to while it sends others running away because of allergic reactions to the pollen in the air during allergy season.  When an allergy sufferer braves the pollen-filled landscape, they may sneeze, have a runny nose, itchy eyes and feel exhausted if they are not prepared.  Some may struggle more in the fall and some all year long.  What are some simple things to remedy allergies?

Aside from following your doctor’s recommendations which may already include this list, try these remedies out and experiment.

  1. Use neti pots for sinuses
  2. Keep your windows closed on windy days.
  3. Use a prescription nose spray or saline rinse.
  4. Wash your face after you come in from being outside.
  5. Eat foods high in vitamin C.
  6. Change your air filter frequently.
  7. Use a pillow casing for allergies.
  8. Wash your clothes in hot water that have been exposed to potential allergens (hats, coats, jackets, etc.)
  9. Try to avoid going outside in the morning when pollen is higher.
  10. Vacuum regularly and use a HEPA filter.

As simple as these steps seem, it is amazing how simple lifestyle changes can alter your state of living.  You can order or shop for neti pots and saline.  In addition, there are other retailers to purchase pillowcase covers and air filters.

Allergy Maintenance Is Ongoing

  • Eating a healthy diet that includes a lot of Vitamin C is important in combating the body’s reactions to allergens in your body.
  • How many times have felt tired on days where your allergies are flared?  Your body is responding to those allergens and your adrenal glands need all the help they can get.  On those days where your allergies are getting you down, remember to take your multivitamin that includes vitamin C.
  • When you lay down at night to go to sleep, do you give your pillow any consideration it may harbor tons of allergens? Dust mites, pollen from the outside you carried in with your hair.  Dust itself?  If your pillow is damp from sweat or anything else.  There could be mold.  Even washing your pillow may not be enough.  Having a case that zips closed around your pillow will help keep those pesky allergens at bay.

Breeze Through Allergy Season

There are ways your doctor can help you. If you have tried several methods and have not talked to your doctor, there are things they can do to help.

  • Prescription nose sprays
  • Decongestants
  • Oral antihistamines
  • Allergy testing

If you are suffering from allergies and you feel you could use additional help, talk to your doctor.  Each person is unique and there may be other ways your doctor can help you feel better.  Don’t suffer, breeze through allergy season!


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Cape Fear Otolaryngology is a state of the art practice specializing in ear, nose, and throat treatments for children, teens, and adults. Our practice was designed with patients in mind and our team of highly skilled physicians and staff look forward to serving you and your family.

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