Otolaryngology is the branch of medicine and surgery that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and head and neck disorders. Otolaryngologists are trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), and related structures of the head and neck.
Our ENT services at the Princeton office of Dr. Nicole Schrader include diagnostics and treatment for sinusitis, sinus surgery, sleep apnea, sleep disorders, facial plastic surgery, laser surgery, nasal and laser endoscopic sinus surgery, voice disorders, pediatric ENT care, and rhinoplasty. We offer a variety of specialized procedures that utilizes the latest technology.
If you are looking for an ENT specialist in Princeton, please request a consultation online, or call Dr. Schraders’ office at 609-279-0009.
Allergy and Asthma
At least one out of every 5 Americans suffers from allergies. Common causes of allergy symptoms include food allergies such as peanut allergy or milk allergy, and seasonal allergies resulting from grass, weed, tree pollen, or various molds. Cat allergies and dog allergies can also cause miserable symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, and wheezing. Allergic skin conditions can cause a rash and itchy skin. Allergies can lead to more severe health problems including sinusitis and asthma.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as many as half of all people with moderate to severe asthma also have chronic sinusitis. Along with all the problems caused by asthma, having sinusitis can be tough to handle. It can make you feel sick and miserable. Without good treatment, it can last for months or even years. What’s worse, one condition can worsen the other. Sinusitis has been associated with more severe cases of asthma. Not only does having asthma increase the odds of getting a sinus infection, but a sinus infection can make your asthma harder to control.
There are lots of treatments available for both sinus infections and asthma. Studies show that treating one condition often helps relieve the symptoms of the other.
We can provide a diagnosis and a comprehensive plan of treatment.
Ear Disorders, Ear Infections
The unique domain of otolaryngologists is the treatment of ear disorders. They are trained in both the medical and surgical treatment of hearing loss, ear infections, balance disorders, ear noise (tinnitus), and some cranial nerve disorders. Otolaryngologists also manage congenital (birth) disorders of the outer and inner ear.
Ear problems may be caused by different health problems. In children, ear pain is more likely to be a symptom of an infection, inflammation, or fluid buildup in the external or middle ear. Ear pain at any age may be a symptom of acute otitis media or infection of the middle ear, otitis externa or inflammation or infection of the ear canal, or otitis media with effusion or buildup of fluid behind the eardrum. Ear problems can also be genetic or caused by injury. Common injuries include, a fall or direct blow to the side of the head, loud noises, atmospheric pressure changes (barotrauma,) swimmer’s ear, forceful cleaning of the ear canal, burns, frostbite, and objects placed in the ear.
Seeing a physician that is also an otolaryngologist is recommended because the ear shares nerves with other parts of the face, eyes, jaw, teeth, and upper neck. Pain in the ear may be coming from another part of the head or neck also called referred ear pain. Causes of referred ear pain can include dental problems, jaw pain (temporomandibular disorder,) salivary gland infection, or a sinus infection.
Sinus Disease and Sinusitis
About 35 million people develop chronic sinusitis each year, making it one of the most common health complaints in America. Care of the nasal cavity and sinuses is one of the primary skills of otolaryngologists. Problems in the nasal area include allergies, smell disorders, polyps, and nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum. Otolaryngologists can also correct the appearance of the nose (rhinoplasty surgery.)
The nasal septum is the wall between the nostrils that separates the two nasal passages. It supports the nose and directs airflow. The septum is made of thin bone in the back and cartilage in the front. A deviated septum occurs when the cartilage or bone is not straight. A crooked septum can make breathing difficult. The condition also can lead to snoring and sleep apnea.
The septum can bend to one side or another as a part of normal growth during childhood and puberty. Also, the septum can be deviated at birth (congenital) or because of an injury, such as a broken nose. Very few people have a perfectly straight septum.
Surgery to straighten the septum is called septoplasty, submucous resection of the septum, or septal reconstruction. The surgery may be done along with other procedures to treat chronic sinusitis, inflammation, or bleeding, or to correct sleep apnea. Septoplasty also may be done to allow access into the nose to remove nasal polyps. In general, septoplasty is needed only when breathing problems or snoring does not get better without surgery.
Before surgery, the doctor may use a thin, lighted instrument (endoscope) to look at your nasal passages and to see the shape of your septum. In some cases, the endoscope may be used during surgery. The septum and nasal passages are lined with a layer of soft tissue called the nasal mucosa. To repair the septum, the surgeon works through the nostrils, making an incision to separate the mucosa from the underlying cartilage and bone. The doctor trims or straightens the bent cartilage and then replaces the mucosa over the cartilage and bone.
Throat Disorders/Reflux Disease
An otolaryngologist expertise is in managing diseases of the larynx (voice box) and the upper aero-digestive tract or esophagus, including voice and swallowing disorders.
Everyone knows what a sore throat feels like. It is one of the most common health complaints, particularly during the colder months of the year, when respiratory diseases are at their peak. Typically the raw, scratchy, burning feeling at the back of your throat is the first sign you’ll have of a cold or the flu on the way. But a sore throat can also be the first symptom of more serious conditions, so you should watch how it develops and call your doctor if there are any signs that you have more than the run-of-the-mill type.
Call your doctor about a sore throat if:
- You also have a fever higher than 101 degrees without other cold symptoms; this may indicate a case of strep throat that needs treatment.
- You also have flu-like symptoms that don’t get better after a few days; this may indicate infectious mononucleosis.
- Your child or adolescent suffers flu-like symptoms. Since the outbreak of the H1N1 virus, flu-like symptoms in these populations should be attended to as quickly as possible.
- Any pain or hoarseness lasting longer than two weeks; this could be a sign of throat cancer or oral cancer. Your sore throat persists for more than a week and is accompanied by postnasal drip, sneezing, and itchy eyes; this may be a sign of allergies that require medical attention.
- Your sore throat is accompanied by drooling, or you experience difficulty swallowing or breathing; this may indicate an inflamed epiglottis, the structure that overhangs the opening to the larynx, or an abscess in the back of the throat; these two uncommon conditions require immediate medical attention.
- Your sore throat is accompanied by pain that moves to the ear; this may be a sign of a more serious problem.
Why should I see an Otolaryngologist?
These specialists differ from many physicians in that they are trained in both medicine and surgery. Otolaryngologists do not need to refer patients to other physicians when ear, nose, throat, or head/neck surgery is needed and, therefore, can offer the most appropriate care for each individual patient. Otolaryngologists are the most appropriate physicians to treat disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck.
Dr. Schrader has 10 years experience, over 6 years in private practice in the Philadelphia area and performed hundreds of otolarynology or ears nose and throat procedures and other cosmetic procedures.
Plastic surgery involves many choices. The first and most important is selecting a surgeon you can trust. Choosing a good facial plastic surgeon ensures that you have selected a physician who:
- Is trained and experienced in all facial plastic surgery procedures
- Operates only in accredited medical facilities
- Adheres to a strict code of ethics
- Is board certified by The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS)
Click here to request your consultation with Dr. Schrader.