Health & Wellness

Earses, and Noses, and Throatses, Oh My!

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 Ears, noses, and throats; unless we’re doing a curbside sobriety test or playing an epic game of “Simon Says,” these are things we rarely think about. We hear, we’re good, we breathe, we’re good, we swallow without pain, we’re good; but if any of these vital organs malfunction, the misery can be literally suffocating! 

That’s where Otorhinolaryngologists come in. That certified mouthful of a title is reserved for the highest levels of ear, nose, and throat specialists; those awesome doctors who keep the organs we routinely take for granted working in tip top order. 

Bermudians suffer from a long list of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) ailments, but some are more common than others here. I recently asked Dr Philip Bell, Consultant Otorhinolaryngologist and Head and Neck Surgeon at ENT Bermuda Limited what the most common ENT problems he treats are; here’s how he responded: 

“I see a wide variety of ear, nose, and throat conditions here in Bermuda. Due to our warm and humid climate and outdoor lifestyle some conditions are more common. 

“I frequently see patients at my office with ear infections. These often occur after swimming in the ocean or a swimming pool. Ensuring our ears are adequately dried after swimming can often prevent infections from happening but if this is not possible and an infection has begun, having the ears professionally cleaned at the office and the use of antibiotics will often improve things quickly.” 

Commonly known as “Swimmer’s Ear” a water induced earache can be immensely painful. This is the kind of thing that will take your daily routine from not thinking about your ears at all, to thinking about nothing but your ears! 

Dr Bell continues, “I also see many patients with sinus infections and allergies. This can lead to symptoms of headache, postnasal drip, and changes in your sense of taste and smell. Simple measures such as rinsing the nose with saline and avoidance of triggering allergens can often make significant improvements but if symptoms are ongoing, having the nasal cavity and sinuses inspected in the office can allow for a more detailed treatment plan. 

“Finally, I see a large number of patients with vertigo. There are many causes of vertigo and, as a result, having the appropriate work up to gain the correct diagnosis is essential. Vertigo can often be disabling and frightening for patients to experience. In many cases vertigo can be successfully treated in the office with particle repositioning manoeuvres or vestibular rehabilitation.” 

I had vertigo once. I didn’t like it. It was very frightening; like the earth was shaking like a wet dog and I was a droplet of water. I still don’t know how I held on to be honest. The presense of these highly trained specialist doctors in Bermuda is, therefore, a blessing, and they should be consulted whenever those routine, everyday activities like eating, drinking, breathing, and hearing become difficult. 

Dr Bell can be found at ENT Bermuda; go see him when the mundane becomes a source of misery. Alternately, find one of several other ENT Specialists practicing in Bermuda. Taking care of the mundane will, after all, invariably lead to a better life. 

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