Why Do I Get a Sore Throat When I Exercise?

Two main causes of sore throats during exercise are nasal obstruction and acid reflux.

Poor Airflow Through the Nose

Poor flow of air through the nose makes it harder to get enough oxygen, especially during a workout. We are inclined to open our mouths to breathe better, especially when we are out of shape. And many of us who are in shape find it more comfortable to breathe through the mouth, particularly when the nose is not working properly. Read more

The Reflux Dilemma

Many people are all-too familiar with acid reflux and how it can potentially affect us. We know the classic symptoms of indigestion and “heartburn” (GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease). Some of us experience less common symptoms that affect the throat, such as chronic cough, throat clearing, hoarseness, a feeling of a lump in the throat, and post-nasal drip (LPR or laryngopharyngeal reflux disease). Read more

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a nighttime event during which a person will repeatedly stop and start breathing while asleep, causing the level of oxygen in the blood to drop, as well as waking the body and disturbing healthy sleep. Severity of the condition varies from mild to severe, depending on how many times and how low the oxygen level goes down.

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What Is Chronic Sinusitis?

Located over the forehead, between the eyes, over the cheeks and behind the nose, the sinuses are air cavities in the skull that are surrounded by bone and lined with mucous membranes, the “skin” that covers the inside of the nose and sinuses. This membrane has glands that produce mucous, and hair cells (“cilia”) that move the mucous and filter the air. The sinuses and the nasal cavity—whose job it is to warm and filter the air as it passes through the nose during breathing—produce 1 liter of mucous daily, which naturally moistens the nose and throat and helps in the initial process of food digestion. When the mucous gets trapped in the sinuses and/or the sinuses are not breathing well, sinus pressure and possibly sinus infections will occur. Read more

The Q-Tip Dilemma: Safe to Use in Ears?

When purchasing a box of cotton swabs (Q-Tips), we usually have one use in mind—cleaning our ears—even though the box provides no instructions on how to do so. Instructions for the use of cotton swabs range from cleaning the grout between your tiles to make up-removal and the cleaning of electronics. In today’s litigious society, ear trauma with a cotton swab is considered the “fault of the user, not the supplier.” Read more

What Is Deviated Nasal Septum?

What is a deviated septum, and do I have one?

The septum is the cartilage and bone that divide the right side of the nose from the left—it is the “tent pole” that holds the nose up. When this structure is deviated, it simply means it is shifted to one side, the other or both. Everyone has a deviated septum to some extent; even after septal surgery, the septum will never be perfectly strait. It may be very mild and not noticeable or severe enough to compromise the nasal breathing. Read more

Chronic Cough: Why Am I Always Coughing?

Question:

Why am I always coughing? Is it allergy? Is it asthma? Do I have an infection? I took 2 courses of antibiotics but my chronic cough did not go away, so I had a chest X-ray, which was normal. I took allergy medication, and it still did not go away. My doctor gave me inhalers to treat asthma and the cough is still there. The only thing that helps is cough syrup, but I am tired of taking that. Some days I feel better and I think the problem has resolved, but the next day the cough is back. Read more