Most common otorhinolaryngological diseases
Sinusitis is swelling of the sinuses, usually caused by an infection. Symptoms include pain around cheeks, eyes and forehead, blocked nose, reduced sense of smell, mucus from the nose, headache, fever, toothache, and bad breath. Common causes and risk factors include upper respiratory tract infections, allergies, nasal polyps, deviated nasal septum, smoking and having a weakened immune system. Chronic sinusitis occurs when symptoms last for longer than 12 weeks.
Ear inflammation (otitis)can affect the inner or outer part of the ear. Inner ear infections (otitis media) usually affect children and are caused by viruses like colds and flu. Outer ear infections (otitis externa) usually affect adults and are caused by irritation to the ear canal caused by eczema, water or wearing ear plugs. Ear infections usually get better by themselves in about 3 days. If not, antibiotic, antifungal, or steroid drops might be prescribed. There are some serious complications of ear infections, including; hearing loss, ear drum perforation, cholesteatoma (can cause meningitis and brain abscesses), mastoiditis, labyrinthitis, and facial paralysis.
Sore throats are usually caused by viruses like colds and flu. Symptoms can be pain, dryness, redness, bad breath, cough, and swollen glands. Most sore throats will get better without treatment but you should see a doctor if you have difficulty breathing or swallowing, your sore throat does not get better in a week, you get frequent sore throats, you have a very high temperature with sore throat, or you have a weakened immune system.
Tonsillitis is a common childhood illness, but teenagers and adults can get it too. Tonsillitis can feel like a bad cold or flu. The tonsils at the back of the throat will be red and swollen and there may be white, pus-filled spots on them. It usually lasts about 3-4 days. If it is too painful to eat or drink or symptoms do not go away on their own in 4 days, then a doctor might give antibiotics. Sometimes an abscess can form behind the tonsils, called quinsy, and this will have to be treated with incision and drainage and antibiotics in hospital. It is quite rare to require surgery to remove tonsils but it may be suggested if tonsillitis is recurrent.
Glandular fever mostly affects teenagers and adults and has very similar symptoms to tonsillitis. It is caused by a virus so antibiotics will not help (giving antibiotics for glandular fever can cause a rash, which is often mistaken for an allergy). It will get better by itself in 2-3 weeks. It is very infectious so you should stay off work or school until you feel better.
Allergic rhinitis is an acute inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane caused by the most common allergen—pollen. The main symptoms include itchiness, sneezing, watery discharge, red and watery eyes. Allergic rhinitis is currently the most common allergic disorder.