Our medical practice specializes in Otolaryngology – the surgical subspecialty that covers the diagnosis, surgical and medical treatment of diseases of the ear, nose and throat. Some of our services include:
At Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker we are able to diagnose and treat disorders of the upper respiratory tract (ear, nose, throat, etc.) caused by allergic conditions.
To diagnose and treat your allergy problems, Dr. William O. Dickey uses methods that have been shown to not only identify specific allergens, but also to achieve effective control of allergies quickly.
Allergy sufferers should seek treatment with Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker if:
- When the diagnosis of an ear, nose, or throat allergy or cause of an ear, nose, or throat symptom is uncertain.
- When allergy or ear, nose, or throat symptoms are not adequately controlled.
- When special diagnostic allergy tests are needed.
- When specialized treatment such as immunotherapy is needed.
- When other related ear, nose, and throat medical problems, such as chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, fluid in the middle ear, chronic ear infections, deviated septum, vocal disturbances, or enlarged adenoids or tonsils may be present.
- When complications associated with treatment or difficulty in controlling allergy symptoms are affecting the patient’s quality of life.
Inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane is called rhinitis. The symptoms include sneezing and runny and/or itchy nose, caused by irritation and congestion in the nose. There are two types: allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis.
Allergic Rhinitis occurs when the body’s immune system over-responds to specific, non-infectious particles such as plant pollens, molds, dust mites, animal hair, industrial chemicals (including tobacco smoke), foods, medicines, and insect venom.
Non-Allergic Rhinitis symptoms can be triggered by cigarette smoke and other pollutants as well as strong odors, alcoholic beverages, and cold. Other causes may include blockages in the nose, a deviated septum, infections, and over-use of medications such as decongestants.
Have you ever felt like you had a cold that wouldn’t go away? If it hangs around for more than 10 days, or gets worse after it starts getting better, there’s a good chance you have sinusitis, a condition where infection or inflammation affects the sinuses.
Sinusitis, also called rhinosinusitis, affects about 1 in 8 adults annually and generally occurs when viruses or bacteria infect the sinuses (often during a cold) and begin to multiply. Part of the body’s reaction to the infection causes the sinus lining to swell, blocking the channels that drain the sinuses. This causes mucus and pus to fill up the nose and sinus cavities.
You have acute sinusitis when there has been up to 4 weeks of cloudy or colored (not clear) drainage from the nose plus one or both of the following:
- a stuffy, congested, or blocked nose or
- pain, pressure or fullness in the face, head, or around the eyes.
Chronic Sinusitis typically lasts 12 weeks or longer and is usually caused by prolonged inflammation, rather than a longstanding infection.
Because chronic sinusitis is caused more by inflammation than infection, the treatments for chronic sinusitis are meant to control the inflammation. Salt-water nasal irrigation and/or nasal steroid sprays are the main treatments for the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. It may help to look for other factors that can go along with chronic sinusitis and possibly make the problem worse, and have them treated too. Some of these factors are allergies, nasal polyps, asthma, and problems with the body’s ability to fight infections.
Can Surgery Help Sinusitis?
Surgery for the sinuses is done when the symptoms can’t be controlled with medications and other treatments. The most common type of surgery for the sinuses is called endoscopic sinus surgery, because a pencil-sized scope (“endoscope”) is used to see inside the nose and sinuses and guide the surgery. The purpose of the surgery is to widen the natural drainage pathways between the sinuses and the nose, allowing mucus to get out of the sinuses and air to get in. Medications that are delivered to the surface of the nose and sinuses, like sprays and irrigations, can get into the sinuses better after surgery as well.
For more information on rhinitis or sinusitis, call Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker at (303) 840-9690.
Most nosebleeds begin in the lower part of the septum, the semi-rigid wall that separates the two nostrils of the nose. Anterior nosebleeds, nosebleeds coming from the front of the nose, often begin with a flow of blood out one nostril when the patient is sitting or standing. They are common in dry climates or during the winter months when dry, heated indoor air dehydrates the nasal membranes. Dryness may result in crusting, cracking, and bleeding. This can be prevented by placing a light coating of petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment on the end of a fingertip and then rubbing it inside the nose, especially on the middle portion of the nose.
More rarely, a nosebleed can begin high and deep within the nose and flow down the back of the mouth and throat, even if the patient is sitting or standing.
Obviously, when lying down, even anterior (front of nasal cavity) nosebleeds may seem to flow toward the back of the throat, especially if coughing or blowing the nose. It is important to try to make the distinction between the anterior and posterior nosebleed, since posterior nosebleeds are often more severe and almost always require a physician’s care. Posterior nosebleeds are more likely to occur in older people, persons with high blood pressure, and in cases of injury to the nose or face.
When should you contact an ENT specialist?
If frequent nosebleeds are a problem, it is important to call Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker at (303) 840- 9690 for a consultation. Dr. William O. Dickey will examine the nose using an endoscope, a tube with a light for seeing inside the nose, prior to making a treatment recommendation. Usually, most chronic nosebleeds can be managed with a simple cauterization in the office, which will permanently remove the vessel that causes the bleeding. More rarely, packing may be needed. Dr. Dickey has special training in the cauterization technique, which is a more permanent solution and avoids the discomfort of nasal packing- more common in an urgent care, or ER setting. If your nose has been packed, Dr. Dickey should be able to remove the packing and hopefully permanently fix the bleeding.
Snoring may simply be a noise that you might make while asleep. The noise mostly comes from the throat. The tissues in the back of the mouth, the tongue, and the throat naturally relax while you sleep. If they go a step further and begin to flop around as you breath in and out, you make noise. Big tonsils and adenoids are common culprits causing snoring in kids. Also, blocked nasal passages and/or a deviated septum make the snoring that much worse.
What can be done? Make an appointment to see Dr. William O. Dickey of Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker to rule out other medical concerns that could be causing you to snore.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sometime, snoring can be a sign of a more serious problem: Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Apnea means “no breathing.” When a patient has sleep apnea, the throat relaxes and closes off the breathing. This puts significant stress on the body. In order to breathe again you must wake up, open up the throat, and inhale. Sleep apnea is diagnosed if you have more than 5 episodes per hour while asleep.
When a person has Obstructive Sleep Apnea they are tired all of the time leaving them at risk for suffering professional and personal relationships as well as putting them at risk if they get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. A person suffering from apnea is also putting a strain on their heart, lungs, and blood vessels. That is why sleep apnea is associated with high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, anxiety and depression.
At Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker, we can diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. A physical exam is performed on weight, blood pressure and airway constriction in the nose and throat. In many cases, a sleep study is recommended. Call (303) 840-9690 today to make an appointment with one of our specialists.
The ear is made up of three sections: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. These parts work together so you can hear and process sounds. The outer ear, or pinna (the part you can see), picks up sound waves and directs them into the outer ear canal.
These sound waves travel down the ear canal and hit the eardrum, which causes the eardrum to vibrate. When the eardrum vibrates, it moves three tiny bones in your middle ear. The middle ear is a small air-filled space between the eardrum and the inner ear. These bones form a chain and are called the hammer (or malleus), anvil (or incus), and stirrup (or stapes). The movement of these bones transmits and amplifies the sound waves toward the inner ear.
The third bone in the chain, the stapes, interfaces with fluid, which fills the hearing portion of the inner ear — the cochlea. The cochlea is lined with cells that have thousands of tiny hairs on their surfaces. As the fluid wave travels through the cochlea, it causes the tiny hairs to move. The hairs change the mechanical wave into nerve signals. The nerve signals are then transmitted to your brain, which interprets the sound.
People of all ages experience gradual hearing loss, often due to the natural aging process or long exposure to loud noise. Other causes of hearing loss include viruses or bacteria, heart conditions or stroke, head injuries, tumors, and certain medications. Treatment for hearing loss will depend on your diagnosis.
Call Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker today at (303) 840-9690 to make an appointment for a hearing loss consultation.
Dizziness can be described in many ways: feeling lightheaded, unsteady, giddy, or feeling a floating sensation. Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness experienced as an illusion of movement of one’s self or the environment. Some experience dizziness in the form of motion sickness, a nauseating feeling brought on by the motion of riding in an airplane, a roller coaster, or a boat. Dizziness, vertigo, and motion sickness all relate to the sense of balance and equilibrium. Your sense of balance is maintained by a complex interaction of the following parts of the nervous system:
- The inner ear (also called the labyrinth), which monitors the directions of motion, such as turning, rolling, forward-backward, side-to-side, and up-and-down motions.
- The eyes, which monitor where the body is in space (i.e., upside down, right side up, etc.) and also directions of motion.
- The pressure receptors in the joints of the lower extremities and the spine, which tell what part of the body is down and touching the ground.
- The muscle and joint sensory receptors (also called proprioception) tell what parts of the body are moving.
- The central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), which processes all the information from the four other systems to maintain balance and equilibrium.
The symptoms of motion sickness and dizziness appear when the central nervous system receives conflicting messages from the other four systems.
Vertigo is an unpleasant sensation of the world rotating, usually associated with nausea and vomiting. Vertigo usually is due to an issue with the inner ear. The common causes of vertigo are:
Benign Positional Vertigo: Vertigo is experienced after a change in head position such as lying down, turning in bed, looking up, or stooping. It lasts about 30 seconds and ceases when the head is still. It is due to a dislodged otololith crystal entering one of the semicircular balance canals. It can last for days, weeks, or months. The Epley “repositioning” treatment is usually curative.
Meniere’s disease: An inner ear disorder with attacks of vertigo (lasting hours), nausea, or vomiting, and tinnitus (loud noise) in the ear, which often feels blocked or full. There is usually a decrease in hearing as well.
Migraine: Some individuals with a prior classical migraine headache history can experience vertigo attacks similar to Meniere’s disease. Usually there is an accompanying headache, but can also occur without the headache.
Infection: Viruses can attack the inner ear, but usually its nerve connections to the brain, causing acute vertigo (lasting days) without hearing loss (termed vestibular neuronitis). However, a bacterial infection such as mastoiditis that extends into the inner ear can completely destroy both the hearing and equilibrium function of that ear, called labyrinthitis.
Injury: A skull fracture that damages the inner ear produces a profound and incapacitating vertigo with nausea and hearing loss. The dizziness will last for several weeks and slowly improve as the other (normal) side takes over. BPV commonly occurs after head injury.
Allergy: Some people experience dizziness and/or vertigo attacks when they are exposed to foods or airborne particles (such as dust, molds, pollens, dander, etc.) to which they are allergic.
If you’re experiencing any form of repetitive or chronic dizziness, please contact Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker at (303) 840-9690 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.
There are a variety of medical conditions that can lead to voice problems. The most common causes of hoarseness and vocal difficulties are outlined below.
- Acute Laryngitis
- Chronic Laryngitis
- Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease (Lprd)
- Voice Misuse and Overuse
- Benign Vocal Cord Lesions
- Vocal Cord Hemorrhage
- Vocal Cord Paralysis And Paresis
- Laryngeal Cancer
If you become hoarse frequently or notice voice change for an extended period of time, please contact Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker today at (303) 840-9690 for a consultation.
Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia) is common among all age groups, especially the elderly. The term dysphagia refers to the feeling of difficulty passing food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach. This may be caused by many factors, most of which are temporary and not threatening. Difficulties in swallowing rarely represent a more serious disease, such as a tumor or a progressive neurological disorder. When the difficulty does not clear up by itself in a short period of time, you should consult with one of our specialists at Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker.
Symptoms of swallowing disorders may include:
- Feeling that food or liquid is sticking in the throat
- Discomfort in the throat or chest (when gastro esophageal reflux is present)
- A sensation of a foreign body or lump in the throat
- Weight loss and inadequate nutrition due to prolonged or more significant problem with swallowing
- Coughing or choking caused by bits of food, liquid, or saliva not passing easily during swallowing, and being sucked into the lungs
- Voice change
In order to diagnose the cause of a swallowing problem one of our specialists will look into your throat. This is usually done with a small scope in the office that is inserted through the nose. This procedure provides visualization of the back of the tongue, throat, and larynx (voice box).
Many of these disorders can be treated with medication. Drugs that slow stomach acid production, muscle relaxants, and antacids are a few of the many medicines available. Treatment is tailored to the particular cause of the swallowing disorder.
If you believe you’re suffering from a swallowing disorder, please contact Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker today at (303) 840-9690 for a consultation.
- An overactive gland, called hyperthyroidism (e.g., Graves disease, toxic adenoma or toxic nodular goiter)
- An underactive gland, called hypothyroidism (e.g., Hashimoto’s, thyroiditis)
- Thyroid enlargement due to overactivity (as in Graves disease) or from under-activity (as in hypothyroidism). An enlarged thyroid gland is often called a goiter.
Patients with a family history of thyroid cancer or who had radiation therapy to the head or neck as children for acne, adenoids, or other reasons are more prone to develop thyroid malignancy.
If you thing you may have a thyroid disorder or disease, call Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker at (303) 840-9690.
The Eustachian tube, a tube that normally drains fluid from the middle ear, can become plugged and infected. This buildup of fluid presses on the eardrum, causing pain. If left untreated, an infection can cause the eardrum to rupture. Eustachian tubes in children are smaller and more horizontal, so they can become plugged more easily. This is why ear infections occur more commonly in children.
A chronic ear infection can cause milder symptoms than an acute ear infection. Symptoms may affect one or both ears and may be constant or come and go. Signs include:
- a feeling of pressure in the ear
- mild ear pain
- fluid draining from ears
- low fever
- hearing loss
- trouble sleeping
If you or your child is having symptoms of an acute ear infection, which includes ear pain, fever, and trouble hearing, call Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker at (303) 840-9690.
The causes of a chronic sore throat may be due to an infection, chemical or mechanical injuries or some other cause of persistent inflammation. Identifying the cause depends on the other signs and symptoms present, apart from the sore throat, as well as considering the patient’s medical history. At times diagnosing the cause of the sore throat may require a neck x-ray, CT scan or laryngoscopy.
A chronic sore throat may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms:
- Changes in the voice, especially hoarseness.
- Painful swallowing (odynophagia).
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Chronic cough or constant clearing of the throat.
If you believe you are suffering from a chronic sore throat, call Ear, Nose & Throat of Parker at (303) 840-9690.