Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Otolaryngology

  • What is cleft palate? Cleft palate is a treatable birth defect. It happens when the roof of the baby's mouth (palate) doesn't develop normally during pregnancy, leaving an opening (cleft) in the palate that may go through to the nasal cavity. A cleft can form on any part of the palate, including the front part of the...

  • Guides through decision to treat fluid buildup in the middle ear. Discusses risks and benefits of treatment such as ear tubes, antibiotics, and adenoid surgery. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to have a probing procedure done for your baby's blocked tear ducts. Discusses why a doctor may recommend a probing procedure for your baby. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Learn how temporary ear tubes help treat ear infections.

  • Learn about treatment choices for sleep apnea.

  • Seasonal allergies are not fun. But you can learn how to manage them and feel better.

  • Learn about sinusitis and how you can care for yourself at home.

  • Learn how to clean and care for your trach.

  • What is nonallergic rhinitis? Rhinitis is inflammation and swelling in the nose. It is often triggered by an allergy. Nonallergic rhinitis is the term used for rhinitis that has no known cause. It may also be called vasomotor rhinitis. What causes rhinitis? Triggers that can cause inflammation and...

  • Take a minute to learn about a sore throat and what you can do to feel better.

  • Learn how to clean and care for your child's trach.

  • Here's help with giving your child eardrops.

  • Learn about your child's laryngoscopy, how to prepare, and how it's done.

  • Find out what to expect when your child has a tonsillectomy.

  • Find out what you can do at home to care for your child after a tonsillectomy.

  • Find out what cochlear implant surgery is and how to prepare for it.

  • Learn what a strep test is and how it's done.

  • Find out what you can do at home to care for your child after a cochlear implant.

  • Find out what to expect and how to prepare for a thyroidectomy.

  • Find out how you'll feel after a thyroidectomy and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • This article covers the basics of COVID-19, including common symptoms, treatment, the course of the disease, and how to care for yourself.

  • Find out what to expect and how to prepare for surgery to remove one or more of the parathyroid glands.

  • Find out how you'll feel after a parathyroidectomy and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Find out what COVID-19 is, how it's spread, its symptoms, and how to protect yourself and others.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself if you have COVID-19 and find out ways to prevent spreading it to others.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and find out ways to prevent spreading it to others.

  • Learn what social distancing means and why it's important to keep your distance.

  • Discover things you can do to while keeping a social distance.

  • Learn the 5 steps to hand-washing.

  • The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus. It is an illness that was first found in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It has since spread worldwide. The virus can cause fever, cough, and trouble breathing. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and make it hard to breathe without help. It can cause...

  • During the coronavirus outbreak, learn what to do if you do if you feel sick.

  • Covers commons allergies, including food, medicine, insect stings, and animals. Covers seasonal allergies like hay fever. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Guides through decision to have your child have a tonsillectomy for tonsillitis. Includes common reasons to have a tonsillectomy. Describes how this surgery is done. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccine can prevent infection with some types of human papillomavirus. HPV infections can cause certain types of cancers including: cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women, penile cancer in men, and anal cancers in both men and women HPV vaccine prevents infection...

  • Provides links to info on sore throats, ear infections, and sinusitis. Also has info on mononucleosis tests and decision aids for sleep apnea and allergies.

  • Links to information on colds and flu. Covers at-home treatment for cold and flu symptoms, the flu vaccine, prevention of colds and flu, and medicines for the flu.

  • Choking is usually caused by food or an object stuck in the windpipe. For tips to avoid choking, see preventing choking. A person who is choking cannot talk, cough, or breathe, and may turn gray or blue. The Heimlich maneuver can help get the food or object out. WARNING: Do not try the Heimlich maneuver...

  • Briefly discusses causes of coughs, including common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, GERD, COPD, choking, or chemicals in the air. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Briefly discusses causes of coughs in children, including common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, allergies, choking, or chemicals in the air. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for sleep apnea. Discusses problems like depression and high blood pressure associated with lack of treatment. Covers alternatives to surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to have sleep study to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. Includes pros such as diagnosis that can lead to treatment. Also offers cons such as cost. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Anosmia (say "ay-NAWZ-mee-uh") is the loss of the sense of smell. It can be a problem by itself or a symptom of another health problem. It can last a short time, such as when you have a stuffy nose from a cold, or it can be permanent. Some people...

  • Guides through the decision to be screened for sexually transmitted infections. Explains STIs and discusses causes and lifestyles that put you at higher risk for getting infected. Covers benefits and risks of testing. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Learn how the Epley maneuver can help you get rid of your vertigo.

  • Learn simple head movements to help with vertigo and balance problems.

  • What are pressure injuries from scuba diving? Scuba diving can expose you to high waves and dangerous sea life. But the more likely dangers are those you can't see. You can be injured if your body isn't able to adjust to the increasing and decreasing pressure of the water as you breathe compressed air. Pressure...

  • Learn how to use a rubber bulb to remove mucus from a baby's nose.

  • Learn simple steps you can use to stop a nosebleed.

  • Learn why antibiotics shouldn't be prescribed to children who have a cold or flu.

  • Guides through decision to get the HPV vaccine. Explains the vaccination process. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Learn what sleep apnea is and why it's important to treat it.

  • Learn how CPAP works and how to use a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea.

  • Learn ways to get past common problems with using CPAP.

  • Learn about the different ways that sleep apnea can affect the quality of your life.

  • Learn about the benefits of treating sleep apnea.

  • Learn what bronchoscopy is and how it is done.

  • Learn what you can do to help with throat pain and eating challenges caused by cancer treatment.

  • Learn about ear infections and how you can care for your child at home.

  • The flu and the common cold are both types of upper respiratory infections (URIs). Both are caused by viruses. But the flu is not the same as the common cold. Flu symptoms are usually much worse than a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly and...

  • Learn what a tracheostomy is and how it is done.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself at home after a tracheostomy.

  • The loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop to remove genital warts by heating the margin of the area to be removed, which separates the wart from the skin. LEEP is done in a doctor's office, clinic, or hospital on an outpatient basis. A local anesthetic is injected...

  • Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped glands throughout the body. They are part of the lymph system, which carries fluid (lymph fluid), nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream. The lymph system is an important part of...

  • Guides you through decision to have allergy-shot immunotherapy to treat allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and allergic asthma. Explains how allergy shots work. Covers who should not have them. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Covers how broken noses can happen. Discusses symptoms such as nose pain, swelling, and crooked or bent appearance. Covers diagnosis and treatment. Also covers possible complications, such as infection and breathing difficulty.

  • If emergency care is not needed, the following steps will protect the wound and protect you from another person's blood. Before you try to stop the bleeding: Wash your hands well with soap and water, if available. Put on medical gloves, if available, before applying pressure to the wound. If gloves are...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause ringing in the ears (tinnitus). A few examples are: Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Some blood pressure and heart medicines. Some antidepressants. Some cancer medicines. If ringing in the ears occurs after you...

  • Vocal cord dysfunction is the uncontrolled closing of the vocal cords when you breathe in. The symptoms can seem to be the same as those of asthma and may occur alone or along with asthma. If you have asthma and vocal cord dysfunction, it may be...

  • Feeding a baby who has cleft palate can be a challenge. Your baby may have a problem making a tight seal between his or her mouth and the nipple. But with a little preparation, you can successfully feed your baby with breast milk or formula. A...

  • A rubber (aspirating) bulb can be used to remove mucus from a baby's nose or mouth when a cold or allergies make it hard for the baby to eat or sleep. It is best to use the rubber bulb to clean the baby's nose before feedings and before the baby...

  • Dizziness is a word that is often used to describe two different feelings. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say "I feel dizzy," because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the list of possible problems. Lightheadedness is a feeling that you are about to faint or "pass out."...

  • Ear pain in children may be a sign of an infection in the space behind the eardrum ( middle ear). Ear infections (otitis media) most commonly occur when cold symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose and a cough, have been present for a few days. An...

  • Ear problems may be caused by many different health problems. In children, ear pain is more likely to be a symptom of an inflammation, infection, or fluid buildup in the external or middle ear. But ear pain at any age may be a symptom of: Infection of the middle ear ( acute otitis media). Inflammation or infection of...

  • Earwax is a naturally produced substance that protects the ear canal. It is a mixture of skin, sweat, hair, and debris (such as shampoo and dirt) held together with a fluid secreted by glands inside the ear canal (ceruminous glands). The ear canals are self-cleaning. Earwax helps filter dust, keeps the ears clean, and...

  • At one time or another, everyone has had a minor facial injury that caused pain, swelling, or bruising. Home treatment is usually all that is needed for mild bumps or bruises. Causes of facial injuries Facial injuries most commonly occur during: Sports or recreational activities, such as ice hockey, basketball...

  • Facial problems can be caused by a minor problem or a serious condition. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, or facial weakness or numbness. You may feel these symptoms in your teeth, jaw, tongue, ear, sinuses, eyes, salivary glands, blood vessels,...

  • Cryotherapy (cryosurgery) destroys genital warts by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. A doctor applies liquid nitrogen to and around the warts. First, the tissue is frozen with liquid nitrogen. Then, the tissue is allowed to thaw. The tissue is frozen again, if needed. The time of application varies by the doctor...

  • A laser can be used to destroy genital warts. Laser surgery may be done in a doctor's office or clinic, a hospital, or an outpatient surgery center. Local or general anesthetic may be used depending on the number of warts to be removed or the size of the area to be treated. For women, abnormal cervical cell changes...

  • Your doctor may take a sample, or biopsy, of abnormal tissue. The majority of warts do not require a biopsy. But a biopsy may be taken if genital warts cannot be easily identified with a physical exam or during a gynecology exam with a lighted magnifying instrument ( colposcopy). A microscopic exam on the biopsied...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is also called genital warts. Looks at treatment with medicines, lasers, surgery, or freezing. Covers prevention and shots of HPV vaccine.

  • Includes info on hearing loss. Discusses causes and symptoms like tinnitus, muffled hearing, and vertigo. Covers exams and tests used to diagnose hearing loss. Discusses treatment with medicine, hearing aids, or cochlear implant.

  • Explains what allergy-shot immunotherapy is, why it is done, and what allergies it can help. Covers how it is done, how well it works, and what to expect after treatment. Covers risk factors.

  • Many over-the-counter medicines are available to control symptoms of allergies, including allergic rhinitis. These medicines work well but can have side effects. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. It is usually best to take only single-ingredient allergy or cold preparations...

  • The eye is shaped like a round ball, with a slight bulge at the front. The eye has three main layers. These layers lie flat against each other and form the eyeball. The outer layer of the eyeball is a tough, white, opaque membrane called the sclera (the white of the eye). The slight bulge in the sclera at...

  • Ear tubes are plastic and shaped like a hollow spool. Doctors suggest tubes for children who have repeat ear infections or when fluid stays behind the eardrum. A specialist ( otolaryngologist) places the tubes through a small surgical opening made in the eardrum (myringotomy or tympanostomy). The child is unconscious...

  • What is cleft lip? Cleft lip is a treatable birth defect. It happens when the tissues of the upper jaw and nose don't join as expected during fetal development. This causes a split (cleft) in the lip. A cleft lip may be complete or incomplete. With either type, it may involve one or both sides of the upper lip...

  • Radioactive iodine, given in a capsule or liquid form, is absorbed and concentrated by the thyroid gland. The treatment destroys thyroid tissue but does not harm other tissue in the body. See a picture of the thyroid gland. While radiation can cause thyroid cancer, treatment of hyperthyroidism with radioactive iodine...

  • What are thyroid nodules? Thyroid nodules are growths or lumps in the thyroid gland in the front of your neck. This gland controls how your body uses energy. Most thyroid nodules are not cancer and do not cause problems. Many don't even need treatment. Sometimes a thyroid nodule can cause problems. Sometimes a...

  • Complications from ear infections are rare, but they can arise. Some problems that can occur include: Trouble hearing. Hearing problems are usually mild to moderate and are usually temporary. Long-lasting hearing loss is rare. But some children may...

  • Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a problem that is present at birth. It happens when the tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth (lingual frenulum) is too short. This can limit the movement of the tongue. See a picture of tongue-tie....

  • Oral cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in any part of the mouth or lips. Most oral cancers start in the lining of the lips or mouth where you have thin, flat cells called squamous cells. This type of cancer may also be called oral cavity cancer or oropharyngeal cancer. Risk factors (things that increase your...

  • Tympanocentesis is the removal of fluid from behind the eardrum. The doctor uses a special needle with a tube attached to collect the sample of fluid. A culture and sensitivity test is usually done on the sample of fluid. Before the test, your child may get medicine to help him or her relax. Or a doctor or nurse may...

  • Tympanometry tests the movement of the eardrum when an ear infection or other middle ear problem is suspected. A doctor places the tip of a handheld tool into the child's ear. The tool changes the air pressure inside the ear and produces a clear tone. Then the tool measures how the eardrum responds to the pressure and...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic covers infections of the middle ear, commonly called ear infections. For information on outer ear infections, see the topic Ear Canal Problems (Swimmer's Ear). For information on inner ear infections, see the topic Labyrinthitis. What is a middle ear infection? The middle ear is the...

  • The Epley and Semont maneuvers are exercises used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). They are done with the assistance of a doctor or physical therapist. A single 10- to 15-minute session usually is all that is needed. When your head is firmly moved into different positions, the calcium crystal...

  • The Brandt-Daroff exercise is one of several exercises intended to speed up the compensation process and end the symptoms of vertigo. It often is prescribed for people who have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and sometimes for labyrinthitis. These exercises will not cure these conditions. But over time they...

  • When you swallow food, liquid, or an object, what is swallowed passes from your mouth through your throat and esophagus into your stomach. A swallowed object will usually pass through the rest of your digestive tract without problems and show up in your stool in a few days. If food or a nonfood item gets stuck along the...

  • Swimmer's ear (otitis externa) is a painful inflammation and infection of the ear canal. It occurs when the protective film that covers the ear canal (lipid layer) is removed. This causes the ear canal to look red and swollen. The ear canal may be narrower than normal and is tender when the outside of the ear is gently...

  • Electrocautery removes genital warts on the penis, vulva, or around the anus by burning them with a low-voltage electrified probe. Electrocautery is usually done in a doctor's office or a clinic. The injection of a numbing medicine ( local anesthetic) is usually used for pain control. Medicine that causes...

  • Visible genital warts on the penis or vagina or around the anus are removed by excision, which means cutting the warts off with a surgical knife (scalpel). Warts on the cervix may be removed by laser or loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP). The procedure is usually done in a doctor's office or clinic or an outpatient...

  • What is Ménière's disease? Ménière's (say "men-YEERS") disease is an inner ear problem that affects your hearing and balance. It normally occurs in only one ear at a time. But over time, it develops in the other ear in up to half of those who have it. The disease usually occurs in people ages 40 to 60, but anyone can...

  • An ear exam is a thorough check of the ears. It is done to screen for ear problems, such as hearing loss, ear pain, discharge, lumps, or objects in the ear. An ear exam can find problems in the ear canal, eardrum, and middle ear. These problems may include infection, too much earwax, or an object like a bean or a bead...

  • Laryngoscopy is an examination that lets your doctor look at the back of your throat, your voice box (larynx), and vocal cords with a scope (laryngoscope). There are two types of laryngoscopy, and each uses different equipment. Indirect laryngoscopy Indirect laryngoscopy is done in a doctor's office using a small...

  • A thyroid biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the thyroid gland and looked at under a microscope for cancer, infection, or other thyroid problems. The thyroid gland is found in front of the windpipe (trachea), just below the voice box (larynx). A sample of thyroid tissue can be...

  • Discusses benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Distinguishes between dizziness and a feeling of spinning (vertigo). Covers how it is diagnosed. Discusses treatment with head exercises (Epley and Semont maneuvers) and medicines.

  • What are labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis? Labyrinthitis (say "lab-uh-rin-THY-tus") is a problem inside the inner ear. It happens when the labyrinth, a part of the inner ear that helps control your balance, gets swollen and inflamed. Vestibular neuritis is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve. The nerve is...

  • Tears normally drain from the eye through small tubes called tear ducts, which stretch from the eye into the nose. If a tear duct becomes blocked or fails to open, tears cannot drain from the eye properly. The duct may fill with fluid and become...

  • What are cold sores? Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. Often the first sign of a cold sore is a spot that tingles, burns, or itches. A blister usually forms within 24 hours. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The...

  • Discusses allergic rhinitis. Covers common immediate and chronic symptoms. Looks at what increases risk. Covers treatment options. Offers prevention and treatment tips.

  • Pollen, molds, dust mites, or animal dander cause most allergic rhinitis and trigger asthma attacks in some people. Plants make pollen. The pollens that can cause allergies are usually from trees, grasses, or weeds. These pollens are small, light,...

  • If you have heart failure, it is important that you do as much as possible to avoid catching colds, the flu, and other respiratory infections. Although these may be relatively minor illnesses in healthy people, they are more dangerous if you have heart failure, and you are at higher risk for dangerous complications...

  • Your esophagus is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. It moves food and liquid down to the stomach. Esophagus tests can check how well the muscles in the tube work, how strong the tube is, and the pH (acid content) of the tube. They also can find out how much gas, liquid, and solid move through the...

  • Snoring is a major symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But even though most people who have sleep apnea snore, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when the flow of air from the mouth or nose to the lungs is disturbed...

  • Fiber-optic pharyngoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look into the upper part of your respiratory system. He or she may use it to help decide how to treat your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). You remain awake during the procedure. Your...

  • Oral devices (also called oral appliances) are sometimes used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). They push the tongue and jaw forward, which makes the airway larger and improves airflow. This also reduces the chance that tissue will collapse...

  • Continuous positive airway pressure therapy ( CPAP) uses a machine to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) breathe more easily during sleep. A CPAP machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn't collapse when you breathe in. When you use CPAP, your bed partner may sleep better...

  • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are surgeries to remove the tonsils or adenoids. They are: Used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children. Rarely used to treat snoring in adults. Not used to treat snoring in children. The surgeries almost always require a stay in the hospital.

  • Information on uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Explains that UPPP is a procedure to remove excess tissue in the throat to make the airway wider. Discusses effectiveness and risks.

  • Discusses tracheostomy to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This surgery is done only for severe OSA. Explains that permanent opening in windpipe is created. Discusses possible complications, including lung infection, trouble talking, or scar tissue.

  • Focuses on obstructive sleep apnea. Discusses causes, including narrowed airways and obesity. Covers symptoms like snoring, gasping during sleep, and daytime sleepiness. Info on treatment with CPAP and oral or nasal breathing devices.

  • Explains surgery to take out tonsils because of strep throat infections or tonsillitis. Gives info on what to expect after surgery, such as sore throat. Explains how child may feel and act after surgery. Also includes info on risks.

  • Explains rapid strep test to test for bacteria that cause strep throat (streptococcal pharyngitis). Explains when test is done and what results mean.

  • Discusses strep throat, an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria. Covers symptoms like sore throat and fever. Includes info on rapid strep test and throat culture. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery (tonsillectomy).

  • In endoscopic sinus surgery, an endoscope is inserted into the nose, providing the doctor with an inside view of the sinuses. Surgical instruments are inserted alongside the endoscope. This allows the doctor to remove small amounts of bone or other material blocking the sinus openings and remove growths (polyps) of the...

  • Briefly discusses surgery to treat chronic sinusitis. Covers how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Lists risks.

  • An endoscopic sinus exam allows the doctor to see all the structures inside the nose and the sinuses. Before inserting the endoscope, the passages inside the nose are opened up with a decongestant medicine and numbed with an anesthetic. The endoscope is guided up through a nostril and into the sinus opening, but it...

  • For this test, the sinus cavity is punctured with a needle, and a sample of the sinus contents is obtained. A culture and sensitivity test is often done on the sample to identify the bacteria, virus, or fungus causing the infection and to determine which medicine will be most effective in treating it. Cells taken from...

  • Saltwater washes (saline lavage or irrigation) help keep the nasal passages open by washing out thick or dried mucus. They can also help improve the function of cilia that help clear the sinuses. This can help prevent the spread of infection to the other sinuses and reduce postnasal drip. It also can make the nose feel...

  • Medicines available without a prescription may help relieve pain and promote sinus drainage. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. You can: Try a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve facial...

  • Discusses sinusitis, which is infection or inflammation of the lining of the sinus cavities. Covers acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Looks at causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery.

  • Discusses possible causes of swollen glands and other lumps under the skin. Covers bacterial and viral infections, noncancerous growths, hernias, aneurysms, and swelling caused by cancer. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • It is not unusual to have a problem with your mouth from time to time. A mouth problem can involve your gums, lips, tongue, or inner cheeks, the roof of your mouth (soft and hard palates), under your tongue, your neck, or your teeth. Your mouth may...

  • Oral complications are common in cancer patients, especially those with head and neck cancer. Complications are new medical problems that occur during or after a disease, procedure, or treatment and that make recovery harder. The complications may be side effects of the disease or treatment, or they may have other...

  • Nasopharyngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the nasopharynx. The nasopharynx is the upper part of the pharynx (throat) behind the nose. The pharynx is a hollow tube about 5 inches long that starts behind the nose and ends at the top of the trachea (windpipe) and esophagus...

  • Hypopharyngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the hypopharynx. The hypopharynx is the bottom part of the pharynx (throat). The pharynx is a hollow tube about 5 inches long that starts behind the nose, goes down the neck, and ends at the top of the trachea (windpipe) and...

  • Laryngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the larynx. The larynx is a part of the throat, between the base of the tongue and the trachea. The larynx contains the vocal cords, which vibrate and make sound when air is directed against them. The sound echoes through the pharynx...

  • Lip and oral cavity cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lips or mouth. The oral cavity includes the following: The front two thirds of the tongue. The gingiva (gums). The buccal mucosa (the lining of the inside of the cheeks). The floor (bottom) of the mouth under the tongue. The hard...

  • Oropharyngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the oropharynx. The oropharynx is the middle part of the pharynx (throat), behind the mouth. The pharynx is a hollow tube about 5 inches long that starts behind the nose and ends where the trachea (windpipe) and esophagus (tube...

  • Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. Paranasal sinuses"Paranasal" means near the nose. The para sinuses are hollow, air-filled spaces in the bones around the nose. The sinuses are lined with cells...

  • Salivary gland cancer is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the salivary glands. The salivary glands make saliva and release it into the mouth. Saliva has enzymes that help digest food and antibodies that help protect against infections of the mouth and throat. There are 3 pairs of...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Nasopharyngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the nasal cavity and throat. Nasopharyngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the nasopharynx. The nasopharynx is made of the nasal cavity (inside of the nose) and top part of the throat...

  • Esthesioneuroblastoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the upper nasal cavity and base of the skull. Esthesioneuroblastoma begins in the olfactory nerve endings in the upper part of the nasal cavity. The olfactory nerves (sense of smell) pass through the many tiny holes in the bone...

  • Oral cavity cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the mouth. The oral cavity includes the following: The front two thirds of the tongue. The gingiva (gums). The buccal mucosa (the lining of the inside of the cheeks). The floor (bottom) of the mouth under the tongue. The hard palate...

  • Salivary gland cancer is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the salivary glands. The salivary glands make saliva and release it into the mouth. Saliva has enzymes that help digest food and antibodies that help protect against infections of the mouth and throat. There are 3 pairs of...

  • Laryngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the larynx. The larynx is a part of the throat, between the base of the tongue and the trachea (windpipe). The larynx contains the vocal cords, which vibrate and make sound when air is directed against them. The sound echoes through...

  • Childhood midline tract carcinoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the respiratory tract or other places along the middle of the body. The respiratory tract is made up of the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs. Midline tract carcinoma may also form in other places along the middle of...

  • Most nosebleeds are not usually serious and can be stopped with home treatment. Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose (anterior epistaxis) and involve only one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat. Many things may make a nosebleed more likely. Changes in the environment. For...

  • Nose injuries often occur during play, sports, accidents, fights, and falls. Pain, swelling, and bruising are common, even with minor injuries. Home treatment can usually help relieve your symptoms. It may be hard to tell if your nose is broken. Swelling can make your nose look crooked even if it is not broken. When...

  • Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. The motion commonly is described as a feeling of spinning or whirling, but it also can include sensations of falling or tilting. Vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting. It may be hard to walk or stand, and you may lose your...

  • Everyone gets a bad taste in the mouth from time to time. Try the following simple home treatment measures to improve the taste in your mouth: Gargle with water. Using toothpaste, brush your teeth, tongue, roof of your mouth, and gums at least two...

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed for a black or coated tongue. Brush your tongue daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste or a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water. Scrape the tongue with an upside-down teaspoon...

  • A painful sore or ulcer inside your mouth may make it hard to eat and drink. Be sure to let your doctor know you are having mouth sores. You may need to have your medicines adjusted. And try some of the following home treatment measures to help ease...

  • An object can become stuck in the airway at any age but is most common in children younger than age 3. Although a child may not have any symptoms when something is stuck in his or her airway, any of the following symptoms may occur: Rapid, noisy, or high-pitched breathing Increased drooling Difficult...

  • Assess changes in your child's behavior that might mean a hearing loss. Compare present behavior with past behavior. Does your child: Listen to speech? Turn to you when you speak? Smile when spoken to? Seem to recognize your voice? Quiet his or her crying when you speak? Startle or cry at noises? Awaken to loud...

  • Assess changes in your child's behavior that might mean a hearing loss. Compare present behavior with past behavior. Does your child: Respond to changes in your voice? Look around for the source of sounds? Notice toys that make sound?

  • Assess changes in your child's behavior that might mean a hearing loss. Compare past behavior with present behavior. Does your child: Listen when spoken to? Turn or look up when you call his or her name? Respond to requests like "come here" or "want more?" Recognize words for common items like cup, shoe, or juice?

  • Assess changes in your child's behavior that might mean a hearing loss. Compare present behavior with past behavior. Also, pay attention to the quality of your child's speech. Children must be able to hear well for normal speech and language to develop. Does your child: Listen to simple stories, songs, or rhymes...

  • Assess changes in your child's behavior that might indicate a hearing loss. Compare present behavior with past behavior. Does your child: Follow two requests, such as "Get the ball and put it on the table?" Continue to notice sounds, such as a telephone ringing, television sounds, or knocking at the door?

  • Objects (foreign bodies) inserted into the ear usually do not cause significant damage. But objects that are inserted forcefully can damage the ear canal or penetrate the eardrum. Problems with objects in the ear most commonly occur in children younger than age 5 and in people who have problems with thinking and...

  • Young children are more likely than older children or adults to put small objects—such as beads, dried beans, popcorn, plastic toy pieces, foam rubber, or small batteries—up their noses. If the child doesn't tell you about it, your first clue may be a bad-smelling green or yellow discharge or blood (epistaxis) from one...

  • Discusses common skin rashes that affect those 11 and younger. Covers chickenpox, diaper rash, prickly heat, and contact dermatitis. Offers home treatment tips for fever and itching. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses respiratory problems that older children and adults can have. Covers viral and bacterial infections, allergies, and asthma. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses ways to avoid indoor allergy triggers. Covers common indoor allergens such as dust mites and pet dander. Covers reasons to avoid them. Offers cleaning tips to reduce allergens in the home.

  • Allergic rhinitis causes symptoms of sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose. But you can control these symptoms with medicine and by avoiding the things that cause them ( allergens). If you are allergic to outdoor allergens, such as pollen and mold, you don't have to give up an outdoor life. You just need to know when...

  • Dust builds up throughout your home. The dust may contain substances that trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing or coughing, or another allergic reaction, such as the rash of atopic dermatitis or stuffy nose of allergic rhinitis. These substances are called allergens. Dust mites are another example of an allergen...

  • Experts can classify allergic rhinitis by how often a person has it and how severe it is. Allergic rhinitis is: Intermittent if you have symptoms fewer than 4 days a week or fewer than 4 weeks a year. Persistent if you have symptoms 4 or more days a week and 4 or more weeks a year. Mild if your...

  • Complications of strep throat are rare but can occur, especially if strep throat is not properly treated with antibiotics. Complications can be related either to the strep infection or to the body's immune response to the infection. Although rare,...

  • Button disc batteries Button disc batteries are found in watches, cameras, calculators, hearing aids, and computer games. They are easily swallowed by children. These batteries, which contain corrosive fluids, can come apart when swallowed and quickly damage tissue. Some batteries contain potentially...

  • Sometimes after you swallow a pill it may feel like it "got stuck" or didn't go all the way down. This feeling usually goes away within 30 to 60 minutes if you drink liquids or eat a piece of bread. You may not have any symptoms when something is stuck in your esophagus. But when symptoms are present, they may include...

  • Mouth sores may make eating and talking painful. The most common mouth sores are cold sores and canker sores. In severe cases of canker sores, a doctor may prescribe a medicine to ease inflammation and pain. Other possible causes of mouth sores include: Impetigo. Symptoms may include oozing...

  • Taste changes may include the complete loss of taste (ageusia), partial loss of taste (hypogeusia), a distorted sense of taste (dysgeusia), such as a metallic taste, or an unpleasant or revolting taste (cacogeusia). A decrease in or loss of taste is common in older adults. It is part of the normal aging process and may...

  • Brightly colored changes in the color of your tongue may be caused by eating or drinking something that may have stained your tongue, such as soft drinks or candy. The bright colors can be alarming. Stains caused by soft drinks or candy will brush off or wear off. A buildup of food debris and bacteria on the tongue may...

  • When is bad breath most likely to occur? Everybody has bad breath from time to time, especially first thing in the morning. You also may have bad breath when you are hungry, when you are dieting, or after eating foods with a strong odor, such as garlic, onions, or pastrami. What causes bad breath? Many things can...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause mouth problems. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Some seizure medicines. Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Steroid medicines. Medicines used after organ transplant. Antibiotics may cause many mouth problems. If you have recently started an...

  • If a child has repeat ear infections (three or more ear infections in a 6-month period or four in 1 year), you may want to consider treatment to prevent future infections. One option used a lot in the past is long-term oral antibiotic treatment. There is debate within the medical community about using antibiotics on a...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can make you feel lightheaded or affect your balance. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Blood pressure medicines. Medicines used to treat depression or anxiety. Pain medicines. Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). If you think a prescription or...

  • Oral antihistamines are available without a prescription. Common types such as diphenhydramine (for example, Benadryl), chlorpheniramine (for example, Chlor-Trimeton), and loratadine (for example, Claritin) are used to treat allergy symptoms and itching. Look for generic or store brands, which often cost less than name...

  • A productive cough helps clear mucus (sputum) and foreign material from the airways. Mucus may be made in the lungs because of bronchitis, pneumonia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Colds and allergies may produce mucus that drains down the back of the throat ( postnasal drainage). Home treatment may...

  • Dry coughs that continue after other cold symptoms clear or that occur without other symptoms may be caused by a variety of health problems. Some people start coughing when they breathe very dry, heated air. This can be caused by environmental irritation or allergies. This type of cough may be more noticeable when you...

  • Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose and involve only one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat. These nosebleeds typically are not serious, and you can generally treat them yourself at home. A less common but more serious type of nosebleed starts in the back of the nose and...

  • Nosebleeds that recur often are commonly caused by bleeding from the front of the nose (anterior epistaxis). Common causes of this type of nosebleed are: Blowing or picking the nose. Structural problems in the nose, either present from birth (congenital) or caused by an injury. Low humidity. Minor health problems...

  • A cough that is more noticeable when your child is lying down is usually caused by mucus running down the back of the throat (postnasal drip) from an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold, sinusitis, or allergy. A child usually has a runny or stuffy nose, may be irritable, and may have a fever. Home treatment is...

  • Disc batteries (also called button cell batteries) are found in toys, watches, hearing aids, cameras, calculators, and some remote-controlled devices. These batteries are small, usually less than 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) across, and can be easily inserted into the nose. A disc battery in the nose must be removed...

  • Discusses various sleep problems of those 12 and older. Covers insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome. Offers tips to improve sleep. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Looks at symptoms of sore throat caused by virus and bacteria infections and irritants. Covers common cold, mononucleosis (mono), strep throat, and flu. Covers symptoms such as swollen glands and pain. Discusses antibiotics and home treatment medicines.

  • Lists common sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, HIV, HPV (genital warts), syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Covers safer sex. Offers prevention tips.

  • Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. If your child has had a severe allergic reaction in the past, you know how frightening it can be. Symptoms of breathing problems, itching, nausea or vomiting, and swelling can come on quickly and become life-threatening. Giving your child an epinephrine shot can slow down or...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery to treat chronic sinusitis. Discusses endoscopic and traditional surgery. Explains who is a good candidate for surgery. Lists reasons for and against surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Children Some hearing problems can delay your child's speech and language development. Early screening for hearing loss can help prevent many learning, social, and emotional problems that can be related to speech and language development. Call your doctor if at any time you suspect your child has a hearing problem...

  • Sleep apnea occurs when you regularly stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on the number of times an hour that you stop breathing (apnea) or that airflow to your lungs is reduced (hypopnea). This is called the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI)...

  • Here are some ways you can help comfort your child who has a respiratory illness (such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection or a cold): Ask your doctor if your child can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve fever (if present). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the...

  • If the herpes simplex virus (HSV) invades a part of the body other than the genital area, it may cause disease in that part of the body. In general, complications are rare. And they usually occur with the first-time (primary) genital herpes outbreak. Some of these complications include: Meningitis, an infection of the...

  • Guides through decision to use antibiotics for a child's ear infection. Covers symptoms of an ear infection. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision. This topic is only appropriate for children 6 months and older.

  • Thyroid surgery is used to treat thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, and hyperthyroidism. During this procedure, part or all of the thyroid gland is removed. During surgery, an incision is made in the skin. The muscle and other tissues are pulled aside to expose the thyroid gland.

  • Medicines that damage the ear and cause hearing loss are known as ototoxic medicines. They are a common cause of hearing loss, especially in older adults who have to take medicine on a regular basis. In most cases, hearing loss occurs because the medicine damages the cochlea in the inner ear. Hearing loss caused by an...

  • What is a cochlear implant? A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that can help "make" sound if you have a certain type of severe hearing loss in both ears. The implant does the job of the damaged or absent nerve cells that in a normal ear make it possible to hear. Cochlear implants can be programmed...

  • What are hearing aids? Hearing aids make sounds louder. There are many different styles of hearing aids. And you can add special features to your hearing aids. But almost all hearing aids have these parts: A microphone, to pick up sound. An amplifier, to make the sound louder. A speaker, to...

  • Hearing loss caused by noise can occur in people of any age. It may develop suddenly or gradually, depending on the source and intensity of the noise. Noise can affect hearing in several ways. When a sudden, extremely loud sound, such as an explosion, a gunshot, or a firecracker close to the ear, damages any of the...

  • The effects of noise on hearing vary among people. Some people's ears are more sensitive to loud sounds, especially at certain frequencies. (Frequency means how low or high a tone is.) But any sound that is loud enough and lasts long enough can damage hearing and lead to hearing loss. A sound's loudness is measured in...

  • Being exposed to loud noises can result in hearing loss . As the loudness of a sound increases, the amount of time you can safely listen to the sound decreases. One way to protect your hearing is to wear hearing protectors, which reduce the loudness of the sound. Hearing protectors are especially important for those...

  • Age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, affects most older adults to some degree. The most frequent cause of age-related hearing loss is the natural breakdown of nerve cells in the inner ear. Sound reaches the inner ear, but the breakdown of nerve cells prevents proper hearing. This is known as sensorineural...

  • Rhinoplasty is surgery to reshape the nose. It can make the nose larger or smaller; change the angle of the nose in relation to the upper lip; alter the tip of the nose; or correct bumps, indentations, or other defects in the nose. During rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes incisions to access the bones and cartilage that...

  • A person who is choking cannot talk, cough, or breathe, and may turn gray or blue. The Heimlich maneuver can help get the food or object out. WARNING: Do not try the Heimlich maneuver unless you are sure the person is choking. If the person can cough or make sounds, let him or her cough to try to get the object out...

  • If the baby can cough or make sounds, let him or her cough to try to get the object out. If you are worried about the baby's breathing, call. WARNING: Do not begin the choking rescue procedure unless you are certain that the baby is choking. If a baby can't breathe, cough, or make sounds, then: Put the...

  • Many people experience an occasional ringing (or roaring, hissing, buzzing, or tinkling) in their ears. The sound usually lasts only a few minutes. Ringing in the ears that does not get better or go away is called tinnitus. You may hear a sound, such as a ringing or roaring, that does not come from your surroundings...

  • By the age of 4, your child may tell you he or she is having trouble hearing or understanding others. You can ask your child questions about his or her hearing. You can also assess changes in your child's behavior that might mean a hearing loss. Compare present behavior with past behavior. Does your child: Follow...

  • If you have symptoms of giant cell arteritis (GCA) and your doctor believes you may have it, he or she may order a temporal artery biopsy to make sure. Giant cell arteritis can occur at various points along an artery. To test for giant cell arteritis, your doctor may have a surgeon take a sample of a blood vessel on...

  • Acupressure may help relieve or shorten the duration of your morning sickness symptoms. Acupressure is based on Eastern medicine practices used to open up blocked energy pathways in the body. Instead of using acupuncture needles, you or a practitioner presses on a small area of the body to treat a given ailment...

  • What is difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)? Difficulty swallowing is also called dysphagia. It is usually a sign of a problem with your throat or esophagus—the muscular tube that moves food and liquids from the back of your mouth to your stomach. Although dysphagia can happen to anyone, it is most common in older...

  • A human papillomavirus (HPV) test is done to check for a high-risk HPV infection in women. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). An HPV test checks for the genetic material ( DNA) of the human papillomavirus. Like a Pap test, an HPV test is done on a sample of cells collected from the cervix. There are many...

  • The nasal septum is the structure between the nostrils that separates the nasal passages. The septum, composed of cartilage and thin bone, can develop a hole (perforation) in the cartilage as a complication of previous nasal surgery, from cocaine use, excessive nose picking, trauma, cancer, or diseases such as...

  • Seasonal allergies occur at the same time of the year every year, if you continue to live in the same part of the country. Hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis) is the most common seasonal allergy. What are the symptoms of seasonal allergies? Symptoms of seasonal allergies include: Itchy, watery eyes...

  • A hearing (audiometric) test is part of an ear exam that tests how well a person is able to hear. It is done by measuring how well sound can reach the brain. The sounds we hear start as vibrations in the air around us. The vibrations make sound waves, which vibrate at a certain speed (frequency) and have a certain...

  • What are voice problems? Voice problems usually include pain or discomfort when you speak or difficulty controlling the pitch, loudness, or quality of your voice. As you exhale, air gently passes through your throat, across your open vocal cords, and out your mouth and nose. When you speak, your vocal cords close...

  • What is laryngitis? Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box, or larynx (say "LAIR-inks"), that causes your voice to become raspy or hoarse. Laryngitis can be short-term or long-lasting (chronic). Most of the time, it comes on quickly and lasts no more than 2 weeks. Chronic symptoms are those that last 2 weeks...

  • Young children can easily choke on food and everyday objects. You can help prevent your child from choking by offering the right kinds of foods and watching for choking hazards. Food Watching how your child eats can also help prevent choking. Teach your child to eat only in the kitchen and dining room. Be...

  • What is motion sickness? If you've ever been sick to your stomach on a rocking boat or a bumpy airplane ride, you know the discomfort of motion sickness. It doesn't cause long-term problems, but it can make your life miserable, especially if you travel a lot. Children from 5 to 12 years old, women, and older adults...

  • 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...

  • What are the eustachian tubes, and how do they get blocked? The eustachian (say "you-STAY-shee-un") tubes connect the middle ears to the back of the throat. The tubes help the ears drain fluid. They also keep air pressure in the ears at the right level. When you swallow or yawn, the tubes open briefly to let air in to...

  • Discusses safety issues for those with vertigo. Offers checklists with tips for home and personal safety. Offers links to more extensive info on Ménière's disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), and dizziness and lightheadedness.

  • Level 1 exercises for vertigo are "beginner" exercises. In all of them, start out slowly and gradually try to do the exercise for a longer time or do more repetitions. When you first begin, it is important to have someone with you to help you if you feel you are going to fall. As you progress, you may be able to do some...

  • Many people experience vertigo. If you have Ménière's disease or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), you may have to deal with vertigo throughout your life. The spinning sensation it causes puts you at risk for falling and can also affect your quality of life if it interferes with your level of activity. You...

  • Use these checklists once a month to see how you are doing to stay safe in case of a vertigo attack. How many of the items can you say "yes" to? Try to do all the items on each list. Date:_________ Checklist for the home ____Walkways around the house (especially to the bathroom or telephone) are clear of furniture...

  • Level 2 exercises for vertigo are a little harder than the level 1 exercises. For all of them, start out slowly and gradually try to do the exercise for a longer time or for more repetitions. When you first begin, it is important to have someone with you to help you if you feel you are going to fall. As you progress...

  • Walking is a simple but powerful exercise for vertigo that can help your balance. Walking with greater balance will allow you to function better on your own, which in turn may lead to improved self-confidence. As you walk, you will also be working your muscles, which helps you keep muscle tone and may increase your...

  • Make a chart with three columns and as many rows you need for your walks. The chart can help you see your progress in the walking exercises for vertigo. Put the date in the first column, how far you walked or how many times you were able to do the exercises in the second column, and how you felt in the third column...

  • Make a chart with three columns and as many rows you need for your exercises. The chart can help you see your progress in the level 1 and level 2 exercises for vertigo. Put the date in the first column. In the second column, write down how many times you did the exercise and whether you had your eyes open or closed. In...

  • Coughing is your body's way of getting foreign substances and mucus out of your lungs and upper airway passages. Coughs are often useful, and you should not try to stop them. Sometimes, though, coughs are severe enough to make breathing difficult, cause vomiting, or prevent rest. Home treatment can help you feel more...

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are some of the most widespread infections both in the United States and the world. STIs affect both men and women, and two-thirds of all STIs occur in people younger than 25. Exposure to an STI can occur any...

  • Contains information on snoring. Does not cover sleep apnea or sleep disorders. Includes info on what causes snoring. Discusses things you can do to stop snoring. Covers snoring treatments such as medicines, oral breathing devices, or surgery.

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a procedure used to remove excess tissue in the throat to widen the airway. This sometimes can allow air to move through the throat more easily when you breathe, reducing snoring. The tissues removed may include: The small finger-shaped piece of tissue ( uvula) that hangs down from...

  • Several oral devices have been tested to treat people with snoring, including a tongue-retaining device that is worn while sleeping. It pushes the tongue and jaw forward, improving airflow. Changing the position of the lower jaw enlarges the airway and decreases the chance that it will collapse when you inhale. This may...

  • Your child's primary teeth usually begin to break through the gums (erupt) at about 6 months of age. This is called teething. Teeth break through the gums in a certain order, typically from the front to the back of the mouth. Lower teeth often appear 1 to 2 months before the corresponding upper teeth. A change in...

  • Don't drink too much alcohol before eating. It may dull your senses, and you might not chew food properly or might try to swallow too large a portion of food. Take small bites. Cut meat into small pieces. Chew your food thoroughly. Do not give popcorn, nuts, or hard candy to children younger than 4, and...

  • Discusses tonsillitis. Covers symptoms like sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. Includes causes like the bacteria that cause strep throat. Discusses home treatment, nonprescription pain medicines, surgery to remove tonsils (tonsillectomy).

  • Guides through decision to have your child get the HPV vaccine. Explains the vaccination process and includes tips on how to talk to your child about HPV. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Radiofrequency palatoplasty is a new procedure that uses an electrical current to shrink and stiffen the back part of the roof of the mouth ( soft palate and uvula). When the soft palate and uvula are stiffer, they are less likely to vibrate and you are less likely to snore.

  • What is swimmer's ear? Swimmer's ear ( otitis externa) is an inflammation or infection of the ear canal, the passage that leads from the outer ear to the eardrum. This condition is called swimmer's ear, because it commonly occurs in people who have been swimming. But other people can get it too. What causes swimmer's...

  • Guides through decision to get hearing aids. Explains the types of hearing aids, how they work, and how they are best used. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is a canker sore? A canker sore is a shallow sore shaped like a crater (ulcer) on your tongue or on the inside of your lip or cheek. Canker sores have a red border and a white or yellow center. They may be painful and can make it hard to talk and eat. You may have one or more than one canker sore at a time...

  • It is common to have trouble swallowing, also called dysphagia, after a stroke. You may not be able to feel food on one or both sides of your mouth. You may also have problems chewing or producing enough saliva. Or you may have other conditions that make eating difficult and increase your risk of choking or breathing in...

  • What are colds? Everyone gets a cold from time to time. Children get more colds than adults. Colds usually last 1 to 2 weeks. You can catch a cold at any time of year, but they are more common in late winter and early spring. There is no cure for a cold. Antibiotics will not cure a cold. If you catch a cold...

  • Guides you through the decision to take antibiotics to treat sinusitis. Explains causes of sinusitis and how well antibiotics work. Lists risks. Discusses other treatment for sinus infection. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides readers through the decision to take antibiotics for sore throat. Explains the causes of sore throat and that most sore throats are caused by virus. Explains that antibiotics only work for sore throat caused by bacterial infections.

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