Mayo Clinic Health System provides Eau Claire, Wis., and the surrounding communities with a wide range of medical specialties including comprehensive ear, nose and throat, women’s health, weight management services and trauma care services. Through its partnership with Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Health System offers a network of community-based health care providers in several locations throughout west-central Wisconsin including Barron, Bloomer, Cameron, Chetek, Chippewa Falls, Colfax, Eau Claire, Menomonie, Mondovi, Osseo, Prairie Farm and Rice Lake.
Information for Moms
Have you ever felt something strange on your neck? Maybe a lump or bump that didn’t feel quite right? Having a lump can be terrifying, but it’s not always bad news. (Full Story)
Many people suffer from sinus infections…or allergies which can lead to sinus infections. Nose drainage, congestion, and even ear pain and headaches are a few of the bothersome symptoms. (Full Story)
Mayo Clinic Health System - Ear, Nose & Throat FAQ
Q: My child has an ear infection. What can I do to help them feel better?
An ear infection is most often a bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections.
Often ear infections clear up on their own. Treatment often begins with managing pain and monitoring the problem. Ear infection in infants and severe cases in general require antibiotic medications. Long-term problems related to ear infections — persistent fluids in the middle ear, persistent infections or frequent infections — can cause hearing problems and other serious complications.
Q: My doctor says I have acute sinusitis. What is that and what can I do for it?
Acute sinusitis causes the cavities around your nasal passages (sinuses) to become inflamed and swollen. This interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up.
With acute sinusitis, it may be difficult to breathe through your nose. The area around your eyes and face may feel swollen, and you may have throbbing facial pain or a headache.
Acute sinusitis is most often caused by the common cold. Other triggers include bacteria, allergies and fungal infections. Treatment of acute sinusitis depends on the cause. In most cases, home remedies are all that's needed. However, persistent sinusitis can lead to serious infections and other complications. Sinusitis that lasts more than 12 weeks, or keeps coming back, is called chronic sinusitis.
Q: When I fly, my ears will plug and sometimes cause pain. Why?
Airplane ear is the stress exerted on your eardrum and other middle ear tissues when the air pressure in your middle ear and the air pressure in the environment are out of balance. You may experience airplane ear at the beginning of a flight when the airplane is climbing or at the end of a flight when the airplane is descending. These fast changes in altitude cause air pressure changes and can trigger airplane ear.
Usually self-care steps — such as yawning, swallowing or chewing gum — can prevent or correct the differences in air pressure and improve airplane ear symptoms. However, a severe case of airplane ear may need to be treated by a doctor.
Q: We have been told that our young son should have tubes put in his ears. This scares me, what does this involve?
Ear tubes are tiny cylinders, usually made of plastic or metal, that are surgically inserted into the eardrum. An ear tube creates an airway that ventilates the middle ear and prevents the accumulation of fluids behind the eardrum.
Ear tubes are often recommended for children who have persistent fluid buildup behind the eardrum, especially if the condition causes hearing loss and affects speech development. Your child's doctor may also recommend ear tubes if your child gets frequent ear infections.
Most ear tubes fall out within six to 12 months, and the holes heal shut on their own. Some tubes need to be removed, and some holes may need to be closed surgically.
Q: What are some options to help someone stop snoring?
Snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when your breathing is partially obstructed in some way while you're sleeping. Sometimes snoring may indicate a serious health condition. In addition, snoring can be a nuisance to your partner.
As many as half of adults snore sometimes. Snoring occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe, which creates those irritating sounds.
Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol close to bedtime or sleeping on your side, can help stop snoring.
In addition, medical devices and surgery are available that may reduce disruptive snoring. However, these aren't suitable or necessary for everyone who snores.See your doctor if:
- Your snoring is so loud it's disrupting your partner's sleep
- You wake up choking or gasping
These may indicate your snoring is caused by a more serious condition, such as obstructive sleep apnea. If your child snores, ask your pediatrician about it. Children can have obstructive sleep apnea too. Nose and throat problems — such as enlarged tonsils — and obesity often can narrow a child's airway, which can lead to your child developing sleep apnea. Treating these conditions may help your child in many ways.