Throat Conditions

Throat Conditions

There are a number of conditions that can affect your throat at anytime. When a sore throat is persistent, or if you start snoring in your sleep, it can affect your quality of your life, and your sleep. Treatment is dependent on the cause, some will require therapy and others surgery. Our specialists will discuss your symptons with you and the best type of treatment available to you. Here are some of the most common throat conditions we see:

Snoring and sleep apnoea

Snoring is a common problem. It’s caused when the soft palate and tissue in the mouth, nose or throat vibrates. Most of the time it does not cause any problems, but if your snoring wakes you, or your partner, up regularly it may make you or both of you tired and impact on the quality of your life.

Understanding how to treat snoring depends on the things that are affecting it. The amount we snore increases with age and other factors such as weight, alcohol, smoking and even a blocked nose may have an effect. Not all snoring can be cured, but our ENT specialists will discuss your snoring in detail, including your lifestyle and family history and will advise you on the best approach.

Sleep apnoea is a condition where you stop breathing when you’re asleep. It’s often connected with snoring because, sometimes, your throat may become blocked when you snore. When this happens you will usually wake suddenly – often with a gasp or a grunt.

There are a number of causes  including being overweight, your sex and age (it’s more common in men and people over 40), alcohol, smoking, some medical conditions and taking medication which makes you drowsy. Understanding the cause is the key to finding the right treatment and our ENT specialists will discuss your symptoms, understand your lifestyle and medical history and advise on your treatment options.

Bad breath (halitosis)

We wouldn’t want to admit it but we all get bad breath from time-to-time. For most of us it’s an occasional concern, but about one in four of us experience bad breath on a regular basis.

Bad breath can be caused by a number of things, but it’s usually a result of not brushing your teeth properly or regularly enough. So, if you have bad breath the first thing to do is improve your oral hygiene by regularly brushing your teeth (morning and night), flossing regularly and using a mouthwash. Keeping your tongue clean can also help and you can now buy special tongue cleaners (scrapers and brushes) designed for the purpose.

Other causes include food and drink, smoking, drastic changes in your diet such as crash dieting and some medications. It may also be caused by a medical condition such as bronchitis, sinusitis or acid-reflux.

We can help. There are various treatments which  often include a change in lifestyle to remove the cause of your bad breath, for example smoking, dieting or a particular food or drink.

Swallowing disorders

The medical name for problems with swallowing is dysphagia. Symptoms include:

  • coughing or choking when eating or drinking
  • bringing food up, sometimes through your nose, and
  • feeling as if food is stuck in the throat or chest

Problems with swallowing have a number of causes, including gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition where stomach acid travels up the tube that carries food (the oesophagus), or conditions of the nervous system, such as a head injury or a stroke. Swallowing disorders may also be a sign of cancer in the mouth or oesophagus.