These Signs mean it’s Time to See an ENT Doctor

Whether it’s a seasonal cold or a bit of lightheadedness, all of us at some point have had issues related to the ear, nose, and throat. Many residents in the Clear Lake, Texas, area label it as a “stubborn cold” or “exhaustion.” But, some of these common problems can have serious consequences if not addressed. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know how serious an ENT problem can be, so we’ve laid out some signs that let you know it’s time to visit an ENT specialist as soon as possible:


  1. Sinus Pain

Hollow spaces in the facial bones that connect to the nose through narrow pathways are known as sinuses. Inflammation of these spaces can lead to sinusitis that can either be acute (lasting less than four weeks) or chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks). It is characterized by cloudy nose drainage, along with any one of the following:

  • Nose congestion
  • Heaviness in the head or specifically face
  • A headache
  • Loss of smell (chronic)
  • Thick drainage (chronic)


Sinus pain can spread to the face, ear, teeth, and nose. While acute cases resolve with at-home treatments, chronic ones require referral to ENT specialists [2]. Furthermore, urgent referral becomes an absolute necessity in the presence of the following complications:

  • Orbital sepsis
  • Intracranial sepsis

If your symptoms persist for 10 days or more or improve for a short period of time before worsening, it is time to visit an ENT specialist. They will not only identify the exact cause of sinus pain, but also create a treatment plan.

A clinical study researching the efficacy of management strategies concluded that 50% of patients with sinus-headache pain can be benefited from otolaryngic management [2].


  1. Tinnitus/ Ringing in Ears

Hearing “phantom noises” like ringing, buzzing, hissing, or clicking in the absence of any external sound is known as tinnitus. While tinnitus isn’t very serious in most cases, it requires immediate attention if it is acquired after an upper respiratory tract infection, doesn’t improve within 10 days, or is accompanied by hearing loss.

If tinnitus becomes severe, it can even lead to disability. According to The College of Family physicians of Canada, tinnitus-related disability claims form the largest fraction of claims submitted to the Workplace Safety and Insurance board [3]. Visiting a Clear Lake ENT specialist when symptoms first occur can help prevent a case of tinnitus from becoming severe.


  1. Hoarseness

According to American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery, bouts of hoarseness are frequently reported, and almost one-third of the population experiences them at some point in their life [4].

While hoarseness is typically seen as a consequence of common cold, one should not forget that it could be an indication of a serious underlying issue. Typically, it is recommended to manage it conservatively for 4 weeks before referring to an ENT specialist. However, if symptoms become severe, it’s important to seek medical help as quickly as possible.


It can be hard to determine whether something is just the common cold or an ENT problem. If you notice severe cases of any of these signs, it’s time to schedule an appoint with one of Houston Physicians’ Hospital’s leading ENT doctors. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620, or visit us at










How to Avoid a Spine Injury when Taking Down Holiday Decorations

The holiday season has come to a close, and many residents in the Clear Lake, Texas, area are ready to begin the task of taking down their holiday decorations. As you begin taking the lights and decorations down, be sure to keep your spine in mind. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand the importance of avoiding a spine injury, so we’ve laid out some tips to help you keep your spine safe when taking down your holiday decorations.

Removing decorations can be physically enervating and dangerous if not done with caution in mind. According to data from CPSC, 2012 alone saw 15,000 injuries as a result of holiday decorations all over the country [1]. That is roughly about 250 injuries a day. Here’s how you can ensure your spine’s safety:


  1. Keep Ladder Safety in Mind

According to a study published in the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, falls from ladders account for 9% of all fall-induced spinal cord injuries. Also, vertebral injuries are more often found to be associated with falls from ladders and buildings [2].

When removing decorations that require a ladder to reach, make sure you have someone around to help keep your stability, especially if you’re outdoors. Something else to mention, always use a ladder to stand for prolonged periods of time, not a chair or desk. Avoid using damaged or worn out ladders.

Furthermore, it’s better to reposition the ladder if something’s out of reach, instead of over-extending the arms and reaching for it. This prevents falls and sprains resulting from hyperextension of the back.


  1. Use Proper Lifting Techniques

Lifting heavy boxes becomes a routine when putting away holiday decorations, but an improper lifting technique can easily result in a spinal injury [3]. Remember two rules, first lift boxes one at a time, taking care to not “bite off more than you can chew.” Essentially, you should keep a check on the weight of boxes and avoid burdening your body with excessive weight.

Secondly, instead of exerting weight on the spine by bending to lift boxes, flex your knees and hips into a squat position to prevent an injury. Additionally, avoid leaning forward or backward when carrying a heavy load.

It’s always advisable to have the weight as close to the body as possible, to keep it stable. Yet another way of protecting your spine is to tighten the stomach muscles, which ensures the spine is in a safe lifting position.


  1. Be Vigilant When Removing Electrical Decorations

When removing holiday decorations, make sure you’re well aware of how to handle electrical components because not only can they lead to electrocution, but loose cords can also cause falls that lead to severe spine injuries. Slipping, tripping, and stumbling are the most common causes of fall-induced spinal injuries [2]. Always check for loose wires that could lead to a potentially dangerous fall.

Extension cords should be used with great caution and should be taped to the floor with duct tape or concealed with a cord cover to avoid tripping accidents. Remember to unplug them when not in use and fix them against the wall where they’re clearly visible while you’re working on removing any additional decorations.


Spinal injuries shouldn’t be under-estimated. Whether it’s a minor fall or a trip that results in severe back pain, it’s essential to get it investigated by a physician. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, our doctors are here to provide excellent, effective spinal care for residents in the Clear Lake, Texas area. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620.