FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Vijay Rangachari,
ENT & Endoscopic Skull Base surgeon
​Clinical Lead, Department of ENT
Manipal hospitals, Whitefield, Bengaluru, India

What are Tonsils and Adenoids?
Tonsils and adenoids are glands situated in the throat and behind the nose respectively. Tonsils and adenoids are near the entrance to the breathing passages where they can catch incoming germs, which cause infections. They "sample" bacteria and viruses and can become infected themselves, thereby participating in immunity. However, repeated infections often make them non-functional and troublesome.

What is hoarseness of voice?
Hoarseness is a term that describes abnormal voice changes. When hoarse, the voice may sound breathy, raspy, strained, or there may be changes in volume (loudness) or pitch (how high or low the voice is). The changes in sound are usually due to malfunctioning of the pearly white V-shaped Vocal cords in the Voice box (larynx).

What are the sinuses?
The sinuses are spaces filled with air in some of the bones of the skull. Air passes in and out of these spaces, and mucus drains through them and out of the nose. They also reduce the weight of the skull and give our voices a nicer sound. The mucus secreted by them helps in filtering of the air we breathe in. Sinuses may get blocked and cause a heavy feeling in the nose and face which is called sinusitis.

What Causes a Nosebleed?
The linings of the nose are rich in blood vessels. Nose bleeds occur whenever there is a disruption in the linings of the blood vessels causing the small blood vessels to burst and cause nasal bleeding. Nose bleeds can be due to simple causes like drying and crusting of the nose or due to high blood pressure, frequent nose-picking, injury to nose and sometimes, due to tumors in the nose.

What is septoplasty or septal correction?
It is an internal corrective surgery of nose to trim, reshape and reposition the deviated nasal septum, thereby improving the breathing through the nostrils. After the surgery, internal splints or soft spongy packs are usually placed in the nostrils to hold the septum in its new position for the first 48 hours. However, after the packing is removed, most people enjoy a dramatic improvement in breathing.

What causes a perforation of the ear drum?

A hole or rupture in the eardrum, a thin membrane that separates the ear canal and the middle ear, is called a perforated eardrum. The medical term for ear drum is tympanic membrane. The middle ear is connected to the nose by the eustachian tube, which equalizes pressure in the middle ear. Repeated infections of the nose and throat can go to the ear and cause a perforated ear drum.  A perforated eardrum is often accompanied by decreased hearing and ear discharge and requires surgery.

What can I do to improve my hearing?
You should eliminate or lower unnecessary noises around you. Let friends and family know about your hearing loss and ask them to speak slowly and more clearly. Ask people to face you when they are speaking to you, so you can watch their faces and see their expressions. Utilize sound amplifying devices on phones. Use personal listening systems to reduce background noise.

What are the tips to maintain hearing health?
If you work in noisy places or commute to work in noisy traffic or construction, choose quiet leisure activities instead of noisy ones. Develop the habit of wearing earplugs when you know you will be exposed to noise for a long time. Earplugs quiet about 25 dB of sound and can mean the difference between a dangerous and a safe level of noise. Try not to use several noisy machines at the same time. Try to keep television sets, stereos and headsets low in volume.

What should I remember while planning for a surgery?
It is VERY IMPORTANT on the day of surgery, that the patient has an empty stomach. If anything has been eaten or drunk by the patient, there is risk of vomiting during anesthesia and due to SAFETY, the surgery may be cancelled. Even chewing gum will cause the cancellation of surgery. DO NOT let the patient eat or drink ANYTHING on the day of surgery, for at least six hours before the scheduled surgery timings. If the patient is on any medications like aspirin or other blood thinners, always be sure to tell your doctor. They should be discontinued 5 days prior to surgery.  Ask you anesthetist about when to have last dose of your regular medicines, if any. It is mandatory to get admitted on time, get all formalities completed and bring all your blood reports, hearing tests (if applicable) and CT Scan reports at the time of admission.