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Difficulty Swallowing Or Breathing Specialist

Jeff D. Kopelman, MD, FACS -  - Otolaryngologist

Jeff D. Kopelman, MD, FACS

Otolaryngologist located in Rockville Centre, NY

Dr. Jeff Kopelman is a Board Certified physician who specializes in all aspects of ear, nose, and throat, care, including issues that involve difficulty swallowing and breathing. The doctor serves residents who live in Rockville Centre, New York and surrounding areas.

Difficulty Swallowing or Breathing Q & A

What Causes Difficulty Swallowing and Breathing?

Difficulty swallowing and breathing can be a result of inflammation in the sinuses, nasal passages, and throat. In most cases, inflammation is the result of an infection or consistent congestion in the sinus cavities. The longer the area remains congested, the more likely it is that the tissues will become inflamed, making it increasingly difficult to breathe or swallow. When an infection is present in the sinuses or throat, it may cause the tonsils and adenoids to become enlarged. Tonsils and adenoids are similar to the lymph nodes because they act as filters to catch and eliminate allergens and bacteria that enter the body through the mouth. When they become inflamed, it can be extremely hard to swallow or breathe.

How is a Fiberoptic Endoscopy Used?

A fiberoptic endoscopy can be used to evaluate how a person swallows. The endoscope has a small fiberoptic camera attached that allows the doctor to watch the throat as it functions. The endoscope is fed through the nose and down towards the throat allowing the doctor to watch as the patient swallows. An endoscopic procedure can also be used to help evaluate how the nasal passages and sinuses function. With this type of procedure, the doctor can determine the amount of scar tissue in a particular area, as well as how a certain part of the throat or airway functions. The doctor can also use the endoscope to look into the upper bronchial tubes of the lungs to determine if there are any structural abnormalities.

Can the Tonsils and Adenoids Cause Difficulty Swallowing?

The tonsils and adenoid are small structures that hang in the folds of the tissue at the back of the throat. There are two of each and they act as small filters to catch bacteria, viruses, and allergens as they enter the body. When they are healthy, the are relatively small, approximately the size of peas. When they become inflamed, they can grow to the size of grapes, making it extremely hard to breathe or swallow. A person who has repeated throat infections that involve the enlargement of the tonsils and adenoids may be advised to have them surgically removed. Once the adenoids and tonsils are gone, a person's risk of infection drops dramatically, especially if they have become diseased.

Major Insurance Plans Accepted

Dr. Kopelman's office accepts most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans they accept. Please contact the office if you do not see your insurance provider listed here.

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Anthem Blue Cross
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield