Diagnosing HEENT Disorders
In clinical settings, advanced practice nurses may initiate a physical examination of a patient by examining the components of the HEENT system. Assessing primary diagnoses and differential diagnoses as they concern the HEENT system are important in informing your practice in providing optimal care.
For this Discussion, consider the following three case studies of patients presenting with head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat disorders.
Case Study 1
An 86-year-old widowed female is brought to the office by her daughter-in-law. The patient complains of constant tearing and an itchy, burning sensation in both eyes. The patient states this is not a new problem, but it has worsened in the past week and is affecting her vision. The patient complains that her eyes are dry. She thinks the problem must be caused by one of her medications. Her patient medical history is positive for hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure. She has an allergy to erythromycin that causes rash and elevated liver enzymes. Medications currently prescribed include Furosemide 40 milligrams po twice a day, diltiazem 240 milligrams po daily, lisinopril 20 milligrams po daily, and warfarin 3 milligrams po daily. The physical examination reveals a frail older female with some facial dryness and slight scaling. Her visual acuity is 20/60 OU, 20/40 OD, 20/60 OS. The eyelids are erythematous and edematous with yellow crusting around the lashes. Sclera are injected, conjunctiva are pale, and pupils are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
Review the case studies provided in this week’s Resources.
You will either select or be assigned one of the three case studies provided.
Reflect on the provided patient information including history and physical exams.
Think about a differential diagnosis.
Consider the role the patient history and physical exam played in your diagnosis.
Reflect on potential treatment options based on your diagnosis.