Head and neck cancer affects about 40,000 Americans each year. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer of this particular region, you likely have some questions about how it will be managed. The team of otolaryngologists (also known as ENT doctors) at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, CA, have explained the basics of head and neck cancer treatment in this post.
What are head and neck cancers?
Head and neck cancers include a variety of various tumors and cell abnormalities that form anywhere in this region of the body. This includes oral cancers, throat and voice box cancers, and those found in the sinuses or nose. These cancers are most commonly found in adults over the age of 50 and strongly associated with alcohol and tobacco usage. Other factors such as asbestos exposure, infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) and a diet high in processed meat have shown to be risk factors as well. To aid in detection and cure of head and neck cancers, our otolaryngology team recommends regular screening for adults; this is often performed as part of dental checkups, but can also be done by one of our Simi Valley ENT doctors.
How are head and neck cancers treated?
The way head and neck cancers are managed depends upon the location of the cancer and its staging. Oral cancers - those affecting the lips, tongue, and other tissues inside the mouth - are often surgically removed, with skin grafts to help conceal cosmetic detriments. Radiation therapy is also frequently used to destroy head and neck cancer cells. Laser treatment may be utilized for cancers found near the voice box (the larynx) to minimize damage to the remaining healthy structures.
To make an appointment with one of our ENT doctors at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat, contact one of our offices today. We have several locations in California: Simi Valley, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, and Camarillo.
Are you living with hearing loss? An ENT doctor can evaluate and treat your hearing loss improve your quality of life. Several options are available for hearing loss. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of the hearing impairment. West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery (offices in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, and Camarillo, CA) offers state-of-the art treatments for ear, nose and throat problems. Read on to learn about some treatment options for hearing loss.
Medical Treatment: Medication and surgery is often recommended for many types of hearing issues, particularly conductive hearing loss. Some of the common causes of conductive hearing loss are earwax blocking the ear canal and fluid in the ear. In cases where there is a bacterial infection of the middle ear, antibiotics are often prescribed. Conductive hearing loss may also be caused by a problem with the bones of the middle ear, which, in some cases, is treated with surgery.
Hearing Aids: If you're diagnosed with hearing loss that cannot be treated medically, your doctor will help determine which hearing aids would be most appropriate. Hearing aids are electronic devices designed to improve your hearing. Small enough to wear behind or in your ear, they make sounds louder. Open fit hearing devices are currently the most popular, due to fit and features offered.
Cochlear Implants: Cochlear implants are small, medical devices that can improve the hearing of patients with a severe hearing impairment. This device consists of an external component that is placed behind your ear and a second component that is surgically implanted under your skin. Within several months of use, most patients with cochlear implants make considerable gains in understanding speech.
Assistive Devices: In some cases, alerting or hearing assistive devices may be recommended instead of, or in addition to, hearing aids. Signaling or Text Display Devices are designed to convert sound or keystrokes into vibratory or visual stimulus, or into written text. Assistive Listening Devices are designed to enhance the sound that is received by picking up the sound closer to its source. This reduces the effects of distance, reverberation, and noise and transmits sound to the ears or hearing aids.
If you want to live well with hearing loss, contact West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery right now to schedule a consultation with one of our ENT doctors in Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, or Simi Valley. We will ensure you receive the best care and a solution specific to your individual needs!
Post-nasal drip affects almost everybody at some point in their lives. The glands in your throat and nose continually produce mucus to filter out foreign matter, moisten nasal membranes, and fight infection. Post-nasal drip can have numerous causes. Post-nasal drop is treatable by medical professionals. West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery (offices in Thousand Oaks, CA, Simi Valley, CA, Oxnard, CA, and Camarillo, CA) offers treatments for ear, nose and throat problems. Read on to learn more about post-nasal drip.
What is postnasal drip?
Post-nasal drip occurs when excess mucus is produced by the nasal mucosa. When your body starts producing excess mucus, you may feel in the back of your throat. You might also feel mucus dripping down your throat. This is called postnasal drip. Other common symptoms of postnasal drip include a cough that’s worse at night, sore, scratchy throat, feeling that you need to constantly swallow or clear your throat, and bad breath.
What causes post-nasal drip?
Some common causes of post-nasal drip include dry air, cold temperatures, hormonal changes, chemical irritants, pregnancy, and certain foods. Additionally, a number of conditions can cause post-nasal drip, Allergies are a common cause of post-nasal drip. Another common cause of post-nasal drip is a deviated septum, which means that the thin wall of cartilage between your nostrils leans to one side or is displaced. Other causes of post-nasal drip include viral infections and sinus infections.
How can I prevent post-nasal drip?
You can prevent postnasal drip by reducing your exposure to allergens. Keep your house as clean as possible. Change air filters on your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system regularly. Take allergy medication every day or get regular allergy shots. Shower or bathe before bed whenever you’ve spent a lot of time outside if you’re allergic to pollen. Use pillow and mattress covers to protect against dust mites.
Do I need to see an ENT doctor?
Make an appointment with an ENT doctor if your symptoms have persisted through home treatments for more than 10 days. There are some symptoms that could indicate it’s time to see an ENT doctor. These include fever, wheezing, or mucus with a strong odor. These may be symptoms of a bacterial infection, which requires antibiotics. If you have a deviated septum, surgery may be the only way to permanently treat post-nasal drip. This surgery (called a septoplasty) straightens and tightens the nasal septum.
If you need treatment for post-nasal drip, call West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery right now to schedule an appointment with one of our ENT specialists in Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, or Simi Valley. You will experience exemplary service and state-of-the-art care at West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery!
The stuffiness, headache, and drainage associated with a cold are annoying yet manageable symptoms because they're all temporary. However, what happens when these symptoms linger long after your cold has cleared up? This is known as sinusitis, and, fortunately, here at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Camarillo, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Oxnard, CA, our team of physicians have extensive experience in helping patients treating it. Read on to learn how!
Non-surgical sinus treatments
Before suggesting surgery, most otolaryngologists will attempt to treat their patients' chronic sinus issues with less invasive methods first. Allergy tests can determine if you're allergic to anything and various medications, both oral and nasal, may be necessary. If your sinusitis is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection, an ENT from one of our offices in Camarillo, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Oxnard, can prescribe the appropriate medication to clear up the problem. Oral steroids may also help reduce inflammation to promote better breathing.
Reasons for sinus surgery
If the above methods of managing sinusitis fail to bring you relief, it may be necessary to receive sinus surgery from one of our offices in Camarillo, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Oxnard. People who need surgical treatment on their sinuses typically have one of the following conditions:
- A deviated septum. This is a common condition in which the cartilage that divides your nose down the middle is pushed further to one side. While very few people have nasal passages that are the same on both sides, some septums can be so uneven that one side is obstructed, preventing proper drainage and leading to recurrent sinus infections.
- Nasal polyps. These soft, painless growths can line the sinuses, making breathing difficult and causing recurrent sinus infections. Their cause is often unknown, although they can be linked to inflammation from allergies or asthma. Removal of these polyps falls under the umbrella of sinus surgery.
Concerned? Give us a call!
If you've been dealing with the above-listed symptoms for longer than a few weeks, it's time to contact West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat to make an appointment with one of our otolaryngology team members. We have locations in Camarillo, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Oxnard, making it convenient for you to receive the help you need!
Dial (805) 484-5929 for Camarillo, (805) 527-7320 for Simi Valley, (805) 379-9646 for Thousand Oaks, and (805) 983-0395 for Oxnard.
Hearing loss can occur so gradually that you may not realize that you have a problem at first. Recognizing common signs of early hearing loss can help you ensure that you get the treatment you need. If you are diagnosed with hearing loss, the ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Ventura County, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks, CA, can help you enhance your hearing with appropriate treatment.
Hearing loss signs
If you have hearing loss, you may notice that:
- People don't talk as loudly anymore: If you have difficulty hearing everyone, it may be you, not them. Initially, you may notice trouble hearing children or women with high-pitched voices, but it may become difficult to hear everyone eventually.
- You have to fill in the blanks: Hearing loss can make it hard to hear certain sounds or consonants. As a result, you may constantly guess what people are saying.
- Watching TV shows or going to the movies is frustrating: Do you turn up the TV and still have trouble hearing? If you've been gradually increasing the volume, you may have hearing loss. Hearing loss may also make it hard to hear the dialogue over the background music at the movie theater.
- You can't hear well if someone calls to you from another room: You may be relying on visual clues and lip reading more than you think if it's difficult to hear someone in the next room.
- Using the phone is hard: Phone conversations can also be hard to understand because you can't see the person's lips.
- You seem to have more personal problems: When you can't hear well, you may misunderstand what your significant other, friends, supervisor or colleagues say, which can lead to problems at work or in your relationships.
Whether you need hearing aids to combat age-related hearing loss, drainage tubes to remove built-up fluid or other treatments, our ENT's are committed to helping you improve your hearing.
Do any of these signs sound familiar? Find out if you have hearing loss by scheduling a visit with the ENTs at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat. Make an appointment by calling (805) 983-0395 for the Oxnard, CA, office, (805) 379-9646 for the Thousand Oaks office, (805) 527-7320 for the Simi Valley office or (805) 484-5929 for the Camarillo office.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.