Posts for category: ENT Conditions and Treatments
Millions of Americans experience hearing loss, and in our Thousand Oaks, CA, office, we take pride in offering patients with state-of-the-art equipment that allows for the most accurate evaluation and appropriate treatment. Hearing loss happens gradually. It can be confusing, and you may not even realize that you are falling victim to this condition. At West Coast Ear, Nose, and Throat, we encourage you to read on for answers to our frequently asked questions about hearing loss.
How Do I Know If I Have Hearing Loss?
When engaging in conversation, are people often mumbling instead of enunciating? Do you regularly miss keywords in a sentence or ask friends and family to repeat themselves? Sometimes the symptoms of hearing loss are blatantly apparent, but it's significant to achieve a definite diagnosis to ensure successful treatment. If you continually turn up the volume on the radio, television, or someone close to you has mentioned you might be hard of hearing, consider setting up a diagnostic test.
Who is at Risk for Hearing Loss?
Aging is one of the most common causes of hearing loss but isn't always the reason for the problem. According to statistics, 35-55% correlates with genetics. Some illnesses, like meningitis, can also damage the mechanisms inside the ear, resulting in temporary or permanent hearing loss. Additionally, your career may have a large impact on your hearing capabilities. If you work in construction or in a warehouse with heavy machinery, this can also put you at risk.
What are the Treatment Options?
For Thousand Oaks, CA, patients who suffer from hearing loss, West Coast Ear, Nose, and Throat, offers different types of listening devices depending on the severity. After our audiologist assesses your hearing during an exam, he or she can determine which type of hearing aid is best suitable for your specific needs. Types of hearing aids range from in-the-ear, behind-the-ear, in-the-canal, or open fit. There are many different styles to choose from that are custom, convenient, discreet, and flexible for your lifestyle.
If you have concerns about hearing loss, we have licensed audiologists on staff to help you achieve proper diagnosis and discuss treatment options if necessary. At West Coast Ear, Nose, and Throat, we offer comprehensive hearing evaluations for patients from infancy to adulthood. For more information about hearing loss, the conditions we treat, and other services provided, visit our website. To schedule an appointment at our Thousand Oaks, CA, office, please call (805) 379-9646; for our office in Simi Valley, CA, call (805) 527-7320; for our Oxnard, CA, office, call (805) 983-0395; and for our office in Camarillo, CA, call (805) 484-5929.
Dealing with hearing loss in Oxnard, CA? Let us help you!
Anyone can have hearing loss, from children to senior citizens. In fact, approximately 15 percent of Americans over the age of 18 have said that they have some difficulty hearing. Wondering what causes hearing loss and how to protect your precious hearing? Turn to our Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA, ENT doctors and audiologists for the answers you’re looking for to prevent or treat your hearing loss.
What causes hearing loss?
The most common cause of hearing loss is age. As we get older, most people will develop some degree of hearing loss in both ears. Of course, other factors that can affect your hearing include,
- Ear infections
- Birth defects
- Extreme noises
Both age and exposure to loud noises can lead to damage of the cochlea’s nerve cells and hairs, which is responsible for sending sound to the brain for it to interpret. If the hair or nerve cells are damaged, the signal isn’t properly transmitted to the brain, which results in hearing loss.
Is hearing loss preventable?
One of the best ways to prevent hearing loss is to protect your ears from loud noises. It’s important to understand what noises can be damaging to your hearing. Some of these noises include live concerts, dance clubs, firearm ranges, motorcycles, and powerboats.
Furthermore, there are certain professions that are at an increased risk for hearing loss due to constant exposure to loud noises. These professions include military personnel, construction workers, farmers, police officers, and musicians. It’s important that you always wear hearing protection such as earplugs if you work in a noisy environment.
We also know that a lot of people love blasting music at home or while exercising, but it’s important to be cognizant of how loud the music is and to adjust the sound so that it’s not hazardous to your hearing. It’s also a good idea to visit our otolaryngologists in Oxnard, CA, for regular screenings.
What are my treatment options if I have hearing loss?
The most common hearing loss treatment is a hearing aid. While a hearing aid will not restore your hearing, it will be able to improve your ability to hear certain tones and pitches that may have been difficult due to your hearing loss. The role of a hearing aid is to amplify certain sounds, making it easier to understand people, especially in noisier environments.
Depending on the type of hearing loss you are dealing with, one of our ENT specialists may recommend a cochlear implant or surgery.
Interested? Call today!
West Coast ENT is dedicated to providing comprehensive ear, nose, and throat care to Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA. No matter whether you are dealing with symptoms of hearing loss or you already have been diagnosed and want to discuss hearing aid options, call our office today to schedule an appointment with us! (805) 379-9646
Your daughter feels nauseated and exhausted after eating lunch. You notice that her lips seem bit puffy. It has happened before, but this episode seems worse. What's going on? At West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA, your board-certified otolaryngologist can examine your child for allergies. The body's hypersensitive reaction to food eaten, substances touched or things inhaled, your child's allergy can be identified and controlled.
Why do allergies happen?
Our bodies have immune systems which guard us against illnesses such as colds, flu, skin infections and a whole host of problems. Unfortunately, the immune system sometimes can be overactive, attacking substances which, to other people, are perfectly harmless.
When an allergic substance, or allergen, contacts a sensitive adult or child, that person reacts with a substantial flurry of natural antibodies which release histamines. Histamines produce a variety of uncomfortable symptoms in wide-ranging severity, including:
- Stomach upset
- Facial swelling
- A cough
- Runny, itchy eyes and nose
- Nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing
What triggers allergies?
Many children and adults suffer from allergies in various forms. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that 24 million Americans suffer from noticeable allergies, and six million of that number are children.
What triggers an allergic response? Allergens can be somewhat mysterious in origin and even harder to pinpoint. For sure, the immune system plays a significant role, along with environment, heredity and even stress.
The most common groups of triggers include:
- Pet dander
- Insects (cockroaches, bees)
- Plant mold
- Food dyes and additives
- Certain fabrics
- Perfumes and scents added to soaps and cosmetics
- Some medications
Tracking down triggers and treating children's allergies in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA takes due diligence on the part of parents and your friends at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat. When you consult one of our physicians, be specific about your child's symptoms and when they occur. The doctor may advise some of the following to test for allergies:
- A food diary and elimination and challenge test Done at home, this careful strategy lists everything a child eats and then eliminates and re-introduces suspected allergens.
- RAST test This blood work analysis reveals antibodies which form in response to allergens.
- Skin allergy, or scratch, test It introduces small amounts of allergens under the skin. The doctor "reads" the body's reaction to the triggers.
- Sublingual testing This common evaluation introduces a small amount of allergen under the tongue.
Common sense says to avoid your child's known triggers. Additionally, she may benefit from sublingual medications, allergy shots and over the counter and prescription medications to alleviate symptoms. Your ENT doctor will devise an allergy care plan to help you and your child deal with allergies on a daily basis.
Find out more
As her parent, you know your daughter best. If you suspect she has allergies, please contact West Coast Ear, Nose in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA and throat for a consultation. Call today: (805) 379-9646.
Finally, experience sweet relief from your chronic sinusitis symptoms with this non-surgical procedure.
While most people will deal with a short bout of sinusitis (a sinus infection), most people will experience relief after a few weeks; unfortunately, there are some people out there that develop sinusitis and never experience a reprieve. They suffer for weeks and weeks on end. No over-the-counter remedies seem to alleviate it. If this sounds like you, then it might be time to talk to one of our Thousand Oaks, CA, otolaryngologists about balloon sinuplasty.
What is balloon sinuplasty?
This procedure uses a small catheter with a deflated balloon at its end. The instrument is slowly guided into the nasal cavity and the balloon is inflated. By inflating the balloon, our Thousand Oaks, CA, ENT doctors can open up the inflamed and blocked walls to allow the nasal cavities to properly drain. Our ENT doctors will also flush out the area to remove mucus and other debris that’s been built up. Once this has happened, the catheter can be removed.
What makes it a good option for someone dealing with chronic sinusitis?
There are so many benefits to getting balloon sinuplasty. For one, this procedure doesn’t require any incisions or cutting of bone or tissue. This means a significantly shorter and easier recovery period. Plus, this can easily be done right here in our office without the need for general anesthesia. This treatment is easy and can be performed in about an hour to an hour and a half.
Who is a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty?
If you are someone who has been dealing with facial pressure, nasal congestion and discharge, or sinus headaches for over 12 weeks or more and haven’t found relief from over-the-counter or prescription medications and treatment then it’s time to talk to us about whether this minimally invasive procedure may finally rid you of your pesky long-term symptoms.
What is the recovery period like?
Since this procedure is minimally invasive and doesn’t require any incisions or cutting, you can leave the office right after your procedure and will be able to return to your normal routine within a couple of days.
Do I only need to get balloon sinuplasty once?
The majority of patients experience the relief they’ve been looking for with balloon sinuplasty. In most cases, just one treatment session is all you need to keep nasal passages open.
The doctors at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Thousand Oaks, CA, are here to answer all of your questions or to help you decide whether balloon sinuplasty is right for you. Book your consultation with us today!