Posts for category: ENT Issues
A raging sore throat is winter's most common health complaint. Here at West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Oxnard, and Thousand Oaks, CA, your team of seven ENT doctors see sore throats all the time. They'll uncover the cause of yours and give you the right treatment.
The causes of sore throats
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that the cold virus is the most frequent cause of sore throats. Additionally, tobacco usage, strep bacteria, mononucleosis, or the flu virus precipitate the scratchy feeling, painful swallowing, and hoarse voice that acutely affect both children and adults. Severe and persistent allergies, shouting, and environmental irritants such as outdoor pollution (car exhaust) may lead to painful throats, too.
Furthermore, there are some additional causes that may be more worrisome, and that's where the professional team here at our offices in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Oxnard, and Thousand Oaks, CA, come in. The CDC explains that sore throats which persist for more than seven days require medical evaluation, as do accompanying symptoms such as:
- Problems with swallowing and breathing
- Blood in saliva or phlegm
- Joint pain
- Skin rash
- A lump on the side of the neck
- Weight loss which cannot be explained
What you should do
If these severe symptoms arise, call a primary care physician here at West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery. You may need a strep culture test—a simple swabbing of the back of the throat that can confirm the presence of dangerous strep A bacteria. The doctor may prescribe antibiotic medication to quell a strep infection.
For concerns other than infectious disease, your ENT doctor may do an in-office examination with a lighted laryngoscope. This allows him to view the interior of the throat, including the vocal cords, and any structural abnormalities or tumors.
Sore throats can be more than annoying. They can be deceptive and even dangerous to your systemic health. If you have one which persists or seems unusual in intensity and length, please contact one of our four locations in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Oxnard, and Thousand Oaks, CA. Phone us at (805) 379-9646 to schedule an appointment with an ENT doctor today.
Do you have a thyroid problem? Over 20 million adults in the US do, according to the American Thyroid Association. Unfortunately, thyroid issues often go undetected or are mistaken for other problems, thus causing patients to not receive proper treatment. Here at West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Oxnard, and Thousand Oaks, CA, your seven otolaryngologists treat hyper- and hypothyroidism as well as thyroid cancer. Get the best treatment, and feel better.
What is the thyroid?
We all have one. It's the butterfly- or H-shaped gland under your larynx, or voice box. Also called the master gland of the endocrine system, the thyroid regulates metabolism as well as many bodily functions, such as heart rate. While thyroid problems are very common, they also should be taken seriously. Even though the thyroid is prone to cancer, the biggest problem associated with this gland is hormonal insufficiency or overproduction.
The three hormones the thyroid secretes directly into the bloodstream are T3, T4, and calcitonin. Too much of any or all of these natural chemicals causes hyperthyroidism and too little results in hypothyroidism. Benign modules and large growths called goiters affect the thyroid, too.
Signs you may have a thyroid problem
Here at our offices in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Oxnard, and Thousand Oaks, CA, your doctor orders blood work for a suspected thyroid problem. They want to measure TSH levels--that is, thyroid-stimulating hormone--to determine if the gland is over- or underactive. Additionally, the doctor looks for bodily symptoms such as:
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Hair loss
- Swellings in the neck
- Trouble swallowing
Treating thyroid issues
Thyroid cancer usually involves surgery and follow-up radiation to destroy any residual tissue. Hyperthyroidism may involve prescription medication and or surgery to remove part of the gland. Hypothyroidism responds to a synthetic T4 mediation called Synthroid. Of course, your care plan will be individualized to the particulars of your case.
Your thyroid...your health
They go hand in hand. Be sure yours is OK. If you are experiencing symptoms you cannot explain, it may be time for a thyroid check. Contact West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery today. We have four locations to serve your needs: Simi Valley, Camarillo, Oxnard, and Thousand Oaks, CA. Phone the office team for an appointment: (805) 379-9646.
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.
Find out more about hearing loss, its symptoms and how to treat it.
Hearing loss happens more often than you might realize. In fact, you may have some degree of hearing loss and not even know it. Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves rather often? Do you have to turn up the radio or your headphones to understand the lyrics of a song? If you said yes to these questions, you could very well have some hearing loss, an issue that should be checked out by our Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and Ventura County, CA, audiologists and otolaryngologists. Read below for some answers to the frequently asked questions about hearing loss!
Q. What causes hearing loss?
A. There are many factors that can contribute to hearing loss. While age is certainly a common reason why hearing loss occurs, other causes include exposure to extreme or excessive noises, birth defects, ear infections, genetics, and even certain cancer treatments. If you have age-related hearing loss, it will most often affect both ears rather than just one.
Q. What are the warning signs of hearing loss?
A. More often than not, hearing loss occurs slowly over time, which is why it isn’t always easy to tell whether you are dealing with this problem. Of course, you may have friends or family members making comments regarding your hearing, in which case it is important to ask yourself these questions:
- Do you feel like people are mumbling around you?
- Do you have trouble following a conversation if there are several people talking?
- Do you have to turn up the radio or television to hear what they are saying?
- Do you ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do you sometimes hear a ringing in your ears (tinnitus)?
- Do you withdrawal from social conversations because you can’t understand what they are saying?
- Do you have difficulty understanding people in loud environments like a crowded restaurant?
If you said “yes” to some of these questions, it’s time to schedule an evaluation with one of our Camarillo audiologists and otolaryngologists. When performing a physical exam, most doctors will not check your hearing. This is why it’s important to come to us for a proper evaluation so that we can determine whether or not you have hearing loss.
Q. How is hearing loss diagnosed?
A. When you come into our office, we will physically examine both ears. We will also perform simple tests to help us diagnose hearing loss. Pure-tone audiometry is another test used to check for hearing loss. During this test, you will wear headphones and listen to different frequencies and pitches to see what you can and cannot hear.
Q. Will a hearing aid restore my hearing?
A. A hearing aid is the gold standard for helping you manage your hearing loss. Of course, it’s important to understand that a hearing aid will not cure your hearing loss, it simply amplifies certain sounds to make them easier to hear. There are several different kinds of hearing aids and we would be happy to sit down with you to determine the right one for you.
If you are experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, it’s important that you call West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat for an evaluation. We have offices in Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and Ventura County, CA, to serve you better. Schedule your hearing screening today by calling (805) 379-9646.
A condition called sinusitis affects up to 11 percent of Americans according to the CDC, causing chronic headaches and other symptoms. Sinus pain is particularly distressing because the pressure is felt behind and between the eyes and can radiate to other places in the head. It makes it harder to think, concentrate, focus, and perform throughout your day. The doctors at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA can help you get the relief you need with sinus surgery and other treatments.
Causes of Sinus Pain
The sinuses are hollow spaces in the face that are filled with air and normally lined with mucus. The lining of the sinuses can become irritated and inflamed by a virus or bad bacteria, causing a sinus infection. Allergens may also be the culprit behind sinus pain. This condition causes a number of additional symptoms including tension headaches that last for days, constant runny nose, and yellow or green nasal discharge. It can be acute (short-term and usually related to a cold) or chronic (reoccurring for weeks).
How an ENT Can Help You Deal with Sinus Pain
Sinus pain sometimes passes on its own after a relatively short time, and can be managed with pain medication, nasal decongestants, antihistamines (if related to an allergy), or antibiotic therapy (if the cause is a bacterial infection). But when the condition is chronic and causing major discomfort, the doctors at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA may recommend endoscopic sinus surgery.
Reducing the Occurrence of Sinus Pain
You can take steps to reduce the occurrence and intensity of sinus pain. Here are a few tips to consider going forward:
- If your sinus pain is caused by allergies, get an allergy test to identify the trigger so that you can avoid that substance. Take antihistamines as prescribed by your doctor.
- Use a nasal rinse to irrigate mucus out of the sinus cavities and remove irritants.
- Try using a humidifier in your home, as dry air can aggravate a sinus infection.
Dealing with Sinusitis
Sinus pain can take you away from your daily routine and cause major lifestyle inconveniences. The treatments offered at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA, including sinus surgery, can give you much-needed relief. Call the office today for an appointment.