Posts for: September, 2014

By West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat
September 16, 2014
Category: Uncategorized

Acute vs. Chronic Sinusitis
 
So, you are runny, stuffy, have a red nose, pain in your face and seemingly everywhere else, including exhaustion. This is way beyond a cold. You’ve got a sinus infection. The otolaryngology professionals at West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery in Thousand Oaks are all about making you feel better, whether your sinusitis is acute or chronic, but they want you to know the difference.
 
What is a sinus infection?

 
The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery defines sinusitis as follows, “an infection of the sinus cavities caused by bacteria. It usually is preceded by a cold, allergy attack, or irritation by environmental pollutants,” such as cigarette smoke. When you have a cold or allergies, your sinuses become inflamed and backed up with mucus, unable to drain. This can lead to a sinus infection.
 
Symptoms include:

    A stuffy, runny nose with thick green or yellow discharge
    Pressure and/or pain in the face, specifically around the sinuses or in the mouth (dental pain)
    Inability to smell
    A cough or congestion
    Fever
    Exhaustion
    Bad breath


 
You may not experience all of these symptoms so it’s important to visit your Thousand Oaks ENT so they can diagnose your ailment.
 
What’s the difference between acute and chronic sinusitis?
 
There are variant levels, if you will, of sinus infections. Acute sinusitis is a stubborn infection that does not go away in 10 to 14 days. Typically lasting under a month, an estimated 37 million Americans suffer from a sinus infection each year. Your otolaryngologist may prescribe you antibiotics, such as a z-pak, for a bacterial infection or may instruct you to use a combination of over-the-counter decongestants and steam therapy.
 
Chronic sinusitis occurs when your nasal cavities have been backed up for at least eight weeks, despite treatment, or the infection frequently returns. There are different methods of dealing with chronic sinus infections, such as a saline irrigation tool (neti pot), decongestants, pain relief medication, corticosteroids or antibiotics. The most extreme solution is surgery, for those noses that just won’t stay clear after many attempts by your ENT to keep them so.
 
Both chronic and acute sinusitis are bothersome, painful and can be restricting in many ways. If you’re concerned your cold or allergies has turned into something bigger, contact your Thousand Oaks otolaryngologist at West Coast ENT Head and Neck Surgery today.


By West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat
September 16, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Hearing Loss and Your Options
 
Imagine not being able to hear your son say, “I do,” never hearing your granddaughter’s laugh, not hearing your wife in an emergency. The social Hearing Aids implications from hearing loss range from the emotional to the dangerous and your Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Oxnard, and Simi Valley audiologists want you to be healthy in mind, body and soul. The professionals from West Coast Hearing and Balance Center, an association of West Coast ENT, want you to know all of your options when your hearing begins to fail.
 
Hearing aids
 
West Coast Hearing and Balance Center offers a wide variety of options for hearing aids:
 

  •     Lyric®: Invisible Hearing Device
  •     Invisible-In-the-Ear (IIC)
  •     Behind-The-Ear (BTE)
  •     In-The-Ear (ITE)
  •     In-The-Canal (ITC)
  •     Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC)
  •     Open Fit
  •     Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE)

 
BTE and ITE are the most common choices and are used by nearly 95% of hearing loss patients. BTE hearing aids are the largest but also usually provide the most power and circuit options. While they may not be the most discreet, as they rest behind the ear, they’re certainly quite effective. ITE, on the other hand, are housed entirely in the wearer’s ear, filling either the whole outer part of the ear, or smaller ones that fill a smaller portion of the outer part.
 
Assisted Listening Devices
 
Assisted listening devices help the patient hear better in specific situations, such as when talking on the phone or watching television. They’re excellent for all levels of hearing loss and even those with normal hearing. These devices amplify the sound you are trying to hear, while cutting out background noise.
 
Baha Implants
 
For the right Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Oxnard, and Simi Valley ENT patient, surgery can also be an option to treat hearing loss. Baha bone conduction implants take the vibrations from sound and send them directly to your inner ear, bypassing the damaged outer and middle parts of the ear that traditionally pick up sound through air conduction.
 
Hearing loss isn’t easy on anyone. Your West Coast ENT audiologist doesn’t want you to miss out on some of the most beautiful and important events in life. To learn more about your options and different types of hearing aids, please visit our audiologists’, West Coast Hearing and Balance Center, website.


By West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat
September 16, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: ent doctor   ear infections  

3 Tips for Preventing Ear Infections
 
Your child is complaining of a headache. She’s having trouble sleeping and is crying more than usual. When you wake her up in the morning, you notice her pillow is slightly damp, just where her ear was. She’s got an ear infection.
 
Your caring ear, nose and throat specialists at West Coast ENT know that children are more likely to get ear infections than adults and when they do, it can cause trouble for everyone in the family. Follow these three tips to prevent your little ones from ear pain.
 
Help them avoid illness
 
While it’s good for your child to build up his immune system, you never want to see him sick. We’re not saying keep him in a bubble, but in order to prevent ear infections, your Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, and Camarillo ENT wants you to make sure you instill good hygiene habits in your children. Be sure they wash their hands frequently and thoroughly and do not share eating utensils, or anything they put in their mouth, with other children.
 
It’s also best to avoid prolonged periods in group child care. If possible, limit the size of the group to just a few children and keep your kids home if they are ill.
 
Breastfeed your child

 
Studies have shown that breastfeeding your child for at least the first six months of his or her life can provide them with antibodies to help them fight off ear infections.
 
If or when you do choose to bottle-feed your baby, be sure to do so as they are in an upright position, not lying down and especially not as they are lying in their crib.
 
Vaccinate your child
 
By vaccinating your child, you are, in effect, ensuring that they don’t contract certain potentially life-threatening diseases. Having your Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, and Camarillo doctor give them a pneumococcal vaccine, for illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis, can save them the pain of an ear infection, on top of the other dangerous conditions. Additionally, be sure your child receives seasonal flu shots each year, as ear infections and the flu can go hand-in-hand.
 
The otolaryngology specialists at West Coast ENT care about your health and the health of your child. Help prevent the pain of ear infections by following these three easy steps. For more information or if you believe you or your child may have an ear infection, please contact one of our Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, or Camarillo offices today.




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