Posts for: April, 2015
Find out how to fight back against your persistent allergies this season.
Now that Spring has finally sprung you may have noticed that the sneezing, itchy eyes and scratchy throat have become a daily occurrence for you. Don’t let allergies ruin the beautiful weather and outdoor activities you have planned.
Managing allergies with over-the-counter medications
Some patients may find that their allergy relief is no further than their Simi Valley drugstore. Opt for the over-the-counter antihistamines that are non-drowsy, which will make it easier to fight off allergies without also having to fight off the urge to fall asleep at your desk.
If you suffer from nasal congestion, then you may also want to consider taking a decongestant or using a nasal spray. However, always follow the medications exactly as they are directed. If your nasal congestion doesn’t clear up or get better after a couple days, then it might be time to talk to your Simi Valley ENT doctor about a corticosteroid spray.
If you are suffering from a sore throat due to irritating postnasal drip, try soothing it with throat lozenges.
Managing allergies without medications alone
Besides going the medication route to treating your allergy symptoms there are also other things you can do to prevent your symptoms from surfacing. While sometimes this might seem easier said than done, it’s important to avoid your triggers as much as possible. This means following these little tips to keeping your allergy symptoms at bay:
- Keep windows closed if you are sensitive to outdoor allergies.
- If you do spend time outside, be sure to take a shower immediately after coming back in
- Wash your bedding, pajamas and clothes as much as possible to keep allergens down during the Spring.
- Vacuum carpets, rugs and furniture at least once a week.
However, sometimes these simple acts alone aren’t enough to eliminate your allergies. If you are still suffering, put an end to it by seeing your Simi Valley ENT doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat.
Find out if your symptoms could be indicative of hearing loss, and what your Thousand Oaks ENT doctor can do to help.
Hearing loss symptoms
Your hearing loss symptoms may include any of the following:
- Muffled sounds
- Trouble understanding words, particularly in loud environments
- Problems making out consonants
- Needing people to repeat themselves or speak louder
- Turning the volume up on your sound system or TV
Since you have trouble hearing what people are saying you may also find that you don’t participate in certain conversations or you may stay away from social situations altogether.
When to see your Thousand Oaks ENT doctor
Hearing is vitally important and not a matter to take lightly. If you are finding that your hearing troubles are affecting your life then it’s time to schedule an appointment, particularly if you notice that sounds are more muffled, if you have to turn up the volume more often and if it’s difficult understanding people in a crowd.
Hearing loss causes
Hearing loss can happen when the hairs and nerve cells within the ear become damaged. This can be due to aging or heredity, as well as certain professions (e.g. construction) or participating in certain recreational hobbies (e.g. firearms; motorcycling).
However, hearing loss can also be brought about by certain medications (e.g. chemotherapy), which can damage the inner structures of the ear. Furthermore, certain illnesses like meningitis can also cause permanent damage to the ear.
Temporary forms of hearing loss can be brought about by a ruptured eardrum or earwax buildup.
Hearing loss treatments
Sometimes the treatment is as simple as having your Thousand Oaks ENT doctor remove the earwax buildup; however, it’s usually not this minor. Some patients will require surgery, particularly those who have suffered an ear injury or have had multiple ear infections.
Other patients find hearing aids to be effective in making sounds or speech easier to understand and pinpoint, even in noisy situations. We would be happy to talk to you about your different hearing aid options in Thousand Oaks.
Cochlear implants are also an option for those with severe hearing loss. If a patient has a damaged inner ear, the cochlear implant can make it possible for someone to hear again. This is different from a regular hearing aid, in which the sounds are only amplified to make it easier to hear those around you.
If you are having trouble understanding what people around you are saying don’t just shy away from conversations. Be a lively part of the conversation again by seeing your Thousand Oaks ENT doctor regarding your hearing loss. Let West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat help you hear again!
Your Camarillo ENT doctor recommends these handy hints for both preventing and treating an ear infection.
No one likes dealing with the pain and discomfort of an ear infection, but at some point in our lives we will probably deal with this pesky problem. However, it’s just as important to know what you can do to prevent an ear infection from affecting you or your children.
Preventing Ear Infections
There are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to help ensure that both you and your child do not develop ear infections:
- Don’t allow smoking in the house. Ear infections occur more often in children who are around cigarette smoke.
- Wash both yours and your child’s hands often to prevent the spread of germs, which can cause infection.
- Keep both you and your child up-to-date on all immunizations.
- Children should avoid using a pacifier altogether by the time they turn 1-year-old, as children who use a pacifier after 12 months are more likely to develop ear infections.
If you still find yourself dealing with an ear infection, most cases can be handled with the proper self-measures. This includes taking over-the-counter medications and getting plenty of rest. However, it’s important to always follow all directions on over-the-counter products, especially when it comes to children. Children under a certain age should not take certain medications, so it’s important to read all the directions before using.
When to See Your Camarillo ENT Doctor
It’s important to always keep track of you or your child’s symptoms to know when it’s time to make an immediate trip to the doctor’s. Any of these symptoms warrant a visit to our Camarillo ENT office:
- A temperature higher than 100.4 degrees F
- Blood or pus in the ears
- If you’ve already been diagnosed with an infection and the symptoms get worse
- If your child is under three months old and has a fever, this is a medical emergency and you need to see a doctor immediately.
When you come into our office we will look at several factors regarding your infection to see if antibiotics is required to treat your ear infection.
If you or your child is experiencing any of these painful or serious symptoms then it’s time to see your Camarillo ENT doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat. Don’t let ear infections keep you from your daily activities!
Find out if surgery is the answer for your sinus-related issues.
While some of us will deal with the dreaded once a year sinus infection, those with chronic sinusitis aren’t as fortunate. These annoying and persistent symptoms last chronic suffers over 12 weeks. If you are currently dealing with severe or chronic sinus issues then it might be time to find out how getting sinus surgery in Oxnard could improve your health.
Goal of Sinus Surgery
The main purpose of sinus surgery is to help drain the sinuses and to remove any blockages that might be present. While some patients may find the relief they need through more conservative means, surgery may be the only option for those who have severely blocked or infected sinuses.
Types of Sinus Surgeries
There are two different kinds of sinus surgeries: the traditional form and an endoscopy. Most patients choose endoscopies because they are less invasive, and cause fewer side effects and also offer a shorter recovery time.
Endoscopic sinus surgery: An endoscopy uses a thin, flexible scope that goes inside your nose to help eliminate the blockage and to help drain the sinuses. It can also be used to remove small pieces of bone or other problems that could be blocking the sinuses, as well as sinus polyps.
Traditional sinus surgery: While endoscopic surgery in Oxnard is often preferred, there are times when only traditional surgery is best. One example is if there are complications (e.g. pus in the sinuses, an infection in the bones or an abscess in the brain) as a result of chronic sinusitis. In traditional surgery an incision is made either inside the mouth or through the face.
What Sinus Surgery Treats
Your Oxnard ENT doctor may recommend sinus surgery if you are dealing with any of these problems:
- You have chronic sinusitis
- Nasal polyps (causing a sinus blockage)
- A fungus causing sinus infection
- A sinus infection that spreads to the face, brain or eyes
- Nasal tumor or growths
- Tear duct blockage
- Lack of smell
If you are suffering from chronic sinusitis or any of the above conditions then can’t find relief from other treatment options then it might be time to consider sinus surgery. Talk to your Oxnard ENT doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat.
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