Posts for: August, 2016
With allergy season upon us, you may notice yourself sneezing and sniffling more often than normal. However, allergies come from more sources than just pollen or grass. But how do you know if you have an allergy? Find out with your doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo and Oxnard, CA.
Signs and Symptoms of Allergies
If you find yourself sneezing or itching your eyes more than usual, you could be suffering from allergies. Unfortunately, allergies can develop at any age, even if you have never suffered from them before. Allergies may differ depending on the allergen, but symptoms usually include:
- watery eyes
- red eyes
- runny nose
- clear nasal discharge
- itchy throat
- symptoms which continue longer than two weeks
Allergy tests are your best bet for diagnosing exactly what triggers your allergic reaction. A skin test involves placing small amounts of various allergens onto the skin, then scratching the skin and watching its reaction to the allergen. If the skin reacts to an allergen, you are allergic to that particular thing. A blood test looks for the number of antibodies, the body’s natural reaction to an allergen, in the blood to determine an allergic reaction. The results of a blood test take several days to come back from the laboratory while the skin test’s results are immediate.
Allergy Treatment in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo and Oxnard
Treatment for your allergies depends on the results of your tests as treatments vary with different allergens. Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamine medication helps relieve the symptoms of allergies. Nasal sprays help flush pollen or other allergens out of the nasal cavity. Eye drops can help calm itchy or irritated eyes. Allergy shots administered several times a year help relieve the symptoms of allergies from the inside out.
For more information on allergies, please contact your doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose, and Throat in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo and Oxnard, CA. Call to schedule your allergy test today!
Thyroid issues may require treatment in the form of surgery. However, determining you have a thyroid issue which requires surgical treatment can be overwhelming or confusing without any prior knowledge of thyroid issues. Find out more about the reasons behind thyroid surgery with your doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Oxnard, Camarillo and Thousand Oaks, CA.
Conditions Commonly Treated with Thyroid Surgery
- Thyroid Cancer: Surgery is a common form of treatment for thyroid cancer. Depending on the size and stage of the cancer, your doctor removes part or all of the thyroid gland.
- Hyperthyroidism: This condition occurs when the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. Surgery to remove the thyroid gland can treat hyperthyroidism.
- Thyroid Nodules: Nodules are common, abnormal growths of tissue on the thyroid gland. They present themselves as a lump on the throat and are surgically removed. About 95% of thyroid nodules are non-cancerous.
Diagnosing Thyroid Problems
Your doctor can help you decide if thyroid surgery is your best treatment option. Diagnosing a thyroid condition often involves a physical examination alongside various testing to determine the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood. The testing itself begins by drawing the patient’s blood and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. Additionally, imagining tests like ultrasounds or a CT scan can help your doctor diagnose a thyroid disorder.
Thyroid Surgery in Simi Valley, Oxnard, Camarillo and Thousand Oaks
Thyroid surgery, usually performed under general anesthesia, is an inpatient procedure commonly requiring patients to stay in the hospital for a day or two afterwards. Recovery depends on your general health, age and the type of surgery performed. The surgeon makes a small incision in the neck to expose the thyroid. Depending on the type of surgery required for your condition, the surgeon removes part or all of the thyroid. You should take any medication as prescribed following the surgery and plan for several weeks of recovery time.
For more information on thyroid surgery or the conditions which require it, please contact your doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Oxnard, Camarillo and Thousand Oaks, CA. Call to schedule your consultation for thyroid surgery today.
While keeping your ears clean may not be the first priority on your daily hygiene routine, it is an important part of keeping your body healthy. However, there is often some confusion surrounding the best way to keep your ears clean. Learn how to properly clean your ears with your doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard and Camarillo, CA.
How should I clean my ears?
Contrary to popular belief, you should never, under any circumstances, insert anything into your ear’s canal. Using a cotton swab to clean the ear can push earwax back into the ear canal, causing hearing loss and wax buildup. To clean your ears, simply use a soft cloth to wipe down the skin on the outside of the ear.
Earwax will usually accumulate, dry out, then fall out of the ear without outside help. However, this does not always happen, causing earwax buildup. Irrigation systems available over-the-counter or at your doctor’s office help clear out earwax. Special drops can help loosen the earwax. Additionally, your doctor can manually remove earwax right in their office. This process uses suction and small tools to clean the ears.
Ear Wax Removal in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard and Camarillo
This procedure begins with a physical examination to determine that you have a blockage. Your doctor may place drops into your ear to loosen or soften the earwax. They then use miniaturized instruments and a special light to remove the wax blockage from the ear. This may involve using a curved instrument to carefully scrape out the wax. Suction is another option for removing earwax. Flushing the wax with an irrigation method may also help remove earwax.
Your doctor may recommend medication for recurring earwax buildup. The medication usually comes in drop form, administered a few times daily to help prevent the wax from building up. Be sure to take this medication according to your doctor’s instructions.
For more information on cleaning your ears, please contact your doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard and Camarillo, CA. Call to schedule your examination with your ear, nose and throat doctor today!
As you age, it is normal to experience some hearing loss. However, realizing you are suffering from this condition may be surprising. Find out the warning signs of hearing loss and more with your doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose, and Throat in Simi Valley, CA.
Signs You May Be Suffering From Hearing Loss
Hearing loss usually occurs over time, making the signs and symptoms difficult to recognize. Some of the warning signs you may be suffering from hearing loss include:
- feeling as though those around you are mumbling
- others telling you the TV or radio is too loud when you feel it is at a normal, easy-to-hear volume
- feeling as though you need to concentrate harder than normal to hear conversations
- having a hard time hearing people in general, especially in a noisy area like a restaurant or event
- you often ask people to repeat things over the phone or in person
If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment for a hearing assessment. This test helps your doctor understand the degree of your hearing loss and determine the best treatment plan for you.
Hearing Loss Treatment in Simi Valley, CA
The most common treatment for hearing loss comes in the form of a small device worn on or inside the ear called a hearing aid. These devices pick up sounds through a microphone, amplifies the sound, then produces it through a speaker. Hearing aids come in all shapes and sizes, including:
- BTE (behind the ear): This style of hearing aid wraps behind the ear to hold it in place. Made from plastic, this is the most common kind of hearing aid.
- ITE (in the ear): ITE hearing aids sit inside of the ear and are partially hidden from view. ITE hearing aids are still visible, though they do not wrap around the ear itself.
- ITC (in the canal): ITC aids sit either partially or completely in the ear’s canal and are hidden from view and unnoticeable to others.
A cochlear implant may be beneficial for those suffering from full hearing loss. The implant bypasses the damaged or non-working inner ear parts and transmits sounds directly to the implant, which sends them to the brain. Your doctor can help you determine if a hearing aid or cochlear implant is the best option for you.
For more information on hearing loss, please contact your doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose, and Throat in Simi Valley, CA. Call (805) 527-7320 to schedule your hearing assessment today!
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