Posts for: May, 2016

By West Coast ENT
May 11, 2016
Category: Health
Tags: Cleft Palette   Cleft Lip  

Over 200,000 babies are born with a cleft lip and palette in the United States every year according to the Mayo Clinic. When the roof of cleft palettethe mouth (palette) does not fully fuse closed during fetal development, the baby is born with a split (cleft) in the palette or lip. While some cases can be submucous (the split in the palette is covered by a lining of tissue) and not immediately visible to casual observation, most cases are diagnosed right after the baby is born.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palette Diagnosis and Treatment in Simi Valley, CA

Q: What causes a baby's palette and lip to split?

A: Technically, all palettes and lips start out cleft, and then fuse together during fetal development. When one or both do not close properly during development, the baby is born with a cleft lip and/or palette. Genetic disorders and environmental factors like poor nutrition or substance abuse during pregnancy are believed to be potential contributing factors.

Q: Is a cleft lip and cleft palette dangerous?

A: It is a fairly common condition that does not pose serious health risks to the baby. They can cause difficulty with eating and speaking, which can lead to secondary developmental and nutritional problems if left untreated. However like adults, all babies are different, and many can feed normally with some adjustments.

Q: How is the condition treated?

A: The child's primary pediatrician can offer an initial diagnosis and recommendations for further evaluation, however fixing a cleft lip and cleft palette requires a team of specialists, starting with an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, throat or "ENT" doctor). West Coast Ear Nose Throat and Head and Neck Surgery in Simi Valley helps parents of babies born with either one or both defects to navigate the process, and determine which services each baby will need.

Because the surgery involves the lip and face, a plastic surgeon is usually necessary, as well as pediatric oral surgeons and dentists, and speech pathologists and psychologists, depending on the child's individual case and specific needs. While many babies are born with both a cleft lip and palette, some are born only with a cleft lip, which has less if any impact on dental development and oral health and speech. However both should be repaired as early as possible for the baby's overall development.

Contact an ENT Doctor in Simi Valley, CA

Cleft lip and cleft palette treatment require a comprehensive team of doctors, starting with an ENT doctor. For more information, contact West Coast Ear Nose Throat at (805) 379-9646 to schedule an appointment today.

By West Coast ENT
May 11, 2016
Category: Health
Tags: Sinus Pain   Sinus Infection  

Whether from seasonal allergies or a bout with a cold or flu, most people have experienced the throbbing and aching sensation across sinus painthe nose, forehead, eyes, and cheekbones that characterizes sinus pain. Like a cold or the flu itself, the intensity and duration of the pain can range from mild discomfort over the course of a few days, to stop-the-world-and-let-me-off-for-a-week.

Cold and Flu-Related Sinus Pain

Not all sinus pain attacks are created equal. When caused by seasonal cold and flu, sinus symptoms can usually be relieved with over the counter medication and remedies. The most common sinus pain and symptom remedies include:

  • Saline spray for decongestion and to relieve swelling
  • A humidifier for blocked sinuses
  • Warm compress to relieve pain and swelling across the face
  • Nasal decongestants
  • Antihistamines
  • Pain relievers - acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin (consult with a pediatric ENT for children)

Generally, symptoms should clear up within a week to ten days. If symptoms persist for longer or do not respond to over the counter treatments, it could be a sign of a bacterial sinus infection, which usually require a prescription for antibiotics.

Treatment for a Bacterial Sinus Infection in Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks, CA-based West Coast ENT advises sinus pain sufferers to schedule an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist if the pain and symptoms persist for several weeks, or if they are suffering from several sinus infections a year.

Find an ENT in Thousand Oaks

Occasional, mild to moderate sinus pain can be part of the annual cold and flu season. However when symptoms persist or frequently reoccur, it could be a sign of a bacterial infection. For more information on sinusitis and to schedule an appointment with a head and neck doctor, contact West Coast Ear Nose Throat by calling (805) 379-9646 to schedule an appointment today.

By West Coast ENT
May 11, 2016
Category: Health

Facial plastic surgery has saturated popular culture in the last few decades with the rise of cosmetic procedures like liposuction and rhinoplastyBotox. Although some procedures are simpler than others, and not every service requires surgery, plastic surgery is a medical specialty, and anyone considering any cosmetic work should always make sure they are working with an appropriately trained and accredited physician.

Facial Plastic Surgery in Camarillo

Q: I am interested in cosmetic facial surgery. How do I get started?

A: The ENT specialists at West Coast Ear Nose Throat in Camarillo recommend that anyone considering facial plastic surgery consult with a board certified head and neck surgeon.

Q: What is the difference between a head and neck surgeon and a plastic surgeon?

A: Head and neck surgeons receive rigorous and intensive training in both ear, nose and throat conditions, as well as a specialization in plastic surgery procedures like rhinoplasty (nose job) and blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery).

Q: What cosmetic surgeries can an ENT perform?

A: ENTs can perform a long list of cosmetic procedures, including:

  • Rhinoplasty
  • Septoplasty
  • Liposuction
  • Cheek/lip/chin implants
  • Facial reconstruction

They can also provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments such as injectables (Botox, Juvederm, Restylane), collagen fillers, skin resurfacing and microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser treatments.

Q: Why should I see a surgeon for non-surgical cosmetic procedures?

A: Because cosmetic enhancements have greatly increased in popularity over the last few decades, they have created a demand that has lead to many unqualified and inexperienced providers. Even seemingly minor, non-surgical procedures should always be performed by a skilled and licensed medical doctor in order to avoid scarring and potentially serious side effects.

Contact an ENT in Camarillo

To learn more about navigating the facial plastic surgery landscape and how to get started finding the best surgeon and procedure for you, contact West Coast Ear, Nose Throat and Head and Neck Surgery at (805) 379-9646 to schedule an appointment today.

By West Coast ENT
May 11, 2016
Category: Health
Tags: Bell's Palsy  

Bell's palsy is usually an acute condition that causes temporary paralysis on one side of the face. The paralysis to the nerve that controlsbell's palsys the affected muscles is typically caused by a viral infection, although a precise cause for the onset of Bell's palsy is somewhat unclear. Most cases are temporary, with symptoms gradually improving over a course of up to six months. Although most cases resolve over time, with the facial muscles eventually regaining normal movement, some cases can reoccur.

Signs, Symptoms and Risk Factors of Bell's Palsy

Many cases of Bell's palsy are linked to a viral infection. Some of the most common viruses that can contribute to facial paralysis include:

  • Adenovirus (respiratory infection)
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Coxsackievirus (hand foot and mouth disease)
  • Herpes simplex (cold sores and genital sores)
  • Herpes zoster (chicken pox and shingles)
  • Epstein Barr (mononucleosis)
  • Cytomegalovirus infections

Bell's Palsy Diagnosis and ENT Treatment in Oxnard, CA

The head and neck surgeons at West Coast Ear Nose Throat in Oxnard offer diagnosis and treatment for Bell's palsy and facial nerve disorders. Because Bell's palsy results from inflammation to the facial nerve that runs through the temporal bone in the ear, diagnosing the condition often involves a range of tests, including:

  • Hearing and balance testing
  • Tear test (facial paralysis can also compromise tear flow and production)
  • Diagnostic imaging with CT scan and MRI to check for tumors, infections, or bone fractures)
  • Electrical stimulation to the facial nerve to assess extent of paralysis and damage

Treatment for Bell's palsy and facial paralysis depends on the underlying source of nerve damage and irritation. Infections are generally treated with medication, or steroidal agents for inflammation. In some cases decompression surgery is used to ease swelling on the nerve from the surrounding bone.

Find an ENT Specialist in Oxnard

Facial paralysis can affect people of all ages. For more information on treatment and recovery, contact an ENT doctor at West Coast Ear Nose Throat by calling (805) 379-9646 to schedule an appointment today.


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