Posts for: February, 2018

By West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat
February 23, 2018
Category: ENT Health Care
Tags: Thyroid Surgery  

Most of us have heard of the thyroid. It's often called the "master gland" because of its role in maintaining the body's metabolism. Just like thyroid surgeryother endocrine glands (such as the pancreas), the thyroid can malfunction or even develop cancer. In either case, thyroid surgery may be necessary. In Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA, the otolaryngologists at West Coast ENT Head & Neck Surgery precisely diagnose and treat thyroid issues in patients of all ages. Read here about thyroid disorders and the surgeries which alleviate them.

Symptoms of thyroid problems

Your thyroid is an H-shaped gland located near the Adam's Apple in the neck. While the adrenal gland in your brain gives off TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone, the thyroid gland secretes T3 and T4 which regulate your heart rate, temperature and other factors associated with metabolism.

While people of all ages suffer from thyroid malfunction and cancer, these problems are more prevalent in women during postpartum or post-menopause. Sometimes the thyroid secretes too much thyroxin and sometimes, too little.

With hypothyroidism (too little of the hormone), sufferers often gain weight, lose hair and are generally listless. With hyperthyroidism (Graves' Disease), the opposite is true. Patients lose weight, sweat, feel irritable and suffer from insomnia.

Additionally, some individuals develop benign tumors of the thyroid (nodules) or fluid-filled cysts. Others fall prey to thyroid malignancies. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, about 54,000 new cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States, and yes, the majority of patients are women.

Treating the thyroid

Of course, treatment depends on several factors. At West Coast ENT Head & Neck Surgery, our doctors specialize in disorders of the thyroid and also perform thyroid surgery in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks. Through physical examination, precise imaging and review of lab work and symptoms, these physicians accurately diagnose and treat a variety of thyroid problems.

While some issues may be treated with medication only (supplemental calcium or thyroxin, as examples), others require thyroid surgery. Thyroid cancer is a common reason to remove part or all of this endocrine gland.

Thyroid surgery in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks

The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons says there are three categories of thyroidectomies. They include:

  • Total thyroidectomy in which the entire gland is removed
  • Lobectomy which removes part of the gland, typically for biopsy
  • Completion thyroidectomy in which the rest of the gland is removed after a partial resection

Most thyroid patients have some scarring after surgery. However, the endoscopic techniques used by the doctors at West Coast ENT reduce the extent and the appearance of scars. Additionally, a majority of surgical patients take thyroid hormone replacement afterward.

Learn more

The thyroid and its associated conditions really aren't mysterious. To understand it and to know when drug and surgery therapies are needed, talk to West Coast ENT Head & Neck Surgery. Their six physicians are highly skilled and experienced. They'll help you be well-informed and healthy, too. Call today for your consultation.

By West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat
February 22, 2018
Category: ENT Issues
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Would you be surprised that hearing loss affects interpersonal relationships? Who hasn't watched a colleague, loved one or friend ask for hearing losssentences to be repeated or complain that too many people are talking at once? Unfortunately, hearing loss also can lead to cognitive problems and even depression. So your otolaryngologists and audiologists at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Ventura County, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks, CA, ask you to know and recognize the early signs of hearing loss so that you or a family member can receive the best in hearing care.

Signs of hearing loss

The American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association states that hearing loss has hereditary and age-related components. However, environmental factors, such as exposure to loud noise and music, some prescription drugs, trauma, ear wax (cerumen) accumulation and autoimmune disorders can temporarily or permanently reduce hearing in one or both ears.

If you think you have a hearing problem, here's what to look for:

  • Tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing noise
  • Perceiving speech to be muffled, especially when listening to children or women, who typically have high-pitched voices
  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Avoiding parties, meetings and family gatherings
  • Having difficulty hearing conversations in crowded rooms
  • Turning up the volume on your phone, radio, TV or other audio devices
  • Feeling exceptionally tired after attending a social event

If you are experiencing one or more these symptoms of hearing loss, contact your ear, nose and throat physician in Simi Valley, Ventura County, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks for a consultation.

Our doctors of audiology can perform tests which evaluate how well you hear various kinds of sounds, including those conducted through bone and through the air. Additionally, they assess how well a person distinguishes various kinds of sounds, how well the middle ear functions and even if the ear canals are blocked with wax.

Tips to minimize hearing loss

At West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat, the professional team recommends some simple strategies to avoid hearing loss. They include:

  • Use an over-the-counter ear wax kit to flush out cerumen accumulation on a regular basis, but do not insert cotton-tipped swabs or other pointed objects into the ear canal.
  • Stop smoking. Tobacco users have a higher incidence of hearing problems.
  • Avoid noise, especially on the job. If you have a loud occupation, such as heavy machinery operator, your employer should provide you with adequate ear protection.
  • Check your meds with your prescriber or physician to see if they have side effects related to the ears.
  • Get routine hearing screening every year beginning at age 50, or sooner if you notice symptoms.

Find out more

Preserve one of your greatest assets: your hearing. To arrange a hearing consultation with one of our physicians, call West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Ventura County, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks, CA, at (805) 379-9646.


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