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Posts for category: ENT

By Ko'olau Ear, Nose and Throat
August 01, 2019
Category: ENT
Tags: Deviated Septum  

Treating a Deviated Septum

Do you have a deviated septum? A deviated septum is a disorder in which the nasal septum -- the cartilage and bone that separate the right and left nostrils -- is off center or crooked. A deviated septum may be present at birth, may become crooked during fetal development, or may be caused by an injury. Having a deviated septum may cause problems such as nosebleeds or breathing difficulties. If you have a deviated septum, your ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) can help. Read on to find out how a deviated septum is treated.

1. Decongestants. If your deviated septum isn't severe, your symptoms may respond to treatment with medications. If you have a deviated septum, your doctor may prescribe decongestants. Decongestants are available as a nasal spray or pill. Decongestants are drugs that reduce nasal tissue inflammation, helping to keep the airways on both sides of the nose open. Medicine only treats the swollen mucus membranes and won't correct a deviated septum.

2. Antihistamines. Antihistamines may be prescribed to relieve symptoms of nasal obstruction by reducing swelling of the nasal membranes. Antihistamines are medicines that that help prevent allergy symptoms, including congestion and runny nose. They can also help nonallergic conditions such as those occurring with a cold. Follow the instructions on the package label or prescription carefully when taking an antihistamine.

3. Nasal Steroid Sprays. Nasal steroid sprays have anti-inflammatory effects and can reduce inflammation in the tissue that lines sinuses and nasal passages, making breathing easier. Your doctor may recommend using a steroid spray once daily. It usually takes from one to three weeks for nasal steroid sprays to reach their maximal effect. It is important to follow your healthcare provider's directions when using them.

4. Surgical Repair. If drug therapies don't work for you, your doctor may recommend surgery to correct your deviated septum (septoplasty). Your doctor may suggest septoplasty to repair your deviated septum. During the procedure, your nasal septum is straightened and repositioned in the center of your nose. The procedure typically takes 1 to 2 hours and uses local or general anesthetic.The level of improvement you can expect with surgery depends on the severity of your deviation.

5. Rhinoplasty. In some cases, rhinoplasty, commonly known as a nose job, is a plastic surgery procedure that is performed to treat a deviated septum. Rhinoplasty involves modifying the cartilage and bone of your nose to change its size or shape or both. Rhinoplasty can be performed using local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. Sometimes, the procedure performed at the same time as septoplasty.

Treat yourself to a better life. If you have a deviated septum, find a qualified ENT doctor in your local area and schedule a consultation. ENT doctors have received the proper training and education needed to treat a deviated septum. Treating your deviated septum can help you achieve a better quality of life!

By Ko'olau Ear, Nose and Throat
July 15, 2019
Category: ENT

Do you feel like you’re constantly dealing with a stuffy nose? If so, you certainly aren’t alone. There are many people out there that feel like they can’t breathe properly due to nasal congestion. While this may be a frustrating problem and one that’s challenging to tackle on your own, an otolaryngologist can help you find the relief you need.

The two most common causes of persistent nasal congestion are chronic sinusitis and allergic rhinitis. ENT doctors are seeing more and more patients who are dealing with these conditions. In order to properly treat these conditions you should see an ear, nose and throat specialist who will be able to determine the cause of your symptoms so they can create an effective treatment plan.

What is allergic rhinitis?

If you are someone who is allergic to animal dander, dust or pollen then you may be dealing with allergic rhinitis. Being exposed to these common allergens can lead to inflammation of the nose and sinuses, which can make it difficult to breathe. Allergic rhinitis is a common condition affecting both children and adults in the US. Along with chronic nasal congestion you may also experience a runny nose, postnasal drip, coughing, itchy nose, or sneezing.

Some people experience symptoms all year round while for others their symptoms are seasonal. Seasonal allergies caused by pollen, dust mites, and cockroaches may flare up throughout the year with bouts of remission.

What is chronic sinusitis?

Most people will deal with sinusitis, or sinus infection, at least once during their lifetime; however, sometimes this condition doesn’t go away with simple at-home care and treatment. When symptoms persistent for more than 12 weeks and don’t respond to conservative care then this is considered chronic. The common symptoms of chronic sinusitis include nasal congestion or a blockage, nasal drainage, decreased sense of smell, and facial pressure.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between allergic rhinitis and chronic sinusitis. This is why it’s a good idea to visit an otolaryngologist if you are dealing with persistent nasal congestion that doesn’t go away with at-home care. Both of these conditions can be controlled through lifestyle modifications, prescription medication, minimally invasive procedures, and allergy shots. Your doctor will be able to sit down with you and discuss the different treatment options available to you.

By Ko'olau Ear, Nose and Throat
June 17, 2019
Category: ENT
Tags: Ear Infection  

You woke up with an intense and persistent pain in your ear. All sound is muffled and it feels like your ear is stuffed with cotton. These symptoms are likely due to an ear infection. While ear infections can happen to anyone, children are particularly prone to them. In fact, approximately three out of four children will deal with at least one ear infection by age 3.

An ear infection usually affects the middle ear. This is known as an infection of the otitis media, in which fluid and mucus block the tubes of the ears. This is why you’re having trouble hearing. While it’s easy to be able to describe symptoms you’re experiencing, it isn’t always easy for children, particularly little ones, to be able to tell you that their ear hurts.

So, how can you tell whether or not your child might have an ear infection? You’ll have to look out for:

  • Tugging or pulling at the ear
  • Increased crying, irritability, and fussiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Crying when lying down to sleep
  • Balance issues
  • Not hearing or responding to voices or sounds

If your child is displaying these symptoms it’s important to bring them in to see their otolaryngologist who will be able to examine the ear and determine whether there is an infection.

The good news is that many ear infections will go away on their own; however, our ENT doctors understand that sometimes the pain can be severe and unbearable, and you may need something to ease the pain until the infection goes away. We can certainly prescribe the right pain reliever if over-the-counter options aren’t working. In some cases, we may need to prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.

Even though you may want to wait out an ear infection before bringing your child in, it’s important that you do visit your child’s otolaryngologist as soon as possible if their ear infection is accompanied by:

  • Loss of hearing
  • Discharge or blood coming from the ear
  • High fever
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea and vomiting

If your child is under 6 months old it’s important that you bring them in right away if you suspect that they have an ear infection. Otherwise, children dealing with minor symptoms that are over the age of 6 months old can often be treated with simple at-home care.

If you are unsure whether or not you should bring yourself or your child into the office, give our ENT practice a call and let us know the symptoms. We will be able to determine whether you will need immediate care or whether we should wait a couple days to see if the infection gets better on its own.

By KO'OLAU EAR, NOSE AND THROAT
March 01, 2019
Category: ENT
Tags: Sinus Infections  
Sinus Infections can cause sinus pressureSinus infections are painful. You have sinuses around your eyes and behind your nose, any of which can harbor an infection. The first sign you may have a sinus infection is a dull, throbbing pain in the area of your sinuses. You may also experience:
  • Pain in your upper jaws or teeth, eyes, nose or forehead
  • A yellowish-green discharge when you blow your nose
  • Congestion caused from swelling in your sinuses
  • Severe headaches and earaches
  • A sore throat and persistent cough
Sinus infections are most often viral, but they can also be bacterial or fungal. Allergies, tooth infections, and nasal polyps can also cause a sinus infection.
 
You can take some steps to avoid painful sinus infections. It’s important to:
  • Use a humidifier, especially in your bedroom; this keeps the air in your house moist, which soothes your sinuses. Dry air irritates your nasal passages and can cause increased mucus production, resulting in congestion and a sinus infection.
  • Try an over-the-counter nasal irrigation kit; these kits, when used daily, can keep your nasal passages clean and free of mucus so bacteria won’t have a place to breed, causing a sinus infection. The saline solution also works to soothe your nasal passages.
  • Wash your hands often, and don’t touch your face, nose, mouth or eyes; this helps to prevent spreading germs and bacteria to other places of your body.
  • Stop smoking, because it increases mucus production and irritates your sinuses, providing an environment perfect for bacteria.
  • Avoid alcohol, because alcohol can make your sinuses irritated and swollen, resulting in a sinus infection.
  • Eat healthy and take your vitamins, especially vitamin C, and get sufficient exercise to keep your immune system at its peak so you can fight off a sinus infection.
 
If you get a sinus infection, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers, antihistamines, and decongestants. If your sinus infection lingers for more than a week or two, or if you have a fever along with the sinus infection, it’s time to see your doctor, preferably an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. Don’t delay; get some help for your sinus infection.
By KO'OLAU EAR, NOSE AND THROAT
December 14, 2018
Category: ENT
Tags: cancer  

Head and neck cancers aren’t as often talked about or publicized as much as other types of cancer, but it doesn’t make these any less serious. Regardless of whether a member of your family has been diagnosed with head and neck cancer or you are experiencing some worrisome symptoms of your own, it’s important that you have an ENT specialist on your side to provide you with the care you need.

Head and neck cancer is an umbrella term that encompasses five different kinds of cancers that affect the pharynx (throat), sinuses, larynx (voice box), mouth, and the salivary glands.

Oral Cancer

Cancer can develop anywhere on the lips or inside the mouth. You may notice a red or white patch, or a lump, in your mouth that doesn’t go away. You may notice facial swelling, particularly around the jaw. You may also have difficulty swallowing or chewing. While a dentist can often pinpoint these early warning signs during a routine dental exam, if they suspect that it might be cancerous they may also turn to an ENT doctor for further medical care.

Pharyngeal Cancer

The pharynx runs from your nose to the esophagus and cancer of the throat can cause difficulty breathing or swallowing, persistent or severe throat pain, ringing in the ears, or difficulty hearing.

Cancer of the Larynx

The voice box (this includes your vocal chords and a structure known as the epiglottis) can also develop cancer. Symptoms are similar to pharyngeal cancer, as you may experience difficulty or painful swallowing or ear pain. You may also notice changes to your voice include chronic hoarseness. It may also feel as if a lump is constantly in your throat.

Cancer of the Salivary Glands

The salivary glands, as you may have already guessed, are responsible for the production of saliva. These glands are found in the mouth close to the jawbone. Signs of salivary gland cancer include persistent or severe jawbone and facial pain, muscle numbness, or weakness in the face, as well as swelling near the jawbone.

Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer

It’s important to recognize that the symptoms of nasal cavity cancer are similar to a lot of other less serious condition; however, it’s important to seek medical attention from an ENT specialist if you notice these symptoms:

  • Chronic or recurring nosebleeds
  • Chronic or severe nasal blockages or sinus infections
  • Facial swelling, particularly around the nose and eyes
  • Headaches
  • Recurring pain in the upper teeth

Do you have questions about head and neck cancer? Are you experiencing any symptoms that give you pause? If so, this is the perfect time to turn to an otolaryngologist who can provide you with the diagnostic care and treatment you need.