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Posts for: December, 2020

By Ko'olau Ear, Nose and Throat
December 28, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Earwax  
How To Safely Clean Out Your EarwaxDid you know that your ears are self-cleaning? So, if you find yourself reaching for that cotton swab in your bathroom tonight you might want to put it down. Your ears are extremely low maintenance and very rarely need to be cleaned. Of course, older adults may be prone to excessive earwax buildup, which can lead to impaction or obstruction. In these cases, you may want to turn to an ENT doctor to safely clear out impacted wax.
 
If your ears feel a little blocked or your hearing is muffled, then you could have a buildup of wax. This is known as impaction. Impacted earwax can make the affected ear feel full. You may notice changes in your hearing, dizziness, or a ringing in your ears. If so, it’s time to see your ENT doctor.
 
Can I clean out my ears myself?

While there are certain earwax removal kits on the market that you can try, the best and safest way to have wax buildup removed is by seeing a qualified doctor. An otolaryngologist will have the proper irrigation tools to remove the blockage with complications. Of course, if you do choose to clean your ears yourself you may wish to try:
 
An earwax softener: You can pick up these eardrops at your local drugstore. Make sure to follow the exact instructions on the package. Leave the drops in your ears for the amount of time mentioned on the package and then rinse out the ears or simply let the drops drain out.
 
A syringe: Some kits contain little rubber syringes that you can fill with saline or warm water. This over-the-counter irrigation system can take time to soften the earwax, but you may find it helpful with more mild impactions.
 
All we ask is that you do not try and use a cotton swab to clean the inside of your ear, which will only push the wax further and could damage the eardrum. Earwax softeners and these syringe and irritation systems are your best bet if you want to try and remove earwax buildup yourself. If you are prone to earwax buildup you can schedule regular appointments with your ENT doctor to have your ears cleaned properly by a professional.
 
If you have questions about how to safely and properly clean excess earwax an ENT doctor can answer any of your questions.

By KO'OLAU EAR, NOSE AND THROAT
December 09, 2020
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Dry Mouth  
he Possible Causes of Dry Mouth
Feeling like your mouth is as dry as the Sahara? While dry mouth is fairly common if this is a problem you are dealing with regularly then you may be wondering what’s going on and why it’s happening to you. Common causes of dry mouth include:
 
Medications
There are some medications in which dry mouth is a common side effect. Dry mouth is more common in allergy meds, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants, cold medications, acne treatments, high blood pressure medication, asthma inhalers, or muscle relaxants.
 
Certain Health Disorders
Dry mouth could also be indicative of a health condition. Those with HIV, diabetes, anemia, high blood pressure, or hypertension are more likely to deal with dry mouth.
 
Dehydration
Did you know that most Americans aren’t drinking enough water? If you are one of them, then it’s only natural that you’re going to deal with dry mouth. If you are losing fluids through vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are participating in sports during the summer, you must be consuming enough fluids and staying hydrated to offset the increased loss of fluid.
 
Lifestyle habits
Certain habits could also be contributing to your dry mouth. If you are a mouth breather this is a common reason you could be dealing with this pesky problem. Those who smoke or use tobacco products are also more likely to deal with dry mouth.
 
What are the signs of dry mouth?
While it might be obvious that a dry mouth will feel, well dry, there are other symptoms associated with dry mouth including,
  • Sore or irritated throat
  • Excessive thirst
  • Changes in taste
Less obvious symptoms include hoarseness or dry eyes.
 
When should I see a doctor?
We all know that not drinking enough water or even being stressed out can lead to the occasional bout of dry mouth, but if you are dealing with this problem regularly it’s important to see a doctor since this could be a sign of an underlying health problem that will most likely require treatment.
 
If you are dealing with persistent dry mouth an ENT doctor can determine what’s going on and how to best combat it. Since dry mouth has the ability to lead to bad breath, decay, and gum disease, it’s a good idea to get this problem under control.