Posts for category: ENT
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders and yet it’s one that isn’t as often diagnosed since most people don’t even know that they have it. When someone has sleep apnea the airways collapse multiple times throughout the night. As a result, this causes interrupted breathing. Since not enough oxygen is getting to the brain you can imagine the many health issues this problem could cause if left untreated.
So, what are some telltale signs that you have sleep apnea?
One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is loud snoring. While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, most sleep apnea sufferers are also frequent snorers. Along with snoring, your partner may also notice that you might gasp for air in the middle of the night or that your breathing is paused.
The sleep apnea sufferer will complain of extreme fatigue throughout the day. Even if you get enough sleep you may still find it difficult to get out of bed (or you may experience headaches in the morning). While most people feel tired at some point during the day, a true sleep apnea sufferer has intense exhaustion that doesn’t seem to let up.
Sleep apnea can make it more difficult for you to concentrate. You may find that you aren’t able to complete work as efficiently as you should. You may nod off at your desk or while driving home from work. Sleep apnea can be dangerous because it can increase your risk of injury.
How is sleep apnea treated?
It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent health complications and other issues from happening. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. By placing this facemask over your nose and mouth as you sleep, it provides enough air pressure to keep the airways open and to prevent them from collapsing. This is the number one treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea.
Of course, sometimes an oral appliance device is all that you need if you only have minor or moderate sleep apnea. This device is custom-made to fit your mouth and can be used on its own or along with CPAP therapy to help you enjoy a better night’s sleep.
If you think you might have sleep apnea it’s important that you get this evaluated as soon as possible. Talk to our ENT doctor about how we can help you.
If you’ve ever watched a boxing or MMA fight on television then chances are good that you may have noticed something a bit odd and maybe a bit disturbing about some of the fighters—their ears. Some fights have what is called “cauliflower ear” in which the outer ears have become deformed due to blunt-force trauma. This is most common in athletes who wrestle, box or are involved in contact sports (e.g. rugby). When someone develops auricular hematoma the goal is to always treat the problem right away to prevent cauliflower ear from happening in the future.
While wearing the proper headgear and protection can often prevent an auricular hematoma, sometimes injuries to the outer ear can still occur. When this hematoma surfaces the blood starts to collect, causing the cartilage and the connective tissue around it (perichondrium) to separate. If left untreated, the cartilage of the outer ear no longer gets the blood flow it needs, which leads to cartilage death (necrosis).
If this happens to you or someone you know it’s important that you seek treatment right away so that the ear can be properly drained and to prevent blood from collecting inside the ear. By coming in right away for medical care, an ENT doctor can prevent complications such as cartilage necrosis, infection, tympanic membrane rupture and cauliflower ear.
In order to properly drain the hematoma, this minor procedure is performed with a local anesthesia. Once the ear is numb, a small incision is made to the outer ear to drain the blood that has collected. Once the procedure is finished, there are several methods for which to bandage the ear.
Of course, one of the most common ways is to use thermoplastic splints, which prevent blood from re-accumulating within the ear. In other instances, a simple mattress suture is placed, which also prevents blood from collecting but doesn’t need to be removed (unlike splints). Once the sutures or splints have been placed, the ear will be covered with clean gauze. Finally, the head is wrapped in order to hold the gauze in place.
Before you leave, your ENT doctor will provide you with all the information you will need for how to keep the ear clean and protected as it heals. Just know that this kind of damage to the ear can be serious if left untreated. If you experienced this kind of trauma it’s important that you seek the guidance of an otolaryngologist right away so that we can tend to this traumatic injury and prevent complications.
Find out when it might be time to consider getting sinus surgery.
A sinus infection will happen to many of us at some point during our lifetime, but what if the issues you are experiencing don’t seem to go away? If you have chronic sinusitis then chances are good that you’ve already turned to our Sun City and Sun City West, AZ, otolaryngologists for a proper diagnosis. While chronic sinusitis can often be treated through medication, lifestyle modifications and other more aggressive treatment options, it’s also important to understand when it might be time to consider getting sinus surgery.
It’s important to understand that sinus surgery isn’t the most common way to treat sinus problems. You’ll want to think of surgery as the final resort when other less invasive treatment options aren’t working. Many people are able to manage their chronic sinusitis with at-home care and medications; however, surgery may be the right approach for people dealing with long-term sinusitis.
Things to Consider
If you are someone who deals with recurring or severe sinus infections this can cause some serious blockages within the nasal cavity. This can also lead to other complications and health problems. In this case, surgery may be the best way to remove the blockage and to open up the sinuses to make breathing easier. By draining the sinuses, our Sun City and Sun City West, AZ, ENT doctor can prevent future sinus infections.
Before determining whether or not sinus surgery is right for you, you will first need to go through regular treatment for several weeks (up to 6 weeks) before determining that these at-home measures aren’t working and that you’ll require additional and more aggressive treatment. Some of these at-home treatment options include taking steroid nasal sprays and other prescription medications.
From there, we will run a CT scan of your sinuses to help us determine the cause of your infection. For example, if we discover that nasal polyps are causing your sinus problems we can remove them during surgery. We can also make sure that any infection that’s present doesn’t continue to spread.
Fortunately, endoscopic sinus surgery can remove the blockage without incisions or more invasive techniques, which means milder side effects and no downtime. Most people experience relief right away, with results lasting up to 2 years or more.
Are you dealing with chronic sinusitis in Sun City or Sun City West? Are you having trouble getting your sinus problems under control? If you said “yes” then it’s time to call Arizona Ear, Nose & Throat Physicians today.
If you’ve ever suffered from a stuffy nose, facial pain, and pressure around the nose, cheeks, and eyes, or experienced postnasal drip (in which nasal mucus drains down your throat), then you’ve experienced a sinus infection before. A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, occurs when the nasal passages become inflamed or irritated. Sometimes an infection can be so bad that the inflammation can actually block these airways. Acute forms of this infection often come about after a cold; however, those with nasal polyps or a deviated septum may be prone to recurring bouts of sinusitis.
Acute sinusitis can last anywhere from two to four weeks and the condition will often clear up by itself. Of course, sometimes it’s necessary to see an otolaryngologist for treatment. For example, it’s a good idea to call a specialist if you’ve been trying to handle your symptoms at home but they haven’t improved after a few days. You should also schedule an appointment if symptoms get worse.
To manage symptoms of acute sinusitis you may try over-the-counter decongestants and nasal sprays to help reduce inflammation and drain the sinuses. If these medications don’t improve symptoms within a couple of days then you may need a stronger medication such as corticosteroids. In some cases, antibiotics may actually be necessary to clear the infection.
Chronic sinus infections last more than 12 weeks and most sufferers experience the exact same symptoms as those with acute sinusitis such as nasal congestion, facial pressure, or a partial or complete blockage of the nasal cavity. It’s important that you visit an ENT doctor as soon as possible to find out what your treatment options are. In some cases, a prescription medication along with over-the-counter medications and alternative remedies can help ease symptoms until the problem subsides. In more severe cases, the patient may need to consider more aggressive measures.
In the past, the only option for those dealing with severe and chronic sinus infections was to undergo surgery. Luckily, technology has come a long way and now ENT specialists can also offer a simple non-surgical procedure known as balloon sinuplasty. No incisions or cutting is required; the only tool used is a small flexible tube with a deflated balloon at the end of it.
The tube is carefully guided into the obstructed nasal passage where the balloon is inflated to open up the airways and drain the sinuses. Once this occurs, the scope is removed but the airways remain open. The side effects from this procedure are minimal and most patients can return to their normal activities 2 days later.
Of course, sometimes it’s necessary to perform sinus surgery to effectively treat chronic sinusitis. To decide the right treatment option for you, it’s important to schedule a consultation with an otolaryngologist you trust.
If you’re constantly asking the people around you to repeat themselves, and you have trouble hearing music or television at normal volumes, you could have a hearing problem. Some people are ashamed to admit it, but there is a simple solution that could help you and improve your quality of life significantly: a hearing aid. Talk to a physician at Arizona ENT in Sun City and Sun City West, AZ about the many different hearing aid options that are available.
What Was That? Can You Repeat That?
If you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves often or you have play the television or radio at elevated volumes, that may be the first sign of a hearing problem. Hearing loss often happens progressively over time, but in some cases, it can be triggered by a specific event. For instance, standing next to a loudspeaker at a live concert could cause hearing problems in one or both ears. An untreated ear infection can also cause hearing loss. Many senior citizens have this problem because the natural process of aging can cause damage to the inner ear.
Getting a Hearing Aid
The process of getting a hearing aid starts with a comprehensive ear exam and consultation. Your Sun City and Sun City West ENT will likely perform a few tests, including impedance testing and an audiometry exam, to see if there are hearing challenges. If so, the decision on what hearing aid would be best for you will be made after getting the results of these tests.
Hearing Aid Options
There are many different types of modern hearing aids on the market now and some are extremely discreet and unnoticeable. Here are a few of the most common ones:
- A receiver in the ear or canal aids (the hearing aid is inside the canal, but there’s a processing unit that fits behind the ear).
- In the canal (ITC) aids (located toward the bottom of the outer ear).
- Invisible or completely inside the canal (very small units that hide inside of the canal).
Hearing Help is a Phone Call Away
You can see a significant improvement in your ability to hear when you seek help from a doctor at Arizona ENT in Sun City West and Sun City, AZ. Call (623) 975-1660 or (623) 972-2951, respectively, today to schedule an appointment.