What is good sleep hygiene?

Good sleep hygiene

People don’t often think about hygiene when discussing good sleep, but it is a major factor. In order to ensure a good night’s rest, a healthy routine needs to be in place. It is well documented that good sleep is linked to better physical and mental health, which means the opposite is true as well. No matter what someone’s age, good sleep hygiene and routine practices are necessary. 

So, why use the term hygiene? Are we talking about being clean while sleeping? Well, that’s part of it, but it’s more of a holistic concept around what is involved in going to sleep, sleeping, and waking up from sleep. Waking up well-rested is a sign of good sleep hygiene. Bad sleep hygiene is mentioned when someone doesn’t fall asleep easily, has trouble staying asleep, and subsequent daily fatigue. While sleeping is something that comes naturally to humans, it is something that needs to be assessed and exercised in order to attain maximum performance levels – just like working out.

Ways to improve sleep hygiene

Some people are better sleepers than others. Likely, those good sleepers already have good sleep hygiene in place with a healthy lifestyle, nightly routines, and managing any physical factors that may affect sleep. 

How do you know if you have good sleep hygiene? It’s a good idea to pay attention to your daily habits and take note of when you have bad nights of sleep. If you start to track what is consumed throughout the day, habits before bed, and how you feel the next day, it will be easy to analyze what is and what is not working. 

Daily habits that affect sleep hygiene 

How you spend your time throughout the day greatly affects how you sleep at night. Here are some pointers to ensure better sleep:

  • Minimize caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • Give yourself enough time before bed to digest dinner
  • Eat healthy foods and integrate daily exercise into your day
  • Make sure to get outside during the day for some fresh air 
  • Quit smoking

Healthy nightly routines 

If you’ve improved your habits throughout the day, there are things to do at night that can improve sleep.

  • Limit activity in the bed to mainly sleeping
  • Unplug from electronics and opt for a book instead
  • Dim lights and optimize space in your bedroom to induce a restful state
  • Wind down time should be a meditative state, not worrying about the next day
  • Keep a consistent routine

By changing small things in your larger routine, you can see great improvement in sleep hygiene. It will take some time to break habits and make new ones, but sleep is the most important thing you can do for optimal health. 

Is your sleep being disrupted due to ear, nose, and throat issues? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute  

If changing your sleep routine to reach good sleep hygiene doesn’t seem to be working, there may be other issues that are keeping you awake at night. We can help diagnose and rule out many physical issues that may be affecting your sleep.

How to treat strep throat

Strep throat 

While many people associate strep throat with the winter season, it is a virus that can be caught any time of year. What is strep throat? It is a bacterial infection in the throat and tonsils caused by A Streptococcus and often requires medical attention. It is contagious and usually transferred between people by talking, coughing, or sneezing and has a two to five day incubation period. Symptoms and severity of strep throat vary between people, but should be treated by people who feel sick. 

Strep throat symptoms

There are common symptoms beyond a sore throat that can identify if it is a case of strep throat:

  • Swollen tonsils of lymph nodes
  • Red spots on the roof of the mouth
  • Nausea, stomach pain, vomiting
  • Pain when swallowing 
  • Headache 
  • Fever

In order to determine if you have strep throat, a doctor will need to examine your throat and do a simple swab test or a rapid test in the office. Once a diagnosis is made, there are options for treatment depending on the patient.

Strep throat treatment options

In order to prevent the spread of strep throat, it’s important to stay away from others while contagious. While infected with the strep throat virus, treatment is important in order to avoid further illness like rheumatic fever and increased severity in symptoms. Treatment options include the use of antibiotics including penicillin or amoxicillin (depending on personal allergies to antibiotics). If antibiotics do not work, it is important to see a doctor for further investigation. Always remember that the use of antibiotics creates a tolerance and need not to be overused. Consulting a doctor before deciding a treatment plan is always best, and keeping track of how often strep throat happens in a year is also a good idea. 

How to avoid strep throat

Some people are more susceptible to strep throat than others. If strep throat is a common occurrence in patients, Breathe Clear Institute offers both invasive and noninvasive procedures to help prevent further infections. Simple way to avoid infection include:

  • Covering your nose and mouth when you or others are coughing or sneezing (wearing a protective mask can also help in these instances)
  • If you cough or sneeze directly into your hand, wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer right away in order to contain the virus
  • When washing your hands often, do so for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water
  • Use antibiotic treatment plans as directed by your doctor and avoid contact with others until symptoms subside and you are no longer contagious 

Viruses can’t always be avoided, but the above measures help to keep you safe and hygienic when viruses are spreading. If you’re interested in learning more about more permanent procedures to stop recurring strep throat, we’re here to help.

We can help with recurring throat problems like strep throat – Schedule an appointment with Breathe Right Institute 

If you’ve been experiencing strep throat twice a year or more, it might be time to consult a doctor on how best to proceed rather than using antibiotic treatments every time. We can take a look at previous diagnoses and analyze the neck and throat area to assess what is best.

How do allergy tests work?

Allergy testing

It often happens that people have an allergic reaction to something that they can’t explain. Whether an allergy is newly discovered or new altogether, it’s important to figure out exactly what is bothering you and the severity of the allergy. That’s why there are comprehensive allergy tests available to people of all ages. Rather than continuing to have attacks or not know how to manage symptoms, it’s best to get tested to identify allergies and plan how best to treat them.

Allergy symptoms 

Each allergy causes different reactions depending on the person who is allergic and how severely allergic they are to the specific allergen. Most often, symptoms of allergies will include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness  
  • Skin rash, hives, blisters, swelling
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose, or sneezing 
  • Coughing, weezing, shortness of breath
  • Nausea, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea 

Allergy symptoms can be and are often a combination of any reactions listed above. If symptoms are seriously impacting someone’s health and safety, it’s important to go to the emergency room. If it is not urgent, Breathe Clear Institute allergy tests will find the source of the allergens and come up with the best plan for management and treatment. 

Types of allergy tests

Just as there are many different types of allergens, there are different types of ways to test for allergies. Types of allergy tests include:

  • Skin or scratch tests
  • Intradermal skin tests 
  • Patch tests
  • Blood tests
  • Challenge tests

While there are at-home tests available these days, it’s best to meet with a doctor to go over results rather than descifiering them yourself. For best testing results, patients must clean their systems of any antihistamines before testing, up to five days prior to a scheduled appointment. This is because the doctor needs to see the body’s natural reaction to various allergens without anything blocking it. 

At our clinic, we perform the allergy skin test where 40 allergens are tested on a patient’s skin. These are not invasive and minimally painful, but patients can expect some irritation on the skin (much like a bug bite). Our allergy test appointments usually take about an hour, showing results within the first half-hour and going over those results with the doctor during the second half-hour. 

Together, the doctor and patient will go over what allergens to avoid, how best to steer clear of them, preventative care, and tertiary care for when an allergic reaction happens. Again depending on the severity of a reaction and how it impacts the person, different medication will be prescribed. 

Allergies can greatly affect everyday life and cause great discomfort, some even being life-threatening. However, they are easily tested for and there are plenty of treatment methods available to doctors and patients in order to help make everyday better for people with all types of allergies. 

Get relief today – Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute

Allergies are very common and usually easy to diagnose, manage, and treat. If there are any abnormal reactions to environmental factors, certain foods, things touched throughout the day, or poor reactions to any everyday surroundings, it’s best to come see us.

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What is endoscopic sinus surgery?

Endoscopic surgery 

While there are many different surgeries performed to help clear sinus issues, the nasal endoscopic surgery is the least invasive of all the options. What does endoscopic mean? It means the doctor is using an endoscope for surgery. An endoscope is a medical device inserted into a small body cavity, like the nose or mouth, with a small camera at the end. The camera serves as a set of eyes for the medical staff to see what’s going on in the areas under question that are otherwise difficult to see. 

Endoscopic surgery is not exclusive to ear-nose-throat treatment, but also used for diagnoses and treatments elsewhere throughout the body. For the sake of this post, we will be discussing nasal endoscopic surgery as it refers to sinus issues. 

Who qualifies 

If your sinus issues are beyond treatment with over-the-counter or prescribed medications, nasal endoscopy surgery is often the next step. However, this is a decision made by a doctor, not an order from a patient. So, it’s important to go through the process of diagnosis and other more informal treatments before moving forward with nasal endoscopic surgery. 

People who qualify for this procedure often have a variety of symptoms, if they don’t already have a diagnosis. Some symptoms within the nose and nasal cavity are:

  • Blockage 
  • Polyps
  • Tumors
  • Bleeding 
  • Infection
  • Congestion 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Loss of smell 

A doctor at Breathe Clear Institute does not suggest this procedure lightly, so medical history and on-going symptoms are best to share when making an appointment. Whether it’s a new patient or coming to us from another clinic, we can handle any sinus case and possible nasal endoscopic procedure. 

The benefits  

The objective of this procedure is to correct or improve whatever symptoms a patient is experiencing. Nasal endoscopic surgery benefits include:

  • Low pain levels 
  • Few to no incisions 
  • Minimal scarring
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Low risk of infection
  • Short procedure, minimal hospital stay
  • Quick recovery period

The long-term benefits certainly outweigh continuing symptoms. But, proper aftercare is required for great and long-lasting results. What are the best practices for post-operative recovery and aftercare? Here are some suggestions:

  • Avoid blowing your nose or other straining facial movements 
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or NSAIDs within reason
  • Nasal saline spray or prescribed steroid nasal sprays
  • Safe nasal cleansing methods of irrigation

If you are experiencing negative symptoms like constant bleeding, high temperatures, high levels of pain and irritation, noticeable drainage, headache, neck stiffness, or vision impairment, it’s important to notify your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room. 

We strive to have no negative reactions to surgery, but it is also the duty of the patient to keep the nasal passages clean without irritating the surgical spot and surrounding areas. Any questions about aftercare can be directed to any member of our staff who is just a quick call away. 

Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If you’ve been diagnosed with sinus issues that require endoscopic surgery, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of experts and dedicated surgeons have successfully performed this procedure many times with positive results. 

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What treatment plans do you offer for allergies?

What are allergies?

Allergies are an abnormal bodily reaction to everyday substances that are otherwise harmless but are invasive to people with allergies. The things that cause allergies are called allergens. Examples of allergens include mold, dust, pollen, certain foods, latex, animal dander, and insect stings. Symptoms and their severity vary between patients, but often cause skin reactions, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and a variety of other irritations. Take the Breathe Clear Institute allergy quiz to learn more.

There are many ways to manage and treat allergies symptoms at home or with help from the pharmacy, but a step beyond would be to come visit us for allergy testing and possible drops or shots to relieve you from your pain. 

Allergy testing

In order to identify which allergens are bothering you, there is a comprehensive testing process. This includes using different samples from common environmental and food allergens placed in a small device that enters the skin. Typically, this allergy testing panel is placed on the forearm for easy examination of any bodily reactions. There is always an included control insertion to use as a comparison to the other 40 injections. Not to worry, it’s not painful but may cause some irritation if any allergies are shown. 

Allergy drops

Before turning to allergy shots, we often recommended oral allergy drops as a form of treatment from allergens. This version of immunotherapy is called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) and is meant to decrease  reactions to allergies, giving reprieve from intense symptoms. However, it not only calms reactions to allergens but works to treat the condition itself, which is why these are prescription and not over-the-counter. 

Allergy shots 

If allergy drops aren’t the right form of treatment, the next viable option is often allergy shots. This form of treatment is a series of shots over a period of time meant to stop and or reduce allergic reactions in patients. Usually, a person would receive three to five shots within a year, individual cases depending. A doctor will increase dosage over time in hopes of creating a desensitization and hopefully reduce or eliminate  the body’s reaction to certain allergens.

People with seasonal allergies, indoor allergies, and/or severe reactions to insect stings are the most common recipients of allergy shots. There are, however, risks associated with these shots like local or systemic reactions and anaphylaxis. Allergy shots are a long form of treatment with both a build-up and a maintenance phase. Your doctor will be monitoring throughout the durations, but be sure to be in touch with them if any unusual reactions arise. 

While patients might want to jump quickly into allergy drops and shots, it’s important to try holistic and over-the-counter medications first to see if either garner results. If allergic reactions are severe and worrisome, call your doctor immediately and bypass any at-home remedies. 

Got allergies? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Allergies are very common in children and adults. While you may feel like you have them under control, it’s always best to know what you’re allergic to and how best to manage reactions. Allergy testing is quick and easy, and we follow up with various ways to treat symptoms.

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What to do about neck masses

Neck masses in adults

Thinking back to most doctor’s visits, the doctor would always check the neck area for swelling and inflammation as it is often indicative of disease. If a noticeable mass is growing on the neck, it is cause for concern whether it’s something seen or felt as some masses may protrude more than others. On-going symptoms of possible neck masses vary, but patients should seek a doctor’s advice on how best to proceed before jumping to any conclusions

The Breathe Clear Institute has years of experience diagnosing and treating neck masses of all severity. Enlarged lymph nodes, cysts, or lesions on the thyroid or salivary glands are all considered part of any ENT practice. 

Symptoms and evaluation  

Symptoms will vary depending on where the mass is located, what it’s made of, and eventual diagnosis. They may include but are not limited to the below list.

  • Protruding mass on the neck
  • Changes in voice 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen tonsils 
  • Problems sleeping 
  • Changes in breathing 
  • Unintentional weight loss 
  • Fatigue 
  • Fever

If someone is experiencing any or all of these symptoms, please make an appointment immediately. Once in the office, the doctor will evaluate your neck mass to determine next steps and proceed with a diagnosis. 

If the mass is the site of inflammation or infection, patients will move forward with antibiotic treatments. If the neck mass persists as a local recurrence within the glands, a biopsy will be taken. Biopsies will determine if a mass is malignant or benign. If further investigation is needed, the doctor will order scans of the neck area. From there, it will be decided whether or not a patient must undergo surgery. 

Peace of mind with a diagnosis and plan of actions are our priority, and we pride ourselves on using minimally invasive procedures whenever possible. There are, however, instances where more invasive surgeries are necessary.

Treatment and management

If a neck mass needs to be removed surgically, the operation will take place either in our offices or at a nearby operating room depending on the diagnosis. A comprehensive evaluation of the surgically removed mass will be sent to the lab in order to determine next steps in treatment.

Be sure to ask the doctor about specific aftercare protocol for which surgery is performed. All patients should expect around a month-long recovery process and expectations of light activity during that time. Patients can expect pain management prescriptions to help with the healing process, and follow-up appointments will be made to monitor the situation. We want you to feel better while treating the disease, and also make your neck look aesthetically better in the process. 

Concerned about a mass on your neck? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute

Neck masses should be immediately attended to, so please make an appointment to see us as soon as possible. It’s also best to take on symptoms when they first start in order to avoid any more severe symptoms and diagnoses down the road. Either way, we are here for you.

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What are the differences between spring and summer allergies?

What are the differences between spring and summer allergies?

Allergies come and go with the seasons, and the symptoms experienced by people with allergies also change with those seasons. While spring is well known for its bloom and subsequent allergies, summer isn’t simply an extension of those allergies but springs from different plants and pollen altogether. 

Plant and tree pollen different greatly from each region of the country. One might experience allergies in the Midwest that they don’t normally feel when living in California. While someone may not have daily allergies, one might experience them while on trips elsewhere, so it’s best to be prepared. Let’s learn the differences between spring and summer allergies and ways to treat them. Take the Breathe Clear Institute allergy quiz to learn more.

Common spring and summer allergy symptoms

Depending on where someone is in the world and the surrounding terrain, allergy seasons occur in different monthly time frames. In the U.S., our spring allergy season is typically from February to May, and summer is from May to June. Common symptoms in both seasons include sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, coughing, red itchy eyes, and even asthma flare-ups for certain people. 

What causes spring and summer allergies? How do the two seasons differ?

While the symptoms of spring and summer allergies are similar, the allergens differ between the two. Spring allergies mainly come with trees pollinating and flowering plants, spreading pollen and increasing our exposure to it. 

On the contrary, summer allergies are mainly due to grass allergens that transport in the wind. While July might be considered summer on our calendars, it’s actually the one month of the year that allergens take a break and go on vacation, much like we do.

Regardless of what pollen may be in the air, the wind is what spreads the allergens and can increase with the strength and direction of it.

Best practices to treat these season allergies

Depending on the severity of allergies and the amount of time exposed to the pollens that cause allergic reactions, there are different ways to treat these allergies whether at-home or under the supervision of a doctor at the Breathe Clear Institute. 

At-home/Over-the-counter remedies

Just like checking the weather before you leave the house, you can also check the pollen report to know how light or severe the numbers are when exiting the house. But, allergies also occur indoors, so there are both at-home and over-the-counter treatments to help any and all allergy irritations.

For a more holistic approach, saline solutions and neti pots are a great way to clean your nasal passages, or sitting in a steamy room. Taking showers and changing clothes after a day outside can also help subside any symptoms you might be experiencing. 

Over-the-counter medicines are safe and effective in treating a variety of allergy symptoms. From nasal sprays to 24-hour antihistamines, there are products for temporary and daily relief. If these aren’t enough, it’s time to see a doctor. Click on the link below to make an appointment with us.

Need further help with your allergies? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

We have dedicated allergists on staff ready to tackle your seasonal allergies, no matter what season it is. Read more about treatment options and book and appointment today to start feeling better tomorrow.

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Managing hearing loss

What causes hearing loss

Hearing loss faces many Americans and it can be a very daunting thing to deal with, but there are ways to help improve your hearing and treat loss before hearing is entirely gone. While we might associate hearing loss with aging, people of all ages and demographics suffer from it. Hearing loss may come from an accident, overexposure to loud noise, sinus issues, genetic predispositions or disease, so treatment will vary. It’s important to determine the type of hearing loss a person is experiencing before moving forward with treatment.

Types of hearing loss

  1. Conductive: usually temporary and caused by various conditions in the outer or middle ear, typically created when sound can’t reach the inner ear because of an obstruction. This type of hearing loss occurs due to earwax buildup, chronic ear infections, excess fluids in the ear, foreign objects, a blown eardrum, and other treatable ear-related dysfunctions. 
  2. Sensorineural: a common and usually permanent type of hearing loss due to damage of the inner ear. Head trauma, exposure to severely loud noise, various ear-related diseases, family history, and hearing loss due to aging all fall within this category. 
  3. Mixed: a combination of factors from both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, like an ear infection on top of aging for example. 

How to treat hearing loss

Hearing loss is important to treat because it can greatly impact everyday life from not being able to communicate properly or not hear warnings that impact safety. A decline in hearing causes physical and psychological issues in people of all ages. Depending on what is causing hearing loss, there are many different ways to treat it. 

Age-related hearing loss is the most common form of hearing loss and affects most people over the age of 75. With the guidance of one of our experts, people in this bracket can shop for different hearing aids and cochlear implants. Hearing aids can be worn in one or both ears and on the inside or outside of the ear, depending on the patient. If the severity of the loss goes beyond hearing aids, a cochlear implant is often the next course of action. Implants do, however, require surgery.

There are also ways to strengthen your hearing with auditory training and rehabilitation, which can be done at home or with the help of a professional. Furthermore, our technologies like television, phones, and computers often have assistive listening devices to help listeners hear better. No one wants to miss what’s being broadcasted out into the world, and there are many ways to help improve hearing at any point along the way. 

Ready to improve your hearing? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Hearing loss can be frustrating for you and the people around you, so we’re here to find the right course of action to improve your hearing and get back into the conversation. Whether you think it’s a temporary loss due to an incident or you feel like your hearing has been deteriorating for a while, we are ready to help.

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How to treat chronic snoring

Snoring and its causes 

We’ve all been around (or been that person) who snores at night, keeping everyone awake. Snoring happens when relaxed tissues in your throat vibrate, creating that irritatingly harsh noise we all know. People snore if they have allergies, had alcohol before sleep, sleeping on your back, or are clinically overweight. But, some snoring isn’t just bothersome and loud, but a sign of a more problematic condition that affects sleep. 

Good sleep happens in cycles and when those cycles are interrupted, you will not have a full night of rest. Snoring often affects the REM (rapid eye movement) portion of the sleep cycle, which is most imperative for memory and concentration. If you feel like your snoring is interrupting your dream sequences, that is your REM cycle that’s being disrupted. 

Problematic snoring symptoms

If someone is chronically experiencing any number of the symptoms listed below, we recommend making an appointment to come see us at the Breathe Clear Institute to get things under control.

  • Chest pain or gasping for breath while sleeping
  • Pauses in sleep, noticed by you or someone sleeping next to you
  • Restless sleep or snoring so loud it keeps your partner awake at night
  • Poor concentration, morning headaches, over tiredness the next day

We recommend keeping a sleep journal to track your sleep so we can better understand any patterns that might arise. For example, if you wake up in the middle of the night with a gasp, jot it down in a notebook on your bedside. Try to avoid documenting anything on your phone as it may cause you to stay awake longer than intended. Since we won’t be there to monitor your sleep on a nightly basis, this is the next best thing for proper evaluation. 

Heavy snoring is sometimes caused by an obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) diagnosis, which is something we also help treat at our office. This would be a further conversation on how to manage and treat OSA beyond everyday helpful tips for snoring.

What to do to lessen snoring

If your snoring is disruptive to you or anyone in your household, it’s best to try a couple things to remedy it. Without having to consult a doctor, we recommend making the following changes to your routine to see if snoring decreases.

  • Limit or eliminate alcohol intake before bed
  • Sleep on your side or with your head elevated 
  • Clear your nasal passages with a spray or strips, use a humidifier at night
  • Maintain a healthy weight 
  • Avoid smoking and nightly sedatives, if possible
  • Understand your family history of snoring and/or breathing issues
  • Get check by your doctor for nasal problems and/or allergies 

Want to stop snoring? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If snoring is keeping you or others in your household awake at night, it’s time to get a handle on it and treat whatever is making you snore at night. Breathing properly while sleeping is essential to a good night’s rest and we are here to help make that happen.

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What are the long-term effects of getting a nose job? (RE: rhinoplasty)

A nose job/rhinoplasty 

There are a myriad of reasons that a person would consider or need to have a rhinoplasty, commonly known as a “nose job.” If you have a deviated septum, sinus issues, or want to change the appearance of your nose, the rhinoplasty is a well-known and popular surgery. 

Some patients come to us with a severe nasal fracture from contact sports or a substantial fall which is also treated with a rhinoplasty and is quite common. Whatever the reason might be, the Breathe Clear Institute and its staff will work with you to solve functionality and aesthetic issues from damage to the nose and its cavities. 

Now, what does a rhinoplasty surgery involve? Depending on the reason for the surgery, there may be different and more complicated steps along the way in comparison to a routine nose job. A simple rhinoplasty has six major steps:

  1. Administration of anesthesia
  2. Incision made at the surgical site
  3. Reshaping of the nose structure 
  4. Correction of deviated septum (if applicable)
  5. Closure of incision 
  6. Aftercare and healing process
  7. See and enjoy the results 

There are risks involved with a rhinoplasty. First, it’s important to do your research on plastic surgeons, if you’re interested in the aesthetic results of a surgical procedure. Rhinoplasty is one of our more common procedures and we understand it from all angles – we want you to breathe well and look good. 

Doctors always like to tell patients to manage expectations and know that results may vary. There are no guarantees that your nose will look the same, dramatically different, better or worse. 

What are the risks and long-term effects of a nose job

While we never plan to have things go wrong in surgery or post-surgery, there is always a chance that something unplanned happens. Like any surgery, there are many risks involved in getting a nose job. Some risks include:

  • Complications with anesthesia 
  • Numbness or pain at the surgical site 
  • Swelling, bruising, and skin coloration 
  • Unfavorable changes in breathing
  • Possible infections 
  • Poor healing or noticable scarring
  • Hole in the nasal septum 
  • Need for a revisional surgery
  • Unmet vanity expectations 

If everything goes well and according to plan, a rhinoplasty will have many positive outcomes such as clearing of nasal pathways and better breathing, restoring of nasal cavity functionality (while also addressing any aesthetic issues that need be addressed along the way), relief from sinus issues, and better sleep at night without incessant snoring. 

There’s no shame in getting a nose job, especially if it’s for medical reasons to improve your overall health. This procedure can make substantial changes in patients’ lives. Rhinoplasty is not something to take lightly, so it’s best to have multiple consultations before making the decision, even shopping around for different doctors.

Want to learn more? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Book an online appointment with us to go over your questions and concerns regarding your nose and its functionality. We will investigate all aspects of your breathing before concluding that a rhinoplasty is right for you.

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Simple at-home sore throat remedies

How to remedy a sore throat

Almost everyone has experienced a sore throat in their lifetime. Whether the cause of the sore throat is from seasonal allergies or weather-related factors, there are plenty of quick and easy tips to remedy symptoms at home, with help of the pharmacy, and even seeing a doctor. Seeing as sore throats are common, we suggested following the tips below, depending on the severity of your pain. 

If a sore throat is beyond any at-home remedies and over-the-counter drugs, we suggest skipping over the below content and immediately making an appointment to see us for further assistance. We have on-hand specialists at the Breathe Clear Institute who will work to alleviate pain and discuss plans to avoid future throat issues.

Sore throat symptoms

If the patient is experiencing pain, itchiness, or irritation of your throat, it’s what is commonly called a sore throat. There might be one symptom that trumps the others or are experiencing all three at once. Likely, sore throats are affecting speech, the ability to swallow, and sleep which can all increase the likelihood of prolonged or worsening sickness. Sore throats tend to last three to ten days in an average case, but there are ways to heal quicker.

Holistic approaches

If a sore throat is highly bothersome, but not enough to take medicine or make an appointment with us just yet, here are some simple at-home remedies that can help alleviate soreness and treat that annoying throat tickle. People likely have most of these items around the house or can make temporary small changes in daily routines to help heal sore throats.

Gargling 

Salt water

Baking soda plus water

Make some temporary dietary changes 

Skip acidic foods (no apple cider vinegar)

Add hot sauce, garlic, or cayenne pepper to food

Suck on ice pops or drink extra cold liquids

Sip herbal teas such as chamomile or fenugreek

Consume roots of marshmallow, licorice, slippery elm

Use honey to coat throat in tea or on its own

If drinking alcohol, make a hot toddy (whiskey, honey, spices)

Replace your toothbrush

Rest your voice and body

Use a humidifier and/or take steam showers

Elevate your head while sleeping

Over-the-counter approaches 

If the holistic approach hasn’t given hopeful results but seeing a doctor might not be needed just yet, below are our suggestions for over-the-counter products to help. A quick trip to the pharmacy will help move healing along and reduce any pain. Be sure to check any ingredients for allergens or possible interactions with prescription medications that are already part of a daily regimen.

Antacids (Tums, Rolaids)

Pain relievers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen)

Nasal decongestants (Afrin, Vicks)

Allergy medicines (Zyrtec, Claratin) 

At-home and over-the-counter remedies not working? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If you’re having difficulty swallowing, notice enlarged tonsils and/or thyroid glands, and all listed remedies above haven’t worked for you, it’s time to see a doctor. We want to help you recover from sore throats as quickly as possible so you can get back to your daily life without pain and irritation.

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Best tips for getting a good night’s sleep

A good night’s sleep is a necessity 

There is an infinite amount of research to prove the importance of a good night’s sleep. Sleeping is essential for a healthy lifestyle, much like diet and exercise. It is common to experience nights of bad sleep, but chronically poor sleep can greatly impact your health and need to be addressed and examined. While some consider sleep a regular part of your day, there is work that needs to be put into it in order to get the most out of it.

With the rise of stressful global issues, endless exposure to screens and blue light, plus daily personal anxieties all around us, we are seeing sleep quantity and quality on the decline. The team at Breathe Clear Institute is determined to help people find their way to reliable and good sleep in order to live healthier and longer lives. 

What is bad sleep?

There are many factors throughout the day that can contribute to a bad night of sleep. Stress is the most common cause of poor sleep and needs to be managed throughout the day in order for it to subside at night. Stress can come from any aspect of your life and manifest itself in many different ways like muscle and headaches, racing thoughts, restless behavior, triggering over- or under-eating, and in turn bad nights of sleep.

Some people cope with stress by consuming caffeine and alcohol, but they are directly linked to poor sleep. Caffeine is an upper and increases your heart rate and anxiety levels. Alcohol is a depressant and might make you feel sleepy, but actually interferes with the brain’s normal circadian, in turn creating a bad night of sleep. Overuse of caffeine and alcohol can lead to dependency, chronic fatigue, subsequent weight gain, and increased stress levels. 

There are, however, many cases where bad sleep is due to a sleep disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea. A diagnosis will come from your doctor and be managed through various treatments customized to your specific issues. 

How to improve your sleep

Eliminating food and beverages that negatively impact your sleep is the first step in improving your sleep. Next, creating a sleep routine is key – set nightly times to be away from your phone, turn off all screens, calm your nerves, and dedicate the next eight hours to rest. A comfortable and peaceful sleeping environment is also important, dedicating the bedroom a space only for rest and relaxation. Daily exercise not only tires people out but it releases chemicals in the brain that helps prepare for good sleep.

The benefits of good sleep

Better nights of good sleep means better days all around. Good sleep not only makes people feel good, but decreases chances of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and early death. Furthermore, good sleep means more energy throughout the day, better concentration, and being in an overall better mood. There are no known negative effects of a good night of sleep.

Learn more about your sleep by scheduling an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If you want to improve your sleep or look into sleep problems in greater detail, we are here to help. First, take our Sleepiness Quiz to see how your current sleep affects your life. We’re ready to help you get a better night’s sleep and into a healthy sleeping routine.

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Healthy tips for cleaning your ears

Earwax and what causes it

We all have earwax in our wars, but what exactly is it? Earwax is the build up of natural waxy oil called cerumen that connects to hair follicles in the ear canal, sometimes building up enough blockage that it causes hearing loss. While people might think that earwax is unappealing and want nothing to do with it, there is a bodily purpose for it. Earwax prevents bacteria, dust, water, and other germs from damaging the inner ear and obstructing airways. So, we do want to leave some wax in the canal but not too much that it affects our hearing. 

Symptoms of earwax buildup include a sensation of a plugged ear, headaches, dizziness, partial hearing loss, and strange sounds from within the ear. Ear wax typically has a yellow to orange coloring, depending on how old the wax is and how much air it’s been exposed to over time. If earwax is greenish, has blood in it, or is leaking out on its own, it is time to call a medical professional. 

How to safely clean your ears 

Earwax buildup is one of the most common reasons that people experience temporary hearing problems, but can be easily remedied. Most people have Q-tips in their bathroom for multipurpose use, but research has shown that Q-tips often push earwax buildup further into the ear canal. So, we wanted to give you some better methods to clean your ears and to ensure good hearing.  

Below are safe and effective ways to clear your ears at home. It must be noted that you should not clean your ears too often as some earwax is helpful and healthy for proper functioning.

  • Use a warm, damp washcloth (small enough to minimally enter the ear canal)
  • Over-the-counter liquid solution meant for ear cleaning (usually drops)
  • Earwax softener (do not use ear wax removal candles) 
  • A syringe with a solution to irrigate the ear canal (must follow directions)

If no at-home remedies are working, the buildup may be beyond what is available to you at the pharmacy. In that case, it’s recommended that you make an appointment to see us at the Breathe Clear Institute

Treatment we offer

Severe blockage or impaction of the ear canal might lead to a noninvasive surgical procedure to remove excessive earwax. Despite very few accounts of pain during the procedure, we will put you under anesthesia and can expect only minor discomfort. You will regain partial hearing that you lost, experience relief of the clogged or full sensation, and eliminate any itching within the ear caused by the blockage. The best part about this procedure is the results are immediate and you can go home right after your appointment. 

Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Ear canal blockage can interrupt your hearing and cause unnecessary pain and discomfort. We have treatments to help clean your ear canals and restore hearing. Your ears not only serve the purpose of hearing, but they also are a key part of maintaining your balance.

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What is a balloon sinuplasty?

Who is a balloon sinuplasty candidate? 

We hear the term “sinuses” all the time, but some people might not know what they really are besides things that act up when we have allergies. Sinuses are empty chambers in the face and forehead that are susceptible to inflammation and infection. Chronic issues often lead to a diagnosis of sinuplasty. 

What is sinusitis? 

It is the inflammation of the sinus lining also known as chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). This happens when te nose is prevented from normal draining processes and brings on subsequent pain and discomfort. Common symptoms of sinusitis include tooth or facial pressure, unusual discharge from the nose or throat , difficulty breathing from the nose, headache, fatigue, and the loss of sense of smell. If you are a person who suffers from sinusitis, you are a candidate for a balloon sinuplasty

How do I know if I’m a candidate for a balloon sinuplasty?

If you’re experiencing sinus issues, it’s best to seek a doctor’s advice on how best to proceed. When it comes to deciding whether you’re a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, the Breathe Clear institute uses the state-of-the-art Carestream CS 93000 CT Scanner in our offices. This eliminates the need for any hospital imaging appointments, keeping the entire care process within our office walls. If determined you are a candidate for the balloon sinuplasty, we will work with you to schedule the surgical procedure around your schedule. 

What does the procedure entail?

A balloon sinuplasty is a surgical procedure which uses the Balloon Sinuplasty™ system and is performed in our offices. While it is not the only procedure available to patients with CRS, it is considered less invasive in comparison to the endoscopic sinus surgery (which Breathe Clear Institute also offers). The technology has been around for nearly 20 years and is considered safe and effective for opening up sinus cavities for better breathing from the nose.

First, the doctor uses a topical anesthetic to dull pain, then inserts a small uninflated balloon into the nasal cavity and into the narrowed sinus drainage pathways. Once the balloon is inflated, it widens the blocked areas and is then removed and used in any other blocked pathways. 

Surgery results and aftercare 

After your balloon sinuplasty, the doctor will prescribe pain management medications for once the patient is back home and resting. Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, the recovery time is around 24-hours, depending on the patient. This is a significantly less amount of time than our more invasive sinus surgeries. 

Once healed, our patients can expect to be alleviated from any of the aforementioned sinus issues and continue their normal life. They will be able to breathe better, sleep better, increase in both sense of taste and smell, reduce nose and throat drainage, avoid tooth and facial pain, and generally feel better in the sinus region of the head. 

Want to learn more about sinitutus/CRS procedures? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Don’t diagnose yourself when it comes to sinusitis – that’s why we’re here to help. Our comprehensive testing and staff of experts will lead you in the right direction in order to manage your sinus issues.

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What is sleep apnea?

Sleep Apnea

The medical term “apnea” translates to temporary cessation of breathing, especially during sleep. Disordered breathing while sleeping with multiple periods of pauses in breath is called sleep apnea and is one of the most common sleep disorders in the United States. While common, it is something that needs to be diagnosed and treated in order to avoid further health conditions and complications. 

Symptoms of sleep apnea not only include the aforementioned nighttime interruptions, but also daytime sleepiness, irritability, and headaches. While we all have bad nights of rest, sleep apnea is a diagnosis that needs to be addressed and is often undiagnosed. The Breathe Clear Institute can help diagnose and treat sleep apnea, from your home by a virtual appointment or by having you come into the office and meet with one of our specialized staff members..

Types of sleep apnea

While sleep apnea symptoms are often similar, there are three types: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and mixed sleep apnea. The Breathe Clear Institute treats all three types of sleep apnea. 

If you’re experiencing temporary lapses of breath while sleeping, you likely have OSA which means your airway at the back of your throat becomes physically blocked. If you are experiencing slower and shallower breath while sleeping, you likely have CSA due to a problem in the part of the brain that controls respiration muscle activity. Then, there’s a diagnosis of both OSA and CSA often called mixed or complex sleep apnea with symptoms and causation from both.

Treating sleep apnea 

While sleep apnea patients tend to be overweight men over 40 years old, but occurs with women and children as well. No matter who the patient is, we first recommended making some pivotal lifestyle and behavior changes that may reduce your symptoms and increase good sleep. Sleeping on your side and losing weight can both help better breath while sleeping. If those changes don’t work, there are three main treatment plans.

The most common sleep apnea treatment is using a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) therapy machine. CPAP machines require patients to wear a plastic mask covering their airways, connected to a tube that pumps oxygen into your lungs while sleeping. Another device offered is a dental appliance that helps open the airways worn at night time to increase good sleep and stop snoring. 

Some people find wearing devices to be uncomfortable and may opt for other more permanent treatment methods like surgery. Depending on the case, surgeries can remove tonsils and/or adenoids, restructure the mouth and/or nose, or opt for a procedure to stimulate the nerves in the tongue to help treat their sleep apnea. Wherever your journey to treat your sleep apnea may lead you, we are here to help. 

Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If you are experiencing disordered sleep and want to be checked for sleep apnea, it’s time to make an appointment to see us. We can also help treat you if you’ve already been diagnosed.

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How to remove nasal polyps and foreign objects

What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are benign, teardrop-shaped growths on nasal and sinus tissue. They are often caused by inflammation of the nasal passage and sinuses for prolonged periods of time. Overall decrease in nasal functions are symptoms of nasal polyps, along with snoring, facial pressure, headache, and coughing. While evidence shows different causes of nasal polyps, it is an area that needs more research. Luckily, there are a variety of procedures to successfully remove nasal polyps and many other obstructions in the nasal cavity.

How to manage and remove nasal polyps 

The first course of action to treat nasal polyps is typically with a nasal spray, antihistamines, and decongestant medication. At-home remedies such as using a humidifier, rinsing your nasal cavity with saline solution, and avoiding irritants while managing existing allergies will help soothe the situation. If over-the-counter and prescription medications are not helping with pain management or frequency, surgery may be the next step. 

If surgical removal of nasal polyps is decided, the doctor will use a device called a nasal endoscope and a video monitor  to determine the existence or severity of polyps. A biopsy might be taken in order to further investigate, or the doctor may order a MRI or CT scan to get a full picture of any affected tissue. Surgery is a quick procedure using local or general anesthesia depending on the case. The Breathe Clear Institute uses a nearby facility for surgery.

Recovery is relatively quick and it is suggested to keep any activity light for a week after, while also protecting the nose. Nasal polyps are treatable, but results may vary depending on the individual, and polyps may return again at a later date. Be sure to track any similar symptoms and connect with a doctor if another nasal polyp has grown. This procedure can be done more than once for optimal results, but we will try our best to remedy every situation for the long-term.

Foreign objects in the nasal cavity 

Young children are curious by nature and often explore their bodies in ways that sometimes yield harmful results. A common example of this is when a child sticks a foreign object up their nose, typically something small and round like a piece of food or part of a toy. Symptoms include the child having difficulty breathing out of one side of the nose, unusual nasal drip, fussiness that cannot be explained, or a foul odor coming from the face. If any number of these symptoms are present, it’s best to make an appointment rather than try to remove it at home. 

In any situation, it is important to keep the nasal cavity clear from organic or foreign objects in order to breathe properly and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We are here to help. 

Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If you or a family member are experiencing difficulty breathing through the nose, we recommend making an appointment to see us. Whether there is something trapped in the nasal cavity that is causing an obstruction, or you believe there to be naturally growing polyps, we have solutions to rectify these situations.

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How do virtual appointments work with ENT doctors?

The rise of telehealth 

While the term telehealth may seem trendy at the moment, it’s something that’s here to stay. Advanced technology has made it easier than ever to “see” your doctor, even if you’re not in the same zip code. At the Breathe Clear Institute, we continue to offer in-person and online appointments to accomodate all of our patients and the ever-changing CDC guidelines. While COVID-19 might have popularized virtual appointments, it’s something we’ve invested in for the long-term. 

How virtual appointments work

First, we want you to make an appointment online using our portal. It will ask you for your name, email address, phone number, reason for contacting, and a message to give us more details on your condition. Once we’ve received your information, we will reach out to you to schedule a time that works for you and the availability of our specialists. The Breathe Clear Institute staff member who reaches out to you will alert you to anything you may need to have handy for the appointment, but the first meeting is usually preliminary. From there, we will come up with next steps together and determine if you need to come into the office for an in-pertain consultation. 

Virtual appointments do require good internet connection or use of wireless data, a camera, working speakers, a browser that supports our online video conference platform. Use of smartphones, tablets, and computers are all acceptable. You will be guided through the tech process in your confirmation email. Please be sure to test your technology before joining your scheduled appointment. 

Advantages and disadvantages of virtual appointments 

While a virtual appointment might sound counterintuitive to seeing a doctor, we can assure you that it works. Although, there are advantages and disadvantages of going virtual. 

Going virtual for medical appointments is great for preliminary and follow-up appointments, health screenings, medication management, counseling and education, behavioral and mental health services, and for those who are not physically able to make an appointment or live close to the doctor’s office. 

There are, however, obvious disadvantages of going virtual which include troubleshooting and poor internet connections and the general lack of connection that you’re used to by going into an office. But, we will work with you to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. 

Tips for getting the most out of a virtual appointment include being ready to take notes, checking your setup ahead of time, having all paperwork ready or completed before your appointment, preparing yourself with an appropriate setting and thinking about inviting a friend or family member to be with you for support. 

In the event of an emergency, virtual appointments are not the best course of action. Please see a doctor immediately if you suspect something is time-sensitive or life-threatening. 

Ready to go virtual? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

We are more available to you than ever before with our virtual support and appointments. While COVID-19 may have stopped in-person visits, ENT issues never stop. We invite you to make a virtual appointment with us to get your diagnosis and treatment plans moving. 

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When I need to remove my tonsils?

What are tonsils?

Tonsils are two lymph nodes on either side of the neck that work as frontline defense and white blood cell creators that fight bodily infections. Many people experience tonsil issues at some point in their lives and can treat symptoms to manage pain and  irritation. Symptoms include very sore throat, difficulty swallowing, aches and pains throughout the head and neck, fever and chill, or even bad breath. Tonsillitis often comes along with the common cold or strep throat. 

Children make up a large percentage of patients with tonsilitis because of overexposure to germs and growing immunity to everyday pathogens. There are some cases of recurring tonsillitis where doctors and patients may discuss the removal of the tonsils in order to prevent ongoing infections. It’s important to note that tonsillitis is caused by many different viruses and bacteria, and is contagious. 

Why do my tonsils continue to be an issue? 

A person who continuously has tonsillitis and/or strep throat has reason to be concerned. Not only does it interrupt everyday life, but it can also be a detriment to overall health. Genetic factors are highly linked to chronic tonsillitis. So if an adult had to have their tonsils removed at some point due to chronic disease, their child is more likely to have similar issues. 

Chronic tonsillitis is diagnosed if there are five or more infections within a twelve-month period. This is quite common in children, which is why their surgery statistics are greater, but adults can also qualify for chronic tonsillitis and possible removal of the tonsils. Other diagnoses like scarlet fever, peritonsillar abscess, rheumatic fever, and the further spread of bacteria in your body from chronic tonsillitis are also causes for a tonsillectomy. 

Tonsillectomy

The surgical removal of the tonsils is called a tonsillectomy. The goal of a tonsillectomy is to decrease the frequency of tonsilitis and/or strep throat, but it is not guaranteed prevention from viral or bacterial infections in patients. There are cases where people remove their tonsils due to frequent snoring that interrupts their sleep as well. 

How are tonsillectomies performed? There are many different ways to remove tonsils, all of which are done in doctors offices. All methods remove tonsils through the mouth, either using extreme heat, a “cold knife” or scalpel, different types of lasers, and sometimes ultrasonic vibrations. The Breathe Clear Institute will find which surgical method is most effective for each patient.

Recovery from a tonsillectomy is generally around two weeks, all of which should be restful for the patient. The first days after the surgery are painful, but can be managed with medications from your doctor. Light bleeding and discoloration of the tonsils are common. A recovery plan will be made for you and any dietary restrictions you might have.  

Tonsils bothering you? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If you or someone in your family are experiencing chronic tonsillitis, it might be time to consider your options beyond taking antibiotics. We have a variety of treatment plans that span from at-home remedies to surgical procedures. Our team will work with you to find the best possible course of action.

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How to treat chronic ear infections in children

What exactly is an ear infection?

An ear infection is the blockage of the Eustachian tube, which is the narrow tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat located behind the eardrum. The blockage is a build up of fluids that becomes infected, eventually causing pain and discomfort. After a day at the pool, these are often referred to as “swimmer’s ear” but are still under the ear infections umbrella. 

Ear infections are so common in children under five years old that they account for nearly 80% of all pediatrician visits within the age group. The scientific term that doctors may use for ear infections is “otitis media” and is usually easy to treat within children. The Eustachian tubes of children are quite small and are more parallel to the middle ear compared to adults, so they are more easily clogged and infected. Take our online Eustachian tube test to see if the child’s symptoms align. 

Childhood ear infections can often occur alongside other illnesses. It’s important to see a doctor for proper treatment if any of the following at-home remedies are not working within the first couple of days. Symptoms include noticeable differences in hearing, imbalance, fever, unusual crying and fussiness, and fluid draining from the ear. 

What can I do at home to ease the pain?

If a child is in pain and you have to wait to see the pediatrician, there are some simple ways to alleviate the pain with products likely already around the house. Here are some simple ways to help children with a possible ear infection before seeing a doctor:

  • Cool set humidifier in child’s room
  • Warm compresses or hot water bottle to the ear
  • Gargling salt water
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers for children
  • Nasal spray for children
  • Ear drops (children 2+ years old)

These methods may help ease the pain, but they will not help destroy the bacteria inside the ear itself. The next step is to visit us at the Breathe Clear Institute. 

Why does my child keep getting ear infections?

Recurring ear infections are a reason to see a doctor. Typically, if your child has four or more ear infections within a twelve-month period, we recommend seeing your pediatrician or visiting our offices. Treatment will vary on the severity and frequency of the infections and customized to each individual patient.

When is it time to go beyond antibiotics and consider surgery? 

In order to avoid resistance to antibiotic therapies, surgery may be recommended. One method we use  is placing a special myringotomy tube in the child’s ear to create an opening in the tube for proper flow of air and drainage. Another option is the removal of the adenoids, otherwise known as an adenoidectomy. Both are small surgical procedures done in our offices. 

Ear infections are not contagious, so your child is welcome to return to daycare, school, or everyday interactions so long as they are feeling up for it. Treatment will continue and be monitored to ensure success. 

Let us help you find the right solution – Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

No one wants to see their child in pain, especially if it’s chronic. Come see us to assess your child and see what the best avenue of treatment will be.

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What you need to know about your thyroid gland?

What is a thyroid gland and why is it important?

The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck and plays an important role in the body’s many systems. The thyroid manages the body’s activities while creating and maintaining hormone levels. If a person’s thyroid is making too many or too few hormones, they will start experiencing symptoms that ultimately will send them to a doctor.

Thyroid symptoms and treatments

One of the most obvious symptoms of a thyroid problem is a protrusion or lump on a person’s neck. Other less noticeable on the outside symptoms include depression, anxiety, noticeable weight gain or loss, unhealthy changes in heart rate, and other symptoms depending on whether your  thyroid is overactive or underactive. 

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)

When the thyroid gland is producing too many hormones and is considered overactive, doctors use the term hyperthyroidism. Symptoms specific to the overactive nature of this diagnosis include bulging eyes (Graves’ Disease), poor sleep, weight loss, high heart rate, heat sensitivity, restlessness and irritability, and goiters. 

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) 

When the thyroid gland is producing too few hormones and is considered underactive, doctors use the term hypothyroidism. Symptoms specific to the underactive nature of this diagnosis include dry skin or hair, fatigue, weight gain, low heart rate, cold sensitivity, hoarse voice and a puffy face. Young women may also experience an increase in menstruation flow if diagnosed with hypothyroidism. . 

There are many factors to people having thyroid disease, including family history, certain medical conditions, taking medication high in iodine, being over the age of 60, and having had thyroid conditions in the past. 

Thyroidectomy 

If a thyroid disorder is to the point of needing to remove the gland entirely, the team at Breathe Clear Institute will schedule a thyroidectomy. This is a surgical procedure that removes the thyroid gland entirely. Below are the four main diseases that lead to this type of surgery:

Graves’ Disease: an autoimmune disorder affiliated with hyperthyroidism; symptoms include a goiter, tremor, weight loss, and anxiety

Goiter: an enlarged thyroid caused by other immunological disorders, iodine deficiency, or hyperthyroidism; symptoms are rare but difficulty swallowing is one

Thyroid Nodule: benign or cancerous groups of abnormal cells associated with thyroiditis or hyperthyroidism; symptoms include a lump of cells above the collarbone on the central neck area

Thyroid Cancer: abnormal cells creating a tumor in or on the thyroid gland; symptoms are a lump on the neck or swollen lymph nodes

People with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing thyroid disease.  If a patient is experiencing any symptoms that sound like the ones listed above, it is important to call a doctor immediately as some of these diseases are life-threatening. 

Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Thyroid symptoms should not be ignored and need to be treated in a timely manner in order to avoid further complications down the road. Our team will do comprehensive tests in order to diagnose any thyroid conditions. Cases and treatment plans will vary between patients.

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What are the benefits of joining your clinical trials?

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are investigations into medical procedures, studies of behavior, interventions of medical products (drugs or procedures) used to find new and innovative ways to help treat, manage, and cure illness. Each clinical study has a control method, which is usually something that is already common practice. However, clinical studies do run the risk of discovering methods that do not work and may cause patients harm. The ultimate goal is to have human beings participate in these studies in order to advance the world of medicine. All participants must agree to be a part of the research and meet all criteria necessary for a successful trial.

Clinical trial teams are usually led by a medical doctor with a research team made up of other doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. The length of time a clinical study is revealed to participants before they sign on, but varies depending on what is being studied. Clinical studies can be a couple of hours, weeks, months, or even years depending on what the doctors and researchers are looking to discover. 

What are the benefits of me joining a clinical trial?

Most medical treatments and procedures have gone through clinical testing, whether you know about it or not. When you see advertisements for prescription drugs and they list all the possible side effects, those were gathered from participants of clinical studies. If you notice a change in surgical equipment over the years, those tools and ones like it likely have been used to create the best possible engineering for that particular surgery based on clinical trials..

By participating, you not only help future patients but can also find new procedures and medicines that might work for you. Without clinical trials and people willing to participate, we would not advance in medicine the way we have been so quickly. 

Breathe Clear Institute clinical trials 

We offer three types of clinical trials at the Breathe Clear Institute. Below are the trials and their qualifications to join. Be sure to make an appointment or contact us before planning to participate. 

  1. Otonomy clinical trials for tinnitus
    1. Between ages 18 – 75 
    2. Other study requirements must be met for eligibility (contact us for more information)
  2. Nasal polyps
    1. Between ages 18 – 75
    2. Diagnosed with chronic rhinosinusitis with bilateral polyps
    3. Have nasal congestion/blockage/obstruction with moderate or severe symptoms
  3. Chronic tympanic membrane perforation 
    1. Ages 18 – 65
    2. Subject has dry chronic tympanic membrane perforation (CTMP) documented as persisting longer than 3 months

If you join one of our clinical studies, you can count on in-depth and attentive care throughout the entire process. Our goal is to have our clinical trials to be as positive of an experience as possible for everyone involved..

Join our clinical trials – Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Want to be a part of our clinical trials and help the future of our practice? We would love for you to join us, please click on the link below to see if you qualify and contact us. If we find that you match our criteria, we will give you more details on how to participate. 

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Three of the Most Common ENT Surgeries

Three of the Most Common ENT Surgeries

If you’re suffering from sinus problems, chronic ear infections, or throat issues, it’s time to pay a visit to the ENT clinic. Ear, nose, and throat doctors can often solve your medical condition with medications or non-invasive treatments. However, sometimes you’ll need surgery. Most ENT surgical procedures are minimally invasive and can be completed in an outpatient facility. Here are three of the most common operations that ENT doctors perform.

1. Tonsillectomy

If you experience persistent sore throats, severe tonsil stones, sleep apnea, and difficulty swallowing, you could be a good candidate for a tonsillectomy. Though tonsils are a part of the immune system, you can easily survive without them. Chronic tonsil infections and masses or lesions on the tonsils are both valid reasons for a tonsil operation. The outpatient procedure takes about 45 minutes and involves removing the tonsils through the mouth.

Children are typical recipients of tonsillectomies and can expect a one-week recovery. Since the procedure is more intense for adults, it’s less likely that someone over 18 will get one. However, some more severe cases are worth the risk. Adults can expect to recover in about 2 weeks, often with the assistance of post-op medication.

2. Myringotomy

Chronic ear infections and dysfunctional Eustachian tubes can lead to painful fluid buildup in the middle ear. This can affect hearing and sometimes cause dizziness, fevers, and malaise. Thankfully, ENT specialists can resolve this problem with a myringotomy. During this minor procedure, the doctor will make a small incision in the eardrum to relieve pressure. Sometimes they place a small tube in the incision to keep it open, allowing the ear and eustachian tube to drain, ventilate, and heal over time.

For adults and older children, a myringotomy can be done in-office. Young children will have it done in an operating room under general anesthesia. Without an ear tube, the incision should close in a week or so. If the ENT specialist decides to insert the tube, it will naturally fall out within 6-18 months.

3. Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Suffering from frequent or prolonged sinus infections? Sometimes medication just isn’t enough. An endoscopic sinus surgery could be the solution. During this 60-minute outpatient procedure, an ENT doctor will insert a small endoscope into the nose and use microsurgical instruments to safely open blocked sinus passages. This will allow them to drain more freely and prevent infections from forming. 

Once the endoscopic sinus procedure is complete, you can expect a 1-week recovery involving some nasal congestion. Medications are available to help with any post-op discomfort. 

Honorable Mention: Septoplasty

When you think of corrective nose surgery, a plastic surgeon probably comes to mind. But ENT doctors also commonly perform nasal surgeries, especially on the septum. Patients with extreme septum deviations can get relief from congestion, sinus infections, and sleep disorders with a septoplasty. With this minimally invasive surgery, ENT specialists can straighten the deviated septum with the assistance of an endoscope. The operation typically takes 60 minutes to complete. 

Recovery from a septoplasty is around a week and can involve congestion and some discomfort. Most can still participate in light physical activity. Medication is available to control post-op soreness and congestion.  

Breathe Clear Institute Offers ENT Surgeries for Those Who Need Them 

If you’re suffering from chronic ear, nose, or throat issues, Breathe Clear Institute has the tools and expertise to get you on a path to better health. Before you can undergo surgery, the medical professionals at our Torrance ENT clinic will thoroughly evaluate you. Since there are so many causes for ENT issues, we will need to determine the best ENT treatment for your particular problem. If surgery is the right course of action, you can rest assured that our doctors will treat you with the utmost care, before, during, and after the procedure. Schedule an appointment and start feeling better today.

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Could Post-Nasal Drip Make My Asthma Worse?

Could Post-Nasal Drip Make My Asthma Worse?

Approximately 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma. This chronic lung condition causes inflamed airways, leading to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Cold air, allergens, illnesses, and exercise can provoke asthma attacks. If you’re one of the millions of Americans livinga with asthma, you probably want to understand how to manage your triggers and symptoms. During cold/flu and allergy seasons, asthma sufferers may be particularly concerned about post-nasal drip. Does post-nasal drip make asthma worse? If so, what can you do about it?

What is Post-Nasal Drip?

Ever feel mucus trickling down the back of your throat? That’s post-nasal drip. When your sinuses overproduce mucus, it has nowhere to go but out. Thanks to gravity, that mucus tends to travel downward into your throat. You’ll likely feel a constant need to clear your throat or cough, as well as some mild to moderate irritation. Post-nasal drip can be a symptom of allergies, viruses, or sinus infections. Air pollutants and chemical exposure can also trigger it. 

Can Post-Nasal Drip Cause Asthma?

Since post-nasal drip can make you cough and wheeze, some people may confuse these symptoms with asthma. However, just because you’re coughing, doesn’t mean you have a chronic lung disease. Asthma is more than just throat irritation; it’s a serious inflammatory condition. Schedule an appointment with an allergist to get a confirmed diagnosis.

Though no one knows the exact cause for asthma, researchers believe that genetics and environmental triggers play a role. There is no reason to believe that post-nasal drip will make someone develop asthma. However, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t connected. If you have allergic asthma, allergens can trigger post-nasal drip and asthma simultaneously. Also, post-nasal drip from allergies or infections can trigger or exacerbate asthma symptoms. 

How to Manage Post-Nasal Drip

You can help your mild post-nasal drip with simple at-home remedies. Drink plenty of water and warm liquids to thin the mucus out. Honey can also soothe throat irritation. Humidifiers and hot showers do a great job of loosening mucus, but may not be the best solution for asthma sufferers (since humidity is a common asthma trigger). There are also plenty of OTC medications available to help clear mucus and manage allergy symptoms.

If your post-nasal drip is severe or is worsening your asthma symptoms, you should consider seeing a nose doctor. An ENT specialist will be able to figure out what is causing the sinus drip and offer treatments to remedy it. If you suffer from overactive nerves in your sinuses, Clarifix could be the best solution for your post-nasal drip. Immunotherapy is another potential treatment for allergy-induced sinus dripping.

Post-Nasal Drip Making Your Asthma Worse? Breathe Clear Institute Can Help

Post-nasal drip can seem like a minor issue. But for asthma sufferers, it can make life unbearable. At Breathe Clear Institute, we want to see you breathing better and living life to its fullest. Our medical professionals will treat you with a holistic approach, determined to get to the bottom of your sinus symptoms and present the right treatment plan. Relief is possible! Schedule your appointment today.

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Can Plastic Surgery Fix Your Nose Issues?

Can Plastic Surgery Fix Your Nose Issues?

When you hear the words “nose job” you probably think of cosmetic surgery. It is true that nose surgery, known as rhinoplasty, can give you the sculpted nose you’ve always dreamed of. But that isn’t the only purpose of nasal plastic surgery. These procedures can also improve breathing, fix structural deformities, and correct injuries. Even though medical insurance doesn’t cover cosmetic nose surgery, it will if there is a medical necessity. If you have one of the following conditions, you could be a good candidate for medical nose surgery.

Deviated Septum

One of the most common medical reasons for nose surgery is a deviated septum. Close to 80 percent of people have some degree of septal deviation. Injury or atypical growth can cause the center wall of the nose to warp or bend. In many people, the deformity is minor and doesn’t cause any discomfort. But for more severe cases, the deviated septum can obstruct breathing in one or both nostrils, leading to chronic sinus infections, nosebleeds, facial pain, and congestion. Thankfully, this can be corrected with a special procedure called septoplasty. Some people even choose to combine cosmetic surgery and septum correction in a procedure called septorhinoplasty. 

Enlarged Turbinates

If you’re experiencing chronic congestion, it could be due to enlarged turbinates. Turbinates are structures inside the nasal passages that filter and warm the air we breathe every day. When these structures expand beyond their normal size, you’ll be left with an incessant stuffy nose. Turbinate reduction surgery can correct this problem by decreasing its size. However, since turbinates are necessary for proper nasal function, you can’t remove them completely.

Broken Nose

If you suffer a broken nose, you will need to see a nose doctor immediately to assess the damage. They may ask you to return in a few days to wait for the swelling to subside. Once they evaluate the nose injury, you could receive surgery within 7-10 days (before the bones heal on their own). This type of plastic surgery is called nasal fracture reduction and without it, your bones could heal incorrectly. If you wait too long, you could be left with a nose deformity and breathing issues. In this case, you can consider an outpatient septorhinoplasty. 

Aging Nose

Aging is another common cause of structure nasal obstruction. The combination of weakened cartilage and gravity leads to drooping and collapsing of the nostrils. If you’re struggling with breathing through your nose, try lifting the tip up with your finger. If breathing is improved, rhinoplasty could be the answer to your problem. Plastic nose surgery can reshape and strengthen the nose to make breathing easier.

Breathe Clear Institute Can Fix Your Nose Issues with Plastic Surgery 

Before you can undergo nasal surgery, the medical professionals at our Torrance ENT clinic will need to thoroughly evaluate you. There are a variety of causes for nasal issues and we will need to determine the best ENT treatment for your particular problem. For example, if allergies are behind your congestion, immunotherapy could be a more effective and less invasive option. But if we decide that surgery is the right course of action, just know that your nose is in good hands.

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Tips for Coping with Summer Allergies

Tips for Coping with Summer Allergies

As spring comes to a close, you may be planning beach days, camping trips, and cookouts. Summer has a way of getting us outside. And though fresh air and warm sun are good for the soul, they can be terrible for summertime allergy victims. You might think that summer ushers in at the end of seasonal allergies, but these sultry months actually bring their own set of troublesome allergens. Summer livin’ can quickly become summer suffering. But don’t worry — you can conquer your seasonal allergy woes with these simple tips:

Identify Your Triggers

Summertime allergy triggers can often be different from spring allergies. Eating fresh, in-season fruits can sometimes produce “food pollen syndrome” which will look a lot like typical seasonal allergy symptoms. Additionally, grass pollen reaches high levels during the summer months, followed by ragweed pollen which begins at the end of July. Summer can also bring higher humidity levels, creating the perfect environment for mold spores and dust mites.

Another irritating allergy trigger that emerges in hot weather is insects. Mosquito bites and bee stings can produce particularly troubling allergic reactions, from painful, itchy welts, swelling, or even life-threatening anaphylaxis. Always visit a medical professional if you experience any insect-related allergies. If you don’t know what you’re allergic to, schedule an appointment with an allergist to have an allergy test done. Once you identify your triggers, you can make plans to avoid them.

Use an Antihistamine

Antihistamines aren’t just for springtime allergies. Since they block your body’s response to allergens, they can be used for almost any type of allergy. OTC oral antihistamines are ideal for sneezing, runny noses, watery eyes, and itchiness while prescription intranasal antihistamines can target congestion. However, if you’re plagued by itchy, watery eyes, you may want to give allergy eye drops a try. 

Buy a Nasal Spray

A nasal spray may be the best option for targeting congestion and sinus drip. intranasal corticosteroids, such as fluticasone, are some of the most effective OTC treatments for allergic rhinitis. They can take a couple of days or weeks to work, but you can use them long-term with little to no side effects. If you need short-term relief, try a nasal decongestant spray, such as oxymetazoline. A decongestant spray is a powerful congestion fighter that can work for up to 12 hours. However, using it for more than a few days can cause a rebound effect, resulting in worse or prolonged congestion.

Make Saline Part of Your Routine

Saline is a cheap and safe way to manage summer allergies. Many find relief by regularly irrigating their sinuses with saline sprays or neti pots. As salinated water travels through your nasal passages, it pushes allergens out, clears away mucus, and keeps your sinuses moisturized. If you suffer from dry, irritated eyes, you can opt for pH-balanced saline eye drops. These whisk away allergens while also gently hydrating your eyes.

Keep Your Environment Clean

Pollen, dust, dander, and mold spores all have a pesky habit of clinging to fabric and air particles. And even if you’re good about keeping your windows closed, they can still hitch a ride on your clothing. Make sure to regularly clean your shoes, clothes, and bedding. If possible, remove carpet and drapes from your home or vacuum them daily. You can also help minimize allergen exposure by using filters. Replace your HVAC filters monthly using HEPA filters and use an external air purifier to “scrub” the air. 

Use Insect Repellent

If your insect allergies are severe, consider setting insect traps and spraying your yard with an insect repellent. If you’re out and about, wear long sleeves and pants and use bug spray. Citronella candles may provide additional protection. If you do experience a bite or sting, you can purchase devices that extract the irritating venom from your skin. Topical antihistamines and hydrocortisone can treat itching and minor allergic reactions.

Try Immunotherapy

It could be time to give immunotherapy a “shot.” Immunotherapy (aka allergy shots) works by exposing you to your allergy trigger in small doses over time until your immune system learns to fight it on its own. An allergy doctor will need to administer these injections regularly until you see full results. For those with needle phobias, mouth drops are available, as well.

Breathe Clear Institute Will Help You Cope with Summer Allergies 

Summer should be a time for making memories. If allergies are keeping you from enjoying life, it’s time to get help from the allergists at Breathe Clear Institute. Our medical professionals will treat you with a holistic approach, determined to get to the bottom of your allergy symptoms and present the right treatment plan. Our clinic is equipped with tools for allergy testing, immunotherapy, and other ENT services. Schedule your appointment today and start experiencing the joys of summer once again.

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How to Finally Stop Your Leaky Nose

How to Finally Stop Your Leaky Nose

If your nose is like a faucet that just won’t turn off, you’re a victim of the dreaded runny nose. That drip, drip, drip is probably driving you wild. You may even have skin irritation right at the base of your nostrils. If you can’t leave your house without a box of tissues, It’s probably time to do something about it. Read on to discover how to finally stop that leaky nose (hopefully for good!).

Figure Out Why Your Nose is Running in the First Place

The first step to stopping your runny nose is to identify what is causing it:

Viruses

Viruses like the cold and flu release inflammation-causing chemicals called cytokines. This commonly results in a drippy nose with clear drainage. Thankfully, this will usually go away with time. However, there are plenty of OTC medications to help you get through it.

Allergies

When your immune system mistakes a foreign material as dangerous, it will trigger the release of histamine. This chemical response can cause a host of respiratory and skin reactions, including a runny nose with clear mucus. Symptoms can be temporary or ongoing.

Sinus Infection

When colds or allergies get out of hand, a sinus infection can brew. As bacteria infect your sinuses, you will produce a thicker, yellow or green discharge from the nose. Though many sinus infections heal themselves, steroids and antibiotics can help in severe cases.

Spices and Onions

If you cook often or eat a lot of spicy food, you may find yourself wiping your nose constantly. Ingesting spicy food and cooking with onions and spices can trigger nerve stimulation in the sinuses. When these nerves are stimulated by fumes and foreign particles, mucous production can increase.

Nasal Polyps

Soft, yellow growths in the sinuses called polyps can lead to a chronic runny nose. This is because they are made up of inflammatory cells which trigger mucus production as well as facial pressure and loss of smell. Treatment includes steroids or full removal.

Vasomotor rhinitis

Vasomotor rhinitis is a chronic condition involving overactive nerve endings in the nose. This ailment is tricky to diagnose since it resembles allergies. 

Once you diagnose the cause of your leaky nose, you can try one of the following remedies to fix it.

Eliminate Triggers

If allergies are to blame, you’ll need to identify your triggers. Schedule an appointment with an allergist and have an allergy test done. It could be pollen, dust mites, mold, animal dander, or feathers. Removing the allergen from your life or using air filters can help. If spices and fumes from onions and peppers provoke your drippy nose, you may need to stay away from those foods. Chemical fragrances and cold, dry air are also common nasal irritants and should be avoided.

Take an Antihistamine

Regular use of an antihistamine can significantly reduce or eliminate your leaky nose. By blocking histamine releases, allergy symptoms can be managed. It could take a while to find an oral or intranasal antihistamine that works for you. And depending on the allergy trigger, you may have to take it seasonally or all year long.

Use a Corticosteroid Nasal Spray

Intranasal corticosteroids like fluticasone reduce inflammation in the sinus cavity. When inflammation is down, the sinus dripping will subside. Nasal corticosteroids are very effective at treating sinus issues, especially with allergy sufferers. They can be used long-term with few side effects.

Irrigate, Irrigate, Irrigate

Sometimes the best thing to do is flush out your sinus cavities with saline sprays, neti pots, or nasal irrigation machines. Each method forces salinated water through your nasal passages to clear them out. The saline will typically go in through one nostril and then out the other, pushing out mucus, allergens, viruses, or bacteria. You’ll need to irrigate your sinuses at least twice a day to keep your leaky nose under control.

Try a Nerve-Blocking Nasal Spray

If you have a chronic drippy nose from vasomotor rhinitis, you can try prescription ipratropium bromide. This nasal spray blocks the overactive nerves that cause that incessant nose drip. This medication can also be used if spicy foods are a trigger for you. Although it is useful, the effects only last about 4 hours.

Opt for Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy, such as ClariFix, is another great option for vasomotor rhinitis and other chronic runny nose conditions. Using sub-freezing temperatures, a nose doctor will essentially stun those overactive nerves to return your nose to normal mucous production. Patients typically see a 60-70% reduction in sinus drip after treatment is complete. Results can last years.

Breathe Clear Institute Can Finally Stop Your Leaky Nose

If there seems to be no end in sight for your runny nose, schedule an appointment with our ENT clinic in Torrance. Breathe Clear Institute offers a variety of treatments to correct your chronic leaky nose. Services include non-invasive procedures like cryotherapy and nasal polyp removal to invasive nose surgeries. Our ENT doctors use a holistic approach to medicine so you can expect to be treated as an individual. Schedule your appointment today and finally put an end to that neverending nose drip!

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Symptoms of Ear Infections in Adults

Symptoms of Ear Infections in Adults

It’s probably been years or even decades since you’ve experienced the agony of an ear infection. This is because babies and children are the typical victims. Their tiny Eustachian tubes (the canals that run from the middle ear to the throat) can easily block, resulting in a fluid backup. As this fluid sits, bacteria festers behind the eardrum. This is called a middle ear infection or otitis media.

But even though ear infections are common in children, adults aren’t exactly immune to them. Tobacco smoke, allergies, viruses, sinus infections, or overgrown adenoids can all cause your Eustachian tubes to swell and malfunction. The symptoms for an adult middle ear infection could be different from a child, so watch out for the following signs:

Ear Pain

Ear pain is the most common and indicative symptom of an ear infection. It can be sharp and sudden or dull and lingering. You may also have pressure and a feeling of fullness in the ear. Even though this symptom is typical, it is not universal. Keep in mind that some adults with ear infections never feel pain. They could, however, encounter one of the other symptoms mentioned below.

Ear Drainage

You could see slight drainage from your ear in the same way you get a runny nose from a cold. If yellow or green fluid suddenly drains from your ear, it’s possible that the eardrum has ruptured. This is serious and you will need to see an ear doctor as soon as possible if this happens.

Hearing Loss

It probably won’t be forever, but hearing loss is a possible symptom of middle ear infections. The blockage in your ear canal will likely cause some impaired hearing, which could come and go. Chronic or recurrent ear infections can cause lasting damage, resulting in more severe or even permanent hearing loss. You’ll need to visit an ENT specialist to find the right treatment for your ear condition.

Flu-like Symptoms

If a virus caused your ear infection, you may experience fever, nasal congestion, coughing, malaise, and appetite loss, or even gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. All of these symptoms could mask the fact that you have an ear infection so you may not even realize it’s there at all. 

Breathe Clear Institute Can Treat Adult Ear Infections

Even though plenty of ear infections heal on their own, they can be painful and scary. Whether you’re experiencing an acute case or a chronic ear infection, our ENT doctors and medical professionals are determined to get you better. Our services range from minor antibiotic treatments and myringotomies to more invasive eardrum and eustachian tube surgeries. 

At Breathe Clear Institute, we understand that not all patients (or ear infections) are the same. We take a holistic approach to medicine instead of one-size-fits-all. Expect to be treated as an individual. We will perform a thorough examination and run all necessary tests before devising the best treatment for your case. Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute and get some much-needed relief from your ear infection.

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Tips for Coping with Spring Allergies

Tips for Coping with Spring Allergies

For many, spring provides sweet relief from the cold, dark, germ-infested winter. But for seasonal allergy sufferers, spring unleashes a miserable spiral of sneezing, coughing, itching, and sniffing. As plants become green and bright again, they release pollen into the air, triggering allergies for about 50 million Americans. The immune system mistakes the pollen for a dangerous foreign object, attacks it with antibodies, and releases histamines into the blood. It’s that chemical release that launches those bothersome allergy symptoms.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why some of us experience allergies but they suspect it’s a combination of genetic and environmental factors. We are hopeful for a cure in the future, but in the meantime, here are some helpful tips on how to manage seasonal allergies.

Use an Antihistamine

Antihistamines work by blocking your body’s response to allergens. They’re ideal for sneezing, runny noses, watery eyes, and itchiness. There are a variety of OTC oral antihistamines and it could take some trial and error before you find the right one. Some are known to cause drowsiness and aren’t suitable for daytime use. Intranasal antihistamines are also available by prescription.

Try a Nasal Spray

A nasal spray may be the best option for targeting congestion and sinus drip. The following options are available OTC:

Corticosteroids

Intranasal corticosteroids, such as fluticasone, are some of the most effective OTC treatments for allergic rhinitis. They can take a couple of days or weeks to work, but you can use them long-term with little to no side effects. Many choose to use corticosteroids in conjunction with antihistamines for a broad-spectrum treatment.

Saline Sprays

Saline sprays and nose drops are a safe, natural alternative to allergy medications. Sodium chloride and purified water clear the sinuses of pollen and moisturize your nasal passages if they feel dry, raw, or itchy. Higher concentrations of sodium chloride can also temporarily help with congestion.

Nasal Decongestants

Nasal decongestant sprays, such as oxymetazoline, can immediately relieve nasal congestion for up to 12 hours. Sound like a dream? Not so fast. A decongestant spray is a powerful congestion fighter with one caveat: it can only be used short term. Using it for more than a few days can cause a rebound effect, resulting in worse or prolonged congestion. So save that spray for those extra bad days.

Irrigate Your Sinuses

Many find relief from regularly irrigating their sinuses. You can find pressurized cans of saline, traditional neti pots, and even machines designed to force salinated water through your nasal passages. The saline will typically go in through one nostril and then out the other, pushing pollen, dust, and mold spores out. It also clears away mucus and keeps your sinuses moisturized.

Nasal irrigation is generally considered safe, as long as you’re using purified water with an appropriate amount of sodium chloride. Tap water could contain harmful amoebas and not using the correct amount of sodium chloride will result in burning and discomfort.

Take a Decongestant

Oral decongestants are another OTC option for victims of congestion. Pseudoephedrine is the most widely available option and does alleviate congestion for many people. Some oral antihistamines even include pseudoephedrine to broaden the symptom relief in a single pill. 

Oral decongestants, however, aren’t for everyone and can have serious side effects. Since they are stimulants and work by narrowing blood vessels in your nose, they can potentially narrow blood vessels in other parts of your body, as well. Long-term use can increase your risk for high blood pressure, elevated heart rates, nervousness, and sleeplessness. 

Use Eye Drops

Dry, itchy eyes? Try eye drops. Gentle, hydrating eye drops can provide relief from dryness and redness. But if your eyes are distractingly itchy, you can give allergy eye drops a whirl. Equipped with antihistamines and redness relievers, these drops target eye allergies at their source. 

Filter the Air

When spring has sprung, pollen is in the air. Aside from keeping your windows shut, you can help minimize allergen exposure by using filters. Replace your regular HVAC filters with HEPA ones, specially designed to filter out allergens. You can also use an external air purifier to “scrub” the air. And when you’re out and about, wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter pollen mask.

Regularly Clean Fabrics 

Pollen, dust, and mold spores love to cling to fabric. Make sure to regularly clean your shoes, clothes, and bedding. If possible, remove carpet and drapes from your home or vacuum them daily. Though these tasks are time-consuming, the benefits will pay off.

Avoid Your Triggers

Do you know what you’re allergic to? If not, you need to find out. Schedule an appointment with an allergist to have an allergy test done. Once you identify your triggers, you can make plans to avoid them. Maybe you’ll need to remove those lilies from your garden. Or perhaps you’ll know to stay inside when the grass is cut.

Try Immunotherapy

When you’ve exhausted all other options, immunotherapy may be worth a “shot.” Also called allergy shots, immunotherapy works by exposing you to your allergy trigger in small doses over time until your immune system learns to fight it on its own. You’ll typically see an allergy doctor regularly for these injections until you see full results. For those with needle phobias, mouth drops are available, as well.

Breathe Clear Institute Will Help You Cope with Spring Allergies

Managing your allergy symptoms can be overwhelming. We’re blessed with so many treatment options these days but all those choices can cause confusion. The medical professionals at Breathe Clear Institute will treat you with a holistic approach, determined to get to the bottom of your allergy symptoms and present the right treatment plan. Our clinic is equipped with tools for allergy testing, immunotherapy, and other ENT services. Schedule your appointment today.

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Spring Allergy Symptoms

Spring Allergy Symptoms

The winter is over. Cold and flu season is coming to a close. You make the mistake of tossing out your tissues and rejoice under the canopy of budding trees and colorful flowers. And then — achoo! It hits you: springtime allergies.

Though seasonal allergies aren’t contagious, they are a growing problem for the United States. Collecting data from allergists and ENT doctors, the ACAAI estimates that 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. Seasonal allergens are the most common cause, plaguing allergy sufferers from March through June. When plants disperse pollen, your immune system can mistake it as a danger and attack it with antibodies. This triggers a histamine release in the blood, causing one or more of the following spring allergy symptoms:

Eye Allergy Symptoms

Histamines are known for causing swelling and inflammation. Often, this can happen in your eyes, resulting in one of these symptoms:

Watery Eyes

Sometimes it’s a glassy feeling and other times it’s a full-on waterworks.

Itchy Eyes

Itchiness usually occurs in the corners and lower eye region. You will likely also experience redness and inflamed blood vessels. 

Allergic Shiners

Congestion of small blood vessels will create a bruised-like appearance under the eyes. The skin will look bluish and puffy.

Sinus Allergy Symptoms

Sinus and upper respiratory allergy symptoms are often what people think of when they hear “spring allergies.” These seasonal allergy symptoms are also called allergic rhinitis or hay fever. They include: 

Sneezing

When you breathe pollen in through the nose, your body’s natural defense to this invader is to dispel it with force. Sneezing is your body’s way of eliminating the enemy.

Congestion

As mentioned before, histamines can cause inflammation. And when pollen enters the nose, the allergic response is often to swell up the vessels in your sinuses. This can make you feel stuffy and cause pressure in your face.

Itchy, Runny Nose

Remember, your body is trying to eliminate the enemy. One of the ways it does this is to trap it with mucus. Excess mucus production will cause your nose to itch and run. 

Sore Throat

As your body fights off pollen with mucus, it will probably start to drip into your throat. Postnasal drip will irritate your throat, making it sore or scratchy.

Lower Respiratory Allergy Symptoms

Your lower respiratory system involves your larynx, bronchial tubes, and lungs (to name a new). None of these parts are immune to the wrath of your seasonal allergies. Lower respiratory allergies can cause the following symptoms:

Coughing 

As mucus drips into your throat, it could make its way into your lower respiratory tract. Your body will produce coughing to keep the mucus out of your lungs. 

Asthma

If wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness occupancy the coughing, you could have asthma. Allergic reactions can trigger asthma attacks, resulting in inflammation of the airways.

Head Allergy Symptoms

Sinus dripping from spring allergies can also impact your head:

Headaches

It may feel like a dull ache in your head or a tightness in your face. A backup of sinus fluid can cause pressure, leading to sinus headaches.

Clogged Ears

Everything in your face is connected. If you experience congestion in your sinuses and head, you can feel it in your ears, too.

Skin Allergy Symptoms

When you encounter allergy symptoms on your skin, it’s often referred to as eczema. Though there are many different kinds of eczema with unique causes, there are two common types of allergy-induced eczema:

Contact Dermatitis

When your skin comes in direct contact with an allergen, it can produce a localized rash. This rash may be red, itchy, or bumpy.

Atopic Dermatitis 

When the allergic skin reaction occurs on random parts throughout the body, it’s probably atopic dermatitis. This type of eczema is often more generalized and it’s harder to pinpoint the exact trigger. It’s common in babies and children but it also affects about 3% of adults.

Let Breathe Clear Manage Your Spring Allergy Symptoms

You can treat minor seasonal allergies with OTC antihistamines, nasals sprays, and nasal rinses. But it’s not uncommon for allergy sufferers to fail at managing their symptoms. At Breathe Clear Institute, we can help you identify your triggers and develop a plan to manage them. Though there’s no known cure for allergies, our doctors can help you tackle the symptoms. From allergy testing to allergy shots, Breathe Clear Institute will find an allergy treatment for you.

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Why Does My Throat Hurt When I Swallow

Why Does My Throat Hurt When I Swallow?

If you’re having a hard time eating and drinking, you’re not alone. Painful swallowing is a common condition. You could be experiencing burning, soreness, a sharp pain, or the sensation that you have a lump in your throat. All of these symptoms can make it difficult to swallow. Most of the time, painful swallowing is benign and can be treated easily with OTC medications and home remedies. But if your condition is severe or persists, you will need to see your PCP or throat doctor for treatment. You may be diagnosed with one of the following causes for painful swallowing:

Viral or Sinus Infection

The most common cause for painful swallowing is a virus like a cold, the flu, or mono. Sinus infections could also be the blame. The pain in your throat is likely caused by either inflamed tonsils, coughing, or irritation from sinus drip. If you have a viral or sinus infection, there will be a variety of other symptoms such as a runny/stuffy nose, headache, cough, or fever. Rest and OTC medications are the standard treatment for these types of infections; although your doctor may choose to prescribe steroids or antibiotics in some cases.

Throat Infection

Bacterial infections that affect the throat include strep and tonsillitis. Unlike with viruses, these bacterial infections directly target the throat and won’t be accompanied by other cold-like symptoms. In addition to a painful sore throat, you may experience a fever, swollen lymph nodes, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Treatment options include OTC pain medications, antibiotics, and sometimes tonsillectomies for severe cases.

Allergic Reaction

Sinus drip triggered by an allergen can cause mildly painful swallowing. But severe allergies, especially from food, can cause an extreme allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. When this happens, the throat can swell and close, making it difficult to swallow and breathe. Anaphylaxis is serious and requires immediate medical attention. Use an EpiPen if you have one and then go to the closest emergency room.

Oral Thrush

Thrush is essentially a yeast infection of the mouth. A fungus known as Candida albicans infects the lining of the mouth and can spread to the tonsils and throat. The irritation and burning can make it difficult to eat and swallow. Other symptoms include white lesions, minor scrapes and bleeding, and a cotton-like feeling in your mouth. Antifungal medications are effective at treating thrush.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, you’re no stranger to that burning sensation in the throat. When stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, it can be painful to swallow. This is because acid reflux is damaging your esophageal lining. You may also experience vomiting, an acidic taste, heartburn, and hoarseness. Diet changes along with antacids should remedy the problem.

Throat Injury

If you swallowed a large pill or a jagged piece of food, you may have injured your throat. Also, consuming food and drinks that are too hot can burn your esophagus. Scrapes, burns, and sore throat muscles can all cause mild pain when you swallow. Time will heal the injury but in the meantime, you can use OTC pain medications. 

Cancer

Although rare, painful swallowing could be a warning sign of throat or esophageal cancer. You may see other symptoms like lumps around the neck or blood in your saliva. An ENT doctor will be able to perform tests to determine if tumors are the source of your painful swallowing.

Breathe Clear Institute Can Find Out Why It Hurts When You Swallow 

Although painful swallowing isn’t usually a cause for concern, you should seek help if it’s causing prolonged suffering or if you have other troubling symptoms. Breathe Clear Institute can help. We take a holistic approach to health and will start by diagnosing the root cause of your discomfort to then customize a throat treatment plan for your specific needs. Schedule an appointment with an ENT from Breathe Clear institute and start feeling better today!

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What are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?

What are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?

Your partner constantly complains about your snoring. You feel exhausted no matter how much sleep you get or how much coffee you drink. You even catch yourself falling asleep on the job. Sound familiar? You could be one of the 20 million Americans plagued with sleep apnea. And in reality, that number is probably much higher. Many people aren’t aware of the warning signs of sleep apnea and never get a diagnosis. And the consequences of that could be fatal.

Sleep apnea is often thought of as a benign condition. Okay so you snore — what’s the big deal? Well, when you have sleep apnea, your airway is obstructed, causing interrupted breathing, sleep deprivation. and lack of oxygen. Undiagnosed cases can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even erectile dysfunction. That’s why it’s important to get treated as soon as possible.

So before you brush off the possibility that you could have sleep apnea, consider these dangerous warning signs:

You Snore Loudly

We aren’t talking about just some heavy breathing. If your snoring is so loud that it disturbs your household or even awakens you from your sleep, you may have sleep apnea. Relaxed throat muscles can block your airway, unleashing that loud, monstrous growl that keeps that whole house awake at night. Do yourself (and your loved ones) a favor and pay a visit to your doctor.

You Gasp or Choke in Your Sleep

Gasping for air in the middle of the night isn’t normal; it’s a dangerous warning signal. If your throat muscles become too relaxed, your airway will become blocked to the point of choking. And if you’re a deep sleeper, you may not even notice yourself doing this. Ask your partner or record yourself overnight to verify if you have this symptom.

You Stop Breathing Periodically Throughout the Night

You may not be aware of this, but people with sleep apnea commonly hold their breath while they sleep. Just like with gasping, it may be a good idea to record yourself or ask your partner if they’ve noticed you doing this.

You Wake Up with Headaches, a Sore Throat and/or Sweat

Between the snoring, gasping and breath-holding, it’s no surprise that you’ll wake up feeling hungover. Inconsistent breathing will deprive you of oxygen, leading to night sweats, morning headaches, and a sore, dry throat. These symptoms are also associated with other conditions so it’s always a good idea to have an ENT confirm a diagnosis. 

You’re Extremely Exhausted

When your sleep is disturbed and your body deprived of oxygen, exhaustion is sure to follow. The sleepiness associated with sleep apnea is often intense. It’s not the same kind of tiredness you experience from staying up too late to binge-watch your favorite show. It’s actually not unusual for someone with sleep apnea to fall asleep while performing a task, watching tv, or driving a car.

You’re Not Yourself

Even if you think you’re getting a full night’s sleep, you’re not. And sleep deprivation will negatively impact your overall well-being. You may have this vague feeling of just not being yourself. Perhaps you’re irritable, unfocused, unproductive, or even depressed. This will, in turn, affect your relationships, job, and mental health.

Breathe Clear Institute Understands the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

If you think you could have sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with one of our ENTs to get a proper diagnosis. We will start with an examination of your sleep problems as well as a physical inspection of your airway. Once we arrive at a diagnosis, we can build a treatment plan based on the severity of your sleep apnea. The Pillar Procedure and nasal APAP machine are among some of the many ENT services we offer. Don’t put it off. Start breathing and sleeping better today.

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What Are the Signs of a Sinus Infection?

What Are the Signs of a Sinus Infection? 

Feel like you have a cold that never ends? It could be a sinus infection. Medically referred to as sinusitis, sinus infections involve inflammation of sinus tissue. About 35 million Americans are diagnosed with a sinus infection each year so it’s safe to say it’s a pretty common condition. There are 4 known types:

Acute Sinusitis

Starts out with cold-like symptoms and lasts 2-4 weeks.

Subacute Sinusitis

Continued cold-like symptoms for 4-12 weeks.

Chronic Sinusitis

Involves persistent cold-like symptoms with the addition of nasal obstructions, nasal pus, or discolored drainage. Lasts more than 12 weeks.

Recurrent Sinusitis

A reoccurring sinus infection that happens several times a year.

Signs that May Indicate a Sinus Infection 

Sinusitis symptoms are similar to that of colds and allergies which is why they often get dismissed at first. Signs of sinus infections include:

  • Runny nose
  • Bad breath
  • Postnasal drip
  • Facial pain
  • Pressure in sinus region
  • Headache
  • Stuffy nose
  • Throat irritation
  • Loss of smell
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

In rare cases, an untreated sinus infection can lead to more serious symptoms and conditions such as:

  • Meningitis
  • A brain abscess
  • A bone infection
  • Orbital cellulitis

Causes of a Sinus Infection 

When fluid builds up in your sinus cavities, germs now have a breeding ground to grow. This is essentially what causes a sinus infection. But there are certain risk factors that allow this to occur. The following conditions can lead to sinus blockages:

  • Viral infections (such as colds)
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Allergies
  • Structural problems (Such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum)
  • Smoking 
  • Immune deficiencies that prevent your body from fighting infection

Sinus Infection Treatment Options 

Before self-treating your sinusitis, visit your primary care physician or sinus doctor to get a diagnosis. They will determine the cause of your sinus infection and help you find relief. Treatment could involve:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications for headaches, sore throats, and facial pain
  • Decongestants and expectorants to loosen mucus and facilitate breathing
  • Nasal sprays and nasal irrigation kits to clear nasal passages
  • Antibiotics to fight bacterial infections
  • Antifungals for rare fungal infections
  • Steroids for more stubborn cases

However, the best medicine is prevention. You can practice these things to avoid getting sinusitis altogether:

  • Clean your hands and stay away from sick people to avoid infections
  • Keep up with vaccines such as the flu and pneumococcal vaccines
  • Make healthy choices and don’t smoke
  • Use a clean humidifier and air purifier to improve air quality
  • Take allergy medication during allergy seasons

Get the Relief You Need By Scheduling an Appointment With Breathe Clear

When the sniffles just don’t stop, it’s time to visit the medical professionals at Breathe Clear Institute. Equipped with an arsenal of knowledge, treatment plans, and medical devices, Breathe Clear is prepared to tackle your sinusitis. And we understand that medicine isn’t a one-size-fits-all practice, which is why we take a customized, holistic approach. From non-invasive to surgical, our ENT services are tailored to meet your specific needs. Sinus infections can lead to more serious medical complications if left untreated so make your appointment today!

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Acid reflux management

Acid reflux

Much like heartburn, acid reflux is a painful burning sensation in your chest and throat. It is caused by stomach acid being pushed back up into the esophagus and can be very uncomfortable. The more scientific term for it is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). 

Ways to relieve and prevent it 

We all have our own tricks to quickly relieve acid reflux when it’s needed. Rather than play a guessing game, we want to provide you with a variety of ways to reduce and prevent your acid reflux from flaring up. Below is a list of lifestyle changes that can help reduce acid reflux over time. 

  • When eating, chew and swallow with intention  to digest your food at a slower rate; eat dinner earlier so gravity doesn’t interfere with digestion; eat smaller, low-fat, high-protein meals throughout the day (rather than three big meals a day)
  • Elevate your head while sleeping and sleep on your left side – this causes less pressure on your stomach to reduce the amount of acid reaching the esophagus 
  • Chewing gum with bicarbonate can neutralize acid and prevent reflux
  • Avoid carbonated beverages, limit coffee and alcohol intake, limit citrus juice – all are common triggers in acid reflux flare-ups
  • Limit high-fat foods and too many carbohydrates – undigested carbs can cause gas, bloating, and burping
  • Manage your weight to stay within a healthy range for your figure 
  • Check to your medications to see if acid reflux is a side effect and talk to your doctor and make changes accordingly
  • Quit smoking – it increase amount of acid secreted in the stomach and lessens the muscle strength that prevents reflux
  • Click here for a detailed list of food and beverages that should be avoided

Most of these tips will help your overall health and should be considered changes everyone can make to live better and longer. Like most health conditions, diet and exercise are important to monitor for optimal results. If you’re obses, talk to a doctor about creating a plan to safely lose substantial weight over a planned amount of time. 

Furthermore, wearing loose clothing, opting not to wear a tight belt, sleeping in a chair at a more elevated angle can improve acid reflux symptoms in the moment, but they are not cure-alls. 

Over-the-counter medicines are also available for purchase for quick relief from acid reflux. Some popular products and brands include Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta, Maalox, Alka-Seltzer, and Pepto-Bismol. Milk of magnesia, and aluminum hydroxide gel are alternatives to big brand name products. Your local pharmacy will have one or more of these for purchase, if you’re ever without them or in a bind. 

Treat your acid reflux – Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If acid reflux is a problem in your everyday life and nothing seems to be working at home, it’s time to make an appointment with the team at the Breathe Clear Institute to further investigate what’s going on. In the meantime, keep watching your diet and continue any at-home remedies that have given relief. We will help you get your acid reflux under control.

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What Are the Causes of a Sore Throat?

What are the Causes of a Sore Throat?

It happens to the best of us — that painful, scratchy feeling you get at the back of your throat. It’s hard to swallow and talk. Perhaps it’s even challenging your ability to eat and sleep. Desperate for relief, you may find yourself sucking on throat lozenges or trying your hand at a home remedy. But what is causing it? And how can you know if your sore throat is something serious? Here are some likely causes for your throat irritation:

1. Viral Infections

The most common cause of a sore throat is a viral infection. In fact, viruses are to blame for about 90% of all reported sore throats. If you’re experiencing other symptoms, such as a fever or body aches, this is the biggest clue that a virus is the culprit. If the problem persists, you should probably see your doctor. They may diagnose you with one of the following viral infections:

  • The common cold
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Mono (mononucleosis)
  • Measles
  • Chickenpox 
  • Mumps
  • COVID-19 (coronavirus disease)
  • Croup 

2. Bacterial Infections

Bacteria could also be the agent of your throat discomfort. This is more typical in children and youth but adults aren’t immune to the possibility. A bacterial infection will usually be present in the tonsils or even the throat itself. The most common sore throat-causing bacteria are:

  • Strep throat
  • Tonsillitis
  • STIs (like gonorrhea and chlamydia)

3. Environmental Irritants

The very air you breathe could be irritating your throat. If the air is dry, your throat will be dry, causing that scratchy feeling we all know and don’t love. Other bothersome particles in the air may also be making their way into your throat. It could be from:

  • Pollution
  • Smoke (fire or tobacco)
  • Dust and dirt
  • Cleaning products
  • Other chemicals

4. Allergies

When allergens like pollen or mold trigger allergic reactions, it can cause sinus symptoms like congestion and a runny nose. The increase in mucus will cause postnasal drip. As mucus repetitively drips down the back of your throat, it will cause irritation and soreness. 

5. Tonsil Stones

Also called tonsilloliths, tonsil stones are deposits formed within the crevices of your tonsils. Debris from food, dead cells, saliva, and mucus can get trapped in tonsils pits and build up over time. This also attracts odorous bacteria and fungi. When tonsil stones become large or increase in number, they can cause a distinct sore throat.

6. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive condition where your stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. When the acid makes its way up your throat, it will subsequently cause pain, burning, and hoarseness. 

7. Throat Injury

Ever wake up with a sore throat after a fun-filled day at the theme park or a music festival? Overusing your vocal cords by screaming or singing can injure your throat and cause temporary or prolonged soreness. Food can also injure your throat if it’s too hot or gets stuck.

8. Tumors

Though uncommon, tumors of the throat, voice box, or tongue can also lead to sore throats. If a sore throat continues for an extended period, you should probably see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) and get a cancer screening. Your throat doctor may also check for other accompanying symptoms such as visible lumps, difficulty swallowing, or blood in the saliva.

Schedule an Appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Some sore throats are benign and go away on their own. But if you’re plagued by a persistent sore throat or are worried it could be serious, the medical professionals at Breathe Clear Institute can help. We take a holistic approach to health and will start by diagnosing the root cause of your discomfort to then customize a throat treatment plan for your specific needs. Schedule an appointment with an ENT from Breathe Clear institute and start feeling better today!

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Why Am I Having Difficulty Sleeping at Night?

Why Am I Having Difficulty Sleeping at Night?

Sleep is essential for an individual’s physical health, mental health, and overall well being. It allows for muscle repair, tissue growth, energy restoration, memory function, the regulation of emotion, and more. When deprived of sleep, a person can suffer serious consequences. There are many reasons why someone may have trouble sleeping at night. In this blog, we will discuss some of those reasons, which include engaging in poor habits, also known as poor sleep hygiene, insomnia, pain, and sleep apnea. 

Poor Habits

The choices we make can influence our sleeping patterns. Consuming alcohol before bed can reduce one’s REM sleep, which is an important stage of sleep. Drinking caffeinated beverages can make it difficult to fall asleep as caffeine is a stimulant. Other habits that can affect sleep include eating too close to bedtime, too much screen time, taking naps during the day, working out late at night, and going to sleep at different times every night. In addition, activities in bed should be limited to sleeping and sex. Reading and watching tv in bed can hinder our ability to maintain good sleep hygiene. 

Insomnia

One of the most common sleep disorders, insomnia is characterized by difficulties in falling and or staying asleep. Causes of insomnia include stress, an irregular sleep schedule,  mental health disorders, engaging in poor habits, as mentioned above, certain medications, and more. Individuals can experience various consequences as a result of insomnia, some of which are fatigue, daytime sleepiness, change in mood, and trouble focusing. 

Pain 

Another reason one may struggle to sleep at night is because of pain. Pain can result in difficulty falling asleep or disrupted sleep throughout the night. The National Sleep Foundation has reported that two out of three people with chronic pain experience trouble with sleeping. Intense flare-ups may occur, causing major discomfort as well as sleep deprivation. Managing pain is critical as sleep loss can lead to further health issues. 

Sleep Apnea

Lastly, sleep apnea may be the culprit of insufficient sleep. Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder that is characterized by interrupted breathing while a person is sleeping. The two main types of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked due to the relaxation of muscles in the throat. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that drive breathing. Symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, dry mouth, a choking or gasping sensation, change in mood, and fatigue due to disrupted sleep. Often a person who suffers from sleep apnea is not aware they have a problem and it is the bed partner who becomes alarmed and encourages a visit to the doctor.

For Difficulty Sleeping at Night, Contact Breathe Clear

If you or a loved one is being deprived of a good night’s sleep it is important to identify the root of the issue, which often involves contacting a healthcare professional. At Breathe Clear Institute, we know how crucial sleep is for your health and commonly accepted issues like snoring or waking up feeling unrested should not be overlooked. Our team is committed to helping diagnose and treat patients with sleep disorders, so that they may get the rest they deserve and lead healthy lives. If you’re ready to experience relief, we are here to help. Get your medical needs met today by scheduling an appointment.

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What Causes a Sinus Headache?

What Causes a Sinus Headache? 

Sinus headaches can be frustrating, inconvenient, and not to mention, painful. But what is the cause behind the pressure and throbbing? There are actually quite a few reasons why you may be experiencing a sinus headache. In this blog, we will discuss the different causes, symptoms, and treatment options of sinus headaches, allowing you to know what can go away with time and medication, and what issues may need further medical attention from a healthcare professional. 

Reasons You May Have A Sinus Headache

The following are reasons why you may be suffering from a sinus headache: seasonal allergies, sinusitis, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum. 

Seasonal Allergies

When the immune system encounters a foreign substance, it reacts, resulting in what we know as allergies. Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, with symptoms including congestion, postnasal drip, sneezing, headache, and more. 

Sinusitis 

Sinusitis, most commonly known as a sinus infection, describes the inflammation or swelling of the sinuses. Some of the symptoms of sinusitis include congestion, runny nose, loss of smell, and pressure and pain in the facial region. Sinus headaches are characterized by both pain and tenderness between the eyes and in the forehead. 

Nasal Polyps

Another reason you may experience a sinus headache is due to nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths on the lining of the sinuses or nasal passages. They are often caused by recurrent sinus infections, asthma, and even allergies. Symptoms include a runny nose, congestion, reduced sense of smell and taste, snoring, and pressure in the forehead. 

Deviated Septum 

Lastly, a deviated septum can be associated with a sinus headache. A deviated septum occurs when the nasal septum is crooked. This can happen as a result of contact sports, car accidents, or because of a congenital condition. Individuals with a deviated septum may experience frequent nosebleeds, congestion, sinus infections, snoring, and facial pain. 

Treatment Options 

As you read above, there are different causes for sinus headaches, meaning there will be different forms of treatment. Allergies can be relieved with over-the-counter medications. To minimize or eliminate the need for these medications, you may also want to consider allergy shots and allergy drops. Acute sinusitis can be treated with antibiotics or by implementing natural remedies. Nasal polyps may be treated using corticosteroids, however, in some severe cases, surgery is necessary. Finally, a deviated septum can be corrected through a surgical procedure called septoplasty. 

Need Relief? Schedule an Appointment With Breathe Clear

If your sinus headache persists after trying various treatment methods, contact Breathe Clear Institute to schedule an appointment. Our sinus doctor will complete a thorough evaluation in order to provide you with a proper diagnosis. This may require the use of our Carestream CS 93000 Sinus CT Scanner, which is conveniently located right here in our office. Once diagnosed, you will be recommended the most ideal treatment plan. It is our goal to help you get the relief you need, allowing you to regain a more healthy and comfortable lifestyle.

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Common Allergens in the Fall

Common Allergens in the Fall and How to Find Relief

Fall is synonymous with leaves changing colors, birds migrating, shorter days, and a drop in temperature. This season also triggers allergies in many people. Allergies are the immune system’s reaction to a foreign substance. Reactions can occur if a substance enters the body or if you come in contact with it. Seasonal allergies happen, well, during certain seasons and are typically the result of environmental allergens. Learn about the common allergens in the fall and how to find relief with the medical team at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Triggers of Allergies

With over 50 million Americans suffering from allergies each year, determining the triggers is critical. People often experience reactions due to the following allergens: pollen, mold, and dust mites. 

Pollen

One of the most common allergens in the fall is pollen, with ragweed being the main culprit. Pollen is a powder created by trees, grasses, and plants. Carried by wind, pollen fertilizes other plants, but when people breathe in pollen, they can experience various allergy symptoms. Ragweed grows all over the United States and blooms during the fall months. 

Mold  

Mold is a fungus that grows where moisture is present. Unfortunately, it can be found in both indoor and outdoor environments. Outside, mold spores can be found on damp leaves that can then be tracked into people’s homes. Areas that have high humidity allow mold to thrive. 

Dust Mites

Another common type of allergen in the fall is dust mites. What are dust mites? Dust mites are microscopic pests that live in house dust. They feed on dead skin and are most commonly found in bedding, carpet, curtains, furniture, and more. 

Symptoms  

Symptoms associated with the aforementioned allergens include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, postnasal drip, itchy and watery eyes, coughing, wheezing, and throat irritation. 

Ways to Prevent Allergens in the Fall  

Alleviating allergy symptoms can be done in a number of ways. To relieve allergies related to pollen, it is important to remove shoes before entering your home as well change into a new pair of clothing. Keeping an eye out on the pollen counts is also a good way to reduce symptoms. To prevent allergies from mold, we recommend purchasing a dehumidifier if the inside of your home is rather humid, invest in HEPA filters, and be mindful when outside. Dust mites can be reduced by regularly washing bedding, placing dust-proof covers over pillows and mattresses, and vacuuming frequently. 

Contact Breathe Clear to Schedule an Appointment for Relief

If you are suffering from allergies during the fall and can’t seem to get rid of your symptoms, contact the professional team at Breathe Clear Institute. During your appointment, we will diagnose your allergy symptoms after undergoing a detailed assessment. An allergy test may be ordered depending on our findings. At Breathe Clear, we perform allergy drops as well as allergy shots once we get to the root of the issue. Helping you get the relief you need and deserve is our priority. We will work with you to choose the treatment option that will best fit your needs. For questions or to book an appointment, please call us or fill out the contact form available at our website.

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How Does Allergy Testing Work?

How Does Allergy Testing Work? 

Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, with billions of dollars spent on over-the-counter treatments and medications. An allergy is a reaction to a foreign substance. Individuals can experience seasonal allergies as well as ones they have to manage every day. Symptoms of allergies may include sneezing, an itchy, runny, stuffy nose, watery or itchy eyes, a rash, wheezing, shortness of breath, swelling, and more. The most severe type of allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. Learn about common allergens, the allergy testing process, and treatment plans with the knowledgeable team at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Common Allergens

People can experience many different types of allergies. Some common types of allergies are due to food, drugs, and the environment. Food-related allergies are often caused by eggs, wheat, shellfish, soy, milk, tree nuts, peanuts, and fish. Triggers of allergic reactions to drugs include antibiotics, including penicillin and sulfa drugs. Environmental factors can cause allergies and include pollen, mold, dust, grasses, and trees. Additional common allergy-triggering culprits include pet dander, dust mites, and cockroaches.

Allergy Testing Process 

While some may find it easy to identify their triggers, it may be more difficult to diagnose others. A person could be allergic to something without even knowing it. To get a better understanding of what a person is allergic to and to best treat their symptoms, a skin allergy test may be ordered. At Breathe Clear Institute, we begin with a detailed assessment, focusing on allergy triggers such as pollen, molds, animal dander, and foods. We test for 40 allergens at the same time. Bumps on the skin will determine whether or not a person is allergic. The process takes about 1 hour and a patient may experience itchiness. In order for the skin test to be accurate, a patient is asked to avoid taking antihistamines 3-7 days before testing occurs. Once the allergens are identified, we will discuss treatment options. 

Treatment Plans

First, it is important to try to avoid or eliminate the allergens that are triggering a reaction. For some, medications will be helpful, while others may undergo immunotherapy. Allergy drops are customized to the patient and work over time to reduce the immune system’s overreaction to allergens by desensitizing their system. Allergy shots are another option that slowly increases the resistance to allergens in order to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. 

Schedule an Appointment With Breathe Clear to Determine if Allergy Testing Is Right for You

If you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms that may be caused by an allergen, it is important to seek medical attention to get relief and live a healthy life. At Breathe Clear, our allergist will get to the root of the issue and recommend a treatment that is tailored specifically to you. If left untreated, allergies can continue to get worse and affect your long term health. 
The healthcare professionals at Breathe Clear are ready to provide you with the best care possible and make sure that all of your medical needs are met. To schedule an appointment, please contact us via phone or complete the contact form available on our website

How to Clear Your Sinuses

Ways to Clear Your Sinuses

When sinuses become inflamed and infected, they can cause individuals to experience uncomfortable symptoms. But how do they get this way? Healthy sinuses are empty chambers in the face and forehead. They are responsible for adding moisture to the air we breathe and act as protective shock absorbers in case of trauma. Allergies, immune issues, bacteria, polyps, and more can cause sinusitis, creating symptoms that are not limited to nasal congestion, runny nose, post nasal drip, headaches, and loss of taste and smell. Individuals suffering from acute sinusitis can get relief by trying at home remedies. Learn about different ways to clear your sinuses with the expert team at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Purchase a Nasal Spray

Nasal sprays can be very effective for those suffering from symptoms of sinusitis. They can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy, with the option of choosing either a saline spray or decongestant. To clear your sinuses, cover one of your nostrils and hold the bottle under the other. With your mouth closed, you will inhale the solution by either pumping or squeezing the bottle. It is important to read the instructions carefully to determine how much and how often it should be used. 

Use a Nasal Irrigation System

Another helpful way to clear your sinuses is by using a nasal irrigation system. Nasal irrigation systems work by squeezing a saline solution into the upper nostril. The solution will then exit through the opposite nostril along with any mucus and bacteria. It is important to breathe through your mouth while draining occurs. When creating a saline solution, using distilled water is recommended to prevent infection. 

Invest in a Humidifier

When your sinuses are congested, a humidifier may help alleviate them. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, allowing mucus to loosen and drain from the sinuses. They can be especially helpful during the winter months when the air is more dry due to heating. 

Stay Hydrated  

Lastly, it is important to drink plenty of water to keep your sinuses healthy and clear. Why water you may ask? Water helps keep mucus thin, which can help prevent congestion. 

Schedule an Appointment with Breathe Clear Institute to Clear Your Sinuses and Get the Relief You Need

If you find that these remedies are not working for you or you believe your condition is more severe, contacting a trusted ENT is vital. Dr. Davis at Breathe Clear Institute specializes in conditions affecting the sinuses and he will get to the root of your issue so that you can get back to leading a healthy life. If symptoms persist, it is possible that you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is characterized by inflammation and infection for three months or longer. Common symptoms include nasal discharge, congestion, facial pain, pressure in the sinus region, and loss or reduction in the sense of smell. Breathe Clear is currently offering a clinical trial for chronic sinusitis. In order to qualify, potential participants must be 18 years or old and have experienced two of the aforementioned symptoms for a minimum of 12 weeks. Our personalized, comprehensive approach to care allows us to offer our patients the most effective treatment options available, so you can rest assured that you are in good hands. 

The time to breathe clear is now. Get the relief you need today by scheduling an appointment. 

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Can Children Suffer From Sleep Apnea?

Yes, Children Can Suffer From Sleep Apnea 

Sleep apnea is a disorder that is characterized by sleep disrupted by periodic pauses in breathing that lasts more than 10 seconds. It has been estimated to affect almost 22 million Americans. While much associate sleep apnea with older adults, it can also impact younger children. Learn about pediatric obstructive sleep apnea, its causes, symptoms, and ways to treat it with the professional team at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Causes 

Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea can be caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Tonsils are glands in the back of your throat.  Adenoids are similar to tonsils, forming a pad of tissue at the back of the nose.   Tonsils and adenoids play a small role in the body’s immune system. In addition to the causes previously mentioned, children may also experience sleep apnea because of being born prematurely, medical conditions, being overweight, and family history. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of sleep apnea in children may include restlessness, snoring, coughing, night terrors, irritability, mouth breathing, bedwetting, hyperactivity during the day, difficulty focusing, behavioral issues, and more. 

Treatment Options 

If you notice that your child has been struggling with their sleep and it has affected their day to day life, it is important to get help as soon as possible to determine the best treatment option and avoid more serious problems. A doctor will first give your child an evaluation and ask any questions regarding symptoms and behavior experienced. He or she may order a sleep study, where the child will be monitored as they sleep. Sensors are placed on the body that tracks an individual’s heart rate, breathing, oxygen level, brain waves, and more. Treatment options differ for each case. It is possible that a child will outgrow sleep apnea. In other circumstances, a child may be prescribed nasal steroids to help alleviate congestion.  Removal of the tonsils and adenoids may be an option as well. In addition, there are now dental sleep apnea appliances available.

Schedule an Appointment With the Trusted Doctor at Breathe Clear Institute

If you believe your child is suffering from sleep apnea, contact the trusted professionals at Breathe Clear Institute. It is not uncommon for people to experience some form of sleep condition in today’s society, even children. Issues with sleep should never be overlooked and the team at Breathe Clear is experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. Our doctor specializes in performing tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies. Children are able to typically recover in a week or so from both procedures. If another form of treatment is required, we will ensure your child is given the best possible care – whether it be medical or surgical. We will work with you to choose the treatment plan that’s going to best fit your child’s needs.
Let the suffering end now. Give your child the relief they need and deserve by contacting Breathe Clear Institute today to schedule an appointment. Our dedicated staff along with Dr. Davis looks forward to seeing you soon and helping improve the quality of life for your loved one. A high standard of care is only a phone call away.

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Common Causes of Nasal Fractures

Nasal Fractures: Why Do They Happen? 

A nasal fracture, also known as a broken nose, occurs when an individual’s cartilage or nasal bone becomes damaged, usually in the form of breaks or cracks. Learn about the various causes, symptoms, and treatments of nasal fractures with the knowledgeable team at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Causes

A nose can become fractured for many different reasons. Common causes include auto accidents, contact sports, falling, and physical altercations. In the event of a car accident, the airbag or steering wheel can strike the face, resulting in a fracture. Sports like football, basketball, soccer, boxing, and more often are the consequence of this type of injury. Weather conditions and uneven surfaces may be the culprit. Finally, physical arguments can lead to a broken or cracked nasal bone. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of a nasal fracture may include blood coming from the nose, pain, swelling, difficulty breathing, bruising, and a crooked nose. 

Treatment 

Treatment options for a nasal fracture will vary depending on its severity. Minor fractures can sometimes be treated at home with recommendations by a doctor. In other instances, a patient’s nose may need to be realigned, which may be done in office. More serious fractures will likely require surgery. It is important to seek out medical attention after suffering from a broken nose in a timely manner so that a doctor can complete a thorough evaluation and offer the most ideal treatment option. 

Receive Treatment For Your Nasal Fracture at Breathe Clear Institute 

At Breathe Clear Institute, we specialize in the management and treatment of conditions affecting the nose. If you have broken your nose recently, our doctor may be able to reset and repair your nose without having to perform a surgical procedure. Symptoms we typically see include cosmetic changes to the nose, tenderness, black eyes, difficulty breathing, and nosebleeds. Dr. Davis performs this procedure, which just takes a few minutes, under local anesthesia in the office. He uses delicate instruments to gently move the nose back into its original position. 

If it is past the 10-day mark of receiving the injury, the bones will most likely have to be re-broken, thus requiring surgery. Dr. Hurvitz, a board-certified plastic surgeon, specializes in rhinoplasty and can perform this procedure in a nearby operating room. The severity of the fracture will determine how long the procedure will last. Following the surgery, Dr. Hurvitz will place a small cast on the nose, which will later be removed during a scheduled postoperative visit. Patients who undergo this surgery typically experience improved breathing, improved appearance of the nose, and increased confidence. 

When you need relief, look no further than Breathe Clear Institute. Our team of experts will ensure you receive the best care possible and are able to go back to living a healthy lifestyle. To schedule an appointment, you can contact us by phone or fill out our contact form which is available on our website.

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What Are Tonsil Stones?

What Are Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones, also referred to as tonsilloliths, are calcified stones that can be found lodged in the tonsils. Tonsils are the glands located in the back of your throat and are an important part of the immune system. Learn about the causes, symptoms, removal, and prevention of tonsil stones with the experienced team at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Causes

How do tonsil stones form? Tonsil stones are formed when debris, including food particles, and bacteria get trapped in the crevices of the tonsils. They vary in size and may appear yellow or white in color. Causes of tonsil stones include tonsillitis, infection, and failure to practice good oral hygiene. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of tonsil stones include throat irritation, bad breath, ear pressure, coughing, difficulty swallowing, and swollen tonsils. 

Removal

To remove tonsil stones, an individual may use at home remedies, however, if the stones persist, medical or surgical treatment may be recommended by a healthcare professional. 

Gargling With Salt Water

One remedy that can be done at home is gargling with salt water. To create a salt water solution, you mix ½ teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water. The salt water can work to help dislodge the stones and soothe the throat. 

Gargling With Apple Cider Vinegar

Another method that has proven to be helpful for some is gargling with apple cider vinegar. Take a cup of warm water and mix it with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. 

Using a Water Flosser

A water flosser may be useful in loosening up and removing tonsil stones. Water flossers are typically used to remove food and plaque. 

Tonsillectomy

Lastly, an individual may have to undergo a tonsillectomy if their condition does not improve. A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed from the mouth. One of the benefits of a tonsillectomy is the elimination of tonsil stones along with fewer infections, fewer sore throats, and less snoring. This type of procedure is very common in the United States. At Breathe Clear Institute, our doctor performs this outpatient procedure, which typically takes less than 45 minutes, in a nearby operating room. Recovery times differ between children and adults, but most can expect to feel relief within two weeks. 

Prevention

For some, prevention may be more difficult, but practicing good oral hygiene (brushing twice a day, flossing, using mouthwash) is a great way to help keep them from forming and causing uncomfortable symptoms. 

Get the Relief You Need With Breathe Clear Institute

If you are suffering from recurrent tonsil stones, schedule an appointment with the leading ENT doctor and allergist at the Breathe Clear Institute. Dr. Davis won’t just alleviate your symptoms. He will get to the root of your issue by conducting a complete evaluation. From there, he will recommend the most effective and ideal treatment—whether it be medical or surgical. At Breathe Clear, your health is important to us and it is our goal to provide all of our patients with the best care possible. To make an appointment with Dr. Davis, you can either give us a call and our patient coordinator will assist you, or you can always fill out an online contact form available on our website. We look forward to helping you get the relief you need and deserve.

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What Are Treatment Options for Hearing Loss?

Treatment Options for Hearing Loss

Before being able to comprehend hearing loss, it is important to go over the anatomy of the ear and how hearing works. The ear has three parts: outer, middle, and inner. The outer ear consists of the pinna, ear canal, and ear drum. The middle ear contains three bones: malleus, incus, and stapes. Part of the eustachian tube is also located in the middle ear. Lastly, the inner ear consists of the cochlea, semicircular canals, and the vestibular nerve. 

How does hearing work? Hearing begins with the outer ear, where a sound or vibration travels to the eardrum and causes it to vibrate. From there, the eardrum causes the bones in the middle ear to vibrate. The vibrations pass through the middle ear into the inner ear where they meet the cochlea. The vibrations become electrical nerve impulses that are sent to the brain from the auditory nerve, creating sound. 

There are different causes of hearing loss including advanced age, impacted earwax, malfunction of the hearing bones, and fluid buildup behind the eardrum. Learn more about the different types of hearing loss and treatment options with Breathe Clear. 

Types of Hearing Loss

The three different types of hearing loss are conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. 

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound can’t reach the inner ear. Causes of conductive hearing loss include an excess of earwax in the ear canal, a chronic ear infection, fluid in the middle ear, foreign bodies, a perforated eardrum, cholesteatoma, eustachian tube dysfunction, and more. Treatment options vary depending on the cause of hearing loss. Potential treatment options include earwax removal, surgery, or an implanted hearing device. 

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear.  It is a common type of permanent hearing loss and is typically caused by trauma to the head, loud noise, genetics, disease, and aging. Implants, hearing aids, and surgical procedures may be recommended. Breathe Clear is currently offering a clinical trial for stable sensorineural hearing loss. To learn more about if you qualify for this study, click here

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss consists of both conductive damage and sensorineural damage. Causes of mixed hearing loss include infections, head trauma, exposure to noise, genetics, and more. The process of treating mixed hearing loss depends on the mechanism that is causing the problem.  

Speak With an Experienced ENT Doctor at Breathe Clear Institute

Hearing loss is a leading health problem in the United States. If you are having issues hearing or believe something is not right, it is important to seek out help from an experienced ENT doctor. As a patient at Breathe Clear, our providers will conduct a thorough exam and hearing test to determine the proper diagnosis and treatment option for you. We specialize in offering the most innovative treatments in the South Bay for allergies, sinus, ears and throat conditions in a friendly and sophisticated environment. Get the relief you deserve today by scheduling an appointment.

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Why Is My Nose Still Runny?

What is Causing My Nose to Be Runny?

If you have been suffering from nasal drainage, also known as a runny nose or rhinitis, there may be several reasons why. Learn about the potential causes of your runny nose with Breathe Clear Institute. 

Allergies

One of the symptoms of allergies is a runny nose. Allergies are reactions to a foreign substance. Some common triggers include food, drugs, and the environment. Many people do not realize what they are allergic to but, fortunately, allergy testing lets you know what is triggering your reaction and how you can best be treated. At Breathe Clear, we are able to test for 40 different allergens at the same time. Once the results are in, we recommend the most ideal treatment option to relieve you of your symptoms. 

Cold

A cold is one of the most common viral infections. It affects the upper respiratory tract and causes various symptoms including a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, throat irritation, and a cough. There is no cure for a cold, however there are ways to treat the symptoms including with over-the-counter medications, drinking fluids, and getting plenty of rest. 

Chronic Sinusitis

Your runny nose may be due to chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is a condition that occurs when an individual’s sinuses are inflamed and infected for a three month period of longer. Other than a runny nose, symptoms consist of congestion, post nasal drip, loss or reduction in sense of smell, and facial pain and pressure in the sinus region. We are currently offering a clinical trial for patients suffering from chronic sinusitis. To see if you qualify and to learn more, visit our website

Environmental and Chemical Irritants

Another reason for your runny nose may be environmental and chemical irritants.  These irritants include particulate matter in air pollutants as well as industrial or chemical products.  Even tires are a source of potentially irritating particles that can get into the atmosphere.   Some people also react to perfumes and cleaning products.    

Schedule an Appointment With Breathe Clear to Relieve Your Runny Nose

When you are experiencing a runny nose beyond the typical, it is important to visit a trusted ENT doctor to get to the root of the issue. At Breathe Clear Institute, we specialize in the management and treatment of conditions affecting the nose and sinuses.  One of the treatments we offer is Clarifix, a simple treatment performed in our office that helps get your runny nose back to normal.  When you’re a patient at Breathe Clear, our team of experts provides you with quality care, taking your unique needs into consideration when determining the best form of treatment. Get the relief you deserve by contacting Breathe Clear today. To make an appointment you can either give us a call and our patient coordinator will assist you, or you can fill out our online contact form.

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What Are Symptoms of Allergies?

Looking At Symptoms of Allergies 

Before we explore the different symptoms of allergies, it is important to define what an allergy is. An allergy is a reaction to a foreign substance. It can affect people of all ages and can show up later in life. The type of allergy a person has will determine what symptoms they will experience. Once the allergen and associated symptoms are identified, you are then able to take control of your allergies and improve your quality of life. 

Common Allergy Symptoms 

The most common are related to food, environmental and drug allergies. 

Food Allergies 

Food allergies occur when the immune system reacts to a certain food that was consumed. There are IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergies. IgE mediated food allergies occur when IgE antibodies created by the body’s immune system react to a certain food, while non-IgE mediated does not involve antibodies. The vast majority of food allergies are caused by shellfish, wheat, egg, soy, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, and fish. Depending on the severity of the reaction, symptoms may include itchy and watery eyes, congestion, runny nose, itchy ears, rash, inflammation, wheezing, vomiting, and swelling of the throat. 

Environmental Allergies 

Environmental allergies are a response to allergens in the environment. Common allergens include weeds, trees, dust mites, dander, mold, and grasses. Symptoms associated with environmental allergies include runny nose, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and itching. 

Drug Allergies 

Lastly, many people find that they are allergic to certain medications. Some medications that are common triggers are antibiotics, primarily penicillin based medications and sulfa drugs.  Additional triggers are  drugs used for chemotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and anticonvulsants. Symptoms include but are not limited to itching, rash, difficulty breathing, swelling, and anaphylaxis. 

Yes, Allergies Can Cause Skin Symptoms

Is your skin irritated or itchy? There is a possibility that it is the result of an allergy.  All the major classes of allergies – food, environmental and drug – can cause problems with the skin.  Common allergic skin conditions include eczema, hives, angioedema (swelling), and contact dermatitis. Skin allergy symptoms include itching, redness, swelling, bumps, blisters, and dry, scaly skin. 

Get Your Allergies Diagnosed By An Allergist at Breathe Clear 

If you are wondering what you may be allergic to, we recommend undergoing allergy testing. At Breathe Clear, we test for environmental and food allergens at the same time. After refraining from antihistamines and certain other medications, we will conduct a skin test to identify any sensitivities. If you are sensitive to an allergen, a bump will appear on your skin, similar to that of a mosquito bite. In some cases, a blood allergy test may be necessary as well.  From there we will create a treatment plan designed specifically for you. You can receive immunotherapy through allergy drops or allergy shots. Allergy drops are placed under your tongue on a daily basis wherever you are.  Allergy shots are first performed in the office and in most cases can be taken home after about 6 months.  Both types of immunotherapy – sublingual and injectable – are intended to work over time to desensitize your body to the allergens that provoke your symptoms and significantly improve your quality of life.    Get relief from your allergy symptoms today by contacting the leading allergist at Breathe Clear Institute in Torrance.

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Why Won’t My Allergies Go Away?

Reasons Why Your Allergies Are Persisting 

Allergies affect more than 50 million Americans. Common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy, watery eyes, rashes, shortness of breath, and more. These occur as a result of your immune system responding to a foreign substance, better known as an allergen. Taking control of your allergies can sometimes prove to be difficult, especially without a proper diagnosis. If you are suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms associated with allergies, it’s time to look into the various reasons why your symptoms are persisting and how to improve them with the professionals at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Poor Indoor Air Quality 

Many do not realize that the air quality in your home can greatly affect your health. Some indoor allergens include dust mites, pet dander, and mold. To reduce indoor allergens, it is important to clean your home often. If you have an HVAC system, don’t forget to clean your air ducts to avoid allergens from circulating throughout your home. Avoid humidity in your home as it attracts insects and mold thrives in this type of environment. For those households with someone allergic to dust mites, we recommend investing in special mattress and pillow protectors to act as a shield against dust mites.  We also recommend washing bedding frequently. 

Unknown Triggers 

It is possible that you are not entirely sure what is triggering your allergy symptoms, which is why they are not going away. Allergy triggers include pollen, molds, animal dander, and food. If you are unable to identify the trigger on your own, it is best to see an allergist who will complete a detailed assessment in order to determine what is causing your allergies. From there, a skin test or blood test may be recommended to be able to create a treatment plan. At Breathe Clear, we test for 40 different allergens at the same time, which include environmental and food allergens. 

Poor Response to Medication 

People often try to treat allergy symptoms on their own by taking antihistamines or using nasal sprays. Unfortunately, these do not always work for everyone, which is why making an appointment with an allergist is crucial to determine the best treatment option for you. 

Lifestyle 

The things we love the most can very well be the reason we suffer from allergy symptoms. Your pet who you love and adore can be the cause of your sneezing and nasal congestion. Playing an outdoor sport that you enjoy can result in a rash due to the grass. Your lifestyle could be the reason you can’t get rid of your allergies for good. Luckily, there are ways to treat your allergies so that you can continue to live your life fully.  At Breathe Clear, we offer immunotherapy through allergy shots and allergy drops. 

Make an Appointment to Treat Your Allergies

Do not let your allergy symptoms control you. If you would like to get relief from your allergies and receive the most effective treatment option for long-term health and wellness, contact Breathe Clear today to schedule an appointment. Our team seeks to alleviate suffering from the conditions that affect your quality of life and is dedicated to providing you with the best experience possible.

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Employee Spotlight: Meet Our ENT Doctors

The Innovative ENT Doctors at Breathe Clear Institute

Managing and treating disorders of the ear, nose, and throat would not be possible without the experience and knowledge of our very own ENT doctors. Get to know more about our dedicated doctors who are proud to serve the South Bay community. 

Dr. Steven E. Davis

Dr. Steven E. Davis is the medical director and founder of Breathe Clear Institute. He is a board-certified ENT doctor, sinus and allergy specialist. Dr. Davis received his Doctor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. After graduation, he completed his internship in General Surgery as well as his residency in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Southern California. During his time at USC, he underwent extensive training in all aspects of head and neck surgery with an emphasis on minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Davis is proud to be a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, California Medical Association, American Association of Otolaryngic Allergy, and more. He makes sure every patient is treated on an individual level and works hard to ensure everyone has the best possible experience when coming in to get relief from their condition. 

Dr. Joseph Kuderko [119] 

Dr. Joseph Kuderko is a board-certified ENT doctor who specializes in sinus and allergy conditions. Originally from Chicago’s North Shore, he brings his talents to Breathe Clear. He attended the University of Illinois College of Medicine where he received his Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Kuderko completed his internship at University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. He then made the move to Minneapolis to undergo training at The University of Minnesota Ear Nose and Throat program. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Otolaryngology. Dr. Kuderko works hard to improve the lives of his patients and uses the latest in minimally invasive in-office procedures. 

Dr. Keith Hurvitz

Last, but certainly not least, is Dr. Hurvitz, a board-certified plastic surgeon. His specialties include facial cosmetic surgery, rhinoplasty, and body contouring procedures. He attended the University of Southern California School of Medicine where he received his Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Hurvitz was a surgical intern at LAC/USC Medical Center, where he also completed his five-year surgical residency in Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery. He also completed a three-year residency program in plastic surgery at UC Irvine. He has proudly served patients in the South Bay and Long Beach for over 12 years and has been the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center since 2012. Some of the organizations he is a part of include the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, and many more. 

ENT Doctors You Can Trust

The ENT doctors at Breathe Clear are committed to helping patients relieve their suffering from various sinus issues, allergies, sleep apnea, or another related condition. They work with you to come up with the most ideal treatment option, allowing you to get back to a healthier, more satisfying life. If you’re looking to alleviate your symptoms and get to the root of your issue, you can count on our trusted ENT doctors to get the job done effectively and efficiently.

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Reasons It May Be Time to See an ENT Doctor

Signs You Need To Schedule an Appointment with an ENT

Experiencing discomfort in your ears, nose, or throat can indicate a more serious issue or condition, especially if it’s been for a long period of time. An ENT doctor specializes in the  management and treatment of conditions affecting the ear, nose, and throat and related structures in the head and neck. Learn about some of the possible signs for needing medical attention from an ENT. 

Painful Earaches

An earache is often a symptom of an ear infection, which is when a virus or bacteria causes inflammation of the inner, middle, or outer ear. Ear infections can be the result of colds, the flu, allergies, throat infections, or water in the ear after swimming. An ENT can determine whether you have an ear infection or there is another issue at hand. 

A Chronic Sinus Infection

Sinuses, when healthy, are empty chambers in the face and forehead. Unfortunately, sinuses are susceptible to inflammation and infection. When a person experiences inflammation and infection for three months or more, this means that he or she most likely has chronic sinusitis. Common symptoms associated with this include congestion, nasal discharge, facial pain and pressure in the sinus region, and loss or reduction in the sense of smell. If you have been suffering from similar symptoms, it is important to schedule an appointment with an ENT to figure out what is causing the infection and the best way to to treat it. 

Poor Sleep Quality

Having difficulty sleeping or feeling tired throughout the day? Has your partner mentioned that you snore or a pause in your breathing? If you are struggling with your sleep, there is a chance you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes an individual to stop breathing repeatedly when asleep. If left untreated, this disorder can be associated with serious health problems. Seeing an ENT is crucial to get to the root of your issue and treat it so you can improve your sleep quality. 

Frequent Tonsil Infections

If you experience frequent tonsil infections, it is best to see an ENT. Tonsil infections, also known as tonsillitis, can be caused by viruses or by bacteria such as strep. Tonsil stones can also trigger tonsil irritation and possibly infection. Symptoms of a tonsil infection include a sore throat and difficulty swallowing. While antibiotics can treat the occasional bacterial infection, if the infections become frequent or prolonged, an ENT may suggest a tonsillectomy to more definitively treat the problem. 

Allergic Reaction

While it’s true allergies cause symptoms like nasal congestion, watery or itchy eyes, and sneezing, they can also affect the throat, skin, ears, lungs and gastrointestinal tract. If you experience an allergic reaction, it is important to see an ENT specialist. The doctor may recommend a skin allergy test or a blood allergy test to determine what is triggering your allergies. 

Get the Relief You Need From Breathe Clear

Don’t let your symptoms get worse. Take control of your health and contact Breathe Clear Institute today. It is our goal to help alleviate your suffering through effective, minimally invasive treatment options that are tailored just for you. Get the relief you need and deserve from a team that is dedicated to giving you the best possible care.

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Clinical Trials Offered by Breathe Clear Institute

Being Part of a Clinical Trial at Breathe Clear 

What is a clinical trial? A clinical trial is a type of research study that helps determine how effective new medications, treatments, and devices are for patients. The information gathered from the study adds to medical knowledge, indicating what will and won’t work when it comes to treating various diseases and conditions. There are many personal benefits when it comes to being part of a clinical trial. Individuals are able to experience a high standard of care from some of the best qualified medical professionals and access innovative treatments that are not available to the public. The Breathe Clear Institute is proud to offer several clinical trials, including those which treat chronic sinusitis, stable sensorineural hearing loss, and chronic non-allergic or allergic rhinitis. We at Breathe Clear want to improve the health of current and future generations, which is why we are offering these trials to those who have experienced symptoms associated with these conditions. Learn more about the qualifications of our clinical trials below. 

Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis occurs when a person’s sinuses are inflamed and infected for three months or more. In order to qualify for this clinical trial, the potential participant must be at least 18 years or older. The participant must have experienced two of the following symptoms over a 12 week period or more: congestion, nasal discharge, facial pain and pressure in the sinus region, and loss or reduction in sense of smell. 

Stable Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Stable sensorineural hearing loss occurs as a result of loss of or damaged hair cells in the cochlea, which is part of the inner ear. This study will be conducted with FX-322 and potential participants must be between the ages of 18-65 and have an already established diagnosis of  stable sensorineural hearing loss by standard hearing tests. 

Chronic Non-Allergic or Allergic Rhinitis 

Rhinitis occurs when the mucous membrane of the nose is inflamed. This clinical study is with ClariFix, and potential participants must be at least 21 years or older, have a diagnosis of chronic non-allergic or allergic rhinitis, and experience moderate to severe symptoms of rhinorrhea and mild to severe symptoms of nasal congestion.

Contact Us Today

If you believe you or someone you know would qualify for one of our clinical trials, contact Breathe Clear Institute today. It is our mission to bring clinical research to as many lives as possible, all while delivering compassionate, respectful, and exceptional care.

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Treating Polyps in Your Sinuses and Nasal Passages

Innovative Treatments for Polyps

Polyps are benign growths on the lining of your sinuses or nasal passages. While smaller polyps may not be apparent, larger polyps tend to cause severe obstruction. It is still unknown what causes polyps; however, they are often associated with allergies, recurring sinus infections, asthma, and sometimes cystic fibrosis. Symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, post-nasal drip, reduced sense of taste and smell, facial pain, mouth breathing, and snoring. Medication may be used to help control the polyps, but in some cases, surgery is necessary in order to remove them and bring the patient relief. Learn about the different treatment options available for sinus and nasal polyps with the Breathe Clear Institute. 

Treatment Options for Polyps

Dr. Davis provides patients with the relief they need through non-invasive procedures. 

Removal of Polyps

The severity of the polyps determines if the patient will undergo local anesthesia in the office or general anesthesia in a nearby operating room. With a small endoscope and a video monitor, Dr. Davis removes the polyps through the nose, using a special instrument called a shaver. After the removal, it is common for him to place a small, temporary, dissolvable implant in the nose that releases a gentle steroid to assist with the healing process. Once the polyps are removed, it is recommended that the patient engage in light physical activity for a few days if the procedure was performed in the office and a week if it was performed in an operating room. Medication may be prescribed to help with any discomfort following the procedure. The benefits of removing the polyps include relief of nasal congestion, improved sense of smell and taste, improved breathing through the nose, and reduced facial pressure. 

SINUVA Spacer Insertion

SINUVA spacer placement is a noninvasive treatment option for patients who have already had surgery to remove their polyps. Unfortunately, it is possible for polyps to grow back after undergoing a procedure. The placement of SINUVA helps to reduce the formation of polyps, reducing the need for additional surgery. The procedure is performed in the office under local anesthesia. The spacer is placed gently into the nostril via a small cannula. While in the nostril, the spacer will release topical steroids over several weeks then naturally dissolve on its own. 

Contact Breathe Clear Institute

If you have been experiencing uncomfortable symptoms for quite some time, it is important to schedule an appointment with a trusted ENT doctor. The professionals at Breathe Clear specialize in the management and treatment of conditions that affect the nose. It is our priority to get to the root of the problem and provide the most ideal treatment in order to alleviate any suffering. Feel like the best version of yourself by getting in touch with the most innovative ENT clinic, doctors, and staff in the South Bay today!

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Understanding a Thyroidectomy

What is a Thyroidectomy?

A thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removal of either part or all of the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the middle of your neck just above the collar bone. It is an essential part of the human body as it helps regulate many of its functions. It is responsible for producing hormones, known as T-3 and T-4. These hormones regulate the body’s metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. Unfortunately, there are things that can happen to the thyroid gland, causing it to not function properly, thus resulting in a thyroidectomy. Learn about the reasons for receiving a thyroidectomy, common symptoms, and the process of the procedure with Breathe Clear. 

Reasons For a Thyroidectomy

There are several reasons why someone might have to undergo a thyroidectomy. Some of these include the presence of nodules, Graves’ disease, a goiter, cancer, and hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid Nodule

A thyroid nodule occurs when cells form a lump in the central neck above the collarbone. While they typically are benign, some can be cancerous. Some common causes for the nodules include thyroiditis and hyperthyroidism. 

Graves’ Disease

Graves’ disease, a form of hyperthyroidism, is a type of autoimmune disorder. It is caused when too much of the thyroid hormone is being produced. Symptoms include but are not limited to anxiety, a goiter, weight loss, and tremor. 

Goiter

A goiter refers to an enlarged thyroid and it is commonly caused by an iodine deficiency, an autoimmune disease, and hyperthyroidism. Usually, a goiter does not present symptoms, however in some cases, people may have difficulty with swallowing. 

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer develops when abnormal cells form a tumor in the gland. Symptoms don’t appear at first, but as the cancer progresses, one may be able to feel the lump, experience pain in the neck, and have swollen lymph nodes. 

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition that causes your thyroid to be overactive, meaning it produces too much of the thyroid hormone. Causes of hyperthyroidism are Graves’ disease and thyroiditis. Symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism include heart palpitations, unintentional weight loss, tremor, an enlarged thyroid, and more. 

What to Expect From a Thyroidectomy 

The results of surgery will depend on the reason for your thyroidectomy. The benefits of the procedure are the removal of cancerous or suspicious nodules, the removal of large aesthetically problematic nodules, relief from symptoms brought on by diseases and conditions, as well as discovering underlying health issues. At The Breathe Clear Institute, our ENT doctor would perform the surgery at a nearby hospital. The length of the procedure is determined by how much of the gland is removed. Patients who only have part of the gland removed may go home the same day, however if the entire gland was removed, they will most likely stay overnight. The initial recovery process lasts about a week, with healing lasting up to one month. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is required for patients who have had their entire thyroid gland removed. This is managed by their primary care doctor or an endocrinologist. Those with thyroid cancer may need further treatment with radioactive iodine.

Get Relief With The Breathe Clear Institute

If you are experiencing unusual symptoms or notice a lump in your neck, it is important to contact an ENT right away. The specialists at The Breathe Clear Institute will get to the root of your problem in order to recommend the most effective treatment option for long-term health and wellness. Schedule an appointment with us today.

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Ways to Stop Snoring

Different Remedies to Help Stop Snoring

It is estimated that snoring affects 90 million Americans. Snoring occurs when air flow is obstructed during sleep. Instead of flowing freely through your airways, the air is restricted to smaller spaces in your nose and mouth. This causes the soft roof of the mouth, or the soft palate, to vibrate as the air pushes against the walls of your nose and mouth, creating a sound that can be very irritating to not only the one snoring, but also their partner. Common symptoms associated with snoring include daytime sleepiness, difficulty with concentrating, headaches, and more. There are several causes of snoring including obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, nasal issues, sleep deprivation, and alcohol consumption. In less serious cases, snoring can be treated using the following remedies. 

Adequate Sleep

Getting a good night’s rest is essential to one’s health. Unfortunately, healthy sleeping habits are not common in today’s society, and poor sleeping patterns can lead to snoring. When people experience exhaustion, their throat and tongue muscles can become relaxed, which then causes snoring. Many people turn to sleep aids, but it is important to be careful when using them because they can also affect the muscles. 

Change Sleeping Position

The way we position ourselves during a night’s sleep can cause snoring. For instance, if you choose to sleep on your back, your airway can become narrowed, making it more difficult to breathe. To prevent this from occurring, we recommend sleeping on your side. While this may take some getting used to, it will improve your sleep. 

Treat Allergies or Nasal Issues

Allergies are sometimes the culprit of snoring. With lack of airflow to your nose, your only option is to breathe through your mouth. If you experience frequent congestion or other nasal problems, a common symptom may be snoring. It is important to visit a doctor to determine if medication can do the trick or if a procedure is necessary. 

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Consuming alcohol before going to sleep can result in snoring. The alcohol tends to relax the throat muscles, thus making it more difficult for air to pass through. We suggest limiting your alcohol intake as well as avoiding alcoholic beverages close to the time you normally head off to bed. 

Exercise

Exercising can be helpful when trying to reduce snoring. People who are overweight may be more likely to snore and are even more susceptible to sleep apnea. Living a more healthy lifestyle can positively affect your sleeping patterns. 

Contact Breathe Clear If Your Snoring Worsens

If these remedies do not help, there may be a more serious issue at hand that requires the attention of an ENT doctor. When you need to manage and treat your sleep disorder, we are here to help. At The Breathe Clear Institute, we understand that everyone’s problem and anatomy are different. This is why we perform a thorough evaluation to best customize your treatment options, whether it be medical or surgical. It is our job to provide our patients with the best possible experience, helping them get the relief they deserve. Schedule an appointment with us today to help improve your sleep and reduce your snoring.

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Tips for Staying Healthy During the Winter

Preventing Illness During the Winter Months

Illnesses are very common during the winter months. The cooler weather causes people to spend more of their time indoors, allowing viruses to spread more easily. Plus, the cold, dry air can make them even worse. With many suffering from respiratory infections, colds, the flu, and more, it is important to know how to maintain your health throughout the winter months. The Breathe Clear Institute shares some helpful tips below!

Wash Your Hands Frequently 

We’re sure you have heard this many times before, but that’s because it’s so important. Washing your hands with soap and water removes any germs that may be present due to touching contaminated objects. If not properly washed, these germs can then spread to other people, causing them to get sick. 

Avoid Touching Your Face 

Without realizing it, you most likely touch your face multiple times a day. Whether you’re moving your hair away from your face or simply resting your hands, you’re spreading germs from your hands that can come in contact with your nose, mouth, and eyes. If for some reason you need to touch your face, wash your hands thoroughly beforehand. 

Get Adequate Sleep 

Giving your body enough sleep is essential to staying healthy, as sleep deprivation can greatly affect your immune system. To do this, you should establish and maintain a sleep schedule. Make sure to avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol before going to bed. We also recommend limiting screen time. 

Boost Your Immune System 

Having a strong immune system is essential during months like these. When you re-encounter germs that are the same or similar to those that have gotten you sick in the past, a strong immune system responds faster and more effectively. This means you’ll recover faster, and possibly avoid sickness all together! You’ll need to give your immune system all the things it needs to effectively fight germs though. Some ways to boost your immune system include consuming foods high in vitamins and nutrients, exercising, practicing good hygiene, and getting enough rest. 

Reduce Stress 

Stress is a normal part of life, and it’s possible to have a healthy amount of stress. However, chronic stress results in an overworked sympathetic nervous system, and your body will suffer the consequences. To better manage and or eliminate your stress, we recommend participating in meditation, exercising, eating healthy, as well as practicing mindfulness. With lower stress levels, you are less likely to become sick. 

Contact Breathe Clear Institute 

If you have been suffering from a sinus, ear, or throat condition and feel as though it’s worsening, it’s important to schedule an appointment with an ENT right away. The team of medical professionals at Breathe Clear Institute will get to the root of your problem and recommend a treatment plan that is best suited for you. Call us today to get the much needed relief that you deserve.

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Home Remedies for Relieving a Sore Throat

Natural Sore Throat Remedies

The winter time is accompanied by sickness, and with that comes sore throats. Sore throats are a pesky symptom, resulting in pain, irritation, and inability to swallow. They may be the result of nearly any infection, which is why they are so common. While some sore throats indicate a more serious, underlying cause, others are the result of common colds or illnesses your body can fight alone. For those, at-home remedies offer quick, simple, and effective treatment without visiting a medical professional. Learn about some natural remedies to soothe your sore throat with Breathe Clear Institute. 

Salt Water Gargle

Gargling salt water can offer some much needed relief when you’re suffering from a sore throat. The salt works to remove mucus from your inflamed tissue. A salt water gargle can be made by mixing 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water. You can do this a few times a day as needed. 

Apple Cider Vinegar 

There are a few different ways to use apple cider vinegar to soothe your sore throat. You can create an apple cider vinegar gargle by mixing 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with ½ teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces of warm water. Another way to use apple cider vinegar is to mix it with honey and warm water. It can also be used in teas, with green tea or licorice root tea. 

Honey

Honey helps to reduce inflammation and relieve the discomfort that is accompanied by a sore throat. It is recommended that you mix 2 tablespoons of honey with warm water or tea and drink as necessary. 

Chamomile Tea

Alleviate your throat pain and redness with a cup of chamomile tea! Chamomile contains antioxidants that can aid in soothing the throat. 

Echinacea

Another sore throat remedy is using echinacea as it aids in fighting off infection. There are several different forms of taking echinacea. You can drink echinacea as a tea, use it with a throat spray, lozenges, capsules, or use it in tincture form. 

Peppermint

Peppermint is often used to help with sore throats. Peppermint essential oil contains menthol in it, which helps when treating sore throats. It is important not to use the oil by itself. Mix it with a carrier oil to dilute it like coconut oil or olive oil. 

Licorice Root

Licorice root helps remedy sore throats. Most people will drink licorice root tea or mix it with warm water to create a gargling solution. It is important to note that too much licorice root can cause health risks. 

Get Relief for Your Sore Throat

Ease your sore throat pain with these recommended at-home remedies. If you experience a sore throat longer than a week, it is important to see a medical professional right away as there could be a more serious underlying problem. If you suffer from recurrent sore throats, you may benefit from a tonsillectomy. It is a very common outpatient procedure in which the tonsils are eliminated. Improve your quality of life and get the much needed relief you deserve by scheduling an appointment with our certified ENT doctor at  Breathe Clear Institute.

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How to Determine if You Have a Sinus Infection or a Cold

Sinus Infection vs. Cold

Sneezing, runny nose, cough? It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether you’re experiencing symptoms that are associated with a sinus infection or a cold. While the two share many similar symptoms, they differ, especially when it comes to how long the symptoms last for as well as the course of treatment involved. Learn how to discern a sinus infection from a cold and get back to being your normal, healthy self with help from the professionals at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Sinus Infection

A sinus infection occurs when the chambers in your face and forehead become infected, causing swelling and inflammation. The causes range from bacteria, immune problems, allergies, viruses, polyps, and other abnormalities. Sinus infections can be either acute or chronic. Acute infections last about four weeks and chronic infections can last anywhere up to twelve weeks. 

Symptoms

Sinus infection symptoms consist of nasal congestion, headaches, post nasal drip, facial pain, tooth pain, cough, problems with smell and taste, and nasal discharge. 

Treatment

When treating a sinus infection, nasal sprays and saline rinses are commonly recommended. These can be picked up over-the-counter or with a prescription from your doctor. Some other over-the-counter medications may be suggested depending on the severity of the infection. For more serious cases, antibiotics can be prescribed. For people who experience chronic sinusitis, there are certain procedures they can undergo to get relief. A balloon sinuplasty helps treat recurring sinus infections by placing a small balloon into the sinuses. When the balloon is inflated, the sinuses are then widened. 

Cold

Chances are you have definitely experienced the common cold. There are over 200 viruses that can cause a cold. Colds are infections of the upper respiratory system and the symptoms are typically present within a few days of exposure. The rhinovirus most commonly causes a cold. Other viruses include coronavirus and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). Colds are contagious, so it is important to be mindful of those who may have one. 

Symptoms

The symptoms of the common cold include sore throat, runny nose, congestion, cough, sneezing, and headaches.  

Treatment

Unfortunately, because a cold is a virus, you have to let it run its course. However, there are over-the-counter medications that can help relieve the symptoms, including antihistamines, decongestants, and pain relievers like NSAIDS. If the cold does not go away after a little more than a week, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as there may be other health risks. 

Get Relief from Breathe Clear Institute

If you are unsure if you are suffering from a sinus infection or bad cold, make an appointment with the experienced ENT doctors at Breathe Clear Institute. Alleviating your symptoms and getting to the root of the problem is very important to us. Our doctors will work diligently to diagnose your problem and recommend a treatment plan that best suits you. Our office contains the Carestream CS 93000 Sinus Ct Scanner, which can help us determine if you are having sinus issues. Providing convenience and in-depth, quality care for our patients is our priority. We look forward to helping you get the relief that you deserve.

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The Importance of Treating Sleep Apnea

How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Body

Sleep apnea affects more than 22 million Americans. It is a very serious disorder that causes people to stop breathing repeatedly while they’re sleeping. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in major health complications. There are two main types of sleep apnea. They include obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Learn about the different types, causes, symptoms, potential dangers, and treatment options with Breathe Clear Institute.  

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Breathing that stops for periods more than ten seconds is known as obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. This type of sleep apnea is most common. An individual’s airways are blocked, thus making it difficult to inhale air. This can occur multiple times per hour in very severe cases. Some of the symptoms include snoring, dry mouth, awakening by choking, gasping for air, daytime sleepiness, and headaches. It is often associated with high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction. Many health risks can occur as a result of leaving OSA untreated. Some do not realize they may have OSA unless told by their bed partner or family member. People with this type of sleep apnea have an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, heart disease, and diabetes. To treat OSA, it is important to schedule a visit with a trusted ENT. A sleep test will be conducted that collects data during your REM and NREM cycles after sleep onset. If diagnosed, there are different treatment options depending on the severity of the case. Mild cases could be treated with the Pillar Procedure. More moderate to severe may involve nasal APAP. Surgical treatments are also available, including tonsillectomy, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, and AIRvance system. 

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain temporarily stops sending signals to the muscles of respiration. This type of apnea is more common in older adults and is typically associated with an illness. External health factors can display central sleep apnea differently. Examples of this are Cheyne-Stokes respiration, drug-induced central apnea, high altitude periodic breathing, and idiopathic central sleep apnea. Many of the symptoms include shortness of breath, insomnia, hypersomnia, chest pain, frequent awakening, and abnormal breathing patterns. The dangers of leaving central sleep apnea untreated include cardiovascular issues. It can also take a major toll on your physical and mental health as it causes fatigue. If diagnosed with central sleep apnea, there are a few treatment options that will relieve you of your symptoms. These include CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, decreasing use of narcotics, and figuring out any underlying medical conditions. 

Schedule An Appointment with Breathe Clear Institute

If you believe you or your partner may be suffering from sleep apnea or are having difficulty sleeping at night, it is important to see an ENT doctor as soon as possible. Our ENT doctors at Breathe Clear Institute specialize in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. We will help get to the root of the problem and offer the most effective treatment plan so that you can get the much needed relief you or your loved one deserve. If you’re tired of being tired, call us to book an appointment today!

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Improve Your Current Nasal Condition With Septoplasty

Consider Septoplasty to Correct Your Deviated Septum 

Are you experiencing difficulty breathing through your nose? If so, it is very possible that you have what is called a deviated septum. Your septum is the wall of cartilage and bone that separates the right and left halves of your nose. When the nasal septum is deviated, one nostril is typically larger than the other, causing the septum to be either crooked or off-center. While this condition is common amongst many people, it still causes severe, uncomfortable symptoms that can only be alleviated through a surgical procedure called septoplasty. In this blog, Breathe Clear will share the causes, symptoms, procedure, and recovery process involved with septoplasty.

Common Causes of a Deviated Septum

A deviated septum may have a few causes. Some deviated septums are genetic, and occur at the time of birth. Other people get deviated septums from physically traumatic life events. Contact sports, like football, soccer, boxing, and hockey, can cause a deviated septum as well as can other injuries to the nose. Some are also caused by injuries from car accidents. Whatever the cause, it is important to make an appointment with an ENT to discuss options for fixing your deviated septum.

Symptoms

There are several symptoms associated with a deviated septum. The most noteworthy is difficulty breathing through the nose. In addition, sinus infections, frequent nosebleeds, congestion, and snoring are common. If these problems seemingly only affect one side of the nose, or affect one side more than the other, it is likely your septum is deviated.

Septoplasty Procedure and Recovery

To determine if a patient has a deviated septum, a doctor will conduct an examination, taking symptoms into account. The medical professionals at Breathe Clear Institute use the CS9300 Sinus CT Scanner to scan patients’ sinuses. The procedure is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that takes place in an operating room. Patients can expect the procedure to last about an hour. General or local anesthesia will be used depending on the severity of the septum. A doctor will use their best judgement to decide which anesthesia is best for you. At Breathe Clear Institute, Dr. Davis uses an endoscopically-assisted approach to straighten the septum. No packing is required. Patients should expect to be recovering from the procedure for up to a week after undergoing septoplasty. However, the overall process and full healing timeline may take some time. It is normal to experience some nasal congestion. In order to aid in the recovery process, patients should avoid blowing their noses. They should keep their head raised to help with swelling and get as much rest as possible. Medications will be prescribed and should be taken as directed by the doctor. 

Benefits of Septoplasty 

Relieve your pain and discomfort with septoplasty. Many of the benefits of septoplasty include better airflow, resolved nasal congestion, reduced snoring, improved sleep, and less sinus infections. 

Get Relief With Breathe Clear Institute 

Don’t let your symptoms control your everyday life. If you are experiencing issues with your septum and want to improve your current nasal condition, call Breathe Clear Institute today. We will help you get the relief you need in order to live a better quality of life.

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Reasons You Might Need a Tonsillectomy

A Tonsillectomy Might Be The Right Treatment For You 

Your tonsils are an important part of your immune system. They are clusters of lymphatic cells that function to fight off infection and prevent things from entering into your lungs. Unfortunately, there are times when tonsils can’t fight off certain bacteria and viruses, which often leads to tonsillitis. People who experience recurrent tonsillitis or other tonsil problems should consider a tonsillectomy, which is a procedure where the tonsils are removed. People who experience multiple bouts of tonsillitis during a one year period should seriously review the benefits of a tonsillectomy. Learn about the causes and symptoms of tonsillitis as well as the treatment and recovery process involved with a tonsillectomy to see if it is the right choice for you.

What Causes Tonsillitis? 

As previously mentioned, tonsillitis occurs as a result of bacterial and viral infections. One of the most common types of bacteria is the one that causes strep throat, also known as Streptococcus pyogenes. 

Symptoms of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis can cause a multitude of uncomfortable symptoms. Common symptoms include inflamed tonsils, redness, soreness of throat, painful and difficulty with swallowing, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and white spots. Other tonsil issues can cause tonsil stones, snoring, and trouble with sleeping. 

Tonsillitis Treatment 

There are different types of treatments for tonsillitis depending on the infection and the severity. These include viral treatments, bacterial treatments, and tonsillectomies. 

 Viral Treatment 

If the infection is due to a virus, you’ll have to let it run its course. To help with the inflammation and pain, you can try at-home treatments like drinking extra fluids, taking over-the-counter medications, and other common methods for recovering from viruses. 

 Bacterial Treatment 

Tonsillitis caused by a bacterial infection calls for antibiotics. To ensure that the infection goes away, it is important that you take the medication as prescribed. 

 Tonsillectomy Procedure and Recovery

People who frequently suffer from chronic tonsillitis or illnesses like strep throat are good candidates for a tonsillectomy. Luckily, our bodies can still function properly without tonsils because of the other glands and lymph nodes we have to fight of infection. This procedure is commonly performed in the United States, mostly treating children, but adults can undergo it as well. The surgery takes about 45 minutes and is done in an operating room. The tonsils are removed through the mouth. The recovery process may be different for each individual patient. Children typically recover a lot quicker, while it can take adults about two weeks. It is important to rest, hydrate with fluids and popsicles, and take the medication as prescribed by your doctor following the surgery. You may feel pain in your ear, which is normal. Some other things that may occur post-operation include a white fluffy appearance at the back of the throat, mouth odor, and a change in voice. 

Make an Appointment With Breathe Clear Institute

If you or a loved one are experiencing frequent tonsillitis or tonsil problems, a tonsillectomy may be the best solution. With the procedure, you’ll be able to reduce the number of sore throats and uncomfortable symptoms associated with tonsillitis. To find out if this procedure is right for you, contact Breathe Clear Institute today to schedule an appointment. We will help you get the relief you need.

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Diagnosing and Treating Allergies During the Fall Months

Don’t Let Allergies Ruin Your Season 

As we head deeper into fall, the temperature begins to cool down, the leaves fall to the ground, and the sun fades faster into the night sky. This time of year is allergy season. You have an allergy when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, also known as an allergen. Allergies affect almost 50 million Americans each year. Age does not discriminate against them, and they can even develop throughout your lifetime. Sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes: the list of symptoms goes on. To alleviate the symptoms you are suffering from, it’s important to properly diagnose them. Besides the standard over-the-counter medication, there are different treatment options for relieving allergy symptoms including allergy testing, allergy shots, and allergy drops. 

Fall Allergies

Plants emit pollen at different times throughout the year, but some allergens that can trigger your symptoms during the fall are ragweed pollen, mold, and dust mites. One of the most common triggers for allergies is ragweed, which can pollinate into October. Even if it’s not close to where you live, ragweed can still travel hundreds of miles, causing reactions you thought you could avoid. In addition to ragweed, there are leaves that fall to the ground, collecting mold as moisture hits them. This mold can then be tracked into your home. Dust mites find their way into air filters and heaters, allowing for a reaction to occur within the comfort of your own home.

Symptoms 

The most common symptoms of allergies include sneezing, an itchy, runny, stuffy nose and watery or itchy eyes. These can bring great discomfort to those who experience them, which is why finding an effective treatment is important. 

Treatment Options

Before deciding on the most effective treatment for your allergy symptoms, it is important to conduct a detailed assessment, noting all potential triggers. From there, tests may be recommended by specialists to discover more triggers and choose the best treatment plan. Allergy testing gives insights to what triggers a patient’s symptoms. The allergies are indicated by bumps on the skin and patients may feel some itchiness as a result. While some people choose to relieve their allergies with over-the-counter treatments and medications, people who wish to cure their allergies for good can opt for in-office treatments including allergy shots and allergy drops. 

Allergy Shots 

Allergy shots help to increase resistance to allergens, reducing symptoms. Doses are increased with each visit over a six month period. Patients are able to administer the shots on their own thereafter.

Allergy Drops

Allergy drops are customized to treat the allergens that affect you. The first dose is administered in-office, but can be done wherever after your initial visit. The drops are placed under the tongue and work to reduce your immune system’s overreaction to allergens. 

Find the Right Allergy Treatment With Breathe Clear Institute 

Don’t let your allergies bring you down this fall. If your symptoms are affecting your quality of life, it’s time to get the relief you deserve. Take our allergy quiz and schedule an appointment with the specialists at Breathe Clear Institute. We will diagnose your symptoms and choose the best treatment option for you.

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Finding Ideal Ear Treatments for Your Condition

Relieve Your Symptoms With Innovative Ear Treatments 

With a variety of different ear conditions that can cause discomfort, it’s important to seek professional help and receive treatment when necessary. Some treatments may involve surgery, including a myringotomy, eardrum repair, balloon dilation of the eustachian tube, surfer’s ear repair, ear tube removal, Sophono® Hearing System, and eustachian tube issues. 

Myringotomy With Tube Replacement 

Myringotomy, with or without a tube replacement, occurs when there is an infection or fluid within the middle ear. When there is fluid buildup, it can also indicate an issue with the eustachian tube. Some of the symptoms of fluid in the ear include ear pressure, ear pain, and a decrease in hearing. Speech delay could also be seen in children if they are experiencing hearing loss. The myringotomy procedure relieves ear pressure by making a small incision in the eardrum. In some instances, a small tube is placed to hold the incision open, letting the ear drain and allowing both the ear and eustachian tube to heal.

Eardrum Repair 

A hole or tear in the eardrum is typically caused by repeated ear infections, surgery, or trauma. The symptoms include hearing loss, ear drainage, ringing in ears, and vertigo. To repair the eardrum, an ENT specialist will use a small piece of fat from the back of the ear lobe. 

Balloon Dilation of the Eustachian Tube

The eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the nose, helping regulate ear pressure. Dysfunction of the eustachian tube is often caused by inflammation, hay fever, and malformation. Symptoms include ear pressure, pain, a popping sensation, difficulty hearing, and a feeling of the ears being clogged. During the in-office procedure, an Aera Balloon will be inserted through the nostril, to the back of the nose and into the eustachian tube. The eustachian tube will become dilated when the balloon is inflated, followed by the balloon deflating and being removed. 

Surfer’s Ear Repair

Surfer’s ear is caused by frequent exposure to cold water and wind. The ear canal gets narrowed because of bone growths. Symptoms include hearing loss as well as painful ear infections. The growths are removed to alleviate the discomfort. 

Ear Tube Removal

Other procedures may involve placing ear tubes into the ear. While they are supposed to fall out on their own in 6 to 18 months, some do not. This requires the removal of the tube, which is performed under a microscope using a special instrument. When the tube is removed, the eardrum is repaired using a small piece of fat removed from the back of the ear lobe. Patients must keep their ears dry for 4 weeks and are instructed to not blow their nose. 

Sophono® Hearing System

Hearing loss can occur in patients of all ages. Common causes include noise exposure, genetics, chronic infections, trauma, and congenital problems. The Sophono® Hearing System is a magnetic bone conduction hearing device. It uses bone conduction to move sound. Microphones from a sound processor picks up sounds and turns them into vibrations. The vibrations are transmitted to the skull bone and are then processed by the nerves of the body’s hearing system. The hearing system is implanted through a small incision behind the ear during a procedure that takes just under an hour. 

Eustachian Tube Problems 

The eustachian tube helps balance the pressure in the inner ear and drains mucus from the middle ear. Unfortunately, it is most commonly affected by ear infections, especially in younger children. Symptoms include pain or pressure in the ear, as well as dizziness, fever, headache, and nausea. There are a couple of different treatments to relieve these symptoms including medication and minor procedures like Aera Balloon Dilation. 

Find the Most Effective Ear Treatment Option for You

If you are experiencing discomfort in your ears, make an appointment today. Whether you need a minor procedure or something a little more invasive, the specialists at Breathe Clear Institute are here to give you the relief you are looking for with the most ideal and effective treatment.

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Should You Look Into Removing Nasal Polyps?

Are You Ready to Remove Your Nasal Polyps?

How can you tell if you have nasal polyps? Do they matter? Should they be removed? These are all the things you might wonder if you are having issues with your nasal area. Your ENT doctor can diagnose you with nasal polyps by undergoing a nasal endoscopy or through imaging studies. Do they need to be removed?   In short, it depends, and it is a good question to address with a professional.

Treatments for Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps often appear if you have chronic sinusitis. Whether or not you have polyps with this condition, you will want to treat your condition as assertively as possible.  Since it is hard to completely see the polyps disappear, it is best to work with an ENT doctor to figure out a long-term treatment plan. The treatment approach for the sinusitis and the polyps is often the same, with the overall goal being to minimize symptoms, inflammation and, if present, the size or existence of the polyps. In many cases, medication is the first approach, but if the polyps are resistant, removal either in the office or in the operating room might be necessary. Polyps can re-occur as well so close observation is important. 

Medication Options

There are a number of medications that can help polyps shrink or disappear completely. Your ENT doctor might first prescribe a nasal corticosteroid to reduce swelling or irritation. If that isn’t effective, you might move on to an oral or injected corticosteroid alone or in combination with the nasal version. Some patients may be candidates for injectable medications called biologics that may decrease the size of the polyps and take away some of your congestion. There are other medications that treat allergies and thereby help relieve a possible trigger for polyp growth.   

Procedural Options

If medications don’t work or don’t shrink the polyps enough, you might need placement of Sinuva, a temporary spacer that releases steroids in the nose and sinuses and helps the polyps melt away.  This product can be placed in the office. People who have previously had surgery are candidates for Sinuva placement. Many patients opt for an endoscopic procedure to remove the polyps This procedure can help with the inflammation in your sinuses as well. With this type of surgery, the surgeon puts a small lighted tube with a camera into your nostril and guides it into the sinus area. The polyps are removed with tiny instruments and the sinuses are cleaned out. This procedure is either done in the office or as an outpatient in the surgery center.  After the polyps are removed, it is necessary to use nasal sprays or rinses to help keep the polyps from recurring.

Preparing for Removing Nasal Polyps

If you’ve visited with your ENT professional at the Breathe Clear Institute and you know you need to have your nasal polyps removed, be aware of any pre-procedure restrictions. You need to fast the night before the procedure, for example, and get blood work done to ensure you are a good candidate for the surgery. Keep track of your symptoms as well so you have a baseline for comparison purposes prior to the procedure.  Make sure you take a family member with you on the day of the procedure to help you remember aftercare instructions. Make a list of any medications you take as well and be sure you are not taking any blood thinners.

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Undergoing Balloon Sinuplasty to Avoid Infections

What You Should Know About Balloon Sinuplasty

Blocked sinuses can lead to discomfort and infections that are painful and disruptive. There are different ways to help treat those who suffer from sinus issues. Balloon sinuplasty is one such treatment option. This procedure, which is also called balloon catheter dilation surgery, clears blocked sinuses. While the surgery is new in comparison to others, it was approved by the FDA in 2005 and is often called the ‘smart sinus’ procedure. If you have chronic sinusitis, it’s a miserable way to live, especially if other treatments aren’t helping. With balloon sinuplasty, there’s no cutting and no bone or tissue removal.

The Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

You can have the surgery done in the surgery or hospital under general anesthesia but it is usually performed within the office of an ENT specialist using only local anesthesia.   The location of the procedure is for you and your doctor to decide together. Once the procedure begins, your doctor will insert a tiny light into the nose so they can see. Then, a balloon catheter is inserted into the sinus passageway. The balloon is slowly inflated, which causes the sinus opening to expand. The doctor will also flush out any mucus or build-up in the cavity with a saline solution. While the balloon is in place, the bones around your sinuses will gently restructure themselves. After the process is complete, the balloon will come out and the sinus passage will be wider and free of pressure.

Cost Ranges

The procedure is covered by most insurance companies.  The majority of patients have a copay and this varies from policy to policy.  At the Breathe Clear Institute our scheduler works with you to find out what, if any, your share of the costs will be so you don’t have any surprises. 

Recovery and Future Care

Once the procedure is done, most patients can return to their daily routine in a few days.  For those who choose general anesthesia in the operating room, this may take up to a week. Of course, everyone is different and some recover more quickly or take more time to recover.   Plan to have some discharge from your nose for up to a week and you will most likely feel congested as well. As is true with recovery from most procedures, you might also feel more tired than normal. You will not want to blow your nose and you will want to avoid strenuous activities for the first week. You’re advised to sleep with your head elevated. 

Talking About Balloon Sinuplasty

The first step to deciding whether or not this procedure is for you is to talk to your ENT doctor about the options. If you’ve already gone through various medical treatments and nothing seems to be working, Balloon Sinuplasty might be the solution to your suffering. The professionals at the Breathe Clear Institute are happy to answer your questions and go into more detail about this procedure so you can make an informed decision about whether it is the right option for you.

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Helpful Tips for Controlling Your Allergies

Alleviate Allergy Symptoms Fast

It’s nice to enjoy fresh air and beautiful weather when it occurs, but that can quickly become miserable for those who suffer from allergies. You’re not alone; 36 million Americans have trouble with allergies on a seasonal basis. When you feel the runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion coming on, it’s something that can slow you down. While there’s no hard and fast cure for allergies, there are certain things you can do to minimize the suffering you go through on a seasonal basis. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of the nice days when they come around:

Tip 1: Understand Your Triggers

One major thing you can do to lessen your symptoms is to understand their causes, so you can avoid them. Ragweed and other pollens are high on the seasonal list. They are often along the road and can travel many miles. You should check allergen reports before you go outside for a long walk. If there are a lot of irritating substances in the air that day, walk on a treadmill instead. Mold is another common trigger that can be found in hay, straw, leaves, and more. It’s most abundant after it rains. Knowing what triggers your symptoms can help you avoid them.

Tip 2: Take Preventative Measures

There are many things you can do to prevent a flare-up. If you’re working in the garden during an allergy season, wear a mask. Check pollen counts before you travel. Wear sunglasses outside. Wash your hands often, and wash your hair and clothing after you’ve been outside to get the pollen off you and out of the house. The more you can do on your own, the less you are likely to suffer a more severe attack.

Tip 3: Get Treatment

There are a lot of different medications and even over the counter treatments you can try to improve your seasonal allergy symptoms. Talk to an ENT doctor about what the best options are for you. It’s possible that you will need to try a few things before you hit the right combination. There are treatments that prevent symptoms, as well as those you take after symptoms occur to lessen their impact. 

Tip 4: Beware of What You Eat

If you have seasonal allergies, there could be foods that have a cross-reaction to what bothers you, thus provoking symptoms. Certain foods could have those pollens in them, or they may simply bring out your symptoms. If you’re doing everything right and still have allergy symptoms, it could be food related. 

Tip 5: Visit With an ENT Doctor

The specialists at Breathe Clear are here to work with you and help figure out what will lessen your discomfort. It might be over the counter meds, prescriptions, nasal sprays, shots, or any number of other things. ENT doctors have experience with all of these, and can help you troubleshoot your symptoms until you find a way to alleviate your suffering for good.

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Can the Pillar Procedure Help You?

Learning About the Pillar Procedure

If you (or your partner) snore on a regular basis, it could be sleep apnea that is causing the noise to occur. You may not feel well rested in the morning, either because you are snoring, or your partner is. Either way, there are sleep treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms and lead to a better night of sleep. Take the Pillar Procedure, for example. Consider this treatment as an option with your doctor. 

What is the Pillar Procedure?

This procedure is a minor surgery that can help relieve snoring and treat obstructive sleep apnea in its mild to moderate forms. The muscles in the back of the throat relax when you sleep, which can cause sleep apnea and snoring. This procedure places small polyester rods into the soft palate. They are less than an inch in length and allow tissue around the rods to stiffen the palate as they heal, which can then reduce the vibration of tissue in that area. The procedure can be done right in the doctor’s office with local anesthesia.

Why the Pillar Procedure?

This procedure might be suggested if you snore a lot and are bothered by it—or are bothering your partner. It can also help you relieve mild or moderate sleep apnea, which can lead to being tired often. For sleep apnea, the first line of defense is often a CPAP machine. These devices use a face mask to deliver air pressure to the airway, preventing blockage from occurring. But when nonsurgical treatments don’t seem to be working, the Pillar Procedure could be your best option.

Preparing for the Procedure

If you and your doctor decide to move forward with the Pillar Procedure, there’s really nothing you have to do to prepare. If you have certain conditions or are prone to infections, your doctor may have you take some antibiotics before the appointment. Otherwise, there aren’t generally any restrictions beforehand.

During the Procedure

You can expect the procedure to take 30 minutes or less. A topical anesthetic is applied to numb the area. Then, you get an injection with local anesthetic. Once that kicks in, the implants are positioned and inserted.

After the Procedure

You may want to sit for a few minutes in the doctor’s office to assess any bleeding or swelling, but you should be able to go about your normal day and even eat normally later in the day. You may get anti-inflammatory or pain medications prescribed to keep swelling down, and you will most likely use an antiseptic rinse for a few days to prevent infection.

The Results You’ll See From the Pillar Procedure

This procedure can work right away to treat snoring and mild sleep apnea, but it also doesn’t work for everyone. Your ENT doctor at Breathe Clear Institute can help you assess whether or not you are a good candidate for the surgery. While the results can be immediate, it may also take time for the soft palate to harden. The full effects may not be felt for a few months.

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Signs That a Sore Throat is Something More

When to Pay Attention to Your Sore Throat

 

It happens to all of us: the dreaded morning when we wake up with a scratchy throat. We curse our luck and panic over whether or not we might getting sick. Whether it’s us or our child with the issue, it’s not always clear if the sore throat is just that – something that will clear up in a day or two – or something more ominous. We have the signs that will help you determine if it’s time to take it easy and wait for it to pass, or if you ought to give your doctor a call.  

Sign 1: A Persistent Fever

You know you’re likely contagious when you have a fever along with your sore throat. If you take some fever reducing medication, the fever might ebb for a while, but if it comes back when the medication wears off and persists, your sore throat might be something more that you should have checked out.

Sign 2: White Patches

Look into your mouth with a mirror, or your child’s mouth with a flashlight. If you see white patches on the tonsils or around the back of the throat, it might be strep throat. Give your doctor a call for an official diagnosis.

Sign 3: Difficulty Swallowing

It’s usually painful to swallow when your throat is sore, but if it’s so sore that you have trouble swallowing, or if you are having issues with breathing around the swelling, you need to see a doctor right away.

Sign 4: Nausea

If you have gotten sick or feel like you might be ill, your sore throat might have more to it than a simple soreness that is causing you pain.

Sign 5: Rash

If you break out in a rash, some might even say an extreme rash, it’s time to get a diagnosis from your doctor.  

Sign 6: Swollen Tonsils

If you have a lot of sore throats, you might know what your tonsils normally look like and when they are red and swollen. You could have tonsillitis, and if your tonsils have been affected by tonsilitis before, it might be time to get them removed.  

Sign 7: Headaches

A sore throat might mean a case of the common cold, which often includes congestion, runny nose, and body aches. But if you have a strong headache and a sore throat without the other symptoms of a cold, it may be another sign of strep throat. Get to your doctor to get to the bottom of the issue.

Taking A Closer Look At Your Sore Throat

There’s no way to self-diagnose accurately every time you have a sore throat. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, or just want to be certain your sore throat will pass, there’s nothing wrong with visiting an ENT doctor. If nothing else, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re on the right track by drinking a lot and resting as much as you can. If you suspect your sore throat is something more, you’ll be glad you decided to be proactive in seeking treatment. The professionals at Breathe Clear Institute can help you diagnose and treat your symptoms so you can recover quickly.

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Understanding Vertigo and Its Causes

What Is Vertigo?

Vertigo itself is a symptom that something else is going on in the body, it is not a condition. Vertigo is actually a false sensation that you or things around you are moving. Most people describe the sensation as a spinning or whirling movement that can occur horizontally or vertically. Vertigo attacks can be sporadic and can last for seconds or they can be more constant and last for days. There are many specific causes of the symptom and it is important to figure out the root cause in order to treat the symptom.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

This is one of the most common causes of vertigo and is often called BPPV for short. It’s a sudden sensation that you are spinning or that the inside of you heat is spinning. BPPV can cause brief instances of intense to mild dizziness. Most of these vertigo incidents are bothersome, but they are not generally serious. The symptom comes and goes and is usually short-lived. There are several physical therapy maneuvers that can help balance things out and help the symptoms. The Epley maneuver is gentle and requires a series of easy movements to get things back in balance.

Migraines

Migraines are well-known for causing intense head pain that can be coupled with other symptoms. One such symptom is vertigo. Some people who have migraines have symptoms before the headache occurs and there are often things that go along with the migraines. Vertigo can come on before the migraine, or it can occur while your migraine is in full force. Those who get motion sickness easily are more likely to have vertigo in conjunction with migraines. Migraines have a number of treatments, but those looking to suppress vertigo may be interested in vestibular suppressants to balance the center in the inner ear.

Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is an inner ear disorder between the two nerves in the inner ear that send information to the brain. The information is important to a person’s balance control. If one of those nerves is inflamed, Labyrinthitis is the condition that results. The symptoms that come from that condition include nausea, hearing loss, and vertigo. People can take over-the-counter antihistamines to help ease these symptoms. Doctors may prescribe something stronger for several symptoms.

Vestibular Neuronitis

This disorder is recognized as a sudden and severe vertigo attack. When the vestibular nerve is inflamed, the false sense of moving or spinning can result. This nerve is a cranial nerve that helps to control balance. Those who suffer from this disorder could be prescribed with vestibular suppressants to reduce their motion sickness and aid them in dealing with the issue.

Getting Help For Vertigo Symptoms

While there are several different conditions that can cause vertigo including BPPV, migraines, labyrinthitis, and vestibular neuronitis, if the symptoms of vertigo persist and are bothering your everyday life, it’s best to visit with a doctor about the condition that is causing the discomfort. Breathe Clear Institute offers treatments for ear issues that could be causing vertigo as a symptom If you think you have inner ear troubles, or you want to rule that out before you move on to other treatment options, contact the professionals at Breathe Clear for help.

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The Medical Reasons for Your Sleeping Problems

Sleeping Problems Often Have Causes

It’s common to occasionally have a bad night of sleep, or insomnia, where one tosses and turns, or even lies wide awake with anxious thoughts ruminating throughout the night. If you are having interrupted sleep like this every night, however, this is not a good thing. Constant lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your physical and mental wellbeing. While you might assume that you are just the type of person that can’t sleep, there could actually be medical causes behind your sleeping troubles. Before you watch your health and well being slowly deteriorate because of sleeping problems, talk to a health professional and see if there is a medical cause behind your issues. Here are a few things that could cause sleeping disorders.

Psychiatric Issues: Depression And Anxiety

People are often under a lot of pressure and there are tons of determining factors that vary. No matter what you are going through, you might find that you are having trouble sleeping. If you have depression, anxiety, or aren’t sure what’s going on, it can all tie in together. You might think that people with depression sleep all the time, but the opposite can also be true. If you feel like depression or anxiety might be prevalent in your life, it could affect your sleeping issues as well.

Physical Ailments

There are a lot of things that could be going on with your physical body that could cause you to stay awake, or wake up way more often than you should. You might have ulcers, for example, or a deviated septum, which causes you to snore or have sleep apnea. By diagnosing the root cause of the sleeping problem, you can fix it and go back to a more refreshed life with a full night of sleep behind you much more often.

Simple Genetics

You know that if your parents have high blood pressure, you are more likely to have it yourself. Genetics play a big role in a lot of things and that can even be the case with sleeping problems. If you remember someone in your family struggling with sleeping issues, find out more about what they had. Chances are, it could be, at least in part, similar to what you are going through.

The Effects of Aging

Aging does a lot of things to people and half of adults over the age of 65 have some kind of sleeping problem. It could be a part of the medications they take, part of aging itself, or related to ailments they may suffer from. If you are aging beyond the 65-year mark, you could have a sleeping problem that has arisen over the years to a point where you need to address it.

Getting Help With Sleeping Problems

There’s nothing quite like feeling well rested after a full night of sleep. If it’s been way too long since you’ve felt that way, you need to address your sleeping issues. Contact Breathe Clear Institute with questions about what medical conditions could be causing your problems and have a consultation to go beyond that and diagnose the issue. The sooner you know what’s behind your sleeping problem, the sooner you can work on a treatment that will get you the full night of sleep you want on a regular basis.

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Eliminating Household Allergens This Allergy Season

Get Proactive During Allergy Season

Allergy season is that time of year when sufferers are downright miserable. Pollen, dust, mold, and other allergens are simply unavoidable during certain times of the year. But you’re not completely powerless in finding relief for those in your household who have allergies. There are steps you can take around the house to make the home atmosphere more bearable during the allergy seasons. Here are some tips to help you get ahead of allergens before they take over the home.

Tip 1: Change Filters Regularly

Check your HVAC filters on a regular basis and change them out, perhaps more than usual, during the allergy season. Get hypoallergenic filters to help clean the air even further. If ducts and pollen get stuck in the filter, it will blow that air around the house, which can exacerbate allergies. Clean filters provide clean air.

Tip 2: Stay On Top Of Dusting

There aren’t many people that actually enjoy dusting, but it’s a necessary chore if you want to get rid of allergens. Dust, pollen, and mold particles are all common allergies. Dust areas from top to bottom so you don’t spread dust to areas that were just cleaned. Get microfiber cloths and dampen them to trap the dust instead of just moving it around. Make sure you remember ceiling fans and window coverings as well.

Tip 3: Wash Pillowcases Regularly

Who doesn’t look forward to snuggling down into their bed after a long day? But your pillows can trap dust mites and cause allergy issues to flare up first thing in the morning. Wash the pillow cases every week, and consider getting a pillow you can wash every month as well.

Tip 4: Limit Pollen Intrusion

While it’s nice to keep the windows open on a pleasant day, it can also let pollen into your home. Keep the windows closed and avoid allowing the pollen in as much as possible. Take your shoes off outside and run the air conditioning so no humidity builds up, which can also prevent mold and dust mites from forming.

Tip 5: Clean The Air Vents

If your air ducts have too much dust and other allergens in them, it doesn’t matter how much you clean, you’re going to have allergens in the air. Get those air ducts cleaned out every few years, especially if you suffer from major allergies during allergy season, so you can provide better quality indoor air for your family.

Tip 6: Splurge On A Good Vacuum Cleaner

If you’re going to buy a new vacuum, get something that works well and includes a HEPA filter to free your home from as many allergens as possible. Bagless vacuums are best because they can be emptied regularly outside. If you have the option, go with hard flooring over carpeting to make cleaning for allergens easier.

Get Allergy Season Help From Professionals

If you want more advice on how to rid your home from as many allergens during the worst of the allergy season, contact Breathe Clear Institute. We can also help you with allergy treatments, medications, shots, and more to make life more enjoyable every season of the year.

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Medical Reasons For Rhinoplasty

Getting Rhinoplasty

You may have heard of rhinoplasty before and you know it’s the more official term for a “nose job.” While many Hollywood elite are rumored to have had this procedure done for aesthetic reasons, there are many medical reasons to warrant going through the process. Whether you like your nose or not, rhinoplasty is something that some people need to improve their daily quality of life. Here are a few medical reasons to consider rhinoplasty in certain situations:

Reason 1: Accident/Nose Break

You never know when an accident is going to happen. Perhaps you tripped and fell and weren’t able to catch yourself before your face hit the cement. Maybe you were in a car accident and your airbag saved you, but broke your nose in the meantime. When your nose is broken, sometimes the only thing that can fix it and make it look normal again is rhinoplasty. Breaking your nose is more painful than the procedure and you will be glad to have the outcome once everything is healed up around your face.

Reason 2: Breathing Trouble

If you have a deviated septum, a rhinoplasty may be your best course of action. A deviated septum is also sometimes called a nostril collapse. You could be a chronic snorer and that snoring could cause you to lack air when you sleep. When you constantly wake yourself up at night or don’t get enough oxygen, you are tired all day long. Plus, you probably bother your partner who is trying to rest beside you. Rhinoplasty can fix the problem and put you back on track in a number of ways.

Reason 3: Sinus Issues

Deviated septums can cause snoring and breathing problems, but if they are more severe, they can also cause sinus issues. If you get a lot of sinus infections of sinusitis, it might be from a deviated septum. Once your ENT doctor diagnoses that problem, you can look into a specific rhinoplasty surgery called septoplasty. After this procedure, you can expect your quality of life to improve. You won’t get nearly as many (if any) infections and your snoring will go away as well. Life is always better with less pain involved.

Talk To An ENT Doctor About Rhinoplasty

Thinking about rhinoplasty is scary for many people. It is, after all, a surgery. If you don’t have experience with such procedures, you don’t know what to expect. Plus, when you are talking about your nose, it’s a prominent part of your face and will make a difference in how you look from here on out. However, if you are having medical issues with your nose because of an accident or deviated septum, surgery may be the way to get your life back on course. You want to feel confident about your appearance as you heal from an accident and you definitely want to be able to sleep better at night.

To find out if you are a good candidate for rhinoplasty, contact the ENT doctors at Breathe Clear Institute and set up a consultation appointment. We’ll be able to pinpoint what’s going on in and around your nose and recommend whether or not this is the right course of action for you.

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Getting Treatment From A Throat Doctor

Throat Doctor Diagnostics

When your throat is sore, swollen, or has other persistent issues, you just want the pain and discomfort to go away. While you can self-diagnose all you want, you won’t be able to reach a solution until you have a professional take a look and go over the issues you are having. There are disorders that can affect your ability to speak or swallow properly and they can be very painful at the same time. Instead of hoping the ailment will go away, visit a throat doctor for proper diagnostics.

Factors That Affect Throat Conditions

There are plenty of things that come together to affect what happens in your throat. There are also variables that relate to treatment. Your throat doctor will look over things like your age, medications you might be on, the severity of the symptoms, the cause of the ailment, and many other things. It’s somewhat like a giant puzzle and the throat doctor needs all of the pieces to get a clear picture of what needs to be done moving forward. Be upfront and honest about all of the factors that are affecting your condition so your doctor can get the diagnosis correct right away and offer the proper treatment.

Throat Conditions

There are a variety of different throat conditions that you could be dealing with. Here are a few you might hear the throat doctor mention:

Aspiration

This is a medical term for when your food or liquid is inhaled through the vocal cords and into the airway. Instead of swallowing food through the right pipe and into the stomach, it goes through your vocal cords. It can be dangerous and even painful when it occurs.

Dysphagia

This condition means you can’t swallow very well and there are many factors that can cause it. Most conditions are temporary and not life threatening, but it’s best to get advice from the throat doctor either way.

LPR and GERD

When acid reflux occurs form the stomach up into the esophagus, GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs. If that acid travels all the way up into the throat, it’s LPR or laryngopharyngeal reflux. Both can feel like a burning and be very uncomfortable.

It’s All Connected

When you visit a throat doctor, you may find them asking questions about your nose or ears as well and that’s because everything in the ear, nose, and throat region is all connected. You might have throat issues from a problem that stems from your nose. Throat doctors are specialists that also rely on ear and nose regions to help diagnose issues within the throat area.

Treatments From Throat Doctors

When you visit a throat doctor, they will get to the bottom of your throat issue and will give you a treatment plan option. The most common cause of irregularities in the throat are the tonsils, which can become inflamed and infected. Those can be removed in a routine procedure, but they aren’t the only cause of throat problems. Visit with the specialists at Breathe Clear Institute during your consultation and exam to get the right diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific throat ailment.

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Finding Lasting Allergy Relief

Everyone Wants Allergy Relief

Allergies are miserable for anyone who suffers from them. All anyone really wants is relief from the symptoms they experience when their allergies flare up. Allergy symptoms can feel somewhat like the common cold with the runny nose, congestion, and itchy eyes, only they are caused by allergens and not germs. If you suffer from allergies, make it a point to find the best allergy relief. It can take a few steps and some trial and error, but everyone can and should find the relief they need. Here are some steps to take to find your path to allergy relief.

Step 1: Know Your Allergy Triggers

To figure out what triggers your allergies, you will want to keep an eye on what happens around you before or during a flare. Perhaps you’ve noticed that you sneeze every time your cousin’s cat comes near or your eyes are particularly itchy when the pollen counts are high outside. Learning your triggers and the allergens that get to you the most can help you in finding allergy relief.

Step 2: Try Some Protective Measures

Once you figure out at least some of your allergens, you can take steps to prevent allergy attacks from happening. If you noticed the cat was bothering you, meet with your cousin at your house or choose a public location. If it’s the pollen, stay inside when the counts are high or wear protective sunglasses that wrap around your face to reduce the amount of pollen that gets into your eyes. Get creative with your protection and you may find something that works well.

Step 3: Beware Of Certain Foods

It seems there are more food allergies today than ever before and if you have seasonal allergies, even foods could trigger allergy symptoms. If you haven’t been around your trigger allergens, and yet are still feeling allergy symptoms, go to your foods to see what the issue might be.

Step 4: Visit With An ENT Doctor

Little protective measures can help and trying to figure out your allergens on your own is a good, proactive step, but nothing can take the place of visiting with an ENT doctor to get to the bottom of your allergies. The ENT doctor can run allergy tests and determine more specifics about your allergen sensitivity. They can also suggest over the counter medication to take when you have an allergy flare, or they might even give you a prescription. There are even long-term options, such as allergy shots, that can take away your suffering completely over time.

Getting The Better Of Allergies

Allergies come with symptoms that can affect people of all ages. They can appear in young children or show up later in life, even in those who didn’t have them as a child. But no one should have to suffer from the miserable symptoms allergies bring along with them. These steps can help you start to take control over the worst of your symptoms and step four can help you strive towards long-term relief. When you’re ready to put a real treatment into place based on your specified symptoms, contact Breathe Clear Institute for help.

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Reasons To Visit An Ear Doctor

Grabbing An Appointment With The Ear Doctor

ENT specialists, or otolaryngologists, help treat problems with the ears, nose, and throat. There are so many different doctors in the medical field, it can be hard for people to know who they need to see and when. ENT doctors are specialists that aren’t people patients see for everyday reasons. There are specific times that are good to contact an ENT doctor. Here are a few reasons to find an ENT doctor.

Reason 1: General Practitioner Referral

General practitioners are the doctors you see for any and all reasons. However, they don’t specialize in any one field. If they note that you have an issue in your ears, they may be able to pinpoint and treat it, or they might want you to see an ENT doctor for more specified treatment options. When your general practitioner gives you a referral to an ENT doctor, that is a sure sign that you need one to help your problem.

Reason 2: Persistent Infections

While it’s normal to call your regular doctor for an earache, if you have persistent ear infections that keep arising, you may want to visit with an ENT doctor instead. The ENT doctor is a specialist who has studied ear, nose, and throat issues at long length as well as how those areas are all connected. If you have ear infection after ear infection, they can help get to the bottom of the root cause of the infections instead of just treating the infection. That way, you can gain access to relief, but also get long term help with the actual problem causing the infections in the first place.

Reason 3: Ear Problems That Worsen

You know your body and you have likely had ear infections before. If you get one and it only gets worse and worse, seeing an ENT doctor is in your best interest. You might have something that the general practitioner hasn’t seen or won’t know how to treat specifically. ENT doctors have seen it all and they know just what to do.

Reason 4: Hearing Problems

If you have a hearing condition, or you are starting to feel like you can’t hear, it’s best to see an ENT doctor for preventative treatments. Your sense of hearing is very important and you want someone who knows the connections the ears have with the brain to get everything lined up well so you can prevent further hearing loss and perhaps even restore some or all of your hearing. It might be as simple as impacted ear wax and the ENT doctor can fix that with ease.

Reason 5: Treatment Options

ENT doctors have a lot more options for ear treatments than general practitioners since they specialize in the field. You could get prescription drops, cleanings, antibiotics, ear tubes, or any number of other things. The options are available and the ENT doctor will know what to suggest as the best course of action for your specific set of symptoms.

Getting To The ENT Doctor

If you have ear issues and your doctor recommends you see an ENT specialist, you know for sure you want to move forward with an appointment. But if you have ear infections that just keep coming around, worsening pain, hearing loss or other symptoms, you may want to call on your own as well. The professionals at Breathe Clear Institute can get to the bottom of your ear problems.

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What To Expect From An Allergist

Visiting An Allergist For The First Time

If you have trouble with allergies, the first person you will likely see is your primary care physician. But if your symptoms persist despite their prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, you might consider seeing a specialist. If you suspect food allergies, have shortness of breath, persistent coughing, wheezing, or serious infections, you need to visit with an allergist right away.

What Does An Allergist Do?

Allergists are trained to look at large pictures through background details and specialized diagnostics, so they can put together a treatment plan to alleviate allergies. When you visit with an allergist, they will take a complete personal and family medical history and they will want a description of your allergy symptoms, how you treat them, and when they arise. There will be a lot of questions to go over and you should answer them as thoroughly as possible.

Allergy Testing

After the medical and family history is complete, your allergist will want to perform an allergy test if all signs are pointing to an allergy. This might be done right away or on a follow-up visit. Based on your history and environment as well as your symptoms, the allergist will decide what kind of allergens need to be tested. Results can be misleading if allergens test for a full spectrum of irritants and false positives are common. An accurate allergy diagnosis will combine your test results with your personal history.

Skin Prick Tests

The most common allergy test is called a skin prick test. You will have a small amount of a liquid allergen pricked into your arm or back and if you are sensitive to that item, a raised bump will appear. The test takes only about 30 minutes and can be done in one visit.

Blood Tests

Sometimes, you might need a blood test instead, especially if you can’t undergo a skin test because you have sensitive skin or are taking a medication that would affect your skin’s reaction. Blood tests have to be sent to the lab and results can vary based on the lab that runs the tests.

Allergy Treatment Plans

Once you know what you are allergic to, the allergist will come up with a treatment plan for you, which can be a combination of a few different things. They will often recommend that you simply avoid the allergen, which is easier for some allergies than others. If you are allergic to cats, for example, avoiding them can help. However, if you are allergic to pollen, there’s no way to avoid outdoor air completely. Even if you can’t avoid your allergens altogether, the allergist might have ideas for how you can reduce your symptoms and risks. There are also non-medical therapies that can help symptoms like nasal washes, eye drops, air duct cleanings and HEPA filters and so on. The allergist might also recommend preventative allergy medications or things you can take as-needed. You might also consider immunotherapy, which generally comes in the form of allergy shots that can reduce the severity of your symptoms over time.

Meeting Your Allergist

The first appointment you have with your allergist is just the beginning of an important process to find a solution to your allergies. You can find relief from your symptoms with the right diagnosis and treatment. Contact Breathe Clear Institute to get started on the process.

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Finding Sinus Relief For Bad Infections

Sinus Relief Is Necessary When Fighting Infection

When you have nasal congestion, pressure in your face, a fever, plenty of pain, you may have a sinus infection. Is it a viral or bacterial infection? While most sinus infections are viral, there’s no way to guess which you have based on your symptoms. There are no symptoms that are reliable signs of one or the other. Visiting an ENT doctor can get to the bottom of your sinus relief. Even the doctors can’t tell between viral and bacterial just based on symptoms. Instead, they have to look at the duration of those symptoms to determine where your infection is sourced. Viral sinus infections usually improve after 5-7 days while bacterial infections persist for 7-10 days and can sometimes get worse after a week goes by. No matter which kind you have, sinus relief is at the top of your list. Your ENT doctor may prescribe you with medication to help, but you can also do a few things at home to ease the symptoms.

At-Home Sinus Relief

Use a saline spray in each nostril a couple of times a day to help relieve the congestion you have in your nasal passages. It might not help right away, but can break down some of the congested areas over time. You can also use a nasal decongestant, but only for a few days. Make sure you drink lots of water, at least 8 glasses a day, and rest as much as you can. When you have a sinus infection, all you want is for the pain and pressure to ease. But if the infection is viral, antibiotics won’t help and can actually do more harm than good. You need to visit with your ENT doctor before medicating in any way.

Addressing Chronic Sinusitis

If you have chronic sinusitis, which results in symptoms that last 12 weeks or longer, your doctor may take a nose swab to do a culture in the lab. This will tell them what kind of bacteria is causing your infections so they can prescribe the right antibiotic to relieve your symptoms. Don’t try to suffer through it when the conditions are chronic. Chronic sinusitis may not go away on its own.

Treating Early Signs

If you feel a sinus infection coming on with slight increased pressure in your sinuses, headaches, congestion, and other symptoms, be proactive about your treatment. Get plenty of rest and stay as hydrated as you can. Get some over the counter sprays and decongestants to help you with symptoms. If your illness extends past the week mark, talk to a doctor about a prescription. If your condition worsens in that week range, you will also want to get into your ENT doctor.

Sinus Relief Will Come With Patience

Sinus infections are no fun and it would be nice if you could automatically tell if yours was viral or bacterial just based on the symptoms. But time is really the only thing that can diagnose that difference. Use the at-home remedies as you wait to see which you have and consult with your ENT doctor at any time. To get advice on sinus relief during an infection, contact Breathe Clear Institute for help.

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Safe Ear Wax Removal Methods

How Can You Get Ear Wax Removal Done?

Earwax is one of those things you might wonder about. Why do we have it? It’s a nuisance and it can be itchy and sticky in your ear. Whenever you notice it in your ear, you may be tempted to remove it, but earwax removal is actually a delicate process. Most people attempt removal by using a cotton swab, but that is one of the worst things you can do. Pushing objects into your ear can actually push the wax deeper into your ear, which causes wax to build up.

Ear Wax Removal Procedures

One safe method to try at home is to drop a few drops of water or hydrogen peroxide into the ear canal. Tilt the head that direction and let it drain and sit on the wax for a few minutes. Then, turn your head to the other side and let the liquid come out, hopefully bringing some wax with it. This method allows the wax to soften enough that it can slide out, but it doesn’t always alleviate every issue.

Ear Candling

Ear candling sounds strange, but it can help with your ear wax buildup as well. Get ear candles, which are hollow fabric cones that are soaked in paraffin or wax. They cost a few dollars and are about 10 inches in length. Cut a hole in a paper plate and put the candle through it so you don’t get any wax or ash on your face. You will lie on your side and put the candle in your ear. Someone else will light the candle and watch it burn for 15 minutes or so. As the candle burns, it creates a low-level suction that pulls wax out of the ear. The heat from the candle can also soften the wax to allow it to fall out.

Visiting The ENT Doctor For Ear Wax Removal

The safest way to your earwax is to visit your ENT doctor. When you notice mild ear pain, hearing loss, a plugged feeling, itching, or ringing in the ears, you might have ear wax blockage. Using Q-tips to clean your ears or pushing ear plugs and other things into your ears can cause the problem. Once impaction occurs, you can’t generally get the wax out yourself.

Immediate Relief

The good news is that when you go to the ENT doctor, you can have a noninvasive procedure done that gives you immediate relief. Your ears won’t feel full any longer and you’ll be able to hear much better. Patients aren’t in pain during the procedure and you won’t need pain medication or anesthesia. You can leave right after the process is finished and feel much better than when you arrived.

Hear Better After Ear Wax Removal

Every ear has ear wax and impaction is nothing to be ashamed about. It happens to most people at some point in their life. When you need help with ear wax removal, contact the professionals at Breathe Clear Institute to learn more about removal methods as well as what you can do to prevent the issue from occurring again in the future.

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Treat Chronic Rhinitis with Clarifix

Get Relief From Rhinitis With ClariFix

Do you feel like your nose is constantly running and you have to sniffle all the time to keep things under control? This condition is called Rhinitis and there’s actually a minimally invasive procedure that can allow you to get to the bottom of this chronic symptom. Sure, you could live with it, but why do that when there is a simple fix? ClariFix is a procedure that gives lasting improvement and has little to no downtime involved.

More On ClariFix

ClariFix is a procedure that is provided in your ENT doctor’s office that can give you the long-lasting symptom relief you’ve always wanted. The procedure incorporates cryotherapy, which can help balance overactive nerves that are sending too many signals to the nose and thereby causing it to swell more than it should. The ClariFix cryotherapy device will go to the source of the symptom and interrupt the signals, and as a result, reduce the runny nose and stuffy feeling. Sometimes, it takes 2-6 weeks before great improvement, but some symptoms lessen right away.

Planning Out Your Treatment

Before you decide to move forward with ClariFix treatment, you’ll want to talk to your ENT doctor about your medical history and any medications you are taking. The pre-treatment appointment can take up to an hour and the treatment itself also takes about an hour. You might need someone to drive you home so ask your ENT doctor about that as well. If you decide to move forward, it’s nice to know what to expect during the treatment.

During The Treatment

The ClariFix appointment will take place in your ENT doctor’s office with a local anesthetic. The device will be placed in your nose to treat the nerves that are out of balance. You might feel a bit of cold, as this is cold therapy application, and there could also be some pressure. There shouldn’t be any pain due to the anesthetic, but it could be uncomfortable.

After The Treatment

The downtime and recovery process are very minimal. You might feel a bit congested and discomfort is always a possibility, but it shouldn’t last for more than a day. Patients generally see improvement from 2-6 weeks, but there could be some improvement right away. This treatment is safe and the device itself is well-tolerated.

Deciding On ClariFix

You can always live with your chronic Rhinitis, but it can be an annoyance. If you are thinking about ClariFix treatment, contact Breathe Clear Institute to get details on the process. We can talk to you about your medical history, your symptoms, and whether or not you are a candidate for the procedure. If you decide to move forward, we’ll go over what happens during the treatment and what you can expect afterwards.

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What To Do About Swollen Tonsils

Are Your Tonsils Swollen?

Tonsils are lymphoid tissue at the back of the throat, located on each side. They are a defense mechanism that helps protect your body from infection. When tonsils themselves are infected, it’s called tonsillitis. There are many ways to treat tonsillitis and it can occur at any age, though it is more common in children. The swollen tonsils are accompanied by a sore throat and often a fever. Tonsillitis is contagious and can be caused by common viruses and many different bacteria.

When To See An ENT Doctor

Tonsillitis can be caused by a variety of viruses. Symptoms include a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever, chills, scratchy voice, and possibly stomach aches or headaches. The tonsils will often look red and swollen and they may also have white or yellow spots on them. If the tonsillitis isn’t recurring, it will go away in 7-10 days, but if patients have chronic sore throats or episodes that last longer than expected, there might be a larger issue at play. It is important to see an ENT doctor if those with tonsillitis have a fever over 103 degrees, a sore throat that doesn’t subside after two days, a stiff neck, or muscle weakness. Some cases can go away on their own, while others need treatment. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and see a professional to know for sure.

Treating Tonsillitis

If you have tonsillitis and the symptoms are mild, you can try resting more, gargling with warm salt water, drinking lots of fluids, using a humidifier at home, and utilizing throat lozenges. These can ease your sore throat and other symptoms, in addition to over the counter medications. However, if you experience chronic tonsillitis, it can cause complications that can impact everyday life. Since tonsillitis is contagious, it is easy enough for anyone to get it, but those who have it often will want to look into alternative treatments.

Is A Tonsillectomy The Right Move?

A tonsillectomy is one of the most common surgeries children receive, but some adults may require surgery as well. Removing the tonsils can prevent recurring tonsillitis and their accompanying symptoms.

Chronic Tonsillitis

If you have tonsillitis on a regular basis and your tonsils are infected and inflamed, you will likely have a fever. Tonsillitis is often treated with antibiotics, but chronic tonsillitis can be dangerous due to certain medications. If you have five or more infections in a year, a tonsillectomy might be a good treatment to stop the infections from occurring.

Enlarged Tonsils

Tonsils that are enlarged can become infected more easily and they can lead to trouble swallowing or obstructed breathing when sleeping. Removing the tonsils out can treat those conditions.

Antibiotic Issues

If you have tonsil infections that antibiotics don’t respond to or if you are allergic to the antibiotics doctors normally prescribe, a tonsillectomy might be your best option.

Abnormal Growths

Cancer of the tonsils is rare. However, if there is a growth on the tonsils, the tonsils will be removed and not biopsied.

Visit With An ENT Doctor About Tonsillectomies

If you have chronic tonsillitis or other issues with your tonsils, visit with your ENT doctor about the possibility of a tonsillectomy to see if it is the right course of action for you.

Fluid In The Ear Vs. An Ear Infection: Know The Difference

Is It Really An Ear Infection?

Your ears aren’t something you think about on a regular basis, but you use them every day. When they cause you pain or discomfort, you notice them on a whole new level. Ear infections are common in children and adults get them on occasion. However, ear infections aren’t the only issues that arise within the ears. There can also be fluid in the ears, which is sometimes called swimmer’s ear, which can cause discomfort in a number of ways.

Fluid In The Ears

If you or your child has ear pain after swimming, there may be fluid in the ears, which some people refer to as swimmer’s ear. This is an irritation of the skin that lines the canal within the ear or the narrow tube at the bottom that attaches to the eardrum. When water from the shower, swimming pool, or a body of water gets trapped in the ears, the lining becomes swollen and wet, which can cause bacteria to grow.

Symptoms

If you have fluid in your ears, you might see clear liquid leaking from your ears. Your ear can feel itchy, plugged, or full at times. The pain in your ear will increase when you move your ear up and down or when you push the tissue on the front of your ear. The outer ear could also swell and look red.

Treatment Options

Swimmer’s ear can usually be treated at home with pain medication and over-the-counter ear drops to keep the canal dry. Symptoms usually improve in three days, but if the pain persists, visit with an ENT doctor.

Prevention Tips

The best way to avoid pain is to prevent swimmer’s ear from occurring. After showering or swimming, tilt your head to one side to let the water run out and let the ear dry off. You can also set a hair dryer on low and hold it at arm’s length away to dry that area. Don’t use cotton swabs to clean your ears out, as it can pack ear wax further into the ear and trap water along with it.

Ear Infections

Ear infections occur when the middle ear cavity swells because the Eustachian tube is blocked causing fluid to build up and bacteria to grow. Ear infections are often caused by the common cold and they are most noticeable after the cold has settled in for a few days.

Symptoms

Ear infections will cause decreased hearing, ear drainage, and possibly loss of balance. The ears will be painful and there may be discomfort in and around the ear. It can be hard to sleep and a fever may also be present.

Treatment Options

Treatments for ear infections often include pain medication, cold pack application, or antibiotics. Your ENT doctor will need to see you to prescribe the correct medication according to the severity of your infection.

Prevention Tips

You can’t prevent every ear infection, but avoiding people who have colds, avoiding cigarette smoke and keeping your allergies under control will helpl.

 

Understanding Ear Infections And Fluid In The Ears

Since you aren’t an expert, it can be hard to tell the difference between an ear infection versus fluid in the ears. When in doubt, visit an ENT doctor who can diagnose the problem with ease and put you on the right path to healing.

Addressing Nasal Polyps

The Problems With Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are small growths inside the nose that can often be seen with a bright light. You may not notice them yourself, but your ENT doctor can easily see them with the right tools. You may have visited the doctor because of the symptoms they have caused. Polyps, for example, can cause severe nasal obstruction. They can be associated with asthma and allergies as well. Some medications can help control them, but removing them is often the best course of action to provide relief. They can often be removed by local anesthesia procedures.

Causes Of Nasal Polyps

There aren’t any known causes, but it is certain that polyps can be linked to allergies, sinus infections, cystic fibrosis and even asthma. You might have polyps if you have issues with any of those. You will also likely notice nasal congestion that doesn’t go away, reduced sense of taste and smell, snoring, a runny nose, more frequent mouth breathing, and a post-nasal drip.

Removing Nasal Polyps: The Benefits

If you are suffering from certain symptoms that relate to polyps, many of them can be relieved by having the polyps removed. You can relieve nasal congestion, for example, and improve your sense of smell and taste. You will be able to breathe clearly through your nose again and you will reduce the pressure to your forehead and the rest of your face.

What To Expect From Removal Procedures

Depending on how many polyps you have and how large they are, you will either get a local anesthetic or a general anesthetic. The ENT doctor will use a video monitor and a small endoscope to pinpoint the location of each polyp. Delicate instruments called shavers remove the polyps as they are pulled back out of the nose. Discomfort is common after the procedure, but the ENT doctor will prescribe medications to alleviate this. Physical activity for the next few days is limited while you heal. Some ENT doctors will place a small Propel device inside the nose, which is temporary and dissolves on its own. This device releases gentle steroids to help you heal faster.

Do You Need Nasal Polyps Removed?

If you have many of these symptoms and you are wondering if you have polyps that need to be removed, make an appointment with your ENT doctor to find out. Write down your symptoms so you don’t forget anything, even if some of them don’t seem to relate to your nose or sinuses. Your doctor will want all of the details and whether anything makes the symptoms better or worse. Also list any other medical conditions you have and treatments you are receiving, especially for asthma and allergies. You’ll want a list of medications you are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, so the doctor can get a full picture of everything that is going on related to your polyps or other such issues.

Ask Questions About Nasal Polyps

If you suspect nasal polyps, your doctor will be able to tell if you have them, but you will have a lot of questions about any procedures or treatments. Ask what you can expect from removal or other recommended treatments long term and whether you have any restrictions before or after the procedure. Ask about alternatives so you can make the final decision as to what is best for your symptoms. Once your questions are answered, you can move forward with peace of mind about the procedure.

Why Have The Pillar Procedure Done?

Learning About The Pillar Procedure

The pillar procedure is a minor surgery that can relieve snoring that occurs on a regular basis. Patients who have mild to moderate sleep apnea due to obstruction can find relief with this procedure. Mild to moderate sleep apnea results from muscles that relax in the back of the throat. This procedure places small rods in the soft palate. When the tissues heal around the implants, which are less than an inch in length, they will stiffen the soft palate and relax the vibrating tissue in that region. The procedure can be done with a local anesthesia in your ENT doctor’s office.

Reasons To Have The Pillar Procedure

There are two main reasons to have this procedure. One, to relieve snoring, and two, to relieve symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Your snoring may bother your sleep, or it might be a nuisance to your partner. Sleep apnea can cause fatigue during the day and other health-related issues. You may try other avenues first before you move on to the pillar procedure. Your ENT might recommend less invasive solutions like a CPAP machine that you would wear at night to prevent airflow blockage while you sleep. If this doesn’t work well enough for you, the surgical procedure might be a good alternative.

Avoid The Pillar Procedure If…

The procedure provides great relief for many people, but it will not work for those who have severe obstructive sleep apnea. It is also not recommended for those who are significantly overweight. In those cases, your ENT doctor will recommend other treatment options.

What Happens After The Procedure

If you are a good candidate and you decide to proceed with the treatment, you might have a sore throat or difficulty swallowing once the rods are in place. These side effects are temporary and generally resolve on their own within a week. Infection is a possibility with any surgery and you will want to watch for fever.

Preparing For The Pillar Procedure

You likely won’t have to do anything before you show up to your ENT doctor’s office for the procedure. In a few cases, you might have to take antibiotics before the procedure to prevent infections. The procedure is performed with you leaning back, like you are in a dental chair, and takes only about 30 minutes. You will receive an anesthetic injected into your soft palate, which could sting. Once you are numb, the ENT doctor places the three implants.

After The Procedure

Once the implants are in, you will sit for a few moments to ensure you don’t have a lot of swelling or bleeding. You may get an anti-inflammatory pain medication to keep swelling down and to help relieve pain after the anesthetic wears away. You may also receive an antiseptic rinse to use for a few days to prevent any infections. Once the details are worked out, you can resume your normal activities, including driving and eating certain foods.

Pillar Procedure Results

This procedure can effectively treat snoring and mild sleep apnea, but it doesn’t work for everyone. The best candidates will have the best results. It can work immediately after the procedure, but it can also take up to a few months for your soft palate to harden and for the procedure to take full effect.

What You Need To Know About Allergy Shots

Allergy Shots For Symptom Sufferers

If you suffer from allergies, you know how they can reduce your quality of life. Allergies are a huge annoyance and most are tired of suffering from their symptoms. While there are over-the-counter medications that can help alleviate your symptoms; allergy shots are another option to consider. Before you make the decision, here are some things you will want to know:

Allergy Shots Are Performed In The Office

If you want to try allergy shots, you should visit your ENT doctor. First, you would start with a skin test to find out what allergens trigger your symptoms. Then, you would receive a series of shots that slowly increase your tolerance to those allergens. Your immune system will strengthen and eventually, your allergy symptoms will subside.

Do Allergy Shots Work?

Even if you don’t like shots, the idea of having fewer symptoms is appealing. However, everyone is different, and some people may not respond to the shots. Most adults and children ages 5 and older can receive allergy shots. For most, you can reduce your symptoms by getting allergy shots and thereby reduce the need to take allergy medications.

Allergy Shots Can Work For Many Allergies

When you think of “allergies,” you might automatically think of seasonal allergies, but allergy shots can work for many different allergies. For example, allergies to cats, and are year-round and allergy shots can help reduce those symptoms.

Shots Take Commitment

If you want to get allergy shots, you will need to commit to the program. In the build-up phase, you might get shots once or even twice a week for a few months. After that, you’ll need to maintain your levels by getting shots once or twice a month for a few years. You will need to stick to a schedule to make sure the shots are as effective as possible and to reduce bad reactions. Shots don’t take a lot of time, but you’ll have to wait at your doctor’s office after each shot is given to ensure there is no reaction.

Under The Tongue Treatments Are Another Option

Some people cringe at the idea of a shot and there are other options to discuss with your ENT doctor. You could, for example, get under the tongue drops a certain length of time. These can also be very effective if shots are unappealing and you really want relief from your allergies.

Getting Allergy Shots Started

If you are interested in allergy shots, you’ll want to visit with an ENT doctor to see if you are a good candidate. Once you’re cleared for the allergy shots, you can get started on the regimen to alleviate your symptoms and live life in a much healthier manner.

When To See An ENT Doctor For Ear Pain

Does Your Ear Pain Call For An ENT?

Ear pain and ear infections are something everyone gets at some point in their life. Usually, if you have ear pain, you would visit a doctor of some kind. It’s preferable to visit an ENT doctor, as they are ear, nose and throat specialists who understand how to treat those specific areas. But, does your ear pain call for a doctor or is it something that will go away on its own?

Types Of Ear Infections

Ear pain is often caused by ear infections and there are three general types. They occur in the inner ear, outer ear, and middle ear. Outer ear infections are the easiest to diagnose because they can be visibly seen, even by you. They often start as an itchy rash and can lead to pain, tenderness, and even swelling. The middle ear infections are caused by fluid being trapped behind the eardrum, which means the eardrum bulges and you have ear pain. You might feel like your ear is full and there could even be drainage from the ear. Inner ear infections are often caused by inflammation and not infections. They come with other symptoms like dizziness, vomiting, nausea, and ear pain.

Ear Pain Treatment

The treatment for your ear pain depends on the root cause of the pain or infection. A warm compress over the ear can help lessen the pain in any type of ear infection. If you have an outer ear infection, you might get a salve to help clear up the infection. Middle and inner ear infections call for over the counter painkillers, but they don’t always get rid of the problem—they simply lessen the pain. To know whether you need antibiotics, it’s best to visit with an ENT doctor.

Possible Surgical Needs

Some people, especially children, have recurring ear pain from infections. Children ’s eustachian tubes are smaller and more level than in adults. This makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear. Whether it’s a child or an adult, a visit to the ENT doctor can help the ear pain stay away for good. Surgical tubes may need to be inserted to help the ear and eustachian tube to heal. If you have ear pain that keeps recurring, an ENT doctor can assess and make recommendations for you.

Visit Your Doctor About Ear Pain

When you need help with your vision, you visit with an ophthalmologist. If you have ear pain, it’s best to see an ENT doctor. Perhaps over the counter medications will be all you need. However, antibiotics or other means of treatment may be needed. No one likes to live in pain and ear pain can be debilitating. Reduce your worries by visiting the ENT doctors at Breathe Clear Institute.

Do You Have A Sinus Infection?

A Sinus Infection Or A Cold?

While it’s never good to self-diagnose, when you come down with something, you may want to know what you have and how to treat it. Do you have a simple cold that will go away in a few days or is it something more serious? Your cold could start out simple, then move into the sinuses and become infected. It’s good to recognize the symptoms so you know when to get help and when to wait and let it heal on its own.

What Is Sinusitis?

A sinus infection occurs when the nasal cavities become infected, inflamed, and swollen. It is usually caused by a virus that persists and settles into the sinuses even after your other respiratory symptoms pass. Bacteria and fungus can also cause an infection in the sinuses, as well as other conditions like allergies, which can also contribute to your pain and symptoms in that area.

Types Of Sinus Infections

Acute sinusitis lasts for a short time—less than four weeks. These infections are usually part of a cold or another illness that settles into the sinuses and becomes infected. Chronic sinus infections, however, last for twelve weeks or longer or may occur over and over again. Many of the symptoms of a sinus infection are similar, even if you don’t know if it’s acute or chronic. See your doctor to find out if you have an infection, but in the meantime, watch for these signs.

-Sinus Pain

The most common symptom of a sinus infection is pain in the sinuses. There are sinuses behind your nose, as well as above and below your eyes. Any of these areas can hurt when they are infected. The swelling in those areas can cause a dull ache or pressure. You might also feel pain in the forehead, jaws, and teeth or between your eyes. Some also have a headache as a symptom.

-Nasal Discharge

When you have a sinus infection, you will probably blow your nose often and the nasal discharge will be green, yellow, or cloudy. The discharge comes from the infection and drains into the nasal passage. You might also have a sore throat as the discharge can bypass your nose and drain down your throat.

-Nasal Congestion

Inflamed sinuses can also prevent you from breathing through your nose. The swelling occurs in the sinuses, as well as the nasal passages. You may not be able to taste or smell and your voice might sound like you are stuffed up.

When To See A Doctor For a Sinus Infection

If you have one or more of the symptoms of a sinus infection and you also have a fever or other pain, you will want to see a doctor. The professionals at Breathe Clear Institute want to help you clear up any infections as quickly as possible so you can go on with your everyday life in a comfortable, healthy manner. If you have infections often, let’s get to the bottom of the situation and work out a solution.

Ear Infection FAQs For Kids

The Questions You Have About Ear Infections Answered

Ear infections are one of the most common reasons doctors see young patients. Most children have at least one ear infection in their youth and many have more than one. Since ear infections can happen any time of the year, it makes sense that a lot of parents have questions about them. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding ear infections.

What Is An Ear Infection And What Causes It?

An ear infection occurs when the middle of the ear has infected fluid in it. A doctor can look into a child’s ear and see the infection. It is caused when the fluid is trapped in that area and is not able to drain. The area can become inflamed and the fluid can become infected when it doesn’t drain away as it should.

What Are The Common Symptoms?

Ear infections present themselves in a number of ways, but most children will have ear pain, even if they can’t tell you that something hurts. Many will also have a fever, but this can commonly occur with a cold or allergies. Watch for children who are irritable, have trouble sleeping, lose their appetite, pull at their ears, or do not feel well in general.

Do Children Always Need Antibiotics?

The doctor will prescribe antibiotics based on a number of factors. They will take the child’s age and history of ear infections into consideration along with the severity of the infection. The body can clear up these infections on its own, but antibiotics can ease the pain and take things to a healthier level in a faster manner.

What Is The Best Way To Relieve Pain?

If you’ve ever had an ear infection as an adult, you know they hurt. They’re even worse for a child because they don’t understand what’s going on. Over the counter medications can help, as well as warm compresses on their ears to help reduce the pain.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Most children will feel better 2-3 days after they are diagnosed and start antibiotics. If improvements don’t happen within that timeframe, another trip to the doctor may be warranted.

Why Do Some Children Get Repeated Ear Infections?

Some children are more susceptible to ear infections than others and there can be a genetic component to that. Children with multiple ear infections should see an  Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to evaluate if there’s something going on that can reduce their frequency. Ear infections can’t be avoided completely, but there might be some recommendations and changes the parents can make to prevent them.

Who Should We See About Ear Infections?

You can go to your pediatrician or family doctor about ear infections, but you are also welcome to visit Breathe Clear Institute, especially if your child has recurring issues with ear infections. We want to get to the bottom of the issue to prevent this from happening to your child.

Does Your Snoring Need Treatment?

Snoring Causes Other Issues

Everyone snores at some point or another, right? You might wake yourself up at night on occasion after a loud snore or your partner might tell you that you were snoring one night after a long week when you’re extra tired. But snoring can cause other issues and if you have symptoms that relate to your snoring, you may need treatment to solve the root of the problem. Do you need to be treated? Ask yourself these questions to find out if you might need to seek help from an ENT doctor.

Does Your Snoring Disturb Your Partner Regularly?

We all snore on occasion, but if your snoring is frequent and loud enough that your partner is disturbed by it, it could be time to seek treatment for your snoring. If you are snoring on a regular basis, there is a cause for it. If you are able to find the cause, you can treat the issue and you can both get a better night of sleep.

Does Your Snoring Disrupt Your Own Sleep?

Do you often wake yourself up from a loud snore? It could be the noise that woke you or it could be a sleep apnea-like symptom, where you have stopped breathing and have awakened yourself to start breathing again. If snoring has become a regular problem for you, seek treatment to figure out what’s going on and if you can fix it.

Are You Often Tired Even When You Get In Enough Hours?

You sleep the recommended 8 hours a night or sometimes even more—so why are you always so tired? If you’ve been told you snore, snoring might be the cause of your tiredness. Sometimes, when people snore, they aren’t getting the right kind of sleep. They may have issues with sleep apnea or they aren’t getting enough oxygen in to make the sleep cycle complete, which can cause tiredness throughout the day. If you get the sleep you think you need and you’re still tired, snoring treatment is an option.

Are You Concerned With Your Worsening Snoring?

You used to snore light and gentle and your partner thought it was cute. But what used to be soft and sound is now a loud rumble. If your snoring has rapidly gotten worse, there’s a cause for it and you need to be evaluated before you start suffering other consequences.

Get Snoring Treatment Help

We all know that sleep is beneficial to our health. If we don’t sleep, even for one night, we feel the effects of it. Even if you think you sleep well, snoring can have a huge effect on your life. If you snore and you know it, talk to Breathe Clear Institute to see if there is a root cause behind the snoring that can be treated with ease. Sometimes treatment is quite simple while other times it’s more complicated. Either way, if you get your snoring treated, you’ll sleep quieter and better.

Do You Need A Tonsillectomy?

You Might Need A Tonsillectomy If…

A tonsillectomy is one of the most common surgeries performed on children, but there are also adults that could benefit from the procedure. Despite your age, having your tonsils removed can prevent recurring sore throats or tonsillitis. How do you know if a tonsillectomy is the right treatment for you? Of course, you will want to discuss the matter with your doctor, but there are several signs that can help you recognize if this might be the right option for you.

You Have Chronic Tonsillitis Pain

Tonsillitis occurs when your tonsils are inflamed and infected. If you get tonsillitis often, you will usually have a fever along with a sore throat that makes it painful to swallow. The fever will also make you feel weak. Tonsillitis is often treated with antibiotics, but if you get it often, it can be a chronic condition that is better treated with a tonsillectomy. If you have five or more infections in one year, you have a chronic condition that needs to be evaluated to see if removing your tonsils is the best option.

You Have Antibiotic Issues

If the infections do not respond to antibiotics, or if you are allergic to the antibiotics that are generally used for inflamed tonsils, then removing them might be the best option for you. You won’t have to worry about further inflammation or medication issues in the future.

You Have Enlarged Tonsil Problems

If your tonsils are enlarged, you could have trouble swallowing and you could also have sleep apnea, where you stop breathing when you sleep. The tonsils can be removed to help treat the condition and take the obstruction out of your throat. Tonsillectomy will more likely cure sleep apnea completely in children than in adults, but it is a good start even for adults.

There Are Abnormal Growths In The Area

Tonsil cancer is on the rise today and if you have a growth on your tonsils, you might need a tonsillectomy to rule out cancer as the cause. If there is a mass on the tonsils or chronic pain on one side that leads to asymmetry or trouble swallowing, a tonsillectomy is a good choice. If there is any cause for concern, the tonsils would be removed instead of doing a biopsy.

See Your Doctor For Advice On A Tonsillectomy

Sore throats are not uncommon, so it can be hard to know when you need to see the ENT doctors at Breathe Clear Institute about a possible tonsillectomy. If you have pain on just one side of the throat and it is hard to swallow, fevers, as well as recurring sore throats, you will want to come into the Breathe Clear Institute. Also, watch for swollen lymph nodes and a white or yellow coating on the tonsils. When in doubt, come see us and we’ll do a thorough examination and provide recommendations for you.

What Allergy Tests Do You Need?

Uncovering Necessary Allergy Tests

When you suffer from allergies, all you want is relief, which isn’t always easy. Allergists have to determine the origins of your allergies to know how to treat you. This includes allergy tests, which can be very specific. It is important to understand what tests you will need and how these tests will work?

Determine Your History

Many allergists say that your history and background are huge determining factors in your diagnosis. Does someone in your immediate family suffer as well? What aggravates them? All of these details can help.

Skin Testing

For any skin allergy testing, you will have to limit certain medications before you have the allergy test. Once the skin test is complete, your doctor will be able to determine possible allergens that could be affecting you. This test includes injecting allergens under your skin with a small syringe. There could be up to 32 different injections in your upper arms. Patients report it doesn’t hurt much and feels somewhat like a mosquito bite. After ten minutes, the doctor will check your skin to see if a reaction occurred. You will also be able to detect any delayed reactions. Some allergens can take days to show their full reaction, so you will want to keep an eye on the areas and report back to your doctor about any delayed reactions.

Skin Prick Testing

Instead of using individual syringes, this type of skin testing is done through a device that can deliver multiple allergens at one time. This test is good for food allergies, and also works well for environmental allergens. You’ll have it done on the inner forearm and in 15 minutes, you will be able to measure your reactions with a professional. There can be false positives, but there are very few false negatives in this test.

Blood Testing

Blood tests allow you to assess your allergies without stopping any medication. A vial of blood is drawn to test food and inhalant allergens. The blood sample will be assessed for certain allergy antibodies to specific foods or inhalants and the labs will validate the results after the tests are complete.

What Happens After Allergy Tests?

You and your doctor should decide what type of testing is best for your symptoms. If your test shows that you had a positive allergy result, you may want to consider immunotherapy. Immunotherapy consists of customized allergy drops or shots that can help you build up a tolerance to the allergen over time and helps decrease your allergy symptoms. Drops are something you can administer yourself once a day for the next 3-5 years to help keep allergies at bay Another option includes allergy shots which are twice weekly injections at your doctor’s office that will eventually taper off over the next 3 years after you have built up to your maintenance dose. Contact Breathe Clear Institute to start your allergy testing process–and we can help determine what allergy test will be best for you.

Understanding Sublingual Immunotherapy

Working With Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual Immunotherapy works like allergy shots in order to gradually help the body build a tolerance to allergens that cause symptoms. Rather than getting shots, however, you place the drops under your tongue in a liquid form. There are things you will want to understand about the option before moving forward to treat your own allergies.

Why Drops?

When you place the liquid antigen under your tongue, you are doing yourself a service, in a way. The area under the tongue has the highest concentration of allergen and antigen cells in the body. The dendritic cell is basically a messenger that delivers the antigens in the drops to the rest of your cells and allows you to begin to tolerate your allergies better. By giving yourself these drops daily and consistently, you start to build up a tolerance to things that cause you to have annoying symptoms.

How Often Are Drops Needed?

People will generally take the drops three times a year for anywhere from three to give years, depending on the seasonality and severity of their particular allergies. The tolerance builds up depending on how well you follow through with the treatments. Some patients start to feel better in a few months while it takes longer for others. Either way, continuing the treatment until the end of the recommended time frame helps you to remain free of symptoms once the treatment is complete. It’s much like taking an antibiotic. You might feel better in a few days, but you have to take the medication for the full doctor-recommended ten days to completely rid yourself of the virus.

Should You Try Allergy Drops?

If you hate getting shots, allergy drops like Sublingual Immunotherapy might be a good answer for you. You have to be on the drops for a number of years, but once you develop a routine, t doesn’t have to be hard. You can judge how well the drops are working after 3-6 months and while shots are more potent and work faster, drops have a long-lasting effect, if used correctly. They are self-administered and don’t require regular visits to the doctor during the process.

Leave The Misery Of Allergies Behind

No one likes dealing with allergies on a regular basis and the symptoms they bring with them every time you encounter an allergen. It’s a good idea to look into the solutions that research and technology have brought forward in order to see what you can do about your situation. Talk to your doctor about the differences between shots and Sublingual Immunotherapy and see which is a good answer for you.

Getting Sublingual Immunotherapy

If you’ve tried allergy shots before and you’re ready to move on to another possible solution, Sublingual Immunotherapy might be the answer you have been looking to find. Contact Breathe Clear Institute and set up a consultation to ask your questions about allergy drops. If you think you can stick with the regimen, it’s a good solution for many allergy sufferers to find long-lasting relief.

Dizziness Isn’t A Simple Ailment

Diagnosing And Treating Dizziness

If you’ve ever spun around in circles only to feel dizziness once you stop, you know what it feels like. The world is spinning around you and you might not feel like you can walk straight. Imagine feeling that way without spinning and for seemingly no reason at all. There are plenty of people who live with vertigo on a regular basis. Some of them just wait for the symptoms to pass and go on with their life, but for others, it impedes everyday life situations. You can’t drive when you’re dizzy, right? And you may not be able to perform other functions as well. The problem is that diagnosing dizziness isn’t simple. There are a number of things that can cause vertigo and that means there are various ways to treat it as well.

Dizziness Could Come From Medications

Have you ever read through the list of possible side effects on the medications you take? Dizziness is almost always on the list, but it is more common with some medicines than others. Check your bottles to see if dizziness is something that can occur from something you take. If you do feel dizzy, your meds could be the root cause of the issue.

Dizziness Could Result From Brain Conditions

If you have any issues revolving around your brain, you could feel dizzy as well. If you’re having a stroke or have had one in the past, if you have a tumor, get frequent headaches or migraines, or experience fainting, dizziness could be another issue you deal with. Anything that touches the brain is serious and needs medical attention right away.

Dizziness Could Come From Blood Pressure Issues

If you’ve had a heart attack or have other heart issues, like arrhythmias, vertigo is also a possibility. Low or high blood pressure issues can also cause dizziness on occasion when the pressure gets way too low or way too high.

Dizziness Could Result From Metabolic Disorders

If you have low blood oxygen or low blood sugar, you could have issues with vertigo as well. Or, if you are simply dehydrated you can feel dizzy from the lack of water in your system.

Dizziness Could Come From Inner Ear Issues

A lot of people who get vertigo on a regular basis have an inner ear problem. There are many different ways to treat those issues, but your ENT doctor may recommend trying the Epley Maneuver before anything else. This series of small movements can alleviate your symptoms right away, or it could take a few tries to get the dizziness to go away. Have your ENT doctor show you the simple, easy motions that you can do out of the comfort of your own home. You might want to have them watch you practice to ensure you do it correctly the first time.

Contact Professionals For Help

Being dizzy for what feels like no reason at all is not a way to live, especially if it’s happening more and more. Contact Breathe Clear Institute with your questions and for help to get to the bottom of your vertigo issues.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Don’t Let Sleep Apnea Disrupt Your Life

Sleep is one of the essential tools that everyone uses to get through the rest of the day. Without it, we are at risk for a number of health problems. Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders that 20 million U.S. adults deal with. Of those adults, 80% of them are undiagnosed. Many people are unaware that they have a sleep disorder or that the disorder is causing other health problems. Sleep apnea can be treated before severe consequences arise, but it must be recognized first.

Why Is Sleep Apnea So Scary?

Sure, sleep apnea often leads to snoring, which can be annoying, but beyond that, it is a breathing disorder while you are asleep. There are three main forms of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea (CSA), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and complex or mixed sleep apnea. CSA causes pauses in breathing when the brain doesn’t signal the body to breathe. OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea interrupts the breathing through physical blockages in the airways. And Complex or Mixed Sleep Apnea is a combination of the other two forms of sleep apnea. Overall, sleep apnea causes you to pause or stop breathing while you are asleep, which is never a good thing.

Signs You Might Have Sleep Apnea

If you wonder about sleep apnea and the issues it can bring to your life, watch for these signs and get to an ENT doctor as soon as you can.

Snoring

Many people snore, but if your snoring is loud and chronic, sleep apnea could be the cause. If you snore every night and it disrupts your sleep, see your physician.

Pauses In Breathing

You may not know that you have pauses in your breathing, but your partner will likely notice, especially if you are snoring and suddenly stop.

Frequent Tiredness

Sleep apnea causes to be tired throughout the day, even if you get 7-9 hours of sleep. When you are drowsy all day, nothing goes right and you can even cause accidents.

Waking Up With Headaches

It’s not uncommon for headaches to develop later in the day due to stress or a number of reasons, but when you wake up with them, it could be because of the low level of oxygen in your body due to sleep apnea.

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is often linked to sleep apnea so if you have high blood pressure, get checked for sleep apnea as well.

Depression And Irritability

Whenever you have a lack of sleep, it can affect your mood. Losing sleep on a nightly basis makes you irritable and you might even get depressed.

Get Help Soon With Breathe Clear Institute

It’s not a good idea to go through another night of bad sleep when you have sleep apnea. And there’s no reason to live with it or its debilitating symptoms. If you are concerned you might have sleep apnea, visit with the ENT physicians at Breathe Clear Institute and get to the bottom of the situation. You’ll get a better quality of sleep and have more energy.

Succeeding With The Epley Maneuver

Getting Rid Of Vertigo With The Epley Maneuver

Being dizzy is never fun, but if you experience it without warning and during normal times of the day, you know just how miserable it can make you. Vertigo is serious and can impede everyday life. You can’t drive or even function sometimes when you are dizzy. There are a number of things you can try to get rid of your symptoms, but one of the simplest and most effective is the Epley Maneuver.

What Is The Epley Maneuver?

This maneuver is an exercise you can do at home, in the office, or anywhere else to help you get rid of dizziness. If you have visited your ENT doctor and you know you have vertigo issues because of your inner ear, this maneuver can help alleviate the symptoms. The inner ear problem known as BPPV occurs when calcium crystals end up in the canals. When the crystals are dislodged and move around, it can make you feel dizzy. The Epley Maneuver can remove the crystals from the ear canals and alleviate your dizziness. If you have noticed that certain head movements make you dizzy, the Epley Maneuver could be a great way to find relief. Some people get relief right away while others still have symptoms for a few weeks. Either way, the Epley Maneuver is easy for anyone to try and it’s worth giving it a shot before you move on to medication or other elements to alleviate your vertigo.

Performing The Epley Maneuver

You may have to perform the maneuver twice if you have problems in both ears, but you will follow the same basic steps, just on the opposite side. First, you will sit on the floor or a bed with your legs straight in front of you. Turn your head at a 45-degree angle to the right. If your symptoms are worse when you turn your head to the right, then lie back and keep your head turned for the next 30 seconds. Next, turn your head to the left until it’s 45 degrees in the other direction and wait another half minute. Roll onto your side before you try to sit up and see how things feel. If your symptoms are worse on the left, then you should turn your head to the left first.

Succeeding With The Epley Maneuver

People who suffer from BPPV have the most success if they have an ENT doctor show them how to perform the moves. They may even practice in front of the doctor to ensure they have everything right. The symptoms might clear right away, but if not, you may need to do the moves again. If you have any neck or back injuries, you may not be able to move effectively to do the motions correctly. Check with your doctor before you aggravate an old injury. You don’t want to end up with another issue.

Getting ENT Help

If you already know you have BPPV, contact Breathe Clear for help with the Epley Maneuver. If you experience vertigo and you aren’t sure what’s causing it, we can help get to the bottom of your issues.

Why Do You Have Swollen Tonsils?

Get Treated For Swollen Tonsils

If your tonsils are swollen, you usually know it. You can feel them in the back of your throat and it’s not a comfortable feeling. Tonsils are collections of tissues that form part of the immune system. When they are swollen, it’s uncomfortable and unpleasant, but fortunately, it’s not usually a major health concern. That doesn’t mean you won’t want to take care of it as quickly as possible, especially if you have swollen tonsils on a regular basis. Swollen tonsils are often caused by tonsillitis. Learn more about this condition from Breathe Clear Institute below.

Tonsillitis Facts To Understand Swollen Tonsils

Tonsillitis causes swollen tonsils and can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. Most cases will clear up on their own within 10 days, but ENT doctors can examine the throat and take a bacterial swab to diagnose the issue for sure. There are a range of agents that can cause the illness and infection. The tonsils often become swollen and infected because they are the first line of defense against external infectious agents that invade the body.

Symptoms That Often Come With Swollen Tonsils

If your tonsils are swollen due to tonsillitis, you are going to have a sore throat and pain when you swallow.  You might also be able to see red and swollen tonsils when you look in the mirror. You could have a headache, temperature, and you will likely be tired. Tonsillitis can come with a cough as the infection works its way through your body and you may also have pain in the ears and neck area.

Do You Need A Doctor?

You don’t have to see a doctor every time you have swollen tonsils, but sometimes the case can become severe or if can occur multiple times that treatment is necessary. If you have a fever over 103, a stiff neck, or your muscles are week, you should get to the doctor. You will also want to go in if your throat is sore for more than three days.

How Diagnosis Works

When you get to the ENT doctor, they will examine you and look at your swollen tonsils. They may also swab the infected area to determine if the swollen tonsils are a result of a bacterial or viral infection and even carry out a blood cell count to give them more information.

Treating Swollen Tonsils

If your home remedies haven’t worked, doctors may prescribe pain-killing medications or antibiotics to help the healing process. Surgery is sometimes an option when you have recurring swollen tonsils for a number of years. Before you start to guess about the treatments you will need, it is best to see a professional for a diagnosis and proper treatment. Visit with Breathe Clear Institute and make an appointment to get your swollen tonsils taken care of as soon as possible. You don’t even need to be in pain when the ENT physicians at Breathe Clear help. No matter what condition you’re in, count on us to bring you back to normal.

Tips for Caring For Someone With Vertigo

Being An Effective Vertigo Caregiver

If someone you know and love suffers from vertigo, you can understand how miserable it is. Just imagine how you feel when you spin in circles for a long time and then get dizzy. Those who suffer from vertigo can have episodes that occur suddenly. They might be dizzy, have nausea, get headaches, or just feel an overall sense of fatigue. It can affect their quality of life and their ability to do daily tasks, amongst other things.

While vertigo can be difficult to live with, there are several recommended tips you can use to provide some relief to a loved one. Use these tips to help care for someone struggling with vertigo issues.

Tip 1: Lend A Hand

The first tip is to lend a hand when it is appropriate to do so. If vertigo prevents your loved one from completing certain tasks, step in and finish them for them. They might need some help cleaning or they might need you to do the dishes after a meal. They might even need you to cook, depending on when the dizzy spells occur. Stay close by when it starts and let them know you are there for whatever they need. While they rest, you can take care of what needs to get done. Help them get somewhere stable so they are in a safe place while you work on the other tasks.

Tip 2: Keep Medication Close

Vertigo can come on without a moment’s notice, so it is important to have pertinent medication nearby at all times. If you are out and about running errands with your loved one, make sure the medication is with you so that you can help them cope with the symptoms right away. They shouldn’t’ have to wait until you get home to take medication. It is best to have immediate relief from the worst of the symptoms.

Tip 3: Stay Up To Date With Health Providers

Visit the doctor with your loved one and ensure the medical condition causing the vertigo is well attended. See the doctor regularly and address the vertigo as a concern with them. You are likely to receive helpful tips, medication updates, and other important information that will broaden your ability to help your loved one.

Tip 4: Be Available

The biggest thing you can do for your loved one is to simply be available to help with their needs, whatever those might be. They have no control over their symptoms and when they might start, so you need to be available when they need assistance. Being present will ultimately go a long way.

Treat The Vertigo The Right Way

If you need help with treating vertigo, visit with the trusted experts at Breathe Clear Institute. We’re here to get to the bottom of the issue and assist loved ones who may be struggling with this condition. Give us a call today and let’s set up a consultation to go over the details with you.

What Causes Eustachian Tube Blockage?

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction And Blockage

Eustachian tube problems are often associated with ear infections. In fact, if you don’t have trouble with ear infections, you may never even heard of the Eustachian Tube. However, if you do have ear infections, you will be familiar with the phrase. The Eustachian Tube can be blocked for a variety of reasons. This tube ventilates the middle ear space and ensures that the pressure remains normal in the area. It also drains secretions that are in the middle ear space. You can understand why a blockage to that tube would be an issue to the function of the ear. When the function is blocked, sounds are muffled, and the ear feels full.

Causes Of Eustachian Tube Blockage

The most common cause of a blockage is the common cold or an upper respiratory infection. Sinus infections and allergies can also cause the tissue in the lining of the tube to swell. Stuffy noses lead to stuffy ears. Children see these blockages more often because their tubes are more narrow and horizontal. Some adults have smaller Eustachian tubes and that can lead to more blockage issues. Smoking is also associated with damaging the Eustachian tube in the back of the nose area, which can cause more blockage.

Signs That There Is An Eustachian Tube Blockage

If your Eustachian Tube is dysfunctional or blocked, you will feel like your ears are full, though it may be intermittent. You might also have a popping in your ears, like when you are on a plane. You could also feel like sounds are muffled and you could hear a ringing in your ears at times. You may even get off balance when your ears are blocked in this manner.

The Use Of Home Remedies

Not all blockages are in need of treatment. There are some simple things you can do at home to clear the tube in order to allow yourself to heal. The simple act of swallowing helps the muscles in the back of the throat open up the Eustachian Tube, for example. You can do things that promote swallowing like chewing gum, eating, or drinking. Yawning is also effective because it activates even stronger muscles. If you feel like you are blocked in that area, it is not a good idea to fly because that can make things worse. At times, you may also need medical treatment for your symptoms.

What Are The Medical Treatments?

Those with a Eustachian Tube blockage can take nasal spray or decongestants to help things clear up until the infections subside. Acid reflux control can also help lessen the irritation to the back of the nose where this tube opens up. In severe situations, a pressure equalization tube (PET) can be surgically placed in the eardrum to replace the function of the Eustachian Tube. That will equalize the pressure in the middle ear. Young children who have frequent ear infections due to a poor Eustachian Tube function often have this done in order to prevent further infections.

The Misery Involved In Ear Pain

Ear Pain: Causes And Relief

If you have ever had ear pain, you know how miserable it can be. Luckily, most ear pain clears up on its own without any treatment. But if it doesn’t get better or the symptoms worsen, it’s a good idea to visit with an ENT doctor. Earaches happen most often to children, but it can also occur in adults. Sometimes it affects both ears, but many times, it’s one ear or the other. Ear pain can be burning, sharp, or dull and it can be constant or come and go. Pain in this area can also have a number of causes, such as an ear infection or an early sign of a cold or the flu.

Children With Ear Pain

Pretty much every child has ear pain at some point in their life. The hard part is that younger children cannot tell their parents what is wrong. Earaches are one of the most common reasons parents take their kids to the pediatrician, whether they know their child is in pain or not. While experts say that 3 out of every 4 babies will develop an ear infection at some point, diagnosing the cause of that pain can be hard. Children with ear pain will be more irritable and they may tug at their ears. They might also have trouble sleeping or even be more clumsy. Sometimes ear pain comes with a fever as well.

Ear Pain Causes Are Varied

There is no one cause for ear pain when a person feels discomfort in any part of the ear. The most common cause is an ear infection, but that is not always the case. Some of the other common causes include:

  • Air pressure changes (like when flying on a plane)
  • A foreign object in the ear
  • Earwax buildup
  • Sinus infections
  • Water or soap in the ear
  • Strep throat
  • Overuse of cotton swabs

Some of the less common causes include:

  • A torn eardrum
  • Arthritis in the jaw
  • An infected or impacted tooth
  • Ear canals with eczema
  • Braces on the teeth

Treating Your Ear Pain

If you or your child has ear pain, the treatment for the ailment depends on the cause of the pain. It might be best to try over-the-counter medications for the right age group. Warm compresses can also help ease the pain. Most of the time, ear pain will go away without any treatment at all, but if it doesn’t fade or if there are other symptoms that go along with it, it is best to see an ENT doctor for help. They can pinpoint the cause of the pain and treat that cause instead of just the pain itself.

If the pain is treated without getting to the root cause, the pain may subside, but it will likely come back again and it may be worse the next time. Contact Breathe Clear Institute if you or your child have ear pain along with other symptoms or ear pain that doesn’t seem to go away on its own.

Can Your Deviated Septum Be Fixed?

Do You Have A Deviated Septum?

If you have symptoms of a deviated septum, the first thing you need to do is visit your doctor and get a concrete diagnosis. The doctor will examine the inside of your nose with a bright light or a nasal speculum to spread your nostrils. They may also look farther back into your nose with a scope. After applying a decongestant spray, they may also inspect your nasal tissues. Based on the exam, your doctor can tell you if you have a deviated septum and how serious it is. If you did not visit an ear nose, and throat doctor, you may be referred to a specialist for treatment.

You Might Have A Deviated Septum If…

Some people have a deviated septum and never know it. If it doesn’t cause problems, there is no reason to seek treatment. But for many, they will have difficulty breathing through their nose, recurrent sinus infections, nosebleeds, nasal congestion, sleep problems and snoring, among other issues. This can cause individuals to seek treatment for their symptoms.

Managing Your Symptoms For A Comfortable Life

If your deviated septum isn’t too bad, you may be able to manage it in a variety of manners. Even if you need a permanent solution, initial treatment will probably be one of these three items.

Decongestants

Decongestants reduce nasal tissue swelling to keep your airway open on both sides of your nose. They come in a pill or spray form.

Antihistamines

These medications help to prevent allergy symptoms, which can worsen a deviated septum by causing obstructions and runny noses. They can also help with conditions that come with a common cold.

Nasal Steroid Sprays

You might be prescribed sprays that can reduce drainage and inflammation. This solution will take 1-3 weeks to reach its highest effect.

Fixing A Deviated Septum With Surgery

Medications can treat swollen tissue, but they won’t correct the deviated septum. If your symptoms are bad enough, you may want to consider surgery. The level of improvement you will see depends on the severity of your issue. Symptoms can often be completely resolved.

Preparing To Repair A Deviated Septum

You may start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner, but you will likely want to end up with a specialist in the ear, nose, and throat field. The time you get with your doctor will be limited so it’s a good idea to prepare questions in advance so you can make the most of your time. You will want to get details on the obstruction you face as well as what they plan to do to fix it. Will they reshape your nose during the process or simply fix the deviated septum itself?

Get Together With Breathe Clear Institute

The best angle to play is to visit with the staff at Breathe Clear Institute to find out if you have a deviated septum and what you should do about it. We will examine you, diagnose you, and go over the options in detail to get you the help you need.

 

Using The Epley Maneuver To Relieve Dizziness

What Is The Epley Maneuver And How Does It Work?

If you have ever been dizzy, you know how miserable you feel. Having dizzy spells can cause you to feel sick and limit your activities. It can affect your everyday life and what you can and cannot do. No one wants to live with constant dizzy spells, but depending on the cause, simple maneuvers can help bring relief.

The Most Common Cause Of Dizziness

BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, is the most common cause of dizzy spells. This happens when calcium crystals get loose in the ear canal. You might feel dizzy when you stand up or when you tilt your head a certain direction. People who are over the age of 60 are the most likely to become afflicted with BPPV, but it is the easiest type of dizziness to treat.

What To Ask The Doctor About Treatment

Before you get into medications and possible surgery, it is a good idea to find out what issue you have and which ear has the problem. If you indeed do have BPPV, you can get relief through using certain maneuvers. While the internet is full of information, you will want to get instructions on how to get relief at home directly from your doctor.

Expectations For The Epley Maneuver

When you speak with your doctor, you may get recommendations for the Epley Maneuver. This can help you get relief both in the office and at home. The doctor will tell you to sit on the edge of your bed and turn your heat 45 degrees to the left (if your vertigo comes from the left ear.) You will put a pillow under you and lie down so the pillow is between your shoulders and not under your head. You will wait for any vertigo to stop and then you will turn your head 90 degrees to the right without raising it and wait for 30 seconds. Then you will turn your head and body on its side to the right so you can see the floor for another half a minute. You will next slowly sit up, but remain on the bed for a few moments. The doctor might recommend that you do this maneuver three times before you go to bed every night until you go 24 hours without feeling dizzy.

Who Came Up With The Epley Maneuver?

Dr. John Epley is a Portland ear surgeon who devised this simple cure plan that can help patients avoid surgery and correct their issues. The plan didn’t come easily as many in the medical field were skeptical once he came up with the idea. But after testing and trials, people were finding relief from their BPPV when using the maneuver.

Get The Help You Need

Whether you have BPPV or another vertigo ailment, you don’t want to live that way. Contact Breathe Clear Institute and let’s get to the bottom of what is making you dizzy so we can find the proper treatment for it.

Treatments To Combat Dizziness

Is Dizziness A Problem For You?

Dizziness is a term we use to describe a wide range of sensations. You might feel woozy, faint, weak, or even unsteady when you are dizzy. Being dizzy gives you the sense that either you or the items around you are moving. Many adults visit their doctors every year because they are having frequent or even constant dizzy spells. These spells can have a significant impact on everyday life, but they are not usually life-threatening. Treatment largely depends on the cause of the symptoms.

Possible Dizziness Symptoms

Patients who say they are having dizzy spells will describe their symptoms in a number of ways. Some people will say they feel like things are spinning around them while others will describe being unsteady and losing their balance. There might be those who feel light-headed or as if they will faint and then there are those who feel like they are floating or have a heavy head. The feelings can be made worse or even triggered by walking, standing, or moving their head. Some people get nauseous when they are dizzy as well. These episodes can last for seconds or days and they can come and go.

When Is It Best To Call A Doctor?

If the dizzy spells are frequent enough that you aren’t able to move on with your normal life and activities, you will want to get checked out to treat the symptoms. If you experience a number of severe symptoms along with the dizziness, you will want to get emergency medical help. Some of those items include vomiting, a sudden change in speech, hearing, or vision, chest pain, fainting, severe headaches, high fevers, stiff necks, seizures, or shortness of breath. In those cases, get help immediately without delay.

The Numerous Causes Of Dizziness

It would be much easier if people simply got dizzy from spinning around too fast, but there are many possible causes and even underlying health conditions that can cause the issue. Here are a few to consider.

Inner Ear Problems

Your sense of balance relies on your inner ear as well as your eyes and your sensory system. When there is an issue with the inner ear, such as an infection, you can have dizziness symptoms as well. People who have migraines also often have inner ear disturbances that can cause vertigo and other dizzy spells.

Circulation Issues

You can feel faint and off balance if your heart doesn’t pump enough blood to your brain fast enough. You might have a drop in blood pressure, like when you stand up too fast, or you might have poor blood circulation.

Other Conditions

There are a number of other ailments that can cause you to be dizzy such as certain medications, low blood sugar or iron levels, neurological conditions, anxiety disorders, and dehydration.

Get The Answers You Need

In order to find out why you are dizzy and what you can do to help the condition, visit Breathe Clear Institute for help. You deserve to lead a life free from these dizzy spells.

Yes, It’s Finally Time To See An Allergy Specialist

Learn How An Allergy Specialist Can Offer Relief From Your Worst Symptoms

Not everyone likes visiting the doctor. Some people might even put it off at all costs, but at a certain point, they will need to do what’s best for their health and make an appointment. Allergies are tricky because they affect people in different ways. Some people will experience mild seasonal allergies, while others suffer from chronic symptoms. If your symptoms are having a negative impact on your overall quality of life, it’s time to contact an allergy specialist.

Why People Experience Allergies

The body’s self-defense system is complex and is critical to our survival, but sometimes it can become too aggressive. We want it to keep us safe from harmful intruders like viruses or bacteria, but not from harmless materials like dust, mold, and pollen. When the body identifies these as harmful, the immune system starts to attack the supposed intruder, which causes the allergy symptoms so many people experience.

Anyone Can Experience An Allergic Reaction

Regardless of age, race, gender, or ethnicity, anyone can experience the symptoms of an allergic reaction. It is most common for allergies to arise during childhood, but new allergy symptoms can occur for people at any age. It’s also possible for people to experience severe allergies as children, have them clear up as they start to age, and then reappear later in life.

Symptoms Telling You It’s Time To See An Allergy Specialist

Allergy symptoms can reveal themselves in a variety of ways and at different severity levels. Some can be managed with over-the-counter medication, but others will require formal treatment or prescription medication. Some symptoms that indicate it’s time to see a specialist include not just hay fever but chronic sinus infections, nasal congestion, chronic cough and wheezing. Even itchy skin can be a sign of allergies. Also, if you are experiencing hay fever or other allergy symptoms for several months out of the year, you should see a specialist. As a general rule, if your allergies are so severe and happen so frequently that they are having a substantial negative impact on your daily routine, it’s time to get help from a professional.

The Most Common Cause Of Allergies In Winter

As the temperature starts dropping people tend to close their windows, bring out extra blankets from storage, and let the family pets inside of the house more. For people who are allergic to pet dander and dust mites, this means that their allergy symptoms could very well flare up. Dust mites love beds, bedding, and carpets, so no matter how clean your house is, you have them. The dust mite allergy is one of the most common, and its symptoms include chronic nasal congestion and sneezing. A few things people can do to limit their reaction is to remove stuffed animals (and other dust collectors) from the bedroom, vacuum carpets regularly using a HEPA filter, and get an allergen encasement for mattresses and pillows.

The Most Effective Treatments For People Suffering From Allergies

Ideally, we would be able to avoid the things that we are allergic to, but often that’s not possible. For some allergy sufferers, a steroid nasal spray or antihistamines can provide adequate relief. For more severe cases and for people who want to get rid of their allergies, and not just treat them, we offer immunotherapy. We expose the body to trace doses of the allergen so the immune system stops seeing it as an invader. One method of doing this is through injection, and the newer, more modern means, is through allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy. When you come into the Breathe Clear Institute for your appointment, we will give you a full evaluation and recommend the best treatment option for you.