How to treat swimmer’s ear

What is swimmer’s ear?

The reason this affliction is called “swimmer’s ear” is because it occurs very often in swimmers since they spend so much time underwater. It’s likely you’ve experienced swimmer’s ear once in your life and it wasn’t anything too serious besides some itching in your ear canal that lasted a day or two. But, swimmer’s ear can start off mild and become something quite severe if not treated properly.

So, why use the term hygiene? Are we talking about being clean while sleeping? Well, that’s part of it, but it’s more So, how does swimmer’s ear happen exactly? Ears have a natural defense mechanism against standing fluids and subsequent bacterial growth within the ear canal. The outer ear is the first line of defense, acting as a bodyguard stopping any foreign objects from entering the ear canal. The next line of defense is a healthy layer of earwax that lines the ear canal to keep liquids from sitting with its waxy texture, by way of creating a space for bacteria to grow.

Symptoms of swimmer’s ear include:

  • Itching in the ear canal
  • Slight redness of the ear canal
  • Clear and odorless drainage from the ear canal
  • Slight pain when touching the ear itself
  • Partial blockage of the ear canal with a feeling of fullness 
  • Decreased or muffled hearing
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes or neck
  • Fever and severe pain (this is when you need to see a doctor)

Complications with swimmer’s ear

If you have any of the aforementioned symptoms, it’s best to get ahead of swimmer’s ear before it becomes a more serious bacterial infection. You never want to probe your ear canal with an object (like a Q-tip) as it could push bacteria further into the ear and worsen the problem. If swimmer’s ear doesn’t resolve itself and you’ve tried over-the-counter treatments like drops and hot compresses, further complications could ensue, such as:

  • More wide-spread infection beyond the ear canal and into other parts of the body depending on how far and where the infection spreads
  • Deep tissue infection in the connective tissues of the skin
  • Long-term infection is when an infection persists for three months or longer
  • Bone and cartilage damage from infection that causes severe pain
  • Temporary hearing loss or muffled hearing that interferes with everyday life

While it’s hard to know if or when swimmer’s ear can happen, there are some preventative measures that can be taken to try and avoid it.

How to prevent swimmer’s ear

People have different sizes of ear canals, varying thickness of earwax, damaged or vulnerable ear drums and other medical conditions that might make them more susceptible to swimmer’s ear. Factors that can increase a person’s chances of getting swimmer’s ear include:

  • Use of ear devices like hearing aids and earpods that are not properly cleaned and stored 
  • Inserting object into your ears for cleaning purposes – only the outer ear should be cleaned with cotton swabs or Q-tips
  • Exposure to contaminated water with high bacterial levels such as a lake, ocean, or unkempt swimming pool or hot tub
  • Prolonged exposure to moisture and/or water like in humid climates or like its namesake implies – swimming with the ears underwater for long periods of time

Swimmer’s ear is quite common but it’s important to manage the symptoms and keep an eye on the symptoms so it doesn’t become a bacterial infection in need of seeing a doctor. However, if you do need to see a doctor for something like swimmer’s ear, Breathe Clear Institute is here to help treat the condition and investigate further for other ENT issues that might be a causing factor.

Make an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute for any ear, nose, and throat issues

Persistent ear aches and issues can be signs of a more complicated condition within the ears. Our staff of highly trained professional ENT specialists can help diagnose and treat whatever your condition might be.

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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.