By Northwest ENT & Allergy
January 07, 2016
Category: ENT
Tags: Asthma Treatment  

Asthma is a chronic condition that can make it difficult to breathe. Adrian Varela, MD, your ENT in Milwaukie, OR, at Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC, is here to share information about asthma that will help you decide if you need treatment.Astma

What is asthma?

Asthma occurs when the airways in your lungs narrow, swell and produce too much mucus. When these symptoms occur, it's much harder to move air in and out of your lungs efficiently.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Pain or tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue

Allergies or illnesses can trigger asthma symptoms or make them worse. If you have exercise-induced asthma, you may notice symptoms after you exercise or participate in strenuous activities.

When should I seek treatment for asthma symptoms?

Coughing alone isn't necessarily a symptom of asthma, as it can accompany colds or the flu. If you have a cough that doesn't go away or have any of the other symptoms listed above, you might have asthma. Your ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor in Milwaukie can provide a diagnosis and offer treatments that will help you breathe better if you do have asthma. It's important to see your doctor as soon as possible if you have any trouble breathing, as asthma can be a life-threatening condition if isn't controlled properly.

How can an ENT help me?

An ENT can offer several treatment options depending on the severity of your symptoms. He may recommend daily use of an inhaler that contains corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are drugs that control your symptoms and help decrease flare-ups. You may also be encouraged to use a rescue inhaler in addition to your daily inhaler to quickly relieve symptoms when you have an asthma flare-up. Other treatment options include inhalers that combine corticosteroids with a long-acting beta-agonist, a medication that helps open your airways, or oral medications.

Worried that you may have asthma? Call Dr. Varela, your ENT in Milwaukie, OR, at Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC, at (503) 513-8693 and schedule an appointment today!

By Northwest ENT & Allergy
October 27, 2015
Category: ENT
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Discover in what ways your sleep disorder can negatively impact your health.

We can all agree that sleep is vitally important and yet for most of us, we often don’t get enough sleep. In fact, while Americans got closer to eight hours of sleep each night in the 1950s, a 2014 Gallup poll found that we are only averaging 6.8 hours a night. Might not Sleep Apnea seem like a big difference, but that extra hour and a half could be crucial. Furthermore, sleep disorders only add to sleep frustrations. If your Milwaukie, OR ENT doctor Dr. Adrian Varela has diagnosed you with sleep apnea find out how it can affect not only your sleep but also your health.

Heart and Blood Pressure Issues

Blood oxygen levels decrease when experiencing sleep apnea, which in turn can increase blood pressure and put strain on your heart. If your Milwaukie ENT doctor has diagnosed you with obstructive sleep apnea then you are at an increased risk of high blood pressure.

Besides the risk of high blood pressure, there is also an increased chance of heart attack and irregular heartbeat.

Excessive Fatigue

While we’ve all felt tired at some point during the day those with sleep apnea experience daytime fatigue to an excessive degree. Because of this you may find it difficult to concentrate or you may even fall asleep during the day. This daytime exhaustion can also put you at an increased risk for workplace incidents and car accidents.

Type 2 Diabetes

Those with sleep apnea are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and vice versa. While the connection isn’t completely clear, there is a link between insulin resistance, obesity and sleep apnea.

Liver Issues

Patients who’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea are more likely to develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which can cause scarring and issues with liver function.

If you haven’t found the right treatment to ease sleep apnea symptoms and get a good night’s rest then turn to your Milwaukie otolaryngologist at Northwest ENT & Allergy today.

By Northwest ENT & Allergy
August 06, 2015
Category: ENT
Tags: Silent Reflux  

Did you know that it is possible to experience acid reflux without the typical heartburn symptoms? The condition is called silent reflux, or laryngopharyngeal reflux, and it may be more dangerous than you know. The following post will help you determine if you may need to Silent Refluxsee your doctor Dr. Adrian Varela at Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC in Milwaukie, OR for treatment.

What is Silent Reflux?

Inside your esophagus, you have two sphincters. These sphincters help the foods and beverages you put in your stomach stay there. In people with silent reflux, however, these sphincters don't work properly, and acid from the stomach is allowed to travel up through the throat and into the larynx or nasal passageway.

Silent reflux is very similar to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but the symptoms are different.

What are the Symptoms of Silent Reflux?

Unlike with GERD, silent reflux typically does not cause heartburn. Instead, it often results in coughing, excessive throat clearing, hoarseness, trouble breathing or swallowing, a sore throat, or a sensation of having a lump in the back of the throat. In children and infants, additional symptoms may include troubling feeding, spitting up excessively and trouble gaining weight.

Is Silent Reflux Dangerous?

Silent reflux can be dangerous, especially if it is not treated by a professional at Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC in Milwaukie, OR. When left untreated, silent reflux can lead to ulcers, infection, fluid build-up and narrowing of the throat. It can cause scarring, increase your risk for cancer and even worsen other medical conditions including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.

How is Silent Reflux Treated?

Silent reflux is typically treated through a combination of medication and certain lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes may include avoiding eating and drinking prior to bedtime, eating smaller meals more frequently, limiting certain foods, quitting smoking and drinking, and wearing looser clothing. In some severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

If your throat is painful and scratchy and you can't figure out why, silent reflux may be the diagnosis you've been missing. Call and schedule an appointment with a Dr. Varela at Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC in Milwaukie, OR to get the relief you need once and for all.

By Northwest ENT and Allergy
June 03, 2015
Category: ENT
Tags: Mouth Sores  

When you are dealing with an oral lesion it can be painful just to talk or enjoy meals. There are many different kinds of mouth sores that can appear, but the two most common types are fever blisters (also referred to as cold sores) and canker sores. Find out more about these two common mouth sores and how your Milwaukie, OR Ear, Nose and Throat doctors recommend avoiding these sores from reoccurring.Canker

Fever blisters/ Cold sores

Fever blisters often occur on the lips; however, they can also appear on the gums or roof of the mouth. Theses fluid-filled lesions are usually painful. They will erupt and crust over, lasting up to a week or more. Fever blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus and can reoccur during periods of stress, trauma, infection or even hormonal changes.

Canker sores

While canker sores also appear in the mouth they are different from fever blisters. These lesions are typically red or white and appear on the tongue, lips or cheeks. However, canker sores cannot be found on the roof of the mouth or the gums. These sores are also painful and can last anywhere from a few days up to 10 days.

So, how can you prevent these mouth sores?

Stop smoking: Smoking can irritate the sensitive soft tissue in the mouth, which can bring about canker sores. Furthermore, those who smoke also increase their healing time, so you can expect canker sores and fever blisters to take longer to go away.

Reduce stress: Stress is one major factor that can activate the herpes simplex virus, which otherwise lays dormant in the body. Talk to your Milwaukie, OR ENT doctors about the best ways to combat stress in your life to reduce your chances of developing fever blisters.

Chew slowly: While this might sound like odd advice, by chewing slowly you are less likely to damage or cut tissue in your mouth, which can cause canker sores to develop.

Eat a healthy balanced diet: Certain acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes are known to cause canker sores. If you are prone to developing canker sores then it’s best to avoid acidic foods as much as possible.

Practice good oral hygiene: This goes without saying, but if you keep your mouth free of infection or bacteria you are less likely to experience complications like fever blisters or canker sores. Keep your mouth healthy by brushing and flossing every day.

Avoid hot foods or beverages: Just as we always recommend chewing slowly to prevent injury to your gums and mouth, the same goes for hot foods, as well. Burns can also cause irritation and trauma to the skin, which can bring about a fever blister.

If you are dealing with mouth sores that cause you chronic pain or make it difficult to eat, then you need to see your Milwaukie, OR ENT doctor for treatment. Call Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC today at (503)513-8693.

By Northwest ENT and Allergy
April 14, 2015
Category: ENT

Head and Neck CancerMore than 55,000 Americans will develop cancer of the head or neck this year, with almost 13,000 of them dying because of it. But did you know that most head and neck cancers are completely preventable?

At Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC, patients with alarming ear, neck, throat, and general head symptoms can find answers to their lingering health concerns, as the ENT doctors on site make it their mission to provide long-lasting care. Of course, even these experts would rather help prevent head and neck cancers than have to overcome them-- because of this, they offer helpful tips and guidelines that equip patients to take a more preventive approach.

First, take a look at some telling signs that you may be battling head or neck cancer below:

  • Lump in your neck. Head or neck cancers often begin in the lymph nodes, so take heed and contact your physician immediately if you notice a lump in your neck lasting for more than two weeks.
  • Change in your voice. Cancer of the larynx can elicit alterations in how your voice sounds. If this is the case, see a head and neck specialist immediately who specializes in vocal cord examinations.
  • Growth in your mouth. Oral and tongue cancers can be characterized by sore or swollen areas that persist. Speak with an ENT doctor about these lingering symptoms.
  • Blood in your spit. If you see blood in your saliva, set an appointment with your physician immediately.
  • Difficulty swallowing. Esophageal cancers can make swallowing a real chore; if swallowing is becoming laborious for you, speak with an ENT physician pronto.
  • Skin changes. Basal skin cell cancer is the most common cancer affecting the head and neck though it can be treated successfully when caught quickly.
  • Residual earache. Experiencing ear pain when you swallow could indicate a tumor growth in your throat; speak with your physician immediately if such ear pain arises.

Preventing Head And Neck Cancers

Did you know that most cases of head and neck cancers stem from the extended use of tobacco and/or alcohol products? Oral, esophageal, and tongue cancers are all common results among patients who've abused tobacco or alcohol for a long time. In fact, patients who don't routinely smoke or drink rarely experience head or neck cancers. In the case of basal and other skin cancers of the head and neck, staying out in the sun unprotected for long periods has been found to have a direct link to incurring skin cancer.

Even if you've previously abused tobacco or alcohol or been out in the sun without sunscreen, it's never too late to begin preventing head and neck cancers. Fortunately, these cancers have a high rate of remission when they're caught early.

To learn more about preventing head and neck cancers, give Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC a call at (503) 513-8693 for lasting answers right here in Milwaukie, OR!





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