Posts for category: ENT

By Northwest ENT & Allergy Care
February 17, 2015
Category: ENT
Tags: Allergies  

Spring time can be an absolute nightmare for people who have allergies. Pollen counts and allergens run rampant when the trees are in bloom and the weather starts to warm up. But did you know that winter can be just as difficult to get through if you have allergies?

Indoor allergens such as dust mites and mold can be stored up in your vents all spring and summer just to be shot into the air when you finally turn on the furnace, and they get stirred up every time it kicks on thereafter. They can get into your nose and trigger an Allergiesallergic reaction.

Common Symptoms

In the winter, it can be hard to distinguish allergies from a cold. If you’ve been coughing and sneezing for several months, suffering from itchy eyes and a runny nose, it may be due to indoor allergies.

You can test your sensitivity to allergies by doing a little housekeeping. Below are a few tips on how to reduce the number of allergens in your home:

  • Throw out anything that has developed mold (including shower liners and carpeting) and be sure to clean your bathroom surfaces and kitchen sink with a solution containing a small amount of bleach.
  • Since humidity levels tend to fluctuate in the winter, bring in a device to help you regulate the level of moisture in your home. We recommend keeping the humidity level below 50% to control an outbreak of mold.
  • Change your air filter regularly.
  • Wash and change your bedding in hot water once every week. You can also find hypoallergenic pillows and bedding at almost any department store.

If you try these things and your symptoms seem to improve or subside, there’s a good chance that you may have allergies. However, the only way to know for sure is to visit a doctor. He can administer a test to diagnose your symptoms.

Let Us Help You Combat Winter Allergies

Prevention can go a long way in keeping your allergies at bay, but it’s always good to have a backup plan. Many people have found relief from their allergies by taking over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants. In the event these treatments are not effective, however, there are also a number of treatments that doctors can prescribe to treat allergies.

To learn more about how to combat winter allergies or to schedule an appointment with an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist in the Milwaukie, OR area, call NorthWest ENT & Allergy at (503) 513-8693 today!

By Northwest ENT & Allergy Care
January 27, 2015
Category: ENT
Tags: Ear   ENT   Ear Infections   Infection Prevention  

Ear InfectionAn ear infection is a common ailment among young children, because the size of a child's ear makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of it, and children's immune systems aren't as good at fighting infection as adults. In fact, ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their children to the doctor, and five out of six children have ear infections before they're 3 years old, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Ear infections, which are usually bacterial, generally result from fluid buildup behind the ear drum and sometimes follow another sickness involving the nose or throat. While common, ear infections can be prevented and easily treated, and if you have concerns about your child's ear pain, you can always consult an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT) for treatment. NorthWest ENT & Allergy specializes in such treatments and serves the Milwaukie, OR, area.

Experts recommend several preventative steps to improve your child's chances of avoiding ear infections.

Don't Smoke

Research has shown children who are around smokers — even if the person isn't smoking anywhere near them — have a higher rate of ear infections than children who aren't around smokers. Residual fumes in people's hair and clothing can also affect children, so a smoke-free home and spending time in smoke-free environments will help prevent ear infections.

Breast Feed Your Baby

If you're able to breast feed your baby for at least 6 to 12 months, your child may have a lower risk of contracting ear infections. The research behind this suggests the antibodies in breast milk may help prevent ear infections.

When bottle feeding your baby — whether you've breast fed them in the past or not — make sure you feed them in the upright position. ENT experts strongly advise again giving your baby a bottle while he or she is lying down.

Get Your Child Vaccinated

Illness prevention comes in many forms, and getting your child the recommended childhood vaccinations will help them build a strong immune system that fights infections. Additionally, do what you can to reduce your child's exposure to illnesses, like using group childcare sparingly and choosing smaller care facilities if possible. The fewer children there are in one place, the less likely it is germs will spread.

Call NorthWest ENT & Allergy Care Today!

Watch out for signs your child is experiencing ear discomfort, like ear pulling, fussiness, and ear discharge. If you have further questions about how to best prevent illness or treat an ear infection, the experts at NorthWest ENT & Allergy can help. Call (503) 513-8693 for information

Are you a patient of Northwest ENT & Allergy Care? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences below!

By Northwest ENT & Allergy Care
December 16, 2014
Category: ENT
Tags: Sinus  
Nearly 40 million Americans are currently suffering from sinus problems. If you’re one of them, you know that a sinus infection flare up can be very uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. A number of things can cause sinus problems: colds, allergies, various environmental factors or deformities in the nasal passages.
When you start to feel sinus pressure, the first and most important step to take is to get a proper diagnosis. Many people who seek treatment Allergiesfor sinus problems mistakenly treat the symptoms of allergies when they actually have a more severe infection or an abnormal sinus cavity. Your Milwaukie, OR ENT doctor Dr. Adrian Varela can help you diagnose if you’re suffering from seasonal allergies or chronic sinusitis.
Seasonal Sinus Problems
During changing seasons, the humidity in the air drops and rises. This leaves the nasal passages dry and the sinuses susceptible to infection. Infection often leads to swelling, which thwarts mucus from draining properly. This backup is what causes sinus pressure and pain.
Allergies are probably the most common trigger of sinus problems. Allergic reactions often cause the kind of swelling mentioned above.
Chronic Sinusitis
Sinusitis comes with all the same symptoms of seasonal allergies and sinus infections, but lasts for much longer (12 weeks). Most sinusitis even develops as a result of untreated allergies or infection, but is also associated with defects in the nasal passages—like an extra sinus, deviated septum, or narrow sinuses. With a proper diagnosis, treatment can be administered easily and effectively. Most doctors will recommend a combination of treatments ranging from steroids to antibiotics to treat infection, but in the event your sinus problems are the result of abnormal nasal passages, you may want to consider reconstructive surgery to ensure your chronic sinusitis problems won’t reappear.
To learn more about facial surgery and sinusitis treatment in the Milwaukie, OR area, call (503) 513-8693 today!
By Northwest ENT & Allergy Care
May 02, 2014
Category: ENT
Tags: Asthma   Asthma Treatment   Allergies   Allergens  

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.  Spring is the peak season for both asthma and allergy sufferers. During the month of May, as your Milwaukie and Portland area ENT, we strive to raise further awareness for you so that you can better understand your asthma or allergies. To help you better understand asthma and allergies let’s take a look at 3 important facts for each.

3 Asthma Facts You Should Know

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways in your lungs and can cause wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, or tightness and pain in the chest. If you suffer from asthma you may experience one or all of those symptoms, which can be disruptive to your daily activities.
  1. Asthma attacks are triggered by allergens, exercise, smoke, pollution, or airway infections.
  2. Asthma is the number one reason why children are missing school, which accounts for over 10 million missed school days a year.
  3. It is a common myth that a child will outgrow his or her asthma. In fact, children with persistent asthma still have symptoms into adulthood.

3 Allergy Facts You Should Know

April showers bring May flowers, but they can also bring on sneezing, runny noses and watery eyes.  Spring is when allergy season begins and can last into the summer months, causing many people to experience an array of symptoms. The common allergy culprits are pollens, as well as mold.  The three allergy facts you should know are:
  1. There is no cure for allergies, but there is symptom relief through modification and prevention.
  2. Timing is key when taking your medications for your allergy—you should begin taking your medication two weeks before symptoms typically begin.
  3.  Allergies are on the rise, as more adults and children are diagnosed with allergies every year.
During the month of May, visit our Milwaukie, OR ENT office for more information on asthma and allergies. We will work with you to determine the best treatment plan to eliminate your symptoms.
By Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC
February 26, 2014
Category: ENT
Tags: Silent Reflux   Acid Reflux  

Silent Reflux – What is it and how do you diagnose and treat it?

What is silent Reflux?

While many people are familiar with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and its primary symptom, heartburn, people may not be aware of a related but distinct condition known as laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPR) or silent reflux. Silent reflux affects over 50 million Americans, yet the condition is often overlooked and misdiagnosed.  Left untreated, this condition not only causes several bothersome symptoms but can also lead to life-threatening cancer. 
The most common symptoms of silent reflux are hoarseness, chronic cough, throat clearing, excessive throat mucus, postnasal drip, sensation of lump in the throat, sore or burning throat, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and bad breath. Silent reflux may also be confused with other conditions such as sleep apnea, asthma, and COPD.  It is important to distinguish silent reflux from these other conditions as the consequences of misdiagnosis may have dire consequences, and the treatment for each condition is quite different. As you may have noticed, heartburn is not listed as a common symptom of silent reflux and it is the absence of this symptom that often leads to confusion by patients and misdiagnosis by clinicians who may not be unfamiliar with silent reflux.
One reason why silent reflux is often overlooked is because medical specialists often learn about different aspects of how stomach acid and enzymes affect the body. For instance, gastroenterologists are knowledgeable on the affects of stomach acid and enzymes on the stomach and esophagus. Pulmonologists are concerned with their affects on the lungs and airways. With regard to silent reflux, which primarily affects the throat and sinuses, otolaryngologists are most likely to identify and treat the condition.  Therefore, it is important to seek out the right medical specialist to properly diagnose and treat silent reflux.

How to diagnose and treat Silent Reflux?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of silent reflux described above, you should schedule an appointment with us at NW ENT & Allergy. Your visit will include a thorough discussion of your symptoms, as well as a procedure called a fiberoptic nasopharyngoscopy. During this procedure we use a small, fiberoptic camera to visualize the throat and voice box. We are looking for swelling and irritation of these areas that are indicative of silent reflux. We are also looking for signs of throat cancer, certainly the most serious and dire manifestation of silent reflux.
Treatment for silent reflux may include medication to neutralize stomach acid, dietary changes, and/or lifestyle modifications, such as changing meals times and weight loss. It is important to understand that silent reflux is often difficult to treat and it may take weeks to months to alleviate your symptoms. Take action against silent reflux and schedule an appointment with us today.