Air Travel Health Tips: How to Keep Summer Colds Away

Air Travel Health Tips: How to Keep Summer Colds Away - News

As we head into the end of summer, many families are traveling the friendly (and sometimes germy) skies to vacation and visit family and friends. Unfortunately, for many, that means summer colds and vacation woes. Here are a few friendly tips for keeping those colds at bay.

HYDRATE. One of the biggest problems with air travel is the low humidity on the planes which tends to dry out sinuses and create a breeding ground for airborne germs. Staying well hydrated with plenty of water will both counter the effects of air travel such as fatigue, headaches and nausea, and help your body’s natural defenses battle any bugs that might be on the lurk. Beware of alcohol and even coffee as both can dehydrate rather than hydrate. When traveling – H2O is still the best way to go!

WASH. Wash your hands often with hot water and soap – even more so when you travel. Handrails and seat backs and all the many things you come in contact with in an airport, taxi or even hotel can be a virtual soup of germs. In those cases where hot water and soap aren’t available, settle for an alcohol-based anti-bacterial.

VITAMIN UP. If it sounds a little like your mom in your ear telling you to take your vitamins, then so be it in terms of keeping your family well. A good multivitamin and of course, large doses of Vitamin C are always good preventative measures for keeping colds at bay or at least lessening the duration of them should one strike.

Of course, if you are one of the many people who suffer from chronic sinus symptoms such as sneezing, water eyes, congestion and discomfort, there may be something larger afoot in terms of your overall health. If you feel like you or a family member simply can’t shake the summer cold bugs or congestion, give us a call. We may be able to help you sort out what’s behind your discomfort and illness and get you back on the road to recovery quick so you can enjoy the rest of the summer (and the rest of your life!)

The Inside Scoop on Summer Colds: Deciphering the Differences

The Inside Scoop on Summer Colds: Deciphering the Differences - News

FINALLY summer is here-right? And you and your family are probably looking forward to some sun and fun. However, Murphy’s Law being what it is, you find yourself of someone in your family down for the count with a fever, runny nose and an all-around miserable feeling.

Is it a summer cold? Seasonal Allergies? Respiratory infection? Let’s take a look at the differences.

With both colds and allergies, you’re likely to have post-nasal drip, scratchy throat, headache, and congestion. Fever and body aches? You’ll find those with colds very often, but not with allergies. With colds, as opposed to allergies, your mucus production will more likely be cloudy or discolored as opposed to allergy symptoms where it would be clearer.

Upper respiratory infections are common culprits as well and are caused by a viral infection that typically can last from 3-14 days. Allergies will remain as long as you are exposed to the pollens or allergy trigger that you are especially affected by.

Allergies left untreated can definitely spike depending on the climate and season when certain plants and trees are blooming, or heavy rains or humidity send grass and molds into high gear. Top those allergies off WITH a common cold and feeling better turns out to be a case of later rather than sooner.

If you’re feeling like a summer cold is what’s got you down, over the counter treatments can offer some relief along with a fever reducer, steamy showers to open up nasal passages, a little “Mother Nature’s sunshine,” plenty of fluids and as much rest as possible.

If your fever persists or your symptoms just won’t go away, it’s time to get in to see the doctor to rule out sinus infection, respiratory distress, or underlying allergies that can be easily treated and have you back to enjoying your summertime.

Feel like it might be time for YOU or a family member to get in for a visit? No problem! Call our office today at 214-946-3687 for a convenient appointment. We’re here to help you feel BETTER!

Snoring Problems?

Snoring Problems? - News

Snoring is a problem that affects 45% of normal adults at least occasionally, and 25% are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and overweight persons, and usually worsens with age.

Snoring occurs when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This area is the collapsible part of the airway where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula. Snoring occurs when these structures strike each other and vibrate during breathing. Snoring is not just a social nuisance; there’s more to be concerned about than disturbing someone’s sleep.

People who snore may suffer from:

  • Poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat. When muscles are too relaxed, the tongue falls backwards into the airway, or the throat muscles draw in from the sides into the airway. This can also happen during deep sleep.
  • Excessive bulkiness of throat tissue. Children with large tonsils and adenoids often snore. Overweight people have bulky neck tissue, too. Cysts or tumors can also cause bulk, but are rare.
  • Long soft palate and/or uvula. A long palate narrows the opening from the nose into the throat. As it dangles, it acts as a noisy flutter valve during relaxed breathing. A long uvula makes matters worse.
  • Obstructed nasal airways. A stuffy or blocked nose requires extra effort to pull air through it. This creates an exaggerated vacuum in the throat, pulling together the floppy tissues of the throat and snoring results. Snoring often occurs only during hay fever season or with a cold or sinus infection.

Learn more about treatment for snoring at Dallas ENT.

Balloon Sinuplasty for immediate sinus relief is now being performed in the Dallas ENT office.

Balloon Sinuplasty for immediate sinus relief is now being performed in the office. Dr Rajiv Pandit, among the first in the country to perform the procedure - first in the hospital and now in his office. With no need to use general anesthesia, patients can undergo this procedure in the office in about an hour and then drive home. It's that quick, simple and easy.

Transcription

Phil Schoenborn has suffered from sinus problems for years--and on this day is finally finding relief in the comfort of the doctor's office.

He's undergoing balloon sinuplasty which until last year was performed at a hospital under general anesthesia.

Dr. Rajiv Pandit was among the first in the country to perform the procedure--first in the hospital and now in his office.

What used to cost $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 at the hospital now costs about $1,500.000 in the office and according to developers saves Medicare $3,400.00 a procedure.

"It's thousands of dollars less expensive to have the same procedure done in the office than in a surgery center," Dr. Rajiv said. "Not to mention that you don't have to take as much time off because you haven't had general anesthesia."

Maribel Alanis was among the first to have the in-office procedure last July--her day was like any other day--except for the procedure which takes about an hour-and-a-half.

"That was the big benefit," Maribel recalled. "To be able to drive here that late of an appointment and then be able to go home and still go to work in the morning."

That's because she and Phil underwent local anesthesia for the minimally invasive procedure.

Dr. Pandit uses a catheter and high-tech balloon to dilate inflamed sinuses.

It was so easy for Phil that he actually tweeted between nostrils.

The squeamish can still have the procedure done in a hospital setting under general anesthesia but Phil wonders why?

"The fact that I don't have to stop eating or fasting at a certain point the night before I wake up and be in a hospital gown at like 5:00 in the morning, then knocked out during the procedure taking a few hours and then having to take time off from work," Phil said.

The procedure is so popular Dr. Pandit will soon move to a larger facility.

As with any procedure--it's not for everyone with bleeding a rare side effect.

But for Phil, he and his insurance company can now breathe easier.

"I feel great," Phil said.

Balloon Sinusplasty for Permanent Relief of Chronic Sinusitis

Patients who are not responding well to medication such as antibiotics or even topical steroids and treatment options can consider Balloon Sinusplasty to treat this painful condition. Chronic sinusitis is a condition in which inflammation of the nasal sinuses occurs.

The procedure is a simple outpatient technique which uses the same principle as balloon angioplasty. Estimates have revealed that over 150,000 patients have used the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure.

It is important to confirm with an ENT specialist that this procedure could provide you relief from sinusitis based on your body and condition. Balloon Sinuplasty achieves the result of the endoscopic procedure without incisions or the cutting of tissue, freeing the patient of post-surgery pain and swelling.

During this FDA approved procedure, your ENT doctor will open the inflamed sinus in the same manner that heart surgeons use to open blocked arteries during balloon angioplasty. Once the small un-inflated balloon is inserted into the opening of your sinus, it is inflated so it expands to 3 to 5 mm. In the process, it fractures the surrounding bones and widens the opening of the sinus providing you relief from sinusitis symptoms by draining the retained mucus.

The procedure has proven effective in most cases, it might not be successful if there is the presence of soft tissue growth in your nose which is otherwise known as polyps. Even if your underlying bone is inflamed, this procedure is not recommended.

In comparison to other painful procedures, Balloon Sinusplasty uses flexible and soft devices and is less invasive which lessens the pain inflicted and damage done to your nasal lining. If medications have failed to cure your sinusitis and you are not ready for surgical options, you could make use of Balloon Sinuplasty.

Patients who are not responding well to medication such as antibiotics or even topical steroids and treatment options can consider Balloon Sinusplasty to treat this painful condition. Chronic sinusitis is a condition in which inflammation of the nasal sinuses occurs. It is important to confirm with an ENT specialist that this procedure could provide you relief from sinusitis based on your body and condition. If medications have failed to cure your sinusitis and you are not ready for surgical options, you could make use of Balloon Sinuplasty.

Seasonal Colds and Flus... How to Make Sure They Don’t Get the Better of You

Seasonal Colds and Flus... How to Make Sure They Don’t Get the Better of You - News

Is it a cold? Could it be the flu? Are our all-too-familiar Dallas, Texas allergies to blame? Let’s face it, as the kids all return to school and everyone gears back up for the fall — can a sick day or two really be that far off?

Trying to determine what you have and if it’s something that you need treatment for is usually top of mind for both parents and busy business professionals. Here’s the lowdown: The flu can often mirror cold systems with congestion, stuffy nose, coughs and those not so fun aches and pains – but one very big difference from it’s cousin the bothersome cold — it usually will be accompanied by a fever, at least initially of over 100.

While both can be treated with over the counter products, just be on the lookout for complications such as extended fevers(which could indicate an infection), difficulty breathing and persistent deep cough (could indicate bronchitis or respiratory issues), painful swallowing or sever throat pain (which could indicate strep) or postnasal drip that just won’t quit which could be a sign of sinusitis.

Unfortunately – the cold and flu season typically runs from fall all the way through the following spring, so being prepared as a family with supplies on hand is always a a good idea. Teach kids to wash their hands frequently.

Still feeling awful and think what you have might be the sign of something more chronic? Then call our office today for an appointment!

When Sinus Issues Equal Ear Pain: What You Should Know

When Sinus Issues Equal Ear Pain: What You Should Know - News

Your head is clogged, you nose is stuffed and your hearing sounds like someone put a pillow to your ears. Sound familiar? Unfortunately cold and sinus issues can create painful or uncomfortable ear trouble as well.

Here are a few ways to help relieve your systems:

  • Nasal saline sprays can offer some sinus relief, which helps the congestion in your ears as well. However, do not use for more than three days as sometimes that can make your symptoms worse. The moisture from humidifiers or hot showers can also bring temporary relief to stuffy heads and ears.
  • Over the counter decongestants work for most people as well to help break up the congestion and sinus blockages.
  • Use pain relievers such as Aleve, Tylenol, Motrin or Advil to ease the ache that can accompany ear congestion.
  • Hydrate! Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep mucus thin and promote drainage.
  • Avoid caffeine, salt, alcohol and smoking. All of these hinder circulation and make your symptoms worse.

In most cases, symptoms don’t last long and head colds and congestion work themselves out. If you aren’t having any relief within a week or are experiencing swelling or fever, call your doctor and make sure that something more serious isn’t in the works.

Laryngitis: What You Should Know

Laryngitis: What You Should Know - News

Sore throat? Hoarseness? Can’t talk? You could be experiencing laryngitis which is commonly caused by a viral infection which inflames the larynx (which joins the back of the throat to your windpipe.)

A mild case of laryngitis usually goes away on it’s own without a lot of fanfare (but with a few quieter days!) Sometimes, however your infection can spread and lead to a more serious case of tonsillitis, or more severe throat infection. You can have pain swallowing and even experience flu-like symptoms that have you feeling down for the count. Even breathing difficulty can be experienced if the swelling is greater. You see this more often in children, but it can happen to adults as well. As with any breathing difficulty or worsening of symptoms, don’t wait to consult your doctor right away.

What can you do?

  • If symptoms are persistent or severe, call us at 214.946.1102 for an appointment so we can get the situation assessed and get you on the mend quickly.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration can make your symptoms worse and make the healing process much slower.
  • Ibuprofen to ease the pain, headache or fever.
  • Humidifiers can help as they add moisture to the air you’re breathing in and helps to soothe the throat.
  • REST that voice! As hard as it seems to do-not talking for long intervals really does speed up the healing process.
  • Consider a stroboscopy. A videostrobe unit consists of a stroboscopic unit (light source and microphone), a video camera, an endoscope, and a video recorder. Videostroboscopy fulfills several important requirements of a complete voice examination. It provides useful, real-time information concerning the nature of vibration, an image to detect vocal pathology, and a permanent video record of the examination. As important as any of these aspects, stroboscopy substantially improves the sensitivity of subtle laryngeal diagnoses over techniques, such as rigid or flexible transnasal laryngoscopy, with continuous light sources.

Don’t let any symptoms persist more than a week before consulting with a physician. Untreated conditions that worsen can lead to more long-term damage. We can help you assess whether yours is a simple infection or something more serious in a simple office visit. Helping families have the right answers, resources and treatment for healthier, happier lives is our passion. Please let us know if we can help!

When Chronic Problems Affect Your Voice

When Chronic Problems Affect Your Voice - News

It may come as a surprise to you the variety of medical conditions that can lead to voice problems. The most common causes of hoarseness and vocal difficulties are outlined below. If you become hoarse frequently or notice voice change for an extended period of time, please see your Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor) for an evaluation.

ACUTE LARYNGITIS

Acute laryngitis is the most common cause of hoarseness and voice loss that starts suddenly. Most cases of acute laryngitis are caused by a viral infection that leads to swelling of the vocal cords. When the vocal cords swell, they vibrate differently, leading to hoarseness. The best treatment for this condition is to stay well hydrated and to rest or reduce your voice use. Serious injury to the vocal cords can result from strenuous voice use during an episode of acute laryngitis. Since most acute laryngitis is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not effective. Bacterial infections of the larynx are much rarer and often are associated with difficulty breathing. Any problems breathing during an illness warrants emergency evaluation.

CHRONIC LARYNGITIS

Chronic laryngitis is a non-specific term and an underlying cause should be identified. Chronic laryngitis can be caused by acid reflux disease, by exposure to irritating substances such as smoke, and by low grade infections such as yeast infections of the vocal cords in people using inhalers for asthma. Chemotherapy patients or others whose immune system is not working well can get these infections too.

LARYNGOPHARYNGEAL REFLUX DISEASE (LPRD)

Reflux of stomach juice into the throat can cause a variety of symptoms in the esophagus (swallowing tube) as well as in the throat. Hoarseness (chronic or intermittent), swallowing problems, a lump in the throat sensation, or throat pain are common symptoms of stomach acid irritation of the throat. Please be aware that LPRD can occur without any symptoms of frank heartburn and regurgitation that traditionally accompany gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

VOICE MISUSE AND OVERUSE

Speaking is a physical task that requires coordination of breathing with the use of several muscle groups. It should come as no surprise that, just like in any other physical task, there are efficient and inefficient ways of using your voice. Excessively loud, prolonged, and/or inefficient voice use can lead to vocal difficulties, just like improper lifting can lead to back injuries. Excessive tensionin the neck and laryngeal muscles, along with poor breathing technique during speech leads to vocal fatigue, increased vocal effort, and hoarseness. Voice misuse and overuse puts you at risk for developing benign vocal cord lesions (see below) or a vocal cord hemorrhage.

  • Common situations that are associated with voice misuse:
  • Speaking in noisy situations
  • Excessive cellular phone use
  • Telephone use with the handset cradled to the shoulder
  • Using inappropriate pitch (too high or too low) when speaking
  • Not using amplification when publicly speaking

BENIGN VOCAL CORD LESIONS

Benign non-cancerous growths on the vocal cords are most often caused by voice misuse or overuse, which causes trauma to the vocal cords. These lesions (or “bumps”) on the vocal cord(s) alter vocal cord vibration and lead to hoarseness. The most common vocal cord lesions are nodules, polyps, and cysts. Vocal nodules (also known as nodes or singer’s nodes) are similar to “calluses” of the vocal cords. They occur on both vocal cords opposite each other at the point of maximal wear and tear, and are usually treated with voice therapy to eliminate the vocal trauma that is causing them. Contrary to common myth, vocal nodules are highly treatable and intervention leads to improvement in most cases. Vocal cord polyps and cysts are the other common benign lesions. These are sometimes related to voice misuse or overuse, but can also occur in people who don’t use their voice improperly. These types of problems typically require microsurgical treatment for cure, with voice therapy employed in a combined treatment approach in some cases.

VOCAL CORD HEMORRHAGE

If you experience sudden loss of voice following yelling, shouting, or other strenuous vocal tasks, you may have developed a vocal cord hemorrhage. Vocal cord hemorrhage results when one of the blood vessels on the surface of the vocal cord ruptures and the soft tissues of the vocal cord fill with blood. It is considered a vocal emergency and is treated with absolute voice rest until the hemorrhage resolves. If you lose your voice after strenuous voice use, see your Otolaryngologist as soon as possible.

VOCAL CORD PARALYSIS AND PARESIS

Hoarseness and other problems can occur related to problems between the nerves and muscles within the voice box or larynx. The most common neurological condition that affects the larynx is a paralysis or weakness of one or both vocal cords. Involvement of both vocal cords is rareand is usually manifested by noisy breathing or difficulty getting enough air while breathing or talking. When one vocal cord is paralyzed or weak, voice is usually the problem rather than breathing. One vocal cord can become paralyzed or weakened (paresis) from a viral infection of the throat, after surgery in the neck or chest, from a tumor or growth along the laryngeal nerves, or for unknown reasons. Vocal cord paralysis typically presents with a soft and breathy voice. Many cases of vocal cord paralysis will recover within several months. In some cases however, the paralysis will be permanent, and may require active treatment to improve the voice. Treatment choice depends on the nature of the vocal cord paralysis, the degree of vocal impairment, and the patient’s vocal needs. While we are not able to make paralyzed vocal cords move again, there are good treatment options for improving the voice. One option includes surgery for unilateral vocal cord paralysis that repositions the vocal cord to improve contact and vibration of the paralyzed vocal cord with the non-paralyzed vocal cord. There are a variety of surgical techniques used to accomplish this. Voice therapy may be used before or after surgical treatment of the paralyzed vocal cords, or it can also be used as the sole treatment.

LARYNGEAL CANCER

Throat cancer is a very serious condition requiring immediate medical attention. Chronic hoarseness warrants evaluation by an otolaryngologist to rule out laryngeal cancer. It is important to remember that prompt attention to changes in the voice facilitate early diagnosis. Remember to listen to your voice because it might be telling you something. Laryngeal cancer is highly curable if diagnosed in its early stages.

This information is provided by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Inc., (AAO-HNS) and the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, Inc. (AAO-HNSF) for educational purposes only. Any information provided in this website should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for a consultation with an Otolaryngologist – Head and Neck surgeon or other physician.

Local ENT Doctor Talks Balloon Procedure for Sinusitus

Local ENT Doctor Talks Balloon Procedure for Sinusitus - News

Local ENT doctor, Rajiv Pandit, MD, talks about the balloon procedure for Sinusitus. Dr. Pandit, 1/31 -featured on WFAA Channel 8 – Live to discuss the in-office balloon procedure.

Local ENT doctor talks balloon procedure for sinusitus

View on www.wfaa.com

Dr. Pandit Talks In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty on NEWS 8 ABC DALLAS

Transoral Robotic Surgery – Advanced Treatment for Head and Neck Cancers

Transoral Robotic Surgery – Advanced Treatment for Head and Neck Cancers - News

Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) is an innovative, minimally invasive approach for the treatment of benign and some malignant tumors of the oral cavity, tongue, throat, and larynx. Recently FDA approved, the procedure is performed through the mouth with the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. The da Vinci system provides magnified, high-resolution 3-D imaging of the operative site, allowing the surgeon to guide miniaturized instruments for cautery, ultrasonic vibration, or laser removal of lesions with precision accuracy in the narrow spaces inside the head and neck

Learn more

Transoralrobotic Surgery Patient Prochure

37 Million Americans Suffer from Sinusitis

37 Million Americans Suffer from Sinusitis - News

Perhaps the most common symptom of sinusitis is PAIN.

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissue lining of the sinuses. In a healthy sinus, the sinus is filled with air, but when blocked, the sinuses can become filled with fluid that can lead to infection resulting in the painful symptoms of sinusitis.

Sinusitis is a problem that affects millions of people in this country. Basically, sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissue lining of the sinuses. In a healthy sinus, the sinus is filled with air, but when blocked, the sinuses can become filled with fluid. When that happens bacteria, viruses or fungi can grow, leading to infection and the painful symptoms associated with sinusitis.

Common symptoms of Sinusitis

  • Nasal drainage or congestion
  • Cough as a result of postnasal drip
  • Headache, facial pain
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Facial pressure
  • Low grade fever
  • Ear discomfort
  • Bad breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Dental pain
  • Ear pain, stuffiness in ears

Recurrent sinusitis is characterized by pressure, pain, discolored drainage, and loss of smell and taste. But unlike other types, the symptoms of recurrent sinusitis are repetitive, occurring five or more times a year. While medicine may be the first defense and can address immediate symptoms, the narrowed drainage passages almost always assure the sufferer of future episodes.

Chronic sinusitis symptoms can last 12 or more weeks. Usually two or more types of sinuses are affected and the pain can be located in several places. In chronic sinusitis, the membranes of the sinus passageways are constantly inflamed. Medical therapies may work at first, but fail to correct the underlying obstruction, preventing sinus drainage and causing discomfort.

Acute sinusitis symptoms can be triggered by a cold, virus or allergies. The nasal pathways become blocked due to congestion leading to a build-up of bacteria, a sinus infection or sinusitis. The resulting inflammation causes swelling and leads to blocked sinus drainage.

Pinpointing the pain

Once you are diagnosed with sinusitis, the location of your pain can help identify which sinus is affected. If you’re experiencing pain in your forehead, it indicates a problem in the frontal sinuses. Pain located behind the cheekbones, upper jaw or teeth means the maxillary sinuses are affected. Pain between the eyes, eyelid swelling or tenderness on the side of your nose, indicates the ethmoid sinuses. And lastly, if you have pain in your neck, earaches, or a deep ache on the top of your head, your sphenoid sinuses are affected.

Dallas Ranks #5 on the National List of Worst Cities for Allergies

Allergy season is here, and no other area in the country is more susceptible to allergies than North Texas. More patients are prone to allergic symptoms during fall and spring.

Allergies affect millions of people each year. Dallas ranks #5 in the nation on the list of worst cities for allergies. Allergies occur when there is an inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane called rhinitis. Typical symptoms include sneezing and a runny or itchy nose that is caused by irritation or congestion in the nose. There are two types: allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis.

Allergic Rhinitis occurs when non-infectious particles take over the body’s immune system. Today, common substances that people come in contact with every day can be allergic triggers including plant pollens, food, molds, dust mites, feathers, animal dander, chemicals such as tobacco smoke, various foods, medicines, and insect venom.

  • Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis or hay fever is indicated by the onset of symptoms occurring in late summer and spring. Some primary causes for seasonal allergic rhinitis, include sensitivity to ragweed, mountain cedar, oak, dogwood, and grasses.
  • Perennial Allergic Rhinitis: Just as its name implies, this condition occurs year-round. Common triggers include pet hair, mold on wallpaper, houseplants, carpeting, and upholstery. Even automobile engine emissions have been found to trigger the condition. Patients who are susceptible to perennial allergic rhinitis should monitor their symptoms on a continuous basis.

Non-Allergic Rhinitis is not dependent on any specific allergic reaction. The symptoms can be triggered by cigarette smoke and other pollutants, as well as strong odors, alcoholic beverages, and cold. Other causes may include blockages in the nose, a deviated septum, infections, and over-use of medications such as decongestants.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, come to the Dallas Sinus Institute and learn about the different allergy treatment options we offer.

Climate Change = Allergy Issues?

Climate Change = Allergy Issues? - News

Are Things Getting Worse?

With all the buzz about global warming in the news today, it’s not a great leap to realize that as our climate and environment changes, so will we have to adapt to how those changes affect our daily lives.

Recently, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America released a list of the worst U.S. cities for allergy sufferers today and as you can imagine, Dallas is ranked high on the list — coming in at number 23.

What else are they saying? That we can settle in for an early, severe and long allergy season this spring because of extreme weather patterns. Our trees and plants are adapting and adjusting to these new patterns and unfortunately for folks in our area, that means a prolonged season of suffering.

What do we recommend? The first thing we suggest our patients do is to diagnose what the root of the problem is. Is it a true allergy? If so, what is the source? Mountain cedar? Elm? Ash? Grass? Dust? Knowing WHAT the problem is makes it much easier (and faster) to determine a course of treatment.

Is it something else? A sinus infection? A common cold? We can help you quickly determine what is at the heart of your symptoms so that we can best find the medication, behavior or treatment (sometimes all three) that will get you back to feeling well again.

Call our office today to learn more about seasonal symptoms and how to keep yourself and your family on the path to wellness.

Why Do We Suffer from Nasal and Sinus Discomfort?

Why Do We Suffer from Nasal and Sinus Discomfort? - News

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The body’s nasal and sinus membranes have similar responses to viruses, allergic insults, and common bacterial
infections. Membranes become swollen and congested. This congestion causes pain and pressure; mucus production increases during inflammation, resulting in a drippy, runny nose. These secretions may thicken over time, may slow in their drainage, and may predispose to future bacterial infection of the sinuses.

Congestion of the nasal membranes may even block the eustachian tube leading to the ear, resulting in a feeling of blockage in the ear or fluid behind the eardrum. Additionally, nasal airway congestion causes the individual to breathe through the mouth.

Each year, more than 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, which typically includes nasal congestion, thick yellow-green nasal discharge, facial pain, and pressure. Many do not understand the nature of their illness or what produces their symptoms. Consequently, before visiting a physician, they seek relief for their nasal and sinus discomfort by taking non-prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF OTC MEDICATION FOR SINUS PAIN?

There are many different OTC medications available to relieve the common complaints of sinus pain and pressure, allergy problems, and nasal congestion. Most of these medications are combination products that associate either a pain reliever such as acetaminophen with a decongestant or an antihistamine. Knowledge of these products and of the probable cause of symptoms will help the consumer to decide which product is best suited to relieve the common symptoms associated with nasal or sinus inflammation.

OTC nasal medications are designed to reduce symptoms produced by the inflammation of nasal membranes and sinuses. The goals of OTC medications are to: (1) reopen to nasal passages; (2) reduce nasal congestion; (3) relieve pain and pressure symptoms; and (4) reduce potential for complications. The medications come in several forms.

Nasal Saline Sprays: Non-Medicated Nasal Sprays
Nasal saline is an invaluable addition to the list of over-the-counter medications. It is ideal for all types of nasal problems. The added moisture produced by the saline reduces thick secretions and assists in the removal of infectious agents. There is no risk of becoming “addicted” to nasal saline. It should be applied as a mist to the nose up to six times per day. Nasal saline can also be made at home: contact your otolaryngologist for details.

Nasal Decongestant Sprays: Medicated Nasal Sprays
Afrin nasal spray, Neo-Synephrine, Otrivin, Dristan nasal spray, and other brands decongest the swollen nasal membranes. They clear nasal passages almost immediately and are useful in treating the initial stages of a common cold or viral infection. Nasal decongestant sprays are safe to use, especially appropriate for preventing eustachian tube problems when flying, and to halt progression of sinus infections following colds. However, they should only be utilized for 3-5 days because prolonged use leads to rebound congestion or “getting hooked on nasal sprays.” The patient with nasal swelling caused by seasonal allergy problems should use a cromolyn sodium nasal spray. The spray must be used frequently (four times a day) during allergy season to prevent the release of histamine from the tissues, which starts the allergic reaction. It works best before symptoms become established by stabilizing the nasal membranes and has few side effects.

Decongestant Medications
Pressure and congestion are common symptoms of nasal passage swelling. Decongestant medications are OTC products that relieve nasal swelling, pressure, and congestion but do not treat the cause of the inflammation. They reduce blood flow to the nasal membranes leading to improved airflow, less breathing through the mouth, decreased pressure in the sinuses and head, and subsequently less discomfort. Decongestants do not relieve drippy noses. Their side effects may include light headedness or giddiness and increased blood pressure and heart rate. (Patients with high blood pressure or heart problems should consult a physician before use.) In addition, other medications may interact with oral decongestants causing side effects. Both of these are available as single products or in combination with a pain reliever or an antihistamine. They are labeled as “non-drowsy” due to a side effect of stimulation of the nervous system.

Decongestant-Combination Products
Some medications are combined to reduce the number of pills. TylenolSinus or Advil Cold and Sinus exemplify products that join a pain reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprophen) with a decongestant (pseudoephedrine). These products relieve both sinus and cold/flu symptoms yet retain all the attributes of the individual drug including side effects.

Antihistamine Medications
Antihistamines combat allergic problems leading to nasal congestion. OTC antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), or clemastine (Tavist) may be used for relieving allergic symptoms of itching, sneezing, and nasal congestion. They relieve the drainage associated with the allergic inflammation but not obstruction or congestion. Antihistamines have a potential for sedation causing grogginess and dryness after use. Newer nonsedating antihistamines are available.

Antihistamine-Decongestant Combination Products
Antihistamines and decongestant products are often combined to relieve multiple symptoms of congestion and drainage and reduce the side effects of both products. Antihistamines produce sedation; decongestants are added to make them “non-drowsy.” The combined allergy product then relieves congestion and a runny nose.

This information is provided by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Inc., (AAO-HNS) and the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, Inc. (AAO-HNSF) for educational purposes only. Any information provided in this website should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for a consultation with an Otolaryngologist – Head and Neck surgeon or other physician.

Thanks to the da Vinci® Surgical System, Maggie Westlund is now cancer-free!

Thanks to the da Vinci® Surgical System, Maggie Westlund is now cancer-free! - News

Suffering from a mucoepidermoid carcinoma (throat cancer), Maggie's condition required surgery. Dr. Pandit proposed using transoral robotic surgery (TORS) utilizing the da Vinci® Surgical System, which was more beneficial for two reasons; 1.) it avoided the need to make an incision in the throat and 2.) it allowed Dr. Pandit to perform the procedure through her mouth, allowing him to see better and do more intricate surgery. Thanks to surgeon Rajiv Pandit, MD, and the da Vinci® Surgical System, young mom Maggie Westlund is free of throat cancer and loving life! Read the full story Maggie's experience here!

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