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Got Allergy? Don’t Get a Sinus Infection!

By Current News 69 Comments

By Dr Murray Grossan

Got Allergy? Don’t Make it a Sinus Infection

This year is predicted to be a bad allergy season –in spring it’s trees, in summer it’s grass and in fall it’s weeds.

It is common for the sinus doctor to see patients who let their allergy change into sinusitis that requires surgery.

How can you prevent this?

When you sneeze non-stop, get poor sleep, stay plugged all the time, this causes the nasal cilia to become exhausted and slow down. Normally the cilia beat in harmony to move bacteria out of the nose and sinuses. When they fail, you get a sinus X Ray  that shows left maxillary sinus disease.

Prevention of sinus disease from allergy.

Good sleep. Try to find one of the allergy pills like Benadry or Zyrtec that clears the nose and helps you sleep. Many patients reduce their allergy symptoms with one of the antihistamine nasal sprays such as Astelin or Patanase. Ask your doctor for a prescription and for discount coupons. Also check the web sites for coupons.

Your doctor may put you on one of the cortisone type sprays, such as Flonase. There are almost of dozen of these available and results vary.

Tea, lemon and honey helps cilia action.

Regular use of the Hydro Pulse™ will move bacteria and pollen out of the nose and sinuses. The massage action reduces tissue edema, so it helps avoid sinus blockage. The massage action reduces tissue swelling for better breathing.

Will surgery help your allergy?

Actually sometimes it will. If your sinuses are fully blocked, and are fully packed with tissue and liquid pus, draining the sinus will be of benefit

Fortunately today, there is a procedure that is quite simple and can be used. It involves putting a balloon into the normal sinus opening. The balloon is inflated and the sinus is irrigated through a duct in the balloon apparatus.

When the sinus opening has been milked to open, then the doctor will prescribe Hydro Pulse Nasal/Sinus irrigation to encourage cilia function and to keep the milked opening patent.

Some patients benefit by using additives to the Hydro Pulse irrigation such as antibiotics or cortisone type products.

The goal is to keep that opening from closing up. Pulse wave irrigation has been used for this. Best of all, once normal nasal/sinus cilia function has been restored, no further irrigation may be needed.

ADHD in Children. Or is it Snoring?–Part I

By Current News 1,016 Comments

By Dr Murray Grossan

Recent studies have pointed to behavior problems, inattention, and crankiness in children as part of the ADHD syndrome (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.)  However these behaviors are also seen in children who snore. Even among children expertly diagnosed ADHD, some cleared up their ADHD when the snoring was relieved.

In E.N.T. practice, it is common to see a child who snores and doesn’t sleep well. They are cranky and inattentive, fall asleep in class and don’t smile much. When the snoring is cleared, many of those problems clear up.

In one study, after tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy done for snoring and mouth breathing, 50% of the children who were diagnosed ADHD before surgery, no longer had symptoms.
Thus, a child with loud snoring that exhibits ADHD type behavior may be simply sleep deprived and may recover when the sleep problem is corrected, even when the tests are positive for this diagnosis!

Snoring in children has been a concern for years. Snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep disorder, where the breathing passage is blocked and less air/oxygen gets to the body.

Occasional snoring due to a cold is not a problem. Of concern is the constant loud snoring, the child that gasps for breath in sleep, or the periods when the breathing actually stops in sleep.

Common causes of snoring include:
•    Allergy
•    Sinus infection
•    Enlarged adenoids
•    Enlarged tonsils
•    Acid reflux

The snoring child who doesn’t get good sleep often shows:
•    Irritability
•    Unpleasant breath
•    Poor attention
•    School difficulty
•    Poor growth
•    Poor appetite
•    Crankiness
•    Inadequate physical activity
•    Fall asleep in daytime

We’ll have more on this next week. Enjoy the holiday!

The Whole Person approach

By Current News 2,835 Comments

By Dr Murray Grossan

Because we focus on the whole person, every effort is made to treat with remedies rather than drugs. For example, for many sinus problems, we restore nasal cilia function rather than start with heavy antibiotics. When the nasal/sinus cilia move normally, they move bacteria out of the nose and sinuses.

This means lots of green tea, chicken soup and simple sinus irrigation that pulses in harmony to good cilia movement.

It is always important to understand the whole person. Even a sore finger can cause extreme stress, with the pain amplified. Part of our whole person approach is to try to reduce any stress factors that might be affecting the symptoms. This is done by explaining to the patient with picture and diagrams his pain in the left cheek. Why he feels the pain in his tooth. Why he needs to avoid heavy chewing. Sometimes we might show him/her how to use special breathing methods that work to lower stress chemistry. There is no question that the more the patient understands their condition and has seen the pictures, the less the stress factor. Patients always feel better when they understand fully why they have their symptoms.

The Whole Person approach is best illustrated in the treatment of tinnitus – ringing in the ear. No single pill has been found to cure this problem; yet patients do profit significantly when the various components of the tinnitus circuits are attended to. Sometimes, this can be as simple at attending to a patient’s jaw joint! Miss A. R. complained of noise in the right ear. When she chewed, the examiner could hear the same noise! Correcting that joint was the cure.

Repeatedly we see the advantage of the whole person approach. Whether it was the pain in the ear that turned out to come from the jaw joint, or pain above the eye that turned out to be referred from the sore neck muscle, or the headaches caused because she needed reading glasses; the Whole Person approach is good medicine.

Treating the whole person

By Current News 55 Comments

By Dr Murray Grossan

The doctors at Tower E.N.T. believe in treating the whole person. This is because a patient is more than a sinus or an ear.

Just as it is important to look into the nose, it is also important to know a person’s whole history and understand what their symptoms are.  For example, Mr. S. V.  complained of ringing in his ears. As part of our Whole Person approach, we routinely take the patient’s blood pressure. His was excessively high; he was seen by his internist and when the blood pressure was normalized, his ringing in the ear cleared.

Often we see patients who have failed therapy.  For example Mrs. F. T.  complained of unsteadiness when walking. She hadn’t benefited by taking several medications for dizziness. But her history showed that she had had a mild case of polio as a child. When we asked her to walk down the hall, it was evident that one leg was weaker than the other. When she was referred to physical therapy, the symptoms were treated properly.

Children are people too! When the right questions are asked, often the solution pops out. Little Jimmy’s allergy was not responding to therapy. Jimmy was allergic to dust. Turns out his grandmother had given him one of the family’s old stuffed bear to sleep with, which gave off dust.

We also measure the blood oxygen on our patients. Mr. B. K. complained that he wasn’t getting enough air through his nose, and felt weak. But his blood oxygen level was too low and he needed therapy for his lungs, not for his nose.

Is the pain due to a sinus infection or migraine? It is vital to diagnose correctly. Just as important as the thorough examination is the history. If the pain comes once a week, preceded by visual changes it probably is migraine. If the pain is steady, helped by aspirin it is not migraine.

By carefully examining the sinus, the difference between sinus and migraine can readily be established. More important, migraine medications can be quite severe.

But migraine can also be missed. Quite often we see a patient who sustained a head trauma and complains of neck pain. Mr. C. F. had an industrial accident and continued to have neck and head pain despite physical therapy and pain medications. He came to Tower in hopes of stopping his pain pills. Turns out he had developed true migraine following his trauma; with migraine medication he was soon able to return to work.

We’ll continue next week in another post. Enjoy the rest of your week.