Monthly Archives: July 2015


Testimonial: Karen Gallagher

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Not again! You wake up with the inability to breath through your nose, and as the day goes on the congestion gets worse. On top of that, you have a headache and a pain or tenderness in your cheeks and nose. The over-the-counter drugs you took are doing nothing to help, and even the medicine your doctor gave you isn’t working. If you’re like Karen Gallagher, who dealt with this scenario her whole life, then it’s time for a permanent solution.

Like many people, Karen suffered from sinus issues her entire life. The pain and frustration of chronic sinusitis was holding her back, and it seemed like it was only getting worse. She decided enough was enough and came into CT Sinus Center for a consultation. Since her sinusitis was severe, Dr. Loughlin suggested she get the balloon dilation surgery. She was initially reluctant to get the surgery done, but after learning more about the procedure, she felt comfortable enough to get it done. Karen said, “Dr. Loughlin is easy to talk to. He understands, and the knowledge he brings to the office makes it easier to go through the process.”

After living with her chronic sinus issues for so long, she couldn’t wait for the relief, but was still nervous about the procedure. At CT Sinus Center, we have a patient-centered approach that ensures that the patient is comfortable (our main concern), and given the proper knowledge about a procedure. So when she shared her concerns with Dr. Loughlin, he answered her questions and went over the procedure again so she had a better understanding. “The surgery was easy; it was pain free. There was a little pressure, but nothing like I imagined,” Karen told us upon receiving the procedure. After the procedure, there was a short one to two day recovery period, and then she was back to doing her normal daily activities.


What Happens When You Have a Deviated Septum

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Kids are very active these days. Extra curricular signup sheets for activities such as softball, soccer, and basketball tend to fill up fast. Of course, parents love this because it means children are participating in something that is keeping their little ones both active and healthy. However, there are also times when these activities make parents nervous. No matter how resilient kids may seem, the truth is, they get very competitive while playing and end up getting dirty, or worse, hurt. An accidental blow to the face with a stray baseball or elbow is enough to result in a black eye or a structure within the nose being knocked out of place. This is one way a person can end up with a deviated septum.

When you have a deviated septum, a thin wall between your nostrils—the nasal septum—becomes displaced. If it goes too much to one side, the deviation makes many people have one nasal passage that is smaller than the other. As you can imagine, this makes it difficult to breathe through your nose and easy for mucous to buildup, possibly leading to a sinus infection. In fact, people with this condition tend to experience chronic sinusitis and nosebleeds more than those with a normal septum. Another thing to note is that injury to the head or face is not the only way to end up with a deviated septum—you can also be born with one.

Deviated septums are nothing to be too worried about, as they’re more of a nuisance than life-threatening. If someone you know has one, you should consider bringing them in to get looked at. Their quality of life will be better once they can start breathing normally again and not have to deal with constant sinus issues. If the person in question is a young athlete as described above, we are sure they will want to get back to doing what they love as fast as possible. Help them breathe easy; book an appointment with the experts at CT Sinus Center. We’ll have them fixed up and back in the game in no time!


Everything You Need To Know About Laryngitis

Everything You Need To Know About Laryngitis

We’ve all heard of laryngitis, but do you really know what it is? If you ask most people, they’ll tell you it’s when you lose your voice from straining it. Although that’s correct, there’s more to this condition that a lot of people don’t know.

First, it’s important that we talk about the basics of this condition. Laryngitis occurs when the larynx is inflamed from overuse, irritation or infection. When the vocal cords become inflamed, the sounds produced by them get distorted, which is why your voice sounds hoarse. Laryngitis can be acute (short-lived) or chronic (long-lasting). Acute laryngitis will usually only last for a week or so and can be managed with self-care measures like gargling warm salt water, taking throat lozenges, or resting your voice. Chronic laryngitis, however, may sometimes signal a more serious underlying medical issue.

As you just learned, there are two types of laryngitis, which means there are two unique sets of causes. Viral infections, vocal strain, and bacterial infections are the main causes of acute laryngitis. This means you could get laryngitis from the common cold or from yelling and overusing your voice. If your laryngitis lasts longer than three weeks, then it is considered chronic and could be caused by numerous things. Chronic laryngitis can cause injuries to your vocal cords or cause the growth of polyps on the cords. This can be caused by inhaled irritants like chemical fumes, allergens, or smoke; acid reflux or GERD; chronic sinusitis; smoking; or habitual overuse of your voice.

If you experience hoarseness, weak voice/voice loss, or sore/dry throat, then you might have laryngitis. As we discussed before, acute laryngitis can usually be managed through self-care steps. However, if your laryngitis lasts for more than two weeks, then you may want to see a doctor, because it could hint at another issue. At our sister center, Westwood Ear Nose & Throat, can help cure some of the underlying issues associated with chronic laryngitis. Book an appointment with us to find out how our experts can give you permanent relief from conditions like allergies and chronic sinusitis. Look out for our weekly blogs to learn more about CT Sinus Center and the medical issues linked to sinusitis.

 


What Causes Middle Ear Infections?

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Have you ever woken up and felt like someone jammed a cotton swab in your ear and just left it there? If so, you’ve probably had a middle ear infection. What exactly is this, though? What could have caused it?

Middle ear infections impact over 3 million people in the U.S. each year. It is most often a bacterial or viral infection that affects the air-filled space behind the eardrum. Middle ear infections, or acute otitis media, are more likely to occur in children than adults. That sharp pain you felt when you first woke up is because of inflammation and buildup of fluids in the middle ear. So, now that we know what a middle ear infection is, let’s talk about how you might have gotten it.

Have you ever noticed that you get an ear infection nearly every time you’re sick? That’s because they are often the result of another illness, like the flu, a cold, or allergies, that cause congestion and swelling of the nasal passages. In our skulls, the sinus cavities are connected to the ears and throat. That means, if the nasal passages become inflamed and cause congestion, you will most likely feel it in your ears. Another reason for infection is that the open connections between the ear, nose, and throat make the exchange of fluids between them easier.

The reason middle ear infections occur more commonly in children has to do with the two organs that are most affected by being sick. The eustachian tubes are two tubes that connect the middle ear to the back of the throat and are usually blocked when sick. In children, these tubes are more narrow, which makes it harder for fluids to drain before eventually getting clogged. The adenoids are two small pads of tissue in the back of the nose that are connected to the immune system. Adenoids are close to the eustachian tubes and can even block them when inflamed. Children have larger and more active adenoids, which is why they are more likely to be affected and cause middle ear infections.

We know what ear infections are and how we get them, but how are they treated? One solution is to tough it out and hope it solves itself. Unfortunately in more serious cases, this could lead to long-term hearing problems. Another would be to visit our other facilities, Westwood ENT, to see how they can help. But if all else fail, come in to CT Sinus Center and treat the underlying issue of ear infections – your allergies. If you suffer from frequent sinus infections or allergies, you could also be suffering from middle ear infections. We offer many solutions for the permanent treatment and relief of sinus issues.

 

 


Apraxia: The Motor Speech Disorder

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A lot goes on in the developmental stages of children. While there is a lot to figure out, one of the most crucial and complex things a child has to learn is how to speak. Adults often underestimate the process of forming speech sounds because they are so accustomed to it; speech just seems natural. However, sometimes things happen early in life which impact the ability to speak properly, at no fault of their own. Apraxia, the motor speech disorder, is diagnosed when a child noticeably struggles when saying certain sounds, syllables, or words.

Apraxia is different from some other speech disorders because it’s not due to a physical problem with the muscles that form the words. Rather, it stems from an issue with the brain. When the brain has trouble communicating with the parts of the mouth necessary to make sounds, you are seeing a case of apraxia, the motor speech disorder. The brain may be having issues getting messages coordinated by the necessary body parts because of a stroke, a head injury, or even due to a genetic disorder or syndrome. This can be very frustrating when the child knows that he or she has something to say but can’t quite get it out. Some things to look for early on are:

  • First words are late or may be missing pieces
  • Child does not coo or babble as a baby
  • He or she only uses a few different consonant and vowel sounds
  • Has trouble combining sounds or takes long pauses between words
  • Simplifies words by replacing difficult sounds with easier ones

Someone who is older may make inconsistent sound errors that do not align with his or her maturity level. Since apraxia is a disorder of speech coordination and not muscle strength, the individual needs to practice in order to improve speech. We are glad you took the time to learn from CT Sinus Center in our blog, but would like to now point you in the direction of our sister branch. Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat is a great choice if you would like to speak with someone who can sit with your loved one for therapy sessions to get them the practice they need to improve speech coordination. Between all our different experts, there is always a way!