Patient Education

Allergies|Balance|Ears|Facial Plastic Surgery|Head & Neck|Sinus Conditions|Nose|Snoring|Throat

 

Allergies

officeForty-five million Americans suffer from a recurring problem called allergy. Symptoms that may be caused by allergy are itching eyes, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, nasal congestion and drainage, and sometimes headache. Some people experience hearing changes, scratchy sore throats, hoarseness, and cough. Other less common symptoms include balance disturbances, swelling in face and throat tissues, skin irritations, and even respiratory problems and asthma.

 

Some allergy sufferers experience symptoms all year. Others find certain seasons bring on attacks. Allergy symptom control is most successful when multiple management approaches are used simultaneously. Minimizing exposure to allergens, managing symptoms with medications, and desensitization with allergy shots are all methods that can be useful in controlling allergic symptoms.

 

Allergies are rarely life threatening, but often cause lost workdays, decreased work efficiency, poor school performance, and less enjoyment of life. It is common for allergy sufferers to develop sinus or respiratory infections if allergy symptoms are not controlled. Considering the millions spent in anti-allergy medications and the cost of lost work time, allergies cannot be considered a minor problem.

 

Medications properly used can be very helpful. Over the counter drugs can be beneficial, but some cause drowsiness. Prescription medications offer the best chance for good control. Immunotherapy, allergy shots or SLIT, provide the only treatment methods that can offer lasting relief or cure from allergies. Before beginning a series of such shots, allergy testing must be performed.

 

Balance

 

The Barranco Clinic evaluates people with a variety of balance disorders. There are several medical conditions that can cause dizziness; for example, circulation, injury, infection, allergies and neurological diseases.

 

Some people describe a balance problem by saying they feel dizzy, lightheaded, unsteady, or giddy. This feeling of imbalance or disequilibrium, without a sensation of turning or spinning, is sometimes due to an inner ear problem.

 

A few people describe their balance problem by using the word vertigo, which comes from the Latin verb “to turn”. They often say that they or their surroundings are turning or spinning. Vertigo is frequently due to an inner ear problem.

 

Some people experience nausea and even vomiting when riding in an airplane, automobile, or amusement park ride, and this is called motion sickness. Many people experience motion sickness when riding on a boat or ship, and this is called seasickness even though it is the same disorder.

 

Ears

 

Approximately 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss, according to the NIDCD. The unique domain of otolaryngologists is the treatment of ear disorders. They are trained in both the medical and surgical treatment of hearing, ear infections, earwax, balance disorders, ear noise (tinnitus), nerve pain, earaches and facial and cranial nerve disorders. An otolaryngologist also manages congenital (birth) disorders of the outer and inner ear.

 

 

Facial Plastic Surgery

 

The reasons for facial plastic surgery are varied. Some patients suffer from birth disfigurements such as birthmarks, cleft palates, and congenital facial deformities. Others are victims of accidents, burns, diseases, and the treatment required for such dis­eases. Many choose to change some of the signs of premature aging or the shape or size of a facial fea­ture that has bothered them for years. The Barranco Clinic offers the following treatments and procedures:

  • Blepharoplasty (Eyelift) – The removal of excess fat and skin from the upper and lower eyelids to correct a droopy or puffy appearance that often makes one look tired and, in some cases, obscures peripheral vision.
  • Rhytidectomy (Facelift) – The removal of excess skin with tightening of underlying tissues from the lower face and neck region, thus helping to reverse the effects of aging.
  • Otoplasty (Ear Repositioning) – Surgery performed to pin back protruding ears by reshaping the cartilage.
  • Rhinoplasty (Nose Reshaping) – One of the most common of all facial plastic procedures, it involves reshaping the nose, whether it be the bridge, tip or nostrils. This procedure can result in a more balanced appearance and can also improve breathing.
  • Forehead lift – The tightening of loose skin and removal of excess skin helps to modify the forehead wrinkling and drooping brows.
  • Submental Lipectomy- Surgery beneath the chin to eliminate “double” chin; excess fat is removed. Recovery time is approximately one week.
  • Mentoplasty-
  • Facial Reconstruction-
  • Collagen Implant-
  • Chemical Peels – The damaged outer layers of your skin are gently removed using a chemical solution, resulting in a vastly improved appearance and texture. This treatment is especially helpful for individuals with facial blemishes, wrinkles and uneven pigmentation.
  • Botox – A simple, non-surgical treatment that smoothes out moderate to severe expression or frown lines around the eyes, between the eyebrows or forehead area. One 10-minute treatment can result in a remarkable improvement that can last up to 4 months.
  • Dermabrasion – Abrasion of the skin with either a wire brush or diamond fraise to remove the upper layer of skin resulting in smoother, less wrinkled skin.

 

Head and Neck

 

This center of the body includes the important nerves that control sight, smell, hearing and the face. In the head and neck area, otolaryngologists are trained to treat infectious diseases, both benign and malignant (cancerous) tumors, facial trauma, thyroid and parathyroid and deformities of the face.

 

Sinus Conditions

 

There are various sinus conditions and infections, which interconnect with much of what The Barranco Clinic treats. Sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages. Unlike a cold, or allergy, sinusitis requires a physician’s diagnosis and treatment with an antibiotic to cure the infection and prevent future complications. A sinus infection can cause a headache or pressure in the eyes, nose, cheek area, or on one side of the head.

Rhinitis is inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane. The symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itching, caused by irritation and congestion in the nose. There are two types: allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis.

 

Therapy for bacterial sinusitis should include an appropriate antibiotic. If you have three or more symptoms of sinusitis, be sure to see your doctor for diagnosis.

 

Nose

 

One of the most common medical conditions involving the nose are nosebleeds, and also nasal congestion, which is a common symptom of infections or other inflammations of the nasal lining. These conditions can cause a loss of smell. It may also occur in other conditions, for example following nasal trauma, in Kallmann syndrome or Parkinson’s disease.

 

The nose is a common site of foreign bodies, because it’s a surprisingly deep space that extends directly back into your face. Only the imagination limits the objects and circumstances that result in things getting stuck inside the nose. Removal of these items is important and most can be seen with good lighting and a few instruments.

 

The glands in your nose and throat can also cause an excess of mucus. Generally we produce one to two quarts of mucus a day. It moistens and cleans the nasal membranes, humidifies air, traps and clears inhaled foreign matter, and fights infection. Although mucus normally is swallowed unconsciously, the feeling that it is accumulating in the throat or dripping from the back of your nose is called post-nasal drip. This feeling can be caused by excessive or thick secretions or by throat muscle and swallowing disorders.

 

Snoring & Sleep Disorders

 

Snoring is a common sleep disorder that can affect people of all ages, although it occurs most frequently in men and people who are overweight. Snoring generally tends to worsen with age. Forty-five percent of adults snore occasionally; however, twenty-five percent are considered habitual snorers.

 

Occasional snoring is not a serious medical issue; it’s more of a nuisance for the bed partner if anything else. The habitual snorer, however, not only disrupts the sleep patterns of those close to them, but deprives themselves of sleep as well. Habitual snorers tend to snore throughout the night and typically experience daytime drowsiness, irritability and lack of focus.

Sleep disorders involve any difficulties related to sleeping, including difficulty falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time, or abnormal behaviors associated with sleep. Medical assistance is available for those interested.

 

Throat

 

Everyone will experience a sore throat from time to time. It’s a symptom resulting from many medical disorders. From the common cold to strep or tonsillitis; these Infections cause the majority of sore throats and are contagious.

 

Those who experience problems swallowing may also need medical attention. Swallowing problems can be caused by gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a return of stomach contents and acid into the esophagus or throat. Heartburn, indigestion, and sore throat are common symptoms.

 

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For more information on these services, please call The Barranco Clinic at (863)299-1251 or sign in using our Patient Portal to request an appointment.