ENT Blog

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
April 05, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Learn all about the treatments that could help sleep apnea sufferers.

What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? It’s a sleep disorder that many people don’t even know about and many don’t even know that they have, but it can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Our Los Angeles, CA, ENT doctor, Dr. Christina McAlpin, has helped many patients manage their sleep apnea and get quality sleep night after night. You may be wondering what options are out there for managing your OSA.

Here are some of the tried-and-true sleep apnea treatment options, as well as the latest technology to come onto the market for treating sleep apnea.

CPAP Therapy

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is still considered the standard treatment for OSA. Before a person goes to bed, they will place a mask over their nose and mouth. The mask is attached to a machine that delivers pressurized air through the mask to keep the airways open throughout the night. While this is the standard form of treatment for all severities of OSA, it’s not always the ideal option for everyone. If you have sleep apnea, our Los Angeles, CA, ENT doctor will discuss all viable treatment options with you.

Oral Therapy

Oral appliance therapy or a mandibular repositioning device is a simple dental appliance that fits over upper and lower teeth. This device, which is similar to a nightguard, repositions the jaws slightly forward to keep the airways open while you sleep. This option is a great one for those with mild symptoms but is not ideal for those with more severe OSA.

Inspire

This latest FDA-approved sleep apnea therapy says goodbye to the mask! Instead, a small device is implanted in the body. Three small incisions are made at the jawline and upper and lower chest where a sensor stimulates the nerve to keep airways open while you sleep. This device is turned on right before sleep and can be controlled through a small remote.

First Daytime Sleep Apnea Treatment

Yes, you read that right! As of February 2021, the FDA authorized the use of ExciteOSA, which is the first treatment for those with mild OSA that is used during the day. In just 20 minutes a day, the device is placed into the mouth where it will improve and strengthen the muscles of the tongue to prevent airway obstructions during the night.

If you are dealing with symptoms of sleep apnea here in Los Angeles, CA, the next step is to schedule an appointment with our otolaryngologist Dr. McAlpin. The sooner we catch sleep apnea the better. Call us today at (213) 745-4060 to schedule an evaluation.

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
January 22, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Mouth Sores  

Mouth sores are small lesions that occur inside your mouth. They can even affect your lips, the floor, and the roof of your mouth, cheeks, and tongue. Mouth sores are painful, making it difficult for you to speak and eat. If you're looking for an ENT doctor in Los Angeles, CA, to treat mouth sores, contact Dr. Christina McAlpin and her caring staff. They can help you with all medical conditions related to the ears, nose, and throat. Keep reading to learn what you can do about mouth sores.

What Causes Mouth Sores?

A variety of conditions causes mouth sores. Visiting an ENT doctor in Los Angeles, CA helps determine the cause of your specific medical condition. For example, mouth sores may be caused by an injury, an infection, reaction to acidic fruits and vegetables, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, canker sores, or a medical condition that affects additional areas of the body.

Mouth Sore Treatments

Most mouth sores go away after one or two weeks. If you have persistent mouth sores, you should seek medical attention to rule out a more serious condition. When you visit your doctor, he or she will prescribe treatment suited to your specific needs. Sometimes the doctor prescribes topical gels, creams, or liquids designed to relieve your pain or speed the healing process. Your doctor may also prescribe a mouth rinse to decrease any inflammation and pain.

Things to Avoid When You Have a Mouth Sore

Mouth sores are painful and uncomfortable. To avoid additional pain, avoid the following foods and beverages:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods
  • Sodas and caffeinated drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages

Schedule Your Appointment

An ENT doctor in Los Angeles, CA, can help you if you have mouth sores. If you need help with mouth sores or any other condition related to the ears, nose, and throat, schedule an appointment with Dr. Christina McAlpin. Give us a call at (213) 745-4060 for your appointment.

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
November 25, 2020
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Chronic Sinusitis  

Tossing and turning at night because of stuffy sinuses can leave patients tired and frustrated. Using over the counter medication can offer a quick fix, but sometimes there is another underlying cause, such as chronic sinusitis. Let board-certified specialist, Dr. Christina M. McAlpin in Los Angeles, CA, examine your sinuses for an accurate assessment.

Some of the signs patients experience with chronic sinusitis are: 

  • Inflammation of the nasal passage for three months or more. Many irritations of the nose go away on their own, but long-lasting inflammation or recurrent symptoms may need a visit to the doctor.
  • Struggle with allergy symptoms that do not end. Patients with hayfever or asthma may often find that their symptoms take longer to recede even with a prescription and over the counter medication. This is because you do not need to have allergies to have chronic sinusitis.
  • Post-nasal drip, or mucus that drains at the back of the throat. Although other conditions share this symptom, chronic sinusitis can cause mucus drainage that doesn’t seem to go away. This drainage can interfere with talking, swallowing, and even sleeping.
  • Swelling and redness inside of the nasal passages. These symptoms are often confused with allergies, so it is a good idea to have a specialist check and rule out any other conditions. Sinuses can swell up and block airways, making it hard to breathe, sleep, and even speak.
  • A constantly runny nose. Non-stop nasal drainage can interfere with everyday activities and be the cause of more nose blowing. This increased blowing may lead to more swelling and redness of the sinuses, creating a cycle of irritation.

No matter the situation, chronic sinusitis is treatable. Need an ear, nose, and throat specialist serving the Los Angeles, CA, area concerning your chronic sinusitis and other otolaryngological needs?

Call (213) 745-4060 to schedule a consultation with Dr. McAlpin today!

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
November 17, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Ear Infection  

Is your young child complaining of ear pain? Is he running a fever, or is she fatigued and fussy? Your youngster may have an ear infection, a childhood malady frequently seen by your ENT doctor in Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Christina McAlpin.

What is an ear infection?

Either bacterial or viral, most childhood ear infections involve the middle ear, its tiny bones and the eardrum. More common than even the cold or the flu, ear infections, or otitis media, affect 25 percent of all school-age children at some point, say experts at the Cleveland Clinic.

Kids with asthma, allergies and a family history of otitis media are most prone to these uncomfortable acute illnesses which can last up to ten days. Additionally, babies and toddlers develop middle ear infections easily because of their short and horizontally-oriented eustachian tubes. Bacteria or viruses precipitate inflammation and fluid build-up behind the eardrum, causing the characteristic ear pain.

What are its symptoms?

Otitis media has the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Fussiness
  • Poor sleeping
  • Fever up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
  • A bulging eardrum
  • Muffled hearing
  • Drainage (effusion)
  • Difficulty swallowing

Some children are mildly symptomatic, and infections resolve with little to no treatment. Other infections, however, are very serious and uncomfortable and require a visit with your ENT doctor in her Los Angeles, CA, office.

How does your ENT doctor treat ear infections?

When you see Dr. McAlpin, she will review your child's symptoms and use an otoscope to look inside the ear canal. Fluid build-up and inflammation is obvious on visual inspection. She may do a tympanogram, too, to determine how well the eardrum responds to sound waves.

Based on her findings, she'll advise warm compresses and over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain. With bacterial infections, she may prescribe a course of antibiotics, particularly if symptoms have persisted for a couple of days with a fever over 102 degrees.

If a child has repeat infections, surgical insertion of tiny ventilation tubes into the eardrums may be an option. These tubes facilitate fluid drainage and improve hearing immediately. The tubes usually fall out by themselves with a year.

Let us help your child feel better

Dr. Christine McAlpin helps kids overcome ear infections and their associated problems. For kind, compassionate care in the Los Angeles, CA, area, phone your ENT doctor and her team at (213) 745-4060.

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
September 17, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Protect Yourself from Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can affect people of all ages and losing your hearing can leave you feeling isolated from friends and family. Aging isn’t the only cause of hearing loss. It can be caused by trauma to the head, illness, or working in a noisy environment. One important thing to remember if you are losing your hearing is that you are not alone, there are medical experts who can help you. Dr. Christina M. McAlpin is a Los Angeles-based doctor who knows how important it is to get the right care for hearing loss.

How to Protect Your Hearing

Los Angeles residents can reduce their risk of hearing loss with the following practices:

  • Use earplugs: If you work or play in a noisy environment, protect your hearing with earplugs. If you are having to shout to the person next to you because of noises such as music at a club or concert, chain saws, lawnmowers, or factory equipment, you are experiencing a dangerous level of sound.
  • Keep your volume down: You may love to listen to your favorite tunes through your earbuds or headphones but if you want to take care of your ears, medical experts recommend that you keep your volume level below 60% and don’t listen any longer than 60 minutes per day.
  • Don’t use cotton swabs: Many people use swabs to clean wax from their ear canal but it is unnecessary and can even be dangerous. Your ears are designed to self-clean and wax is important for preventing dust and other small particles from entering your ear canal where it can be harmful. If you think you have excess wax, the best solution is to seek medical help.
  • Keep your ears dry: Too much moisture in your ears can lead to a build-up of bacteria that can attack the inner ear canal causing severe infection and affecting your hearing. Always dry your ears carefully after swimming.
  • Stay active: You may not realize it, but exercise is good for your ears. Whether you prefer cycling, running, or walking, cardio exercises get your blood pumping throughout your body and that means your ears too.
  • Get regular screenings: Your ENT physician can conduct a hearing test as part of your regular check-up. This way you can take action as soon as any hearing loss is detected.

Don’t let hearing loss take over your life. Call Dr. McAlpin on (213) 745-4060 and let her help you get back on the path to hearing.





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