ENT Blog

Posts for category: ENT Care

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
July 23, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Sleep apnea occurs when our breathing becomes interrupted during the night as we try to sleep. These interruptions tend to lead to snoring and when our airway becomes completely blocked our body will force us awake to force a gasp for air so we may resume breathing. We may not always be aware when these occur but we will surely feel it in the morning because these interruptions to our breathing interrupt also our ability to have a full night of sleep. Learn more about sleep apnea by contacting Dr. Christina McAlpin in Los Angeles, CA.

Effects of Sleep Apnea

To understand why it's so important to treat sleep apnea we need to understand the adverse effects that come as a result of the condition.

Cognitive effects are the ones more readily felt, and which may give you the push toward seeking a professional diagnosis. Problems with concentration and memory are very common, so don't dismiss these symptoms if you're experiencing them. Especially with tasks that used to be easy to perform in the past. Changes in mood can also occur.

Missing sleep can also affect your immunity, possibly making you prone to short-term illness as well as to chronic conditions.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Los Angeles, CA

Treating obstructive sleep apnea depends on the severity of your condition. For many, simple sleep habits changes can be enough to give you a good night's rest.

Some may benefit from a sleep guard, a device you wear in your mouth and feels like a traditional mouthguard. It works by keeping your airway from collapsing during the night.

For certain conditions, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine may be recommended instead. It also keeps your airway clear but it does so through pressurized air.

Severe cases of sleep apnea will likely require surgery, although these tend to be rare.

Your ENT doctor can help guide you toward the best treatment and it all begins with a consultation. So schedule a visit today with Dr. McAlpin in Los Angeles, CA, by dialing (213) 745-4060.

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
June 23, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Ear Infection  

An ear infection is a prevalent cause of hospital visits for young kids. The common occurrence and abundant research into ear infections mean that there are numerous available treatment options. Your doctor, Dr. Christina McAlpin, can tell you What signs of ear infections to look out for in Los Angeles, CA.

Ear Infection Symptoms

For adults, it's usually a lot easier to tell if you have an ear infection. You might experience:

  • Reduced hearing
  • Fluid in ear
  • Ear pain and pressure

If you have kids, you might have to look out for other ear infection signs such as:

  • Excessive crying
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Tugging on the ear
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Ear pain
  • Loss of balance

Ear Infection Diagnosis

Your doctor can diagnose your ear infection in Los Angeles, CA, based on your symptoms. When in doubt, your doctor might investigate your ear further with an otoscope. The otoscope allows them to check for fluid build-up behind your eardrum. In some cases, a puff of air from a pneumatic otoscope could also be necessary for diagnosis. Advanced tests for an ear infection that your doctor might carry out include:

  • Tympanometry
  • Acoustic reflectometry
  • Tympanocentesis

Ear Infection Treatment Options

For children younger than 6 months old, your doctor will recommend antibiotics, usually Amoxicillin. Antibiotic therapy helps prevent the spread of the infection. Older children above 6 months and adults, might not need antibiotics immediately so your doctor might ask you to simply monitor the condition. Home therapies such as applying a warm compress to their ears could help relieve discomfort. You could also consider over-the-counter pain medication and ear drops to reduce your pain while you watch and wait.

If your ear infection persists, your doctor might put you on antibiotics to tackle the infection. Chronic ear infections that seem to go on for months or years might benefit from a myringotomy to release fluid buildup.

Are you having symptoms of ear infections in Los Angeles, CA? Dr. McAlpin will help you get the best available treatment for your condition when you call (213) 745-4060 to schedule your appointment.

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 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.