ENT Blog

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.

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
May 07, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Is your snoring so loud that it disrupts your household? Excessive snoring often signals a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. If you are concerned about your snoring, you could benefit from a consultation with otolaryngologist Dr. Christina McAlpin in her Los Angeles, CA, clinic.

Characteristics of sleep apnea

This sleep disorder affects 25 million American adults, finds the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. Plus, the problem is on the rise—most likely due to escalating obesity.

Here's how it happens. As a person with sleep apnea rests, the tissues at the back of the throat—tongue, uvula, and others—relax. Then, they block the passage of air. This causes snoring and repeated episodes of apnea or breathing cessation. Sound dangerous? It is, for the person is deprived of oxygen and constantly wakes up, gasping for air

This most common kind of sleep apnea is called OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea. Some individuals have central sleep apnea which involves poor communication between the lungs and nervous system. This is less common than OSA as is mixed sleep apnea, which combines features of OSA and CSA.

Long-term, sleep apnea leads to noticeable problems with daily function, such as fatigue, depression, sleepiness, memory fog, and poor concentration. Systemic health problems develop, too—conditions such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dementia
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

Do you have sleep apnea?

If you suspect you do, contact Dr. Christina McAlpin at her Los Angeles office. She can examine you and review your symptoms to make a diagnosis and treatment plan. She may recommend a monitored sleep study that measures your vital signs and breathing patterns during the night.

Treating sleep apnea

To manage sleep apnea symptoms, some people benefit from interventions such as:

  • Sleeping on one side (this is called positional therapy)
  • Losing weight
  • Avoiding sedatives and alcohol before bedtime because they relax the muscles of the throat
  • Smoking cessation
  • Taking decongestants if you suffer from nasal polyps

More invasive interventions include surgery to remove large tonsils and adenoids or adding stiffeners to the roof of the mouth to support it. People who suffer from seasonal allergies may benefit from decongestants.

In addition, you and your ENT doctor may investigate oral appliance therapy. These customized acrylic appliances keep the jaw in a forward position, and thus, open the airway and keep it patent during the night.

Another popular and effective therapy for persistent sleep apnea is CPAP. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. The patient wears a facial mask through which a bedside machine delivers a constant flow of air. The air keeps the back of the throat open, eliminating snoring and other sleep apnea symptoms. Some people benefit from a combination of oral appliance therapy and CPAP.

Time to see an ENT doctor?

Dr. Christina McAlpin will be happy to help you with your sleep apnea symptoms and management. Call her Los Angeles, CA, office today for more information: (213) 745-4060.

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
March 25, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Body Contouring  

Ever wish that you could get rid of stubborn fat without undergoing surgery? Nonsurgical body contouring is perfect for you. This treatment eliminates stubborn areas of fat to effectively shape and contour your body.

Despite leading an active and healthy lifestyle, some patients still can't lose the unwanted fat in the stomach, waist, legs, arms, and buttocks. This is where nonsurgical body contouring comes in handy. Here at the practice of Dr. Christina McAlpin in Los Angeles, CA, we use this technique to blast unwanted fat and get you in the best shape of your life. To understand what body contouring can do for you, take a look at its benefits below.

Nonsurgical Body Contouring Targets Multiple Body Parts

If you need to get rid of stubborn fat in various areas of your body all at the same time, body contouring is the most convenient and cost-effective way to achieve this.

Nonsurgical Body Contouring is Completely Non-Invasive

Unlike liposuction and other surgical procedures that involve removing fat and even some of the skin, nonsurgical body contouring is very non-invasive. It doesn’t put any significant physical stress on your body and there’s no bleeding and anesthesia involved. This means that you won’t have to deal with the potential risks of post-surgery complications. These typically include infections, pain and discomfort, hypoglycemia, weight gain, nausea and vomiting, and gallstones.

Nonsurgical Body Contouring Is Ideal for Almost Everyone

For patients who are immunocompromised or have blood conditions, they are disqualified for major surgical procedures such as liposuction. Body contouring, however, could work for virtually anyone, no matter their age, shape, size, and weight. Do note though that the best candidates for the procedure are individuals that are close to their target weight and need to get rid of stubborn fat that doesn’t respond to exercise and diet. You can visit your doctor in Los Angeles, CA, to determine your eligibility for the body contouring.

Nonsurgical Body Contouring Offers Easier and Faster Recovery

Incisions and bruises associated with surgical procedures like liposuction could leave you bedridden and unable to go about your normal activities for several days to weeks. But since nonsurgical body contouring is non-invasive, you’ll only feel some discomfort on the treatment sites. It’s an extremely simple procedure that could give you remarkable and lasting results, provided that you live a healthy lifestyle to help maintain and maximize your results.

Want to Know More About Nonsurgical Body Contouring? Call Us

Contact the practice of Dr. Christina McAlpin here in Los Angeles, CA, by calling (213) 745-4060 to schedule your appointment.

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