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Santa Clarita Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists

Coronavirus Update

Both SCENT locations remain open to serve our patients and communities fully. We feel confident in our ability to continue seeing patients and providing the best Ear, Nose, Throat, and Audiology care that you have come to expect and deserve. For more information on how SCENT is taking extra precautions to provide the safest environment possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.

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SCENT - Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists

Both SCENT locations remain open to serve our patients and communities fully. We feel confident in our ability to continue seeing patients and providing the best Ear, Nose, Throat, and Audiology care that you have come to expect and deserve. For more information on how SCENT is taking extra precautions to provide the safest environment possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a sinus specialist?

A sinus specialist is an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor, who diagnoses, manages, and treats any disorders of the sinuses.  Your primary care doctor may diagnose you with sinusitis, and then refer you to a sinus specialist for further workup, diagnosis, and treatment for acute or chronic sinusitis.

What does an ENT doctor do?

An ENT doctor focuses on problems concerning the ear, nose, and throat:

  • Ear – conditions affecting the ears that cause hearing impairment, ear infections, disorders that affect balance, tinnitus, and ear pain.
  • Nose – conditions affecting the nose, nasal cavities, and sinuses that cause problems with the sense of smell, breathing, and physical appearance.
  • Throat – conditions affecting the throat that cause problems with speech, singing, eating, swallowing, and digestion.

ENT doctors also address issues affecting the neck and head, including diseases, tumors, trauma, and deformities of the head, neck, and face. Additionally, they can perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery to address issues in these areas.

When should you see an ENT doctor?

You should see an ENT doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Balance Problems
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Tinnitus
  • Ear infection
  • Tonsil or Adenoid Infection
  • Swimmer’s Ear
  • Pain in Your Ears, Nose, or Throat
  • Nerve Problems in Your Ears, Nose, or Throat
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Nose Bleeds
  • Breathing Problems
  • Asthma
  • Allergy
  • Sinus Problems or Infections
  • Deviated Septum
  • Growth or Tumor in Your Ears, Nose, or Throat
  • Voice or Swallowing Problems
  • Hoarse Voice or Sore Throat
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

How can SCENT help you?

At SCENT our sinus doctors are board-certified in otolaryngology (ENT), and offer patient-centered care, taking a professional and personable approach to each patient’s case.

Our doctors all possess strong backgrounds and are well-versed in the latest advancements in ear, nose and throat medicine, treatments, and procedures.

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection or rhinosinusitis, is an inflammation of the mucous-lined, air-filled spaces in your skull that connect to the nose and throat.  When the sinuses become inflamed, blocked or swollen, normal mucus drainage may not occur trapping air and other fluids, creating vacuums and/or pressure. This pressure can cause pain, which can sometimes be intense.  Clogged sinuses may also lead to infections.

How do you treat sinusitis?

Sinus treatments focus on reducing nose and sinus inflammation and keeping the drainage pathways open and functioning properly.

Medical management of sinusitis includes prescription medications as well as over-the-counter medications to relieve sinusitis symptoms. Medications commonly recommended include decongestant nasal sprays, decongestants, nasal antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, nasal irrigation, oral antibiotics, and oral antihistamines.  

For patients who don’t respond to medication, and who suffer from chronic and recurrent acute sinusitis, there are other treatment options available to alleviate their symptoms.  Depending on the cause of your sinusitis, your sinus doctor may recommend one of several procedures, including balloon sinuplasty, a septoplasty, a turbinate reduction, or polyp removal, to help relieve your sinusitis symptoms and help you breathe better through your nose.

How do you know if you are a candidate for sinus relief?

You might be a candidate for sinus relief at SCENT and not even realize it. From a simple consultation to one of our state-of-the-art procedures, such as Balloon Sinuplasty, SCENT has a lot to offer to anyone suffering from any degree of sinus-related ailments.

To find out if SCENT can help improve your life, schedule a consultation with one of our sinus doctors.

What causes breathing problems?

There are many causes of breathing problems, some of which are chronic or long-term. From an ENT perspective, the nose and sinuses are often associated with many lung disorders, as the nasal passage is a pathway for viruses and allergens to enter your lungs.  Inflammation of a sinus or nasal passage may trigger reflexes and causes asthma–and the number one trigger for asthma is allergies.

At SCENT, we can do a full evaluation for you to find out if chronic sinusitis, allergies, or asthma are the cause of your breathing problems. 

Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

Is there an association between snoring and sleep apnea?

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.  But anyone who snores loudly, nightly and has other symptoms, like pauses in breathing at night or daytime sleepiness, should talk to a doctor to rule out sleep apnea.

Also, habitual snoring is more of an issue if the snorer is experiencing any of 

the following symptoms:

  • Excessive daytime drowsiness
  • Waking up not feeling rested
  • Morning headaches
  • Recent weight gain
  • Chest pain at night
  • High blood pressure
  • Decreased ability to concentrate or memory loss
  • Observed pauses in breathing at night
  • Waking up gasping for breath

These signs and symptoms may indicate a potential health issue.

If you have concerns about your snoring and feel that they may be related to a health issue, please contact us at SCENT for an evaluation.

What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?

The most common symptom of a deviated septum is nasal congestion. Symptoms are usually worse on one side, and sometimes occur on the side opposite the bend.  Other symptoms include difficulty breathing, recurrent or repeated sinus infections, frequent nosebleeds, facial pain, headaches, loud breathing, snoring and mild sleep apnea. For some patients, the crooked septum can interfere with the drainage of the sinuses, resulting in repeated sinus infections.

What is the treatment for a deviated septum?

A septoplasty is the preferred surgical treatment to correct a deviated septum and improve breathing. It is a minor, minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure.  The procedure can frequently be done in the office under local anesthesia with oral sedation. The procedure is performed entirely through the nostrils where the surgeon makes a small incision in the septum and then removes the excess bone or cartilage required to even out the breathing space of the nostrils.

What is chronic rhinitis?

Chronic rhinitis affects more than 24 million people in the United States. It is a recurrent nasal blockage/discharge that doesn’t resolve on its own, and symptoms often result from the constant irritation or inflammation of the inner lining of the nose.  One of the most common characteristics of chronic rhinitis is a postnasal drip, which is mucus that accumulates in the back of the nose and throat that drips down from the back of the nose. Postnasal drip may lead to a chronic sore throat, a chronic cough, or throat clearing.

What is the treatment for chronic rhinitis?

There are many options available to treat chronic rhinitis.  Your doctor may first take a medical management approach and prescribe medications, such as nasal antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, or oral antihistamines to help alleviate your symptoms. There are also some home remedies like nasal irrigation that can help, as well as some over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays.

Your doctor may also advise you to avoid triggers that cause your symptoms, such as wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, cleaning agents and household sprays, perfumes, and scented products. You may also be advised to quit smoking or not to be around people who smoke, especially if this is one of your triggers.

What causes nasal polyps to form?

Any condition that triggers chronic inflammation in your nasal passages or sinuses increases your risk of developing nasal polyps.  Nasal polyps often result from chronic inflammation due to asthma, recurring infections (e.g., chronic sinusitis), allergies (e.g., airborne fungi), drug sensitivity (e.g., aspirin), or certain immune disorders.  Family history may also play a role, as certain genetic variations associated with immune system function make you more likely to develop nasal polyps.

What is the treatment for nasal polyps?

Your doctor will work with you to develop the best, long-term treatment plan to manage your symptoms and to treat factors, such as allergies, that may contribute to chronic inflammation.  It should be noted, however, that no matter the treatment, nasal polyps may return. That is why it is important to determine the cause of your chronic inflammation so that we can help prevent nasal polyps from returning.

What should you do if you think you have a hearing loss?

If you think you have a hearing loss, you should schedule an appointment to see one of our hearing specialists for a hearing test. Our hearing evaluations are very thorough and quick, usually taking no more than 20 minutes. We perform comprehensive hearing assessments for children, adults, and seniors.

Once completed, we will provide you with a complete report with interpretation of results and recommendations. We will also send a copy of the report to your physician.

Do hearing aids work for everyone?

Whether or not a hearing aid will work for you usually depends on the type of hearing loss or the degree of hearing loss you may have.

How do you know which hearing aid is best for you?

If your hearing test reveals permanent hearing loss, your hearing specialist may recommend a hearing aid for one or both ears. Your hearing specialist will explain what sounds you are not hearing and what a hearing aid (or hearing aids) can do to help. It is usually at this appointment that you will get to see and touch different styles of hearing aids.  In some cases, you may even be able to listen to a hearing aid. Your hearing specialist will help you choose the best hearing aid style, features, and level of sophistication based on your degree of hearing loss, your lifestyle, and your financial circumstances. However, the final decision regarding which hearing aid to purchase is yours.

When selecting a hearing aid style, our hearing specialists consider the following factors to ensure you get the right hearing aid for your needs:

  • The degree of hearing loss (power requirements)
  • Manual dexterity and visual abilities
  • Patient budget
  • Cosmetics
  • Skin sensitivities
  • Anatomical/medical considerations

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no external sound is actually present. It is a symptom (not a disease) indicating that something is wrong in the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain, and the parts of the brain that process sound. Because the function of the auditory nerve is to carry sound, when it is irritated from any cause, it produces head noise. This phenomenon is similar to the sensation nerves elsewhere. If one pinches the skin, it hurts because the stimulated nerves carry pain sensation.

Tinnitus is often described as a ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a roaring, clicking, hissing or buzzing. It can affect one or both ears.

What causes tinnitus?

Noise-induced hearing loss, the result of damage to the sensory hair cells of the inner ear, is one of the most common causes of tinnitus.  

Other causes are usually the result of a number of health conditions, including:

  • Age-Related Hearing Loss (Presbycusis)
  • Ear and Sinus Infections
  • Earwax Blockage
  • Head and Neck Injuries
  • Diseases of the Heart or Blood Vessels
  • Ménière’s Disease
  • Medications
  • Brain Tumors
  • Hormonal Changes in Women
  • Thyroid Abnormalities

At SCENT, your audiologist will help you explore potential causes that are triggering your symptoms of tinnitus.

What are the symptoms of tinnitus?

People who suffer from tinnitus have varying symptoms, but often describe the sounds they perceive in one of three ways:  

  • Tonal – a continuous sound with well-defined frequencies 
  • Pulsatile – a pulsing sound, like that of a heartbeat 
  • Musical – a music or singing sound on a continuous loop  

Tinnitus symptoms can have a grave effect on one’s daily life, and as a result may cause secondary symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, and pain. For some people, tinnitus also affects sleep and concentration, or their ability to work and socialize.  

Are there different types of tinnitus?

A person may be diagnosed with either subjective or objective tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus is the most common type and refers to head or ear noises that only the patient hears. Objective tinnitus is less common than subjective and refers to head or ear noises that are audible to both the patient and others. These sounds are usually produced by internal functions in the body’s circulatory (blood flow) and somatic (musculoskeletal movement) systems.

Can tinnitus be cured?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for tinnitus for patients with chronic (ongoing) symptoms (e.g.,  people with a sensorineural hearing loss); however, for patients who have an acute (temporary) case of tinnitus, they may see those symptoms go away over time with proper treatment.

How is tinnitus treated?

At SCENT, we have deep compassion for people with tinnitus and thus strive to be a trusted and helpful resource for tinnitus patients. In that regard, we offer several treatment options to help patients experience a better quality of life, no matter the degree or severity of their tinnitus.
(603) 792-4327.

During your tinnitus consultation, your audiologist will go over the various treatment options available and will help you decide which one would best meet your needs and lifestyle.

Many of the treatment options available are FDA-approved. To learn more, check out our page on Treatments for Tinnitus.

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Contact SCENT today for any of your ear, nose, and throat healthcare needs. For your convenience, you may schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (661) 259-2500.

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