My Blog
By South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat
July 24, 2019
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Losing your ability to hear can be challenging. It can also dramatically affect your quality of life. Everyday sounds, conversations, and music are all part of the fabric of your life. When you are having trouble hearing, it can seem overwhelming. The good news is, there are effective ways to deal with hearing loss.

The doctors at South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat offer a full range of ENT services, including options to give you back your hearing ability. They have several convenient office locations in Fort Pierce, Okeechobee, and Port St. Lucie, FL.

Hearing loss is a common problem affecting over 30% of adults over age 65, according to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. You may be having some degree of hearing loss if you experience:

  • Hearing muffled speech sounds
  • Difficulty understanding individual words
  • Needing people to speak more slowly or loudly
  • Needing to turn up the volume on the television or radio
  • Wanting to withdraw from conversations
  • Wanting to avoid social events

If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms listed above, you should schedule a hearing test. A hearing screening is quick, easy and inexpensive. Hearing tests can determine your degree of hearing loss and help you and your doctor decide the right treatment option for you.

Your doctor may recommend a hearing aid. There are several types of hearing aids for you to consider including:

  • CIC hearing aids, which are completely in the canal
  • ITE hearing aids, which are in the ear
  • BTE hearing aids, which loop over the top of your ear and behind it
  • Cochlear implants, which perform the functions of parts of your ear that are no longer working properly

Your hearing is precious, and hearing loss can happen so gradually, you may not even notice it. That’s why it’s important to schedule a hearing test at least every 10 years through age 50, and every 3 years after age 50.

If you are dealing with hearing loss, it’s time to get some help. It’s time to call your ENT at South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat, with offices in Fort Pierce, Okeechobee, and Port St. Lucie, FL. Call now!

By South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat
April 19, 2019
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Have sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that causes a cessation in breathing during sleep. Untreated, sleep apnea has sleep apneabeen linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, memory problems, and weight gain. Dr. Berghash, Dr. Lanza, or Dr. Wright at South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat (with offices in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee, FL), offer treatments for sleep apnea. Here are four signs you may have sleep apnea.

1. Pauses in Breathing- Sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing during the night. Pauses in breathing can last up to 10-20 seconds at a time. These pauses in breathing are often followed by gasping or choking noises as the body's respiratory system fights through the blockage.

2. Loud Snoring- Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud or frequent snoring. Snoring is noisy breathing during sleep. Snoring occurs when you cannot move air freely through your nose and throat during sleep. If you have sleep apnea, you might not snore every night. Over time, the snoring may occur more often and get louder. Snoring can cause disruptions to your sleep and your bed partner's sleep.

3. Daytime Sleepiness- Another sign of sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness. If you have sleep apnea, you may have trouble staying awake during the moments of the day when you're not active. People with daytime sleepiness are at risk of occupational injuries and motor vehicle accidents, and have poorer health than comparable adults.

4. Morning Headaches- Morning headaches may be a sign of sleep apnea. When you suffer from sleep apnea, your airway is completely or partially blocked during sleep. Because of this closure, the amount of oxygen being transported to your brain is reduced, which puts you at risk for morning headaches. Through the treatment of sleep apnea, people can experience improved sleep while also resolving headache pain.

A proper diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea can change your life dramatically for the better. Call one of South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat's offices to schedule an appointment- Fort Pierce, FL-(772) 464-6055; Okeechobee, FL, (863) 357-7791; Port St. Lucie, FL, (772) 398-9911. You will experience exemplary service and state-of-the-art care at South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat!

By South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat
February 25, 2019
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Allergies  

An allergy involves a reaction by your immune system, often to common substances. Sinusitis and allergies are often mistaken for one Sinusanother. But they are two separate conditions. Most patients can't tell the difference between allergies and sinus problems. An ENT doctor can help determine the cause of your symptoms and provide treatment. South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat (offices in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee, FL, offers treatments for allergies. Read on to find out how allergies affect your sinuses.

Sinusitis Causes & Symptoms

Sinus infection, also called sinusitis, is a common condition in which the cavities around nasal passages become swollen and inflamed. Sinusitis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergies, an autoimmune reaction, or fungal infections. Symptoms of sinusitis may include nasal discharge, nasal obstruction or congestion, and pain. Other symptoms can include ear pain, sore throat, fatigue, nausea, and coughing. Chronic sinusitis lasts several weeks and can linger for years.

Allergies Causes & Symptoms

An allergy is a condition in which the immune system reacts abnormally to a foreign substance, such as food, animal dander, mold, or pollen. The allergen stimulates immune system cells to release certain chemicals, which then lead to symptoms. If you've got allergies, you're more likely to have sinus problems. Allergies can produce many of the same cold-like symptoms as sinusitis, including sinus pressure, a runny nose, and congestion. Allergies can also affect your throat. Postnasal drip can cause an allergy-induced sore throat.

How Allergies Cause Sinusitis

Whether you're sneezing, wheezing, coughing, or allergies can make any great day your worst nightmare, especially if these symptoms grow into something much larger, like a sinus infection. Allergies can lead a person to develop a sinus infection if the symptoms are not remedied immediately. Allergies can cause sinus infection because the inside of your sinusitis and nose often swell up when you breathe in triggers.

Visit With an ENT Specialist

If allergy symptoms continue to bother you, then it's time to see a doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor can conduct allergy tests and offer treatment that produces the best results. There are several types of medications available to treat your allergy symptoms. These medications include antihistamines, decongestants, combination drugs, and others. Allergy shots help you get used to the substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Each allergy shot contains a small amount of the substances that are causing your symptoms.

Allergies are painful and unpleasant. They can interfere with your day-to-day activities and decrease the quality of your life. Don't wait- call one of South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat's offices to make an appointment- Port St. Lucie, FL, (772) 398-9911; Fort Pierce, FL-(772) 464-6055; Okeechobee, FL, (863) 357-7791. We want you to live your best possible life!

By South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat
December 11, 2018
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sinusitis  

Sinusitis has been bothering you for a number of years, but your Neti pot and some over-the-counter medications have always helped—until now. These days, the headache, mucous, and congestion worsen daily. Is there a way to relieve your symptoms without invasive sinus surgery? At South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat, your Port St. Lucie ENT doctors perform less intrusive balloon sinuplasty, and frankly, it Balloon Sinuplastyreally works. Just ask Dr. Berghash, Dr. Lanza, or Dr. Wright when you come in for a consultation.

What is sinusitis?

Also termed rhinosinusitis, sinusitis affects 30 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Inflammation and build-up of mucus in the empty spaces behind the forehead, cheeks, and other areas of the face cause acute and recurring symptoms. These symptoms include headache, malaise, pressure, and mucus accumulation. Sinusitis may be related to allergies, viruses, bacteria, or environmental irritants such as cigarette smoke.

Treating sinusitis

Whether your sinusitis is acute or chronic, treatment begins with an examination by one of our Port St. Lucie ENT doctors. They will review your symptoms, medications, and history while also palpating your face to determine the areas of tenderness and congestion.

The doctor may additionally look up your nose with a lighted otoscope and order a CT scan or other imaging to visualize the interior structures of your nose and sinuses. Sometimes, sinus infections occur because of nasal polyps (fleshy, benign growths in the nose and sinuses), a deviated septum, or other problems with the bone and cartilage.

Your physician may prescribe decongestants and/or steroidal sprays to relieve congestion, as well as antibiotics to clear any infection. However, if sinusitis becomes chronic—lasting for months, rather than days or weeks—you may be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty.

Balloon sinuplasty and you

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure designed to drain the sinuses of mucous by flushing them with a saline solution, opening up narrowed passages. The doctor inserts a catheter into the nose and inflates the attached balloon when it is correctly positioned.

Usually, patients find relief almost immediately from their congestion. Results can last indefinitely, the procedure causes no appreciable downtime—a day at most—though some nasal swelling afterward is to be expected. Most balloon sinuplasty procedures can be performed right at South Coast Ear, Nose and Throat by one of our board-certified otolaryngologists.

Learn more

You do not have to suffer with recurring sinus infections. Consult with the experts at South Coast Ear, Nose and Throat, and get back to a symptom-free life. Call (772) 398-9911 to book a consultation with our office at Port St. Lucie, (772) 464-6055 for Fort Pierce, or (863) 357-7791 for Okeechobee.

By South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat
August 23, 2018
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Are you concerned that your daytime exhaustion could be due to this sleep disorder?

Sleep apnea is more common than you might think and it could be what’s making your sleep less than sound. If you are a loud, chronicsleep apnea snorer or if you experience daytime fatigue most days of the week then our Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee, FL, otolaryngologists - Dr. Leslie Berghash, Dr. John Lanza, and Dr. Camysha Wright - are here to tell you why you may just want to get this issue checked out immediately. Discover everything you could ever wish to know about sleep apnea.

Q. What is sleep apnea?

A. This sleep disorder is characterized by pauses in breath, or shallow breathing, throughout the course of the night. When this occurs this means that the brain and the body aren’t getting the proper amount of oxygen they need. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the tissues in the back of the throat collapse and block the airways.

Q. What are the warning signs?

A. The most common warning sign of sleep apnea is chronic and excessive fatigue. This exhaustion occurs the moment you wake up and lasts all day long. You may find it difficult to concentrate at work or you may nod off at your desk or behind the wheel during your daily commute.

You may also notice that you are more irritable and prone to mood swings and that your memory is a bit hazy. Many people with sleep apnea are also very loud snorers. In some cases, the partner of the sleep apnea sufferer may even notice the person waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air.

Q. How can sleep apnea affect my health?

A. If sleep apnea is left untreated it can greatly increase your risk for a variety of long-term and serious health problems such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Asthma

Q. How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

A. If our Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee ENT doctor suspects that you have sleep apnea, you will have to undergo a sleep study where a medical technician will monitor you while you sleep to look for patterns and signs of sleep apnea.

Q. How is this sleep disorder treated?

A. The most common treatment option for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, in which a mask is worn over the nose and mouth to deliver pressurized air to keep the airways from collapsing while you sleep. If your obstructive sleep apnea is mild, you may only need to wear a simple oral appliance at night.

If you suspect that you might be dealing with sleep apnea, or if you are just having trouble falling or staying asleep, then it’s time to sit down with the ENT specialists at South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat. We offer locations in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee, FL.

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