Almost everyone has experienced the discomfort of heartburn after eating their favorite concession stand food or filling up too much at a large family dinner. Acid reflux can cause symptoms such as a burning sensation and pain in your chest, difficulty swallowing, a sour taste in your mouth, and a lump in your throat.

The following at-home remedies should help to ease these symptoms and stop the burn before it turns into a digestive fire. (Always consult your acid reflux doctor before adding anything new to your treatment regimen.)

Avoid triggers, such as acidic or spicy foods, and eat smaller portions to help lessen the instances of heartburn. Consider lifestyle changes, such as eliminating or at least limiting alcohol, smoking, and fatty foods. Do not eat before bedtime and use pillows to sleep in a more upright position if you seem to experience acid reflux more during the night.

At-home treatments include drinking low-fat milk, baking soda mixed with water, or apple cider vinegar to help maybe neutralize stomach acid. Other natural remedies include chewing gum or consuming ginger, found in tea and supplements. Grate your own fresh ginger root into soups, teas, and other drinks.

You do not have to wait until you experience symptoms of heartburn to take over-the-counter antacids. Take these medicines, found in chewable tablets and powders, about an hour after you eat to head off the burn before it starts. H2 blockers are now found over the counter and are taken every day to stop acid reflux from happening by decreasing acid production.

Though these home remedies for heartburn and acid reflux may offer some relief, it is always best to consult an ENT doctor if these symptoms persist on a regular basis, worsen, or OTC medicines don’t help. This can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).


This 15-minute ear surgery that makes a difference in your overall appearance helps shape and create a better-looking ear. It can also help you achieve more confidence and increase your self-esteem. With the right doctor, it is a very safe procedure with low risks.

An earlobe reduction is the leading plastic surgery done to reshape the earlobes. There are many other procedures that can be done to reshape and enhance the appearance of a person’s ear, such as trans-filling of soft tissue, cartilage repair, and its support system, among others.

Why This Procedure

One of the main reasons someone would consider having ear surgery is due to a birth defect or because the earlobes are too large, which can cause the ears to be out of proportion with the rest of their face. This can be especially true if they have smaller ears.

What Is Done Before an Ear Surgery

Before an ear surgery, the doctor will examine the ears and check for any previous surgeries or infections that disrupt the ear’s natural shape. The patient will then be adequately informed about what to expect during and after surgery.

What To Expect In The Procedure

With the right ENT doctor, the whole procedure will take less than 15 minutes. It involves using a local anesthetic, a numbing medication injected into the upper part of your ear, around the earlobe area. The doctor uses surgical scissors to remove excess skin and tissue from the top of the ear.

How Long Will Healing Take

The healing process in reduction of earlobe usually takes about 10 to 14 days. This depends on how much skin and tissue was removed from the top of the ear. After this, your ears will be numb, and you will likely experience little to no pain.

The ear lobe procedure will enhance your appearance as it will look natural, so you can be confident about gaining an ear that looks as it should.


Struggling with under-eye bags? You’re not alone. In 2022, there are certainly ways to improve its condition. You can even turn to a plastic surgeon for a simple refresh! Before we get to that point, this blog shares a few tips and helpful information to consider.

Bags Can Be Caused by A Number of Things

Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep? Perhaps you’re stressed, notice sunspots, or changes in pigmentation. Unfortunately, there is no one reason why you’re experiencing under eye bags. It naturally comes with age. But there are certainly options that work to resolve them!

Have You Tried Skin Creams?

Most of our patients are looking for immediate results. Without an eyelift, you’re unlikely to see change within a few days to a week. However, using a topical skin-care product can work in your favor. Whether you start at a young age or older, it is a perfect tool to add to your regimen.

It will help prevent bags, puffiness, and dark circles. Certain serums and creams are intended to restore youthfulness and brightness. If you’re not seeing a change, you can always consult with our offices to gauge a better rejuvenation plan.

Try Not to Pull on Your Lower Eyelid

Trust us – this is the fastest way to do damage. Whether you’re applying eye cream, or engaging in your daily face wash routine, try to be gentle. The skin underneath the eye is one of the most sensitive areas of the body. Applying too much pressure can lead to visible damage and quick aging.

At Westside Head & Neck, one of our ENT doctors is also a board-certified plastic surgeon. Not only can we help restore your breathing and provide sinus relief – part of our services include eye lifts. Call today to schedule an appointment with us.


Do you notice a voice change when you first wake up in the morning? It might come across as a bit husky. Or maybe you have trouble getting it back to normal. Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate if it’s coming from an underlying health concern, or a bit too much singing at a party or concert. This blog explains some reasons why you’re experiencing voice loss.


We’re in the midst of cold and flu season. With covid also being a risk during the winter, it’s vital that you understand where your voice loss is coming from. According to WebMD, when you speak air passes through the voice box to the vocal cords in the throat – the voice is what comes out as the cords vibrate.

A cold disrupts the natural process. When the throat is inflamed and sore, the cords will begin to swell. That causes you to experience hoarseness. Try to rest and load up on water, as it will ease the irritation.

Speaking Too Much

Whether you’re at a conference or concert, speaking or screaming too much will do significant damage. Like any other part of the body, overuse will cause further strain and injury. Indication that you’re likely to lose your voice in the morning include:

  • Coughing, speaking, yelling or singing too much
  • Screaming or speaking loudly at a higher or lower pitch than normal


If you’re a recreational smoker, play close attention to your vocal cords. If it is irritating your throat and voice, you can expect long-term problems with your voice. People who smoke are more likely to experience a disorder compared to those that don’t. Cigarettes can especially cause the development of noncancerous growth or polyps.


Thyroid is one of the leading causes of vocal cord issues. The gland is located in the lower neck, and releases hormones that control all aspects of the body. When your thyroid doesn’t make enough of that hormone, you’re experience hoarseness, coughs, and problems with speech.

We always recommend booking an appointment with an ENT doctor for voice and speech therapy.


Ear infections are a common ailment, especially among children. Many parents believe that exposure to cold air is the cause of ear infections, but this is not true. Several things can cause ear infections, including bacteria and viruses. This article explores all you need to know about their causes and risk factors.

Cold exposure can cause discomfort and pain in the ears, but it’s not because of infection. Spend time outside with proper protection against cold weather to prevent this problem from happening.

As any parent knows, children are more prone to ear infections. This is because their eustachian tubes tend to be shorter, making it hard to drain properly when they have an infection in the middle of one or both ears.

Causes of Ear Infections

There are many myths surrounding ear infections. One of the most common is that cold air causes them. This is not true. Many things can cause ear infections, including but not limited to:

  • Allergies
  • Sinus infections
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Trauma to the ear canal
  • Otitis media, an infection of the middle ear

If you are experiencing any symptoms of an ear infection, it is important to see an ENT doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Ear infections can be painful and lead to other complications if left untreated. Don’t let a myth keep you from seeking help.

Risk Factors for Ear Infections

Several things can increase your risk of getting an ear infection, including having a cold or the flu, being around tobacco smoke, and having allergies. Children are also more likely to get ear infections than adults.

If you think you might have an ear infection, it is important to see an ear infection specialist right away. If left untreated, ear infections can lead to hearing loss. Early diagnosis and treatment is key in preventing any long-term damage.


Although strep throat causes your throat to hurt, it is not the same thing as a sore throat. The two illnesses have some things in common; however, strep throat has a different set of symptoms.

What Causes Sore Throat?

In most cases, viruses, colds, and allergies are the culprits behind sore throats. If you suffer from a cough, runny nose, sinus drainage, sneezing and itchy or watery eyes, you likely do not have strep throat. According to LiveWell, most causes of sore throats are treatable at home with over-the-counter medicines. However, if your sore throat persists, you may need to seek advice from an ENT doctor.

Symptoms of Strep Throat

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strep throat is not accompanied by a cough. Instead, symptoms are likely to occur suddenly and may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Painful Swallowing
  • Swollen Tonsils
  • White Spots in back of Throat

While there are many causes of sore throats, there is only one bacteria responsible for strep throat. This bacteria is known as group A Streptococcus. If you suspect that you may have strep throat, you can schedule an appointment with a sore throat doctor.

Strep throat causes severe throat pain; however, it is not the same thing as a sore throat. The two conditions are caused by different viruses and bacteria, but they come with a different set of symptoms. If you are suffering from fever, throat pain and headache, visit your doctor for a strep test. If you have a runny nose, sore throat and sneeze, you are likely suffering from a cold or sinuses, causing your throat to hurt. However, with COVID in our midst, it is best to get tested and quarantine if you have cold or flu-like symptoms.


Most people know that a bad sinus infection is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria and viruses in the nasal passage. The common symptoms include congestion, headaches, sore throat, and fever. But what triggers this condition? We will explore some of the most common causes of a bad sinus infection.

  1. You Are Using Nasal Spray Too Much
    Nasal sprays such as over-the-counter saline solution work by thinning out mucous secretions allowing for easier drainage. Suppose you tend to use nasal spray often (especially medicated ones). In that case, this can cause decreased mucus production in the sinuses and lining tissues causing poor trapping and draining of bacteria and viruses, resulting in a bad sinus infection.
  2. Your Air Is Too Dry
    Dry air can also cause dehydration of the nasal lining, resulting in decreased production of mucus compromising drainage and trapping bacteria and viruses, leading to a bad sinus infection.
  3. Failure to Stay Hydrated
    Dehydration can also cause dry sinuses. This will result in decreased mucus production and poor trapping of bacteria and viruses, leading to a bad sinus infection. You will need to seek medication attention to get sinus relief.
  4. Failure to Get Enough Sleep
    Your body does most of its healing at night when you are in a state of rest, which is why sleep deprivation often leads to sickness. It is essential to get enough rest for your immune system to work properly while sleeping.
  5. Smoking Cigarettes
    Smoking cigarette smoke contains many toxins that have been proven harmful not only to lung health but also to overall health. Smoking has been associated with the development of sinusitis.
  6. Failure to Stay on Top of Hygiene
    By simply washing your hands regularly, you can cut down the spread of respiratory infections like colds and flu. This can also help prevent spreading germs throughout your family or household and avoid getting yourself. Using disinfectants such as bleach to clean surfaces, doorknobs, desktops, keyboards, or phones can also help prevent the spread of common germs.in case the infection gets worse, it is advisable to see an ENT doctor for help.Having a bad sinus infection can make you miserable! It can be caused by an overgrowth of bacteria and viruses in the nasal passages due to lack of trapping and draining because of dehydration, poor hygiene, or allergy. It can also be triggered by smoking or staying up all night, which causes your body not to heal itself at an optimal rate.


When you have been in a car accident or suffered an injury on the job, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Though, there are some cases where it is essential. One would be if you suffered a nasal injury or fracture. When injuries are sustained to the face, including the nose and sinus cavity, facial wounds may bleed profusely and cause life-threatening injuries. This blog will discuss why you should seek nasal evaluation after an injury.

  1.   Correct Breathing Problems
    Nasal fracture reconstruction can be used to correct nasal deformities, including nasal septal perforation and projective collapse. After a nasal injury, you may experience breathing problems, which can be very debilitating in your daily life. Therefore, it is important to get treatment.
  2.   To Improve Its Function
    If you have been injured and sustained a fracture, you likely have trouble breathing. When the damage is severe enough, it can place a great amount of stress on your body – resulting in rapid fatigue. It is important to seek out a nasal evaluation after an injury to stabilize your nose.
  3.   Prevent Infection
    When the nose is fractured the spread of microorganisms can cause infection. If the break is not properly treated and cleaned, it can become infected and affect other body parts. This illness could last for several days and leave you with a weakened immune system.
  4.   Blood Clot
    The nose contains blood vessels that are relatively easy to tear. This can result in profuse bleeding, leading to a lack of oxygen and even death. An ENT doctor can help stop the bleeding so that it can clot and heal properly, preventing infection.Don’t hesitate to seek medical treatment if you suffer from nasal injury. You may have other injuries, which will need to be treated as soon as possible.


We often take senses like sight and hearing for granted until a problem develops. Cholesteatoma is a rare but problematic condition in which an abnormal skin growth or cyst develops behind the eardrum.

How Does Cholesteatoma Develop?

A growth like a cholesteatoma often begins as a buildup of extra earwax and skin cells behind the eardrum. Over time, this growth hardens and makes it difficult for fluid to drain in and around the eardrum. This can cause issues with hearing, ear infections, and in extreme cases, hearing loss. If you notice pain in and around the ear or issues with balance, see your ENT doctor as soon as possible to determine the cause of your discomfort.

What Symptoms Should I Look For?

The buildup of material that can block the ear canal does take time, so it may seem that symptoms of cholesteatoma come on rather suddenly. Symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • A sense of the ears being full
  • Earache or pain in the ear and along the jawline
  • Ear infections
  • Drainage, often accompanied by a bad smell
  • Hearing loss

What Causes Cholesteatoma?

A significant contributing factor to cholesteatoma and its development is poor ventilation of the middle ear space. Otherwise known as eustachian tube dysfunction, it develops as excess ear wax, skin cells, and other debris get trapped in the inner ear, creating pressure around the eardrum. Other factors that could cause its development include seasonal allergies, upper respiratory infections, and chronic sinusitis. Some types of cholesteatoma are genetic, and malformations are present at birth that contribute to its development over time.

Are There Dangers Associated With Cholesteatoma?

Failing to undergo proper treatment will result in recurring ear infections, drainage, and eventually, hearing loss. A cholesteatoma growth can also erode the delicate bone tissues in the inner ear, paving the way for more serious infections such as meningitis and brain abscess. These are the most serious conditions that can result in death if not properly treated.

What Are My Treatment Options?

This condition can be managed once it is discovered, but the removal of hardened tissue is usually accomplished with cholesteatoma surgery. An ENT, an abnormal ear growth doctor, can prescribe medication to reduce swelling and infection as well as manage drainage as you contemplate surgical removal. The primary goal of surgery is to remove all obstructions inside the ear and dry out the ear canal, helping to restore proper, pain-free hearing.

Questions to ask your ENT

Once you make an appointment for assessment of your ear, consider asking the following questions of your ENT to give you better peace of mind as you craft your treatment plan:

  • What medications can I take to stop drainage?
  • How can I manage pain before, during and after my procedure?
  • Will I be doing inpatient or outpatient surgery?
  • How long is recovery?
  • Will I need a planned second surgery to manage regrowth?
  • Will this affect my hearing long-term?

Getting the answers that you need will be an essential part of your healing process. At Westside Head and Neck Clinics, we are ready to meet with you to craft a care plan that works for you. Courteous and professional staff, knowledgeable doctors, and state of the art technology ensure that your health concerns are addressed. Make your appointment today, and see how we can improve your health and your hearing. Visit https://www.westsidehn.com/ for more information.


Even the slightest ear problem can cause pain and affect your hearing ability. In most cases earwax buildup is to blame. Fortunately, before you see an ear doctor you can try to remove the earwax at home as long as it’s done safely and effectively.

Earwax: Overview

Earwax is a naturally produced substance known scientifically as cerumen. It helps prevent pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi from collecting inside the ears and potentially resulting in infection and illness. When excessive concentrations accumulate, you’re likely to experience diminished hearing, ear pain, dizziness, the feeling of fullness, ringing, or pressure inside the ear.

How To Safely Clean One’s Ears?

Medical professionals maintain that the most direct and cautious earwax removing methods include:

Softening Products
You might find relief by employing softening products designed to loosen the earwax and make it easier to remove. Typically, these materials are liquid solutions containing various chemicals and are available for purchase over-the-counter.

Damp Cloths
Occasionally, administering a warm, damp washcloth to the afflicted ear produces intended results. Moisture loosens stubborn wax and makes said substance more manageable to extract.

For some people, syringes prove effective. These needle-like items are filled with water or some type of solution and injected into the impacted ear. Said effort provides a rinsing action that may help remove appreciable quantities of earwax.

Activities To Avoid

Healthcare providers implore patients to avoid removal techniques like:
Using Cotton Swabs
At one time or another, many people have utilized cotton swabs for ear wax removal purposes. However, reputable ear doctors argue it is the worst thing that you can do. Cotton swabs often produce the counterproductive outcome of pushing wax further down into the impacted individual’s ear canal. Such occurrences could render earwax far more difficult to remove and place one at risk for complications like infections and possibly even eardrum rupture.

Employing Removal Candles
Some might opt to administer removal candles into their ears. This particular method involves the insertion of a candle’s butt end into the therapeutic protocol recipient’s ear. The implement’s other end is then lit and the heat produced is thought to soften wax and render its extraction simpler. That said, this method often increases a participant’s chances of incurring burns and ear damage.

Visit A Specialist
The best advice one dealing with earwax buildup is asked to follow is to consult with an experienced ENT doctor such as those employed at Westside Heck & Neck!

1301 20th Street Suite 510
Santa Monica, CA 90404

3831 Hughes Avenue Suite 704
Culver City, CA 90232


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