My Blog

By Steven M Dawson, MD
September 13, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sinusitis  

Are you struggling with a stuffy nose, facial pain, cough, or post-nasal drip? You may have sinusitis, a condition that affects close to 30 million people every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection. Fortunately, your ENT specialist, Dr. Steven Dawson, offers treatments that can relieve congestion, pain, and other sinusitis symptoms in Kirkland, WA.

How to tell if you have sinusitis

Although you'll need to visit us if you suspect you have sinusitis in Kirkland, WA, common symptoms include:

  • Stuffed-up or runny nose
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Thick, yellow, or green nasal discharge
  • Pain and pressure in your cheeks, forehead, or around your eyes
  • Neck pain, particularly at the base of your skull
  • Pressure or fullness in your ears
  • Frequent headaches
  • Fever
  • Tooth pain
  • Fatigue

Post-nasal drip, which occurs when mucus drips down the back of your throat, can make your symptoms worse in the morning. You may wake up coughing, notice your throat feels sore, and might even feel a little nauseated.

Sinusitis happens when your sinuses become irritated and inflamed, which causes them to swell. The condition is more likely to occur after you've had a cold or an upper respiratory infection, like the flu. Allergies and bacterial or fungal infections may also be responsible for your symptoms. People who have deviated septums, polyps, or obstructions in their noses are more likely to develop sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis occurs when your symptoms last longer than three months.

Treatment options for sinusitis

A few home treatments and strategies that may help improve your sinusitis symptoms include:

  • Using saline solution to remove excess mucus from your sinuses
  • Taking decongestants to relieve nasal congestion
  • Treating pain with over-the-counter pain relievers and warm compresses
  • Using a humidifier to moisten the air

If your symptoms last more than two weeks or become worse, your ENT doctor may recommend prescription medications that reduce inflammation and nasal congestion. Do you seem to develop sinusitis most often during the spring or fall? You may have allergies. If that's the case, your doctor can recommend medications that reduce your allergy symptoms and help you avoid sinusitis. If your symptoms don't start to get better after a week or two, your ENT may recommend antibiotic treatment.

Have you been struggling with sinusitis in Kirkland, WA? Call your ENT specialist, Dr. Dawson, at 425-899-3838 to schedule an appointment.

By Steven M Dawson, MD
August 20, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Sinus Headaches  

Are headaches plaguing you? Some headaches can stop you from enjoying your daily activities. To find relief for your sinus headaches in Kirkland, WA, visit your ENT specialist Dr. Steven Dawson.

Diagnosing Your Headaches

Headaches can be caused by a variety of reasons, so it is important to determine the source before they can be treated. A sinus headache is caused by issues in the sinus and nasal passages. Sometimes a headache is the result of the sinus and nasal passages becoming inflamed. The inflammation is caused by sinusitis along with the following symptoms:

  • Facial swelling
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Pain and pressure around the eyes, teeth, cheeks, and forehead
  • Fever and chills
  • Yellow or green mucus

Treating Sinus Headaches in Kirkland, WA

The pain that comes from sinus headaches is due to the swelling in the lining of the sinuses. The swelling obstructs the sinuses trapping air, pus, and mucus. You will typically feel the pain start around the eyes or in the upper teeth and worsen if you bend your head forward or lie down.

At-home remedies- there are a few things you can do at home to relieve the pressure, including:

  • Hot or cold compress
  • Using a humidifier
  • Nasal irrigation
  • Over the counter pain relievers
  • Over the counter decongestants

Visit our office- To ease your sinus headache, your doctor will reduce swelling and drain the mucus causing the blockage. If at-home methods aren’t improving your sinus headaches, visit your ear, nose, and throat specialist. Your doctor might order a CT scan of the sinuses and treat your sinusitis with antibiotics or prescription-strength decongestants. They may also suggest endoscopic or image-guided surgery for more severe cases. Allergies could also be a cause of your sinus headaches. If so, your doctor can perform allergy testing and prescribe allergy medication.

If you are ready to get relief for your sinus headaches in Kirkland, WA, call Dr. Dawson. You can reach us at 425-899-3838 to schedule an appointment.

By Steven M Dawson, MD
June 10, 2021
Category: Sleep Conditions
Tags: sleep apnea  

Sleep apnea, more specifically, obstructive sleep apnea (OTA) occurs when your airway becomes obstructed as you sleep. A number of factors put you at greater risk for sleep apnea. They can be managed with the help of your doctor. If you would like to learn more, contact Dr. Steven Dawson in Kirkland, WA.

Risk Factors

A recurring theme among risk factors is the way they can interfere with your airway's regular function. Being overweight is one of the most common factors as fat deposits around the neck can constrict your airway. Your tongue can also obstruct your breathing, which can happen if you have a large tongue or have an overbite. This is because of the position of your lower jaw.


Because of the way sleep apnea affects your ability to sleep, the more immediate problems you may face are those related to sleep deprivation. Such as irritability and drowsiness during the day. Forgetfulness, problems with concentration, and even headaches are possible. Sleep apnea can also put you at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.


Weight loss and exercise are always excellent first steps toward managing your risk factors. An oral appliance can help when the condition is not as severe by keeping your airway clear as you sleep. Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) is also very effective, using a machine that connects to a mask you wear at night that keeps a constant flow of air coming in to help you sleep. Severe conditions may require surgical intervention.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Kirkland, WA

If you are having trouble sleeping, if you snore, or suspect sleep apnea then come into the office for a consultation today. Make an appointment with Dr. Dawson in Kirkland, WA, by dialing 425-899-3838.

By Steven M Dawson, MD
March 04, 2021
Category: ENT
Tags: Sinus Surgery  

Are you allergic to just about everything, experience signs of hay fever almost daily, or have sinuses that act up when it gets wet outside? Sinus problems could be the cause. When symptoms like nasal congestion, lethargy, headaches, runny nose, or mouth-breathing become chronic (they bother you for longer than three months), Dr. Steven Dawson can help you reach a diagnosis and do something about it.

Sinus surgery might not be a favorite phrase for Kirkland, WA, patients to hear, but it has the potential to reduce pain, improve sleep quality, and alleviate other-related symptoms.

Is Sinus Surgery Right for Me?

If you sneeze more often than not, it could be due to an underlying sinus infection, sinusitis, polyps (growths) with the nasal cavity, or structural problems, such as a deviated septum. One or more of these issues can disrupt daily activities for hours on end, and cause frustration for the sufferer.

When decongestants, antihistamines, and irrigations, such as flushing with a neti-pot don't offer any relief, Dr. Dawson may recommend sinus surgery to improve your drainage system. But first, he'll perform a physical exam that consists of x-rays that allow him to see all the structures inside your nose and nasal passages. If you're able to move forward with sinus surgery, this non-invasive endoscopic procedure designed to clear blockages and remove excess mucus takes place in our Kirkland, WA, office. Dr. Dawson will also address any questions or concerns during your initial visit.

If you've been plagued by frequent sinus infections or sinusitis, it might be time to discuss treatment options. Whether it be via sinus surgery or another method, the goal is to open the sinuses' natural pathways, equipping you with relief and comfort.

If you've never visited an ENT and would like to learn more about other conditions treated and services provided in our Kirkland, WA office, visit our website. Please call 425-899-3838 for appointment scheduling.

By Steven M Dawson, MD
January 06, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Ear Infection  

Ear infections are one of the more common acute ENT problems. At Dr. Steven Dawson's office in Kirkland, WA, we see and treat scores of ear infections--from swimmer's ear to otitis media and problems associated with the internal ear. Let us help you or your child feel better and stay healthy.

The middle ear

It's composed of the eardrum, a movable membrane that receives sound, and tiny bones that move sound waves to the auditory nerve. Your outer ear consists of the ear canal and the outer structure which is visible.

Bacteria or viruses from upper respiratory infections, the common cold, or the flu invade the ear and cause infections. Middle ear infections are known as otitis media. An outer ear infection, or swimmer's ear, results from retained water and sand in the cartilage of the ear and ear canal.

Signs of an ear infection

Otitis media has distinct symptoms, particularly in children. They include:

  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Irritability
  • Pulling at the ear
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Drainage
  • Muffled hearing

Dr. Dawson will look inside the ear with a lighted otoscope. With otitis media, the eardrum typically looks bulging and dull, and the presence of fluid may impede its movement. Also, he may perform a simple, painless tympanogram which sends a tone into the ear and notes the amount of rebound from the eardrum.

Treating an ear infection

Be sure to control fever with ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Rest, and apply a warm compress to the affected side. Also, Dr. Dawson may prescribe an antibiotic if symptoms do not resolve within two to three days.

Additionally, some children who suffer repeat ear infections may benefit from ventilation, or tympanostomy, tubes. These tiny tubes keep the eardrums patent, avoiding the accumulation of fluid and microbes. Also, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that children benefit from pneumonia and flu vaccines to protect against the illnesses themselves and the ear infections which often follow them.

Contact our ENT office in Kirkland, WA

Dr. Steven Dawson and his team will help you or your child feel better and have all the benefits of healthy ears. Call us right away if ear pain and fever persist. We know how to help. Phone (425) 899-3838.

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