My Blog

By Steven M Dawson, MD
July 26, 2022
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: sleep apnea  

How your ENT specialist in Kirkland, WA, can help with sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common condition, but what most people don’t know is that it can shorten your life. Sleep apnea puts you at risk of having a stroke, developing heart disease, and developing Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, your ENT specialist is an expert at diagnosing and treating sleep apnea.

Dr. Steven Dawson is an ENT specialist in Kirkland, WA, who provides a wide range of ear, nose, and throat services, including diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is more common than you think. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, over 18 million people in this country are affected by it.

Sleep apnea is caused by the tissue at the back of your throat periodically relaxing during sleep. This tissue can partially or totally block your airway, causing lack of oxygen to flow to your vital organs, including your heart and brain.

There are several warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea for you to watch out for. You may have sleep apnea if you:

  • Wake up gasping and choking for air
  • Have a headache when you wake up
  • Have a sore throat in the morning
  • Experience sleepiness or grogginess during the day
  • Have been told you loudly and frequently snore

You can try a few lifestyle changes to help with mild sleep apnea. Remember to:

  • Avoid taking sedatives
  • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight

Moderate to severe sleep apnea should be treated by an ENT specialist. There are a few professional treatments for sleep apnea to consider:

A CPAP, which is a device that provides a continuous flow of oxygen while you sleep. The device is hooked up to a facepiece which you wear during the night.

An oral mandibular advancement appliance, which is a small, portable dental appliance you wear while sleeping. The device holds your lower jaw forward, keeping your airway open during the night.

If you think you might have sleep apnea, don’t procrastinate. Seek out treatment from your ENT specialist. To learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of sleep apnea, call Dr. Steven Dawson. You can reach him in his Kirkland, WA, office by calling (425) 899-3838, so call now.

By Steven M Dawson, MD
April 27, 2022
Category: ENT
Tags: Sinus Infection  

Get the facts about sinus infections.

Dealing with a nasty sinus infection that leaves you with facial pain and pressure and trouble breathing? Quick fixes like nasal sprays and over-the-counter medications may provide relief for a few hours, but then what? The symptoms usually return. Instead of suppressing the symptoms, our Kirkland, WA, otolaryngologist Dr. Steven Dawson works with patients to discover the root cause of their symptoms.

What are the symptoms of chronic sinusitis?

The most common symptoms include,

  • Nasal discharge
  • Mucus in the throat
  • Runny nose
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Clogged ears
  • Referred pain in the upper teeth
  • Chronic cough
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Are you dealing with these symptoms? Do you want to ditch that over-the-counter “quick fix” that isn’t fixing anything? That’s when it’s time to turn to our ENT doctor for comprehensive treatment against your sinus infection.

When is a sinus infection considered chronic?

For a sinus infection to be classified as chronic, you must be dealing with symptoms including nasal swelling for more than 12 weeks.

When should I see an ENT doctor?

It’s time to take a trip to our office if your sinus infection is severe, if your symptoms last more than ten days or if your infections keep recurring. Recurring sinus infections could be a sign of an underlying nasal problem, and our ENT specialist will perform the appropriate imaging tests to look for the cause of your symptoms.

How is a chronic sinus infection treated?

To figure out the best approach to treating your condition, we have to figure out what’s causing it. While acute sinus infections usually clear up on their own without treatment, we will focus mainly on recurring or chronic sinus infections. Chronic sinus infections are brought about through inflammation.

This inflammation may result from a respiratory infection or allergies, both of which can cause a vicious cycle of swelling and nasal congestion. You may also be surprised to discover that specific food sensitivities could cause sinus inflammation and irritation.

In the beginning phase of treatment, our goal is to eliminate and clear the infection so the sinuses can drain properly again. This can be done through certain medications to kill bacteria or procedures designed to open up the nasal passages.

Once the infection is gone, the long-term goal is for us to help the sinuses heal properly and to eliminate chronic inflammation. To do this, we need first to pinpoint the root cause of inflammation. We can offer a variety of remedies aimed at treating the cause. Some treatment plans may include nasal rinses, dietary changes (e.g., cutting out dairy and wheat), and taking certain supplements and nutrients known to promote healthy sinuses.

When is sinus surgery needed?

We offer a minimally invasive endoscopic nasal surgery known as a balloon sinuplasty that corrects nasal blockages and chronic sinus infections. This procedure may be necessary if you deal with chronic sinusitis that isn’t responding to other treatment options.

Have questions about your sinus infection? Want to sit down with our Kirkland, WA, otolaryngologist Dr. Dawson to find out how to best treat your condition. Call us at (425) 899-3838.

By Steven M Dawson, MD
April 25, 2022
Category: ENT
Tags: Sinus Surgery  

Is it time to consider sinus surgery?

Dealing with the occasional sinus infection each year is certainly not a cause for considering surgery, but dealing with chronic, nagging, and unending sinus infections could be enough of a reason to ask our Kirkland, WA, ENT doctor, Dr. Steven Dawson, “Is sinus surgery the right treatment option for me?” Sinus surgery may be suitable if,

You Have a Nasal Obstruction

Are you unable to properly breathe through your nose? If so, you could have a nasal obstruction. Nasal obstructions are a real problem, as they can make it challenging to breathe, sleep and even eat. The good news is that through simple minimally invasive sinus surgery, our Kirkland, WA, otolaryngologist Dr. Dawson can clear the obstruction and help you fully breathe through your nose again.

You’re Dealing with Unresponsive Chronic Sinusitis

A sinus infection is considered chronic if a person has been dealing with symptoms for more than 12 weeks. Does this sound like you? If so, it’s time to schedule an appointment with our Kirkland, WA, team. We won’t recommend sinus surgery right away. Instead, we will provide you with a wide range of nonsurgical treatment options. Only when we’ve exhausted all treatment options and you still aren’t experiencing relief after months of treatment may we recommend surgery.

You Have a Structural Abnormality

Sometimes, a deviated septum or congenital defect in the sinuses or nose can cause nasal obstructions, trouble breathing, chronic sinus headaches, sleep issues, etc. During your evaluation, we will perform imaging tests to take a look at the nose and determine if a structural deformity could be to blame. We can also quickly correct these problems through sinus surgery.

You Have Severe Sinus Polyps or Growths

Another benefit of sinus surgery is that we can easily remove polyps and growths that may be so large that they are causing blockages and causing pain and pressure, along with difficulty breathing. Again, imaging tests can help us determine if there are growths or polyps present, how large they are, and how much they impact your breathing. If they are making it difficult to breathe, they should be removed.

Want to sit down with our Kirkland, WA, otolaryngologist Dr. Dawson to discuss whether you could be a candidate for sinus surgery? Call us at (425) 899-3838 to schedule your consultation.

By Steven M Dawson, MD
October 28, 2021
Category: ENT Conditions
Tags: Deviated Septum  

How your ENT specialist in Kirkland, WA, can help you breathe better

When you have a deviated septum, it can dramatically affect your ability to breathe normally. Fortunately, your ENT specialist can help.

Dr. Steven Dawson in Kirkland, WA, offers a wide range of ear, nose, and throat services, including treatment for a deviated septum and sleep apnea.

A deviated septum can cause:

  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Diminished oxygen flow to your organs
  • Sinus headaches and sinus infections
  • Increased respiratory symptoms due to a cold or the flu

A deviated septum can also make you more likely to suffer from loud snoring and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition during which the tissue at the back of your throat collapses. Your airway becomes blocked while you sleep.

A blocked airway causes diminished oxygen flow to your vital organs, making you more susceptible to:

  • Having a stroke
  • Experiencing memory problems
  • Acquiring diabetes
  • Having a heart attack

You can try a few simple tricks to get relief from mild sleep apnea symptoms. Remember to:

  • Take a decongestant before bed
  • Try to sleep on your side
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid sedatives and alcohol

For moderate to severe sleep apnea, it’s best to visit your ENT specialist. Professional treatments include:

An oral mandibular advancement appliance, which is a dental appliance that holds your lower jaw forward. It keeps your airway open during the night.

A continuous positive airway pressure appliance, also known as a CPAP, provides a constant supply of oxygen, which you breathe through a nosepiece during the night.

If your signs and symptoms are related to a deviated septum, your ENT specialist may recommend nasal surgery to realign and reposition the nasal septum, so you can breathe easily again.

To learn more about the consequences of having a deviated septum and sleep apnea treatment, talk with an expert. Call Dr. Steven Dawson in Kirkland, WA, at (425) 899-3838. Call today!

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.

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