Otolaryngology Spring Newsletter
The Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery releases a newsletter twice a year to highlight current news and events. In the Spring Newsletter, we discuss topics such as our recent Renovations to a Blast from the Past section to our annual Physicians Alumni Weekend.
Otolaryngology Spring 2016 Allergy News
The Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery releases a biannual allergy newsletter to help audiences stay up-do-date on allergy triggers, treatments and more. In the Spring Allergy Newsletter, we discuss topics such as spring cleaning and using MU Healthe for all your allergy needs.
Click here to view our most recent Allergy Newsletter
Over the years the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery has sought to strengthen our relationships and collaboration with other departments and divisions at the University of Missouri.
There is no better example of this than our relationship with the Department of Internal Medicine/Division of Endocrinology. As our respective thyroid/parathyroid practices have grown over time our relationship has also grown. As a result, residents have benefitted from the standpoint of surgical training and from the opportunity to participate in research in the management of thyroid/parathyroid disease. The best example of our collaboration has been our multidisciplinary clinics. Dr. Uzma Khan and Dr. Camilla Manrique have clinics with each of our Head and Neck Faculty where new and established patients can have their thyroid or parathyroid disorders managed by both physicians in a single location. This service also can include ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy with the participation of the cytologist to provide preliminary reading of the specimen. There is no doubt that this enhances patient understanding and physician communication. We are very excited about the continued growth of our Department and the opportunities for collaboration with other providers.
Scientist strives to improve quality of life for patients with dysphagia
The Department of Otolaryngology welcomes Dr. Teresa Lever as assistant professor, with adjunct appointments in Biomedical Sciences and Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Roughly 10 million Americans are evaluated for dysphagia (swallowing impairment) each year resulting from a broad spectrum of medical conditions including stroke, MS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, head and neck cancer, and ALS. Dysphagia leads to malnutrition and respiratory conditions that are associated with poor quality of life, morbidity, mortality, and extended hospitalization. With areas of research that includes the neurobiology of normal swallowing and dysphagia, Dr. Lever’s goal is to develop diagnostic tests for early the detection, and therefore earlier treatment, of dysphagia. Her research team has pioneered methodology capable of reliably detecting small but important changes in the swallowing function of mice. She and her team have also recently patented an observation kennel for conducting swallowing studies with naturally feeding, unrestrained cats and dogs which is being made available to veterinary campuses across the U.S.
Caring for Kids
The pediatric otolaryngology team at the University of Missouri is dedicated to providing comprehensive patient-centered care for children.
Dr. Gov-Ari and his staff care for children with a range of commonly occurring conditions such as hearing loss, middle ear disease, dysphagia, sinusitis, tonsillitis, sleep apnea/snoring, acid reflux and allergies. Care for more complex conditions such as head and neck tumors, lymphatic and vascular malformations, laryngeal stenosis, tracheal stenosis, laryngeal clefts and syndromic conditions are also provided. Parents have commented that our pediatric otolaryngology team provided “the best experience I have ever had in pediatrics” and “I know at the end of the day, one might say these people are just doing their job. But it makes lots of difference when people work with a heart”.
Is it allergies or irritants?
Irritants and allergies frequently are confused because they can cause many of the same symptoms. The difference is important, though, because they have different causes and require different treatment methods.
Irritants such as strong perfumes, cigarette smoke and chemical odors are triggers that often cause symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, headaches and coughing. When a person encounters an irritant, the body responds with a defense mechanism that causes the nose, eyes and throat to produce more mucous. Most people have some irritant reactions, but certain people are more sensitive than others.
An allergy is caused when the body’s immune system mistakes a harmless substance for a dangerous one and responds with an immune-system defense. Common substances that cause allergies, called allergens, include pet dander, dust mites, tree pollen and ragweed pollen.
How are they different?
People who are prone to allergies will react even to small amounts of these substances, while people without allergies can tolerate very high exposures without a reaction. That is because the immune systems of people without allergies don’t react to harmless substances.
Allergies usually can be treated with drugs called antihistamines, steroid nasal sprays and certain types of immunotherapy, such as allergy shots or drops. Irritant reactions don’t usually respond to standard allergy treatments. There are effective treatments for inhaled irritant reactions, including saline irrigation and some prescription nasal sprays. However, the best option is to avoid the trigger, if possible.
If you experience allergy symptoms or think your sensitivity to irritants is especially high, talk to your doctor.
To schedule an appointment at University of Missouri Health Care’s ENT and Allergy Center of Missouri, please call (573) 817-3000.