Allergies or Covid-19

Posted in Uncategorized on June 8th, 2020 with No Comments
In the midst of a pandemic, allergy season is now just entering full bloom. With summer around the corner and pollen filling the air, we understand how it can be confusing to differentiate allergy symptoms from something more concerning like the coronavirus. While it is good to stay vigilant of your symptoms, the first sign of a sniffle shouldn’t send you into a panic.

Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. Comparing that to the 1.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in America (as of May 25th), it is more likely that a sneeze is due to allergies than the coronavirus.

The most characteristic symptoms of allergies are:

· Nasal congestion

· Runny nose

· Sneezing

· Itchy/watery eyes

· Scratchy throat

· Hives

Allergies can even exacerbate asthma, causing:

· Shortness of breath

· Coughing

· Wheezing

We see how most of these symptoms can overlap with COVID-19, as well as other infectious diseases like the flu or the common cold, and it important to be able to distinguish them. The best way to do so is an ENT evaluation and we at CSENT are here to help!

At our practice, allergy testing can be performed via either a quick pain-free skin test or by a blood test. Both types of testing are safe and can be effective for diagnosing environmental allergies. Skin testing has the advantage of being performed in office and immediately obtaining results.

If you or a family member have any upper respiratory symptoms, please do not hesitate to contact us and schedule an allergy evaluation as your first step towards symptom relief.

Opinions expressed here are those of Marco DiBlasi, BA and Daryl Colden, MD. They are not intended as medical advice and cannot substitute the advice of your personal physician

Facemasks and Communication Breakdown

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21st, 2020 with No Comments

May 15, 2020, Sarah Wellwood, Au.D.

Hearing loss is a communication disorder. Oral communication is most effective when clear, articulate and audible speech reaches an individual with normal hearing. Communication barriers arise when speech is not audible for whatever reason, be it on the speaker’s end or the ​listener’s end. We have understood for a long time that the use of lip-reading cues and facial cues greatly aid speech recognition. Taking away visual cues makes it harder, especially for those with hearing loss, to understand speech. In the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are wearing facemasks on a regular basis, which in turn is blocking these important cues. According to a recent article published in The Hearing Review, simple facemasks, including cloth and surgical masks, reduce speech sounds in the higher frequencies by 3-4 dB and N95 masks reduce those frequencies as much as 12dB! This is especially detrimental to those with hearing loss.

Please remember to be patient while communicating with those with hearing loss. Be mindful of background noise that might be interfering with communication (TV, air-conditioning, other’s conversations, etc.) and make eye contact with the individual. Have a pad of paper and pen handy to write down what you are trying to communicate if multiple attempts at communication fail. Invest in a pocket talker (a simple internet search will yield several options) as a low-cost assistive listening device or make an appointment to discuss hearing aid options. Be aware that raising your voice may distort speech while slowing down the rate of your speech and paying attention to articulation can go a long way.

References:

1) Goldin A, Weinstein BE, Shiman N. How do medical masks degrade speech perception? Hearing Review. 2020;27(5):8-9.

Dr. Colden awarded North Shore Magazine + Castle Connolly “Top Doctors 2017”

Posted in awards on February 27th, 2017 with No Comments
Dr. Colden awarded North Shore Magazine + Castle Connolly “Top Doctors 2017” The Colden & Seymour team is proud to announce that our own Dr. Daryl Colden has been awarded as the top Otolaryngology award in the North Shore. Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. is a healthcare research and information company to help guide consumers to America’s top doctors and top hospitals. Castle Connolly’s established nomination survey research screening and selection process under the direction of an MD involves many hundreds of thousands of physicians as well as academic medical centers specialty hospitals and regional and community hospitals all across the nation. Castle Connolly’s physician-led team of researchers follows a rigorous screening process to select top doctors on both the national and regional levels. We are proud of Dr. Colden’s accomplishment, and look forward passing down his expertise to our patients.
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