New Revolutionary Sinus Procedure Offers Relief for Chronic Sufferers

You have tried rinses, taken medications, avoided irritants and yet chronic sinus pain continues to wreak havoc on your life. What's next... surgery? The thought may seem daunting but thanks to new, less invasive techniques, in-office procedures to treat chronic sinusitis are offering relief without going having to go under the knife.

At Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat, Board Certified Otolaryngologists Dr. Kasznica and Dr. Tamura have teamed up to bring this revolutionary technology to local patients. "Our in-office sinus procedure involves opening the sinuses with mechanized and balloon-assisted techniques," they say. Referred to as balloon sinuplasty, this safe and effective endoscopic sinus procedure requires no cutting of the nasal bone or tissue, making recovery time significantly faster. It also allows patients to undergo sinuplasty in an office setting using mild sedation and local anesthesia.

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Tina Erickson Spotlight On Mentoring

This month we take a journey into the world of mentoring! Tina Erickson, one of our awesome team members at Midwest ENT, volunteers for Lutheran Social Services as a mentor. She shares her experience with us below. We would like to thank Tina for her generosity and caring spirit. This is really great!

Q: What is the name of the organization you volunteer for and can you tell us a little bit about them?

A: Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota serve people of all ages, faiths, races and economic status with professional, confidential and affordable services ranging from mentoring, after school programs, senior living and adoption.

Q: How did you hear about this and how did you decide to become a volunteer for them?

A: I have a friend who works at LSS and she told me how many kids need mentoring through the school system.  My administrator, Lisa Bendt was also mentoring at this time. When I decided to volunteer there were over 500 students that needed mentors in the Sioux Falls and surrounding area. This is a great program that takes 1 hour of your time a week to make a child feel very special.

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Back to School... with Allergies

Tips to Stay Safe when Heading Back to the Classroom

By Jennifer Dumke | Sioux Falls Woman

Backpacks, school supplies and new clothes are just a few of the life-changes a family with young children undergoes when summer wraps and school begins. Millions of children suffer from serious allergies and asthma. In fact, these stubborn ailments account for over 14 million days of school missed, which in turn greatly affects the parents’ work schedules. But aside from inconvenience, allergies can be a life-threatening condition for some kids. And while most schools have protocols for children with allergies, it's ultimately up to the parent to identify the type of condition – with the consult of a physician – and communicate a plan of action for avoidance and treatment.

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The Fun Committee

Well, Hello! I'm Trista Olinger! I've been lucky enough to work at Midwest ENT for 3 years now and truly enjoy my job. I love being the front line for our patients and feeling like I make a difference in their lives! I'm married to the best person I've ever met in my life. Scott. He truly is my other half. We got married when I was 20, when you know, you know! ☺ We will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary this January 1st. We have two boys, Renner (my step-son) who is 9, and Silas who is 1. #boymom all the way here!! For fun we love to swim and play on our backyard beach. My husband has our pool set up with 4 tons of sand, beach chairs, couches, a basketball hoop, and toys galore. At night, he'll set up the projector and we have 'swim in' movies! Most recently we watched Star Trek under the stars. It's my favorite thing to do, be with my family and getting to create such lovely memories!

The Fun Committee started last March, when we decided we wanted to boost morale and spruce things up around the clinic! We have 1 employee from each area of our clinic to make up The Fun Committee! Members consist of Kelcey Cushman (Audiology), Kelly West (Clinical), Tamara Centra (Billing), Lisa Bendt (Administration) and I (Clerical)! 

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Allergies and Ear Infections

Understanding the Connection

“There are a variety of factors that lead to ear infections and one of them is allergies.”

Daniel Todd, MD, Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat

Ear infections are painful and often very frustrating. Because they happen so frequently, especially in infants, and there is no magic medicine to prevent them from occurring, most adult sufferers and parents find themselves frequenting the health clinics and sometimes undergoing surgical measures. But first, it’s important to understand just why the ear is such a catalyst for painful and frequent infections and how new understandings of allergies can play a part in prevention.

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Suffering Allergy and Sinus Woes...

Your head is throbbing, nose is plugged and the amount of pollen in the air is staggering. Yes, another sinus infection. Or maybe not? Recent studies show that the majority of those who suffer symptoms such as plugged noses, sinus pressure, itchy and watery eyes and fatigue often self-diagnose and get it wrong. Which means the condition is treated incorrectly and their quality of life is negatively affected. Thankfully, there are highly-trained physicians that perform specialized testing on patients with allergy and sinus-related symptoms to properly diagnose and treat. In other words, leave it to the pros if you want to feel better.

Daniel Todd, MD at Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat, has 20 years working with sinus, allergy and nose surgery patients. Even after two decades of experience and emerging advances in health care, he still says people don't know where to turn with chronic nasal symptoms. He adds that one of the reasons is the fact there are a number of causes.  "Allergies are but a single cause of nasal symptoms," says Dr. Todd. "The nose is really the target organ and that is where we are most exposed in the environment." 

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Spring is in the Flare-Up

Surviving Outdoor Allergy Season

“Spring brings with it the emergence of airborne pollens which can be an aggravation to millions of allergic Americans.”

Daniel Todd, MD FACS, 
Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat

The birds are chirping, grass is coming to life and warm breezes flow through open windows into homes. But along with the sights and sounds of spring come sneezing, watery eyes and an endless supply of tissues.

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Breathing Free Again

If chronic sinus pain and pressure is keeping you from "springing ahead" as the temperatures rise, it might be time to look into a treatment plan that can restore your quality of life.

Daniel Todd, MD, FACS, specializes in sinus issues at Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat and empathizes with patients who are suffering from chronic sinusitis. "Symptoms like headaches, facial pain and pressure, postnasal drip and congestion can really drag people down," Dr. Todd says. However, because sinusitis is so complex, he approaches stubborn symptoms from a treatment standpoint. "The cause of sinus problems are multifaceted. And to further complicate matters, many headaches really have little to do with the sinuses."

The first step is to properly identify and diagnose the sinus issue so that the best course of treatment can be administered. Skin testing is the most accurate means of testing and is generally well tolerated among patients. This is beneficial because of the complexity of sinusitis. Triggers are often a combination of anatomy issues, allergies, polyps and chronic inflammation. And because spring is slow to come in this region, people have to deal with outdoor aggregates such as tree and grass pollens in addition to indoor allergens such as molds, dust mites and pet dander. "This combination can really weigh people down, especially considering not all sensitivities are allergic," he adds. Thankfully, there are treatments to make patients feel better.

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I Don’t Remember Hearing That

Hearing Loss and Dementia: An Unfortunate Cycle of Confusion

“Memory loss is a large component of dementia. But it’s difficult to remember anything if you didn’t hear it clearly to start with.”

Kenneth Scott, MD, FACS, Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat

At some point, we’ve all had to lean in to hear what someone was saying, or maybe even asked someone to repeat themselves. Typically, we’re in loud environments or have multiple conversations going on at one time. Now imagine having to do this all the time, and it’s not your surroundings that are interfering.

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Allergies Don’t Hibernate

Cold Weather Allergens Require Different Precautions, Treatments

Most people think freezing temperatures mean taking a season off from pesky pollen and other allergens. However, despite the chill, offending allergies can be even more problematic this time of year.

Dr. Daniel Todd, MD from Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat, works with patients year-round to prevent, treat and potentially cure their winter allergies. "People tend to stay indoors so there are other allergens that can become an issue," he says. "In fact, our tightly sealed, well-insulated homes can aggravate the problem of winter allergies." What to look for are dust mites, animal dander and molds. But how you react to these winter weather allergens is different from seasonal allergies, which cause more hay fever-like symptoms. "If you have symptoms such as congestion, headache and drainage, you likely are suffering from winter allergies." 

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Nothing Unsightly About New Hearing Aid Options

Phonak Lyric product is virtually invisible

Thankfully, technology has given patients the option to get invisible hearing aids that are not only smaller but require less maintenance.”

– Kelcey Cushman, Au.D., CCC-A, F-AAA, Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat

How would you feel if you couldn’t hear your baby cry during the night? Or what if you had to wear a bulky hearing aid behind your ear just to function on a day-to-day basis? And talk about embarrassing when you have to ask “what did you say” all the time or worse yet, simply nod in agreement when you can’t hear the conversation.

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Winter Allergies Got You Sneezing the Blues

How to treat cold weather allergies

Most think freezing temperatures means taking a season off from pesky pollen and other allergens. But despite the chill, offending allergies can sometimes be more problematic during this time of year. Dr. Todd from Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat in Sioux Falls, works with patients year-round to prevent, treat and potentially cure their winter allergies because with the cold temperatures bring on a whole new sleuth of sufferers. "People tend to stay indoors so there are other allergens that can become an issue," he adds. "In fact, our tightly sealed, well insulated homes can aggravate the problem of winter allergies." What to look for are dust mites, animal dander and molds. But how you react to these winter weather allergens is different from the seasonal allergies, which cause more hay fever like symptoms. "If you have symptoms such as congestion, headache and drainage, you likely are suffering from winter allergies."

Just as the triggers and symptoms differ from seasonal allergies, so do the precautions and treatments. Although some do cross over, there are a number of things we can do to prevent a reaction.  These steps include reducing humidity in the home, washing bedding weekly in hot water, removing carpet and cleaning hard surface floors using a damp mop to reduce stirring up dust. "You may also find that it helps to open a window or door on warmer days to air out your house right after cleaning so the allergens and dust you've kicked up have a place to escape," says Dr. Todd.

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The Undercover Condition

What You Need to Know About Hypothyroidism 

Understanding hypothyroidism is important because it can easily be diagnosed, and with proper treatment, we can successfully cure most patients.”  Peter Kasznica, MD and Thomas Tamura, MD, Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat

Feeling sluggish or worn down? Have you been experiencing weight gain or dry skin? You may be suffering from a hormonal disbalance called hypothyroidism. But don’t fret yet.

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Welcome Dr. Danielson

We would like to give a warm welcome to our new physician, Dr. Greg Danielson! Dr. Danielson grew up in Vermont with his parents and younger sister.  From there, he went to Saint Lawrence University in Canton, NY where he met his future wife.  After college he went to Medical school at the University of Vermont.  He got married during medical school and then went into residency at the University of Vermont doing 2 years of general surgery prior to changing to ENT.  During his residency, he and his wife had their two sons.  His second to last year of residency was spent at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.

"During my time as a resident I worked with and got to know Dr. Kasznica and Dr. Tamura, who were also training in ENT at UVM," said Dr. Danielson.  "After completing my residency in ENT I took a job with a large multi-specialty group and practiced in Exeter and Portsmouth, NH.  I practiced in NH for seven and a half years.  During that time I kept in contact with Dr. Kasznica who encouraged me to come out to South Dakota and see why this was such a great place to practice ENT and raise a family.  Eventually I came to visit and was impressed with the practice and people that I met.  After bringing the rest of my family out to see the area, we felt the opportunity was too good to pass up.  In April, my father and I hopped into a very packed car and drove to Sioux Falls so that I could settle in and join the practice.  My wife and sons remain in NH so that the boys can finish out the school year.  In June they will be coming out to join me here!" 

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Are You Running On Empty?

Know the A, B, Cs to Get Your Zs

By Jennifer Dumke | Sioux Falls Woman

A range of problems, such as an inability to enjoy family and social relationships, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, decreased quality of life, increased missed work, poor job performance, higher incidence of pain and dangerous falls, can all be the result of something as simple as inadequate sleep.”

– Kenneth M. Scott, MD, FACS /Board Certified Sleep Specialist, Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat

Sixty to seventy percent of shift workers are more likely to complain about problems with sleep disturbance and general fatigue than workers with a set schedule.

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Under Pressure?

Varying Treatment Plans can Ease Sinus Pain  

By Jennifer Dumke - Sioux Falls Woman Magazine 

If chronic sinus pain and pressure is keeping you from "springing ahead" as the temperatures rise, it might be time to look into a treatment plan that can restore your quality of life.

Daniel Todd, MD, FACS, specializes in sinus issues at Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat and empathizes with patients who are suffering from chronic sinusitis. "Symptoms like headaches, facial pain and pressure, postnasal drip and congestion can really drag people down," Dr. Todd says. However, because sinusitis is so complex, he approaches stubborn symptoms from a treatment standpoint. "The cause of sinus problems are multifaceted. And to further complicate matters, many headaches really have little to do with the sinuses."

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Peanut-Free Zone

Food Allergies in the School

Food allergies are a serious medical condition affecting 1 in 13 children. That can be up to two kids per classroom nationwide, and the incidence is definitely increasing.”

– Daniel Todd, MD, FAAOA, Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat

Most of us remember eating peanut butter sandwiches and drinking milk growing up, but these everyday food products are now dangerous for many children as the food allergy epidemic continues to rise.

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Mentoring Moments


LisaMentoringPhoto, mentor,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                Spotlight story on our Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat administrator, Lisa Bendt and the LSS Mentoring program! LSS Mentoring Services matches volunteer mentors with students in 11 Sioux Falls area school districts. Their mission is to empower youth to succeed by establishing trusting relationships with adult volunteers. LSS recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteer mentors who meet with one student one hour per week during the day at school. It has been found that mentors have a significant impact on youth when providing guidance and developing consistent, long-term friendships.

Lisa heard about the program through a professional peer who was volunteering with LSS. In listening to her share her story of mentoring over the years, she quickly realized the impact she was making in a child's life, just being that one person the child could always count on and talk to. The one hour commitment of volunteering each week seemed very attainable, and what a great way to give back to the community! Lisa was connected with LSS and from there the process began!  

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The Allergy Overload Phenomenon

Tips to breathe with ease by controlling your environment

Does springing forward have your health falling way behind? Do you color coordinate your tissues to match your wardrobe? Then you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from allergies.

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Hearing and Hunting Damage to Ears

Hunter and Outdoor News writer Kristen Monroe gives a first-hand look at how hunting and shooting can affect hearing loss. A Wisconsin native, Monroe took hunting safety as a teenager but only started shooting at 31-years-old. She enjoys hunting pheasant with her father and brother, or if she needs some quiet time with nature, shooting from a tree stand. In today's blog, Monroe talks about why hearing protection is important, the damages shooting unprotected can cause, using SoundGear and why some hunters may consider hearing protection a low priority.

How did you rupture your eardrums?

I crashed into a lake while slalom water skiing. I hit the water at just the right angle causing a rupture. I also ruptured it two other times because of bad ear infections. One of those times was during a snow goose hunt, and it cut my trip short.

Does your family have a history of hearing loss? Do you?

Not that I am aware of. But according to my doctor, anyone can be affected if they are not careful. I have had several ear infections, tubes and temporary hearing loss though.

Have you ever had your hearing tested? If so, what were the results? If not, why not?

When I was a little girl I had hearing tests, which resulted in tubes in my ears. I also had my hearing tested after I ruptured my eardrum last time. I had temporary hearing loss for about a month.

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Attention Sinus Sufferers

New Technology Offers Instand Relief that Lasts

By Jennifer Dumke | Sioux Falls Woman

Nasal sprays, steroids, decongestants and antibiotics often fill the medicine cabinets of people who suffer from chronic sinus infections. Approximately 15 percent of the population is affected by these chronic infections, known as sinusitis. But there is hope.

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Playing Well With Others: Overcoming Pet Allergies

 

By Jennifer Dumke | Sioux Falls Woman

Pets play a large part in people's lives. Most households have at least one furry friend and the thought of giving up their companion due to allergies can be heartbreaking. But allergists suggest a treatment tip that can be used to keep pets and their allergy-ridden owners "best friends."

Daniel Todd, MD, from Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat, has extensive knowledge of pets and allergies having been a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. He says that more than half of U.S. households are living with pets and people with allergies. Despite this, most of those affected individuals are likely to get rid of their allergist rather than their pet. But maybe love can conquer all, or at least allergies. "There are ways treat patients so they can become desensitized," he adds, even though all pets are potentially harmful due to the dander in their fur.

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All About Allergies

“You can reduce the chances of an allergic reaction at school but never eliminate them. There must be communication between school officials, teachers and parents if a child has a highly sensitive allergy.”

– Dr. Laura Larsen, Board Certified Otolaryngologist, Midwest ENT

Preparing to send your child to school can sometimes be overwhelming, and if your child suffers from an allergy condition, you could be facing much more preparation than just purchasing the right pencil. But the key to keeping your children safe at school against allergies comes down to identifying, educating and managing the condition.

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New Surgery Technique Offered at Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat

There is a new sinus surgery technique making headlines that will offer patients a more comfortable surgery and recovery.

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Bless You!

Expert Answers to Keep You in the Know About Your Nose

“Your nose is the initial filter, warmer and humidifier for our lungs.  When it’s inflamed and congested, we’re miserable.”

Daniel Todd, MD, FACS, Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat

The wind-up to the sneeze that leaves everyone scattered. The trail of tissues you left on the floor. Or how about the coughing attacks that interrupt an important presentation or strike while talking on the phone. Yes, most can identify.

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