4 Ways to Support Loved Ones After a Cancer Diagnosis

people crying after cancer diagnosis

You just received a call from someone very close to you. A family member or good friend shared the devastating news that they have been diagnosed with cancer.

You are probably feeling pretty shocked and saddened that your loved one must deal with the condition. But you also know that you want to be there for them in any way possible.

At the same time, this is a first for you. You have never navigated the territory of someone you love going through this kind of hardship, and you have no clue how to act around them or how to ask what they need.

A cancer diagnosis is obviously most difficult for the one who has received it, but it can also be hard for those that surround them and just want to help.

Here are four ways to help someone you love after a cancer diagnosis that can also serve as a launching point for the support that they will need in the next couple of months or years.

Reach out

The very first thing you can do for your friend and family member is to actually just be there for whatever they need.

In difficult situations, people can feel like they don’t know how to act. Therefore, they won’t reach out to the person who is sick because they don’t want to seem weird around them.

In reality, the last thing that this person wants is to feel more alone than they probably already do. So even though it may seem weird or strange, just be there for them. Be honest with them when you don’t know what to do or say. They probably won’t know either, but they will be appreciative of your support and company.

Take care of the miscellaneous

When someone receives a cancer diagnosis, the last thing they want to worry about is the dishes they left in the sink or soccer pick-up next week.

As their new support system through this crisis, you can take care of those everyday, mundane things without them asking. When they come home from a treatment or from a doctor’s visit and find them done, they will be so grateful. Now, they don’t have to worry about any tasks at hand.

Research with them

Once they receive a cancer diagnosis, some people want to find out all they can about their diagnosis. This includes all the possible research and studies being done on it.

Offer to help your loved one with that research. Look up places like tetoncancer.com or other institutes that treat different types of cancers and see what methods they have for different types of treatments. You can also look at the major cancer research sites such as the American Cancer Society or the National Cancer Institute.

Be their research buddy and they will be happy to have another set of eyes to help them process and battle through.

Be there

Your loved one will likely have to sit through a lot of doctors’ appointments. They will be meetings with oncologists, radiation treatments, and chemotherapy.

Since everyone else’s lives don’t seem to be halted in the same way as theirs, they might feel guilty asking someone to accompany them to all of these.

When you can, be that support person for them through all the crazy appointments. Offer to bring games, books, food, or their favorite movies to pass the time. They will be grateful to have support through it all. Plus, you will get to spend time with someone you love at a difficult time in their life.

How to take care of your spine today

girl with straight spine sitting

Walking, running, picking up your kids, doing yoga; your spine is an amazing part of your body that has a key responsibility for these activities.

When your spine is out of whack, it can feel like your whole body is out of whack, so it’s important to make sure to take care of it. Without a healthy spine, you can’t do all the things you need to do.

It may be surprising that there are actually many things we do on a day-to-day basis that are not very good for our spines. Over time, these things wear it down and can cause some serious problems.

The good news is there are things we can do every day to reverse some of those effects and take care of our spines.

Here are a few ways you can take care of your spine starting today.

Watch the way you sit

Even something as simple as the way you sit could be irritating your spine, so it’s important to be mindful of your posture or how many hours you spend sitting versus standing.

If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, make sure you have a chair that offers good support to your spine and even consider a stand-up desk. Even something like switching out your regular chair for an exercise ball for half the day can really help your spine out.

Put on the heat

Heat on your spine not only feels really good but it can also be super soothing and healing to an overworked spine and the muscles that surround it.

Applying a heating pack, heating pad, hot water bottle, or even taking a hot bath are all great options for putting heat on your spine to help the blood flow around it, bringing healing nutrients to the muscles in your spine.

Walk and then walk some more

Walking is good for many parts of your body and especially for your spine.

It helps to work your muscles, get the blood flowing, and get important nutrients to the muscles and bones in your spine.

The good news is you don’t have to walk very far or very fast, and even if you have back problems or other serious injuries, you can take your walks in pools which take the pressure of your ailing bones and joints but still give you all the benefits of walking.

Talk to the doctor

If you are having some serious pain in your spine, make sure you give your doctor a visit before more seriously injuring it.

If, after having it checked by your doctor, you find that the injuries are pretty serious, you might want to talk to your doctor about something such as regenerative medicine, which can help heal and ease the pain of certain spinal issues, and any other treatment options.

Exercise, exercise, exercise

Exercise is a great habit to start for your overall health, but especially for your spinal health.

This doesn’t mean you have to start working out like crazy doing difficult exercises. The best way is to start with a simple exercise routine that involves strengthening exercises and stretching of the muscles.

The Negative Impacts of Alcohol

negative effects of alcohol

Alcohol plays a role in most cultures. Drinking alcohol mostly plays a role during times of celebration or settings that require social interaction; which is why there are laws that regulate the level of consumption.

Although it can be a great way to enjoy special moments in your life, it can result in negative impacts if abused. Consider the negative impacts of alcohol to avoid any unfavorable implications.

Short-Term Effects

Alcohol has been known to decrease anxiety and even assist in an overall mood improvement. This is due to the increase of blood alcohol concentration which causes a temporary euphoria, which is why your confidence, mood, sociability, and anxiety have been improved. Although this can seem nice at the time, consuming too much can increase changes of dangerous consequences. Depending on how much is taken and considering your physicality, you could also be subject to:

  • Upset stomach
  • Speech slur
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired judgement
  • Physical coordination
  • Memory loss

Be sure to make note that these temporary side effects can have long-term side effects. For instance, your impaired judgement could be the result of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and causing an accident that severely injures yourself, others, or worse; death. Lives are taken every day as a result of alcohol-related crashes.

Long-Term Effects

Not only does alcohol pose major issues with short-term effects, it also can affect you from a long-term point of view as well. Although the temporary effects of a few drinks might seem enjoyable, the long-term impact may have you rethink your binge drinking habit. Consider a few of these long-term repercussions of binge drinking:

  • Liver disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High risk for stroke
  • Heart-related risks
  • Brain damage
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Cancer
  • Injuries from a blackout
  • Social and personal issues as a result of alcohol dependency

It is important to consider how binge drinking can negatively impact your life. Although life calls for celebration, be sure to avoid situations that would influence you to consume more alcohol than you should.

Alcohol can be an enjoyable social activity with friends and family as you celebrate precious moments; however, overconsumption can have severely negative consequences. If you find yourself binge drinking or know someone who has a drinking addiction, be sure to discuss it.

There are various unfavorable situations that can follow the use of alcohol. If you plan to enjoy a few drinks, be sure to have your night planned in advance to avoid situations of drinking and driving, blacking out, or over drinking. As mentioned above, one night of drinking can result in some pretty devastating circumstances.

Alcohol is a substance that will cause you to become impaired if you consume enough. It is a substance that has to be respected in any environment. Do your part and drink responsibly. Don’t drive after drinking. Acting responsibly could be the difference in a terrible accident and saving a life.

 

What to Do About Everyday Mental Barriers

girl at computer with mental issues

Chances are you have experienced a psychological barrier at some time in your life. These are experiences within your mind affected by how you assess yourself and that prevent you from making desired progress.

We often hear about mental blocks as they relate to athletes in their respective sports. This affects both beginners and professionals, but it’s something that can affect us in any aspect of life.

What Could They Be?

Mental barriers are varied but many times are not identified as such. This is because it’s outside the context in which we normally think of them. Remember learning to ride your bike as a child? Maybe you learned quickly, or maybe you spent months or years unable to get on that bike without your dad holding onto it.

They often define the relationship between your belief in capability to achieve a goal, and a goal you believe is out of reach. For writers and authors, Writer’s Block prevents them from writing the perfect phrase or coming up with a new idea.

For an injured person adjusting to the use of prosthetics, their mindset could contribute to the belief that they can’t play their favorite sport anymore. Other common blocks that we tend to overlook include underestimating our marketable skills for a job. Or, self-sabotaging positive opportunities in our work and personal lives.

Mental barriers can manifest in many different ways. One person can experience more than one type, so it’s important to learn about them. Educate yourself on how to recognize the signs of a mental block and how to combat them. They may manifest through being too focused (to the exclusion of all else), being too distracted, or even through an inability to go about daily tasks.

How We Create Them

Ultimately, we create our own mental blocks, though other circumstances might have contributed to them. Self-doubt is a surprisingly common way to bar yourself from success, and this is what we often see in athletes. They want so badly to meet their goal. When they try to execute it physically and fail, they see a disconnect. Then, they begin to lose faith in their abilities. This is because they understood the theory of their goal so well.

A lack of confidence isn’t the only self-trigger. Similar conditions we place ourselves in that can result in a psychological barrier would be:

  • Fear of Failure – You may have all the right skills and qualifications to do something, but your own desire to avoid failing prevents you from at least trying.
  • Fear of the Unknown –  If you experience severe discomfort in new situations or new territory, you could potentially think yourself into a skewed perception of the people and events. Now armed with false assumptions, it’s easier to avoid the situation rather than face it.
  • Acute Stress – Being under constant stress from your home and work life is something most people deal with, but when it becomes severe, it can snowball into unmanageable anxiety. Your bodily response to stress mimics its response to physical danger. This means your mind is overridden by your need to act. In our thought-driven lives, this can prevent you from doing what needs to be done.
  • Traumatic Experiences – Past events have a habit of shaping us, and traumatic ones have the potential of burying themselves within the subconscious and influencing the choices we make. We see this in the way embarrassing experiences as children can affect adults’ social habits and comfort level in similar situations.

All of these can be accompanied by excessive overthinking, which only serves to magnify the block.

How You Can Defeat Them

Your logical mind will tell you that the best way to get through a mental barrier is to keep pushing at it. But rather than getting stronger as you go, you can actually lose ground this way. Instead of subjecting yourself to agonizing hours spent doing nothing, take the time to switch gears.

A mental rest can usually bring you back to your goal more relaxed and accepting of your abilities. When you learn to stop trying to force the results, you’ll find that your mind and body are more willing to excel. This is because of the freedom they feel they have to move and expand.

You can use a hobby or interest that is separate from the area of your mental block. This will put some distance between yourself and that particular activity. If you’re not sure your current interests can distract you, try out a new activity that will require a bit more focus. Give your mind a break from your other challenges.

Addressing a mental barrier can also be as easy as talking through it with a trusted friend or family member. Having someone to act as a sounding board can give you a more objective view of the problem and remind you that you’re not alone.

What are Your Mental Barriers?

Mental barriers aren’t restricted to the emotions and circumstances mentioned here. They can relate to any number of things within each aspect of your life. They can be just as mild as they can be severe. Take some time to mindfully considered your life, and you may discover a barrier that you hadn’t been aware of.

Once you recognize it is there, you can take the steps to overcome it and move forward.

5 Reasons oral care should be a top priority for all

oral health mold

Everyone’s heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” In reality, it should say, “You are what you put in your mouth.”

This is because the condition of your mouth and teeth can actually say a lot about the condition of your overall health, which is why it is very important to make oral health a priority.

From the daily upkeep to actual dental care, there are many things you can do to make sure that your mouth is in tip-top shape.

Here are five reasons oral care should be a top priority for all and ensuring there is just one more way to be healthy overall.

Your mouth is the source of both good and bad

There are many parts of your mouth that when kept in good condition do a very good job at keeping the bad stuff at bay and the good stuff going to where it needs to go.

For example, saliva is one of the body’s main sources of defense against disease-causing bacteria and viruses. This is because it contains antibodies and proteins that battle against things such as the common cold and some more serious diseases such as HIV.

The problem is that if the mouth isn’t taken care of and things such as plaque are allowed to grow and get too out of control, those bad things that the mouth was trying to keep out will be let in. The good things such as saliva can become bad and actually help those bacteria and infections to grow worse when you don’t take care of your mouth.

The mouth can let you know when something is wrong

As stated above, your mouth has some very helpful tools that allow it to help the body avoid infection from many different types of serious illnesses and diseases.

In fact, doctors can actually use saliva to test whether or not something is or isn’t right with someone’s health.

When the mouth is kept in healthy condition and is well taken care of, it’s easier to know when something bad is actually going on.  That’s much better than worrying about more minor issues that might even be covering up some more serious health issues.

It’s not complicated

In reality, oral care is actually relatively simple. It starts with establishing good daily habits that can make such a big difference in the long run.

It’s also important to make sure dental care is a priority because even daily brushing and flossing sometimes isn’t enough, but an easy check-up at the dentist can really make sure everything is all good in the mouth and teeth department.

It would surprise a lot of people to find out how many adults haven’t been to the dentist in years.  Not to mention all the potential problems that lie within their mouths because of it.

It could mean less risk of cancer

Cancer is a scary word. We want to do anything possible to reduce our risk of ever having to suffer through any of its forms.

Studies that have shown that making oral health a priority can reduce the chances of cancer in certain body parts.

According to the Harvard School of Public health, there is a link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer. Men who had gum disease had a much higher chance of getting pancreatic cancer versus men who did not have gum disease.

If being cancer-free doesn’t motivate people to take care of their mouths who knows what will.

We have the tools

The good news is that now more than ever many people have good oral health and are taking care of their teeth. A big part of that is because we have many tools easily available to help us out.  

There are many great toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss options that are easily accessible and very affordable.

Most people have relatively easy access to consistent and great quality dental care. This helps to ensure that their mouth is really doing well and or to get the care they need.

Because all these tools are so accessible, there really is no excuse for bad oral health. Pay attention to your mouth and give it the love, care, and attention it needs. Your body will thank you in the end!

5 Important Facts About Brushing Your Teeth

toothbrush for brushing your teeth

Brushing our teeth is something we’ve been taught to do from a very young age, and we’ve been taught that it’s what we need to do to take care of our teeth.

And all of that is very true, but do most people know why that is?

From preventing gingivitis to making sure you have fresh breath, there is a lot to know when it comes to brushing your teeth and why it’s important to do.

Here are five important things to know about brushing your teeth to help you know why you are doing it and to do it in the most correct way possible.

 

Brushing time matters

 

Although it may seem that as long as you brush your teeth it shouldn’t matter how long you do it for, that is actually not true. There is actually a certain amount of time that is the perfect amount of time to get your teeth and mouth fresh and clean.

According to Grove City Dental, brushing for about two to three minutes twice a day is a good amount of time, although most people fall short of that amount of time without knowing it. But it’s also important to not spend too much time brushing because that’s not good for your teeth and gums either.

 

Brushing technique is important

 

Just like the amount of time you spend brushing your teeth, how you brush your teeth actually matters too.

Brushing too hard or too vigorously can damage your gums which could lead to problems with your teeth.  Also, it’s good to switch around which directions you brush your teeth, like making sure to brush up and down as well as side to side.

 

Brush with the essentials

 

Having a good toothbrush and good toothpaste are what help to keep your teeth and mouth clean and healthy.

A toothbrush with firm but soft bristles is an optimum type of toothbrush to use to brush your teeth. Also, toothpaste that isn’t too strong and with a proper amount of fluoride is also essential.

It’s also good to know when to get a new toothbrush, which should be every two to three months or when your bristles start fraying at the ends.

 

Have an expert show you

 

If you feel that you or your kids’ brushing technique isn’t up to par, it’s a good idea to consult an expert.

When you or your kids go in for their dental checkup ask your dentist how they think you are doing when it comes to brushing and what techniques or areas you can improve on and ask them to show you how.

This will help to ensure that your teeth and gums will be in tip-top shape and you will be brushing your teeth in the correct way.

 

Brushing doesn’t necessarily stop cavities

 

Even when you brush your teeth with the right toothbrush for the correct amount of time using a really good technique you can still find that you or your child’s mouth have unwanted cavities.

So, how is this possible?

Although brushing your teeth is a super important part in keeping your mouth healthy and preventing cavities, what you eat and how often you consume sugar and sugary drinks can determine how susceptible your mouth is to cavities.

It’s important to make sure that along with brushing and flossing twice or more a day watching how much processed sugar you eat and drink will help to prevent those pesky cavities and leave you with a bright, clean, smile.

Feeling Old? Advice For Keeping Yourself Youthful

old people riding bikes

Somewhere in your twenties, you began to think about your age. Your worry might center on several things. The appearance of wrinkles and the way you look. The lagging abilities of your body and new pain or injuries. You might actually begin to start feeling old. The awareness of so much time having passed and having done so little.

Whatever aspect of aging stresses you out, there are ways to combat it. Within the following four aspects of a person’s health are suggestions for how you can stay feeling young to the very end.

Physical

Let’s get the easy answers out of the way first. If you want to physically stay young and feel young, you need to take your health seriously. Eat more fruits and vegetables and put sugary, processed foods back on the shelf. If you have a unique condition like diabetes, follow the diet guidelines given to you by your primary care physician.

On top of your diet, stay active every day. Stretch your body well, engage in exercise that leaves you feeling invigorated. You should continue to take care of your body by following a skin care regimen, using sunscreen, and keeping yourself groomed.

Don’t forget to be kind to your body by getting plenty of sleep and giving yourself extra rest if recuperating from an illness or injury that requires extended home health care or physical therapy.

Mental

On to the more in-depth steps. Keep your mind spry and keen by engaging with new things every day. You can enroll in a course to learn a new skill that challenges both your mind and body or you can do something as simple as trying a new recipe.

Being spontaneous every so often will help you to change things up and keep life from feeling boring or monotonous. Most importantly, don’t start acting like someone who is getting old. Be your young self; take part in witty conversations and silly games.

Emotional

As we get older, we tend to interact more with our emotions, and if we haven’t learned to manage them in a healthy way, they could get the better of us. So offset your worry and stress with humor, and give yourself permission to be carefree.

You are allowed to be free of things that cannot be controlled, so let go of regretting the past and mourning the future. You can stay present by spending time with your social community, whether that is your family, old friends, or your actual community.

Spiritual

Don’t forget to attend to your spiritual needs. Perhaps you are joined with a religious group where you can meet together to discuss your beliefs or take time to give service to people in need of help. If you’re not a church-goer, devote time to a self-practice of meditation or mindfulness. You may enjoy volunteering in the community or donating to a local charity as well.

By disengaging with the hectic forward momentum of everyone else for a moment, you have time to be still and see yourself for who you are. Likewise, you can use this time to make improvements and learn better how you can make the world a more beautiful place.

How Therapists and Psychologists Can Better Your Life

therapist waiting on her patient

When you have problems, be it mental disorders or just problems in your life, you should turn to a professional for help. While we all want to be able to help ourselves, there is no shame in seeking someone who can diagnose your problems and give you the tools needed to treat it, or someone who can help you make a plan to tackle your problems. Professionals such as therapists and psychologists can help. This is the basis for therapy and psychology, and in this post, we’ll explain more about the two professions and what they can do for you.

 

The Difference Between the Two

Therapists and psychologists are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is a difference between them. The job of a psychologist is to diagnose their clients. If you believe you have a mental disorder, you go to a psychologist to get diagnosed. They also help to treat the mental disorder, and they usually enact the help of a psychiatrist to give you medication.

Meanwhile, a therapist is someone who provides advice, guidance, and other help to different clients. Some have degrees, others don’t. They can be counselors, life coaches, mentors, or anyone else who helps you with your problems.

A therapist can help with mental disorders. For example, if you’re depressed, they can teach you ways to cope with your depression. However, most therapists deal with life issues. If you are having marriage problems, a therapist can help you repair your marriage. If you need the motivation to finish a goal, a therapist can cooperate with you and help you to build a plan. These are just a few functions that therapists perform.

If you’re trying to diagnose a mental disorder, seek a psychologist. If you need other types of help in your life, talk to a therapist.

What a Psychologist Can Do For You

To summarize, a psychologist can do the following:

  • Test and diagnose for various mental illnesses.
  • With the help of a psychiatrist, give you medication that can treat said illnesses.
  • Offer advice for all the problems you’re having.
  • Build a plan that is based on your psyche. They know how the mind works and can go through all the mental blocks you may have.

 

What a Therapist Can Do For You

A therapist can:

  • Hold you accountable for your problems. If you fail to reach your goal, they will tell you how you can learn from your mistakes.
  • Formulate a plan to reach your goal.
  • Help repair relationships. This may be in the form of couples therapy, or a solo therapy session where you learn how to handle any communication issues you may have.
  • A therapist can be anyone. Some may have training, while others are just mentors or life coaches. A friend or family member can be your therapist. Sometimes, strangers on the Internet can be the therapists you need, and can motivate you to be better. However, a professionally trained one will be unbiased and learn quickly how you operate, and can make a plan based on your psyche.

And those are just a few things a therapist and a psychologist can do for you. If you need help in life, don’t be afraid to go to one, especially if you feel like you may have an undiagnosed mental disorder. Learning about yourself can help you solve problems and learn techniques to make you succeed.

They don’t have to be expensive, either. There are affordable alternatives out there, both offline or online. Seek them out, and get the help you deserve.

Chronic vs. Acute Sinusitis: What’s the Difference and How are They Best Treated?

Chronic vs. Acute Sinusitis

Sinuses are tiny air-filled cavities found in the skull. Their purpose is to produce mucus, which keeps the nasal passage free of allergens and pollutants. On the other hand, sinusitis is the swelling of the tissue that lines these cavities. Sometimes, this swelling blocks the sinuses thus, trapping in air and mucus, which can lead to pain and pressure. If left untreated, it could lead to a bacterial infection. Did you know there is a difference in chronic vs. acute sinusitis?

Types of sinusitis

There are two main types namely acute and chronic sinusitis.

Acute Sinusitis

This is an infection that usually goes away on its own without having to be treated. Its symptoms can be eased through several treatments, though patients only need antibiotic medications at times. It doesn’t have many complications, but it could lead to chronic sinusitis. The infection could spread to surrounding structures also.

With acute sinusitis, the infection takes over the body drastically and goes away the same way. Most acute sinusitis cases go away within a week, although in some cases, it could last up to 30 days. If the sinusitis infection lasts 4-30 days, it is considered acute. In case it persists for 4-12 weeks, it becomes subacute.

A slight bout of acute sinusitis is not a big deal as some people will experience it with a cold. It is, however, uncommon to have severe acute sinusitis and most people only suffer such bouts once or twice in their lives. Some people experience repeated acute sinusitis bouts.

How an Acute Sinusitis is Contracted

In most cases, people develop acute sinusitis after flu or cold infections. These infections come from viruses that spread to the sinus. The flu stays before going away, which leads to a viral sinus infection. In some cases, bacteria add to the infection. This leads to a bacterial sinus infection, which is worse and lasts longer.

Sometimes, infections travel to the maxillary sinus from infected teeth.This can result from a dental infection.

Additional Risks Factors that Cause a Sinus Infection

Factors that make to someone to be more inclined to a sinus infection include the following:

  • Allergic rhinitis- this kind of allergy leads to an inflammation of the inner nose tissue, leading to blocked sinus drainage pathways. This exposes the sinuses to an infection.
  • Asthma
  • Weak immunity
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Rare nose tumors
  • Past nose or cheek injuries
  • Some medical procedures like the use of a nasogastric tube
  • Smoking

Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis

The common symptoms include:

Treatment

Antibiotics are usually not needed since most of these infections are as a result of viruses. Just like with flu, the body fights off the infection in a few weeks. However, antibiotics might be useful. A doctor might prescribe them if your infection comes with:

  • Severe symptoms and the fact that you are feeling unwell
  • Another infection like cystic fibrosis or a weak immune system
  • Symptoms that seem to be getting worse after a week

Some treatments are prescribed to help in relieving the symptoms. They include:

  • Pain medication like paracetamol, which helps in bringing down the fever and easing the feelings of discomfort
  • Decongestants drops or sprays are sometimes recommended. These help in opening a blocked nose temporarily. However, they should not be used for more than 5 days at one time as they may lead to more congestion in the nose.
  • Drinking a lot of fluids
  • The use of warm face packs over the sinuses and saline drops

Chronic Sinusitis

This kind of infection usually persists for 12 weeks and more despite your efforts to treat it. It usually messes up with drainage thus, causing mucus to build up. This might lead to difficulty in breathing through your nose. You will experience an inflammation around the face and eyes, leading to pain and tenderness.

Chronic sinusitis can be as a result of an infection, nasal polyps, or a deviated nasal septum. This condition is usually common with young and middle-aged people although it can also affect children.

Symptoms

There are different symptoms of chronic sinusitis apart from a blocked nose. They include:

  • Nasal congestion or obstruction that makes it hard to breathe through the nose
  • Thick and discolored discharge from the nose or one that drains down the throat
  • Pain, inflammation, and tenderness around the eyes, forehead, nose, and cheeks
  • Lowered senses of smell and taste
  • Coughs in children, which gets worse at night
  • A sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Lethargy

As seen above, acute and chronic sinusitis come with the same symptoms. The only difference is that the former is just a temporary infection that comes with a cold. With the latter, the signs last longer and leave the patient feeling lethargic. There is no fever present with chronic sinusitis, though you might experience it with the acute case.

Before developing a chronic case of sinusitis, a patient might have several cases of the acute infection that usually goes for less than a month. A physician might refer the patient to an allergist or ENT specialist for treatment.

Treatment

Patients are advised to treat all underlying problems that might trigger the condition, such as taking care of asthma, allergic rhinitis, fungal, and dental infections. Also, avoid anything that makes the symptoms worse like smoking, scuba diving, and flying.

Medical Treatments

There are several medical treatment options like:

Steroids: these are usually applied to the nasal lining via sprays or drops. These help with the swelling and are to be taken on a long-term basis, which is usually three months. In case the symptoms are severe, steroids might be given orally though these might result in side-effects.

Antibiotics: taking them for 3-4 weeks can be effective. However, it is wise to have them after a full ENT assessment.

In case the patient has a fungal sinus infection, which is usually rare, antifungal medications are prescribed.

If you are in New York and looking for an ENT center, contact the Hudson Valley Sinus Center. These specialists offer services for sinus and nasal disorders.

How is Cartilage Grafted for Use in Rhinoplasty?

girl with nose

The nose is one of the most complex features of the face. It’s shape and texture is due to a combination of skin, soft tissue, and cartilage. Altering the cartilage that gives the nose firmness and height is one of the main aspects of any rhinoplasty. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend that additional material be grafted onto your nose. Grafts during a rhinoplasty require a slightly more complex surgery, but they can provide very impressive and drastic results.

The Reason You May Need Cartilage Grafts

A cartilage graft is a small amount of material that is placed in the nose during a rhinoplasty. It helps to provide additional structure to an area. In many cases, a cartilage graft is necessary because a patient has already had one rhinoplasty. If the first rhinoplasty goes wrong, it can be helpful to get a cartilage graft. This will provide extra support in the area. Depending on the role in your rhinoplasty, you may end up getting one or more types of grafts.

Alar Batten grafts are a type of graft that is placed along the nasal sidewall to keep the nasal valves from collapsing. They can be very helpful for correcting noses that look pinched and make it difficult to breathe. Another method for making it easier to breathe are spreader grafts. These go along the middle of the nose, and they also tend to make the nose a little wider. If the tip of the nose requires more support and form, a doctor may do an onlay graft to project the dome of the nose or an umbrella graft to lift the tip.

Locations That Cartilage Grafts Are Taken From

The cartilage material used in a graft may come from a few different sources. In most cases, it is best to use the patient’s own cartilage because there is less of a risk of rejection. Ideally, doctors take the cartilage from the inside of the nose. Cartilage from the septum is very sturdy, can easily be removed during a rhinoplasty, and will not cause noticeable changes to appearance. If the patient does not have enough cartilage within their septum, the doctor can also take it from the ear and hide incisions and scarring within the crease of the ear.

Cartilage from other sources has a slightly higher risk of rejection, but it is necessary in cases where a patient does not have enough nose or ear cartilage for the procedure. It can be harvested from the rib region, though this typically is not done except for in cases of extreme reconstruction. Patients can also choose to opt for donor cartilage material. This typically comes from a cadaver supply. There are synthetic forms of the material that are used for grafting. Though the procedure of applying it is very similar, it is technically an implant, not a type of graft.

The Process of Grafting During a Rhinoplasty

After you consult your surgeon about your surgery, you will visit the doctor’s office on a schedule date. Most rhinoplasties are done under general anesthesia, so you will be asleep during the procedure. The doctor will start by making incisions along the interior or exterior of the nose. This will begin reshaping the underlying structure of the nose. Depending on the point of origin for your cartilage graft, the surgeon may also make other incisions to remove whats needed.

Once the graft is ready, it will be applied to the appropriate area. It will be supported with pins or small sutures. During the surgery, the doctor will also reshape the nasal region surrounding the graft to create a smooth and unified look. Once the new shape is refined, the surgeon will carefully re-apply the skin and stitch it into place.

Recovery With a Cartilage Graft

Once the surgery is over, your doctor will apply splints both inside and outside your nose. This will keep the graft in place while you heal. You will need to rest for the first twenty four hours after the surgery, and you will not be able to return to work for roughly a week or two. There will be a lot of swelling and bruising surrounding the region of the graft. Many patients find that this looks much worse than it actually feels. Recovery can take a little longer if you have a rib cartilage graft because there is more swelling in the nose and soreness in the chest. Depending on the type of rhinoplasty you have, it can take several months for swelling to go down and the full results to be visible.

Some patients worry that a cartilage graft might dissolve or warp over time. However, the type used in rhinoplasty grafts tends to be much sturdier than the rib cartilage. Most people do not need to worry about the cartilage moving or getting reabsorbed. If you are concerned about it, you should talk to your surgeon. An experienced plastic surgeon can take extra steps like precision suturing to make it easier for the graft to heal well.

Dr. Andrew Frankel specializes in both first time and revision rhinoplasty, at the Lasky Clinic. Click here to learn more.