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News from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation

 

Dr. Andrew Thomas will be joining our physician community as an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist. He will open his Grass Valley clinic in early September at 123 Margaret Lane, Suite B1. Thomas said that he left his academic practice to devote himself to a mission of bringing top tier academic medicine to a smaller community setting, and is so happy to be turning this dream into a reality.

Most probably don’t think much about the function of various body appendages such as the nose and their importance to health. As the prominent structure between our eyes, our nose serves as the gateway to the respiratory tract and contains the olfactory organ which is responsible for our sense of smell.

The nostrils are separated deep inside the nose close to the wall by a very thick piece of bone called the septum. At the tip of the nose is cartilage which is a flexible material that is not as hard as bone. Behind the nose in the middle of the face is the nasal cavity which connects to the back of the throat and is separated from the inside of the mouth by the palate (roof of the mouth).



The nose filters the air we breathe and removes dust, germs, and irritants. It warms and moistens the air to keep our lungs and the tubes that lead to them from dying out. Noses contain nerve cells that allow the sense of smell. The sinuses are a group of spaces formed by the bones in the face that connect with the nasal cavity and the air-filled space behind the nose.

We associate the common cold with the nose, but there are many health related problems. A deviated septum is a shifting of the wall that divides the naval cavity into halves. Nosebleeds, most of which occur at the front of the nasal septum, are caused when the nose dries and irritates the membranes lining the inside of the nose. Nasal polyps are soft growths that develop on the lining of the nose or sinuses. Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nose and sinuses sometimes caused by allergies. A nasal fracture is a break in the bone on the ridge of the nose, which generally results from a blunt injury.




Otolaryngology is the medical specialty that deals with disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related areas of the head and neck. Nasal endoscopy is a procedure that looks at the nasal and sinus passages. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and light. A nasal endoscopy provides more specific detail at the sites of bleeding or swelling of naval tissue. It can also be used to look at a growth that might be cancer.

If you have ongoing or chronic issues, ask your physician if your next course of action should be an ENT. An ENT can order tests to diagnose the symptoms you may be having and will get you on a quick path of care and recovery.


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