My Blog

By Victor Strelzow, MD
March 01, 2021
Category: ENT
Tags: Stuffy Nose   Runny Nose  

Our ENT team here in Irvine, CA, can help you breathe easier.

From colds to allergies, there are so many reasons why someone may be dealing with a stuffy or runny nose. Here in Irvine, CA, our ENT doctor Dr. Victor Strelzow understands that you’re looking for answers that can provide you with the relief you and your nose desperately need. Here’s what you should know about stuffy and runny noses, their causes, how to get them under control, and when you should see a doctor.

Causes of Stuffy or Runny Noses

There are many reasons why you may be dealing with a stuffy or runny nose. Most acute cases are caused by sinus infections, colds, or flu. If you’re dealing with persistent or recurring nasal congestion or a runny nose it could be the result of,

  • Allergies
  • A deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Chemical exposure
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Irritants and pollutants
  • Dry air
  • Nonallergic rhinitis
  • Hormonal fluctuations (e.g., pregnant women are more likely to deal with nasal congestion)

Ease Your Symptoms at Home

While these habits won’t exactly treat the underlying cause of your stuffy or runny nose, you may at least experience some relief in,

  • Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids
  • Using a humidifier in the bedroom while you sleep
  • Staying away from known allergens and triggers
  • Placing your face over a steaming bowl of water or taking a hot shower
  • Try a saline spray to rinse away mucus
  • Taking an over-the-counter decongestant to dry up nasal passages (ideal for runny noses)
  • Taking an antihistamine to treat runny or stuffy noses caused by allergies

When to See a Doctor

Sure, you could take a trip to your primary care doctor’s practice, but they won’t really understand the detailed inner workings of the nose; however, our ENT doctor, Dr. Strelzow, specializes in treating conditions that specifically affect the ear, nose, throat, neck, and face. It’s probably time to visit our ENT team here in Irvine if,

  • Your symptoms persist for more than 10 days
  • Your symptoms continue to get worse after five days
  • Your symptoms are accompanied by a fever over 100.4 degrees F
  • You have a persistent hacking cough
  • You’re dealing with severe nasal pain
  • There is blood in your nasal discharge
  • Nasal discharge is yellow or green

If you are looking for an expert ENT doctor in Irvine, CA, that can help you get your nasal problems under control, call us today at (949) 753-9299 for an evaluation.

By Victor Strelzow, MD
January 15, 2021
Category: ENT
Tags: COVID-19  

Be able to recognize some of the early signs of COVID-19 in you or a loved one.
With the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in California, our Irvine, CA, Otolaryngologist Dr. Victor Strelzow and his staff, understands the concerns his patients have about their health and safety. Of course, the symptoms of COVID-19 are not unique to this virus only. Many of the early signs of the same signs you might get with the flu or cold, and it’s important to be able to spot signs of potential COVID-19 so you can take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and those you love.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that often present with respiratory symptoms. While there are people who may have exposure to or early infection with COVID-19, they can unknowingly continue to spread the actual virus but not experience symptoms for days to weeks, but most  people will finally often experience some respiratory complaints but also  may include,

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Sore throat
  • Chest congestion
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea

While many younger and healthier people will experience mild symptoms, serious signs of COVID-19 that require emergency medical attention include,

  • Pressure or pain in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blue lips or face
  • severe tiredness
  • extremes of sleepiness

It’s important to call your primary care doctor, if you are experiencing new or worsening symptoms that you think may be related to COVID-19. While the 'usual flu' and COVID-19 may cause similar symptoms, they are caused by completely different viruses.
COVID-19 also seems to spread much more easily than the flu and can cause serious and even deadly infections in certain individuals. Those with preexisting health conditions, those with weakened immune systems and the elderly tec., are more at much more risk for serious COVID-19 infections.
What should I do if I’m sick?

If you are experiencing symptoms that may be COVID-19, it’s important that you immediately call your primary care doctor or Urgent Care or Walk-In facility for further instructions and or testing recommendations. Until the diagnosis is complete, federal authorities suggest: you stay home, Socially distance, wear a mask at all times and self-isolate. Do not go out in public and avoid contact with family members.

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
There are ways for us to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Some of the steps we can take right now include,

  • Wearing a mask especially when out in public
  • Avoiding crowds and minimizing contact with others
  • Staying at least six feet away from anyone not in your household
  • Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Staying away from unnecessary travel/social & work exposures

Due to the threat of COVID-19 in and around Irvine, CA, Dr. Strelzow and his ENT team have modified hours. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please do not call or try to come into our office. Instead, call your healthcare providers to discuss your symptoms and treatments. Those not at risk of Covid 19 exposure, and not experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus, however, can still turn to us for all of their Ear, Nose and Throat care needs.

By Victor Strelzow, MD
December 30, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: snoring   sleep apnea  

Could your nighttime antics be warning you of a more serious health problem?

Does your partner complain that you snore like a freight train? While this might seem funny (after all, we see lots of sitcoms that make fun of snoring), this problem can actually be serious. You could have a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. Our Irvine, CA, Stanford fellowship-trained Otolaryngologist Dr. Victor Strelzow specializes in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, so if you or someone you love is dealing with loud, disruptive snoring most nights of the week, then it’s time to see a doctor to find out if it could be due to obstructive sleep apnea.

Do all snorers have sleep apnea?

Not exactly. While it’s true that the vast majority of people with sleep apnea also snore, this doesn’t mean that everyone who snores has obstructive sleep apnea. Of course, to determine whether sleep apnea is to blame for your snoring, you’ll need to visit our qualified ENT professional, Dr. Strelzow, for an evaluation.

Why does snoring happen?

Snoring occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat is too relaxed, which can cause it to block the airways. There are a few things that can constrict the airways, leading to snoring. These factors include,

  • Enlarged tonsils or uvula
  • Nasal congestion
  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Taking sedatives
  • Being overweight or obese

When should I see a doctor about my snoring?

While snoring is something that everyone will experience occasionally if this is something that you deal with regularly then it’s time to consult your doctor. Snoring may be a concern if you are also,

  • Feeling exhausted throughout the day
  • You don’t wake up feeling refreshed despite getting enough sleep
  • You wake up with headaches
  • You have brain fog and memory problems

It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you believe that you are dealing with sleep apnea, as untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk for accidents, heart attack, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.

If you suspect that you or a loved one might have sleep apnea, you must seek treatment right away. Our Irvine, CA team can address your snoring and sleep problems and provide you with the Personalized Healthcare you need to get a better night’s rest. Call us at (949) 753-9299 to schedule an appointment.

By Victor Strelzow, MD
December 14, 2020
Category: ENT
Tags: Nasal Breathing  

Here’s what you should know about your nasal passages and common problems.

Are you having trouble breathing out of your nose? Whether you are a notorious mouth breather or you simply feel like your nose is blocked, there are many reasons why you may have trouble breathing normally through your nose. Here in Irvine, CA, our Stanford fellowship-trained Otolaryngologist Dr. Victor Strelzow specializes in treating snoring and sleep disorders that may affect your breathing.

Why don’t I feel like I can fully breathe through my nose?

This is a very common complaint. Of course, it’s necessary for our Irvine, CA, ENT team to be able to determine what’s causing your symptoms such as snoring or a stuffy nose and what could be causing it (e.g. sleep disorders; infection; structural abnormalities). The most common causes of a blocked or stuffy nose include,

  • Allergies
  • Common cold
  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps

When you come into our office, our team will perform a thorough examination and inspect the inside of the nose to look for signs of a deviated septum or nasal polyps. We will also ask you various questions about your symptoms to determine whether your symptoms could be viral, bacterial, or due to allergies.

If our Irvine, CA team believes you may have allergies, allergy testing can be performed to determine what you’re allergic to. From there, allergy medication can be provided in the form of nasal steroid sprays, antihistamines, decongestants, or even allergy shots (for more severe allergy symptoms).

Structural abnormalities such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum may require surgery to remove the polyps or to correct the crooked septum. This is something that Dr. Strelzow and his team can discuss with you before you decide to undergo minor nasal surgery. In many instances, correcting these issues can greatly improve nasal breathing.

If you are having trouble breathing through your nose and this is something that you deal with regularly our Irvine, CA, clinic specializes in snoring, sleep disorders, and breathing problems. Call us today at (949) 753-9299 to schedule an evaluation.

By Victor Strelzow, MD
December 10, 2020
Category: General
Tags: head cancer   neck cancer  

Head and neck cancer is expected to affect more than 65,000 people in the U.S. this year, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. As with all types of cancer, prompt treatment is crucial. Your Irvine, CA, Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist, Dr. Victor Strelzow can often help determine the cause of your head and neck issues and perform further necessary testing and recommend appropriate treatments if cancer is the source of your problems.
Where do head and neck occur?
Head and neck cancer may affect the:

  • Throat
  • Neck
  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Tongue
  • Lips
  • Gums
  • Mouth
  • Salivary glands
  • Tonsils
  • Adenoids
  • Nasal cavity

What are the symptoms of head and neck cancer?
Symptoms vary depending on the type and location of cancer but might include:

  • Trouble swallowing or eating
  • A lump or bump in your head, neck, mouth, nose, or throat (Lumps should be evaluated even if they aren't painful.)
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • A cough that doesn't go away
  • Headaches
  • Trouble hearing
  • Ear pain
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Frequent sore throats
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness or voice changes

These symptoms can be caused by many conditions and illnesses, not just cancer.

What causes head and neck cancer?
It's not always possible to tell why someone has developed head and neck cancer. Drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking cigarettes, or using any form of tobacco can increase your risk of developing these cancers. In fact, at least 75 percent of head and neck cancers occur due to alcohol and tobacco use, according to the National Cancer Institute.

But other risk factors can include human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, radiation exposure of the head and neck, a family history of head and neck cancer, eating some types of salted or preserved foods during childhood, poor oral hygiene, or years of on-the-job exposure to formaldehyde, wood dust, asbestos, synthetic fibers, and other industrial materials.

How is head and neck cancer treated?
Many of the same therapies that work for other types of cancer are often also effective for head and neck cancer. Depending on the location and stage of cancer, your treatment plan may include chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy, and/or surgery.

Although surgery may be needed to save your life, it can affect normal function and appearance. During a visit to the Irvine ENT office, your doctor - who has advanced training from Stanford University, will usually recommend the least radical but still effective micro-invasive/Least destructive tissue-sparing techniques and often simultaneous reconstructive surgery to repair and restore the surgical site and function.
If you worried that you or a family member may have head and neck cancer, call a specially trained ENT in Irvine, CA, Dr. Victor Strelzow, MD., FACS, at (949) 753-9299 to schedule an appointment.

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