Don’t Let Allergies Stifle Summer Fun
ENCINITAS — Summer is a time for beach days and barbecues, warm nights and cold popsicles. But for approximately 36 million Americans, it also means the onset of seasonal allergies.
Higher pollen counts, summer air pollution, mold, insect stings, poison ivy, sunscreen and even the delicious seasonal fruits can cause a number of symptoms that put a damper on summer fun.
For most sufferers, symptoms vary from a mild runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing. For an unlucky few, allergic reactions range from swelling and dizziness to nausea and shock.
Regardless of where you lie in the spectrum, it is important to know what your allergies are and how you can treat them.
“Our goal is that patients live happy, healthy lives,” said Dr. Stephen Dent in Encinitas. Dr. Dent and his staff help to diagnose patients with allergy testing and then offer education, handouts and treatment plans.
Allergies are just one part of otolaryngology (the study of ear, nose and throat), which is Dr. Dent’s specialty. Other conditions treated by Dr. Dent and his staff are ear infections, surfer’s ear, sinusitis, nasal tumors, tonsillitis, oral cancer, thyroid and parathyroid conditions, cough and other throat conditions.
“With so many different types of conditions coming into our office, we have a variety of services as well,” Dr. Dent said. “Neck and thyroid ultrasounds with biopsy when necessary, allergy testing and in-office sinus and other procedures are just a few of the services DentMD offers.”
New to the staff is an on-staff audiologist. “Our recent move to the North Coast Health Center has allowed us the ability to perform full hearing evaluations (audiograms) in the office,” Dr. Dent said. “This allows for a comprehensive evaluation in one office visit. Patients can now schedule one appointment to have an audiogram and discuss the results, rather than have two separate appointments.”
A popular procedure performed by Otolaryngologists is a balloon sinuplasty. “The procedure opens blocked sinus airways,” Dr. Dent said. “As this procedure is completed in-office, the post-operative care is fairly minimal compared to traditional sinus surgery so patients can return to their daily activities more quickly.”
This consideration for patients’ time and comfort is a running theme at the office. “Patients describe a visit to our office as not only informative and medically beneficial, but caring and friendly like a neighborhood market,” Dr. Dent said. “DentMD is more than a doctor’s office being attentive to patient care, it’s an experience. Our staff’s focus is to make sure the patient leaves each visit feeling like they were heard.”
“Ultimately we would like patients to achieve optimal health as well as have a very pleasant and modern experience,” Dr. Dent said.
DentMD has updated medical systems and technology in the office, giving medical staff more time to focus on patient care. “We are looking to see patients who want high-quality knowledge and treatment for their ear, nose and throat symptoms,” Dr. Dent said. “At this time we are taking new patients, walk-ins, cash patients, most PPO insurances, Medicare and some HMO insurances.”
In addition to Dr. Dent, DentMD also has two physician assistants on staff. “Bret Noland and Stefanie Rafes have extensive training, experience and continue to train with me to assure the best quality care for each patient,” Dr. Dent said. They allow for more immediate medical attention either through same-day return phone calls or prompt office visits if needed.
With a brand new office at North Coast Health Center, providers and patients are encouraged to stop by to see the new office and meet the staff. DentMD is located at 477 N El Camino Real Suite A202 in Encinitas. They are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (760) 479-2100 or visit www.dentmd.com for more information and a comprehensive list of patient resources.