Appointments
Hearing
Hearing Aids
Allergies
Sinuses
General ENT


Appointments

How do I Prepare for my appointment?

Please arrive 20 minutes prior to your initial visit. Come prepared with:

  • Your insurance information
  • A picture ID
  • List of your medications

If you wish, you may pre-register by completing the following:

  • Online Questionnaire: If you provided an email address at the time you scheduled your appointment, you should have received an email with a questionnaire. Complete the online questionnaire and the information will automatically be included in your electronic health record when you arrive for your appointment. If you do not have an email address, the questionnaire can be completed when you arrive for your visit.
  • Patient Health History Form: Please download and complete the Patient Health History Form and bring it to your appointment. You may also complete this form at the time of your visit. If you do need to complete the forms when you arrive, please allow additional time before your appointment to do so.

What do I do if I have an emergency and your offices are closed?

In case of a medical emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.  If you need to reach one of our physicians after hours, dial our main clinic number, 763-233-5755, for our answering service.  You may leave a message and our on-call physician will be notified to return your call.

Do I need a referral to make an appointment?

You only need a referral if your insurance company requires you to have one. The best way to know for sure is to contact your insurance company. If a referral is required, you’ll then need to contact your primary care physician and request a referral. If a referral is not required, contact Oakdale ENT to schedule an appointment.

Do you accept Medicare?

Medicare, the federally-funded health insurance program for patients who are disabled or over age 65, has two parts. Part A is hospital insurance that covers hospitalization, hospice and skilled nursing facility services. Part B covers doctors’ services (including office visits), medical supplies and clinic care.  Most services offered by Oakdale ENT fall under Medicare Part B. You may also have a “Medicare Supplement Plan” purchased through a third party. If so, your policy may cover medical services that Medicare does not.  To learn more, or with specific questions, please contact our business office.

What health insurance do you accept?

Oakdale ENT accepts most major health insurance plans. Because this list can change, please contact our business office to confirm that we are contracted with your insurance company.

How do I prepare for my appointment?

Please allow for one hour for your initial visit. Come prepared with:

  • Your insurance information
  • A picture ID
  • List of medications

If you wish, you may pre-register by downloading and completing the Patient Health History Form from our website. Please bring the completed form to your appointment. 

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Hearing

I’m frequently exposed to loud noises. How can I protect my hearing?

If loud noises can be controlled, that’s a good first step.  Reducing the volume – even minimally – can make a big difference to the risk of damage to your hearing, especially over time.  If you can’t control your exposure to loud noise, be sure you wear hearing protection, anything from simple, inexpensive earplugs to custom earmuffs.  Last, always give your ears time to recover if they have been exposed to loud noise.  Want to learn more? Contact Oakdale ENT to schedule a consultation.

I notice a family member struggling with loss of hearing.  How can I encourage them to get help?

If you find yourself repeating what was said, or constantly turning down the TV, it is possible your loved one is experiencing hearing loss.  This can be a stressful, frustrating and even an isolating time for them. In addition, many with hearing loss are initially reluctant to recognize the severity of their condition or seek help. Keep this in mind when you have a one-on-one conversation with your loved one. Recommend getting a hearing evaluation, perhaps together. Even if no hearing loss is detected, at least you’ve both got a baseline and have taken a proactive step.  Discuss how common hearing loss really is (it affects one-third of those over 65), and the benefits of hearing well. Point out how far treatment options have come, with smaller, inconspicuous hearing aids and other innovative technologies designed to support individuals with hearing loss. Above all, be patient and supportive.

Are earphones dangerous?

Yes. If not used appropriately, earphones can increase one’s risk for hearing loss.  According to the World Health Organization, 50 percent of young adults are exposed to potentially unsafe music levels from their portable devices. The CDC reports that 5.2 million people between the ages of 6 and 19, and 26 million adults between the ages of 20 and 69, in the US have noise-induced hearing loss. It is a growing problem; studies suggest the rate of children with hearing loss is 30 percent higher than it was 25 years ago. There are steps you can take to protect your hearing. Experts recommend listening at a maximum of 85 decibels (dB) for no more than eight hours a day. What does that mean? As a more helpful guideline, use the 60/60: listen to your music for no more than 60 minutes at a time at no more than 60 percent of your portable device’s maximum volume.

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Hearing Aids

What do I do if I have a problem with my hearing aid?

Many common hearing aid problems can be solved by checking a few parts. Does the battery need to be replaced? Is your earpiece plugged with wax? Does the wax guard need replacing? Do you see any physical damage to the hearing aid? If you are unable to resolve the issue, we are more than happy to help you! Call us at 763-233-5755 to schedule an appointment with one of the audiologists, or you can choose to use the drop-off service to have your hearing aid checked. Simply drop off your hearing aid at the reception desk of whichever location you prefer. You will complete a form indicating your concerns and the best way for us to contact you. Once your hearing aid has been evaluated, you will be contacted regarding the status.

Where can I order replacement hearing aid batteries?

You may order replacement batteries from Oakdale ENT. Call us at 763-233-5755 to place an order. You can pick up the batteries at the location of your choice or, for your convenience, we can mail them to you.

How often should I have my hearing aid cleaned?

To extend the life of your hearing aid, you should include cleaning your hearing aid as part of your daily routine.  Ask your audiologist to provide you with specific instructions for cleaning your brand and model of hearing aid.  Hearing aids should be professionally cleaned twice a year.

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Allergies

Is there anything I can do to prevent allergies?

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the substance that triggers it.  By controlling your environment, you limit exposure and limit reactions. Medications can also be useful to control symptoms related to allergies. If medications are ineffective, sometimes patients will benefit from immune desensitization through either allergy shots or sublingual drops. Desensitization will make your body less reactive to your allergens over time.

I’ve never had allergies. Can they develop later in life?

Yes, allergic reactions can begin at any age. It’s not uncommon for allergies to appear in adulthood or after significant hormonal changes.  If allergies are impacting your quality of life, contact Oakdale ENT to schedule a consultation.

I had allergies as a child. Can I still have allergies?

Yes, the same allergies can resurface later in life and sometimes new allergies will develop. Diagnostic testing can be completed by our allergy department to determine what allergies you have and how to best treat them.

I recently started allergy shots. Why do I still have symptoms?

Allergy shots take time.  While some individuals notice improvement within 6 months, most individuals begin to see improvement and symptoms begin to subside within 2 years .

What is the difference between allergy shots and sublingual drops?

Allergy shots desensitize your body to specific inhalant based environmental allergens. Shots are typically accomplished on a weekly basis at first, and can eventually be scheduled every 6 weeks depending on response. Shots are done in the clinic with a 30-minute observation period following the shot. Sublingual drops allow you to desensitize your allergies at home using a drop underneath your tongue. The drops are meant to be placed 3 times per day for the duration of use.

Will my medical insurance cover the cost of allergy shots or drops?

Allergy shots can be billed to your health insurance plan. Every plan is different in terms of what is covered. Typically, a portion of office visits and diagnostic testing may be covered. However, because allergy drops are an off-label use of FDA-approved antigens, they are not covered by insurance. Allergy drops do qualify for health savings accounts or flex spending reimbursement.

I can’t make clinic appointments for allergy shots. Is there another alternative?

Yes. Our clinic offers sublingual allergy drops that can be taken at home, allowing for minimal office visits or appointments.

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Sinuses

What are sinuses and why do we need them?

Sinuses are the air-filled spaces between, above, below and behind the eyes. No one is certain but some scientists believe sinuses serve to help cushion the brain from injury.

Is there anything I can do to prevent sinus infections?

While there is no fool-proof method for preventing sinus infections, certain behaviors may help.

  • Use saline sprays or washes to keep the nasal passages as moist as possible.
  • Avoid exposure to irritants including smoke and fumes from cleaning products, hairspray, etc.
  • Manage inhalant-based allergies through either medications or desensitization.
    See one of our physicians to further evaluate your sinuses.

I frequently get headaches. How do I know if they are sinus-related?

It’s often difficult to distinguish between a sinus headache and a tension headache or migraine.  Sinus headaches  can be caused by obstruction of normal sinus drainage. This obstruction can set up an ideal environment for infection. Symptoms of a sinus headache include: pressure or pain in the front of your face , increasing discomfort when you bend over, pain that is strongest in the morning and subsides later in the day; pain that is worse in damp, cold weather, and pain that follows a head cold that has not cleared after a week to ten days.  For sinus pain or discomfort that lasts for more than a week, or keeps coming back, contact Oakdale ENT to schedule a consultation.

How will you evaluate my sinuses?

While every case is unique, our physicians will perform a complete history and physical and frequently perform nasal endoscopy to assess your nasal anatomy. Our clinic offers in office CT imaging (Robbinsdale and Maple Grove locations) as well as diagnostic and therapeutic allergy management.

What types of sinus procedures does your clinic offer?

Our physicians will customize treatment programs for every patient. We utilize the latest in minimally invasive medical technologies including balloon sinuplasty, sinus stent placement, as well as traditional endoscopic sinus surgery.

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General ENT

What is the ringing in my ears? Does everyone have that?

The sensation of ringing in the ears, when no actual sound is present, is called tinnitus. Some describe it as a buzzing, clicking, whistling or humming.  Temporary tinnitus, lasting minutes to hours, can occur after excessive noise exposure. The CDC estimates that nearly 15% of Americans experience some form of tinnitus.  It is estimated that 20 million people suffer with chronic tinnitus and 2 million people have an extreme, debilitating form of the condition. The majority of tinnitus is related to some degree of hearing loss. If ringing in the ears if bothersome for you, contact Oakdale ENT to schedule a consultation.

I’m feeling dizzy? Does that mean I have a problem with my ear?

Maybe. Dizziness can be caused by a number of things. Episodes of a rotational sensation that happen due to being in a certain position are referred to as vertigo. Inner ear problems can be responsible for the sensation of vertigo. There are several tests that can help determine if the ear may be involved including hearing testing, positional testing, and imaging. If you are experiencing dizziness, don’t suffer. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our ENT physicians.

When does snoring turn into sleep apnea? At what point do I insist that my partner see a doctor?

Snoring and sleep apnea can both be quite disruptive for a bed partner.  Snoring is simply a sound caused by a vibration during breathing. Sleep apnea, however, occurs when an individual actually stops breathing for several seconds and in some cases, minutes.  Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that has been directly linked to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, ADHD and more. If you suspect sleep apnea, a sleep study is strongly recommended.  Prompt diagnosis and treatment is important. Contact Oakdale ENT to schedule a consultation.

What’s the latest advice on tonsils? When should they be removed?

Tonsillectomy is one of the most common surgeries performed on children, but sometimes adults need to have their tonsils removed, too. Two conditions may lead to a recommendation for a tonsillectomy: 1) recurring infections that do not respond to other treatments, and 2) sleep apnea caused by enlarged tonsils that obstruct the airway.  Recovery time for children and adults is approximately 10 days.

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If you have a questions, please feel free to submit it to us. Or, make an appointment to talk to one of our physicians if you have concerns about your ENT health.