How Texas Sinus & Snoring is Responding to COVID-19

In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation we want to assure you we are taking extra precautions in our office to make sure both our patients and staff remain safe. We'll break down those precautions below.

It is important to understand that we are a sinus practice and in these times it is more important than ever to correctly diagnose and treat possible causes of upper respiratory disease. Please see the diagram below under Understanding Your Symptoms.

-We are conducting virtual visits for those at highest risk.

-All follow ups and procedures are being assessed for acuity.

-In an effort to limit exposure to staff, other patients and yourself, if you do come in for your appointment, please come alone. If you can not secure childcare and need to reschedule, we completely understand.

-If you need someone to drive you to your appointment we ask that they remain in the car. If they need to come in, they will be required to complete our patient screening process as well (see below for details).

Please contact our office to define the nature of your visit. First and foremost we are here to help as your healthcare advocates.

This is a fluid situation and it is always prudent to call and check for any updates. If you have any questions, our staff is here for you 346-413-9313.

Coronavirus
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 Safety Steps & Precautions at Texas Sinus & Snoring

Patient & Staff Precautions for Coronavirus

Every patient is currently being asked to fill out a patient intake form which includes 3 simple questions.

  1. Have you traveled outside of the state or country in the last 30 days?
  2. Have you had a fever of 100.4 or higher in the last 7 days?
  3. Do you currently have any chest tightness or discomfort, a cough or sore throat, or have been around an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus) within the last 14 days?

If a patent answers yes to any of these questions we immediately provide them with a mask. As always, temperatures are taken in the room as part of your vitals. In some cases we may request to take your temperature before we take you to an exam room.

Each staff member is being screened every day with the same questions.

For the safety of our patients and staff, we continue to exercise extreme caution with all of our patients.

Cleaning Precautions

  • We are regularly disinfecting all high contact areas with Cavi Wipes.

  • There are hand washing stations in every exam room.

  • There are sanitizing stations throughout our office.

Cleaning

A Helpful Handwashing Guide From Texas Sinus & Snoring

Washing your hands is one of the best defenses against any virus, including Coronavirus. We've come up with some fun catchy names to help you remember all the hand washing steps recommended by the World Health Organization. Please feel free to share this.

How to Wash Hands Texas Sinus and Snoring

Early Lessons and Tips for Navigating the COVID Pandemic from Dr. Cilento

Prevention is a great way to fight this unseen threat.

  • Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.
  • If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect ALL surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often. (especially metal surfaces)
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Anyone who has a cough or stuffy nose of unknown cause should wear a mask to protect others

Understand the Symptoms of Coronavirus

  • Some people infected with the virus have no symptoms, this is called asymptomatic.
  • The majority of people have mild symptoms including dry cough, fatigue, low-grade fever, body aches, nasal congestion, and sore throat.
  • Occasionally COVID-19 causes more severe symptoms like high fever (102 and above with chest pain and SOB), severe cough, and shortness of breath (SOB), which often indicates pneumonia.
  • At Risk people include those over the age of 60 with one or more underlying conditions, especially lung and heart conditions. (asthma, COPD, CHF and CAD)

What to do if you are sick...

 One of the more constant and reliable signs of any kind of infection is temperature. I encourage everyone to obtain a home thermometer of some type and take your temp regularly. If you do have a temperature of 100 or more:

FIRST, isolate yourself,especially from those deemed as “at-risk” (see above) and assume you are contagious.

SECOND, if you are located in Harris County, utilize the Harris County/Houston Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) self-assessment tool. Use this website as a guide for when and how to be tested, as this is an ever changing situation.

THIRD, if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911. If you have other health concerns, please call your healthcare provider. Residents of Harris County without access to healthcare can call the Harris Health Ask My Nurse line for COVID-19-related questions at 713-634-1110 from 9am-7pm, 7 days a week.

Other Ways to Stay Healthy

Research is showing that the virus stays in the throat for 2-4 days as it spreads to the lungs where it can do the most damage. Some studies suggest that Zinc lozenges (Zicam available in most drugstores) can help slow the spread of rhinovirus and lessen symptoms and duration of symptoms. It is therefore an important adjunct to early treatment because it may

a.     Helps differentiate between an ORDINARY COLD and COVID

b.     Possibly delay the spread of COVID to the lungs.

You can read more about zinc and the common cold by clicking here.

Understanding Your Symptoms

According to the CDC, reported coronavirus cases have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and in 1% of cases death. They advise that symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Below is a helpful chart of common coronavirus, cold, flu and allergy symptoms.

Allergen counts are extremely high in the Houston area right now and many of us are suffering. Symptoms of seasonal allergies include: sneezing, nasal congestion, sinus drainage, itchy eyes and skin, post nasal drip and cough. Extreme allergy reactions can sometimes cause bacterial infections resulting in a sinus infection.

Many news articles have come out about the importance of understanding the difference between allergy symptoms and coronavirus symptoms. Below are links to several of our condition guides to help you better understand your symptoms.

Other Resources for Coronavirus Information

As always, follow the recommendations presented to you by the following organizations. Make good choices and stay informed of the rapidly changing circumstances. Below are the best resources for the most up to date Coronavirus info.