Kenneth J. Andrews, MD
Glastonbury – 289 Western
(860) 224-2631New Britain – West Main Street
Ear, Nose, Throat & Balance CenterPhysiciansLocations
The Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) doctors at Starling Physicians have extensive training in diseases of the ear, nose, throat, and other structures of the neck. Also known as “otolaryngologists,” we are trained in medical and surgical management of a variety of conditions including diseases of the sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity, and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face.
We treat conditions ranging from minor ear infections to complicated microsurgery. As highly skilled surgeons, we also can be called upon for nasal surgeries, tonsillectomies, and even for removing foreign objects from the ears, nose, and throat. We treat both adults and children.
We diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases and conditions including:
- Hearing loss
- Balance disorders
- Ear noise
- Nerve pain
- Voice & swallowing disorders
- ENT related cancers
Additional services we offer include:
- An Audiological Center for hearing exams and hearing aids
- A complete Allergy Center staffed by LPNs to provide allergy testing and allergy injections
- A complete Balance Center with a certified physical therapist
- Home sleep testing
Contact us today to schedule an appointment:
New Britain and Southington (860) 224-2631
Starling Balance Center (860) 348-4850
Surgical Treatment Options to Address Sinus Issues
We specialize in the treatment sinus issues. The Starling ENT team has proven expertise in diagnosing and treating an array of issues, including but not limited to paranasal diseases, nasal structure anomalies, breathing problems, and chronic and acute sinuses. We provide the most advanced treatment options for all concerns related to sinusitis. Our sinus treatment services include:
Rhinoplasty – A cosmetic and complex reconstruction surgery prescribed for diverse reasons, rhinoplasty is meant to enhance the shape and function of the nose.
Revision Rhinoplasty – Also known as Secondary Rhinoplasty, this procedure is done to revise or improve on an earlier Rhinoplasty surgery.
Excision of Skull Base Tumors – A widely recommended sinus surgery, this process implies the removal of the nose intranasal tumors or masses.
Nasal Valve Reconstruction – Also known as Functional Rhinoplasty, this procedure helps correct the problem of nasal obstruction and typically involves nasal valve repair.
Septoplasty – This procedure involves a surgical process to correct a deviated nasal septum, including straightening and repositioning it in the middle of the nose.
Turbinate Reduction – Better known as Turbinoplasty or Turbinectomy, this procedure refers to a surgical process that decreases the overall size of the turbinates.
Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery – Performed to treat sinus infection and inflammation, this process involves the insertion of the endoscope into the nose for a direct visual examination.
Balloon Sinuplasty – Wide advised for chronic sinus infection treatment, this surgery uses a small, flexible, balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways.
If you suffer from breathing issues, schedule a consultation today. We can identify the root of your issues and recommend the optimal treatment plan. Surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis and can result in a dramatic improvement to your quality of life.
Causes & Treatment Options for Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a sudden or gradual decrease in how well you can hear. Depending on the cause, it can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. Congenital hearing loss means you are born without hearing. If you have a gradual hearing loss, you may not be aware of it, especially if it has happened over time. Your family members or friends may notice that you’re having trouble understanding what others are saying. There are ways you can deal with hearing loss. And hearing aids and other devices can help you hear.
What causes hearing loss?
In adults, the most common causes of hearing loss are:
- Noise-induced hearing loss can happen slowly over time. Being exposed to everyday noises, such as listening to very loud music or using a lawn mower, can damage the structures of the inner ear, leading to hearing loss over many years. Sudden, loud noises, such as an explosion, can damage your hearing.
- In age-related hearing loss, changes in the inner ear that happen as you get older cause a slow but steady hearing loss. The loss may be mild or severe, and it is always permanent.
Other causes of hearing loss include earwax buildup, an object in the ear, injury to the ear or head, an ear infection, a ruptured eardrum, and other conditions that affect the middle or inner ear.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Muffled hearing and a feeling that your ear is plugged.
- Trouble understanding what people are saying, especially when other people are talking or when there is background noise, such as a radio.
- Listening to the TV or radio at a higher volume than in the past.
Other symptoms may include:
- A ringing, roaring, hissing, or buzzing in the ear, called tinnitus.
- Ear pain, itching or irritation of the ear, or fluid leaking from the ear.
- A feeling that you or your surroundings are spinning (vertigo).
How is hearing loss diagnosed?
Your Starling ENT specialist will do a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and past health. He may look in your ears with a lighted device called an otoscope. If we believe you are suffering from loss, we will do hearing tests to check whether you have hearing loss and find out how severe it is. You may be referred to our Starling audiologist who can perform tests. These tests may include:
- A tuning fork test, which helps your doctor know which kind of hearing loss you have.
- Other tests to find out what kind of hearing loss you have or which part of your ear is affected.
How is it treated?
The Starling ENT team can help you decide on the best treatment. Noise-induced or age-related hearing loss can be treated with hearing devices, such as hearing aids. Other devices can help alert you to sounds around the house like the phone or doorbell. If hearing aids don’t work for you, cochlear implants may be an option. You also can learn ways to live with reduced hearing, such as paying attention to people’s gestures, facial expressions, posture, and tone of voice.
In other types of hearing loss, you can treat the problem that caused the hearing loss. For example, you may remove earwax or take medicine for an infection to help your hearing come back.
How can you prevent hearing loss?
- Avoid loud noise, such as noise from machines at your work, power tools, very loud music, and very loud motorcycles.
- Turn down the volume on anything that you listen to through ear buds or headphones, such as MP3 players.
- Wear hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs.
- Avoid putting objects in your ear.
Allergies can wreck havoc on the ears, nose and throat. Our team provides specialized care for the diagnosis and management of all types of allergies and hypersensitivities. We have proven expertise in diagnosing and treating mild to moderate and severe allergies, triggered by:
- Insect Sting
- Animal Dander
We help you identify the source of your allergy and can initiate a treatment plan which may include medication, allergy shots, or lifestyle adjustments.
Facial Plastic Surgery and Non-Surgical Methods to Improve Appearance or Function
Facial plastic surgery involves the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of facial structures. Surgeries can be cosmetic in nature to enhance the visual appearance of the facial structures and features. Surgeries can also be functional in nature to address facial trauma or deformities including scar revision, fractures, or cancer reconstruction.
Starling is proud to have a leading facial plastics expert who specializes in the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of facial structures for medical or cosmetic purposes. To learn about the wide ranges of procedures he provides, click here.
Preparing for Surgery: Important Instructions
Below are our pre-operative instructions. Please consult your doctor or our staff if you have any questions prior to surgery.
If you are scheduled for surgery at The Hospital of Central Connecticut New Britain General Campus, please report to the information desk at the front entrance of the hospital on the day of your surgery.
You must have someone drive you to and from the hospital on the day of the surgery. Someone must also stay with you for the first 24 hours when you go home.
DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR SURGERY AND NOTHING THE MORNING OF YOUR SURGERY. IF YOU DO EAT OR DRINK, YOUR SURGERY WILL BE CANCELLED.
The hospital will call you about one week prior to surgery to schedule any pre-op testing that the doctor has ordered. They will also call the afternoon before your surgery to give you the time to report to the hospital. At this time, they will go over all your medications and instruct you on how to take them the day of surgery.
Please let our office know if you are taking any type of blood thinning medications such as COUMADIN, PLAVIX, LOVENOX, ASPIRIN, OR MOTRIN. These medications need to be stopped SEVEN (7) DAYS PRIOR TO YOUR SURGERY. All herbal medications (such as Vitamin E, Fish Oil supplements, etc.) should be stopped 5 – 7 days prior to your surgery.
Our office will take care of any insurance notifications or pre-certifications, if needed. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call (860)224-2631 and follow the prompts to surgery scheduling.
On the day of your surgery you may receive prescriptions to be taken post operatively. In the event you need to have these refilled, you must call our office between the hours of 8AM-5PM Monday – Friday. The doctors DO NOT REFILL PRESCRIPTIONS AFTER HOURS OR ON THE WEEKENDS.
Please submit any FMLA paperwork at least 2 weeks before your surgery.
Should you have any questions or problems after surgery, please call the office or after hours call our answering service, If you need to cancel your surgery, you must call our office, do not call the hospital.
Learn about Nasal Polyps
Dr. Kenneth Andrews treats the whole spectrum of issues affecting the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck with a special interest in allergy and sino-nasal conditions.
Below he shares important information about nasal polyps, causes, and treatment options.
What are nasal polyps and how do they form?
Nasal polyps are soft, painless, noncancerous growths lining the nose or sinuses.
Nasal polyps typically develop secondary to inflammation that affects the respiratory tissue lining the nasal cavities. This inflammation can develop secondary to allergic or non-allergic causes such as asthma, infection, cystic fibrosis, aspirin hypersensitivity, or other inflammatory conditions. They are typically teardrop shapes and look like grapes when they are fully grown. They can be a variety of colors, such as grey, pink, and yellow.
Polyps develop because the mucous membranes lining the nose or sinuses change. The membranes become inflamed for a long time, or become inflamed over and over again.
If you have polyps, you may be unaware of them until they grow in size. They can cause a variety of problems when fully developed, including nasal obstruction, loss of smell, persistent nasal discharge, facial pressure, and chronic sinusitis. Over time, if left untreated, they can also cause destruction of the bone inside the nasal cavities. It is essential to consult a doctor if you have any symptoms.
They happen most often in people with asthma, allergies, repeat infections, or chronic inflammation in the nasal passages.
Are nasal polyps ever a sign of a more serious medical condition?
Nasal polyps are frequently seen in patients with cystic fibrosis which is a serious, though relatively rare, condition. While many patients who develop nasal polyps have underlying allergies, the majority of people with nasal polyps are non-allergic.
What are treatment options for nasal polyps? Is there a cure?
The good news is that there are many different treatment options. An ENT specialist can recommend the optimal treatment which may include:
- Steroid sprays to shrink polyps and improve symptoms
- Oral steroids which are pills that can be swallowed
- Certain antibiotics are also frequently given to further reduce inflammation in the sinuses, especially if there is a concern for an underlying chronic infection that could be contributing to their development
- Injections under the skin to deliver a medicine called dupilumab
- Outpatient surgery to place a tiny steroid-eluting stent that slowly dissolves away
- Outpatient endoscopic surgery to remove polyps when other treatments don’t work
- While there are many methods for treating nasal polyps, there is a high rate of recurrence, so regular follow up with your doctor is important
Is there anything that someone can do at home to prevent nasal polyps?
Maintaining good sino-nasal health is the best method for prevention. This includes avoiding irritants such as tobacco, smoke, or other irritants and treating allergy symptoms as needed.
Can polyps be cancerous?
Nasal polyps are not known to be premalignant. However, they may be confused with papillomas, including inverting papillomas, which are known to be precursors of malignant lesions. In addition, polyps can sometimes arise from inflammation caused by malignant or premalignant nasal lesions. These polyps can obstruct visualization of the more concerning lesions and sometimes cause delay in diagnosis. That is why it is important to see an ENT expert if you are suffering with any issues in the nasal cavity.
It is important to consult with an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist who can diagnose your condition and recommend the best treatment plan. Please call (860) 224-2631 to schedule a visit with one of our ENT specialists in New Britain, Southington, or Glastonbury.
Starling Balance Center
Balance problems make it hard for people to maintain stable posture and stay upright when standing, walking, and even sitting. Balance problems are more common in older adults and are the most common reason they seek help from a doctor. If balance problems go untreated, they can lead to falls.
Physical therapists can help people of all ages improve their balance. They perform balance testing and develop treatment plans that include physical activity to help improve the strength, stability, and movement of people with balance problems.
Here to Help
The Starling Balance Center is a specialized area within our Physical Therapy Department. Our goal is to help patients who struggle with dizziness and balance disorders. Patients may be referred to our Balance Center by a Primary Care doctor, an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor, or another specialist.
Physical therapy and rehabilitation for balance issues are performed by our vestibular specialist, Brian Oliver. Brian works with patients to assess the source of balance issues. He begins with a clinical examination. Once the examination is complete, he creates a comprehensive, individualized program and partners with patients on their therapy to build strength and overcome balance related issues.
If balance therapy is not the optimal approach, Brian may refer a patient to our Ear, Nose, and Throat team or other specialists for further evaluation.
If balance problems go untreated, they can lead to falls. Physical therapy can help people of all ages who struggle with balance by improving strength, stability, and movement. To find out if you can benefit from a referral to our Balance Center, talk to your Primary Care doctor or your Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. They can determine appropriate next steps. Or, contact us at (860) 348-4850.
Kenneth J. Andrews, MD
George A. Melnik, MD
New Britain – West Main Street
(860) 224-2631Southington – Main Street
C | (860) 224-2631
Ellie Kartsen, Au.D.
New Britain – West Main Street
292 West Main Street, New Britain, CT, United StatesSouthington – Main Street
209 Main Street, Southington, CT, United States
Ear, Nose, Throat & Balance Center (860) 223-4117