Happiness lies, first of all, in health.
-George William Curtis
My passion lies in the health and wellness of people and in leading a meaningful and balanced life. I incorporate Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as well as Behavioural Medicine into my practice to provide my patients with a holistic consultation.
I obtained my medical degree at the University of the Freestate in 2003 and completed my Fellowship in Otorhinolaryngology with the College of Medicine at the University of Cape Town in May 2014. I have over 10 years of experience in the field and completed numerous courses both nationally and abroad during my training.
I am especially empathic towards sufferers with tinnitus and vertigo and in the future, I hope to create a multidisciplinary clinic for the treatment of tinnitus and vertigo.
"When you touch one thing with deep awareness,
you touch everything."
- Lao Tzu
GENERAL ENT SERVICES
All patients visiting the practice will be required to give a full clinical history and undergo a physical examination. Special investigations may be done in the rooms or requested from outside sources as needed. Conditions diagnosed and treated include, but are not limited to:
External and middle ear infections
Ear drum perforations
Recurrent tonsil infections
Behavioural Medicine is a novel way of practicing medicine where the practitioner incorporates their knowledge of the biological processes in the body, with the clients thoughts (cognitions) around their body or illness and how the client's behaviour affects their body and/or disease processes.
Behavioural medicine does not replace medication (if required) and it may not be able to cure your ailments. What behavioural medicine does do, is to help you find a way to lead the best possible life with your particular and unique problems and difficulties. Your life may not be easier, but it will be much, much better.
I believe in treating my patients as a whole and use Behavioural Medicine in some form or another with almost every consultation. Because consultations are time limited, you may be referred to psychologists specialising in cognitive behaviour therapy a full assessment and further management.
Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears. This sound may originate from within your ear itself, from your brain, from the arteries and veins around your skull or from the muscles in and around your head.
Most tinnitus sufferers are aware of the sound, but they do not find it overly bothersome. There are a few sufferers, though, who find it extremely distressing and it affects their quality of life. Whether you fall in the first category and you just want to be certain that there is nothing serious wrong, or you fall in the second category and you are looking for more intensive treatment, you are welcome to make an appointment.
Before your first visit, you will be asked to fill in questionnaires to quantify the effect the tinnitus has on your life. During your visit a full clinical history will be obtained and a thorough examination will be done. You will most likely be referred to an audiologist for a hearing test, even if you do not feel you have hearing loss.
Most often, reassurance is the only treatment patients need. Sometimes, when the tinnitus is debilitating, a more intensive course of treatment will be necessary. Because patients who suffer with debilitating tinnitus are desperate for a cure, they are usually willing to try anything to improve their symptoms. Unfortunately, desperate tinnitus sufferers sometimes fall prey to companies with unscrupulous ethical practices selling products that have not been proven to have any effect whatsoever on tinnitus.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) will help sufferers to accept their tinnitus and to have a full, contented life despite their tinnitus. ACT has a 3 pronged approach towards whatever difficulty is faced. Firstly, practitioners are encouraged to be mindful and to do mindfulness meditations as often as possible. Secondly, to accept whatever difficulties they may experience without judgment. And thirdly, to decide what is most important to them and to set goals in their lives according to their personal values.
Several words can be used to describe balance disorders - vertigo, dizziness, unsteadiness, lightheadedness, giddiness. The word vertigo implies a spinning component to the dizziness.
There are several systems in the body controlling balance and a problem in any of those systems can lead to dizziness. These systems include:
The cardiovascular system (the heart and blood vessels)
The neurological system (the brain and nerves spread through the body)
The vestibular system (the inner ear)
The skeletal system (the spine, joints and muscles)
The respiratory system (the lungs)
The psyche (emotional difficulties)
This means that patients need examination of all these systems when they visit a specialist with dizziness complaints. Dizziness consultations last much longer than other consultations and you will be charged accordingly. Most often, the clinical history points the specialist to the most likely causes, so a very detailed history will be taken during the visit as well.
In addition to the thorough physical examination, a few special dizziness tests will be done with the specific aim to find the cause of the dizziness. You may also be referred to a hospital for special examinations, like X-rays, CT scans or MRI scans.
When all the tests have been done and all the results have been obtained, you will be informed of all the findings, the most likely diagnosis and treatment options. These options may include lifestyle modifications (see ACT paragraph to the left), medication or a change of current medications and there is a possibility that you may need surgery. All treatment options will be discussed with you at length to find a solution that is custom fit to your life with its unique goals and challenges.
Please attempt to be at the rooms at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment. Forms need to be filled and captured before you can see the doctor. If you arrive on time, there may be a delay before you can be seen.
Please be aware that the consultation fee is payable after the consultation. You may claim the fee back from your medical aid at your convenience.
Because Dr. Herbst understands that it isn't easy remembering all the information given during a consultation, she has created the following downloadable forms to remind you of what has been said.
Pre-operative considerations and post operative care: