Category Archives: Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat

Straight, No Chaser: TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Syndrome

TMJ pain

TMJ. Those of you who have TMJ syndrome are likely already shaking your head in understanding. Those of you who don’t, be thankful. Take the advice of those who do and read this post to appreciate steps you can take to avoid developing it.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome/disorders refer to symptoms developed in the chewing muscles and joints connecting your lower jaw to your skull. In other words, you’re having problems with your jaw joint. Given that the TMJ closes your mouth, and you’re using it all day to talk and chew, having this poses a lot of problems.

To understand various causes of TMJ, start by appreciating that most anything affecting all the various structures connecting the joint can contribute to the disorder. This includes problems with the joint itself or to its surrounding muscles, tendons and bones. Therefore, there isn’t just one cause. Many things you do or have done can contribute to difficulties with the joint. Here are some examples:

  • Arthritis (degenerative joint disease)
  • Having a bad (poorly aligned) bite
  • Having to wear braces
  • Lack of sleep (insufficient rest and recuperation for overworked muscles)
  • Poor diet
  • Poor posture (e.g., holding the head forward while looking at a computer all day, straining the muscles of the face and neck)
  • Stress and grinding your teeth
  • Trauma to the jaw resulting in fractures or dislocations

tmj_2

Knowing this makes prevention easy.

  • Limit or avoid hard foods and excessively chewing gum. Although you don’t think about it much, you can wear out the joints in your mouth just as you can a hip or a knee.
  • Learn to reduce your overall levels of stress and muscle tension.
  • Practice and maintain good posture of your head and neck.
  • Use protective measures when engaged in activities that can produce jaw fractures and dislocations.

It’s pretty easy to figure out the symptoms you may have if there is a problem with your jaw or TMJ.

TMJ sx

  • Aching facial pain
  • Clicking, popping or grating of the mouth when opening or closing it
  • Difficulty opening and/or closing the mouth
  • Difficulty/pain biting or chewing
  • Earache
  • Headache
  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Locking of the jaw

Treatment strategies vary widely based on severity and cause of the joint issues. Many patients get by with over the counter medications, relaxation techniques, heat or ice to the face and prevention of additional damage. More complicated measures may include use of prescription pain medicines, muscle relaxants, corticosteroids or antidepressants. Bite guards (aka splints, mouth guards/appliances) may be recommended if you have problems with teeth grinding. Your physician will make appropriate recommendations based on your individual circumstances.

The good news is for many patients symptoms come and go, and they are reasonably well treated with minor interventions. The bad news is if you go unidentified or untreated, you may suffer chronic facial pain and/or headache, and this is not a pleasant experience. Therefore, if you discover yourself having difficulty opening and closing your mouth or eating, please address it early and see your doctor or dentist right away. You really don’t want to deal with the consequences of inaction.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Leave a comment

Filed under Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: What Would You Do If Your Tongue Suddenly Swelled? Learn About Angioedema

angioedema

Here at Straight, No Chaser, we want you to know how to prevent disease and injury because that’s a lot easier than the alternative. However, if and when the time comes, you should also have a few tools in your arsenal to stave off a life-threatening situation. One of the more scary examples of needing help is acute swelling of your tongue, sometimes so much so that your airway appears as if it will be blocked.

The most common cause of acute tongue, lip or throat swelling is called angioedema. This is an allergic reaction and occurs in two varieties.

  • A life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) sometimes occurs shortly after an exposure to substance such as medicine, bee or other insect stings or food. It can throw your entire body into a state of shock, including involvement of multiple parts of the body. This can include massive tongue swelling, wheezing, low blood pressure resulting in blackouts and, of course, the rash typified by hives (urticaria).
  • Sometimes lip, tongue and/or throat swelling may be the only symptoms.  This is more typical of a delayed reaction to certain medications, such as types of blood pressure medications (ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers), estrogen and the class of pain medication called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen)

Angioedema-5

With any luck, you would already know you’re at risk for this condition, and your physician may have prompted you to wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace. In these cases, your physician may have also given you medicines and instruction on how to take them in the event you feel as if your tongue is swelling and/or your throat is closing. These medicines would include epinephrine for injection, steroids and antihistamines such as Benadryl. As you dial 911 (my recommendation) or make your way to the nearest hospital, taking any or all of these medications could be life-saving. By the way, those are among the same medicines you’ll be treated with upon arrival to the emergency room. In severe cases, you may need to be intubated (i.e. have a breathing tube placed) to maintain some opening of the airway.

Angioedema_250x

If the swelling is (or assumed to be) due to any form of medication, symptoms will improve a few days after stopping it. If the swelling in this instance becomes severe enough, treatment may resemble that of the life-threatening variety.

There are few things better than cheating death. If you’re at risk, carry that injectable epinephrine (e.g. an Epi-pen). If you’re affected, take some Benadryl and/or steroids if you’ve been taught what dose to take, and most importantly, don’t wait to see if things improve. Get evaluated, get treated and get better!

I welcome your questions and comments.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Leave a comment

Filed under Endocrine/Metabolic, Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Skin/Dermatology

Straight, No Chaser: Broken Noses (Nasal Fractures)

It’s curious how many patients with broken noses come into the emergency room smiling. Usually they’re kids whose parents “just want to be sure.” In these cases not much happens. The kids love to see the pictures of their x-rayed faces, and, as long as nothing more serious has also occurred, they come back for a follow-up after the swelling has gone down.

At the other end of the spectrum, a broken nose may be part of a devastating facial injury. In that case it’s very unlikely that anyone is smiling, and there are other symptoms accompanying the nose injury.

 brokennoserepair

A broken nose (aka nose fracture or nasal fracture) is the most common facial fracture, and it describes one or a combination of the following:

  • There’s either a break in the cartilage or bone over the bridge of the nose.
  • There’s a break in the structure that divides the nostrils, called the septum.
  • There’s a break in the sidewall of the nose.

 brokennoseeye

Signs and symptoms typically include a bloodied nose, difficulty breathing through the nose, deformed nose, pain, swelling and/or bruising around the eyes.

 nasalfractureclots

There are serious concerns that either may result from or appear together with a broken nose.

  • Sometimes a collection of blood forms inside the nose. Failure to identify this can lead to further destruction of nasal cartilage, an abscess developing within the nose or the development of a permanent deformity causing breathing difficulty.
  • The nose structure itself can collapse if not repaired, particularly in the presence of retained blood.
  • Due to the nature of the force involved, neck injuries are often present with nose injuries.

If you have a broken nose, none of the above serious concerns should be a surprise. You should have symptoms that suggest the possibility of dangerous complications. Thus, it becomes important for you to know how to respond in the presence of a potentially broken nose.

  1. Breathe through your mouth.
  2. Lean forward to keep blood from going down the back of your throat.
  3. Apply ice packs or other cold compresses to your nose without applying excessive pressure. This will reduce swelling.
  4. Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain. Other over the counter remedies may contribute to further bleeding.
  5. Don’t manipulate or try to straighten your nose. Doing so could dislodge blood or spinal fluid being kept in check.
  6. If a potentially serious injury has occurred, or if the injury involved a lot of force, avoid movement. A neck injury could be worsened with additional movement.

Here are some clues that you should make your way to an emergency room after a potentially broken nose injury:

  • Clear fluid is draining from the nose.
  • You have difficulty breathing.
  • Neck pain is present or a large amount of force was delivered to the face.
  • There is significant facial or nasal deformity.
  • You have uncontrollable bleeding.
  • You see a bulge inside either nostril.

Given that noses are a prominent part of our faces, be mindful to take simple protective measures when engaged in activities that could lead to broken noses. These are simple. Use protective headgear, seat belts and car seats, and avoid bar fights (or any other type of fight for that matter). That is a small price to pay for protecting your appearance!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Leave a comment

Filed under Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: Reacting to Broken or Dislocated Jaws

broken-jaw-photos-1

Should you ever suffer the misfortune of getting hit or falling onto your jaw, would you know what to do?

Trauma to the jaw is more dangerous than you might imagine. The risk for bleeding or subsequent breathing difficulties is such that immediate medical attention is a must in the presence of either.

jawfracturejaw dislocation

Once you get past bruises, there are two main considerations to jaw injuries: fractures and dislocations. Jaw fractures are simply broken jaws. A dislocated jaw is one in which the lower portion of the jaw bone (the mandible) has moved from its normal position (i.e., out of the joint connecting it to the skull). It’s not likely that you’ll know which has occurred, which is another big reason why you should be sure to get medical attention instead of attempting to do much yourself. There are significant differences in the medical management of the two conditions.

There are two main considerations I want you to learn from this post: what to do (and not to do) in the case of a jaw injury and what can happen if you don’t.

jaw fx bandages

Things for you to do

  • While traveling to the emergency room, you should hold the jaw and any other injured portion of the face gently in place.
  • If you have access to a bandage, loosely wrap it over the top of your head and under your jaw. It needs to be rather loose in the event you need to remove it so you can vomit, which is likely after a head injury.

What you should not do

  • Do not attempt to move, relocate or otherwise manipulate the jaw after an injury. Your doing so without knowing the extent of the injuries could have devastating consequences.

What can happen if you don’t get the situation addressed

  • Bleeding from a facial fracture is a pretty big deal. Blood can go into the lungs and block your airway at different levels. Similarly any food that might have been in your mouth (e.g., during a car crash) can have the same outcome.
  • Displacement of a broken or dislocated jaw can cause difficulty eating or speaking and can cause problems aligning the teeth over the long-term.
  • Depending on the mechanism, the jaw and/or other parts of the face can become infected. With the facial structures being packed so tightly in a relatively small space, many different types of complications can occur.
  • Anyone with TMJ syndrome (temporomandibular joint) appreciates the pain this condition can bring. Untreated or mistreated injuries to the jaw and/or jaw joint can produce chronic pain in these areas.

jaw protector

Of course it shouldn’t have to be said that the better course of action is to avoid such injuries, but some of us refuse to wear helmets during sporting events, and some of us find ourselves in bar fights and motor vehicle crashes. If you can’t avoid these situations, then the next best course of action is to respond appropriately. Take care not to ruin your beautiful faces and smiles.

I welcome any questions you may have.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Reacting to Broken or Dislocated Jaws

Filed under Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: About Cold Sores and Herpes

Some of you are consumed with fear. Maybe for some it’s stricken with guilt. In any event this topic is simply another example of not being adequately armed with the knowledge you need. I know exactly what you fear about the topic, so let’s clarify things for you. Let’s discuss cold sores, aka fever blisters. Since this can be bad news, I’ll answer 13 questions you either have or should have about cold sores. You’re welcome to ask more if you have any.

colsore

1. What are cold sores?

Cold sores are those painful little blisters you get on or near your lips. You may have single blisters or a small grouping of them.

katieholmescoldsore

2. What causes cold sores?

Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex viruses (HSV). Yes. Herpes. Let’s focus on this, and get it straight for you. There are two types of herpes viruses: HSV-1 and HSV-2.

  • HSV-1 is the usual cause of oral herpes (cold sores).
  • HSV-2 is the usual cause of genital herpes.

Yes, HSV-2 can cause cold sores and HSV-1 can cause genital herpes.

Let me repeat that. Both forms of HSV can cause oral and genital herpes, although that is not usually the case.

Kim Kardashian Returns From The Middle East Make-Up Free With Cold Sores

3. Why do I get cold sores?

Cold sores are transmitted from contact. That usually means kissing, but it could mean oral sex, mouth-finger-mouth contact, shared razors or utensils.

cold-sores-stages

4. Are there other symptoms I should expect to get with the cold sores?

There are two considerations here:

  • The cold sores themselves pass through stages, including tingling and itching, followed by blistering, followed by oozing and crusting.
  • Additional symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches, a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in your neck.

5. How long do cold sores tend to last?

Even without symptomatic treatment, cold sores are likely to resolve within two weeks.

6. Can I get genital herpes from oral sex?

Yes. Consider using a dental dam or abstaining if you’re uncertain about your partner’s safety.

7. Is there a cure for cold sores?

No, but symptomatic treatment is available.

Cold-Sore triggers

8. What makes cold sores recur?

Some form of physical or psychological stress may prompt recurrences. Such stressors may include extreme fatigue, fever or infection, menstruation, mental stress and sun exposure.

Additional risk factors for recurrences and complications include severe burns, eczema, cancer chemotherapy, chemotherapy (i.e., anti-rejection drugs) for organ transplants and HIV/AIDS.

9. Can I have problems elsewhere on my body related to cold sores?

Herpes simplex viruses may also create symptoms on the brain, eyes, fingers, liver, lungs and across the skin, particularly in those with weakened immune systems.

rihanna-cold-sore

10. How can I tell if my partner has this?

You should assume that to be the case. Approximately 90% of adults across the world test positive for herpes simplex virus, which is not the same as saying everyone is in the midst of an active infection. Even still, the virus can be transmitted even when no blisters are present.  The presence of a cold sore is suggestive of at least the presence of an active HSV-1 infection.

11. What can I do at home to reduce my risk?

  • Avoid skin contact with those displaying the blisters of cold sore.
  • If you have cold sores, limit touching other parts of your body, and wash your hand frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid sharing items, particular those that involve the lips, such as lip balm and utensils.

 12. Are there over-the-counter medications and remedies available to help against cold sores?

Docosanol is an over-the-counter cream approved by the Food and Drug Administration for cold sore treatment. It may shorten the duration of symptoms by a day. Other remedies that have shown mixed results in the research include lemon balm, drying agents that include alcohol, lysine stress reduction and simple application of ice or cold water to the blistered area.

coldsoreJT

13. When should I seek medical assistance for cold sores?

The presence of prolonged (e.g., more than two weeks), especially painful or unusually frequent cold sores or the presence of blistering that occurs in other parts of the body are prompts for seeing your physician. The presence of cold sores, if you have a weakened immune system, is another prompt that should not be ignored.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

1 Comment

Filed under Genital/Urinary, Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Infectious Disease, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Straight, No Chaser: Bell’s Palsy

bellsPalsy-enHD-AR1

We’ve spent some time focusing on stroke recognition, but today we focus on a condition that often gets confused with a stroke. Bell’s palsy is a paralysis of the facial nerve, caused by inflammation or other irritation to the nerve.  This paralysis causes muscle weakness in one side of the face.

Patients often find themselves unable to close one of the eyelids or wrinkle one side of the forehead/face.  The eyes may become dry due to inability to blink.  One side of the mouth may drool and droop.  The sense of taste may change.  Sounds may become louder, and headache may develop.

Bell’s palsy is treated with steroids and artificial tears.

The prognosis for individuals with Bell’s palsy is generally very good.  The extent of nerve damage determines the extent of recovery.  Improvement is gradual and recovery times vary.  With or without treatment, most individuals begin to get better within 2 weeks after the initial onset of symptoms and most recover completely, returning to normal inside of 3-6 months.  For some, the symptoms may last longer, and in a few cases, the symptoms may never completely disappear.

bellspalsy

By the way, in case you’re wondering about the picture, the right side of the picture (the left side of the patient’s face) is the side affected.  He can neither wrinkle his forehead nor close his eye, both of which are functions of the cranial nerve.  And no, this is not a stroke.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Bell’s Palsy

Filed under Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Neurology

Straight, No Chaser: Ruptured Eardrums

tmperf_c_dTMPerforation-2ndAOM

The manufacturers of Q-Tips used to run a commercial in which they said “Never place anything in your ear smaller than your elbow.”  I wonder why they stopped the commercial, because it pretty much summarizes how your physicians feel about the practice.

Perforated tympanic membranes (aka ruptured eardrums) are holes in the sheet-like tissue that separates the ear canal from the middle ear. They are not a lot of fun. Because the ear is responsible for both hearing and balance, rupture can cause decreases of both. Common symptoms include pain, decreased hearing and bleeding.

Several different things can causes this, including the following:

  • infections (otitis media)
  • a pressure imbalance between the two sides of the eardrum (if it becomes too severe, you’ll suffer what’s known as barotrauma), as seen in diving and air travel
  • direct trauma from placing objects in your ear (Put those cotton swabs down!) or from a severe blow to the head/face
  • blast injuries (called acoustic trauma), caused by sudden, loud noises (e.g. explosions and gun shots; what’s actually happening here is a sound wave is damaging the ear drum)

Most tympanic membrane perforations heal spontaneously.  If the injury causing this was penetrating, your physician may refer you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist within 24 hours.  If this ever occurs, you must be careful to avoid getting water in the ear. Finally, you won’t typically receive antibiotics for a ruptured eardrum unless the rupture is due to infection or forceful water injury, such as is seen in water skiing.

Just remember: the ears have been cleaning themselves for at least thousands of years prior to cotton swabs. Chasing that itch isn’t worth the consequences of the pain of a ruptured eardrum.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018· Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Ruptured Eardrums

Filed under Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat

Straight, No Chaser: Addressing Hearing Loss and the Use of Hearing Aids

noise_thermometer

Prevention and protecting your hearing is easy; the decision to do so seems not to be so easy. Remembering this hearing thermometer is a good way to know what activities hurt your hearing.

When it gets to the point that you’re having acute difficulty hearing, assuming you’re a victim of trauma, you may be inclined to flush wax out of your ear or use wax softeners. If you go this route, be careful. Remember that old Q-Tip commercial with the tag line, “You should never place anything in your ear smaller than your elbow.” Unless it’s ridiculous easy, you should have a health provider remove anything from your ear. Importantly, you should never place anything sharp in your ear (e.g., bobby pins, tweezers, etc.).

There are many procedures and surgeries that can help with hearing loss, including the following:

  • Placing tubes in the eardrum (aka T-tubes, tympanostomy tubes) to remove fluid
  • Repairing the eardrum or the bones in the middle ear that assist in sound transmission
  • Wearing hearing aids, though only one of five individuals who could benefit from a hearing aid uses one
  • Using cochlear implants, a final option for those whose hearing impairment is so severe that various types of hearing aids aren’t effective or a viable option (Learn about cochlear implants at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.)

Sign language can complement these other methods or aural based communication when other methods don’t work.

Let’s focus on some frequently asked questions about hearing aids.

 hearingaidtypes

How do hearing aids work?

Hearing aids consist of a microphone, an amplifier and a speaker. These components convert sound waves to signals you can hear through the speaker. It’s really that simple.

How do experts determine that I need a hearing aid?

When the time comes, a physician who specializes in ear, nose and throat disorders (otolaryngologist) will evaluate possible causes of hearing impairment. An audiologist, a hearing health professional, may also identify and quantify the degree of loss. The results of these evaluations will determine your needs.

What are the different types of hearing aids?

Hearing aids differ in style, placement and means of amplifying sound. You can place them behind the ear, in the ear canal or within the middle ear for this effect. Analog hearing aids convert sound waves into electrical signals, which are amplified. Digital hearing aids convert sound waves into numerical codes, similar to the binary code of a computer, before amplifying them. The digital method allows more customization of various frequencies. These simple but important distinctions comprise how hearing aids are individualized.

What questions should I ask when getting a hearing aid?

The most important consideration is your mastery of the device you’ll be taking home with you. You shouldn’t be satisfied with a “plug and play” device. You should be prepared to know how to respond if your voice seems too loud or if you’re getting feedback, buzzing or background noise. You should be aware of cleaning and maintenance needs, as well as repair and service benefits that come with your device.

hearingaid

Information and innovation are available for you. Don’t put it off.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018· Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Addressing Hearing Loss and the Use of Hearing Aids

Filed under Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat

Straight, No Chaser: Can You Hear Me Now? Let’s Discuss Hearing Loss

hearing_loss1

If you think about it, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that hearing loss is the third most common ailment. Pump up the volume could be the motto for a period of our lives lasting about 20 years. Let’s review causes, how you might know you’re suffering from hearing loss and what you can do about it. Joining the conversation is my friend and colleague Greg Keeney, audiologist and owner of Affordable Hearing Aids in Texas.

hearing_types

There are two main types of hearing loss. The first is called conductive hearing loss. There’s a problem transmitting sound because something is preventing the ear bones from relaying sound or the eardrum from vibrating in response. This can be due to several considerations.

  • An ear infection can produce fluid in the ear, interfering with the process.
  • An ear infection can scar the eardrum.
  • Wax buildup or a foreign body in the ear can block sound transmission.
  • Infections, cotton swabs, increased pressure from scuba diving or other items can rupture the eardrum.

Noise-Induced-Hearing-Loss1

Another type of hearing loss (and by far the most common type) is called sensorineural hearing loss. It is due to damage to the nerves that detect sound, and it is more likely to be irreversible. There are multiple causes of this condition as well.

  • Age
  • The loud noise we are exposed to at work and play (concerts, sporting events, fireworks, gun shots, etc.)
  • Medications (certain diuretics, chemotherapy regimens, antibiotic classes known as aminoglycosides and large doses of aspirin)
  • Infections (measles, meningitis, mumps, scarlet fever)
  • Medical conditions (e.g., acoustic neuroma, Meniere’s disease)

Unfortunately, hearing deficits can also be present at birth due to genetic conditions, birth defects, and infections transmitted from mother to baby (such as herpes, rubella and toxoplasmosis).

Symptoms are pretty straightforward. You’ll know it when you don’t hear it. There are some additional considerations that suggest you may be developing hearing loss.

  • In those instances when your nerves are damaged and conducting sound erratically, certain sounds may seem excessively loud.
  • Your relative inability to hear will result in difficulty following conversations or distinguishing sounds when in noisy areas or if background noise is present.
  • Voices may sounds slurred, muffled or mumbled, and women’s voices will be harder to understand than men’s.
  • An interesting thing about your ears is that they aren’t just for hearing; they’re also your balance centers. It is common to see those suffering from ear damage also suffering from disturbances in balance.

Check tomorrow’s post for tips on how to prevent and treat hearing loss as well as a discussion of hearing aid options.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Can You Hear Me Now? Let’s Discuss Hearing Loss

Filed under General Health and Wellness, Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat

From the Health Library of SterlingMedicalAdvice.com: What steps should I take if there’s an outbreak of head lice?

LiceOnHair

head_lice_infestation

Check your child’s hair for lice and nits (lice eggs) every three to four days. Nits commonly look like dandruff, but they cannot be easily brushed off the hair. Also check behind the ears.

Be alert to symptoms of infection: intense itching, red bumps on the scalp, or the feeling of something moving on the hair. If your child experiences any of these symptoms and/or if head lice can be seen in the hair, then using a medicated shampoo is recommended. (Follow the directions on the package.)

Note: If your child is under 2 years of age or if you are pregnant, talk with your doctor first before beginning treatment. Notify your child’s school.

In addition to using medicated shampoo, wash all clothing and bed linens in hot water (130° Fahrenheit). Any items that you cannot wash in hot water, place in large, sealed garbage bags for two weeks. Vacuum all carpets and furniture.

Any combs, brushes, and hair accessories used by the infected person should either be left to soak in rubbing alcohol or medicated shampoo for one hour or they should be replaced.

Some people may need to retreat with a medicated shampoo after seven to 10 days. If the infection has not cleared up after two weeks of treatment or if there are sores on the scalp that look infected (yellow pus), stop treatment and see a doctor.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on From the Health Library of SterlingMedicalAdvice.com: What steps should I take if there’s an outbreak of head lice?

Filed under Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Pediatrics/Kids Health, Skin/Dermatology