Which would you rather have—a head cold, or a chest cold? Pick your poison, right? A head cold can take you out of play for a few days, thanks to all the typical symptoms—sinus congestion, clogged ears, watery eyes, a runny nose, chapped skin on your face from all the … Read More
Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throat
Our eyes, ears, and nose are our connection to the world around us, and a number of health conditions can compromise our ability to see, hear, and smell. Treatments range from medications and assistive devices to surgery.
For instance, hearing loss is a common affliction with age. Yet ringing in the ears, called tinnitus, can affect people of all ages. Damage to the inner ear produces the sound, which can range from ringing to buzzing or hissing. Treating the underlying medical condition that’s causing the sound can often make it go away.
Vertigo is a dizzying, spinning sensation. Though it has nothing to do with hearing, vertigo is caused by damage to the inner ear. The condition is triggered when calcium carbonate crystals move into the fluid-filled chambers of the inner ear—the part of the ear that keeps us upright, balanced, and oriented. Vertigo treatment often involves a technique called canalith repositioning maneuvers, in which the doctor moves the head into different positions to move the crystals into an area of the ear where they won’t cause symptoms.
By age 80, nearly everyone will have developed cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s clear lens. This clouding is what causes cataract symptoms like blurred vision, trouble with night vision, and halos around lights. Removing the cataracts with surgery can correct the problem and restore clear vision.
Glaucoma is another common vision problem that affects older adults. In glaucoma, a buildup of pressure inside the eye damages the optic nerve and can eventually cause blindness. Looking for glaucoma symptoms alone won’t always catch the disease in time, because the condition often causes no pain or vision loss until the damage is already significant. That’s why early detection with dilated eye exams and measurement of pressure inside the eye are important.
An estimated 16 million doctor visits each year are due to sinus problems, including sinus infection. The sinuses are the spaces behind the nose and eyes, and they can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Antibiotics can clear up a sinus infection, while decongestants relieve the congestion it causes.
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Can what you eat affect your eyesight? And which foods protect your eyes? Research shows that three particular carotenoids, each of them antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, play a role in good vision: lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin.
Studies verify that astaxanthin protects the eyes against damage and daily wear-and-tear, decreases eye fatigue, … Read More
Some in the media have touted apple cider vinegar as a miracle cure-all. Wishful thinking, sadly. Miracle cure-alls are few and far between. Having said that, there is some research that supports apple cider vinegar’s use in certain conditions. So let’s delve into the science—limited though it may be—of this … Read More
You likely read about the historic and unsettling flu season of 2017-18: In America, some 900,000 people were hospitalized and 80,000 died from the flu and its complications. The 2017-18 flu season was the worst we’ve seen since 2011, when there were 56,000 deaths. By comparison, flu-related deaths during a … Read More
Uh-oh… you’re feeling those dreaded signs of a flu bug. Some of us, upon feeling that tickle deep in the throat, will opt for flu treatments involving a prescription for the anti-viral med Tamiflu, but is it really worth it? And is it really more effective than home flu remedies?
Studies … Read More
If your physician prescribes antibiotics, question it. And do some research on your own before taking them. Some doctors are a little too quick with the prescription pad, and some patients (myself included) a little too trusting. The truth is we’ve been over-prescribing antibiotics in this country for quite some … Read More
If you’re blessed with the gift of perfect or near-perfect eyesight, it can be quite jarring when you first experience a significant period of blurred vision. You’re not sure whether it’s a temporary occurrence or a sign that you might be losing your eyesight.
Blurred vision refers to a lack of … Read More
You’ve read about the toll a flu outbreak can take on those who come down with influenza, and you no doubt are aware of how easily flu germs can spread. But what’s it like for the medical community to keep pace when the number of influenza cases starts escalating? Consider … Read More
Do sounds become muffled when you’ve got a cold? Does your ear feel blocked after a long swim? Sounds like you’re suffering from clogged ear, an annoying condition that can make hearing a challenge. While a clogged ear can indicate an ear infection, it could also be a sign of … Read More
Let’s face it: Germs are everywhere. But the five items covered here are especially dirty and germ-infested—in some cases even more so than even your toilet seat! What’s worse, you probably use some of these common items multiple times every day. Go ahead—read through our list and see if you … Read More