Every year, between 5 percent and 20 percent of the U.S. population contracts the influenza virus, tens of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands die from flu-related illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Therefore, it’s critically important to recognize the first symptoms of flu—and seek medical attention quickly. Waiting for … 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.
Do you want to maintain your senses of taste and smell? Are you looking to enjoy years of better vision and sharper hearing?
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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
A common side-effect of facial surgery on or near the parotid glands, Frey’s Syndrome causes sufferers to sweat profusely while eating certain foods (i.e. lemons). Instead of triggering the mouth to produce saliva, Frey’s Syndrome causes certain areas of the face to sweat when munching on these victuals. While most … 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
Have you ever had the sensation that something’s stuck in the back of your throat and you’re not sure what it could be? You cough a few times and try to clear your throat, but that weird feeling just won’t go away. There’s a possibility it could be a tonsil … Read More
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of impaired vision in older Americans. It leads to a breakdown and thinning of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. If not caught early, it can lead to irreversible damage. The good news is that routine eye exams … Read More
Every year, millions of Americans are hit by cold, flu, and other respiratory infections. While the common cold will rarely cause serious complications, the flu and other infections—such as Legionnaire’s, pneumococcus, and mycoplasma—can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening complications, especially in the young, the elderly, and the chronically sick. … Read More
When I was a student, I used to get sick every Christmas break. I’d make it through the stress of midterm exams in mid-December and be looking forward to a two-week break from school. Then—voila—I’d come down with a nasty cold or the flu and be miserable for a good … Read More
If you had the flu vaccine this year, you may be expecting to get through flu season with just the odd sniffle here and there. But that might not be the case. In December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that flu activity had increased sharply in … Read More
When summer’s hot, sticky days give way to the cool, crisp air of autumn, the refreshing weather should offer relief from your allergies, right? Unfortunately, not. Fall allergies are a thing, and they could be the reason you can’t stop sneezing.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology … Read More