Category: ENT: Ear

Q-tips (cotton swabs) are Sending Kids to the Emergency Room

Avoid Cleaning Your Eyes with Q-tips or Cotton SwabsCotton swabs are sending thousands of children to emergency rooms across the country.  NBC news and other media reported recently that the problem has increased to the point where about 34 children a day are injured by Q-tips. And amazingly, about two-thirds of them are under the age of 8. Approximately 77% of the children were injured when they were using Q-tips themselves after seeing their parents do it.  One way that you can prevent your child from suffering Q-tip injuries is to not use them.

 

 
Why Don’t You Need Q-tips?

The ears clean themselves.

Most of us use Q-tips because we think it is necessary to clean our ears. It’s not. Our ears are designed to clean themselves. Using Q -tips may actually make matters worse. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, “Wax blockage is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. This is often caused by attempts to clean the ear with cotton swabs. Most cleaning attempts merely push the wax deeper into the ear canal, causing a blockage.”

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The Interconnected World of the Ear, Nose, and Throat

It’s not just your imagination. When something affects your ear, sometimes you find that it also affects your nose and throat, and vice versa.

Because the ear, nose, and throat are so intricately connected, they are able to function as one unit, with the pieces making up and supporting the whole. The downside is the sort of the same: because they’re so intricately connected, a disturbance in one can cause a problem in or for the other. The ear, nose, and throat are part of the upper respiratory system and they share the same mucous membranes. For instance, it’s rare that you may have ear problems without also experiencing problems in your nose or throat – which is why they seem to be affected by the same ailments – infections, swelling, dripping and congestion. Whether it’s ear pressure and pain, post nasal drip or strep throat, the ear, nose and throat love to share.

  • Americans catch approximately one billion colds a year.
  • Ear infections are the most common childhood illness (other than colds) for infants and young children.
  • Ninety million American adults snore.
  • Allergies make the ENT system go into hyperdrive. It is estimated that 30 to 60 million individuals in the US are affected by the symptoms of allergies each year.

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Common ENT Conditions in Winter, Part II

There are many illnesses that commonly occur during the winter. Depending upon the age and health of your family members …

Seasonal Allergies: What to Do If You Have a Christmas Tree Allergy

This past Thanksgiving weekend saw many families out shopping for Christmas trees, wreathes, and mistletoe while also taking …

Common ENT Conditions in Winter, Part I

Whether or not you like the winter months that are upon us and the holidays and winter sports they bring, one thing is certain: …