Research & Publications

What is Swimmer’s Ear and What Do You Do About It?

For many of us, summertime means enjoying the water. We love to swim and splash around in rivers, lakes, the ocean and a variety of swimming pools. It can also mean contracting swimmer’s ear. Here’s what you need to know about this common infection and how to prevent and treat it.

Swimmer’s Ear (Acute Otitis Externa) is the name for an infection of the outer ear canal. Usually it is caused by water that becomes trapped in the ear and provides a breeding ground for bacteria that is found in water and soil. The bacteria is soaked up by the skin in the ear canal, causing an infection.

 
Swimmer’s ear is most commonly caused by two types of bacteria:

  1. Pseudomonas aeruginosa: This is considered a common bacteria that thrives in moist environments and easily causes infection. It exists in all areas of the world and is commonly found in water, soil and on human skin.
  2. Staphylococcus aureus: This is another common bacteria that is usually found on the skin and in the moist areas of the body including the respiratory system and the nose. In addition to swimmer’s ear, this bacteria causes infections like sinusitis, food poisoning and respiratory infections.

Read more

How to Protect Yourself from Vocal Cord Damage and Hearing Loss During the Summer Months

Loud Fireworks Display at a Rock ConcertSummer brings lots of celebrations, activities, and outdoor sporting events that you want to attend and enjoy. The Fourth of July, with brilliant and loud fireworks displays, is one long celebration weekend as are the thousands of local weekend festivals held across the US. While you, your family and friends gather, cheer, and scream through the excitement of it all, it’s important to remember to protect your ears and throat.

Read more

It’s Summer! How to Guard Against Swimmer’s Ear

Boy with Swimmers EarSummer has just arrived and with it comes lots of fun in and visits to pools. That got us thinking about swimmer’s ear and earaches in general.

Swimmer’s ear is an infection, irritation, or inflammation of the skin that covers that part of the outer ear that leads to the ear drum. Medically, it’s referred to as acute external otitis.

Causes are usually attributable to bacteria, i.e., streptococcus, staphylococcus, or pseudomonas, found in the water that gets caught or trapped in the ear. Infection can occur because the bacteria in the trapped water multiply.

Read more

Childhood Obesity Can Cause Sleep Apnea

Childhood obesity can create many health problems for children. Some health problems include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type II Diabetes, hip problems, depression and livers that are fatty and fail to function properly.  Children can also suffer from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Another health problem is the development of ear, nose and throat problems. Obesity can cause a child to develop sleep apnea and there may be a relationship to middle ear infections, as well.

It’s important to recognize the impact that overweight and obesity is having on the health of children because, despite programs that encourage exercise and healthy foods, the rate of childhood obesity in the United States has doubled over the last twenty years.  More than 15 percent1 of children between the ages of 6 and 11 and more than 15 percent1 of those between the ages of 12 to 19 are overweight or obese.

Read more

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.”

Read more

The Top 10 Pollutants That Cause Indoor Allergies

Household Cleaners Can Cause Indoor AllergiesWhen seasonal allergies bring on sneezing, coughing and nasal congestion you may be tempted to stay inside to avoid pollen and blooming flowers. However, that may not be the only thing that is aggravating your allergies. Did you know that the environment indoors may actually be worse for your allergies than the environment outside your door?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently stated that a growing body of scientific evidence indicates that “air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” That is troubling because according to the EPA, people in the United States spend “approximately 90 percent of their time indoors.”

Read more

How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Longer at Night

Mom Breastfeeding Baby at Night Before BedBaby Sleep Day was held on March 1st, 2017. Pediatric sleep experts made themselves available around the clock all over the world on the Pediatric Sleep Council’s Facebook page in order to answer parents questions regarding their baby’s sleep habits. The main focus was how to get babies to sleep longer.

Melissa E. Moore, psychologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, recommended the Facebook Q&A session to parents on Philly.com. As a mom, Dr. Moore also suggested a few tips of her own, namely to separate the eating routine from the falling asleep routine. Just doing that, she wrote, would lead to longer sleep for babies (3 months and older) and parents. Specifically, “at bedtime only, feed first (yes this will make the baby sleepy), then do a bedtime routine that is 5-30 minutes long (yes this will wake the baby), then put the baby down for sleep.” This allows your baby to get used to falling asleep from a wide-awake state without having eaten just beforehand. As a mother, Dr. Moore admits that this could be a tricky request for moms who thrive on the feed-then-right-to-bed multitak approach. But, separating eating from falling asleep works, she says.

Read more

The Importance of Head and Neck Cancer Screenings

Head and neck cancer screenings detect 55,000 new cancers every year. When detected early there is an 80% survival rate. That’s important to know because the rate of these cancers increased 225% between 1988 and 2004. The symptoms of head and neck cancers vary widely and many can be easily detected through these screenings.

Who is most apt to get head and neck cancers?

  • Men: They are twice as likely to contract these types of cancer than women.
  • Smokers: 75% of head and neck cancers are caused by smoking.
  • People over 50.
  • Young adults: Head and neck cancers are on the rise with this age group because of the rise of the incidence of the human-papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a virus that can cause cancer and is transmitted through oral sex.

Read more

What You Need to Know About Allergy Medicine for Kids

All allergy medications are not created equal, especially when it comes to children. Children should only take children’s allergy medication, not a small dose of adult allergy medication – unless directed by a physician.

Children have different tolerances for medication doses and their systems are more sensitive to medication ingredients. As allergy season approaches, it’s important to know how to select over-the-counter (OTC) medications and how to safely and appropriately administer them.

Read more

The Five Most Important Things to Pack for Your Summer Vacation

You pack many things for your family’s summer vacation; shorts, tank tops, flip flops, hats, beach balls and Frisbees. …

What is Swimmer’s Ear and What Do You Do About It?

For many of us, summertime means enjoying the water. We love to swim and splash around in rivers, lakes, the ocean and a …

How to Protect Yourself from Vocal Cord Damage and Hearing Loss During the Summer Months

Summer brings lots of celebrations, activities, and outdoor sporting events that you want to attend and enjoy. The Fourth …