Research & Publications

When You Burn Your Tongue, What Gets Burned and How/Why Does It Get Better?

If you have ever burned your tongue you know how aggravating it can be. It’s the only thing you can think about until it has healed. It hurts, it prevents you from eating and drinking normally, and it may last longer than you think it should. It’s possible to burn your tongue on any food or drink if you underestimate its temperature. But what occurs physically when you burn your tongue and why does it hurt so much? Here are the facts.

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It’s Time to Get (Dead) Serious About Sleep Apnea

Passengers on subway platform as train passes byIn November, 2016, a Hoboken (NJ) commuter train crashed into the station platform at double its allowable speed causing falling debris and the unfortunate death of a woman standing on the platform. About 100 were injured. Just prior to the crash, the train reportedly sped around a curve at over 80 mph. The speed limit was 30 mph.

A few months later, a train on the Long Island Railroad crashed into the end of a track at the Atlantic Terminal Station in Brooklyn causing 108 injuries and over $5 million in damages.

 
In 2013, a few years prior, a Metro-North Railroad Hudson Line train (New York City) crashed into a curve at a speed 3x the allowable limit causing 4 fatalities, 61 injuries and $9 million in damage.

 

The cause of all three train crashes was sleep apnea.

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Sleep Apnea Linked to Alzheimer’s and Asthma

Asthmatics Have a 40% Greater Risk of Sleep Apnea
According to the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, those suffering with asthma have a 40% greater risk of obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. About 550 men and women participated in the study, all between the ages of 30 – 60 years of age. After 4 years, 27% of those who entered the study with asthma showed signs of sleep apnea. Only 16% of non-asthmatics who entered the study showed new signs of sleep apnea. However, by study’s’ end, the authors concluded that those with asthma were 40% more likely to acquire sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Sufferers Show Signs of Alzheimer’s Earlier
And in an unrelated study performed by the NYU School of Medicine, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and snoring may be associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. The study indicated that participants who had sleep apnea tended to be diagnosed with a mild form of Alzheimer’s at 77 years, a full decade before others who didn’t exhibit the sleeping disorder. When treated with a CPAP, the signs of Alzheimer’s were delayed significantly, up to 10 years. The key here is that regulating sleeping patterns did not cure or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s but it did seem to delay it.

It’s important to note that the study’s author warned that it only indicated an association between sleep disruption and mild mental impairment (such as Alzheimer’s). It was not clinically proven that sleep apnea caused mental impairment.

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Why Your Voice Ages and How to Protect It

Did you ever speak to someone on the phone and detect that they are older just by the sound of their voice? It’s not your imagination; voices do age over time for a variety of reasons, i.e., vocal muscles atrophy, their voice begins to sound older.  However, illness, medications, depression and anxiety can also impact a person’s ability to speak with a clear voice.  Some of these factors impact the vocal cords themselves while others impact the person’s ability to use their voice. It is possible to protect one’s voice while aging. Here is what you need to know.

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Things that Get Stuck In Kids Noses and the Extreme Danger of Button Batteries

Asking why children stick objects up their noses is like asking why the chicken crossed the road – there is no good answer. It’s more than likely that a curious child will at some point stick something up their nose and when they do the questions become; what is the object, how far up did it go and can it be retrieved before it does any damage? If you are the parent or grandparent of a child old enough to pick up small objects, here is what you need to know about the nose and small objects.

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Is The Man Flu Real?

The flu is spreading across the country at a rate higher than any similar time in the past decade and doctors are reporting it as a “vicious strain.” According to The Centers for Disease Control1 (CDC) the proportion of outpatient visits for influenza during the second week of January were 6.3 percent compared to the national baseline of 2.2 percent. New York City, Puerto Rico and 32 states in particular experienced an incidence of flu rated just as “high” by the CDC. The Washington Post2 reports that some hospitals are setting up tents to triage the overflow of patients. The flu is to be taken seriously and can be life threatening.

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How to Survive a Sore Throat

Woman with Symptoms of a Sore ThroatA sore throat can make swallowing, eating and drinking uncomfortable if not downright painful. Although a sore throat is a common ailment, especially it seems during these winter months, it’s important to know how to treat it and when to see a physician.

What is a sore throat?
A sore throat is pain, irritation and scratchiness of the throat that is caused by a virus, usually the same virus that causes colds and flu. A sore throat can also make the throat feel swollen and make it difficult to eat or drink.

Some Symptoms of a Sore Throat

  • Scratchiness and pain in the throat
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Sore glands on either side of the throat
  • Trouble talking, pain increases with talking

In most cases, a sore throat will resolve itself over the course of a few days or at the most, a week.

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Does Hearing Loss Contribute to Dementia?

Senior woman with hearing loss and dementia

In a recent article, Philly.com asked an important question: How might hearing loss contribute to dementia? (Dec 8, 2017). The article points to a study performed by the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health that attempted to find a correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline.

Two thousand older adults took part in the study which concluded that:

  • Older adults with hearing loss did, in fact, show an increased risk of cognitive decline
  • Cognitive decline appeared to accelerate over the six-year period in which the study was performed
  • Older adults with hearing loss (impairment) had a 25% greater risk of dementia than the control group

According to the United States Census Bureau, the US population is much older than it was just 16 years ago. The median age grew from 36 years to almost 38 years due largely to the advancing age of the Baby Boomer generation. Moreover, the amount of people aged 65+ grew from 35 million in 2000 to just under 50 million in 2016 which correlates to a higher incidence of hearing loss and a higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

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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 they could end up being serious.
In the first installment of our series on Common ENT Conditions in Winter, we discussed the common cold, influenza, and bronchiolitis. In this second and last installment of the series, we discuss croup, pneumonia and strep throat.

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

Woman with Christmas Tree AllergiesThis past Thanksgiving weekend saw many families out shopping for Christmas trees, wreathes, and mistletoe while also taking advantage of Black Friday deals on holiday decorations, candles, and poinsettias. Once the holidays arrive in a few weeks, we’ll also be preparing our favorite holiday foods, maybe with a roaring fire inside while (hopefully) admiring the glistening blanket of snow outside.

While all of this festiveness is welcome and highly anticipated, holiday prep can introduce unwelcome allergies into our households triggering sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion, rashes, itchy/teary red eyes, eye bags, and runny noses. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Learn what you can do to have an allergy-free holiday season.

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Environmental Dust Can Exacerbate Asthma and Other Respiratory Conditions

Dust can be hazardous to your health. It exists both inside and outside the home. Regardless of the climate in which you …

A Good Night’s Sleep Can Prevent Serious Health Conditions. So, How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Newborn babies sleep most of the time. Many teenagers either resist sleep at all costs or sleep all day. Seniors often have …

It’s Summer – Should I Be Eating Ice to Cool Down?

It’s summer and during its hot days, we’ve all seen many people chew on ice to cool down. Our question is – is this …