Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Ears Popping when Flying

Introduction:
The ear consists of three chambers:

English: The middle ear : 1)Eardrum 2)Ossicles...
English: The middle ear : 1)Eardrum 2)Ossicles 3)Eustachian tube 4)Tensor tympani Français : Oreille moyenne : 1)Tympan 2)Chaine ossiculaire 3)Trompe d’Eustache 4)Muscle du marteau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 – skull
2 – ear canal
3 – pinna
4 – tympanum
5 – fenestra ovalis
6 – malleus
7 – incus
8 – stapes
9 – labyrinth
10 – cochlea
11 – auditory nerve
12 – eustachian tube

CLICK TO SEE

•The outer ear canal which leads up to the ear drum.
•The middle ear chamber behind the drum which is filled with air.
•The very specialised inner ear.

The air in the middle ear is constantly being absorbed by the membranes that line the cavity, so the internal pressure can easily drop, putting tension on the tissues there. Fortunately, air is frequently resupplied to the middle ear during the process of swallowing.

Usually when you swallow, a small bubble of air passes from your throat or back of your nose, through a narrow tube known as the Eustachian tube which is usually closed, into your middle ear. As it does this, it makes a tiny click or popping sound.

This action keeps the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum about equal. If the air pressure isn’t equal, for example if the Eustachian tube isn’t working efficiently or if pressures suddenly change, the ear feels blocked or uncomfortable.

The pocket of air in the middle ear is particularly vulnerable to the changes in air pressure as you go up in a plane.

Click to see picture

The higher the plane, the lower the air pressure around you, although inside the cabin you’re protected, to some extent, from these pressure changes. Pressure in the middle ear remains higher until the Eustachian tube opens up to allow the pressure to equalise. Until this happens the relatively lower pressure outside the middle ear pulls the ear drum and tissues of the middle ear outwards, making them feel very uncomfortable.

The eardrum is stretched and can’t vibrate properly, so sounds become muffled. When the Eustachian tube opens, air travels out from the middle ear, making a popping noise as pressure equalises.

During the descent in a plane, the opposite happens as pressure builds up outside the ear, pushing the eardrum inwards.

Abnormal pressure can develop in the middle ear, pulling in or stretching the ear drum, when the Eustachian tube is blocked for other reasons – as the result of a bad cold, for example, or a nasal allergy – or because it’s narrow as a result of childhood ear infections.

Treatment and recovery:
Flyers often experience what is referred to as ear barotrauma or airplane ear. This condition is caused by the change in pressure between the inside and outside of the eardrum that causes the eustachian tubes inside the ear to swell. The popping noise in your ear is the sound of the eustachian tube opening. There are some simple tips that can be used to pop your ears in an effort to ease the pain and discomfort associated with airplane ear.
The following can help to relieve the problem:

•Swallowing activates the muscle that opens the Eustachian tube, and you swallow more often when chewing gum or sucking sweets so try this just before and during descent.
•Yawning is an even stronger activator of the muscles.
•Avoid sleeping during descent, because you may not be swallowing often enough to keep up with the pressure changes.

The most forceful way to unblock your ears is to pinch your nostrils, take in a mouthful of air and use your cheek and throat muscles to force the air into the back of your nose, as if you were trying to blow your thumb and fingers off your nostrils. You may have to repeat this several times before your ears pop.

Decongestants shrink internal membranes and make your ears pop more easily. Ask your pharmacist for advice. However, you should avoid making a habit of using nasal sprays, because after a few days they may cause more congestion than they relieve.

Few more Tips to releave :

Eat Candy or Chew Gum
One of the easiest ways to pop your ears is to chew a piece of gum or suck on a piece of hard candy. This forces your ears to pop on purpose by allowing the muscles around your eustachian tube to open. The movement of the jaw equalizes the pressure between the inside and outside of the eardrum upon the opening of the eustachian tube.

Ear Plugs
Purchase earplugs that are specifically designed for flying. The earplugs restrict the flow of air into your inner ear, allowing it more time to keep up with the rapid change in pressure. Earplugs can be purchased at your local pharmacy or drug store.

Breathing
There is a special way you can breathe to release the pressure in your ears while flying. Inhale, and then gently exhale while holding the nostrils closed and the mouth shut. Repeat several times, especially during descent, to equalize the pressure between your ears and the airplane cabin.

Use A Decongestant
Purchase an oral or nasal spray decongestant. A decongestant can be used before, during, or after the flight to relieve any built-up nasal congestion, and to open the eustachian tube. For best results, use a spray decongestant 30 minutes prior to landing. If is best to take an oral decongestant 30 minutes to an hour prior to your plane taking off.

Tips For Babies
The best way to control the change in pressure between the inside and outside of a baby’s eardrum is to have the child suck on a bottle or pacifier during take off and landing. It is also important to make sure that a baby does not sleep during descent.

To learn few more Tips You may click to see :How to Keep My Ears From Popping While Flying

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/earspopping.shtml
http://www.eustachian-tube.net/EUSTACHIAN-TUBE.html
http://www.ehow.com/list_6821346_tips-pop-ears-flying.html

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ear-anatomy.png

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Categories
Diagnonistic Test

Throat Culture

 

[amazon_link asins=’B00L3VK4KG,B00TXTZD10,B000Q3C04K,B06XRSNTQB,B00000I409,B00VBN4G64,B0721KZCC9,B01LYOESZZ,B0009YYQAC’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’db5d969e-0501-11e8-a9bc-8b7bc2d85f23′]Alternative Names:Throat culture and sensitivity; Culture – throat

Definition:
A throat infection with streptococcus bacteria (called strep throat) needs to be treated with an antibiotic.Throat swab culture is a laboratory test done to isolate and identify organisms that may cause infection in the throat. It is the traditional test used for identifying streptococcus bacteria on your throat surface. Throat cultures also can identify some other bacteria that can cause sore throat.

.CLICK  & SEE

Throat swab culture is a laboratory test done to isolate and identify organisms that may cause infection in the throat.The test is performed when a throat infection is suspected, particularly strep throat.

How do you prepare for the test?
No preparation is necessary.Only do not use antiseptic mouthwashes before the test.

What happens when the test is performed?
Tilt your head back with your mouth wide open.A sterile cotton swab is rubbed against the back of your throat to gather a sample of mucus from near the tonsils.Resist gagging and closing the mouth while the swab touches the back of the throat near the tonsils. This takes only a second or two and makes some people feel a brief gagging or choking sensation.

.….click & see

In order to improve the chances of detecting bacteria, the swab may be used to scrape the back of the throat several times. The mucus sample is then placed on a culture plate that helps any bacteria present in the mucus grow, so they can be examined and identified.

How the Test Will Feel :
Your throat may be sore at the time the test is taken. You may experience a gagging sensation when the back of your throat is touched with the swab, but the test only lasts a few seconds.

What risks are there from the test?
There are no risks.This test is safe and well-tolerated. In very few patients, the sensation of gagging may lead to an urge to vomit or cough.

Normal Results:
The presence of the usual mouth and throat bacteria is a normal finding.

What Abnormal Results Mean :
An abnormal result means bacteria or other organism is present. This is usually a sign of infection.

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
Nothing.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Results from a strep culture are available in two or three days.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/throat-culture.htm
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003746.htm

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Categories
News on Health & Science

Don’t Remove Earwax

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According to just-release U.S. national guidelines on earwax removal, you should leave it in your ears.CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Earwax is a self-cleaning agent, with protective, lubricating and antibacterial properties. That’s why tiny glands in the outer ear canal constantly pump it out. Excess earwax normally treks slowly out of the ear canal, carrying with it dirt, dust and other small particles.

When individuals poke around in their ears with cottons swabs or other foreign objects, earwax can actually build up and block part of the ear canal.

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies Pediatric

Oh, that earache!

Ear infections frequently develop in children and is one of the commonest infections in childhood. A staggering 75 per cent of children have at least one episode of ear pain and infection by the time they reach the age of three.

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Most ear infections occur when the weather changes or if there is an infection going around in school.
Most ear infections are acute and are accompanied by excruciating pain, and occur when the weather changes or if there is an infection “going around” in school. Although the child may not to be able to accurately express or localise the discomfort, most parents suspect there is an earache because the child has fever and pulls or tugs at the ear. Sometimes, however, it manifests itself only with unexplained irritability or continuous nerve-wracking screaming. Hapless parents cannot localise the symptoms and are forced to seek emergency medical care.

Most ear infections start innocuously as a viral infection with fever, a runny nose and irritability. There is a three-pronged connection among the nose, throat and the middle ear. As long as all the connections are open, there is very little chance of an ear infection despite an upper respiratory infection. If any connection is blocked, pressure and secretions build up behind the ear drum, causing pain. Later, these secretions can remain stagnant in the middle ear and lead to an infection.

Ear infections often settle by themselves with symptomatic treatment. Frequent (two-hourly) administration of saline nose drops unblocks the nose. Paracetamol administered as dispersible tablets, drops or suspension (10-15mg/kg/dose) every four to six hours reduces the pain and fever. A mild anti-histamine syrup dries up the secretions. Sometimes, anaesthetic (not antibiotic) eardrops may be required to ease the pain. But the technique of administration is very important for the drops to be effective. The child should be placed on a flat surface, not on a pillow or on the lap. The affected ear should face upwards. The outer ear should then be gently pulled upwards and the drops administered. This will not help with the infection but will definitely ease the pain.

About 80 per cent of the antibiotics used worldwide are prescribed for “colds, coughs and ear infections”. They do not work against viral infections, nor do they shorten the course of the disease or prevent progress to a bacterial infection. A wait and watch policy for viral ear infections helps avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics.

It is advisable, however, to consult a paediatrician immediately if the child is less than six months old, or has some other complicating illness.

If the pain and fever persist even after 72 hours, a secondary bacterial infection may have occurred. This needs appropriate antibiotics in the correct dose and duration. The medication should not be stopped just because the child looks better. Nor should the same antibiotic be purchased OTC (over the counter) and be self administered for a subsequent infection.

Children are more likely to develop recurrent ear infection

* If the early feeding is improper. Breast milk protects from infection, especially during the first six months of life.

* If the head is not raised while feeding. A prone position or placing a bottle of milk in a sleeping baby’s mouth may lead to an ear infection.

* If solids are force fed to an uncooperative child while lying down.

There is also a marked increase in the number of ear infections in children exposed to cigarette smoke. Most ear infections subside with no sequalae.

Certain cases of acute infection require urgent attention —

* When there is a suspicion of short-term mild hearing loss. This can persist if the fluid in the ear does not clear.

* If the infection becomes chronic, leading to damage to the bones and other structures in the middle ear. This can lead to permanent hearing loss.

* If the infection spreads to the mastoid, a bone behind the ear.

* Eventually, pus may extend into the brain and cause abscesses.

Surgery may have to be considered if the infection becomes chronic, with persistent effusions from both ears for three months or from one ear for six months. There are two procedures — myringectomy or tympanostomy, whereby a tube may have to be inserted into the ear drum.

A hole in the ear drum may need to be closed with a skin patch. Eventually, the tonsils and adenoids may need to be removed.

Two of the common bacteria causing ear infections belong to the Pneumococcal and H Influenzae groups. The Hib and pneumococcal vaccines, if administered to children, reduce the incidence of ear infections.

This is because the vaccine incidentally lends immunity against 55 per cent of the organisms that cause an ear infection. These vaccines also have a multiplier effect — they increase herd immunity, that is, they protect other children and elders in the community against bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections caused by these common organisms.

From: Dr Gita Mathai’s writing (Telegraph ,Kolkata,India)

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Earache (Ear Infection)

Whether it’s a middle ear infection, located deep in the ear, or swimmer’s ear, affecting the outer ear canal, an earache hurts. It’s most often a problem in children, but adults get earaches too. Though some conditions clear up on their own, supplements can speed up the healing process….click & see

Symptoms:

Throbbing or steady pain in ear; pain when pulling on lobe.
Pressure or itching in the ear.
A bloody, green, yellow, or clear discharge from the ear.
Muffled hearing; popping in ear.
Fever.
Dizziness.

When to Call Your Doctor
If earache is accompanied by fever over 101 F, stiff neck, severe headache, or seepage of pus or other fluids; or if the ear or area behind it appears red or swollen — it is likely an infection requiring antibiotics.

What It Is
An earache results from inflammation, infection, or swelling in the outer canal of the ear or in the space adjoining the eardrum, which is the thin membrane that separates the outer and the middle ear. Normally, the eustachian tube, which extends from the middle ear to the throat, drains fluids from the ear, keeping it clear. But inflammation or infection can irritate the ear canal or block the Eustachian tube, leading to the buildup of pus or other fluids and causing pain and other unpleasant symptoms.


What Causes It

Earaches are typically caused by harmful bacteria, viruses, or fungi, usually preceded by an upper respiratory infection or seasonal allergies, or moisture trapped in the ear. Other causes include excessive ear wax, sudden changes in air pressure, a punctured eardrum, or exposure to irritating chemicals, such as hair dyes and chlorinated water.

How Supplements Can Help
The supplements listed below can play a supportive role in healing earaches. They can be used in conjunction with antibiotics, pain relievers, and other conventional remedies for short-term treatment of mild to moderate ear discomfort. All severe, lingering, or recurrent ear pain, however, requires medical evaluation.

What Else You Can Do
Place a warm compress on the outside of your ear; use a heating pad or warm washcloth. Heat can bring quick pain relief and facilitate healing.
Never insert a cotton swab, which can puncture the eardrum, into your ear. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide as a cleaner; it can irritate the ear canal.
Herbal eardrops often bring rapid pain relief — within 10 minutes of administration. To make the application of drops more comfortable, warm the bottle under hot running tap water before placing the liquid in the ear.
Don’t smoke and avoid smoke-filled rooms, especially if you’re prone to earaches. The latest study to look at the link between secondhand smoke and ear infections reported that exposure to smoke can affect the ears. Children who lived in households with at least two smokers were 85% more likely to suffer from middle ear infections than those who lived in nonsmoking homes.

Supplement Recommendations

Garlic Oil
Mullein Flower Oil
Lavender Oil
Eucalyptus Oil
Vitamin A
Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Echinacea

Garlic Oil
Dosage: A few drops in the ear twice a day.
Comments: May be used alone or with mullein flower oil.

Mullein Flower Oil
Dosage: A few drops in the ear twice a day.
Comments: May be used alone or with garlic oil.

Lavender Oil
Dosage: Apply a few drops to the outer ear and rub in gently.
Comments: Can be used as needed throughout the day.

Eucalyptus Oil

Dosage: Add several drops essential eucalyptus oil to pan of water.
Comments: Bring oil and water to boil and remove from heat; place towel over head and pan and inhale steam through the nose.

Vitamin A
Dosage: 50,000 IU twice a day until symptoms improve; if needed after 7 days, reduce to 25,000 IU a day until symptoms are gone.
Comments: Women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should not exceed 5,000 IU a day.

Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Dosage: 1,000 mg vitamin C and 500 mg flavonoids 3 times a day until infection clears.
Comments: Reduce vitamin C dose if diarrhea develops.

Echinacea
Dosage: 200 mg 3 times a day until infection clears.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 3.5% echinacosides.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.