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December 28, 2011, 6:58 PM CT

Turn Down the iPod to Save Your Hearing

Turn Down the iPod to Save Your Hearing

Today's ubiquitous MP3 players permit users to listen to crystal-clear tunes at high volume for hours on end - a marked improvement on the days of the Walkman. But as per Tel Aviv University research, these advances have also turned personal listening devices into a serious health hazard, with teenagers as the most at-risk group.

One in four teens is in danger of early hearing loss as a direct result of these listening habits, says Prof. Chava Muchnik of TAU's Department of Communication Disorders in the Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sheba Medical Center. With her colleagues Dr. Ricky Kaplan-Neeman, Dr. Noam Amir, and Ester Shabtai, Prof. Muchnik studied teens' music listening habits and took acoustic measurements of preferred listening levels.

The results, reported in the International Journal of Audiology, demonstrate clearly that teens have harmful music-listening habits when it comes to iPods and other MP3 devices. "In 10 or 20 years it will be too late to realize that an entire generation of young people is suffering from hearing problems much earlier than expected from natural aging," says Prof. Muchnik.

Hearing loss before middle age.

Hearing loss caused by continuous exposure to loud noise is a slow and progressive process. People may not notice the harm they are causing until years of accumulated damage begin to take hold, warns Prof. Muchnik. Those who are misusing MP3 players today might find that their hearing begins to deteriorate as early as their 30's and 40's - much earlier than past generations.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


January 4, 2011, 6:21 AM CT

Estrogen may help precancerous cells spread

Estrogen may help precancerous cells spread
head and neck cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer and is on the rise in some demographic groups, including young women without any known risk factors. Now, scientists at Fox Chase Cancer Center report that estrogen may increase the movement of premalignant cells in the mouth and thus promote the spread of the disease within the oral cavity.

The new results, reported in the recent issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, may lead to novel chemoprevention strategies in the future.

Margie Clapper, Ph.D., co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center and Cancer Prevention Research editorial board member, and his colleagues had previously reported that estrogen metabolism changes following smoke exposure in the lungs and may contribute to lung cancer. This study on estrogen and lung cancer first appeared in the June 3, 2010, issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

To find out if this female hormone influences development of head and neck cancer, Ekaterina Shatalova, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at Fox Chase Cancer Center and researcher on this study, examined the impact of estrogen on premalignant and malignant cells.

They observed that estrogen induces the expression of an enzyme called cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1), which is responsible for breaking down toxins and metabolizing estrogen. Interestingly, CYP1B1 induction occurred only in premalignant cells, which are neither totally normal nor malignant. Surprisingly, estrogen did not induce CYP1B1 in cancer cells.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


January 3, 2011, 6:20 AM CT

Tonsillectomy in children

Tonsillectomy in children
A multidisciplinary clinical practice guideline, "Tonsillectomy in Children" would be reported in the recent issue of Otolaryngology�Head and Neck Surgery (watch for a new cover and publisher in that issue of the journal). The new guideline provides evidence-based recommendations on the pre-, intra-, and postoperative care and management of children aged 1 to 18 years under consideration for tonsillectomy. Additionally, this guideline is intended for all clinicians in any setting who care for these patients. This guideline also addresses practice variation in medicine and the significant public health implications of tonsillectomy.

Tonsillectomy is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States, with over 530,000 procedures performed annually in children under 15 years old. Tonsillectomy is defined as a surgical procedure (performed with or without adenoidectomy) that completely removes the tonsil, including its capsule, by dissecting the peritonsillar space between the tonsil capsule and the muscular wall. Depending on the context in which it is used, the term may indicate tonsillectomy with adenoidectomy, particularly in relation to sleep-disordered breathing.

"Over half a million tonsillectomies are done every year in the United States," said Richard M. Rosenfeld, MD, MPH, journal guideline author and consultant. "The tonsillectomy guideline will empower doctors and parents to make the best decisions, resulting in safer surgery and improved quality of life for children who suffer from large or infected tonsils".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 21, 2010, 6:38 AM CT

Robotic surgery for head and neck cancer

Robotic surgery for head and neck cancer
Less-invasive robotic surgery for upper airway and digestive track cancerous tumors is as effective as other minimally invasive surgical techniques based on patient function and survival, as per University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers.

Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas account for about 4 percent of cancerous tumors diagnosed in the United States each year. Currently the standard minimally invasive surgery for these tumors is transoral laser microsurgery.

Prior studies have shown that the robotic surgery was better for patients to regain the ability to swallow, a common and serious side effect, but never looked at cure rate. Manguson wanted to know if you could achieve function and get rid of the cancer at the same time. This study, published Dec. 20, 2010, in the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, showed you could.

UAB otolaryngologist and the study's senior author J. Scott Magnuson, M.D., and his colleagues from UAB and the Mayo Clinic looked at 89 patients with various stages of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas whose primary tumor was resected using the da Vinci Robot. All of the patients were monitored during their hospital stay and up to 33 months after surgery.

"The overall two-year survival rate for these patients was 86.3 percent, which is comparable to the standard therapy," Magnuson, also a scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, said. "Those with earlier-stage tumors appeared to have slightly better recurrence-free survival than those with later stages, but it was not statistically significant".........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


October 26, 2010, 8:02 AM CT

Children with frequent ear infections

Children with frequent ear infections
Ear infections are one of the most common health problems for children, with most kids experiencing at least one by their third birthday. Annual costs in the United States alone are in the billions of dollars.

When these infections are left untreated, complications can include hearing loss, speech problems and more severe infections that can spread to bone and brain, causing meningitis. But not all kids have the same access to medical specialists and medicines.

A newly released study by scientists at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Harvard Medical School has observed that racial and ethnic disparities among children with frequent ear infections can significantly influence access to health care resources.

The findings, reported in the November 2010 issue of the journal OtolaryngologyHead and Neck Surgery, show that compared with white children, African American and Hispanic children are at increased odds of not being able to afford prescription medications, not having medical insurance and not being able to see a specialist.

The study also shows that African American and Hispanic children are more likely than white children to visit the emergency room for an ear infection.

"Our goal was to provide an accurate demographic picture of the U.S. so that we could identify disparities to target for intervention," said co-author of study Dr. Nina Shapiro, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and an associate professor of surgery at the Geffen School of Medicine. "Clearly, we observed that children of certain ethnicities who suffer from frequent ear infections are more likely to face greater barriers to care. This information provides an opportunity for improvements in our current health care reform."........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


October 21, 2010, 8:06 AM CT

First implanted device to treat balance disorder

First implanted device to treat balance disorder
This is a side view of the implantable device created by University of Washington researchers. The device will be implanted surgically in the first patient in the world on Thursday, Oct. 21, in Seattle, Wash. at UW Medical Center.

Credit: Cochlear Ltd.

A University of Washington Medical Center patient on Thursday, Oct. 21, will be the world's first recipient of a device that aims to quell the disabling vertigo linked to Meniere's disease.

The UW Medicine clinicians who developed the implantable device hope that success in a 10-person surgical trial of Meniere's patients will lead to exploration of its usefulness against other common balance disorders that torment millions of people worldwide.

The device being tested a cochlear implant and processor with re-engineered software and electrode arrays represents four-plus years of work by Drs. Jay Rubinstein and James Phillips of UW's Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. They worked with Drs. Steven Bierer, Albert Fuchs, Chris Kaneko, Leo Ling and Kaibao Nie, UW specialists in signal processing, brainstem physiology and vestibular neural coding.

"What we're proposing here is a potentially safer and more effective treatment than exists now," said Rubinstein, an ear surgeon and auditory scientist who has earned a doctoral degree in bioengineering and who holds multiple U.S. patents.

In the United States, Meniere's affects less than one percent of the population. The disease occurs mostly in people between ages 30 and 50, but can strike anyone. Patients more often experience the condition in one ear; about 30 percent of cases are bilateral.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


October 5, 2010, 7:17 AM CT

Sing to cure speech disorder

Sing to cure speech disorder
Nandhu Radhakrishnan, professor of communication science and disorders in the School of Health Professions, is comparing two vocal styles in hopes of finding a treatment for laryngeal tremors, a vocal disorder associated with many neurological disorders.

Credit: University of Missouri

Hindustani singing, a North Indian traditional style of singing, and classical singing, such as the music of Puccini, Mozart and Wagner, vary greatly in technique and sound. Now, speech-language pathology scientists at the University of Missouri are comparing the two styles in hopes of finding a therapy for laryngeal tremors, a vocal disorder linked to a number of neurological disorders that can result in severe communication difficulties.

Sound is developed in the larynx, an organ located in the neck. A laryngeal or vocal tremor occurs when the larynx spasms during speech, creating a breathy voice featuring a constantly shifting pitch. People with Parkinson's disease and other similar disorders often display vocal tremors. Currently, speech-language pathologists are only able to help patients manage tremors. By understanding the physiology behind voluntary and involuntary pitch fluctuation, an MU researcher hopes to find a therapy.

"Hindustani and classical singing styles are very different," said Nandhu Radhakrishnan, professor of communication science and disorders in the School of Health Professions. "In Hindustani singing, performers use 'Taan' to modulate pitch voluntarily, while classical singers use vibrato to vary pitch involuntarily. With this knowledge, we appears to be able to develop a specific treatment to cure laryngeal tremors."........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


September 8, 2010, 7:22 AM CT

New robotic head and neck cancer surgery

New robotic head and neck cancer surgery
TransOral Robotic Surgery, in progress, at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The surgery, performed by Tamer A. Ghanem, M.D., Ph.D., offers patients a new option to remove certain head and neck cancer tumors without visible scarring, while preserving speech and the ability to eat.

Credit: Henry Ford Hospital

An incisionless robotic surgical procedure is offering patients a new option to remove certain head and neck cancer tumors without visible scarring, while preserving speech and the ability to eat.

Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit is among the first in the country to perform TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) using the da Vinci Surgical System. Unlike traditional surgical approaches to head and neck cancer, TORS patients are able to return to their normal lives only a few days after surgery without significant pain and disfigurement.

"TORS offers shorter post-operative recovery than standard open surgical approaches, giving patients the opportunity to quickly and successfully return to their normal lives," says Tamer A. Ghanem, M.D., Ph.D., director of Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery Division in the Department of OtolaryngologyHead & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital.

"TORS allows surgeons to completely remove tumors of the head and neck while preserving speech, swallowing, and other key quality of life issues such as eating. There also is no visible scaring or disfigurement".

Led by Dr. Ghanem, Henry Ford Hospital haccording toformed more than a dozen TORS procedures since it was approved in January by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to remove cancerous and non-malignant tumors of the mouth, tongue, tonsils, and parts of the throat.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


July 12, 2010, 6:45 AM CT

Quality of sleep in head and neck cancer patients

Quality of sleep in head and neck cancer patients
Sleeping Woman
Head and neck cancer patients who reported poor sleep quality one year after diagnosis had more symptoms of chronic pain and complaints of dry mouth correlation to radiation therapys, as per a recent study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Because these side effects can be controlled or modified, the study suggests that reducing these factors in head and neck cancer patients appears to be warranted to improve sleep hygiene and enhance quality of life. Prior U-M studies have shown that head and neck cancer patients who reported lower physical quality of life were more likely to die from their disease.

"Sleep disturbances are a common complaint in head and neck cancer patients and have been shown to decrease quality of life, decrease mental health and serve as a predictor of other complications in the therapy of the cancer. They can also negatively affect the immune system and the ability to deal with stresses of the diagnosis," says senior study author Jeffrey Terrell, M.D., professor of otolaryngology at the U-M Medical School.

The study observed that a tracheotomy, depression and younger age also adversely affected sleep in patients.

"While cancer patients in general have been known to have decreased sleep quality, head and neck cancer patients may have unique issues such as facial disfigurements and side effects from therapys that can affect the mouth and throat. These problems may thereby contribute to breathing problems which can impede sleep," says study author Sonia A. Duffy, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor of nursing at the U-M School of Nursing and otolaryngology at the U-M Medical School and research scientist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


April 1, 2010, 6:41 AM CT

Acupuncture for loss of smell after viral infection

Acupuncture for loss of smell after viral infection
Traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA), where very thin needles are used to stimulate specific points in the body to elicit beneficial therapeutic responses, appears to be an effective therapy option for patients who suffer from persistent post- viral olfactory dysfunction (PVOD), as per new research in the April 2010 issue of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

Olfactory dysfunction can arise from a variety of causes and can profoundly influence a patient's quality of life. The sense of smell determines the flavor of foods and beverages and also serves as an early warning system for the detection of environmental hazards, such as spoiled food, leaking natural gas, smoke, or airborne pollutants. The loss or distortions of smell sensation can adversely influence food preference, food intake, and appetite.

Approximately 2 million Americans experience some type of olfactory dysfunction. One of the most frequent causes of loss of smell in adults is an upper respiratory tract infection (URI). Patients commonly complain of smell loss following a viral URI. The smell loss is most usually partial, and reversible. However, occasionally patients may also present with parosmia (a distortion of the sense of smell), phantosmia (smelling things that aren't there), or permanent damage of the olfactory system.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


February 1, 2010, 7:41 AM CT

Children with cochlear implants

Children with cochlear implants
Children who have cochlear implants (CI) rank their quality of life (QOL) equal to their normally hearing (NH) peers, indicates new research in the February 2010 issue of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that restores partial hearing to the deaf. It is surgically implanted in the inner ear and activated by a device worn outside the ear. Unlike a hearing aid, it does not make sound louder or clearer. Instead, the device bypasses damaged parts of the auditory system and directly stimulates the hearing nerve, allowing deaf or severely hard of hearing individuals to receive sound. The National Institutes of Health estimate that as a number of as 59,000 people worldwide have received cochlear implants, with roughly half of those in the pediatric population.

Previous research has indicated that deaf children feel less socially accepted, experience more difficulty in making friends, and demonstrate greater adjustment problems than their hearing peers. The subsequent success of the multi-channel CI devices that improve speech perception and language development led scientists to look beyond speech and language performance to questions of psycho-social behaviors and adjustment.

This cross-sectional study of 88 families with CI children from 16 U.S. states used a generic QOL questionnaire. The group was then divided by age of the child when they filled out the questionnaire: an 8-11-year-old group and a 12-16-year-old group. Both parents and children were asked to fill out the QOL questionnaire, with the parents assessing their child. The study group was then in comparison to a control group of 1,501 NH children in fourth and eighth grades.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


January 21, 2010, 8:18 AM CT

Stain repellent may cause thyroid disease

Stain repellent may cause thyroid disease
A study by the University of Exeter and the Peninsula Medical School for the first time links thyroid disease with human exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is a persistent organic chemical used in industrial and consumer goods including nonstick cookware and stain- and water-resistant coatings for carpets and fabrics.

Reported in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, The study revealed that people with higher concentrations of PFOA in their blood have higher rates of thyroid disease. The scientists analysed samples from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Tamara Galloway, a professor Ecotoxicology at the University of Exeter and the study's senior author, says: "Our results highlight a real need for further research into the human health effects of low-level exposures to environmental chemicals like PFOA that are ubiquitous in the environment and in people's homes. We need to know what they are doing".

"There have long been suspicions that PFOA concentrations might be associated with changes in thyroid hormone levels," adds study author, David Melzer, a professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Peninsula Medical School. "Our analysis shows that in the 'ordinary' adult population there is a solid statistical link between higher concentrations of PFOA in blood and thyroid disease."........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


April 13, 2009, 1:54 PM CT

Insights into progressive hearing loss

Insights into progressive hearing loss
In parallel studies in human and mouse, two groups of scientists have come to the same conclusion: that a new kind of gene is linked to progressive hearing loss. The new gene - called a microRNA - is a tiny fragment of RNA that affects the production of hundreds of other molecules within sensory hair cells of the inner ear.

The research provides important new genetic understanding of a condition that is common in humans but remains poorly understood.

One team, led by scientists from the Hospital Ramn y Cajal, Madrid, Spain, followed families who showed hearing loss. The second team, led by scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK, examined a new line of mice, called diminuendo, that showed progressive hearing loss from an early age. The two groups shared their emerging data.

"We were able quite quickly to show that if the mice carried one copy of the gene variant they suffered progressive hearing loss, if they carried two variants they were profoundly deaf," explains Professor Karen Steel, principal investigator of the programme at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "The important questions were could we determine what the variant is and how does it exert its effect on hearing?".

In their studies of families with progressive hearing loss, the Spanish team had proposed that the gene responsible lay on human chromosome 7. Both teams set about sequencing every gene in the equivalent genomic regions in human and mouse identified as implicated in hearing loss; the sequencing showed that most of the genes in the region could not be responsible for hearing loss.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


January 28, 2009, 6:20 AM CT

Sequential and alternating chemotherapy and radiatio

Sequential and alternating chemotherapy and radiatio
Larynx cancer patients treated with alternating cycles of chemotherapy and radiation have similar outcomes to patients treated with chemotherapy followed by radiation, as per data from a randomized controlled trial in the January 27 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Prior trials in patients with locally advanced larynx cancer showed that chemotherapy followed by radiation was as effective as total removal of the larynx, known as laryngectomy, in terms of overall and disease-free survival and that this sequential treatment provided better quality of life. Subsequent trials indicated that concurrent administration of chemotherapy and radiation resulted in a statistically significant improvement in larynx preservation but was linked to more serious acute toxicity and possibly long term side effects.

To try to improve patient survival without increasing side effects, Jean Lefebvre, M.D., of the Centre Oscar Lambret in Lille, France, and his colleagues in the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer enrolled 450 patients with larynx or hypopharynx cancer in a randomized controlled trial. Patients received either chemotherapy followed by radiation or alternating cycles of radiation and chemotherapy.

With a median follow-up of 6.5 years, there was no significant difference in clinical outcomes between the two therapy groups. Larynx preservation, overall survival, and progression-free survival were similar for patients treated with sequential and alternating chemotherapy and radiation.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 26, 2009, 6:23 AM CT

Feeling your words

Feeling your words
This is a listener wired for sounds.

Credit: Takayuki Ito / Haskins Laboratories

The movement of facial skin and muscles around the mouth plays an important role not only in the way the sounds of speech are made, but also in the way they are heard as per a research studyby researchers at Haskins Laboratories, a Yale-affiliated research laboratory.

"How your own face is moving makes a difference in how you 'hear' what you hear," said first author Takayuki Ito, a senior scientist at Haskins.

When, Ito and colleagues used a robotic device to stretch the facial skin of "listeners" in a way that would normally accompany speech production they found it affected the way the subjects heard the speech sounds.

The subjects listened to words one at a time that were taken from a computer-produced continuum between the words "head" and "had." When the robot stretched the listener's facial skin upward, words sounded more like "head." With downward stretch, words sounded more like "had." A backward stretch had no perceptual effect.

And, timing of the skin stretch was critical perceptual changes were only observed when the stretch was similar to what occurs during speech production.

These effects of facial skin stretch indicate the involvement of the somatosensory system in the neural processing of speech sounds. This finding contributes in an important way to our understanding of the relationship between speech perception and production. It shows that there is a broad, non-auditory basis for "hearing" and that speech perception has important neural links to the mechanisms of speech production.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 19, 2008, 5:13 AM CT

Cough medicine ingredient could treat prostate cancer

Cough medicine ingredient could treat prostate cancer
A study published recently in the recent issue of the European medical journal Anticancer Research demonstrates that an ingredient used in a common cough suppressant may be useful in treating advanced prostate cancer. Scientists observed that noscapine, which has been used in cough medicine for nearly 50 years, reduced tumor growth in mice by 60% and limited the spread of tumors by 65% without causing harmful side effects.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 186,320 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and 28,660 will die from it. One man in 6 will get prostate cancer during his lifetime. Eventhough slow-growing in most men, the cancer is considered advanced when it spreads beyond the prostate. There is no known cure.

The laboratory study was a joint effort by Dr. Israel Barken of the Prostate Cancer Research and Educational Foundation, Moshe Rogosnitzky of MedInsight Research Institute, and Dr. Jack Geller of The University of California San Diego. Noscapine has previously been studied as a therapy for breast, ovarian, colon, lung and brain cancer and for various lymphomas, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and melanoma. This study, however, is the first to demonstrate its effectiveness in treating prostate cancer.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


August 31, 2008, 8:39 PM CT

Professional guidelines for regarding earwax

Professional guidelines for regarding earwax
Dr. Peter Roland, chairman of otolaryngology -- head and neck surgery, helped develop new national guidelines regarding the removal of wax from the ear.

Credit: UT Southwestern Medical Center
The age-old advice to routinely clean out earwax is discouraged under the first published guidelines from health care professionals about removing wax from the ear.

"Unfortunately, a number of people feel the need to manually remove earwax, called cerumen, which serves an important protective function for the ear," said the guidelines' lead author, Dr. Peter Roland, chairman of otolaryngology head and neck surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Cotton swabs and some other home remedies can push cerumen further into the canal, potentially foiling the natural removal process and instead cause build-up, known as impaction".

The guidelines recommend professionals use wax-dissolving agents, irrigation or ear syringing, or manually remove it with a suction device or other specialty instrument under supervised care to avoid damaging the ear or further impaction. The guidelines warn against using cotton-tipped swabs, and the home use of oral jet irrigators.

In addition, people with hearing aids should be checked for impaction during regular check-ups because cerumen can cause feedback, reduced sound intensity or damage the hearing aid, as per the guidelines.

The guidelines were created with input from family practitioners, pediatricians, internists, nurses, audiologists and emergency room doctors and have been endorsed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


August 20, 2008, 8:21 PM CT

Childhood ear infections may predispose to obesity later in life

Childhood ear infections may predispose to obesity later in life
Scientists are reporting new evidence of a possible link between a history of moderate to severe middle ear infections in childhood and a tendency to be overweight during the later part of life. Their study suggests that prompt diagnosis and therapy of middle ear infections one of the most common childhood conditions requiring medical attention may help fight obesity in some people. The findings were presented today at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Study leader Linda M. Bartoshuk, Ph.D., noted that chronic, repeated ear infections can damage the chorda tympani nerve, which passes through the middle ear and controls taste sensations. Damage to this nerve appears to intensify the desire for fatty or high-energy foods, which could result in obesity, she said.

Other research has shown that middle ear infections, or otitis media, are becoming more common in children. Childhood obesity is likewise on the rise and has reached epidemic levels, especially in the United States. Eventhough researchers have known for years that ear infections can lead to hearing loss in children that can result in speech and language impairment, a possible link between ear infections and obesity has been largely unexplored until now, said Bartoshuk, who is with the University of Florida's Center for Smell and Taste in Gainesville.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 13, 2008, 9:12 PM CT

Link between common cold and ear infection

Link between common cold and ear infection
A new five-year study at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston confirms the suspected close link between the two most common diseases of young children: colds and ear infections.

The study, which appears in the March 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Disease, confirmed the suspected close link between the two most common diseases of young children, viral colds and ear infections. It also identified the viruses linked to higher rates of ear infections.

Understanding how viruses and ear infections are linked will definitely help us find new ways to prevent ear infections, said Dr. Tasnee Chronmaitree, a pediatric infectious disease specialist who is the studys principal investigator. To break the link you must first understand it.

Ear infections are the driving force behind antibiotic resistance, a troubling medical issue, as physicians often administer antibiotics for the painful, persistent ailment.

Chonmaitree has studied otitis media (ear infection) for more than two decades. She said parents could best protect their children by avoiding exposure to sick children and to have their children vaccinated against influenza. She suggested that children in day care might face reduced exposure to viruses if they are enrolled in smaller day care facilities with fewer children.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


January 28, 2008, 10:50 PM CT

Over-the-counter eardrops may cause hearing loss

Over-the-counter eardrops may cause hearing loss
A new study, led by scientists at The Montreal Childrens Hospital (MCH) of the MUHC, has revealed that certain over-the-counter earwax softeners can cause severe inflammation and damage to the eardrum and inner ear. The results of the study, recently published in The Laryngoscope, suggest that use of these medications should be discouraged.

Patients often complain that wax is blocking their ears and is causing discomfort and sometimes deafness, says Dr. Sam Daniel principal investigator of the study and director of McGill Auditory Sciences Laboratory at The Childrens. Over-the-counter earwax softeners are used to breakup and disperse this excess wax. However, the effects of these medications on the cells of the ear had not been thoroughly analyzed.

Because some of these products are readily available to the public without a consultation with or prescription from a physician, it is important to make sure they are safe to use. Our study shows that in a well-established animal model, one such product, Cerumenex, is in fact, toxic to the cells of the ear, says Dr. Daniel.

Dr. Daniel and his team studied the impact of Cerumenex on hearing. In addition, overall toxicity in the outer ear and changes in the nerve cells of the inner ear were analyzed.

Harmful effects to a number of of the cells were observed after only one dose, says Dr. Melvin Schloss co-author and MCH Director of Otolaryngology. We observed reduced hearing, severe inflammation, and lesions to the nerve cells.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


January 21, 2008, 8:29 PM CT

Saline nasal wash helps improve children's cold symptoms

Saline nasal wash helps improve children's cold symptoms
A saline nasal wash solution made from processed seawater appears to improve nasal symptoms and may help prevent the recurrence of respiratory infections when used by children with the common cold, as per a report in the recent issue of Archives of Otolaryngology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Infections of the upper respiratory tract and sinus infections are common among children, as per background information in the article. Nasal irrigation with isotonic [balanced] saline solutions seems effective in such health conditions and is often used in a variety of indications as an adjunctive therapy, the authors write as background information in the article. Eventhough saline nasal wash is currently mentioned in several guidelines, scientific evidence of its efficacy is rather poor.

Ivo lapak, M.D., of Teaching Hospital Brno, Brno, Czech Republic, and his colleagues randomly assigned 401 children age 6 to 10 with cold or flu to two therapy groups, one receiving standard medicine and the other also receiving a nasal wash with a modified processed seawater solution. Patients were observed for a total of 12 weeks, from January to April 2006, during which health status, symptoms and medicine use were assessed at four visits over the course of the trial, the authors write. Acute illness was reviewed during the first two visits (up to three weeks), prevention during the following two visits (up to 12 weeks). The third visit, scheduled for week eight after study entry, could be conducted over the telephone.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Among elderly patients with profound hearing loss, age at time of receipt of an electronic hearing device known as a cochlear implant does not predict subsequent hearing ability, as per a studyin the recent issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

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