Difficulty in hearing is a not so uncommon problem that we all need to know more about. It can affect us at any age from birth to old age and the good news is that it is a totally treatable condition. Whatever may be the cause and severity of deafness, modern medicine and technology can restore our hearing back to normal !! How Common is Deafness? 1 in 12 i.e. 8% of the population has some degree of deafness. 1 in 1000 children is born with significant deafness that does not allow normal development of hearing and speech. If untreated, these children grow up into deaf and consequently dumb adults. It is very important to diagnose and treat these children early, within the first few years. What is the cause of deafness? Deafness can either be: Genetic - Typically, children born with deafness. This is more common in parents who have had consanguineous marriage but can happen otherwise as well. People with a family history of hearing loss can suffer from hearing loss in adulthood due to an inherited condition called Otosclerosis, which affects the tiny bones inside your ear. Acquired - Infections can cause damage to eardrums, ossicles (tiny bones in your ear), or inner ear resulting in temporary or permanent damage to hearing. Trauma such as major road traffic accidents can fracture the hearing organs. Serious infections like meningitis can cause permanent loss of hearing. Old Age - Over the age of 65, many people suffer from hearing loss typically involving high-frequency sounds. This is not due to any illness but a weakness that sets in with age much like the use of spectacles for reading at old age. Very often, no definite cause of hearing loss can be identified. Rarely, adults can lose complete hearing usually in one ear within hours, a condition called Sudden sensorineural hearing loss. This condition is thought to be due to either a viral illness or a miny stroke-like condition that causes temporary loss of blood supply to the inner ear. How does one diagnose deafness? In adults and older children, we do a simple hearing test called Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA). This involves playing sounds of different frequencies at varying levels and identifying the minimum level at which one could detect the sound at the specific frequency being tested. This is a very accurate and reliable test in most situations. In newborn babies and small children, we can do a test called Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) which involves detection of very weak emissions coming from the normal ear using a probe inside the ear canal. If normal, this test usually rules out any hearing loss in the child. A more detailed hearing assessment is carried out typically in children using a test called BERA – Brain Stem Evoked Response Audiometry. This involves sending sound signals into the ears through headphones and recording brain wave activity using electrodes placed on the scalp. The child needs to sleep or stay very still during the test. Along with a similar test called ASSR, this test can give us a very reliable estimate of the child’s hearing levels. All these tests are carried out by a team of ENT Surgeons and Audiologists, who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss in children and adults. How can hearing loss be treated? Medicines and Surgery Simple infections of the ear causing temporary loss of hearing in children and adults can be treated with medicines like antibiotics and decongestants. More chronic infections that result in damage to the eardrums or ear ossicles can be treated by Micro ear surgery with very good permanent results. Surgery not only corrects the hearing problems but also arrests the disease from progressing further. Some chronic ear infections involving the spread of infection to the bones surrounding the ear can only be treated by surgery and in these specific patients, one should institute surgical treatment as soon as possible. Micro ear surgery also works very well for patients suffering from Otosclerosis (See above for details), wherein one of the tiny bones affected by the disease is replaced by an artificial one (Stapedectomy) by micro ear surgery. Hearing Aids When hearing loss is not correctable by medicines or surgery, or when deafness is due to a weakness of the inner ear or its nerves such as in old age, the best option is an amplification device called a hearing aid. When worn, hearing aids work like magic to restore hearing in the child or adult. There are several types of hearing aid devices. Some are worn behind the ear and others are very tiny and are worn inside the ear canal, where they sit virtually invisible to an onlooker. Hearing aids are typically used by children and adults with mild to moderate hearing loss with no other active infections etc. Senior people who lose their hearing due to the advancement of age, typically older than 65, also benefit hugely by hearing aids. Hearing aids are however not effective when hearing loss falls in the severe to profound category. These patients need to look at other options like BAHA and Cochlear Implants. (see the section on Cochlear implants and Baha for more details) Dr. Shomeshwar Singh MS DLO FRCS MD 4S Medical Research P Ltd www.seesoundlive.com SCI International Hospital www.scihospital.com
In our society, infertility is a serious issue. When speaking about infertility, most people consider it a woman’s issue. However, this is not true always. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, a man can be also the primary cause of infertility among couples. Dealing with Male Infertility The cause of male infertility could be many. Some of the common causes include sperm production disorder, obstructive azoospermia, non-obstructive azoospermia, immunologic disorders, and more. Most men find it hard to accept that they are the primary cause of infertility. Women can cope with it easily with time but it’s not the same for men. Men think that they can fix the problem but when they can’t they start to get frustrated. Some men might try to distance themselves; however, at this point, families and especially their respective spouses should be extremely supportive. Don’t worry. A lot of things can be done to help men struggling with male infertility. Let’s check out. Stop Smoking In men, smoking can be a cause for fertility issues. It can lower the quality of the sperm and reduce sperm count. Also, it affects the sperm’s ability to swim. So stop smoking and see improvements. Cut Down Alcohol In men, alcohol affects male fertility by reducing the testosterone level and increasing the estrogen level. Estrogen reduces the production of sperm. Well, cutting down alcohol intake might help to deal with infertility issues. Say No to Drugs Men who are into recreational drugs, such as anabolic steroids must stop using them if planning to conceive. Often, drugs like marijuana can affect sperm production, the leading cause of male infertility. Sperm Check Men who are struggling with male infertility issues should get their sperm count check. There are many ways to get sperm count tested. One can test it at home with some test kits or one can also consult an expert doctor. Shed Pounds Are you obese? If yes, it would affect your sperm quality and sperm count. Studies showed overweight men face low sperm counts compared to a normal-weight person. Lose weight to keep the reproductive hormone in check. Keep Medical Conditions under Check Chronic medical conditions, like cystic fibrosis, affect male infertility. Often, medicines for depression or high blood pressure influence fertility. Hence, men who are struggling with infertility issues should talk with their doctor about the medication that they are taking. Eating Vitamins Multivitamins can help to increase sperm count in men. The antioxidants improve sperm quality and protect from free radicals that might damage the DNA of the sperm cells. Exercising Physical exercise helps to deal with fertility issues in men. Healthy Food Consuming healthy food, rich in antioxidants helps in the production of healthy sperms. Fruits, whole grains, vegetables, etc have a link with good fertility and should be taken. The issue of infertility isn’t much discussed. Even if it’s discussed, it is behind the close doors. After all, the infertility issue is associated with a stigma. So the best way to deal with male infertility is to get diagnosed and treated on time.
The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland located next to the bladder. It is in the pelvis of the man and can be examined through the proper process. The prostate weighs around one ounce. Prostate cancer develops in this part of the gland. The cancer cells can spread by breaking away from the prostate tumor. As per the doctors, its growth in the prostate can be benign or malignant. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH):
- It does not spread to other parts of the body nor does it evade other tissues.
- It can be easily removed and it’s rarely a threat to life.
- It can spread to lymph nodes, bones, bladder, and rectum.
- It can often be removed and sometimes it tends to grow back.
- Difficulty while urinating or emptying the bladder.
- A weak flow of urine.
- Frequent urinating or dribbling urine after you are done with it.
- Blood in urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation.
- Pain in the lower pelvic area.
- Loss of appetite and weight.
- You may experience pain in the back, thigh, pelvis, or hips.
- The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
- Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
Pregnancy is considered to be a beautiful moment for would-be-mothers. However, during pregnancy, mothers-to-be go through many ups and downs. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, a proper diet, and a healthy lifestyle need to be maintained. According to some experts, healthy nutrition at the time of pregnancy not only helps with fetal development but also reduces the chance of the individual and the baby getting exposed to chronic disease. So during pregnancy, would-be-mothers should avoid a strict diet plan. Rather, one should eat wholesome nourishing foods as its good for the health of the baby and the mother. Key Nutrition Whatever a woman eats and drinks during pregnancy, it becomes the main source of nourishment for the baby. Hence, a would-be mother's diet should contain all important nutrients that would help in the growth and development of the baby. A pregnant woman needs a proper amount of calcium, iron, folic acid, and protein. For instance, a bowl of salad containing wholesome fruits and vegetables would be great during pregnancy. Prenatal Nutrition Tips Every nutrient is important for the baby and the mother during the stages of pregnancy. Folic Acid: Pregnant women should consume food items like almonds, legumes, dark green leafy veggies, avocado, etc as they are a good source of folic acid. Protein: Lean meat or fish can be a good source of protein during lunch. However, you can also go for a cheese slice or a yogurt tub if you like. Iron: Iron is an important nutrient during pregnancy. To get iron from food, you can try some red meat, as it is a good source of iron. Vegans can go for kidney beans, wheat germ, lentils, spinach, and even dry apricots for the same. Zinc: It helps with the healthy development of the bone and the brain. Good sources of zinc are dairy products, fish, and meat. Similarly, nuts and legumes also offer zinc. Calcium: Nutrients like calcium help with strengthening of the bones. Adding a small amount of Tofu or Brazilian nuts would be a good option for pregnant ladies. A good source to get Magnesium and Omega-3 is by consuming food like almonds, walnuts, tofu, salmon, sardine, and trout. For omega-3 one shouldn’t take more than 2 portions every week. Hence, a pregnant woman should consume a wide range of healthy food, such as fruits, whole grain products, vegetables, and dairy products. Food & Nutrition : The food pyramid will have starches i.e cereals, protein, fat, vegetables and fruits. Proper, balanced food intake during pregnancy is essential and ensures sound health for the mother as well for the growing fetus. The recommended DAILY intake is: Cereals-(2 bread slices, 4 chapatis, 2 spoon rice, oats, or dal can be for breakfast). Pulses-30 gms (10 gms sprouted, 20 gms boiled dal-three helpings) Toned Milk-1000 gms for vegetarians (curds, home-made paneer, milk-in any from). Vegetables-300-500 gms (fresh leafy and green vegetable ). Roots and Tubers-50 gms (potato, radish, carrot, etc). Fruit-4 (citrus fruits, 2 apples, 1 banana, 100 gms papaya, 1 mango) Total Fat-20 gms (oil/ghee, which is used for cooking ) Sugar-10 gms Nuts-8-10 Non-Veg-2 eggs per week, or 150 gms meat (preferably while ) fish, red meat, chicken, liver) Water-3 liters Preferably avoid fried, spicy, salty, and sweet sugary foods Things to Avoid By a Pregnant Woman:
- Go for any crash diet program.
- Make the wrong food choices.
- Avoid fasting for a long period.
Monsoon is here finally. The monsoon gives us the much-needed respite from the scorching heat of the summer; however, at the same time, it brings a lot of ailment, such as waterborne diseases, infections, and more. Ear Infection Well, ear infections are common among the young and the adults, during the monsoon. Stopping the infection is very important to avoid earaches or ear discharge from the infected ear. However, to stop the infection, one should try to understand the cause. Only then it would be able to lower the chance of the infection from spreading further Why Do We Get Ear Infection? Infections can affect any part of the ear, such as the external ear, middle ear, and rarely the inner ear. Well, the cause of infection is pretty simple. During the rainy season, there is an increase in the humidity level. This is the perfect condition for bacteria and fungus to grow. Debris etc in the ear or minor bruises from earbuds etc can start these. Other causes of infection are cold or flu and allergies. These conditions lead to congestion and swelling in the nasal passage and middle ear along with the throat. When fluids start to build-up in the middle ear, it causes ear infection. In short, one gets to see two-types of infection, bacterial infection, and fungal infection. It’s better to consult an ENT specialist to know about the type of infection one is suffering from Know Some Common Symptoms Whether the infection is on the inner, outer, or middle portion of the ear; some common symptoms are:
- Severe pain in the infected ear
- Discharge from the infected ear
- Fever can be a sign of infection
- Severe headache along with pain
- Reduced hearing and also dizziness
- Don’t drink too much of cold drinks or cold food that might trouble the throat. Instead, one can take coffee or soup.
- Do salt-water gargle as it would prevent any kind of throat infection.
- Keep your ear clean. However, for cleaning the ear, you shouldn’t put inside anything as it can cause injury to the eardrums.
- Clean the outer part of the ear with a clean cloth after a shower.
- Clean the earphones and Bluetooth devices with a disinfectant. This would prevent any infection of the ear canal.
- The moment you suffer from pain or any kind of discomfort, go and talk to a doctor. An ENT specialist will provide the necessary medicines to cure the infection.
- Apply the ear drops as recommended by the doctor. These drops can help and prevent any ear infection.
Do you have any idea of laparoscopic gallbladder surgery? No. Don't worry; this post will guide you on this surgery and also with aftercare tips. Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery In this surgical procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions on the belly. Once the incisions are made, a harmless gas is pumped so that the surgeon can see the organs. Through one of the incisions, a long tube fitted with a camera at one end is made to pass inside. The camera records a video of the abdomen, which is transmitted on a computer screen. Based on the video, the surgeon uses surgical tools to remove the gallbladder. Once the gallbladder is taken out, the incision is sutured and small white tapes are applied. The dressing is done over the incision. The whole procedure takes less than an hour. The patient is kept in the hospital for a day for observation. However, even after one gets discharged, one will need to follow some home-care instructions as offered by the hospital. Post-Operative Care Recovering from laparoscopic surgery might take a few days. However, patients should always follow the advice of their doctor for homecare.
- For the first few days after surgery, practice deep breathing.
- For the next 3-5 days, patients should go for short walks inside the room. This is to improve blood flow and reduce blood clots and the soreness of the muscles.
- One should take bath/shower only when the doctor will advise. Usually, one can take a bath the next day.
- In case of any infection on the incision site, consult your doctor immediately. The white tapes on the incision site shouldn’t be touched by the patient. During the follow-up visit, the doctor would take off the tape and the stitches.
- Don’t do any physical exercise or any heavy lifting for the first 7 days of the surgery.
- For pain management, patients should take pain killers as instructed by their doctor.
- Go for follow-up after 1 week of the surgery and follow the diet as mentioned by the doctor.
- Patients are recommended to eat high-fiber food. In fact, on day 1 patients should consume broths and liquid food. Slowly they should add solids in their diet.
- One should drink 8-10 glasses of water so that the movement of the bowel becomes easy.
- Don’t take any fried foods after surgery as it can cause gas formation. Avoiding such food would help to get rid of gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Digesting fat-foods can be a bit of a problem; hence, adding low-fat food to the diet could be helpful.
- Food items like cereals or nuts or Brussel sprouts should be added to the diet in small amounts.
The term nuchal cord is used by the medical practitioners when the umbilical cord is wrapped around the neck of a baby. Sometimes associated with perinatal mortality. What is a Nuchal Cord? It is also referred to as tCAN syndrome (tight Cord around the Neck Syndrome). tCAN is a type of nuchal cord rather than an uncommon type. It is seen that clusters of cardiorespiratory and neurological signs and symptoms are associated with the unique physical features that tighten the cord-around-the neck. The nuchal cord may have long term effects on infants. This type of consequence occurs during the time of pregnancy. The umbilical cord forms the baby’s lifeline inside the womb. The umbilical cord runs from the baby’s abdomen to the placenta. It supplies the baby with oxygen, blood, and nutrients. The umbilical cord contains three blood vessels and it is approximately 21 inches long. The majority of the nuchal cords are not dangerous but in some cases, it may vary. They are generally born healthy with the cord wrapped around their neck in a 360 degrees pattern. It advances quite fast in the 24th week it can be 12% and in the 26th week, it can reach 37%. What causes a Nuchal Cord? Well!!! During pregnancy, the baby moves around the womb. The baby's acrobatic behavior might end up with a nuchal cord but the doctors consider some other factors as well.
- The healthy cords are being protected by gelatinous and soft filling known as Wharton’s Jelly. It makes the cord knot-free and thus keeps the baby safe. It helps the baby to flip and wriggle themselves in the womb. It becomes scary when there is insufficient Wharton’ jelly and then the nuchal cord gets affected.
- The excessive amniotic fluid causes danger.
- The cord is long but the structure is not up to the mark.
- When there are twins and due to space crunch, resulting in wrapping the cord around the neck.
Are you suffering from kidney stones? If you said yes, it’s nothing new. Since ancient times, stone diseases, like kidney stones, have been used to afflict humanity. Previously, there were no treatments for it. Now, with advancements in the field of medical science, treatment for kidney stones is easily available. Kidney Stones: A Serious Health Issue A wide number of people are suffering from kidney stones. Based on a survey carried out by the National Kidney Foundation, it was found that one out of ten individuals suffers from kidney stones. What Are Kidney Stones? A kidney stone is also known by the name of ‘Nephrolithiasis’ or ‘Renal Lithiasis’, is a form of hard mineral deposits in the kidneys. It’s a collection of various minerals and salts inside the kidney. The stones are crystalline in form and its size varies. Some stones can be very small as a grain; whereas some stones could be big just like a pebble. Kidney stones can affect the kidneys and bladder if it’s left untreated. The best way to avoid kidney stones is to make some lifestyle and dietary changes. For instance, drinking plenty of water or keeping the weight under check or limiting the Sodium intake, and so on. Detecting Kidney Stones People are becoming health conscious. They want to know if they are having stones in their kidney or not. It’s possible to know if they are having kidney stones or not by taking a look into some early signs. Without further ado, let’s take a look into these signs. Pain: Pain caused by a kidney stone, also known as renal colic is severe. The pain is similar to the pain during childbirth. The pain starts all of a sudden and can last for a long time. One can feel the pain on the sides and below the ribs. During urination, the pain might get intense and give a burning sensation. These are sure indicators of kidney stones. Nausea: People with a kidney stone will get a feeling of nausea. It gets triggered as the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tracts share the same nerve connection. Blood in Urine: When one sees brown or red blood in their urine, it’s a sign of kidney stones being present in the urinary tract. UTI Symptoms: A person with a kidney stone may notice similar symptoms related to Urinary Tract Infection, such as pain during urination, smelly and discolored urine. Anyone experiencing these signs should visit a doctor to check if they have kidney stones or not. Urine Flow Blockage: If a person is unable to urinate, it could be a symptom of kidney stones. Often, the stones slow down the urine flow. Seeing a doctor at this time is important. Fever: A fever along with other symptoms of kidney stones is a sure indicator that a person suffers from kidney stones. Pee Often: The need to urinate often is another sign of stones being present in the urinary tract. With proper lifestyle and dietary changes, the chance of suffering from kidney stones can be greatly lowered. If you feel you are suffering from kidney stones, get in touch with a doctor today