By age 40, about 1 in 10 adults will experience some hearing loss. It happens so slowly and gradually, says audiologist Dina Rollins. "You don't realize what you're missing." And even as it worsens, many people are in denial.
By the time someone is convinced they have a hearing problem, age-related memory loss may have already set in. But there's good news. Restoring hearing with hearing aids can help slow down cognitive decline.
Consider these findings: Researchers tracked about 2,000 older adults in the U.S. both before and after they started using hearing aids. The adults were participants in a big, national study called the Health and Retirement Study. Click to Read More...
Did you know that nearly 18 million American have sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where one’s breathing stops and starts throughout the night. Potentially dangerous, sleep apnea can occur countless times throughout the night without the person being aware of it. Luckily, when sleep apnea stops one’s breathing, the brain will go into alert-mode and signal the respiratory system to start breathing again. Currently, there are three different forms of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome. Many times, the signs and symptoms of these forms of sleep apnea will overlap, which is why it’s essential to note any changes you have experienced in your sleep. With the help of a doctor or ENT specialist, sleep apnea can be properly treated.
Types of Sleep Apnea
As we stated above, there are three different forms of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common forms and typically occurs as a result of the relaxation of throat muscles. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain isn’t sending proper signals to the respiratory system and muscles that control one’s breathing. Complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as mixed sleep apnea, is the combination of both central and obstructive sleep apnea. Regardless of the type of sleep apnea you are afflicted with, all three of these can cause serious consequences, some of which include:
High blood pressure
Impairments (job, driving, etc.)
In addition to these examples, there are many more consequences that can arise from sleep apnea and even the lack of sleep that can be commonly associated with this sleep disorder. In fact, the American Sleep Apnea Association published a comprehensive report that looked into how much people in the US with sleep apnea actually suffer. Additionally, their report also dives into the obstacles they face when searching for proper treatment methods.
The American Sleep Apnea Association’s findings were based on a survey of 5,630 patients and first-person accounts that were shared at a meeting with FDA officials in June 2018 (source). Here were some of their key findings:
Daytime sleepiness and fatigue were the top two sleep apnea symptoms. Both of which cause the most severe impact on individuals.
Barriers associated with diagnosis included the lack of awareness among the public, lack of access to ENT specialists and sleep testing facilities, stigma against the condition, financial constraints, and onerous testing procedures.
Treatment obstacles included issues with accurate diagnosis, uncomfortable therapeutic devices, lack of insurance coverage, and other medical conditions.
In addition to their findings, ASAA created an extensive list of symptoms that are commonly associated with sleep apnea. These include:
Morning dry mouth
Awaking with breath-holding
Nighttime bladder control problems
Nighttime limb movement
If you find that you can relate to many of these symptoms, contact us. Florida ENT provides Tampa sleep apnea treatment services that can help you get a better night's sleep.
The Red Tide--a toxic algae bloom--has tormented Florida waters for months now. While making its way through the waters of western Florida, the Red Tide has left a wake of dead fish and sea life. Recently, high concentrations of the toxic algae have been detected in water samples taken at several local beaches in the Tampa Bay area. As the toxic blooms grow stronger, residents in nearby areas are starting the feel the effects. Many individuals with asthma and other allergies are suffering from the symptoms brought on by The Red Tide.
The Red Tide
The Red Tide, Karenia brevis, is a type of marine algae that produces harmful toxins and endangers the lives of sea creatures and even humans. While algae are essential to our ocean’s ecosystem, the Red Tide is quite deadly. Certain environmental factors contribute to the growth of the Red Tide, and recently, runoff is the biggest culprit. Algae can thrive by feeding off of pollutants like phosphorus and nitrogen that’s found in fertilizer from runoff or wastewater. These pollutant types allow K. brevis to grow rapidly and form large, reddish-brown blooms.
Additionally, the Red Tide releases a brevetoxin that can cause various problems if it’s ingested or inhaled. While it causes upper respiratory problems within humans, it kills an enormous amount of fish and sea life which significantly impacts our shorelines. These brevetoxins commonly gather and harbor in shellfish, and if ingested, can cause serious neurotoxic shellfish poisoning. Symptoms of neurotoxic shellfish poisoning include gastrointestinal complications and tingling sensations in the toes and fingers.
The Red Tide and Allergies
The brevetoxins from the blooms can aerosolize in the onshore breezes, triggering upper and lower respiratory problems within beach-goers. While it may not affect everyone, it certainly has a strong impact on those who already have asthma or other allergies. On average, these individuals will experience coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, itchy and burning eyes, throat irritation and congestion, and sneezing. Skin irritations--stinging, burning, rashes--have also been reported. Since the Red Tide can cause various skin irritations, it’s highly suggested that you stay out of the water until it’s officially cleared of the algae.
Unfortunately, the Red Tide blooms are growing more and more popular in our economy and lasting for much longer than previous years. Until precautions are taken to reduce this occurrence, we strongly recommend that individuals with pre-existing upper and lower respiratory conditions should be extra cautious.
Located within your neck, the thyroid is a large, ductless gland that plays a very important role in the regulation of one’s hormones. The thyroid has the ability to affect weight, body temperature, mood, and much more. While it plays such a significant role in our overall health, the thyroid is oftentimes overlooked due to its inconspicuousness. Although it’s quite small and just about unnoticeable, it can have a major impact on your body if it’s unhealthy.
Facts about the Thyroid
Your thyroid sits fairly low on the front of your neck, and for men, it’s located below the Adam’s apple. Shaped like a butterfly, it’s two ‘wings’ are usually situated on either side of the windpipe. According to Matthew Hoffman, MD for WebMD, thyroids are reddish-brown in color due to its rich blood supply while being approximately two inches wide in size. Since this small gland serves a very important purpose to our health, let’s dive into some essential facts about the thyroid:
If it’s not visible, it’s healthy
Due to its small size and enigmatic nature, many are confused about how to tell if it’s healthy or not. While there are many symptoms that can present themselves in the case of an unhealthy thyroid, the best way to tell if your thyroid is healthy or not is by its visibility. A hidden thyroid is a healthy thyroid, but if it’s pronounced on the neck, then you may need to visit your health professional. There are many thyroid conditions that can cause the thyroid to swell or to develop nodules--two things that a doctor can see or feel through the skin.
It produces hormones
The thyroid produces three types of hormones--triiodothyronine (T3), tetraiodothyronine (T4), and calcitonin. While the T3 and T4 hormones accomplished almost all of the functions of the thyroid, the calcitonin hormone greatly impacts calcium and bone metabolism.
The thyroid is controlled by the pituitary gland
The pituitary gland regulates the amount of hormones that are released into the bloodstream. This function is commonly referred to as ‘thyroid-stimulating hormone’ (TSH). However, if abnormal levels of TSH are released into the bloodstream, this could be an indication of a thyroid problem. To best determine if a thyroid is working properly, doctors will typically run tests on the TSH.
Your thyroid impacts your entire body
While regulating hormones, your thyroid helps to control your metabolic rate, stimulates cells to produce proteins, affects heart rate, skin maintenance, body heat production, fertility, digestion, and so much more.
Since your thyroid plays an essential role in the overall functionality of your body, if it’s not healthy, it can pose a variety of problems. For example, sudden spells of fatigue and weight gain are associated symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Whereas an increase in heart rate, excessive sweating, and insomnia are signs of an overactive thyroid. Currently, over 12 million Americans have a thyroid condition, and more than 12% of the Us population will develop a thyroid condition in their lifetime according to the American Thyroid Association. Even though it’s small in size, your thyroid plays such an essential role in your overall health, and knowing more about this gland can help you in your journey to stay happy and healthy.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), only 20 percent of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually wear them. If you’ve taken the plunge and purchased hearing aids, congratulations! You’re part of an elite group. Do you wear them every day? Or do they spend more time in your nightstand than they do in your ears?
With each passing year, the allergy season predictions tend to get worse and worse. To the dismay of many allergy-sufferers, these predictions are almost always accurate. Each year, the pollen count seems to get higher and higher--something many forecasters believe climate change is responsible for.
On average, the start of springtime allergies affects 50 million Americans and each year, the start of allergy season always brings with it a new batch of myths about its causes and treatments. Although there’s a plethora of information from doctors and researchers about the origins, causes, and treatments of seasonal allergies, the general public seems to stick to their allergy myths. With that being said, let’s dive into common allergy myths.
Allergy Myths Debunked
In addition to the spread of pollen every allergy season, many people tend to spread their share of allergy myths. Since we are in the heart of allergy season, let’s debunk the top 5 allergy myths that are trending this year:
1. the body builds a tolerance to Allergy Medication
Although there are a few instances where certain bacteria, viruses, diseases etc., become immune to certain medications when taken in excess, this is not the case for allergy medication. Many studies have debunked this myth time and time again, yet it still remains one of the top allergy myths.
Taking allergy medicine on a daily basis will not result in the body’s tolerance to that medicine. In fact, this myth is one that is derived from the lack of relief that many allergy-sufferers experience. This is not due to a tolerance to their medicine but one of two things:
A) The symptoms are getting worse due to the development of new allergies
B) Allergy sufferers are incorrectly taking medication or taking the wrong medication altogether
Whether you take prescription antihistamines or over-the-counter nasal sprays, your body will not become tolerant of these allergy medications.
2. Blooming spring flowers cause allergies
Due to the media’s depiction of allergy season--the onslaught of pictures and commercials of people sneezing and coughing near the vicinity of flowers--many tend to associate allergy season with the blooming of spring flowers. However, this is the exact opposite.
Springtime allergies are actually caused by the spread of tree pollen--the most potent being oak, birch, and maple. Trees that produce flowers such as dogwoods and cherry blossom trees and flowering bushes tend to attract insects for pollination. This means that the pollen they produce is rarely airborne and doesn’t contribute to allergies.
3. A cold winter and a late spring mean allergies won’t be bad
This year in the US, we experienced just that: a long, cold winter and a late spring. However, just because we experienced a later spring, doesn’t mean that allergy season will be any less potent than the last.
In fact, rising temperatures and longer days with ample sunlight will actually commence pollination. Due to this, many cities across the US already started seeing a high pollen count starting in February and March. There are even studies that show an early and heightened plant growth and pollination season as a result of warmer temperatures and higher CO2 levels (source).
4.Allergies aren’t a problem until pollen is everywhere
This is actually the exact opposite; those who only seek treatment for their allergies once they see large amounts of pollens everywhere have a harder time soothing their allergies.
As the temperatures start to transition from cold to warm, we are exposed to trace amounts of pollen which are enough to trigger mild allergy symptoms. Allergies will always be a problem before the spread of large amounts of pollen. Many allergists recommend to their patients to schedule an appointment and start treatment at least 2 weeks before allergy season starts.
5. Eating local honey will cure allergies
The internet is the main reason this myth has spread due to the many sites and articles that state honey as an allergy soother. Although honey is tasty and boasts a variety of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, the idea that it works effectively to prevent allergies is a complete myth. In fact, this myth was originally debunked way back in 2002. In 2002, the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology studied three groups of allergy-sufferers during the spring season. One of the groups was instructed to eat a tablespoon of locally sourced honey each day, another group ate commercial honey, and the last group was given corn syrup (placebo). When recording the results, researchers saw no difference in the allergy benefits of honey over the placebo.