Ear pain can be a source of significant discomfort. Due to the many nerves that are clustered in the area, ear pain can sometimes persist for days and be beyond the aid of common over-the-counter painkillers. Some causes of ear pain may require the assistance of medical professionals; others can be solved by yourself. Here are three of the most common causes of ear pain.
Some of the most common causes of ear pain are dental issues. According to Alpine Dental, cavities, impacted molars, abscesses, infections and jaw problems can lead to earaches that seemingly don't go away. Persistent jaw pain may be a sign that you should pay a visit to the dentist. Even if you don't believe you have any cavities, the pain may be coming from a source that is not visible to you, such as a wisdom tooth that is pushing against its neighboring teeth at an abnormal angle. Only a dentist capable of taking an X-ray of your mouth can show you what is happening under the gums.
Earwax is a natural substance produced by your ear to keep out bacteria, dirt, and water. Earwax is normally created in the ear canal and gradually pushed into the outer ear by the hair inside your ear. However, sometimes too much earwax is produced. One of the most common ways people deal with earwax is to clean it with a cotton swab. Unfortunately, this method will only push your earwax deeper into the canal, and can even be dangerous, according to ENT Orlando. Cotton swabs should only be used lightly around your outer ear to brush off dead skin and loosen ear wax. You can use hydrogen peroxide, diluted vinegar or mineral oil to loosen the buildup of wax in the ear and let it drift out normally.
Normally, the air pressure inside your inner ear is roughly the same as the pressure in the outer ear. However, according to Virtua Health, rapid acceleration can quickly destabilize that equilibrium. For example, if you're on a roller coaster, you may feel increasing pressure inside your ear until your ear pops and the pressure recedes. However, there are some instances where you might need to take a more active approach to relieve air pressure. Frequent air travelers often experience ear pain while travelling by plane. The rapid acceleration at takeoff can create a painful buildup of air pressure inside your ear that your body cannot adjust to quickly. In this case, a common remedy is to force your ear to pop by swallowing or chewing gum in order to stimulate frequent swallowing to keep your ear tubes open and air available to your inner ear.
Other causes of ear pain may be a lot more serious than the ones described above. If your ear pain comes with signs of infection, such as a fever, rash or sore throat, and it doesn't go away within a few days of home treatment, you should seek medical attention.
Read about more health IDEAS: 3 Home “Remedies” That Just Don't Work
A typical course of action for people who are feeling a little under the weather is to visit a doctor who will prescribe one or more medications for them. However, more people are turning to home remedies when they need relief from minor illnesses. Some physicians are even willing to prescribe natural products, herbs, and certain types of food for patients who suffer from chronic maladies. When fending off minor illnesses, there are a number of home remedies you might wish to try before resorting to pharmaceuticals.
Eating kiwi for dinner may be the remedy you need if you find it difficult to sleep at night. Studies have shown that eating a kiwi or two an hour before turning in for bed at night can result in sleep that is both deeper and longer in duration. One reason kiwi is likely to aid with sleep is its high serotonin content. A lack of serotonin has been correlated with insomnia. In addition, kiwi is rich in folate, which is also needed for healthy sleep patterns.
Cloves possess a compound known as eugenol that has both antibacterial and anesthetic properties. These qualities make clove an excellent selection to numb the pain of a toothache and reduce the swelling and puffiness from infection. Cloves are rich in antioxidants, and their antimicrobial properties help to clean the affected area around the tooth.
Cloves are not the only food that can be used to treat a toothache. There is an array of other natural antibiotics for tooth infections that you can try before resorting to seeing a dentist, especially if you are trying to save money.
The best way to avoid acid reflux is to avoid items like fried food, high-fat beef, and sodas. One food you should add to your diet if you are prone to acid reflux is apples. Eating an apple or two a day will provide you with enough pectin to benefit from the acid-absorbing properties of the compound. Apples also contain tartaric and malic acids, which will fight against juices from the stomach that flow in an upward direction. Sweeter apples like organic red ones are the best choice to lessen the symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). They're considered an alkaline food option.
Both patients and traditional medical practitioners have become more aware of the positive benefits of using organic food for medicine. The three foods mentioned above have proven their usefulness at combating specific illnesses. You might find them a great substitute for pharmaceutical medications.
Looking for ways to live a healthier lifestyle? We recommend this article next!
Before the use of the internet, people had to find their own remedies for common problems. Therefore, if something appeared to work, those secrets were passed down through the ages. Today, many of those “solutions” have been debunked and proven ineffective. Some work effectively, but the majority don’t. Before you jump into crafting up a ridiculous DIY home remedy, check out these three that should be avoided.
Whenever you find yourself with a wound, it’s no doubt that you’re also looking for the quickest route to recovery. However, the most effective treatment is not something that you can whip up in your kitchen. For example, an old wives’ tale is to put a raw egg over a burn. Don’t do it! Raw eggs are filled with bacteria that will just seep right into your skin. You may have also heard that licking a wound can help it heal. People have said for ages that a dog licking your wound helps it heal, so why would your own saliva be any different? Again, just don’t do it. Your mouth is filled with bacteria. While healthy skin won’t have any issues, an open wound is a sensitive area. Avoid causing infection by overloading your raw flesh with potentially harmful bacteria.
With so much emphasis on beauty in this world, many people turn to whitening their teeth. If you’re looking for a cheap approach, you may have heard to try brushing with baking soda or rinsing with hydrogen peroxide. Sure, these methods may seem like they work in the short-term. In order to even make a dent in your quest, you’ll have to use peroxide for at least two weeks. Alternatively, charcoal has gained traction to lighten up your teeth. Dentists actually warn that charcoal and other abrasives are highly dangerous to teeth. In addition to potentially destroying your tooth enamel, charcoal can settle into your gums and cause irritation, and it doesn't help cavities. Leave the teeth whitening to the professionals and see your dentist. You’ll be able to have your teeth cleaned while still ensuring the safety of your fragile smile.
When you’ve got a cold, you want it to go away as quickly as possible. Your great-grandmother may have suggested rubbing mustard on your chest or holding your head over a bowl of hot water. Well, typically, these remedies don’t work. In many cases, over-the-counter medications can also make things worse. There is no quick relief from a cold, unfortunately. Like any virus, it just has to run its course. Instead of wasting time and money on ridiculous remedies, make sure you’re sipping plenty of fluids and resting your body.
In most situations, home remedies simply don’t work. It’s always best to deal with your problems with a trained professional, such as a dentist for your teeth. Take care of yourself, and don’t make your issues worse!
Here’s another article you might like: 5 ways to care for and comfort your sick child
(BPT) - In the winter, we tend to be in closer quarters indoors and constantly around friends and family. It is important to be conscious of infectious diseases, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), which are spreading rapidly among public places like gyms and schools. MRSA prevention should continue at home, especially for groups at higher risk, like student athletes.
Taking simple measures at home and on-the-go can help you to protect and safeguard your health, environment and family from dangerous bacteria and viruses, including MRSA, this season. Clorox teamed up with Jeanine Thomas, MRSA survivor and founder of MRSA Survivors Network; former NFL player Brandon Noble, who has been personally affected by MRSA; and Saskia V. Popescu, hospital epidemiologist and infection preventionist, to share the following expert tips:
1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds — the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice — or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. “Winter is a prime season for stomach bugs and diarrheal illness, so it’s important to stay vigilant with hand hygiene,” said Popescu. Be extra cautious in public settings like gyms, locker rooms, households and schools, where these viruses are increasingly spreading.
2. Keep to yourself and do not share personal items, such as towels or razors, which contact bare skin. MRSA is easily spread by skin-to-skin contact or touching contaminated items or surfaces. It is also resistant to many antibiotics, making it difficult to treat.
3. Act fast and take care of cuts and open wounds by covering them up with a clean, dry bandage until healed. Seek a medical professional if the wound worsens or doesn’t heal quickly. “When I contracted MRSA, it changed my life. I had no idea such a disease existed and would pose as a threat to my career, health and overall well-being,” said Noble.
4. Use a barrier, such as a towel or clothing, between skin and shared equipment at the gym. MRSA prevention should continue at home, especially for groups at higher risk like student athletes, as MRSA bacteria can remain on surfaces after someone touches them, making it possible for someone else to pick them up.
5. Regularly clean countertops and other surfaces in your home. “Keeping your germs at bay in the kitchen is easy,” said Thomas. “Just mix 1/2 cup bleach with one gallon of water, wipe surfaces and leave solution on for 5 minutes and then rinse.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends disinfecting surfaces which are likely to contact skin with an EPA-registered disinfectant, like Clorox Regular Bleach with Cloromax.
MRSA is one common superbug that can be potentially deadly. Caused by a type of staph bacteria often found on the skin and in the nose, MRSA is easily spread by skin-to-skin contact or touching contaminated items or surfaces. It is also resistant to many antibiotics, making it difficult to treat. The CDC estimates that there are 72,444 infections and 9,194 MRSA-related deaths each year in the U.S alone.
“In 2000, I had ankle surgery and ended up infected with the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA. The infection spread to my bone marrow and bloodstream and required many surgeries and rehabilitation,” said Thomas. “Since then I have been dedicated to advocating for patients and families to help inform them and bring awareness of the disease and prevention measures to the general public.”
“I wish I had known the simple ways to prevent the spread of this disease, like I do now, as that could have made all the difference,” said Noble. As germs and illnesses spread quickly, especially in close-proximity areas, taking proactive steps to prevent common viruses and bacteria from spreading in the home, at schools and in locker rooms is more important than ever. Learn more on how to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria, such as MRSA, at Clorox.com.
Bacterial Vaginosis: One in Three U.S. Women Have Been Affected by This Vaginal Infection That Can Have Serious Health Risks If Left Untreated
(BPT) - Over the course of their lives, many women experience symptoms of a vaginal infection, which can often be uncomfortable and confusing. What they may not know is that what they’re experiencing could be symptoms of bacterial vaginosis (BV) – one of the most prevalent gynecologic infections in the U.S., affecting 21 million women ages 14 to 49 annually.  It’s important for women to educate themselves about BV so they can best protect themselves from the associated health risks.
Caused by changes in the amount of certain types of bacteria in your vagina, BV can develop when your vagina has more harmful bacteria than good bacteria.  Common signs and symptoms associated with BV include unusual vaginal discharge that can be white or gray; watery; or have a strong fish-like odor.  These symptoms can easily be confused with those of a yeast infection. While discharge from a yeast infection may also be white or gray, it can look like cottage cheese, which is a key differentiator. 
“About thirty percent of reproductive age women have or have had BV. Left untreated, BV can have an impact on quality of life and increases the potential for other more serious health problems,” said Paul Nyirjesy, MD, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA and an investigator in the Solosec™ clinical trials.
Who Does BV Affect?
One in three women have been affected by BV, impacting more than 21 million in the U.S. each year, but only four million are treated annually. BV is most common among women ages 14 to 49; however, women of any age can get BV, even if they have never had sex. That said, having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners can upset the balance of bacteria in the vagina and this places a woman at an increased risk. Pregnant women are also susceptible to BV and it’s especially important that they receive treatment for the safety of their unborn baby. [1,2]
What Are the Risks?
According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), if BV is left untreated, women are at risk for serious health concerns, including an increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, trichomaniasis and HIV; an increased risk of pre-term birth or low birth weight for pregnant women; and pelvic inflammatory disease. If you think you have BV, be sure to visit your healthcare provider to get tested and treated, as BV can only be treated with a prescription antibiotic. It’s important to take all the medicine prescribed to you, even if your symptoms go away. 
A New Treatment Option
Currently, the most commonly prescribed oral BV treatment regimen requires twice-a-day dosing for seven days and adherence with the leading therapies has been shown to be only approximately 50 percent.  Additionally, 60 percent of women treated for BV will likely have a recurrence within 12 months. 
Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Solosec™ (secnidazole) 2g oral granules is the first and only single-dose oral therapy for BV in adult women. It offers women a one-time treatment option that can be taken any time of the day, with or without a meal. Solosec™ is clinically proven to normalize BV symptoms, odor and discharge, without the use of creams or week-long oral regimens. In clinical studies, the most common adverse events were (incidence ≥ 2%) yeast infection, headache, nausea, altered taste, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vaginal itching. 
To learn more about this new treatment option, visit www.solosec.com.
What is SOLOSEC?
SOLOSEC™ (secnidazole) 2g oral granules is a prescription medicine used to treat bacterial vaginosis in adult women.
Important Safety Information
Please click here for full Prescribing Information.
1. Koumans E.H., Sternberg M, Bruce C, et al. (2007): “The Prevalence of Bacterial Vaginosis in the United States, 2001-2004: Associations with Symptoms, Sexual Behaviors, and Reproductive Health.” Sex Transm Dis. 34(11): 864-869.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Genital / Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (VVC) – Fungal Diseases. 2014.
4. IMS Health, 2014.
5. Bilardi J.E., Walker S, Temple-Smith M, et al. (2013): “The Burden of Bacterial Vaginosis: Women’s Experience of the Physical, Emotional, Sexual and Social Impact of Living with Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis.” PLoS ONE. 8(9): 1-11.
6. Solosec [Package Insert]. Newark, NJ: Symbiomix Therapeutics, LLC.
IMAGE CAPTIONS: ------------------------------------------- Caption 1: One in three women have been affected by BV, impacting more than 21 million in the U.S. each year. 
(BPT) - Val Bias' entire life changed when he heard the loud noise come from the bathroom. The year was 1988, but Bias remembers the moment like it was yesterday. He ran to the bathroom and found the door blocked. He pushed and finally forced the door open. Inside he found Katie, his wife, lying on the floor. She had suffered a seizure, so Bias picked her up and took her to the hospital.
That day, Katie was diagnosed with a tumor. She was given six months to live.
As tragic as this turn of events was for the couple, it was only the beginning. When doctors rushed to remove the tumor, Katie’s immune system flattened out. That’s when they learned the tumor was only one of the medical challenges she faced. Katie also had HIV, a disease she had gotten from her husband.
A life with hemophilia
For his entire life, Bias has lived with hemophilia. At the time of his birth, every male member of his family with hemophilia had already died. He remembers being in fourth grade and finding the hemophilia section in his new text book. As he read the text, he learned that the average life expectancy for someone with hemophilia was 20 years. At age 10, Bias realized he had already lived half of his life.
More than three million Americans have a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia, von Willebrand disease or rare factor deficiencies. These diseases prevent the blood from clotting normally, can result in extended bleeding after injury, surgery or trauma, and can be fatal if not treated effectively. Because of this, people with hemophilia depend heavily on clotting factor replacement therapy derived from either human blood or made in the lab. It was through an infusion of clotting factor concentrate derived from human plasma that Bias contracted HIV and hepatitis C.
From the late 1970s to the mid-1980s – prior to more stringent blood safety measures and more sensitive tests – HIV (and hepatitis C and hepatitis B) from infected blood donors made its way into blood products. As a result, nearly half of all people with hemophilia became infected with HIV, many developed AIDS and thousands died. An unknown number of their partners contracted HIV, as well. People like Katie.
When doctors discovered Katie’s tumor, they gave her six months to live. She held on another four years, passing away in April, 1992. She declined day-by-day, and when she became too weak to continue her work in advertising, her coworkers assumed she had cancer. Learning of this misconception, Katie returned to tell them the truth.
“That’s true courage,” Bias remembers. “I’d like to say I had that same courage at the time, but that wouldn’t be true. I was running a large before- and after-school program at the local YMCA and was concerned that, if I revealed my diagnosis, I might lose my job. We needed my income, so I remained silent.”
Katie however did not. She demanded Bias never blame himself for what happened to her and in her final days, she placed three expectations on him. “She said, ’Remarry, have kids and fight to live your life.'”
Bias heeded her advice. He married a wonderful woman named Robin and together they adopted a boy named Langston. And he began to fight.
Taking the Red Tie Challenge
The year Katie died, Bias attended the National Hemophilia Foundation’s (NHF) annual meeting and was elected chairman of the board. “We began a crusade to help people who developed HIV from tainted blood products,” he remembers. The work culminated in the passage of the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Act of 1998. Ten years later, in 2008, Bias became NHF's CEO.
"In recent years, under NHF's leadership, great strides have been made in treatment, public policy and advocacy for the bleeding disorders community," says Bias. "So to ensure that momentum continues, NHF has created the Red Tie Challenge. It's fun—because it lets you be creative and silly—and it's important—because, by donating to NHF or to our chapters, you become part of the fight against bleeding disorders."
According to Bias, the red tie is the community's symbol and the Red Tie Challenge challenges you to get creative in wearing a red tie in three, easy steps: (1) Make a donation at www.RedTieChallenge.org; (2) Get a red tie, then record and share your best red tie style with #RedTieChallenge; and (3) Challenge your friends to join you in the fight.
To learn more, visit www.RedTieChallenge.com.
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