Thursday, 29 December 2016

Ear Infections

Ear infections occur when a bacterial or viral infection affects the middle ear. Ear infections can be diagnosed with the following symptoms:

  • Partial hearing loss
  • An itchy feeling in the ears. 
  • Pus or ear drainage
  • A persistent pressure in the ear
  • Mild or acute pain in the ear
These symptoms may appear from time to time or they may be chronic. 
If children have an ear infection, they show the following symptoms along with the regular symptoms as shown in adults:
  • They have trouble sleeping.
  • Clumsiness and problems with balance.
  • Fever 
  • Crying

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Is your throat irritating you?

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A sore throat may cause you pain, itchiness and irritation that can make it hard for you to swallow. This is generally accompanied by other infections such as a rash, joint pain or a fever. 
  • You may also experience swelling in your neck glands, infection of the tonsils and a rough voice if you have a sore throat.
  • You have a higher chance of getting a sore throat if you smoke or if you have allergies or if you have a weak immune system.
  • Children are also susceptible to throat infection due to their rather weak immune system, hence care should be taken to avoid cold items and contact with germs.
  • The major cause of a throat infection is a viral infection (cold or flu). The virus mainly infects your pharynx and produces all the above-mentioned symptoms.
  • A bacterial infection can also sometimes cause throat infection. It is often called as a ‘strep’ throat due to the name of the causative agent (a streptococcus bacterium). A ‘strep’ throat is very uncommon in children below 3 years and more pronounced in adults.
  • Some allergic reactions caused by allergens such a pollen grains, pet hair etc. can cause a throat infection. Environmental factors like smoke, dust, smog etc. also play a role in throat infection.
  • You may also get a sore throat if you shout and scream too much! So be mindful when you cheer for your favorite team of actor next time!
  • You can always treat yourself at home before going to a doctor. Try to curtail your throat infection at home, if it begins to worsen, a doctor’s consultation would be a wise decision.
  • Salt water gargles are the first choice of treatment for a throat infection. Do a salt water gargle once in the morning and once in the evening, and this will clear your throat in no time.
  • Drinking tea, warm water, soup or other hot beverages will greatly aid the time taken to get rid of the infection.
  • Wear a face mask while going out if you’re generally allergic to dust or pollen. This will reduce the chance for contact and prevent any further infection.
  • Keep yourself hydrated at all times. This will prevent your throat from getting dry and you won’t feel any irritation.
  • Honey has always been put to use as an antibacterial. Mix two spoons of honey with water and drink it early in the morning.
  • If you throat doesn’t get any better with all the above-mentioned treatments, you may need to consult the doctor as the throat infection could be a symptom of an underlying infection. 
All said and done, prevention is better than cure. So, avoid drinking something too cold, protect your face while you go out, maintain proper sanitation and hygiene to avoid any kind of bacterial or viral infection and always remember to drink lots of fluids and stay hydrated! 

Monday, 26 December 2016

Tips for Clean and Healthy Teeth

Maintaining a clean and white set of teeth says a lot about a person’s personal hygiene. Here are a few ways to maintain your pearly whites. 

Healthy Gums and Teeth:
  • Rubbing apple cider vinegar, lemon on your teeth and rinse after 5 minutes.
  • Eating raw strawberries and other water rich fruits.
  • Brushing twice a day, flossing your teeth and using a mouthwash.
  • Changing your tooth brush every 3 months.
  • Cleaning your teeth in a circular motion to cover all areas.
Protect your teeth at all costs:
  • Use a mouth guard at all costs while playing sports.
  • Chewing a pen or a pencil is a bad habit and also causes your tooth to get chipped.
  • Hard food items like ice, nuts, corn can cause your tooth to get chipped if they are weak.
  • Opening bottle caps with your teeth is the biggest reason for chipping a tooth.
  • Excess sugary food and alcohol can erode the enamel.
Maintaining bad dental hygiene can lead to the following:
  • Unhealthy Gums: Heart Disease, stroke, clogged arteries, tooth loss and other respiratory diseases.
  • Tooth Abscesses: Endocarditis, infection of the jaw, bacterial skin infections, pneumonia etc.
Statistics suggest that people who have white and healthy teeth are more confident!  
Follow the above guidelines to have great confidence and an amazing smile.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Is Your Sinus Bothering You? Treatment of Sinusitis and Tips for Prevention.

The inflammation and swelling of the sinus is called as sinusitis. This is characterized by germ growth and obstruction of the nasal passage.

  • Sinusitis is generally caused by common cold, some forms of allergies or any nodules that grow in the nasal cavity.
  • In children, it could be caused by pacifiers, allergies to a feeding bottle, smoke in the environment etc.
  • Acute sinusitis can last for 2-4 weeks, subcutaneous sinusitis lasts for 4-12 weeks and chronic sinusitis can last for more than 12 weeks.
  • Sinusitis can affect several different sinuses at a time and cause pain below or above the eyes or behind the nose.
  • A yellowish-green discharge will come out of the infected sinuses and you need to blow your nose often.
  • You may also experience difficulty in breathing due to the nasal congestion and your smelling and tasting will be affected.
Here are a few ways to treat and prevent sinusitis:

  • Treatment may include usage of saline nasal drops that should be used for no more than three days.
  • Antibiotics may also be prescribed that should be taken for a few days even after the sinuses get cleared.
  • Stay away from chemicals and cigarette smoke if that irritates your nose.
  • Wash your hands regularly to avoid bacterial or fungal infection.
  • Do not give your children antihistamines or nasal sprays if they are under 2. 

Monday, 19 December 2016

Common Dental Problems

Dental problems are quite troublesome and create problems in the most unexpected ways. Although most of these problems can be rectified, a few after effects are always preset. It is always wise to see a dentist/ oral hygienist every 3 months. The most common dental problems are discussed below.


  • Tooth sensitivity is the most common problem seen in adults. Your teeth will become very sensitive to very hot and very cold food stuff. 
  • Tooth sensitivity is caused due to tooth decay, gum disease or an exposed Enamel.
  • Generally, tooth sensitivity can be rectified by using a desensitizing toothpaste and maintaining proper oral hygiene. 


  • Gum disease (Periodontitis) is caused by bacterial infection and it will end with tooth loss due to the destruction of the surrounding tissues.
  • Gingivitis or gum inflammation is the starting stage of Periodontitis. 
  • Gum diseases appear without any prior warning; hence it is always advisable to maintain good oral hygiene. 
  • The treatment depends on the type of disease and the extent of infection. A dentist’s touch is required for proper treatment.


  • Tooth cavities occur when plaque combines with the sugars that we consume.
  • This will produce acidic substances that will erode the enamel which will cause tooth sensitivity and bad breath. 
  • Tooth decay is often very painful in the later stages and in the worst-case scenario, the tooth may be extracted.
  • Dentists will clear out the decay and fill the tooth with dental fillings and in advanced stages, root canal treatment is advised.
  • The only way tooth decay can be prevented is by maintaining proper oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing regularly and making occasional dental appointments.


  • Mouth cancer can affect any part of the mouth like the tongue, lips, gums, the jaws or the palate. 
  • Mouth cancer originates as a small white or red spot in any part of the throat or mouth. 
  • The symptoms may include numbness, pain, sores that bleed easily, hard lumps in the mouth or throat etc. 
  • Get advice from your dentist and try to diagnose the problem as soon as possible because, mouth cancers are highly curable at an early stage. Make sure you tell your dentist all the problems you have while you chew food or swallow as they may be critical in diagnosis.


  • Mouth ulcers are quite common and can be treated at home. 
  • These sores that appear on the lips, mouth, tongue and are quite painful, and create difficulties in eating. 
  • The mouth ulcers are also a symptom of possible viral infections in kids. 
  • Mouth ulcers are treated by using a gel or paste that you can get from a pharmacy, you can also use a soft tooth brush to avoid aggravating the sores. Try to avoid hot and spicy food until the sores heal.

The biggest problem you face due to bad dental hygiene is a compromise in your smile! You will begin to lose self-esteem and confidence. So always maintain good dental hygiene and a beautiful smile. 

Friday, 16 December 2016

What is Gingivitis?

What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gingiva or the gums commonly caused by the bacterial accumulation on the teeth forming a plaque, typically called plaque- induced Gingivitis.

Why  should be concerned about Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is non destructive, but you should be concerned as it can lead to Periodontitis which is more serious and results in eventual loss of teeth if left untreated at the initial stages.

Causes of Gingivitis:
Accumulation of tartar or plaque
Hormonal Change
Certain diseases like Cancer, Diabetes, HIV
Some drugs like anti convulsants and Heart drugs
Family History

Symptoms of Gingivitis
Tender, Red and puffy gums
Bleeding of gums while brushing the teeth
Bad breath or Halitosis
Receding Gums
Soft Gums

Alert: If you leave it untreated, it might spread affecting tissue, teeth and bones. 

Alleviate Chronic Ear Infections in Your Child

The general cause for an ear infection in toddlers and young children, is the common cold. When infected fluid or pus gets accumulated behind the eardrum, which is situated in the middle part of the ear, an ear infection happens. The Eustachian tube or middle ear is connected to the nose and throat and is in a horizontal position in young children.

Consequently, the fluid accumulation and infection, spreads to the ear. The bacteria and viruses that enter the Eustachian tube along with the fluid accumulation, breeds here causing the ear infection. 

The inflammation that occurs because of the infection is called Otitis Media. The symptoms are pain, redness of the eardrum and sometimes fever. In more chronic cases Acute Otitis Media can last anywhere from 6 weeks to even longer. 

Frequency of Ear Infection

A toddler or young child getting an ear infection, once or twice a year is normal. If the child has 3 episodes in a period of 6 months or 4 episodes in a year, then it is a chronic infection. The reason for such frequent reoccurrence could be that the ear infection did not completely clear away and is still lingering on, or it could be a series of separate infections, occurring. 

Possible Risks for Ear Infections Occurring

  • Day Care Centers – children who go to day care, are exposed to more germs, in comparison to the children who stay home.
  • Exposure to Smoke – Exposure to cigarette smoke makes the child more vulnerable to ear infections, as it affects the child’s immune system. It is also possible that the irritants in the smoke may prevent the infection from clearing out.
  • Genetics – If there is a family history of ear infections, then it follows the child will also be at high risk of getting one.
  • Gender Related Risk – As per statistics, boys tend to be at a higher risk for ear infections in comparison to the girls. The reason for this anomaly is not known as yet.
  • Infection through Siblings – Older siblings are also a source of germ bearers or carriers.
  • Allergies – Allergies cause the Eustachian tube or the upper airways to be infected or irritated.
  • Cold or Winter Season – Children living in regions where it is cold or wintery, often suffer from upper respiratory infections, which normally are a precursor to ear infections.
  • Age – matters as children below the age of 18 months are more likely to get ear infection, as their immune system is yet to develop and they have smaller Eustachian tubes.
  • Premature Babies – Premature babies are more disposed to get ear infections.
  • Other Health Problems – poor health undermines the immune system of the child and thus makes the child be more susceptible to ear infections.
Long Term Effects of Ear Infections
Buildup of chronic fluids or chronic ear infections could cause hearing issues, which may be a cause in speech delays. 

Treatment Options

  • A wait and see approach, where the doctor may not prescribe antibiotics immediately but may prescribe just pain relievers, anticipating that the infection will go away on its own in 2-3 days.
  • If the ear infection persists, then antibiotics will be prescribed.
  • In some cases the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist) may surgically drain the fluid from the ear and insert an ear tube, which will fall out on its own, as the child grows. The tubes are a temporary solution.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Living with and Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis was first diagnosed in the year 1868 and even though a cure is yet to be found, there are treatment options to help slow down the progression of the disease. 2.1 million People, world-wide have been diagnosed, with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
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Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), in the human body. The CNS comprises, the brain and the spinal cord with the network of nerves that convey messages to and from the brain, to the rest of the body. These nerves are sheathed in a protective covering called the myelin. MS for some, yet to be known reason, damages the myelin and consequently slows down or blocks the communication between the brain and the rest of the body or parts thereof. 

Women are more affected by this disease and it commonly affects people in the age group between 20 and 40. Even, in its mild form it can affect the writing, speaking and walking ability of those afflicted with MS.

Early Symptoms of MS

Even though the cause of MS is a mystery, it is known that MS causes inflammation of the nerves. Some early symptoms to be aware of, are:

  • Optic Neuritis or Vision Disorder- the inflammation of the optic nerve, in the eye(s), can lead to disruption of central vision, in one or both eyes. MS also causes blurred or double vision or prevents recognition of contrast and vivid colors. Looking up or down can cause pain together with loss of vision
  • Tingling and Numbing Sensations – caused by inflamed nerves send conflicting messages between the brain and the spinal cord, and sometimes there is no communication. The lack of communication causes numbness. Sites where these sensations occur are in the legs, arms, fingers, toes and face
  • Weakness of Muscles – the uncontrollable and painful wrenching movement of the limbs and stiffness of the muscles or joints are also a common symptom. Generally the legs are the most affected, but back pain is also typical
  • Coordination and Balance – lack of stability and coordination, will cause gait problems. Vertigo with a feeling of light-headedness, will be experienced
  • Cognitive Issues – MS also causes memory issues, depression, organizational disorders, language difficulties, short spans of attention, emotional disturbances such as mood swings, irritability and bouts of uncontrolled laughing and crying (in medical parlance - pseudobulbar affect)


Depending on the type of MS a patient is afflicted with, treatment options will vary. There are several treatment options, such as oral pills, injections and infusions, available.

7 Lifestyle Changes

For those who have been diagnosed in the early stages of MS, coping with everyday life may seem a gargantuan task, but not impossible, if certain lifestyle changes are made. Lifestyle changes or choices can help slow down the progressive deterioration of MS and provide a boost to a patient’s health.

Consume a diet rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, such as:

Exercise: Moderately paced physical activity such as swimming or walking, two days in the week helps diminish depression and fatigue. Aerobics 5 days a week or resistance training with a physiotherapist also will help living with MS more bearable

Sun and Vitamin D: Soak in the sun for about 15 minutes a day and take a vitamin-D pill a day

Smoking: Stop smoking or else the prognosis of MS can be accelerated

Stress Management: Several stress management techniques exist today. Techniques like Yoga or meditation, taking simple measures as asking for help when needed, effectively managing time, learning how to prioritize, doing deep breathing exercises

Sleep: Getting adequate sleep at night, is important

Pay Attention to Health in General: With lifestyle changes, managing MS along with other illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes or other diseases, will be easier

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Liver Transplant at Kauvery Hospital

A boon for patients with end stage liver disease. Kauvery Liver Transplant Centre offers affordable liver transplant surgeries.

Check out this video by Dr. Ilango, Lead Surgeon Transplant and Liver Surgery talking about how liver transplants are a boon for patients with end stage liver disease.

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