ENT Treatments: Uncover The Causes Behind Frequent Ear Infections

Ear infections occur when the middle ear is affected by a viral or bacterial infection. These infections can be chronic or acute. Acute ear infections, though short in duration, are painful. Both acute and chronic ones can lead to permanent damage to the inner and middle ear or the eardrum. They are either persistent or recurrent. 

Swelling or blockage in eustachian tubes, causing fluid buildup in the middle ear, leads to glued ears and ear infections. Following are the causes of eustachian tube blockage:

  • Sinus infections – It refers to when the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed.
  • Allergies 
  • Smoking – It weakens the immune system and damages the tissues in the nose and throat, increasing one’s vulnerability to ear infections. 
  • Cold 
  • Air pressure changes 
  • Excess mucus – Excess fluid in the ear can clog up the Eustachian tube 
  • Infected or swollen adenoids – Adenoids are tissues situated near your tonsils that trap harmful bacteria and viruses. Surgical removal of the adenoids along with the ear glue and insertion of grommets tubes is necessary if the ear infection involves a case of enlarged adenoids. 

Ear infections are primarily seen in children. However, these are often minor and come to pass quickly. On the other hand, adult ear infections are more severe and may signify serious health problems. 

Following are a few common symptoms of ear infections:

  • Persisting pressure inside the ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Blocked ears
  • Discomfort or mild pain inside the ear 
  • Irritability in young infants 
  • Presence of pus-like drainage from the ear

Mild ear infections often clear up and heal without any intervention. Some of the methods that can aid in relieving the symptoms of mild ear infections are:

  • Steam inhalation
  • Taking pain medication 

If the symptoms remain or get worse, visiting a doctor is necessary. In such cases, the ENT doctor might prescribe a course of antibiotics. Sticking to the course and completing it is essential to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment. In some cases, tubes are placed in the ear to allow the fluid blocking the Eustachian tube to drain out. If usual treatment methods fail to eliminate the condition, surgical procedures are a viable treatment. 

If left untreated, chronic ear infections may cause complications in the long term, such as:

  • Meningitis, referring to the inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, causing severe headaches and fever
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Spread of infection intracranially, causing abscesses
  • Abscess of ears or neck area
  • Mastoiditis, referring to an infection of the mastoid process, a hard bone behind the ear.
  • Hearing loss
  • Rupture of the eardrum
  • Speech or language delay in kids 

Ear infections can be prevented to an extent by adopting safe and straightforward practices. Maintaining personal hygiene, avoiding crowded areas, avoiding first-hand and second-hand smoke, keeping your immunizations up-to-date, breastfeeding infants, discontinuing the usage of pacifiers, etc., are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of infections. Early treatment for ear infections is crucial to avoid further complications.

For more information on ear infections, visit the IBO clinic and consult with the best ENT specialists in Sharjah. Our ENT specialists are experts and offer high-quality services. 

Diabetes & Pregnancy: Knowing The Treatment For Diabetes In The Preconception Period

Diabetes can lead to problems during pregnancy for both the mother and the baby. Chances for birth defects and other complications increase if the mother’s diabetic condition is not given due consideration. However, one can avoid these problems and defects with proper healthcare measures and ob gyne consultations before and during pregnancy.  

How does diabetes affect pregnancy?

The following issues arise in pregnancy as a result of diabetes:

  • Congenital abnormalities – The baby is born with a missing or malformed part.
  • Ketoacidosis – Ketones build up to dangerously high levels in the body.
  • Stillbirth – The baby is born dead without any signs of life.
  • Macrosomia – The newborn weighs much larger than average.
  • Birth injury – It affects both the mother and the baby and occurs due to size abnormality.
  • Hypoglycemia – The blood sugar drops down to dangerously low levels. 
  • Respiratory distress – Difficulty in breathing.
  • Preeclampsia – It is a pregnancy condition characterized by a sudden rise in blood pressure, presence of protein in the urine, swollen limbs, etc. 
  • Spontaneous abortions – It is the termination of pregnancy before twenty weeks of gestation. 

Diabetes treatment is, therefore, essential in the preconception period to avoid the above complications. Read on to learn more about preconception diabetes treatment.

Diabetes education

The first step to battling diabetes is, being fully educated about all aspects related to it. Once you are knowledgeable about the issue, you can take the steps needed to make a plan to face the problem. 

Self-management program

Maintaining blood glucose levels within a desirable range is essential during pregnancy. You can achieve this by incorporating specific self-management skills in your daily life. These include monitoring blood sugar levels on your own, administering insulin doses, developing a suitable meal plan, scheduling physical exercise, developing methods to reduce stress and maintain mental well-being. 

Medical history

Mapping out a detailed medical history is vital in diabetes care in the preconception period. This should include information regarding the diabetic condition, its type, duration, and management. Besides, data regarding acute and chronic medical complications, menstrual cycle, previous pregnancies, family medical history, medications, etc., should be included. 

Physical examination

You should conduct a thorough physical examination. Focus on areas such as a retinal exam, cardiovascular exam, blood pressure measurement, etc., as trouble in these areas can affect pregnancy outcomes. 

Lab evaluation 

The laboratory evaluation’s focus should be primarily on the assessment of metabolic control and the detection of diabetic complications that could affect or be affected by pregnancy. Some of these tests are related to the measurement of creatinine, thyroid-stimulating hormone, the protein level in urine, etc. 

Management plan 

The management plan for the initial stage should include the following:

  • Selection of antihyperglycemic therapy.
  • Counselling prospective parents about the risk of congenital anomalies and discussing preventive measures with them.
  • Establishing a plan to achieve low-risk glycemia.

Continuing care

After the initial stages and tests, expecting parents should be met with every one to two months. This is done to ensure that they are knowledgeable about the management plan and have adopted changes to their lifestyle. Frequent monitoring can also help in ascertaining the medical condition and glucose levels of the mother. If any issues come to the forefront, these can be treated accordingly. 

For more information on diabetes in the preconception period and associated treatment, visit IBO, the leading medical center in Sharjah. Our gynecologists in Sharjah will help you in dealing with pre-conception diabetes. With the assistance of the best gynecologists in Sharjah, you can have a smooth pregnancy.

Pain Management: Discover The Common Spine-Related Problems And Their Treatments

Back pain is a widespread problem and ails everyone, irrespective of age. It could be a result of activity, injury, or other medical conditions. Most times, back pain stems from spine-related problems. Let us look at some of the common spine-related conditions and pain management treatments. 

  1. Herniated disk

Your spine is made up of individual bones, vertebrae, stacked up with cushioning disks between them. A disk becomes herniated when the cushioning shifts and bursts out of its casing. It leads to pain, weakness, and numbness of the arm or leg, depending on the herniated disk’s position. Treatments range from conservative methods like modifying activities and losing weight to pain medications, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. A herniated disk can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, correcting one’s posture, engaging in physical exercise, and avoiding the usage of tobacco products. 

  • Sciatica

The nerve that runs from one’s lower back all the way down to the leg is called the sciatic nerve. Sciatica refers to the pain, weakness, or numbness in the lower back that radiates down the leg, resulting from damage to the sciatic nerve. Aside from self-care measures like hot/cold packs and stretches, pain relievers, steroid injections, physiotherapy, and in some cases, surgery is a viable option to treat sciatica.

  • Scoliosis

Scoliosis refers to the condition where a person’s spine curves sideways. It can lead to uneven shoulders and other disproportionate body features. It leads to pinched nerves and back pain. Age and the severity of the condition are taken into consideration when prescribing the treatment for scoliosis. Treatment options include physical therapy, bracing, and surgery. 

  • Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people around the globe. It is the most common form of arthritis. It refers to the deterioration of the cartilage and joints in the spine, causing pain and inflammation. It can also lead to nerve damage and bone spurs, projections that develop along bones’ edges. Treatment options include pain medication, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and surgery.   

  • Spinal stenosis

When the space within the spine narrows down, some pressure is exerted on the nerves that travel throughout the spine. This leads to numbness, weakness, pain, and tingling. Often, it occurs in the lower back and the neck. Treatment options include pain medication, physical therapy, steroid injection, decompression procedure, and surgery. 

  • Spondylolisthesis

It is a spinal condition affecting the lower vertebrae that leads to pain in the lower back. It occurs when one of the vertebrae slips out of place onto the vertebra below it. It causes leg pain or lower pain as pressure develops on the nerves. It leads to a loss of feeling in the limbs, difficulty walking, and loss of bladder control. Treatments include pain medications, physical therapy, core strengthening exercises, and surgery. 

  • Whiplash 

The neck injury brought about by sudden motion or jerking of the head is called whiplash. This sudden movement strains the neck muscles and damages joints, leading to a stiff neck, lower back pain, headache, dizziness, neck pain, fatigue, etc. Treatment options include massage, heating pads, and physical therapy.

Chronic back pain can be highly disruptive and lower the quality of your life. To know more, visit our medical center in Sharjah to consult with leading orthopedic doctors in Sharjah. IBO is one of the leading clinics in Sharjah for back pain management.

Childhood Obesity: Understanding The Link Between Your Child’s Physical And Mental Well-being

Childhood obesity is a severe health issue. It comes about when a child weighs more than usual for his or her age and height. Kids categorized as obese and having a high BMI are prone to serious health risks. It does not just affect the physical health of the child but harms mental well-being. Obese children and teens are highly likely to have poor self-esteem and self-image.

Physical health and mental health are inseparable as one affects the other. Poor physical fitness leads to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Likewise, poor mental health negatively impacts the physical health of a person. Childhood obesity can be a cause and effect of bad mental health. Read on to understand the link between the two.

Causes of childhood obesity

Unhealthy diet
The most common cause of childhood obesity is an unbalanced diet. Eating large portions of food containing high sugar and fat levels and fewer nutrients can lead to quick weight gain. Fast food, frozen meals, canned items, etc., contribute to obesity.

Lack of exercise
Another cause of childhood obesity is the absence of physical activity. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight by burning the calories you consume. Children who do not engage in sports or other physical exercises are more likely to become obese.

Psychological issues
Boredom, stress, and depression can often lead kids to become inactive, develop eating disorders, and result in unhealthy weight gain.

Genetics and eating disorders
The presence of certain genes increases the risk of obesity in some children. Eating disorders can also have genetic roots and lead to childhood obesity.

Lifestyle factors
Constant snacking, spending too much time on gadgets, exposure to ads for junk food, lack of sports and games, etc., lead to the development of a sedentary lifestyle, eventually contributing to obesity in children.

Effects of childhood obesity

Serious medical conditions
Overweight children suffer from a higher risk of having severe medical issues such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, etc. In many cases, losing weight can reverse the conditions. However, some issues can be life-threatening.

Sleep disorders
Obese children may also suffer from sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea and excessive snoring.

Joint pain
The more you weigh, the more the chance of suffering from joint pain and musculoskeletal discomfort. Kids and teens who are overweight may be prone to joint pain, stiffness, and a limited range of movement as they carry around excessive weight.

Anxiety and depression
Being obese opens up a child to a lot of bullying and marginalization. These lead to social anxiety and depression that can further impact a child’s health negatively.

Low self-esteem and negative body image
Obesity has been called one of the least socially acceptable conditions in childhood. Having a physique that does not adhere to ‘societal standards’ lowers a child’s self-esteem and leads to a negative body image.

Social issues
Being bullied and having low self-esteem can result in the child lessening social interactions and other activities. This aggravates the problem further.

Most often, obese children grow up to be obese adults. Obesity in adulthood is a more severe condition as they are at a higher risk of facing health problems. For more information regarding the issue, reach out to us at IBO, the leading medical center in Sharjah. Our pediatricians in Sharjah will help your child in dealing with obesity and related troubles. With the assistance of dietitians, nutritionists, and the best pediatricians in Sharjah, your child can lead a happy and healthy life.