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Tinnitus Tests and Diagnosis

February 26, 2014   

Most of the time, the real cause of tinnitus is not known. The person who usually is responsible for diagnosing tinnitus will be either an otolaryngologist or an otologist. Both of these health professionals are ear specialists. A complete clinical assessment including the medical regimen and complete patient history of the patient is first done to see if he is positive for tinnitus and to ascertain the cause of the condition. To diagnose tinnitus certain tests may be performed. Some of these tests can assess the specific characteristics of the tinnitus itself and can involve:

  • Audiogram
  • X-rays
  • Tinnitus pitch match
  • Evoked response audiometry
  • Maskability of tinnitus
  • Tinnitus loudness match
  • Residual inhibition

Audiogram

This test is also known as a hearing acuity test and it uses a chart that rates the patient’s ability to identify various speech sounds and to hear sounds. Since an amount of hearing loss can come about with tinnitus, an audiogram test can be a good diagnostic tool for properly identifying tinnitus.

X-rays

The head is usually x-rayed to see if there are structural problems existing in the ear that may be the ones causing tinnitus. If these tests are inadequate then a CT scan or an MRI may be requested.

Tinnitus Pitch Match

Tinnitus Pitch Match is based on the belief that physical tones have a pitch that relates to the frequency of each tone. The number of cycles a sound wave makes in a second is called a frequency. Sound waves vary in frequency – some may be high or very high and some may be low or very low.

To match the pitch tinnitus makes, the patient needs to choose from a number of external noises or tone. Of course the tones that closely correspond to tinnitus will be the one selected by the patient. A study done regarding tinnitus have revealed that most tinnitus patients rate tinnitus with a pitch match of around 3,500 Hz which is a little lower than the highest tone a grand piano can make which is a little above 4,000 Hz. A 3,500 Hz will have tones that may be of a screeching, unpleasant sound.

Evoked Response Audiometry

This test is performed typically for patients suffering tinnitus in one ear only. The evoked response audiometry test uses non-invasive computerized inner ear recordings that can be somewhat analogous to computer “fault-finding” checks used by computerized car engines found in certain car garages.

Maskability of Tinnitus

This is a test that rates the level to which tinnitus can be drowned out or “masked” by external sounds.

The maskability of tinnitus test utilizes a spectrum of noises for the masking or drowning of external sound. The noise spectrum or noise band may range from about 2,000 Hz to up to 12,000 Hz. This band is tested using earphones on the patient’s problematic ear.

The test entails the progressive but slow increase in the frequency or the pitch of the masking sound until it is distinctively heard by the patient. The pitch is then increased further up to the point wherein the patient no longer hears the tinnitus in his ear. The way the MML or minimum masking level is rated is in SL or dBsensation level. For the majority of the population, their MML is around 8 dB SL or lower. There are very rare cases, though, where the MML can go 22 dB SL and beyond.

Tinnitus Loudness Match

This test is to analyze the loudness of tinnitus by manipulating the volume of an external tone to match it as close to the tinnitus sounds as possible. The test progresses until the external tones are as comparably loud as the tinnitus.

The specific loudness of the patient’s tinnitus can be measured and usually the measure is around 4 to 7 dB or decibels which are comparable to a whisper and just a little above the verge of hearing. Curiously people with tinnitus usually complain of their tinnitus sounds as very loud sounds; however, the fact is that what they’re hearing is only about 4 to 7 decibels.

To assess between the perceived loudness of the tinnitus sounds and their actual loudness, the specialist can perform another test called the Visual Analog Scale.

Visual Analog Scale is some type of a measurement for assessing the loudness of the patient’s tinnitus. The scale rates the sound on a scale of zero to 10 with 10 being the loudest tinnitus sound possible and zero meaning “no tinnitus.”

The patient will then choose the number that best typifies the sound volume of his tinnitus. Based on numerous tests of this scale, around 70% of patients selected a rating of 6 or above. This assessment seems to suggest that the perceived tinnitus sound in a majority of patients is high.

Residual Inhibition

The residual inhibition test monitors the amount of time the tinnitus noise in the ear dissipates or vanishes following a period of masking. In this test, the patient’s tinnitus is masked by sounds measuring 10 dB for a full minute. Afterwards, the test measures the duration for the tinnitus sound to go away, if it does indeed go away.

Most tinnitus patients (about 85% of them) who have undergone this test showed either partial or complete residual inhibition. This means the tinnitus noise gradually dissipated in their ear. On the average, the time it took for the noise to go away was around 65 seconds.

A one minute residual inhibition test that results in a 65 second residual inhibition does not necessarily entail that an hour-long residual inhibition test will mean an hour’s worth of residual inhibition.

Increasing the sound volume of the masking sound will not prolong or add to the time or the level of the residual inhibition. There are venturous people though, who have used residual inhibition technique that involved extended amounts of time and have resulted in them enjoying several hours of residual inhibition.

 

 Daniel Haun is a licensed acupuncture practitioner and the clinical director of Bailey & Haun Acupuncture in Oceanside, CA.

 

 

Tonsillitis Treatments and Drugs

February 26, 2014   

You may not need to worry whether or not your tonsillitis stems from a bacterial or viral infection since your body’s immune system will resolve this infection in a matter of days. You can assist your body by doing some helpful things in the meantime.

You need to feed your child with lots of food and drink if he has tonsillitis even if he finds it hard to swallow.  A dehydrated and hungry child can lead to unnecessary symptoms like tiredness and headaches. Surgery may be needed if your child constantly suffers from tonsillitis.

Self-help

Analgesics bought over-the-counter (OTC) like ibuprofen and paracetamol can help assuage symptoms such as sore throat. Younger children need small dosages so seek advice from your pharmacist on what dosage is right for your child. If your child is below 16 years, never give him aspirin.

Oral sprays and lozenges bought OTC can also relieve sore throat.

You can also gargle with a light antiseptic solution or even with just warm salty water for sore throat relief. A liter of water can be added with about half a teaspoonful of salt. For younger children the salt solution should not be tried since they may tend to swallow the solution.

Antibiotics

If tests reveal that you suffer from bacterial tonsillitis, that doesn’t automatically mean you will be prescribed antibiotics. Why? There are two reasons for this:

Most tonsillitis cases have shown that antibiotics do not really work or speed up the healing process. Moreover, they have negative side effects like feeling sick and abdominal pain.
Frequent use of an antibiotic will lead to antibiotic resistance making it useless when a serious infection occurs.

Antibiotics may be given if:

Your child’s immune system is weak
His symptoms do not get better
He shows severe symptoms

Doctors usually recommend a 10-day penicillin course for the aforementioned circumstances.  If you or your child has penicillin allergy, other antibiotics like erythromycin may be given. Side effects caused by penicillin include:

Rash
Diarrhea
Upset stomach

Surgery

This procedure is now only performed if your child suffers from repeated bouts of tonsillitis or if his tonsillitis is especially disabling and severe that it causes work or school absences. A tonsillectomy is done to remove the tonsils.

This surgical procedure often entails the use of a general anesthetic and this implies that you will be sleeping the whole duration of the surgery. No skin incision is required and your mouth will be open during the surgery to enable surgeon to see and remove your tonsils.

The surgeon can opt for different surgical techniques to remove your tonsils:

Cold steel surgery – This technique uses a surgical knife to sever the tonsils out. Bleeding is regulated by using pressure or sometimes by searing shut the blood vessels through a process called diathermy.
Diathermy – The surgeon uses a diathermy probe in order to obliterate the surrounding tissue and eventually to excise the tonsils. The heat from the diathermy simultaneously shuts the blood vessels to prevent any bleeding.
Cold ablation or coblation – This is a similar technique as diathermy but instead of using heat the surgeon applies a 60 degree centigrade temperature to remove the tonsils. Coblation inflicts less pain to the patient compared to diathermy.
Lasers – Laser beams of the high energy sort are used as knives to slice out the tonsils and with the laser heat shut the underlying blood vessels.
Ultrasound – The surgeon uses high energy ultrasound waves instead of lasers to excise the tonsils.

Tonsillectomy is a minor procedure with the patient all ready to go home within the day of or the day after the surgery.

Post surgery

There will be some pain felt on the surgery site for up to a week after the operation. To address the pain, analgesics can be prescribed by the surgeon.

If a child has had a tonsillectomy he should not go to school for a couple of weeks. This precaution is important to prevent him from being infected by another child that can cause him discomfort and pain.

After surgery, the child will experience swallowing difficulties. However, it is essential that you make your child eat solid foods to make the healing process quicker.  Your child may need to drink copious amounts of liquids although acidic juices such as orange juice should not be given as it can sting your child’s throat.

Make sure your child’s teeth are kept clean to prevent any pathogen from infecting his mouth.

After the first week of the operation the pain gradually dissipates. There may be earaches felt from time to time which is a common occurrence with tonsillectomies and is something not to worry about.

Post surgical bleeding

Post surgical bleeding usually occurs on the surgical site. This usually happens during the first day post surgery or up to ten days post surgery. Statistics reveal that about one child in 100 as well as one adult out of 30 adults will develop post surgical bleeding. After-surgery bleeding should not be a concern since the bleeding resolves by itself. To limit the bleeding, you can gargle using cold water since cold water can constrict the blood vessels and limit the bleeding. There are a few cases where bleeding can be a lot resulting in the patient coughing up or vomiting out blood. When this happens, see your doctor immediately.

When a patient suffers from extensive bleeding, he may be required to undergo another surgery or given blood transfusion.

Acupuncture

For people who want a more natural approach to tonsillitis treatment, acupuncture can be a good, safe and natural procedure to relieve sore throat pain. Acupuncture can likewise help the body overcome whatever infection is causing the tonsillitis. If you have a chronic case of tonsillitis, acupuncture can help enhance the immune function of your body and stop recurrence. In addition, Chinese herbal medicine possesses a lot of antibiotic properties to stem the irritation and inflammation; you need a qualified acupuncturist that is well experienced in treating your particular symptoms.

Tinnitus Symptoms

February 26, 2014   

People experience tinnitus in different ways. There are others who are mildly affected by tinnitus while some may be severely impacted by this ear condition. There are individuals with tinnitus who may develop hypersensitivity compared with others to everyday sounds. A person with tinnitus, for example, may find the sound from a TV or a radio excruciatingly loud even when they are set at a normal volume. This symptom of tinnitus is called hyperacusis. Tinnitus symptoms can arise during specific situations or in certain times. A person having a mild form of tinnitus, for example, will more likely notice it when he or she is in a quiet environment while a noisy place can drown out those tinnitus sounds.

There are tinnitus cases that can be related with your posture. You can, for example, hear sound when you turn your head, sit down or lie down. Whenever you turn your head, sit or lie down, your blood vessels, muscles and nerves experiences changes in pressure that can cause the noises in your ear related to tinnitus.

Types of tinnitus

Tinnitus sounds can also be heard as a sound of buzzing, whistling or hissing that is high-pitched. However, these are just some of the sounds tinnitus can produce.

There are individuals with tinnitus who hear tinnitus in a deep droning, rumbling, murmuring or humming sound. Some tinnitus sufferers may hear repeated songs, musical tunes or other musical hallucinations in their ear.

These are so-called the less typical forms of tinnitus and they are depicted in more detail below.

Musical hallucinations – These symptoms of tinnitus often are heard by people who have hearing loss or long-term tinnitus. They can also be occasionally experienced by individuals having normal hearing as well as those with hyperacusis or hypersensitivity to sound. Musical hallucinations as with other kinds of tinnitus have really no explainable reason. Stress, however, can be a trigger for them.

Low-frequency noise – Some tinnitus sufferers can also experience low-frequency noise that they usually mistake as emanating from an outside source rather than coming from inside their ears or head.

Some of the sounds of low-frequency noise an individual can hear can include:

  • Air conditioners
  • Refrigerators, fans and other home appliances
  • Underground gas pipes
  • Air and road traffic noises

Sounds of thunder, the sea or wind can also be other natural low-frequency noise that one with tinnitus can hear.

To ascertain whether the sound you hear may be coming from within or from without, you can ask people beside you whether they can hear what you hear. If they hear what you also hear, then the noise is obviously not caused by tinnitus. If you hear the noise all the time wherever you go instead of from only one place, then you may likely have tinnitus. A recent illness or stress can be connected to your symptoms.

Pulsatile tinnitus

This is a form of tinnitus where you may hear noises with either a rhythm or pulse that may synch with your pulse or heart beat. Pulsatile tinnitus can be caused the result of:

  • Enhanced awareness of the flow of blood near your ears
  • Changes in your blood flow in the blood vessels near your ear

Sometimes an artery may develop a blockage restricting blood flow. Plaques or fatty deposits can accumulate on the interior arterial wall causing it to narrow. This condition is called atherosclerosis. When the artery becomes constricted, it limits blood flow making it noisy which can be heard by a person with pulsatile tinnitus.

A person with a hearing problem/ impaired hearing caused by a perforated eardrum, for example, may be more acutely aware of the sounds his body functions make like the sound of his blood flow. Pulsatile tinnitus makes the person more sensitive to internal sounds in his body as long as they are not masked by external sounds.

 

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a licensed acupuncture physician and the medical director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC.

 

Sore Throat Complications

February 18, 2014   

Bad handling of sore throat or a rather severe sore throat can lead to unwanted complications that may warrant a visit to the doctor. Some of the complications of a sore throat can involve:

 

  • Ear Infection – A sore throat can affect the ear in certain ways. Sore throat often is accompanied by ear pain. The doctor may recommend medications for the sore throat and the ear pain. Usually children and even some adults may develop infection of the middle ear when they suffer from sore throat.

 

  • Acute Sinusitis – Sinusitis can cause a sore throat and the sore throat in turn can worsen your sinusitis condition. A severe sinusitis can cause malaise, tenderness in the face and a greenish fluid coming out of the nose.

 

  • Tonsillitis – Tonsillitis and sore throat often go hand in hand and both manifestations together usually indicate throat infection. Sometimes tonsillitis can become so severe that the suffering person may require quick medical attention. The doctor often addresses this condition by antibiotics or by surgically removing the person’s tonsil.

 

Strep Throat Complications

 

This type of sore throat can take much longer to heal than the more common type of sore throat. A strep throat can cause a person to lose his appetite and to have fever. Strep throat can be treated by antibiotics and by drinking large amounts of liquids. Strep infections can consist of:

 

  • Sinusitis
  • Middle ear infection

 

Some lesser known complications of strep throat include:

 

  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Peritonsillar abscess
  • Neck lymph node infection
  • Pharyngitis or retropharyngeal abscess

 

When the body reacts to strep throat infection, some complications may develop. For one, a slew of conditions like glomerulonephritis or kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever can occur when the immune system causes the body to attack healthy cells causing these aforementioned conditions. Another condition that affects children called PANDAS or pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections can develop with an unresolved strep throat infection.

 

  • PANDAS – This is a term caused by scarlet fever or strep throat that can lead to problems like Tourette’s syndrome (a tic disorder) or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Glomerulonephritis – This can develop from step infection of the throat and skin. It often resolves by itself. There are no medications to remedy the inflammation of the kidneys although this problem gets better in time.
  • Rheumatic fever – This is a rarity in strep throat infection although it does happen. Antibiotic therapy that starts a week after the start of the infection is needed to treat rheumatic fever

 

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.

Sinusitis Treatments and Drugs

February 18, 2014   

The main objective of sinusitis treatment is to minimize the inflammation in the sinus opening and nose to enhance drainage. A number of medical treatments may be needed to achieve this. Your doctor will treat an infection, and lessen the symptoms of a congested or runny nose. The treatment of chronic sinusitis is different compared to acute sinusitis treatment although they may use the same medications. Some of the effective treatments include:

Nasal wash – A saline or saltwater nasal wash cleans out bacteria and mucus from the sinuses and nose. It can relieve symptoms of postnasal drip and nasal congestion temporarily.  A nasal wash also aids in washing out environmental triggers from your nasal lining. Using a nasal wash prior to the use of a medicated nasal spray provides for a much more effective treatment.

Steroid nasal spray – Your doctor may prescribe a prescription steroid nasal spray for the control of your mucus production and nasal inflammation.  This type of nasal spray can help better sinus drainage and lessen nasal congestion symptoms. It does not, however, bring prompt symptom relief and can entail a number of weeks of regular use to have some effect.  For chronic sinusitis, this spray can have a beneficial effect with daily use; a person suffering from occasional episodes of sinusitis need to use this spray on an occasional basis.  For sinus and nasal problems a combination of nasal steroid sprays and nasal wash can be very potent for a lot of patients suffering from sinus and nasal problems. Some steroid nasal sprays include:

Beclomethasone – Qnasi
Ciclesonide – Zetonna
Budesonide – Rhinocort
Mometasone – Nasonex
Flunisolide – Nasarel
Triamcinolone – Nasacort , Nasacort AQ

Some side effects of these drugs can include bleeding and nasal dryness

Antibiotics – These medications control bacterial infections and are quite popular since many cases of sinusitis result from bacterial infection.  In using antibiotics, you may need to finish the treatment course which may take a whole week to up to three weeks or even longer.  The type of antibiotic you use often depends on your symptoms, past use of antibiotics and drug allergies.

Many bouts of sinusitis (from upper respiratory infection) can be effectively addressed without the utilization of antibiotics by treatments that target the specific symptoms and the nasal inflammation. Wrong antibiotics use can result in side effects and bacterial resistance, hence, these drugs should be used thoughtfully and carefully.

Decongestants – Decongestants are offered as nasal sprays, syrup or tablet and help unblock the sinus openings and temporarily minimize nasal congestion symptoms. Popular over-the-counter decongestants include pseudoephedrine or Dimetapp and Sudafed.  Combining antihistamine/ decongestant drugs produces optimal benefits. Topical nasal decongestant sprays help in the prompt reduction of swollen nasal tissue. They need to be utilized for just 2 to 3 days since frequent use can result in the return of nasal congestion but with more severe symptoms. Systemic decongestants also help minimize the swelling of the lining of the nose and helping improve sinus drainage function. Systemic decongestants can easily cause side effects some of which include nervousness, prostate problems in men, sleeplessness, anxiety and high blood pressure.

Antihistamines – These are drugs to neutralize the effects of histamine, a chemical appearing in the body during allergic reactions. Antihistamines are offered in syrup, tablet or spray form and can effectively lessen the allergic symptoms of itchy nose and eyes and sneezing as well as minimize mucus production and nasal stuffiness. Some over-the-counter antihistamines include:

Diphenhydramine – Benadryl
Chlorpheniramine – Chlor-Trimeton
Loratadine – Claritin

Newer kinds of prescription antihistamines have no drowsy side effects. Some of them are:

Cetirizine – Zyrtec
Fexofenadine – Allergra
Desloratadine – Clarinex

Some nasal spray antihistamines are:

Olopatadine – Patanase
Azelastine – Astepro

Leukotriene modifiers – These drugs fight the leukotrienes that cause inflammation in the skin, eyes, lungs, sinuses and nose.  Leukotriene modifiers are medicines that can help reduce nasal and sinus inflammation and can be a good product if you have aspirin sensitivity and nasal polyps. They can be combined with antihistamines and nasal sprays.  Leukotriene modifiers include:

Zileutron – Zyflo, Zyflo CR
Montelukast – Singulair

Liver enzymes may increase when you use Zyflo and Zyflo CR.

Pain relievers – For acute sinusitis analgesic or pain relievers can address fever and pain symptoms. Ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen are some OTC analgesics. Doctors may prescribe also stronger analgesics.

Systemic steroids – These types of steroids are occasionally used to treat extreme sinus and nasal inflammation like nasal polyps. Systemic steroids are available in syrup, pill or as an injectable injected into a vein or a muscle. These drugs are quite potent that help address sinus and nasal conditions. They also have a lot of side effects including menstrual irregularities, vision change, osteoporosis, stomach irritation, mood changes, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and cataract formation. When used long-term the side effects of these drugs become more dangerous and so systemic steroids are often prescribed as a pill in slowly decreasing dosages until the drug is entirely stopped.

Acupuncture – You can get relief from your symptoms using acupuncture treatment. This oriental medical procedure uses hair-thin needles inserted at certain points in the body to rectify energy or chi imbalances in the body. Chi is the vital energy in the body that is as important as blood and the slow or impeded flow of this energy causes imbalances that result in pain and disease. Acupuncture points are determined by your diagnosis. Chinese traditional medicine (TCM) sees a connection between the lungs and the nose and chi deficiency in the lung is often seen as one culprit causing the sinusitis – the other culprit is an external factor like the common cold.

When your acupuncturist has successfully diagnosed your condition, he then uses specific acupuncture points to treat the symptoms. Chi and blood are delivered to body region to address the discomfort and pain. Acupuncture eases the patient by removing sinus pressure and blockage for better sinus drainage. The truth is that the more blocked sinus opening is released the more relief a patient gets.

Willow Tree Wellness Clinic
1607 NE 16th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Ph: 503-281-0030
http://willowtreeclinic.com/ 

Sexual Dysfunction Preparing for Your Appointment

February 15, 2014   

For Female Sexual Dysfunction

For women suffering from arousal problems, lack of interest in sex and sexual difficulties and who may want to improve their sexual relationship with their partner, they need to make an appointment with their doctor. When talking with your doctor about your sexual difficulties, you need not to feel embarrassed since talking with your doctor is also a part of the process of treatment – getting a happy sex life is not only important for your relationship but in your overall well being as well.

You can prepare for your appointment in order to get the most out of it. Listed below are some helpful tips to prepare well for your appointment.

To help your doctor come up with a correct diagnosis and a right course of treatment try to collect information regarding:

Questions you need to ask your doctor – Use a small notebook and write down the questions for your doctor you need answers to. This will make your appointment time more productive and efficient.
Your medical history – Include in your small notebook all the ailments, mental, problems, diseases and conditions that you have been diagnosed before. Also write down the medications and their dosages you’ve been recently taking. They may include steroids, supplements and over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
Your sexual history – This is important for your doctor to know since it can help him trace the origin of your sexual dysfunction especially if your underlying problem is psychological in nature. You need to mention all your relationships and sexual experiences starting from the time you became sexually active. You need to also mention any abuse or trauma you’ve experienced in your life.
Your symptoms – Mention all your sexual problems and the time you often experience them.

Here are some questions that you can ask your doctor:

What is the reason for my sexual problems?
Are tests needed for my problem?
What is the best treatment plan for my condition?
Do the medications you’re prescribing have any side effects? If so, what are the side effects?
What benefits can I get from the treatment plan?
Do I need to do self-care tips or lifestyle changes in order to be treated?
Do I need therapy?
Do I need to involve my partner in my plan of treatment?

Your doctor will need to know more about your condition and will start by asking personal and non-personal questions to you and to your partner if you bought him along with you. These questions are asked to ascertain what brought about your problem and help formulate the best treatment approach possible.

Some of the doctor’s questions may go like these:

What kind of problems are you having?
Do these problems bother you a bit or too much?
Are you happy with your current relationship?
When did you start becoming sexually active?
Are you aroused when performing sexual activities with your partner?
Do you have orgasm?
If you’ve had orgasms before, what brought them about?
Do you experience pain with intercourse?
Do you use birth control pills? If so, what kind?
Can you tell me all the medicines you are taking?
Do you drink alcohol or take recreational drugs? How much?
Have you had an operation involving your reproductive system?
Have you had past diagnosed physical and mental conditions?
Have you suffered from sexual violence before?

While waiting for your appointment day, try to work out with your partner any problems you both may have. Try to indulge in pleasurable non-sexual activities that can be relaxing and make your time together fun and worthwhile. This may provide more impetus for more intimacy during sex.

For Male Sexual Dysfunction

You may consult with your doctor first who may refer you to a specialist like a urologist or an endocrinologist.

You can take steps to prepare well for your appointment. You would want to call the doctor’s office and ask your doctor if there’s anything you need to do, like for example, not eating before taking a blood test. To make your appointment time more productive, you can use a small notebook to write down things that are important for your doctor to know.  In the notebook, you can:

Write down the symptoms you’ve experienced even the ones that may not involve your sexual dysfunction.
Write down any life changes or major stresses that have been bothering for you for some time.
Write down the medicines including steroids, supplements, herbs and over-the-counter and prescription medicines you are currently using.
Bring along your partner or wife with you to your appointment.
Write down questions you need to ask your doctor

Some of your questions can include questions about:

Your sexual problems like erectile dysfunction, low libido or impotence
The cause or causes of your sexual problem
The tests you need to undergo
Whether your problem is temporary or chronic
Your treatment plan
A viable treatment plan for both your sexual problem and your other current conditions
Lifestyle or diet restrictions you need to follow
Seeing a specialist, the cost it may entail and if your insurance will cover a specialist appointment
Generic alternatives to prescription medicines you need to take

In addition to the questions that you’ve prepared to ask your doctor, don’t hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment.

Your doctor will ask you questions about yourself and your condition. Some of his questions may go like these:

Do you have other health problems sexual or not?
Has your sexual desire lessened or not?
When you masturbate, do you attain erection?
Do you get erections while sleeping or when you’re with your partner?
Do you have relationship (sexual or not) problems with your partner?
Does your partner have any sexual problems?
Are you stressed, depressed or anxious?
Do you have a mental health problem? If yes, are you currently taking medicines or getting therapy for it?
When did you first experience your sexual problems?
Do you always experience your sexual problems?
Do you drink alcohol or take illegal drugs?

 

Linda Lesperance is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of The Lotus Center of Oriental Medicine in Boca Raton, FL.

Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure

February 10, 2014   

If you do have a naturally low blood pressure, you may not experience any signs or symptoms of problematic hypotension and may not need any type of treatment.

Still a person having low blood pressure can also mean that not enough blood is circulating in your vital organs especially your brain. This can lead to symptoms like:

  • Overall weakness
  • Nausea or a feeling that you are going to be sick
  • Confusion
  • Palpitations (irregular or rapid heartbeat)
  • Blurred vision
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness

You may be suffering from orthostatic or postural hypotension if you feel symptoms when you change positions like standing up after sitting.

Usually the symptoms may only endure for a few minutes as your blood pressure attempts to adjust to your new position. The likelihood of experiencing orthostatic hypotension rises as one get older and this can be quite dangerous as it can lead to frequent falls. Some people may also experience this type of hypotension after exercising.

Postprandial hypotension is a type of low blood pressure that occurs after one eats. Older people are more prone to this type of condition especially those with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease or high blood pressure.

After eating a large amount of blood is required by your intestines for the process of digestion. When your heart rate cannot maintain enough blood pressure for this process, your blood pressure will drop and symptoms then will start to manifest.

 

 

Itching Risk Factors

February 10, 2014   

The risk factors that can heighten the likelihood of pruritus often depend on the factors that cause the itching.

Some of the risk factors for pruritus include:

  • Eating of foods that contain allergens – These can be fruits like strawberry and seafood like crabs, certain shrimps, fish, clams and other shellfishes
  • For sensitive skin it could be – Friction from sheets or certain clothing that come into contact with the skin
  • Scratching – Sometimes the act of scratching can exacerbate the itching sensation which in turn will elicit more scratching
  • Heat
  • Insect bites – These can include contact with caterpillar hairs and insect bites
  • Contact with plants that secrete toxic substances
  • Stress – These can include anger or even extreme joy. Severe stress can result in a person developing hives
  • Exposure to stinging plants like poison ivy
  • People taking certain medications – Cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy can have itching side effects from the treatments.
  • Diseases – Diseases like to AIDS and many types of cancers often cause uncontrolled episodes of itching
  • Crowded Areas – People in poor living conditions or in overcrowded places are likely to suffer from scabies, lice or mite infestation or even smallpox and chickenpox, all factors that cause skin itching
  • Traveling – People who often travel are prone to exposure to allergens or parasites that can cause skin itching
  • Excessive body cleaning – Aggressive hygiene and skin care particularly in children make the skin more sensitive and itchy. Excessive cleaning of body parts such as the anus and vulva can make these areas sensitive and itchy and may cause them to dysfunction as well
  • People with pets – Pets can bring lice and mites with them. Animal dander from your dog or cat can be allergic to you and make you feel itchy all over.
  • Tight shoes – The wearing of sports shoes and synthetic socks can lead to juvenile plantar dermatosis or athlete’s foot. Both of these conditions can lead to skin itching in the affected areas.
  • Family history – People with family members who have allergy are likely to carry the allergy gene that can lead to itchiness during an allergic reaction

Dr. Cui Han is a Florida licensed acupuncture physician and the founder of AcuHealing Medical Center in Miami, FL.

Pneumonia Complications

February 5, 2014   

Pleural Effusion

Since pneumonia is inflammation of the lung sacs, the fluids causing this condition can also cause complications especially in the respiratory area between the lung and the chest wall were build up of fluids is likely to occur.  This issue is known as pleural effusion. Build up of fluids occurs between the membrane that surround the chest wall and the membranes covering the lungs which are known as pleurae. Normal healthy pleurae are smooth membranes that enable the lungs to move smoothly along the chest wall when a person breathes. A pleural effusion gets the pleurae inflamed making it highly susceptible to infection.

Some types of pleural effusion are rather painful. The pleuritic pain may feel like a stabbing and sharp pain felt whenever the person inhales.

Other complications that may arise from pneumonia can involve the development of pus along with inflammation of the pleura between the lung and the chest wall. This can then lead to secondary bacterial infection if the inflammation is accompanied by a viral infection.

There can be other secondary infections associated with pneumonia and these infections often affect the vagina and the digestive system.

  • Septicemia – If the bacteria manage to find its way to the bloodstream then the person can suffer from septicemia.
  • Meningitis – The bacteria can travel to the person’s head and can cause meningitis (from pneumococcal pneumonia) as well.
  • Septic Arthritis – The bacteria can also lead to septic arthritis in some cases.
  • Pericarditis – Other potential complications from pneumonia infections can include pericarditis, a condition wherein the heart muscle or the membrane surrounding the heart is inflamed.

Abscess

Pneumonia can also lead to problems like pus-filled abscesses forming along the lung cavities. These abscesses start to develop when the infection begins to damage lung tissue building. They can also lead to hemorrhages inside the lung when the pneumonia is not properly and promptly treated.  These abscesses are often evidenced in some forms of aspiration pneumonia when the pathogens are conveyed into the lungs. These abscesses can be the result of three types of pneumonia bacteria:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Kelbsiella pneumonia

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Pneumococcal pneumonia has complications that can be fatal for its sufferers. It can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome where the infection severely incapacitates the lung and the person is not able to breathe enough oxygen to survive. Lack of oxygen due to the impaired mechanical function of the lungs can lead to other serious pneumonia complications.

Bacteremia

This is one type of complication wherein the bacteria infect the blood and is one the most common complications of pneumonia. With bacteremia, the blood conveys the bacteria to other parts of the body organs leading to other secondary complications. Bacteremia is caused by either the haemophilus influenzae or pneumococcus infection.

Some other complications which pneumonia can cause include:

  • Pneumothorax – This happens when air starts filling up in the region between pleural membranes resulting in the collapse of the lungs.
  • Hemoptysis – This means the person coughs up blood and is a serious type of pneumonia complication
  • Deep vein thrombosis

 

Dale Roach, MD,L.Ac
178 Myrtle Blvd
Larchmont, NY 10538
Phone: 914-562-5748
http://www.docacupuncture.com/