Sadly, hearing has not been given as importance as it should. People get specs made as soon as they realise they cannot see. But they’re not so keen on getting a hearing aid fitted, though the latest digital hearing aids are user friendly.
Hearing for all:
This should start at the cradle itself. Suspected hearing loss at birth can be detected by a very simple hearing test known as echo screening.
As the child grows up attention should be given to whether it is responding to sounds, startling on sudden sounds or turning the head towards the sound.
BERA test can be done in babies to detect hearing loss. Its a special computerised test which directly detects hearing problems in the brain
Children require constant care and constantly speaking with them will aid in speech development
Cochlear implantation can be done at a very early age in hearing impaired children for better results
Childhood diseases such as pus coming from the ears, colds enlarged tonsils and adenoids which lead to fluid collection behind the ear drum and other ear diseases should be dealt with.
Young adults and teenagers should be aware of proper hearing practices. They should avoid prolonged use of earphones at high levels, avoid high decibel sounds in clubs, parties,rock shows etc
Avoid inserting foreign objects like Q tips, pins, toothpicks etc in the ear canal. This can damage the ear drum or inner ear, impact wax or other objects in the ear canal and make things worse.
Proper hearing screening for senior citizens at the early stages of hearing loss so they can adjust better to hearing devices, and for their safety.
The views expressed on the website are solely of the author. Contact your ENT doctor, child specialist for further guidance
With the monsoon being over dry weather has set in. In India the Indian summer has set in, cold at night, hot dry weather in the mornings. The difference in temperature, especially while moving from the heat into an airconditioned room can trigger a nosebleed. Nosebleed happens because of the following reasons.
Dry weather leads to dryness of the inner lining of the vestibule or entrance of the nose. The blood vessels on the septum or central part of the nose is known as Little’s area get congested and they burst which leads to bleeding. Later on the blood clots forming a scab which is tempting to pick. On picking this scab the bleeding will start again.
In case of small children there could be a chance that they have put a foreign body up their nose.
Due to accidental injury to the nose
Due to Sinus infections or a tumor or polyp in the nose
How to manage a nosebleed:
Don’t get alarmed. Simple nosebleeds can be managed easily.
First of all sit down in a well ventilated area and bend forward so that the blood falls straight and not down the back of the throat which can cause choking. This reduces blood pressure which aids in stopping the bleeding. Don’t lie down.
loosen tight and constrictive clothing
Don’t attempt to stuff cotton in the nose or try to wipe it with any object. This will only scratch the delicate tissues inside the nose and cause more bleeding
pinch the tip of the nose with thumb and forefinger and breath through the mouth
apply ice packs to the cheeks and face.
Attend the emergency room if
The bleeding is too much or has been going on from the next 20 minutes
In case the bleeding is due to accident or injury
If the patient has difficulty breathing
For long term management and prevention of nose bleeds:
Avoid sudden extreme temperature changes
apply oil or petroleum jelly in your nose twice or thrice daily. This keeps the area moist and stops crusting and bleeding
in case of blood or pus discharge from the nose, especially a single nostril in children, chances of sticking something up the nose are high. In adults it could be due to sinus disease
If the bleeding is severe and more frequent, check with your doctor
Keep fingernails short with small children
The information above is solely the views of the author. Please consult your ENT specialist for treatment
Pollen allergy is fairly common in India. No, not maple, oak or birch. These plants are not found in the plains of India, yet they are included in the allergy testing panel of major blood allergy tests.
Pollen allergies can cause asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, skin rashes and other manifestation of allergy.
common symptoms are sneezing, itching, dark circles under the eyes (allergic shiners), allergic salute(persistent rubbing of the nose to push it up, most common in children, and conjunctivitis.
This is known as Pollinosis
So which plants fairly commonly cause allergies in India?
A lot of flowering plants grow in the tropical climate of India. Some plants which flower throughout the year spread pollen all the year round. They are known as perennial plants. They can cause allergy throughout the year. Most of the grasses, mustard, castor oil, papaya tree , mesquite and weeds like parthenium, amaranthus and chenopodium shed pollen throughout the year.
While plants like mango tree and a few other plants flower in specific seasons
However as per the Aria guidelines allergies are no longer classified into seasonal or perennial. They are known as persistent or intermmitent, mild, moderate or severe depending on the duration.
Common Allergy seasons are January to June, when most flowering plants shed pollen. and post monsoon till Novemberwhen tnere is a spurt in grass and weeds.
Global warming has lead to increased pollen allergy due to increased summer and warm climate favouring flowering of grasses and other trees.
What are weeds? weeds are small plants which are not planted deliberately. Their seeds are carried on the wind. They grow on the side of the road or in vacant lots like below
So a lot of people believe that pollen allergy is a thing of open grasslands and villages, not the cities. Wrong. A lot of wild plants and weeds which grow at the sides of gutters and the road fairly can cause allergy.
Pollen from grass and some trees is very small and is carried by the wind from one plant to the other. Some pollen can travel for hundreds of kilometres , mixing with the dust in the cities .Pollutants like smoke, petrol and diesel fumes in the air can worsen your allergies.
Following plants cause allergy throughout the year:
Plants like Doob grass or bermuda grass, the common Durva grass which is used for the pooja of Lord Ganesha. It is commonly used as a lawn grass. It is a major course of allergy
Congress grass or Parthenium. It is a common weed and grows at the side of the road, in grassland and vacant lots.
Amaranthus and Chenopodum are found in the same way.
Agreratum Conyzoides or Nilam, Xanthium or cockleburr.
Brassica nigra or sarson, mustard plants
Papaya tree, castor oil tree and coconut trees are fairly common all over india
Another common tree is the raintree. It is found in all major cities of India
Mango trees can cause allergy. They are seasonal plants from March to April
Papdi or Holoptelia
Prosopis or mesquite trees, commonly known as vilayati bavad, Pahadi Kikar,is a fairly common plant found at the edge of open grasslands on the outskirts of cities.
Ipomoea or Morning glory
Prevention of pollen allergy in Cities:
Pollen dispersion is more in early morning and late evening. Avoid going outside during that time.
Avoid morning walks in Pollen season.
Wear a mask or cover your face while outside. Wear full sleeve clothes
Take a shower on reaching home immediately and put your clothes to wash to remove pollen particles stuck to it.
Wash your hair often
Encourage planting of trees which are non invasive and known to be non allergic
symptomatic medication as prescribed by your doctor
Allergy testing for pollen
Allergy vaccines or allergen specific immunotherapy. This is a natural , safe and long term treatment for allergies. More details are available on the post