Saturday, July 11, 2009

Health Tips for July 11

Health Tip: Easing Earache Pain

Earaches are common in young children, and can be quite painful.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers this advice when your child complains of an earache:

  • Take your child to see the pediatrician to diagnose an earache, and a possible cause.
  • If a bacterial infection is behind the earache, an antibiotic may be prescribed. Make sure you administer the drug to the child exactly as ordered by the doctor. An antibiotic won't work if a virus is causing the earache.
  • The doctor may prescribe pain-relieving ear drops.
  • Apply a warm heating pad to the ear. Don't let the pad get too hot.
  • Give your child an over-the-counter pain reliever such as children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Don't give the child aspirin.

Health Tip: Clogged Ears On a Plane?

Changes in altitude, such as those you experience when flying, can cause an uncomfortable "clogged" feeling in your ears.

If you try to relieve the pressure by blowing your nose too hard, you could perforate the eardrum or force bacteria into the deeper parts of the ear.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these suggestions to help you safely relieve pressure in the ears when flying:

  • About an hour before your flight is scheduled to leave, take a decongestant.
  • Try yawning to gently relieve pressure as altitude changes.
  • Keep swallowing to help unclog ears.
  • Chew a piece of gum while the plane ascends and descends.
  • If your ears still feel clogged, inhale, hold your nose, and very gently exhale with your mouth closed until you feel relief. Be very careful not to do this with too much force.

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