Facts One Must Know about Cochlear Implants

  Even though scientists developed the idea of a device that helps sound vibrations bypass the injured areas of the ear, it was around 1980 when such a device started to become available for everyone. From children to old people, everyone is eligible to have cochlear implant surgery. If you are thinking about getting such an implant for yourself, here are some surprising facts that you should know about the cochlear implants.  

1. It is not an Implanted Hearing Aid

There is a huge difference between the hearing aids and the cochlear implants. While hearing aids only amplify sound, cochlear implants change sound vibrations into signals so that it can bypass the injured areas of your ear. If a hearing aid is not helping you enough, you must find out if you may be a Cochlear Implant candidate.  

2. It Is not connected Through Your skull

As most people can only see the external processor of the implant, they have this wrong notion. The truth is, you will require surgery to insert the receiver part of the implant and the electrodes.  

3. You Can Go Swimming

Do you understand the difference between water resistance and water-proof? Then you will know whether the cochlear implant you are choosing is good for swimming or not. You can wear a water-resistant device while swimming or taking part in different water sports. However, if your machine is water-resistant, you just have to remove the external device before going into the water.

4. You Can Play Sports

For the sports that require you to wear a helmet, you have to wear protective headgear to protect the external device. Otherwise, you do not even have to wear any headgear for protecting the device. From gymming to playing sports like football and basketball, you can do everything while wearing the implant.  

5. Age Does Not Matter

Although we mostly see children getting cochlear implants, babies, as well as people in their 90s, can have such implants as well. The only cause of getting such an implant is that you have to be healthy to undergo the surgery. The infants who get the implant earlier in their life benefit from picking up the language earlier than the children who get the implant later.  

6. No Replacements

Unless the internal electrodes malfunctions or breaks, or the wire gets damaged, there is no need for you to replace the cochlear implants. These implants are designed to last for years. Also, children do not outgrow the implants. That means they do not require any replacements of their implants as they grow.  

7. Cochlear Implants Can Be Costly

The costs of the cochlear implant vary depending on the facility & type of Implant selected. These are only a handful of information about cochlear implants. You can know more about them by conducting a little research. The more you gather knowledge, the easier it will be for you to make a knowledgeable decision.

10 Valuable Tips to Follow Before the Air Pollution Hits Your Throat

  As the winds have started to become chilly, the worry about air pollution has also started to come up in the minds of people. The polluted air not only makes people cough but it also causes throat irritation and enhances the chances of viral infections. The people who suffer from respiratory troubles, like asthma, are the worst victim of air pollution. However, there are some preventive measures that you can follow to make sure that air pollution does not harm you as much. In the below section of this article, we have gathered 10 tips that can protect you from air pollution in the upcoming months.  

1. Refrain From Morning Walks

Regular exercise is the only way to stay fit for the rest of your life. But you should avoid taking walks or refrain from morning jogging when the quality of the air becomes subpar during the winters. Instead, shift these physical activities to evening.  

2. Use Face Masks

In the last few months, the N-95 masks have become a regular part of our life. Well, these are the masks that can protect you from pollution as well. Whenever you step out of your home, make sure to wear the masks.  

3. Air Purifying Plants

Plant the air-purifying trees, like aloe vera, Ivy, Neem and spider plants and place them in your home and office. These plants will keep the indoor air clean and will minimise the indoor pollution.  

4. Ventilate Your Bathroom and Kitchen

To retain the indoor air pollution to a minimum, you should make sure that there is a chimney in your kitchen and an exhaust in the bathroom. These will recirculate the air and bring fresh air inside your home.  

5. Restrict Outdoor Activities for Kids

You should not allow kids, below 8 years old, to play outdoors during this time. If possible, you should also request the school authorities for suspending all the outdoor activities as well.  

6. Use Air Purifiers

Use of air purifiers in your home is a must, especially in the rooms where the kids stay. The rooms of the elderly members also require air purification. The kids and the elderly members of the households are the most prone to the ill effects of the toxic air.  

7. Take Steam

Put a few drops of eucalyptus oil into boiling water and inhale the steam. It will relax your air passages and help your body to remove the harmful particulate substances.  

8. Purify the Car Air

While starting your car every morning, roll out the windows to let the air circulate. Also, the car AC should be turned on in the indoor circulation mode that reduces the PM 2.5 level considerably.  

9. Ventilate Your Home

You should open the doors and windows between 3 pm and 5 pm and allow the air to circulate. During any bright sunny day, this is the time when the concentration of PM 2.5 stays lowest in the air.  

10. Herbal Tea

Consume a couple of cups of herbal tea to flush out the pollutants from your lungs. That’s a wrap. These tips can help you to protect yourself and your family members from air pollution. Start practicing right away to prepare better.

10 Important Signs of Labor Pains

For every person, the signs of labor are different. There are no hard and fast rules that can tell you when your baby is arriving and whether or not the labor has started. While the following 10 signs of labor may give you some context, you have to remember that they are not the rule. You may experience entirely different labor signs than these. However, if you are interested in staying abreast of the situation, it is always better to know about the common early signs.   Lightness After months of carrying the weight of your child, you can feel surprisingly light as the childbirth comes closer. American Pregnancy Association has named this sensation as baby dropping. It indicates that the baby has moved deeper into your pelvis reducing the pressure on your diaphragm.   Braxton Hick Contractions Even though these are famous signs of false labor, the fluttering and intermittent sensations are more noticeable in the early period of your labor. Keep in mind that it does not indicate that your wife is about to deliver. It is just an indication that she is getting closer to childbirth.   Longer and More Regular Contraction These contractions are the true signs of labor. In such cases, expecting mothers will experience surges that come four or five minutes apart and lasts for several minutes.   Lower Back Pain While the lower back pain is common in the late stage of pregnancy, many women experience menstrual-like cramps and lower back pains during the early stage of labor.   Stronger Labor Pain Powerful contractions are true signs of labor. During such contractions, it would be difficult for you to talk or walk. While every labor is unique, but generally contractions get more intense as time passes.   Loss of Appetite The Labor pains can make the prospect of food less appealing. As the labor begins, the expecting mother can get thirsty and hungry.   Water Breaking It is the most obvious sign that you are well and truly in labor. The water breaking can take place like a big gush or a trickle of fluid. In any case, this means the amniotic sac around your baby has broken and your kid is on the way.   Mucus and Bleeding It might sound dramatic, but such bleeding means that the cervical plug has been open. You should not be afraid if there’s only blood and mucus. However, if the fluid is brown or green, then know that the baby is having a tough time.   Dilation The dilation is what makes the doctors and nurses start the countdown of the arrival of your child. However, it is always better than a doctor measures your dilation. Now that you know all the common signs of labor, it would be easier for you to spot them. However, you have to keep in mind that your labor will be completely different than the labor of other people. So, the chances are there that you might not experience any of the above signs at all. Talk to your doctor to know more about it.
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10 Reasons for Ovarian Cancer and Treatment Options from Our Experts

Ovarian cancer is a form of cancer that affects one or both of the ovaries of women. When the DNA in a cell of your ovary stops working properly, it creates abnormal cell growth. This is what Ovarian cancer is. The cancer cells form tumors in your ovary.   If you leave Ovarian cancer untreated, the cancerous cells can spread to other parts of your body as well. The doctors and researchers are still unable to find out the cause of this type of cancer. However, the following factors might enhance your chance of getting ovarian cancer.   Increasing Age   As you get older, the risk of getting ovarian cancer increases. The researchers have pointed out that most cases of ovarian cancer happen after menopause. However, some unusual types of ovarian cancer happen to younger women.   Family and Genes   If someone in your family had ovarian cancer, then your chances of getting cancer enhances. The risk increases particularly if one of your close relatives has had it.   Hormone Replacement Therapy   It has been suggested that the risk of getting ovarian cancer increases if you take hormone replacement therapy. However, the studies have shown conflicting results.   Endometriosis   The researches indicated that women suffering from endometriosis have an enhanced risk of suffering from ovarian cancer.   Weight   People with a BMI of over 30 are more vulnerable to ovarian cancer. Regular exercising and reducing the weight might lessen the risk as well.   Reproductive History   Having one or more full-term pregnancy is associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer. The more pregnancies a woman has, the lower the risks are. Breastfeeding the child can be yet another reason for ovarian cancer.   Gynecologic Surgery   Having surgery to remove the uterus can reduce the risk of having ovarian cancer by one third.   Smoking   Smoking can be yet another factor that enhances the risk of ovarian cancer. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of getting cancer significantly.   Using Talcum Powder   Some research suggests that using talcum powder between your legs can enhance the chances of having ovarian cancer. However, the evidence for this is inconsistent.   Exposure to asbestos   Asbestos is a whitish material that was used in the construction of building, roofing, insulation, and flooring. Exposure to this element can significantly enhance the risk of getting ovarian cancer.   Treatment Options   Surgery   It is the main treatment for ovarian cancer. The aim is to remove all of cancer as much as it is possible.   Chemotherapy   Chemotherapy is the treatment where medicine is used to kill the cancer cells. Most women suffering from ovarian cancer receive chemotherapy along with surgery.   Radiotherapy   In radiotherapy, the doctors use direct beams of radiation to kill the cancer cells. Even though this therapy is generally not used for ovarian cancer, however, it may be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.   Targeted Therapies   It is conducted using medicines that change the way cells work and stop cancer from spreading and growing.   So, these are some common factors and treatment options for ovarian cancer. It is always better to have regular check-ups to make sure your ovaries are healthy. Talk to the doctors in case of any emergencies.
Male Infertility Treatment

Ten Surprisingly Common things that Causes Male Infertility

  Are you trying unsuccessfully to father a child for sometimes now? You are not alone. Studies have shown that men are increasingly suffering from fertility issues. With every 1 in 6 couples affected, infertility is on the rise. Studies show that male infertility affects about half of the total infertility cases. Here are some surprising reasons for male infertility. Check it out.   Biological Clock   Yes, men have them too. Just like the women, as men age, the rates of infertility enhance as well. The men above 40 years of age often suffer from lower sperm quality and count. Even if the partner of such men conceives, the chances of miscarriage get higher as well, and also that older father put pregnant women at higher risk of preeclampsia gestational diabetes, and premature birth. Children of men over 40 years of age suffer heightened risks of autism, schizophrenia, and childhood cancer. If you are trying to have a child past this age consult your doctor to find ways to mitigate the challenges.   Wear Boxers   A study from Harvard University has revealed that compared to the men who wear tighter undergarments, men who wear boxers have a 25% higher concentration of sperm and a 17% higher sperm count. Though not all experts may endorse this but switch to boxers is definitely cheaper than fertility treatment   Antibodies Attacking Sperm    Antibodies are meant to protect your body from bacterial or viral onslaught. However, in some rare instances, the antibodies can interfere with conception and make it harder for the sperms to normally move and function.   Sleep Pattern Matters   Studies indicate that a longer or shorter period of sleep affects the sperm count of men. Men who sleep more than 9 hours and 6.5 hours or less have less sperm count. Tips to sleep better: Go to bed between 10 pm & midnight. Increase your weight training & aerobic exercise No screen time before sleeping The bedroom should be cool, comfortable and without bright light, noise & TV.   What You Eat Matters   Adherence to healthy diet habits positively affects sperm quality. A high quantity of processed meat consumption can lower your sperm quality & count. Vegetables, fruits, nuts & cereals, fish, seafood, shellfish, poultry & low-fat dairy have been associated with a positive influence on the semen quality   Chemicals or Environmental Pollutants    Exposure to these is harmful to semen.    Climate Change   A rise in temperature can lower male fertility. In heat waves, fertility goes down. Rising temperature over the last few decades has been a cause of a decrease in sperm quality & count.   Carrying Cell Phone Pocket   Radiofrequency electromagnetic waves from cell phones affect semen quality through a variety of mechanisms in a negative way. Try to stay as far especially when trying to conceive & if you already have poor semen quality & count.   Smoking and Drinking   As you might already know, smoking and drinking can have a detrimental effect on the fertility of men. Smoking decreases count & alcohol quality.   Body Building   Don’t fall into the trap of injectable testosterone for a better physique. These can cause Zero sperm. While you use this information to change your day to day activities to boost semen quality don’t get disheartened if you don’t see any immediate changes. The body creates new sperm every 72 days. So it might have two to three months to boost your fertility. If you are trying to conceive, start working on your habits as of now, it’s never too late   So, these are the 10 shocking facts that can cause infertility among men. If you are unsuccessfully trying for a child for years, you should visit the doctor to check for male infertility.
The Third Trimester

The Movement of Your Developing baby: The Third Trimester

  Feeling the first movement of your baby is definitely one of the most delightful and amazing experiences for every mother. It is also one of the most important signs that tell you about the health and well being of your baby. Understanding the movements of your baby and what it means can help you get an insight into how your baby is doing in there. Want to know about the meanings of the movements? Check the following section of this article.   The First Movement    Generally, the baby starts to move around the tummy of their mothers pretty early on. However, because of the small size of the fetus, the mothers generally do not feel that movement. However, most pregnant mothers feel the movement of their babies during the 18 and 22 weeks of their pregnancy.  However, you should keep in mind that this is an average time frame. Some mothers, who are pregnant for the first time mightn't feel the movement of their babies till the 25th week of their pregnancy. By the second pregnancy, some mothers start to feel the movements as early as 16 weeks. In the beginning, the movements might feel like nervous twitches, hunger pangs, or simply butterflies in your tummy. That is one of the reasons why this movement is also called quickening.    Feeling the Kicks    Babies often move to respond to sound, light, or in some cases, strong food. They can also move to stretch and relax. Moving can be quite relaxing for babies. The moments of the babies are different for everyone. While some babies are naturally active, others are quieter. That’s why the doctors recommend observing the patterns of movements of the baby rather than counting the movements. This will help you to recognize if the changes are taking place naturally or if there is something to be worried about.    The movement patterns can change at the end of the pregnancy. During this time, the movements might seem more like pokes, wriggles, or prods. However, note that the babies do not stop moving before labor. So, if you have any concerns about the movement of your baby, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor right away.   
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Deafness Awareness Week – Deafness Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment Options

  Difficulty in hearing is a not so uncommon problem that we all need to know more about. It can affect us at any age from birth to old age and the good news is that it is a totally treatable condition. Whatever may be the cause and severity of deafness, modern medicine and technology can restore our hearing back to normal !!   How Common is Deafness?   1 in 12 i.e. 8% of the population has some degree of deafness. 1 in 1000 children is born with significant deafness that does not allow normal development of hearing and speech. If untreated, these children grow up into deaf and consequently dumb adults. It is very important to diagnose and treat these children early, within the first few years.   What is the cause of deafness?    Deafness can either be: Genetic -  Typically, children born with deafness. This is more common in parents who have had consanguineous marriage but can happen otherwise as well. People with a family history of hearing loss can suffer from hearing loss in adulthood due to an inherited condition called Otosclerosis, which affects the tiny bones inside your ear. Acquired -  Infections can cause damage to eardrums, ossicles (tiny bones in your ear), or inner ear resulting in temporary or permanent damage to hearing. Trauma such as major road traffic accidents can fracture the hearing organs. Serious infections like meningitis can cause permanent loss of hearing. Old Age -  Over the age of 65, many people suffer from hearing loss typically involving high-frequency sounds. This is not due to any illness but a weakness that sets in with age much like the use of spectacles for reading at old age. Very often, no definite cause of hearing loss can be identified. Rarely, adults can lose complete hearing usually in one ear within hours, a condition called Sudden sensorineural hearing loss. This condition is thought to be due to either a viral illness or a miny stroke-like condition that causes temporary loss of blood supply to the inner ear.   How does one diagnose deafness?   In adults and older children, we do a simple hearing test called Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA). This involves playing sounds of different frequencies at varying levels and identifying the minimum level at which one could detect the sound at the specific frequency being tested. This is a very accurate and reliable test in most situations. In newborn babies and small children, we can do a test called Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) which involves detection of very weak emissions coming from the normal ear using a probe inside the ear canal. If normal, this test usually rules out any hearing loss in the child. A more detailed hearing assessment is carried out typically in children using a test called BERA – Brain Stem Evoked Response Audiometry. This involves sending sound signals into the ears through headphones and recording brain wave activity using electrodes placed on the scalp. The child needs to sleep or stay very still during the test. Along with a similar test called ASSR, this test can give us a very reliable estimate of the child’s hearing levels. All these tests are carried out by a team of ENT Surgeons and Audiologists, who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss in children and adults.   How can hearing loss be treated?  Medicines and Surgery  Simple infections of the ear causing temporary loss of hearing in children and adults can be treated with medicines like antibiotics and decongestants. More chronic infections that result in damage to the eardrums or ear ossicles can be treated by Micro ear surgery with very good permanent results. Surgery not only corrects the hearing problems but also arrests the disease from progressing further. Some chronic ear infections involving the spread of infection to the bones surrounding the ear can only be treated by surgery and in these specific patients, one should institute surgical treatment as soon as possible. Micro ear surgery also works very well for patients suffering from Otosclerosis (See above for details), wherein one of the tiny bones affected by the disease is replaced by an artificial one (Stapedectomy) by micro ear surgery. Hearing Aids  When hearing loss is not correctable by medicines or surgery, or when deafness is due to a weakness of the inner ear or its nerves such as in old age, the best option is an amplification device called a hearing aid. When worn, hearing aids work like magic to restore hearing in the child or adult. There are several types of hearing aid devices. Some are worn behind the ear and others are very tiny and are worn inside the ear canal, where they sit virtually invisible to an onlooker. Hearing aids are typically used by children and adults with mild to moderate hearing loss with no other active infections etc. Senior people who lose their hearing due to the advancement of age, typically older than 65, also benefit hugely by hearing aids. Hearing aids are however not effective when hearing loss falls in the severe to profound category. These patients need to look at other options like BAHA and Cochlear Implants. (see the section on Cochlear implants and Baha for more details)   Dr. Shomeshwar Singh MS DLO FRCS MD  4S Medical Research P Ltd www.seesoundlive.com SCI International Hospital www.scihospital.com    
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Tips for Men Struggling With Male Infertility

  In our society, infertility is a serious issue. When speaking about infertility, most people consider it a woman’s issue. However, this is not true always. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, a man can be also the primary cause of infertility among couples.   Dealing with Male Infertility    The cause of male infertility could be many. Some of the common causes include sperm production disorder, obstructive azoospermia, non-obstructive azoospermia, immunologic disorders, and more.   Most men find it hard to accept that they are the primary cause of infertility. Women can cope with it easily with time but it’s not the same for men. Men think that they can fix the problem but when they can’t they start to get frustrated. Some men might try to distance themselves; however, at this point, families and especially their respective spouses should be extremely supportive.   Don’t worry. A lot of things can be done to help men struggling with male infertility. Let’s check out.   Stop Smoking    In men, smoking can be a cause for fertility issues. It can lower the quality of the sperm and reduce sperm count. Also, it affects the sperm’s ability to swim. So stop smoking and see improvements.   Cut Down Alcohol In men, alcohol affects male fertility by reducing the testosterone level and increasing the estrogen level. Estrogen reduces the production of sperm. Well, cutting down alcohol intake might help to deal with infertility issues.   Say No to Drugs    Men who are into recreational drugs, such as anabolic steroids must stop using them if planning to conceive. Often, drugs like marijuana can affect sperm production, the leading cause of male infertility.   Sperm Check    Men who are struggling with male infertility issues should get their sperm count check. There are many ways to get sperm count tested. One can test it at home with some test kits or one can also consult an expert doctor.   Shed Pounds   Are you obese? If yes, it would affect your sperm quality and sperm count. Studies showed overweight men face low sperm counts compared to a normal-weight person. Lose weight to keep the reproductive hormone in check.   Keep Medical Conditions under Check    Chronic medical conditions, like cystic fibrosis, affect male infertility. Often, medicines for depression or high blood pressure influence fertility. Hence, men who are struggling with infertility issues should talk with their doctor about the medication that they are taking.   Eating Vitamins    Multivitamins can help to increase sperm count in men. The antioxidants improve sperm quality and protect from free radicals that might damage the DNA of the sperm cells.   Exercising    Physical exercise helps to deal with fertility issues in men.   Healthy Food   Consuming healthy food, rich in antioxidants helps in the production of healthy sperms. Fruits, whole grains, vegetables, etc have a link with good fertility and should be taken.   The issue of infertility isn’t much discussed. Even if it’s discussed, it is behind the close doors. After all, the infertility issue is associated with a stigma. So the best way to deal with male infertility is to get diagnosed and treated on time.