A cholesteatoma is an abnormal, noncancerous skin growth that can develop in the middle ear space just behind the eardrum. It’s most commonly caused by repeated, untreated middle ear infections but may also be a birth defect. Cholesteatomas may cause hearing loss, balance trouble, and dysfunction of the facial muscles. They are somewhat rare, with the annual incidence of cholesteatomas being 9-12 cases per 100,000 adults and 3-15 case per 100,000 children.
Following menopause, approximately 60% of women experience a condition known as genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). GSM is made up of multiple symptoms, including vaginal itching, irritation, and dryness. Additional symptoms might include urinary urgency, dysuria, and increased nighttime voiding. The most significant symptom, however, is painful intercourse due to vaginal atrophy. As a result, intimacy is affected and interpersonal relationships can become strained. Unfortunately, many women in this population suffer in silence, believing it to be an inevitable part of the aging process.
The flu virus is currently receiving more than its usual share of news coverage, with many outlets reporting that this year’s outbreak is especially severe and has even resulted in several fatalities in our area. Being among the populations most vulnerable to flu complications, seniors are urged to take prudent steps to avoid contracting the flu and to seek medical care promptly if they get sick with the flu.
Our nation is in the grips of an opioid crisis, and oftentimes addiction to these drugs can be linked back to the legitimate use of narcotics prescribed for chronic pain management. Though the dangers of these drugs have become apparent and their use is now tightly regulated, opioid abuse and overdose remains a widespread problem in communities all across the country. What’s more, the underlying problem of chronic pain that helped fuel this epidemic in the first place has not gone away.
With cancer patients living longer and survival rates increasing, the potential long-term side effects of cancer treatment are becoming more evident. Among these is an increased risk of heart disease in women who underwent radiation therapy for left-sided breast cancer. With older radiation techniques, treating the left breast also tended to expose the heart—which is located on the same side of the chest—to a fair amount of radiation, potentially damaging healthy heart tissue and leaving the patient more vulnerable to a cardiac event down the road.
Nausea is that horrible feeling that you need to vomit. Nausea is a fairly common condition that everyone experiences at one time or another in their life. It can be brought on by eating something that has gone bad or by going on a drinking binge. Severe migraines or allergies can also trigger short-term bouts of nausea and vomiting. If the nausea and vomiting extend over a period of weeks, it can lead to dehydration and even hospitalization if food and water can’t be kept down.
Traditional flowers and chocolates may be popular go-to gifts for Valentine’s Day, but let’s face it, these items don’t tend to last very long. That’s not necessarily the statement you want to make to your romantic partner. As a longer-lasting alternative, Dr. Wade Banker of Luxe Laser Vein & Body Center recommends several cosmetic gift options that will keep right on giving—some even for a lifetime. Best of all, many of these gift are affordable on virtually any budget. Examples include:
- The holidays have come and gone for another year and, with them, any fanciful notions about dashing through a winter wonderland. Now it’s time to face the harsh realities of February in the Midwest—prolonged cold, icy snow, and seemingly endless days stuck indoors. Winter in these parts is enough to give anyone a case of cabin fever.
February is designated American Heart Month to raise awareness of heart disease and encourage people to make lifestyle choices that promote a healthy heart. With heart disease being the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, February’s focus on the heart is more than justified. However, it’s important to remember that heart disease doesn’t occur in isolation; it goes hand-in-hand with vascular disease.