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Marc Belanger

Prevent and Reduce Hearing Loss With Magnesium

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By Dr Murray Grossan

When Hearing Loss is Common

There are certain populations where hearing loss is seen regularly. For example, Longshore workers who are exposed to very loud sirens, signaling devices, steel clanging on steel, etc are often found to have a hearing loss after years of exposure. Many machines, such as concrete nail drivers, concrete drills, loud motors and saws, may cause hearing loss. Artillery and guns impair hearing. Police officers who practice without protection commonly lose hearing.
Finally, there is a study that shows a simple means of preventing workers from suffering hearing loss and tinnitus!

Peer Reviewed Study

In a study just published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition November 6, 2013 by doctor Yoon-Hyeong Choi and others, they report that there was a lower degree of hearing loss in the American population among those who took Magnesium and Antioxidant Vitamins. Though Dr Choi studied hearing loss, his results also apply to tinnitus. Hearing loss is the most common cause of tinnitus

Title of the article is Antioxidant vitamins and magnesium and the risk of hearing loss in the US general population. Am Jour of Nutrition Nov 6, 2013

What is significant here is that not only did the persons who took these products have less loss in the high tones, but they also had less loss in the low tones, where speech is so important.

Longshore workers are instructed to wear noise defenders, earmuffs, and similar protectors against noise. However it is really a difficult situation. If they wear the ear protection, that reduces noise to the ear, but then, they may not hear the many moving vehicles, cranes or the dozens of dangers where huge boxcars are being constantly moved about overhead. Construction and steel workers have similar dilemmas

This article by Dr Choi presents significant evidence that this kind of hearing loss might be reduced or prevented.

Magnesium and Antioxidant Effects

The magnesium/antioxidant called Tinnitus Caps is magnesium
combined with thirteen other elements known to aid hearing function. Although specifically for tinnitus, the products listed for the Tinnitus Caps contain magnesium and antioxidants, what Dr Choi’s study described plus products for hearing function.

http://www.drgrossantinnitus.com

The Tinnitus Caps contain:

  • Magnesium–supports healthy supports nerve function in the auditory and nervous systems.
  • Thiamine–helps optimize hearing in hearing cells. .
  • Folic Acid–supports circulation to the ears
  • Alpha L Lipoic Acid –an antioxidant –is essential in generating mitochondria in the hair cells of the inner ear. This has been tested for prevention of hearing loss due to excessive noise.
  • N-Acetyl L-Cysteine–a special amino acid that helps to protect cells of the inner ear.
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine is an antioxidant and a neuroprotector. This is important for dendrites (nerve fibers) and mitochondria.

In the past, research has focused on a single product to prevent hearing loss and tinnitus. Studying only one single product has hampered research on tinnitus and hearing loss. In one sense, that would be like studying athletes by investigating only the right leg! Dr Choi’s work is important because he used combinations of products, and large populations to gather this evidence.
Hearing, tinnitus, and the whole nervous system are highly complex and involves many dozens of chemical reactions.

What I have done in Tinnitus Caps product is combine various elements such as the above with the known products that may aid the hearing mechanism. These include Selenium, Zinc, B12, B3, Zinc, and Gingko. I believe that no single one of the fourteen products will do the job of relieving Tinnitus or prevent deafness. What is done here is to combine these so that they support each other. For example, Selenium helps to regenerate Vitamin C and E.

Restoring Lost Hearing

Today we don’t have a means of restoring lost hearing. The goal is to prevent further hearing loss and relieve tinnitus.
We don’t have a single pill that will cure tinnitus. My tinnitus patients have benefitted: however Tinnitus Caps have only become available since September 2013. It takes several years to establish how well this works in the tinnitus population. More information at:

http://www.drgrossantinnitus.com

There are other factors to consider too: well controlled diabetes and hypertension, control of bad cholesterol, and healthy diet. Everyone must help themselves to take full advantage of the therapies available today for these metabolic diseases.

Just as important for hearing is to download a Sound Meter onto your Smart Phone so that you always know if the sound in your environment is too loud – above 95 decibels. The sound meter is free. Then, when you are seated in front of an eight foot speaker that is blasting away, and your meter reads 110 decibels, you know it is time to move. Today some restaurants play music far above 95 decibels so customers will eat fast and leave quickly for the next party; that is when your sound meter really comes in handy.

When It’s Freezing Cold Outside, Drink Tea

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By Dr Murray Grossan

If you get wet, getting out of wet clothes is essential; it is very important not to get chilled. If your hands/feet are exposed to extreme weather changes, you can get frostbite in five minutes! Please don’t touch metal with bare hands – they can get attached to the metal and cause serious injury.

Just as important, when you come in from the cold and step into an elevator or a classroom, you are subject to illness because your nasal cilia are not doing their job.

In the normal nose, you have millions of tiny oars in your nose/sinuses the beat at a steady rate to move bacteria/viruses out of the nose. Similarly you have the same system in your bronchial passages. If the cilia are stunned and not moving from the cold, they fail. Then the bacteria that lands in your nose remains in place.

Preventing Illness in Cold Weather

One method is to seek an area where there are few persons present when you enter the building. Wave your arms around and jump up and down to get your circulation moving. Once your physical nose has warmed up, then you can enter the elevator or classroom with good defense, because your cilia are moving bacteria/virus out of the nose.
Another method is to carry a hot thermos of green tea. Before you enter the elevator, drink the hot tea.

Raise Your Immunity

When you drink liquids, you have a means of diluting bacteria. When you fail to drink enough liquids, the nasal and chest mucus is too thick to move the bacteria/virus out of the nose/chest. Green tea is one of the best products for improving cilia function, as is hot chicken soup.

Yogurt and Probiotics are known to improve immunity. Similar products are Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Dark Miso and Kefir. The sauerkraut should be unpasteurized or raw.

Sleep and Dream

Your immunity is better when you get good sleep. Make a strict ritual of your sleep: Wash face, brush teeth, comb hair, count breathing, dark room, etc. The more fixed steps, the better. Going to bed with this ritual at the same time each night sets your sleep clock for better sleep. Even when you change time zones, doing the same ritual will engage your sleep clock.

Avoid Reflux

If you eat a full meal and try to sleep, you will get acid stomach and possibly acid reflux. Avoid eating three hours before sleep. Similarly, wind down before sleep.

Sleep Aids

It can be a dull TV show, a water fountain, either a real one or a recording. Various sounds help various persons – birds, musicals, etc.

When the Cilia Fail

The cilia may fail following extreme cold. You notice yellow green discharge. You can use pulse wave saline irrigation to restore cilia action. The Hydro Pulse™ Nasal/Sinus Irrigator is designed to pulse at a rate for restoring good nasal cilia. Usually, restoring the nasal cilia helps to restore the chest cilia as well. (Coughing takes over when the chest cilia fail.)

Got Allergy? Don’t Get a Sinus Infection!

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By Dr Murray Grossan

Got Allergy? Don’t Make it a Sinus Infection

This year is predicted to be a bad allergy season –in spring it’s trees, in summer it’s grass and in fall it’s weeds.

It is common for the sinus doctor to see patients who let their allergy change into sinusitis that requires surgery.

How can you prevent this?

When you sneeze non-stop, get poor sleep, stay plugged all the time, this causes the nasal cilia to become exhausted and slow down. Normally the cilia beat in harmony to move bacteria out of the nose and sinuses. When they fail, you get a sinus X Ray  that shows left maxillary sinus disease.

Prevention of sinus disease from allergy.

Good sleep. Try to find one of the allergy pills like Benadry or Zyrtec that clears the nose and helps you sleep. Many patients reduce their allergy symptoms with one of the antihistamine nasal sprays such as Astelin or Patanase. Ask your doctor for a prescription and for discount coupons. Also check the web sites for coupons.

Your doctor may put you on one of the cortisone type sprays, such as Flonase. There are almost of dozen of these available and results vary.

Tea, lemon and honey helps cilia action.

Regular use of the Hydro Pulse™ will move bacteria and pollen out of the nose and sinuses. The massage action reduces tissue edema, so it helps avoid sinus blockage. The massage action reduces tissue swelling for better breathing.

Will surgery help your allergy?

Actually sometimes it will. If your sinuses are fully blocked, and are fully packed with tissue and liquid pus, draining the sinus will be of benefit

Fortunately today, there is a procedure that is quite simple and can be used. It involves putting a balloon into the normal sinus opening. The balloon is inflated and the sinus is irrigated through a duct in the balloon apparatus.

When the sinus opening has been milked to open, then the doctor will prescribe Hydro Pulse Nasal/Sinus irrigation to encourage cilia function and to keep the milked opening patent.

Some patients benefit by using additives to the Hydro Pulse irrigation such as antibiotics or cortisone type products.

The goal is to keep that opening from closing up. Pulse wave irrigation has been used for this. Best of all, once normal nasal/sinus cilia function has been restored, no further irrigation may be needed.

Snoring During Pregnancy – What Helps?

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By Dr Murray Grossan

Obviously partners prefer that any woman not snore, but does it affect pregnancy?

According to a large study from Ann Arbor, Mi, entitled, “Snoring during pregnancy and delivery outcome,” snoring can have a major effect on both mother and child.

  • Snoring increases risk of pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure in pregnancy.
  • Snoring increased the incidence of smaller babies and had a higher risk of elective and emergency surgery.

Snoring or Sleep Apnea

There is an important difference between simple snoring and sleep apnea. In simple snoring, there are no periods where the air passage is blocked, so that no air gets into the body. If the snoring sound wakes up the whole family, but the woman continues to get air into and out of the lungs, then we don’t have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea means actual cessation of air getting to the lungs; doctors measure the periods of time when the patient is not breathing and air isn’t getting to the brain.

If the woman snored before pregnancy and continued during pregnancy, the risks were higher than if she hadn’t snored previously.

Smaller Babies

Because of the serious possibility of a smaller baby with the snoring, it is important to recognize the problem and prevent these complications. One solution is the use of CPAP.

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.  Here, a type of mask is applied, and a device delivers air at a pressure to overcome the airway blockage. This works well to overcome sleep apnea. However, not all patients can tolerate the device.

Clear Snoring Before Pregnancy

If someone has significant snoring and is planning to become pregnant, it would be ideal to get evaluated before pregnancy. At Tower E.N.T. we often see persons who snore, and the solution may be as simple as a ten cent tape to lift the nasal tip and open the airway, or a 50 cent tennis ball sewed to the back of a T shirt to encourage sleeping on the side!

At Tower E.N.T. we have experience on determining if an exercise of saying “A,E, I, O, U,” while your tongue is touching your hard palate is all you may need.

Or, your solution may be as simple as blowing up balloons!

Because Dr. Martin Hopp and the other Tower E.N.T. doctors have taught snoring subjects to other doctors, the patient can be confident that the simplest solution will be presented.

Snoring Complications

When there is interruption of flow of air to the body, significant complications can occur. These include:

  • Lack of REM sleep
  • Fatigue next day
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Hypertension
  • Overweight

Avoid Weight Gain

Because of the fatigue, persons overeat in order to get their work done. Eating excess adds more weight and fat to the soft palate and the throat tissues and makes snoring worse. Keeping proper weight during pregnancy is always a problem: if snoring is present this makes keeping proper weight much more difficult because of the fatigue factor. This is why serious snoring should be treated early to prevent unnecessary weight gain.

The Heavy Soft Palate Blocks Breathing

Snoring due to fatty soft palate can be helped by sleeping on the side. This position puts the soft palate forward to open the air passage.  If nasal congestion or postnasal drip is present, this can be helped by pulse-wave saline irrigation that restores nasal cilia function. For flabby throat tissue, the same device, The Hydo Pulse™ Nasal/Sinus Irrigator contains a throat irrigator that is used to reduce enlarged tonsil and throat tissue to improve airway.  Other aids to snoring include sleeping on the side, or head elevated, blowing trumpet or hard balloon, and lifting the nasal tip to open the nasal valve.

Because you overeat when you snore, clearing this problem may be the key to helping weight control during pregnancy.

The study of snoring in pregnancy is detailed in journal, Sleep, “Snoring during pregnancy and delivery outcomes”. Vol .36,No.11, 2013 by Louise O’Brien

Questions? Feel free to contact Dr Martin Hopp and other members of Tower E.N.T. at 310 657 7704

What drug to take for allergy? Take BREAKFAST IN BED.

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By Dr Murray Grossan

With allergy, your normal thermostat is “off.” Instead of warming up from cold in the regular manner, you sneeze, cough, and hack: this does warm you up, but it starts a cascade that can last all day. When you awake from sleep, your body temperature is low or cool. If you drink hot tea, chicken soup, and some warm cereal, this warms up you body temperature and you avoid that bad morning cascade. Opening the curtains and exposing yourself to sunshine also wakes up your body’s thermostat.

With allergy, you should carry a jacket or windbreaker for going in and out of air conditioning. This can reduce symptoms. Avoid drinking iced drinks. Odors – perfume, lotions, and lipsticks – add to the allergy arithmetic. Without the lipstick your symptoms might be much less.

When you drive during allergy season,  the faster you drive, the more pollen you are exposed to.  Therefore, drive with your windows closed and air conditioning on.

Allergy plants pollinate at night. Therefore, close bedroom windows at night; running a filter in the closed bedroom in the daytime filters out dust and pollen. Change outside clothing in order to avoid bringing pollen into the house.

You can easily diagnose what you are allergic to. Use the various web sites – Weather Channel, www.pollen.com, to see which weed is blooming when your symptoms are worse. Then you have a diagnosis. Sometimes it is sage growing only in your own back yard! Knowing when the pollen that you are allergic to is at its worse, you can go to the beach or to a higher mountain to avoid the pollen. You can also use that information to plan your vacation to make sure you are going where there is no pollen that you are allergic to.

Pollen allergy is like  arithmetic: If there is a minim of pollen and no dust or odors, you may not have symptoms. But if there is lots of dust in your bedroom plus a small amount of pollen, you may have symptoms. Factors that add to this arithmetic include:

  • Poor Sleep
  • Getting Chilled
  • Scented lipstick and perfume
  • Hot spicy foods
  • Iced foods

Certain foods my also add to this arithmetic. You may be able to eat, for example, fresh strawberries anytime, except during pollen season. The reason is that fresh produce is chemically more complex, and may produce a certain amount of histamine. This can add to the big load of histamine produced by the pollen. To be on the safe side, stick to cooked or canned products.

Although some 20 million persons are allergic to pollen, there are only a certain percentage that don’t get relief with simple medication. The big secret is that your Tower ENT doctors have all kinds of samples and discount coupons for products that relieve allergy symptoms.

A common problem with seasonal allergy is that, if untreated, it can develop into a sinus infection. If your symptoms continue past the pollen season with yellow/green discharge, time to see the doctor.

ADHD in Children. Or is it Snoring? –Part II

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By Dr Murray Grossan

Some children with severe snoring show poor growth. This can occur because the nose and throat are obstructed so that eating is tasteless and uncomfortable. Recall when your nose is plugged; the savory hamburger has no real taste because you can’t smell it with a plugged up nose. Worse, continued snoring can change the physiology and make snoring worse. For example, obstructive snoring can develop into acid reflux.  It can even affect the shape of the chest.

Note that when a child snores from age 4 to 5, that is about 20% of her entire life span; the important part in growing and learning. Constant mouth breathing can effect the jaw/face development and may necessitate the need for orthodonture.

At Tower E.N.T. we have  heard this scenario for years: “Before she snored, she was sweet, laughing, with nice breath. Now she doesn’t smile, she is cranky, inattentive, tired and sleepy. She is not thriving. Teachers complain of her poor work.”

For the snoring child, therapy consists of reducing nasal blockage and reducing blockage from enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Typically:

Judy S. age 6 was seen because of snoring, and poor appetite. Mother described her being cranky and falling asleep in class. On examination she showed sinus infection and enlarged adenoids. She was placed on Hydro Pulse™ Sinus  irrigation and Clear.ease lozenges.  Her nasal blockage cleared and her adenoids shrank so she no longer had any sleep breathing problem.

William age five was seen for snoring and occasional wheezing. He showed nasal blockage and enlarged adenoids. Nasal tissue showed allergy. He was positive to dust and pollen on skin tests; he was given allergy desensitization. His allergy cleared and so did his snoring. His behavior problems also cleared.

Diagnosing obstructive breathing in sleep can be done by thorough ear nose and throat examination and careful history. Clearing a sinus infection allows the adenoids to shrink.

Often parents are told not to worry about the child who snores, since they will outgrow this. At Tower E.N.T. we feel that each case must be treated for best health. This is why we take a full history and evaluate the whole child.

ADHD in Children. Or is it Snoring?–Part I

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By Dr Murray Grossan

Recent studies have pointed to behavior problems, inattention, and crankiness in children as part of the ADHD syndrome (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.)  However these behaviors are also seen in children who snore. Even among children expertly diagnosed ADHD, some cleared up their ADHD when the snoring was relieved.

In E.N.T. practice, it is common to see a child who snores and doesn’t sleep well. They are cranky and inattentive, fall asleep in class and don’t smile much. When the snoring is cleared, many of those problems clear up.

In one study, after tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy done for snoring and mouth breathing, 50% of the children who were diagnosed ADHD before surgery, no longer had symptoms.
Thus, a child with loud snoring that exhibits ADHD type behavior may be simply sleep deprived and may recover when the sleep problem is corrected, even when the tests are positive for this diagnosis!

Snoring in children has been a concern for years. Snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep disorder, where the breathing passage is blocked and less air/oxygen gets to the body.

Occasional snoring due to a cold is not a problem. Of concern is the constant loud snoring, the child that gasps for breath in sleep, or the periods when the breathing actually stops in sleep.

Common causes of snoring include:
•    Allergy
•    Sinus infection
•    Enlarged adenoids
•    Enlarged tonsils
•    Acid reflux

The snoring child who doesn’t get good sleep often shows:
•    Irritability
•    Unpleasant breath
•    Poor attention
•    School difficulty
•    Poor growth
•    Poor appetite
•    Crankiness
•    Inadequate physical activity
•    Fall asleep in daytime

We’ll have more on this next week. Enjoy the holiday!

The Whole Person approach

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By Dr Murray Grossan

Because we focus on the whole person, every effort is made to treat with remedies rather than drugs. For example, for many sinus problems, we restore nasal cilia function rather than start with heavy antibiotics. When the nasal/sinus cilia move normally, they move bacteria out of the nose and sinuses.

This means lots of green tea, chicken soup and simple sinus irrigation that pulses in harmony to good cilia movement.

It is always important to understand the whole person. Even a sore finger can cause extreme stress, with the pain amplified. Part of our whole person approach is to try to reduce any stress factors that might be affecting the symptoms. This is done by explaining to the patient with picture and diagrams his pain in the left cheek. Why he feels the pain in his tooth. Why he needs to avoid heavy chewing. Sometimes we might show him/her how to use special breathing methods that work to lower stress chemistry. There is no question that the more the patient understands their condition and has seen the pictures, the less the stress factor. Patients always feel better when they understand fully why they have their symptoms.

The Whole Person approach is best illustrated in the treatment of tinnitus – ringing in the ear. No single pill has been found to cure this problem; yet patients do profit significantly when the various components of the tinnitus circuits are attended to. Sometimes, this can be as simple at attending to a patient’s jaw joint! Miss A. R. complained of noise in the right ear. When she chewed, the examiner could hear the same noise! Correcting that joint was the cure.

Repeatedly we see the advantage of the whole person approach. Whether it was the pain in the ear that turned out to come from the jaw joint, or pain above the eye that turned out to be referred from the sore neck muscle, or the headaches caused because she needed reading glasses; the Whole Person approach is good medicine.

Treating the whole person

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By Dr Murray Grossan

The doctors at Tower E.N.T. believe in treating the whole person. This is because a patient is more than a sinus or an ear.

Just as it is important to look into the nose, it is also important to know a person’s whole history and understand what their symptoms are.  For example, Mr. S. V.  complained of ringing in his ears. As part of our Whole Person approach, we routinely take the patient’s blood pressure. His was excessively high; he was seen by his internist and when the blood pressure was normalized, his ringing in the ear cleared.

Often we see patients who have failed therapy.  For example Mrs. F. T.  complained of unsteadiness when walking. She hadn’t benefited by taking several medications for dizziness. But her history showed that she had had a mild case of polio as a child. When we asked her to walk down the hall, it was evident that one leg was weaker than the other. When she was referred to physical therapy, the symptoms were treated properly.

Children are people too! When the right questions are asked, often the solution pops out. Little Jimmy’s allergy was not responding to therapy. Jimmy was allergic to dust. Turns out his grandmother had given him one of the family’s old stuffed bear to sleep with, which gave off dust.

We also measure the blood oxygen on our patients. Mr. B. K. complained that he wasn’t getting enough air through his nose, and felt weak. But his blood oxygen level was too low and he needed therapy for his lungs, not for his nose.

Is the pain due to a sinus infection or migraine? It is vital to diagnose correctly. Just as important as the thorough examination is the history. If the pain comes once a week, preceded by visual changes it probably is migraine. If the pain is steady, helped by aspirin it is not migraine.

By carefully examining the sinus, the difference between sinus and migraine can readily be established. More important, migraine medications can be quite severe.

But migraine can also be missed. Quite often we see a patient who sustained a head trauma and complains of neck pain. Mr. C. F. had an industrial accident and continued to have neck and head pain despite physical therapy and pain medications. He came to Tower in hopes of stopping his pain pills. Turns out he had developed true migraine following his trauma; with migraine medication he was soon able to return to work.

We’ll continue next week in another post. Enjoy the rest of your week.