It’s Swimmer’s Ear Season – Here’s What you Need to Know

May 23, 2022

Swimmers-Provided.pngIt’s swimmer’s ear season. What’s that? Summer means time at the pool and the beach. Sometimes water and moisture get trapped in the ear resulting in a condition called swimmer’s ear. This is a painful infection of the ear canal that can occur after a dip in the pool or ocean. Swimmer’s ear is most common in kids and teenagers who spend more time in the water.

Swimmer’s ear is often caused by bacteria or fungus. Common symptoms are:

  • Itching
  • Redness and fullness
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Trouble hearing
  • Drainage from the ear

A quick way to tell if you may swimmer’s ear is to press or tug on your ear. If you experience pain after doing this, you may have swimmer’s ear. Putting things in your ear (cotton swabs, hair pins, fingers, etc.) can also cause an infection since it rubs away earwax which is healthy for the ear canal skin. We always tell our patients – “Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.

If you have ear pain, don’t wait. Contact Dr. Coppola’s office to be evaluated and we’ll provide you with the right treatment for your ear infection.

 


 

 

Springtime Allergies

April 20, 2022

Spring is here and so is allergy season! 

Allergy medication is best used preventatively 2-4 weeks before the allergy season begins so that you’ll be protected against tree pollens.

Nasal steroids are the medication of choice to help control congestion, dripping nose, and sneezing. It’s important to know that any allergy medication is designed to treat symptoms not cure allergies. If you stop the medications your symptoms will return.

To help you manage your springtime allergies we’ve created the following resources for you:

 

If allergy medications are not effectively treating your symptoms, it may be time to be evaluated by Dr. Coppola and determine the root cause of your problem. We offer both allergy shots and drops for the treatment of allergies.

We want you to help you feel better and not only manage but treat your allergies. Call our office at 502-893-3683 or request an online appointment. Our goal is to help you breathe better this allergy season.

 


 

 

Smell Retraining Therapy

March 15, 2022

Has your sense of smell been altered? If so, your nose may need to go to boot camp!

A viral infection of the nose and sinuses is one of the reasons people may suddenly lose their sense of smell. Sometimes patients will recall having a cold or flu just prior to losing their sense of smell. Other times these viral infections are so mild, the person may not remember being ill.

Corona virus (COVID-19) is one of the viral infections that could lead to smell loss, but there a many other viruses that can cause smell loss. Losing your sense of smell and taste can affect a person’s quality of life. It may be hard to enjoy food or drink. It may be hard to detect dangerous things such as smoke, natural gas, and food that has spoiled.

Unfortunately, no medications have been proven to help people recover their sense of smell after a virus. There is a treatment called olfactory retraining (OT) that can be helpful. OT is a simple protocol that you can do at home to train your brain. OT may not bring all the sense of smell back, but it may improve.

Just like bootcamp builds muscle and increases endurance, twice daily OT can improve and help to restore your sense of smell.

Technique:

The training consists of smelling four different odors: rose, eucalyptus, lemon, and clove twice a day, every day.

  1. Choose one odor and smell it for approximately 15 seconds while trying to remember what is smells like.
  2. Rest for about 10 seconds.
  3. Smell the next odor for approximately 15 seconds.
  4. Rest for about 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat until all four odors have been sampled.

If you have suddenly lost your sense of smell or after 2 weeks of (OT) your smell hasn’t improved schedule an appointment with Dr. Coppola.

Call us at 502-893-3683 or click here to request an appointment online.

 


 

Am I allergic to my Christmas tree?

December 9, 2021

ChristmasTree.pngDuring Christmas season we are all busy with holiday planning and decorating. Many people like to decorate their homes with fresh holly, poinsettia plants, wreathes and natural Christmas trees. These beautiful plants and ornaments look great but may actually make us sick if we have allergies. How is that? You may have thought allergies only affected you during seasonal changes like spring (tree pollen), summer (grass pollen) and fall (ragweed pollen). In addition to seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), may people suffer from year-round allergies, also known as perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR).
Typical allergens that cause PAR are indoor house dust mites, animal dander, cockroach and mold, which occur indoors and outdoors. When winter weather comes, we tend to spend more time indoors and have much more exposure to these allergens. Increased exposure leads to more allergic symptoms such as stuffy nose, congestion, itchy eyes and nose, sneezing, postnasal drip, and coughing.

During the cold weather, we heat our homes, which raises the indoor temperature, favoring dust mite and mold proliferation. Mold and fungus grow on decaying matter such as Christmas trees. The moment our evergreen or Christmas tree is chopped down it begins decomposing and this process accelerates when we bring it inside our home. Studies show that mold spores rise exponentially the longer a Christmas tree remains inside. By New Year’s Day airborne mold spores are extremely high. Therefore we experience more allergic symptoms and may actually get sick with sinus infection or bronchitis.

An alternative to a ‘natural Christmas tree is the use of an artificial tree. These can be reused each year. They can look just as beautiful as a real tree and there is no landfill problem that occurs with live trees each year. If you decide to use a ‘natural tree, reduce the temperature and humidity in your home. Remove the tree from your home as soon as you are done celebrating the holiday season. And finally, consider getting an extra box or two of tissues!

- Dr. Carl Coppola