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Posts for: December, 2013

December 30, 2013
Category: Throat
Tags: Choking   Children  

[adapted from The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery]

Unlike small toys, food does not contain warning labels about possible choking hazards. Since 60% of non-fatal choking incidents result from food, let us examine some ways to reduce the risk of choking while children are eating.

High risk foods that may cause children to choke:

  • Hard candy
  • Peanuts/nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole grapes
  • Raw carrots
  • Apples
  • Popcorn
  • Hot dogs
  • Chunks of peanut butter
  • Marshmallows
  • Chewing gum
  • Sausages
  • Foods that are round and could conform to a child’s airway

Tips to reduce risk of choking:

  1. Children should be seated when eating. Caregivers and teachers should ensure that children do not eat while standing, walking, running, playing, lying down, or riding in vehicles.
  2. Children should be wide awake when eating. Children should not be allowed to continue to feed themselves or continue to be assisted with feeding themselves if they begin to fall asleep.
  3. Active supervision is a must. Children require increased supervision when eating because they are easily distracted and may not pay full attention to the task of eating. Remember, a choking child may not make any noise, so adults must keep their eyes on children who are eating.
  4. Watch children for “squirreling” of several pieces of food in their mouth. Too much food in their mouth increases the risk of choking.
  5. Food should not be used for children’s games that involve catching the food item in the mouth or stuffing large numbers or amounts of food in the mouth.
  6. Cut foods into small pieces and shapes that will not block the airways, especially grapes and other fruits, meat, cheese, and raw vegetables. Cut hot dogs lengthwise as well as widthwise.
  7. Cook vegetables so they become softer and easier to swallow.
  8. Give only small amounts of peanut butter or other similar foods to prevent them for blocking the child’s airway.
  9. Offer plenty of liquids to children when eating, but make sure liquids and solids are not swallowed at the same time.


December 30, 2013
Category: Sleep

Make better sleep your primary resolution for 2014!

The physicians at Spartanburg & Greer ENT want you to understand why this could perhaps be the most important goal you set this year and have some tips to offer about how people who choose to prioritize sleep can achieve their goals.

Many people will choose to exercise more, eat healthier, and get away from bad habits as part of their New Year’s Resolutions; while these goals should certainly be commended, one of the best ways to improve health is also one of the most overlooked.

In a world full of tablets, light pollution, and rampant sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, getting a full eight hours of sleep per night has never seemed more unattainable. But given the important role that sleep plays in overall health, there is no better time to prioritize sleep than now. Just a little extra sleep per night can make all the difference in the world to how an individual feels during the day.

The physicians of Spartanburg & Greer ENT regularly help sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) control their condition; they see firsthand the positive impact that an undisturbed night of sleep can have on a person’s overall health. Here are some of their tips to reach your goal of better sleep:

  1. Get Sleep Apnea Treated... A patient cannot hope to experience a proper night’s sleep if an underlying medical issue like sleep apnea goes uncorrected. By calculating your SnoreScoreTM, you can determine if you are at risk for the condition, and a sleep study can confirm the diagnosis. Depending on the severity of your condition, your physician may recommend treatment options, such as lifestyle changes, an oral appliance, a CPAP machine, or a surgical procedure.
  2. Lose Excess Weight... In addition to other health benefits, weight loss also improves sleep and significantly reduces daytime sleepiness. Conditions that disrupt your sleep, such as esophageal reflux, snoring, and sleep apnea, may be cured in some cases by a return to a healthy weight. If you don't already have a weight-loss program, talk to your doctor about the best course of action for weight loss. You might even want to try our Health Empowerment Program.
  3. Stop Smoking and Drinking... Although these can stand as resolutions all on their own, the role they play in sleep should not be underestimated. Both of these habits can make it hard for a person to secure a decent night of sleep... smoking causes mouth dryness, and alcohol consumption tends to make the quality of sleep less than restful, natural and restorative. Quit smoking now, and when it comes to alcohol consumption, save the after-work drink (notice we said drink, not drinks) for right after work instead of late at night.
  4. Screen The Screens... Many American households are bursting at the seams with multiple televisions, computers, tablets, smartphones, and video game systems. Interaction with these screens can create distractions and stress that disrupt the onset of natural sleep cycles. Set some ground rules with your family for device usage... maybe turn videogames, phones, and tablets off two hours prior to bed, shut down the television and the computer an hour before, and don’t interact with these until you awake in the morning.
  5. Don’t Go Wild On The Weekends... The human body cannot adjust to a sleep schedule if an individual stays out until the wee hours of the morning or tries to recuperate his missed sleep by sleeping in on the weekend. Try to go to bed and wake up on Saturday and Sunday at the same time you would throughout the rest of the week. Generally speaking, remember that for every two hours your brain is awake, it requires one hour of restful sleep to be fully restored to optimal levels of function, health and well-being the next day.


[Adapted from the Better Hearing Institute]

Getting your hearing tested with a loved one may be the most precious and uplifting gift you can give—or get—this holiday season, says the Better Hearing Institute (BHI). No doubt, it will be among the very best things you—and your loved one—can do to safeguard an active, healthy, engaging lifestyle.

To help you take that first step, BHI is offering a free, quick and confidential online hearing check at www.hearingcheck.org to determine if you or your loved one need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing healthcare professional.

In the past few years, the realities of modern-day life have realigned themselves, forcing us to re-think how we look at hearing loss. Younger people—Gen Xers and youthful-minded baby boomers—are developing hearing loss in greater numbers. Certainly, they’re not ready to give up an inch on their active personal or professional lives. At the same time, older Americans are putting off retirement and staying in the workforce longer. All the while, hearing aid technology and design have undergone a sweeping transformation—taking off in terms of what they can offer youthful-minded people eager to stay active and engaged.

The new reality is that hearing loss is part of modern life for a great number of people. It’s commonplace. And like many things modern, there are sleek technologies and innovative services that can make it much easier to manage hearing loss—that is, if you acknowledge and address it.

The vast majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids.

Simply, today’s hearing aids are state-of-the-art, highly effective, sleek and sophisticated. They’re high-tech like other wearable consumer electronics—but one that is transforming in its ability to help keep people of all ages connected to their smartphone, television, other prized electronics, and most importantly, to life.

But that’s not all. Complementary technologies—like induction loop systems, known as hearing loops, in concert halls and other public places, or remote microphones that companions can wear in noisy restaurants so their voice streams directly into their friend or loved one’s hearing aid—make it all the easier for people with hearing loss to stay active and involved.

So this holiday season, do something life-altering. Empower a loved one who may be struggling with unaddressed hearing loss to press the “refresh” button on his or her life. Go together to get your hearing tested.

It’s a new world out there. Embrace it, and hear the joy this holiday season.

[Adapted from The Better Hearing Institute]

Energetic, youthful-minded boomers are embracing hearing aids as the new “anti-aging” tool for people who want to live fully engaged, active lifestyles.

Boomers today are benefitting from the technological revolution taking place in the hearing aid marketplace. This generation has caught onto the fact that today's state-of-the-art hearing aids are highly effective, sleek and sophisticated wearable electronics that can help them stay actively connected to life - not to mention to all their other prized electronics.

Five trending facts about today's hearing aids:

  1. They’re virtually invisible. Many of today’s hearing aids sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal, providing both natural sound quality, and discreet and easy use.
  2. They automatically adjust to all kinds of soundscapes. Recent technological advances with directional microphones have made hearing aids far more versatile than ever before—and in a broad range of sound environments.
  3. You can enjoy water sports and sweat while wearing them. Waterproof digital hearing aids have arrived. This feature is built into some newly designed hearing aids for those concerned about water, humidity, and dust. This feature suits the active lifestyles of swimmers, skiers, snowboarders, intensive sports enthusiasts and anyone working in dusty, demanding environments.
  4. They work with smartphones, home entertainment systems and other prized electronics. Wireless, digital hearing aids are now the norm. That means seamless connectivity—directly into your hearing aid(s) at volumes that are just right for you—from your smartphone, MP3 player, television and other high-tech gadgets.
  5. They’re always at the ready. A new rechargeable feature on some newly designed hearing aids allows you to recharge your hearing aids every night, so they’re ready in the morning. It’s super convenient—and there’s no more fumbling with small batteries.