Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ear Candling - Can Wax Remove Wax?

Ear Candling - Can Wax Remove Wax?
Ear Candling - Can Wax Remove Wax?
Do you ever find yourself saying things like "What's that you say" or "Can you speak up?" It may not be that you are losing your hearing or you are not paying attention. It may be as simple as cleaning your ears out.

Over time wax and even mucus or yeast accumulates in the ear. Now we all have heard about wax in the ear and maybe even mucus, but yeast? Yes, yeast! Ever have really itchy ears? This can be because there is too much yeast in the body which has turned into sugar and then traveled to the ear canal and even the sinuses.

Besides medicines and jabbing Q-tips into our ears what else can we do to solve these problems? This is where Ear Candling comes in, an all natural process for removing toxins from the ear.

Ear Candling actually has a very long history and dates back over 4500 years ago. Also known as Ear Coning, Ear Candling is an all natural process. There is evidence that the Ancient Egyptians and Asian cultures have use ear candling procedures.

The process includes several steps:

  • The ear is inspected to evaluate the condition of the ear.
  • The client lies to one side and a cover for protection is placed over the head area.
  • The sinus and ear area is massaged to loosen up any wax or waste within the ear.
  • A candle is lit and pushed into the outer ear canal.
  • When the candle is placed into the ear canal, this forms suction almost like a vacuum.
  • The warming of the ear canal can cause a crackling noise, similar to when you clean your ears out with hydrogen peroxide.

This process can take one to two hours and can use approximately three candles for each ear.

During the Ear Candling process the warming of the ear canal gently loosens any wax, wastes, and blockage. Afterward, there may be a feeling of pressure for approximately 24 hours which is normal. Ear Hygienists recommend that you do not place your ears or head under water for 24 hours as this can cause irritation.

2. Who are the Best candidates for Ear Candling?

The best candidates for Ear Candling are people who have no problems with their ears.

An individual should not consider it if they have:

  • Damaged ear tubes
  • Congenital hearing loss
  • Recent surgery to the ear
  • Ankylosis of the stapes
  • Eardrum damage

People who perform certain jobs, such as a construction worker, can benefit immensely from the Ear Candling procedure. Certain professions put you at risk of accumulating debris or even water in your ears. Besides construction workers, this may be true for landscapers, lifeguards, and other outside professions.

Individuals should consult physician before taking part in the Ear Candling process. Ear Candling can actually be done for any age group, including infants. Again, a child's pediatrician should be consulted beforehand.

3. What are the Benefits?

The most obvious claimed benefit is that Ear Candling helps to reduce wax, buildup, infection, mucus, and blockage in the ears. With this, the release of buildup can help to improve hearing, help to maintain balance, abolish ringing in the ears, and bring an overall sense of cleanliness to the client. Ear Candling is also said to work wonders for people with allergies.

It does not cure any ear diseases and if the client does have an earache he or she should consult his or her doctor. Consulting a medical professional can help to ensure if Ear Candling is the way to go. Do not be surprised though if your doctor tells you that ear Candling is just plain bogus.

4. What are the Risks?

The biggest risk an individual takes when going for Ear Candling is the risk of being burned. This burn can not only happen on or around the face, but in the ear as well. If hot wax drips into the ear it can damage the ear permanently. Reconstructive surgery may even be necessary.

Doctors have done many studies and there has been much debate as to whether the benefits actually exist. Studies show that the risks definitely exist and claimed benefits are not as accurate.  American Academy of Otolaryngology, which includes the specialists of ear, nose and throat, are against the Ear Candling methods.

So, can't you get this same effect without having to light fire in your ears? Absolutely! You do not have to go shoving candles or Q-tips in your ear to get them clean. Some other ways may include getting your ears professionally cleaned by a doctor and even a hot shower can loosen up the debris.

In actuality, it is not recommended to have all wax removed from your ear. The wax provides a layer or protection for your ear canal. Without this layer or protection you may be more prone to earaches and infections. Either way, it is up to you and your doctor whether or not to take the medical route of having your ears cleaned or going natural and getting an Ear Candling.

The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate health care provider.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sleep Apnoea: Is it Something You Should Be Wary About?

Sleep Apnoea
Sleep Apnoea
Unless it’s your significant other who keeps disrupting your sleep, most people regard snoring as no big a deal at all. However, that constant and loud sound may indicate something serious. A condition called sleep apnoea. Although it’s quite common, it is a serious disorder that affects your normal breathing pattern.
Sleep apnoea can be treated. However it is usually overlooked and misdiagnosed. That said, it’s rather vital to be able to identify the symptoms and distinguish the difference between snoring and sleep apnoea.
What is sleep apnoea?
Sleep apnoea is a common disorder that attacks your normal breathing while asleep. With this condition, there’s a cessation of breathing that usually lasts between 10 to 20 seconds. Your natural sleep rhythm is disrupted and as a result, makes you spend more time in light sleep rather than in deep and restorative mode.

What are the types of sleep apnoea?

  1. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) - happens when the soft tissue in the back of your throat begins to relax and obstructs the airway, which then causes the very loud snoring. 
  2. Central sleep apnoea - occurs when part of the central nervous system fails to send signals to the muscles responsible for breathing. A person suffering from this condition doesn’t usually snore. 
  3. Complex sleep apnoea - happens when both obstructive sleep apnoea and central sleep apnoea is present. 

What are its signs and symptoms?
Identifying its signs and symptoms can be difficult since the most obvious ones only transpire when you’re sleeping. However, you can ask your partner to observe the way you sleep.
- Very loud snoring which is interrupted by episodes of gasps and pauses
- Excessive daytime drowsiness (falling asleep while engaged in a conversation or while driving)
- Morning headaches
- Irritability
- Forgetfulness
- Depression
- Decreased libido
- Mood changes
- Inability to concentrate
- Frequent urination at night

What are its causes and risk factors?
Sleep apnoea exempts no gender and age group. Anyone can be attacked by this particular disorder. However, you’re in greater risk if you are:
- Overweight
- A male
- A smoker
- Related to somebody who suffers the disorder
- Above the age of 65
What are its treatment options?
Several treatment alternatives are widely available at your disposal. In mild and moderate cases, lifestyle changes (e.g. weight loss and smoke cessation) and the use of mandibular advancement devices are of great help. In severe cases, nasal continuous positive airway (CPAP) is recommended by most health care professionals.
Sleep apnoea really affects the quality of your sleep and health. But with proper treatment, you get to control its symptoms, get your sleeping habit back to normal and begin to feel refreshed and energised again every day.

About Havas ENT Clinic:
Havas ENT Clinic:  is a leading Australian ear nose and throat specialist in Sydney for over 20 years and have some of the best specialists on board.

Antibiotics - Good or Bad? When To Take Them, When To Refrain And What To Do After We've Taken Them!

Antibiotics - Good or Bad
Antibiotics - Good or Bad
The odds that you've had one of those nasty winter or spring colds are pretty high. These are the colds that seem to drag on forever gradually turning into an upper respiratory infection. We feel awful, lack energy and usually as a last resort find ourselves in room filled with other people coughing and spluttering, waiting to see the doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor's usual response will be to put you on a course of antibiotics.

Don't get me wrong. I am not against the proper use of antibiotics. They have the potential to be lifesavers when used properly, but they are not a cure-all. Antibiotics are usually used to treat infections caused by bacteria, such as tuberculosis, salmonella, and some forms of meningitis. However, they do not work against other organisms such as viruses or certain fungi. It's important to bear this in mind if you think you have some sort of infection, because viruses usually cause many common illnesses, particularly of the upper respiratory tract such as the common cold and sore throats.

A virus is a microscopic organism that lives as a parasite in plants, animals, and bacteria and consists of a nucleic acid core within a protein sheath. Most people who have a head cold, runny nose, cough, muscle ache, sore throat and even a fever have a virus. Viruses usually cause illness for 7-14 days and the symptoms can be treated with non-prescription drugs like herbal decongestants, cold formulas and cough syrups. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only against bacteria.

Bacteria are single-celled, often parasitic microorganisms without a distinct nuclei or organized cell structure. There are good and bad bacteria. Many types of bacteria do not cause illness and live harmlessly on, and in, the human body. The bad bacteria cause serious illnesses such as pneumonia, meningitis, dysentery and blood poisoning. 
These illnesses can be life threatening and can best be treated with antibiotics.  If these bacteria become resistant, then it becomes very difficult, even impossible to treat them. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to bacteria becoming resistant to them so it's important to only take them when absolutely necessary.


The very first antibiotic, penicillin along with a family of related antibiotics (such as ampicillin, amoxicllin and benzylpenicillin) is still widely used to treat many common infections. Our healthy, strong immune systems, with their antibodies and special white blood cells, can usually kill harmful bacteria before they multiply enough to cause symptoms. And even when symptoms do occur, the body can often fight off the infection. Sometimes if the immune system is not strong it becomes overwhelmed by a bacterial infection and needs help to get rid of it. This is where antibiotics come in. Some antibiotics, such as the penicillin's, are 'bactericidal', meaning that they work by killing bacteria. They do this by interfering with the formation of the cell walls or cell contents of the bacteria. Other antibiotics are 'bacteriostatic', meaning that they work by stopping bacteria multiplying.

Unfortunately, the antibiotics do not differentiate between our good bacteria, especially in the gut, and destroy them all! This damage to the destruction of the "gut flora" can have very serious consequences. These beneficial bacteria perform crucial tasks, from boosting our immune system, aiding digestion, warding off allergies to assisting in the elimination of harmful toxins. These friendly bacteria include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidus and Bulgaricus, supplements for which can be found in any health food store's refrigerated section. They protect us against pathogens such as Salmonella, yeast, cholera, and the bad E. coli. Once gone, these friendly bacteria are replaced by hostile bacteria such as Pseudomonas, Clostridium, and Klebsiella, and by Candida yeast, a powerful member of the fungi family.


The most common side effects with antibiotic drugs are diarrhea, feeling sick and being sick. Fungal infections of the mouth, digestive tract and vagina can also occur with antibiotics because they destroy the protective 'good' bacteria in the body (which help prevent overgrowth of any one organism), as well as the 'bad' ones, responsible for the infection being treated.

Rare, but more serious side effects, include the formation of kidney stones, abnormal blood clotting, increased sensitivity to the sun, blood disorders, and deafness.

Sometimes, particularly in older people, antibiotic treatment can cause a type of colitis (inflamed bowel) leading to severe diarrhea. Penicillin's, cephalosporin's and erythromycin can all cause this problem but it is most common with clindamycin, an antibiotic usually reserved for serious infections. If you develop diarrhea while taking an antibiotic, immediately contact your doctor.

Some people are allergic to antibiotics, particularly penicillin, and can develop side effects such as a rash, swelling of the face and tongue, and difficulty breathing. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic; sometimes the reaction can be serious or even fatal. This is called an anaphylactic reaction. You should use an antibiotic with care if you have reduced liver or kidney function.  It goes without saying if you are pregnant or breastfeeding tell your doctor before taking any prescription drugs including antibiotics.


Antibiotics are usually taken orally but also given by injection or applied to the affected part of the body. The drugs begin to tackle most infections within a few hours. It is vital to take the whole course of treatment to prevent recurrence of the infection. Sometimes bacteria become 'resistant' to an antibiotic you have been taking, meaning the drug will no longer work. Resistance tends to occur when the bacterial infection responsible for the symptoms is not completely cured, even if the symptoms have cleared up. Some of the residual bacteria, having been exposed to, but not killed by, the antibiotic are more likely to grow into an infection that can survive that particular antibiotic. This explains why finishing the course of antibiotics, even if you feel better, is important.

Certain antibiotics should not be taken with certain foods and drinks. Some antibiotics are best taken when there is no food in your stomach, usually an hour before meals or two hours after - make sure you follow the instructions on the dispensing label. Do not drink alcohol if you are taking metronidazole. Do not take tetracyclines with dairy products, as these can reduce the absorption of this type of antibiotic.

There are a number of important interactions between antibiotics and other medicines so it's important to tell which your doctor or pharmacist about any other medicines you are taking.


If for some reason you have had to go on a course of antibiotics, try to boost your natural immune system and follow this recovery plan:

- Stay away from sugar or artificial sweeteners.  Use Stevia or Lo-Han instead.

- No mushrooms or cheese. No yeasty foods, like bread, rolls or beer.

- Eliminate fruits and fruit juices (except for tart apples).

- Cut down on grains. After two weeks introduce gluten-free whole grains like Auinoa, corn or millet.

- Don't drink coffee, tea, herb tea or coffee substitutes as they often harbor molds.

- Avoid supermarket salad dressings, vinegar, soy or Worcestershire sauce and horseradish.

- Drink anti-fungal teas like paud'arco, angelica root, bergamot, hyssop, chamomile and alfalfa.

- Eat unsweetened, plain yogurt or kefir that contain lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidus and bulgaricus.

- Use olive oil to cook with as a dressing on salads and vegetables.

- Drink organic, green vegetable juices.

- Use raw almond butter.

- Cook with garlic. It contains allicin, a natural anti-fungal chemical.

- Take grape seed extract in water last thing at night.

- Take an antioxidant supplement that includes vitamins E, A, and C (among others) zinc and selenium

For this dietary plan to be affective it should be continued for at least 4 to 6 weeks, however before beginning any dietary program always check with you doctor first. When coming off the plan you can try eating foods you have cut out, one at a time to see how they make you feel. If you get gas or bloating stop taking the food for another few weeks. Following this plan for the recommended amount of time will help boost your immune system and help you to stay healthy.