However, as a chronic disease, addiction is difficult to treat and requires on-going care.
In the United States, around 8.1 percent of the population, or 21.7 million people, either need or regularly receive treatment for substance use disorders, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The first step to recovery is acknowledging the presence of an addiction and its effects on daily life.
The first step towards recovery is acknowledging that substance use has become a problem in the person’s life which is disrupting the quality of their life. This can result from impairment in school, work, social, recreational or other important areas of function.
Once an individual recognizes the negative impact of a substance on their life, a wide range of treatment options is available.
A person with an addictive disorder requires access to treatment. For most people, treatment may last for the rest of their life. They will need to abstain from the substance on a life-long basis, which can be difficult. Treatment plans for addictive disorders will often change to meet the needs of the patient.
Treatment options for addiction depend on several factors, including the type of addictive disorder, the length and severity of use, and its effects on the individual. A doctor will also treat or refer for treatment any physical complications that have developed, such as liver disease in a person with alcohol use disorder or respiratory issues in people with an addiction to substances which have been smoked.
Several treatment options are available, and most people experiencing addiction will receive a combination of approaches. None of the treatments for addictive disorders work for every person.
Common interventions might involve a combination of inpatient and outpatient programs, psychological counseling, self-help groups, and medication.
Detoxification is normally the first step in treatment. This involves clearing a substance from the body and limiting withdrawal reactions.
In 80 percent of cases, a treatment clinic will use medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
If a person is addicted to more than one substance, they will often need medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms for each.
In 2017, an electronic device called the NSS-2 Bridge became available to reduce opiate withdrawal. The device sits behind the ear and gives off electrical pulses to trigger certain nerves that might provide relief from withdrawal symptoms.
Counseling and behavioral therapies
Therapy might be one-to-one or a group session.
This is the most common form of treatment following detoxification.
Therapy might occur on a one-to-one, group, or family basis depending on the needs of the individual. It is usually intensive at the outset of treatment with the number of sessions gradually reducing over time as symptoms improve.
Different types of therapy include:
- cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people recognize and change ways of thinking that have associations with substance use.
- multi-dimensional family therapy, designed to help improve family function around an adolescent or teen with a substance-related disorder
- motivational interviewing, which maximizes an individuals willingness to change and make adjustments to behaviors
- motivational incentives that encourage abstinence through positive reinforcement
Counseling for addiction aims to help people change behaviors and attitudes around using a substance, as well as strengthening life skills and supporting other treatments.
In 2017, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first-ever mobile application, reSET®, as effective for use alongside outpatient management for marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and stimulant use disorders.
Some forms of treatment for addictive disorders focuses on the underlying cause of the addictive disorder in addition to behaviors characteristic of the addiction.
Group therapy and long-term rehabilitation can help a person with a substance use disorder feel less isolated.
Longer-term treatment programs for substance-related and addictive disorders can be highly effective and typically focus on remaining drug-free and resuming function within social, professional, and family responsibilities.
Fully licensed residential facilities are available to structure a 24-hour care program, provide a safe housing environment, and supply any necessary medical interventions or assistance.
A few types of facility can provide a therapeutic environment, including:
- Short-term residential treatment: This focuses on detoxification and preparing an individual for a longer period within a therapeutic community through intensive counseling.
- Therapeutic communities: A person seeking long-term treatment for severe forms of addictive disorder would live in a residence for between 6 and 12 months with on-site staff and others in recovery. The community and staff serve as key factors in recovery from and changes in attitudes and behaviors toward drug use.
- Recovery housing: This provides a supervised, short-term stay in housing to help people engage with responsibilities and adapt to a new, independent life without on-going substance use. Recovery housing includes advice on handling finances and finding work, as well as providing the connection between a person during the final stages of recovery and community support services.
These may help the recovering individual meet others with the same addictive disorder which often boosts motivation and reduces feelings of isolation. They can also serve as a useful source of education, community, and information.
Examples include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
People who are struggle with other types of addiction can find out about self-help groups in their community either by an internet search or by asking a doctor or nurse for information.
When it comes to gaining strength and muscle mass, eating right and lifting weights are the best places to start. But muscle-building supplements can also be a helpful addition to boost the impact of your workouts.
Taking supplements can help maximize your gains alongside resistance training — which can be any type of strength training — allowing you to more effectively grow or maintain muscle mass.
Here’s what you need to know about the best supplements for building muscle and how they may help you achieve your workout goals.
Protein is the building block of all the cells in our body. Protein’s primary function is to build and repair muscle cells, making it an essential element of muscle growth. While you naturally get protein from the foods you eat — like meat, beans, and eggs — a protein supplement can be a helpful complement to achieve your workout goals.
A 2018 review analyzed the results of 49 studies to determine the effects of protein supplementation on muscle mass and strength. The review found that protein supplementation significantly increased changes in strength and muscle size during periods of prolonged resistance training.
Consuming protein up to two hours after your workout is the ideal timing for building muscle mass. You can add it either as a post-workout supplement or as a substitute for a protein-containing meal if you don’t have time for a regular meal, says Jose Antonio, professor of Exercise Science at Nova Southeastern University.
When it comes to health risks, some protein powders are high in added sugar and calories, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re checking the label of your supplement so as not to consume extra calories or cause a spike in blood sugar.
Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid in your body’s muscles. Your body converts creatine to phosphocreatine and stores it in your muscles, where it’s then used for energy. People frequently take creatine supplements to improve their athletic performance and increase their muscle mass.
In fact, consuming five grams of creatine daily has been shown to increase lean body mass, as well as improve strength and endurance, with no harmful side effects, says Antonio.
This is the ideal amount to supplement if you want to see persistent effects on muscle mass and strength, says Devries-Aboud. In terms of how exactly to consume creatine, she recommends a combination with a carbohydrate, like mixed with juice, which has been shown to increase muscle creatine stores and prevent urinary creatine loss.
When supplemented during a period of resistance training, creatine has been found to induce greater increases in muscle mass, strength, and functional performance in both older adults and younger adults. According to the Mayo Clinic, creatine is most beneficial to athletes who need short bursts of speed or muscle, like sprinters and weightlifters.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is produced in the liver and found in foods like poultry and meat.
It can improve endurance and might even help you crank out a few extra reps during strength training workouts, says Jacob Wilson, who holds a doctorate in exercise physiology and serves as CEO at Applied Science and Performance Institute.
Beta-alanine works by buffering the pH in our muscle cells — as the pH drops, we get that burning sensation that feels both great and miserable at the same time, he explains. Beta-alanine can help slow the drop in pH, which means we’re not as limited by that uncomfortable feeling, and our muscles can function properly for just a little longer.
A small 2012 study revealed that six weeks of taking two grams of beta-alanine daily increased time to exhaustion by 19% during high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Participants received five doses of 400 milligrams of the supplement over the course of each day.
Beta-alanine is most impactful when you supplement before a workout. Supplementation currently appears to be safe in healthy populations at recommended doses of 4 to 6 grams daily.
4. Branched-chain amino acids
The three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The most essential is leucine because it has been known to stimulate muscle growth on its own. Like protein, you get BCAAs through food sources like red meat, dairy, chicken, fish, and eggs. But supplements can help specifically with muscle recovery.
A small 2010 study looked at the effect of BCAA supplementation on squatting in particular. The results showed that the participants who supplemented with BCAAs — 100 milligrams per kilogram of body weight — before a squat exercise session experienced reduced delayed onset muscle soreness and muscle fatigue compared to a placebo group. These results suggest that BCAA supplementation may suppress muscle damage.
If being taken in the form of a supplement, you should add BCAAs during a workout or immediately after. In terms of health risks, there’s generally very little to be worried about when it comes to BCAA supplementation. Follow the instructions and be sure to take them at the right time.
Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, better known as HMB, may decrease protein breakdown and increase protein synthesis, resulting in increased muscle strength and mass. Like beta-alanine, HMB appears to speed recovery from high-intensity exercise.
HMB is what Wilson describes as a conditional supplement, recommended in certain scenarios. For example, if you like to work out in the morning before eating, he recommends supplements like HMB, which can help reduce protein breakdown during training.
If we train in a fasted state, our bodies might break down some muscle tissue to provide energy. Supplements like HMB reduce that breakdown, meaning we can stay closer to an anabolic, muscle-building, state and might not get as sore the next day.
Physical training imposes quite a bit of stress on the body, and supplements can help ensure you’re getting the fuel your body needs to grow stronger. While supplements can be an effective way to support your weightlifting goals, they’re not required to see gains.
“It’s important to remember that supplements are meant to be just that: supplements for our training and diet,” says Wilson. “If you’re looking for shortcuts or ways to avoid hard work, supplements aren’t going to cut it.”
The evidence that routine skin checks — by you or a dermatologist — reduce cancer death isn’t strong. Unless you’re high-risk, just see a doctor when you spot anything concerning.
Here is a brief guide to the harmless growths, the ones that are potential problems and how to tell the difference so that you can treat each properly.
How to identify them: These red, vascular growths can appear anywhere on the body. They’re a cluster of dilated blood vessels at the surface of the skin, usually smaller than a pencil eraser, and can be flat or raised, says Y. Claire Chang, a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. “Some people think that they’re moles turned red,” says Lipner. “But they’re a completely different category of growth.”
Treatment: None is needed. Cherry angiomas are harmless.
How to identify them: Skin tags can be flat or raised, fleshy stalks of skin that typically grow in skin folds on the neck, underarms, eyelids, groin and under the breasts.
Treatment: Unless they become irritated or visually bothersome, these harmless growths can be left alone. Sometimes they even fall off without any intervention, often after turning red or black, Chang says.
How to identify them: Sometimes called “barnacles of aging,” these growths range in color from beige to black but typically are tan or brown. They can grow thick, with a warty or bumpy surface, or they might be more smooth, with a brown, candle-wax appearance. “We’re not sure why they develop,” says Lipner, “but age, friction, sunlight [and genetics] all seem to play some role.”
Treatment: Though some can look scary, all are benign, Lipner says. They can, however, become irritated or itchy, or even bleed, especially if they rub against skin, clothing or jewelry. If you want to remove them, talk to your dermatologist; they can often be snipped, shaved, burned, frozen or lasered off. This diagnosis should be confirmed by a dermatologist because seborrheic keratoses can resemble melanoma, a serious skin cancer.
How to identify them: These brownish marks — commonly found on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, hands and chest — usually aren’t dangerous, though there are exceptions. Regular sunscreen use can help prevent them.
Treatment: Laser treatments are most effective at lightening or removing sun spots. Some over-the-counter and prescription lightening creams (those containing hydroquinone, for example) or chemical peels may be helpful too, along with cryotherapy and microdermabrasion. Because sun spots indicate heavy sun exposure, be on the lookout for signs of skin cancer, Lipner says, such as changing moles. Sun spots can also turn cancerous and should be evaluated if they change, grow or bleed, Chang says.
How to identify them: These small, round skin growths, which occur when pigment cells grow in clusters, are also called “nevi,” and almost all adults have at least a few. They’re generally pink, tan or brown, and sometimes they fade away in older people.
Treatment: Watch your moles closely, and go to a dermatologist if you find a strange new one or notice an old one changing; both could be signs of skin cancer. Be especially alert to a mole that’s asymmetrical, has irregular borders, is more than one color, has a diameter greater than a pencil eraser, evolves over time or is unique. Your dermatologist can excise a mole, typically in-office with a local anesthetic and a surgical blade or scalpel. If it contains cancer cells, the doctor will discuss your next steps.
Copyright 2018, Consumer Reports Inc.
Astaxanthin suppresses endoplasmic reticulum stress and protects against neuron damage in Parkinson’s disease by regulating miR-7/SNCA axis
Dong-Fang ShenHui-Ping QiChi Ma Ming-Xiu Chang Wei-Na Zhang Rong-Rong
Song Department of Neurology, The Fourth Clinical College of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150001, PR China
Received 9 January 2020, Revised 19 March 2020, Accepted 15 April 2020, Available online 22 April 2020.
disease (PD) currently ranks as the second progressive
neurodegenerative disorder in the world, influencing more than 2% of the
population over 60-years old (Kalia and Lang, 2015). Its clinical
manifestation mainly includes rest tremor, bradykinesia, muscular
rigidity, postural and gait impairment (Opara et al., 2017, Schneider et
al., 2017). The selective absence of dopaminergic neurons in substantia
nigra (SN) area is the hallmark of PD, which caused a substantial
decrease of dopamine in the striatum (Liu et al., 2019). Although it
remains largely undetermined, the etiology of PD was found to be closely
correlated with a number of risk factors including age, endoplasmic
reticulum (ER) stress, functional disturbance of mitochondrial, gender
and external toxins (Ascherio and Schwarzschild, 2016). The world
prevalence of PD and the economic burden caused by PD are predicted to
increase dramatically (Delamarre and Meissner, 2017). The current
pharmacological interventions mainly alleviate motor symptoms, while the
debilitating non-motor symptoms still impair the life quality of PD
patients (Orimo, 2017). Up to now, no effective therapeutic measures
could be available to conquer the neurodegeneration or restore the loss
of dopaminergic neurons in SN (Schneider et al., 2017). Therefore,
exploring more effective agents remain a primary and unfulfilled goal of
PD therapy. Elucidating the underlying mechanisms of PD pathogenesis
might be contributed to achieve this goal.
(miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs with approximately 22
nucleotides in length without protein-coding ability and once considered
to be useless in the normal biological processes (Bartel, 2004, Krol et
al., 2010). However, with developing of the related researches, miRNAs
have been shown to possess a close association with the critical factors
involving the translational machinery, and thus play an important role
during the degeneration and transcription of mRNA (Ameres and Zamore,
2013). The association between miRNAs expression level in the nervous
system and neurodegenerative diseases has been revealed via the
regulation of the translation of target genes (Qiu et al., 2015).
Numerous of miRNAs were identified to affect the onset and development
of PD through multiple distinct mechanisms (Martinez and Peplow, 2017).
Alpha synuclein (SNCA), a key component of Lewy bodies (a
neuropathological hallmark of PD), is deemed to be a major causative
gene that responsible for the onset of familial PD (Siddiqui et al.,
2016). Previous studies have demonstrated that the aggregation of SNCA
might be correlated with miRNAs dysregulation. For example, miR-16-1 was
verified to promote SNCA accumulation in PD by targeting heat shock
protein 70 (Zhang and Cheng, 2014). MiR-7 was revealed to be decreased
in PD, and its absence in vivo resulted in a dopaminergic
neuronal loss and accumulation of SNCA (Choi et al., 2018). However,
whether miR-7 involves in PD development by directly targeting with SNCA
Interestingly, many compounds
have been found to possess the neuroprotective properties and might be
developed into effective agents for the clinical therapy of
neurodegeneration diseases (Grimmig et al., 2018). Among these
compounds, astaxanthin (AST) is predicted to be one of the most
promising agent for PD treatment (Fakhri et al., 2019). AST is a
carotenoid that mainly exists in several microorganisms with strong
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (Fakhri et al., 2019). It
has a powerful protective effect on human central nervous system against
PD by reducing the oxidative stress in neuronal cell (Galasso et al.,
2018, Lin and Beal, 2006), but whether through suppressing ER stress
remains unclear. Recently, AST was found to affect cell growth and
apoptosis by regulating miRNA expression (Ni et al., 2017, Zhu et al.,
2019), however, there is no report on the correlation between AST and
miRNAs in PD pathogenesis.
analysis predicted that SNCA might be the target of miR-7. Therefore, in
this study, we aimed to study whether the protective effects of AST
against PD induced neuron injury in vitro and in vivo through ER stress inhibition are mediated by miR-7/SNCA axis.
Cell culture and treatment
neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line was obtained from Cell bank of Chinese
Academy of Sciences (Shanghai, China) and maintained in the DMEM
containing 10% fetal calf serum in a cell incubator filled with 5% CO2.
For drug treatment, SH-SY5Y cells were seeded into plates and cultured
at 37 ℃ overnight, then cells were incubated with various concentrations
of MPP+ or AST for 24 h.
miR-7 mimics (5’-UGGAAGACUAGUGAUUUUGUUGUU-3’), miR-7 inhibitor (5’-AACAACAAAAUCACUAGUCUUCCA-3’) and their negative
AST abrogates the SH-SY5Y cell injury caused by MPP+
has been shown to induce a syndrome closely resembling PD model by
initiating neuron cell death. To further support this conclusion, we
treated SH-SY5Y cells with different concentrations of MPP+ (125, 250,
500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 μM) followed by the MTT analysis of cell
viability. Compared to untreated control group, the cell viability of
MPP+ treated SH-SY5Y cells were significantly decreased (Fig. 1A). Moreover, after MPP+ treatment, some morphological changes were observed in SH-SY5Y
currently develops into the second most frequent neurodegenerative
disorder after Alzheimer’s disease, causing great psychological and
financial pressure on patients (Gasser et al., 2011). PD mainly occurs
in the elderly population that over 60-years old, and only a small
proportion of patients (approximately 5%) are diagnosed before the age
of 60-years (Reeve et al., 2014). With the coming of aging society, the
number of PD patients is expected to be rapidly increase in the further
Declaration of Competing Interest
The authors have no commercial or other associations that might pose a conflict of interest.
This work was supported by Funding for postdoctoral support in Heilongjiang Province (No. LBH-Z18189) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Provincial Universities (2019-KYYWF-0365).
Inner ear infections can cause certain parts of the inner ear to become inflamed. These infections can affect a person’s hearing and balance. They often occur when a person has a cold or the flu or if a middle ear infection spreads into the inner ear.
The inner ear is the deepest part of the human ear. It sits at the end of the ear tubes. It is the part of the ear that turns sound waves into nerve impulses. It also plays an important role in helping a person balance.
Inner ear infections can cause the structures of the inner ear to become inflamed, which can lead to a number of symptoms. These include nausea, dizziness, a sensation of imbalance, and hearing impairments.
This article explores types of inner ear infections, looking at their symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment options, and home remedies. It also looks at risk factors, complications, and inner ear infections in children.
There are two main types of inner ear infections: labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis. The following sections will look at these in more detail.
Labyrinthitis is a viral or bacterial infection of the inner ear. It causes inflammation of the labyrinth, which is the maze of fluid-filled channels in the inner ear.
This inflammation can disrupt the transmission of sensory information from the inner ear to the brain. It is this disruption that can cause some of the symptoms of labyrinthitis.
Viral infections are the most common causes of labyrinthitis. Viral labyrinthitis is most common in adults aged 30–60 years. It is also twice as common in females as in males.
Labyrinthitis often follows more common illnesses, such as a common cold or the flu. In some instances, a bacterial infection can cause labyrinthitis.
Vestibular neuritis is an infection of the vestibular nerve. This nerve sits in the inner ear and plays a role in detecting balance by sending signals from the inner ear to the brain.
Vestibular neuritis causes this nerve to become inflamed, which can cause symptoms such as vertigo and nausea.
This infection often comes before or alongside a viral infection. According to an older article from 2009, the reactivation of a herpes simplex virus is a likely cause of vestibular neuritis.
Doctors consider vestibular neuritis to be a benign condition that tends to last for a short period of time before going away without treatment. It can also be a sequela, which is a condition that arises as the consequence of a previous disease or injury.
The different types of inner ear infections often have similar symptoms. The main difference between the symptoms is that hearing loss occurs with labyrinthitis but not with vestibular neuritis. Learn more about symptoms in the sections below.
Labyrinthitis symptoms can appear suddenly and without warning. Common symptoms of labyrinthitis include:
- hearing loss or impairment
These symptoms may last for several days and be quite severe. They often disappear on their own after 1–2 weeks. However, if the problem lasts for a longer period of time, the person may require treatment for their symptoms.
A person who has vestibular neuritis may experience some of the following symptoms:
- problems with balance
Vestibular neuritis symptoms often develop within hours and peak within the first 1–2 days. They are often constant and tend to worsen with head movements.
This condition usually lasts for several days. After this period, the symptoms often disappear with no intervention necessary. However, on some rare occasions, it can take weeks or months for the symptoms to disappear entirely.
Inner ear infections are most common among people aged 30–60 years. They are much less common in children when compared with middle ear infections.
Children may develop an inner ear infection as a result of having bacterial meningitis. Around 20%Trusted Source of children with bacterial meningitis develop hearing problems or issues with balance and dizziness.
Cochlear ossification can also be an issue in children after meningitis. This occurs when bone begins to replace the lymph fluids filling the cochlea of the inner ear after a surgery or infection.
Recent research suggests that cochlear implantation surgery can be a successful treatment option for those who have experienced cochlear ossification.
Because of the risk of deafness, a doctor will often carry out a hearing test in young children who have recovered from bacterial labyrinthitis. They may choose to treat severe hearing loss with a cochlear implant.
A cochlear implant is a small electrical device that does not cure deafness but helps deaf people have a useful representation of soundsTrusted Source to help them better understand speech.
There are multiple reasons that someone may or may not be a suitable candidate for cochlear implantation. Timing also plays an important role. Since labyrinthitis ossificans can begin soon after meningitis and worsen over time, early implementation is the best approach to prevent further complications.
In some rare instances, a doctor may use antiviral medications or antibiotics to treat the virus or bacteria, respectively, that caused the inner ear infection. However, they will often only treat the symptoms of inner ear infections, not the infection itself.
A person may take antihistamines or benzodiazepines to treat vertigo. Antihistamines can also help ease nausea and dizziness.
Over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines include fexofenadine (Allegra), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and loratadine (Claritin).
A doctor may also recommend antiemetics, such as prochlorperazine, to help control nausea and vomitingTrusted Source, or a vestibular suppressant such as Meclizine. It is also common for doctors to prescribe steroids to treat inflammation.
A person with an inner ear infection may also wish to try some of the following home remedies to help ease the symptoms.
Ginger for nausea and vertigo
Some studies suggest that ginger tea can be an effective treatment for vertigo. Other studiesTrusted Source indicate that ginger is an effective treatment for nausea.
However, it is worth noting that researchers conducted these studies in participants experiencing benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a different type of vertigo than that which occurs with labyrinthitis. That said, they share some symptoms, including nausea.
Other home remedies for nausea
Some other home remedies that a person can try to help reduce their nausea include:
- an electrolyte replacement sports drink
Most of the research into these home remedies focuses on their effectiveness in treating nausea related to pregnancy or chemotherapy. However, a person may wish to try for themselves to see if the remedies help with nausea related to inner ear infections.
Adults may use OTC drugs, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil), to treat any pain that results from their inner ear infection.
Anyone can develop an inner ear infection. However, there are some factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing one. These include:
- contracting an upper respiratory infection, such as a common cold or the flu
- having a middle ear infection
- contracting meningitis
- sustaining a head injury
- having a respiratory illness, such as bronchitis
- having a viral infection, such as herpes or measles
- having an autoimmune condition
A person’s risk of permanent inner ear damage is low. However, severe inner ear infections can cause permanent damage to different parts of the inner ear.
Permanent damage to parts of the inner ear can cause varying degrees of hearing loss as well as balance problems.
Another possible complication of severe inner ear infections is BPPV. This is a type of vertigo that results from sudden head movements.
BPPV is not a life threatening condition, but it can increase a person’s risk of falling over, which may lead to other injuries. BPPV can also cause serious discomfort and limit physical activity.
A doctor may be able to diagnose an inner ear infection with a balance examination. They may also carry out a complete examination that includes a neurological assessment.
Both the balance examination and the neurological assessment are key, as it is not possible to detect an inner ear infection just by looking inside the ear with an otoscope.
Both labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis share symptoms with a number of other conditions. A doctor may carry out tests to rule out these other conditions, which include:
- Meniere’s disease
- a brain hemorrhage
- damaged neck arteries
- a brain tumor
In order to check for these conditions, a doctor may carry out one of the following tests:
- hearing tests
- blood tests
- a CT scan
- an MRI scan
- an electroencephalogram
A person should contact a doctor as soon as symptoms of an inner ear infection appear.
Despite these infections often resolving without treatment, it is still important that a doctor determines the cause of the condition. Early diagnosis can help prevent complications and lasting hearing damage.
Inner ear infections cause certain parts of the inner ear to become inflamed. They commonly occur when a person has a cold or the flu or if a middle ear infection spreads into the inner ear.
The main two types of inner ear infections are labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis. Both of these inner ear infections can cause a number of symptoms, including vertigo, dizziness, and nausea. A person with labyrinthitis may also experience hearing issues.
Inner ear infections often go away without treatment after a period of time. However, a doctor may prescribe medication to treat the symptoms of the infection.
A person should contact a doctor as soon as symptoms of an inner ear infection appear. This is because early diagnosis can rule out more serious conditions and prevent lasting ear damage.
The infection of the bone of the ear is Mastoiditis. This may be an acute infection needing hospitalization and injectable drugs or maybe in the form of slow bone eroding processes like cholesteatoma.
What is Acute Mastoiditis?
The mastoid bone is made up of air sacs and it looks a lot like a sponge. In this sense, it is different from the other bones that can be found in the human body. In order to function properly, this bone requires air from the other parts of the ear, including the Eustachian Tube which connects the middle part of the ear with the portion that lies at the back of the throat.
If this tube gets infected due to any reason, the infection and bacteria can also travel to the Mastoid bone, leading to an infection in this area. Another form of the infection starts from the eardrum and a slowly progressive bone eroding process starts which spreads into the air sacs and can potentially spread to the brain.
Acute Mastoiditis Symptoms
Acute mastoiditis will present with an earache, ear discharge, and onset of fever and chills, as well as redness and inflammation behind the ear. Pain in the ear may be experienced along with headaches and swelling that may be experienced behind the eyes. At the very earliest sign, these symptoms must be reported to an ENT or ear throat nose specialist so that the treatment can happen at the earliest.
Chronic mastoiditis may be due to repeated infections and bone eroding cholesteatoma which presents with repeated episodes of ear discharge which may be foul-smelling and may even have blood.
Diagnosis of Acute Mastoiditis
The diagnosis is mostly made on ear examination and may involve imaging tests like a CT scan as well as an MRI scan of the head and the ear. A simple X-ray of the mastoids can help in detecting the severity of the infection, and it spread.
Acute Mastoiditis Treatment
After diagnosing the problem with imaging tests as well as a detailed ear examination, the doctor will usually start the treatment by admitting the patient in the hospital. Antibiotic medication will be administered through intravenous methods, after which oral antibiotics will be prescribed for many days after the patient has been discharged from the hospital.
Surgery may be required if the infection has not cleared up even after the use of antibiotics and is also done in cases of bone erosion. This surgery will be done to drain the infected fluid from the ear and remove a part of this Mastoid bone. Complications like facial paralysis and vertigo need to be discussed with the surgeon before the surgery.
One COVID Vaccine Held Up Best Over Time, CDC Study Suggests
In terms of preventing COVID-related hospitalizations, the two-dose mRNA vaccines from Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Moderna offered the best protection upfront and over time, a case-control analysis involving data from 21 U.S. hospitals showed.
From March to August 2021, the vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19 hospitalizations landed at 93% for the Moderna vaccine, 88% for Pfizer’s, and 71% for Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J), reported Wesley Self, MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues, writing in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
After 120 days from the time of vaccination, however, Moderna’s VE against hospitalization only dipped to 92%, a non-significant decline, while Pfizer’s dropped to 77% (P<0.001).
“Differences in VE between the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine might be due to higher mRNA content in the Moderna vaccine, differences in timing between doses (3 weeks for Pfizer-BioNTech versus 4 weeks for Moderna), or possible differences between groups that received each vaccine that were not accounted for in the analysis,” Self and co-authors suggested.
No data were shown for the J&J shot after 120 days due to the limited number of patients who received the vaccine, but the VE rate dipped to 68% for the single-dose vaccine after 28 days.
A second analysis in the study, involving 100 patients, showed that individuals vaccinated with the one-dose J&J viral vector vaccine had lower anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels at 2 to 6 weeks after being fully vaccinated compared with the mRNA vaccine recipients. Antibody levels were slightly higher with Moderna’s versus Pfizer’s.
“Although an immunologic correlate of protection has not been established for COVID-19 vaccines, antibody titers after infection and vaccination have been associated with protection,” the group wrote.
The findings came from a sample of 3,689 adults without immunocompromising conditions (1,682 case patients and 2,007 controls) admitted with COVID-19 to one of 21 U.S. hospitals across 18 states from March 11 to August 15. Median patient age was 58 years and a little less than half were women, while 53% were white, 23% were Black, and 18% were Hispanic.
Overall, 20% were fully vaccinated with Pfizer’s vaccine, 12.7% with Moderna’s, and 3.1% with the J&J vaccine; 64.0% were unvaccinated.
Limitations of the study included that it was limited to non-immunocompromised adults, the limited number of J&J recipients, and that follow-up time after being fully vaccinated was only about 29 weeks. Notably, data on VE were not evaluated by SARS-CoV-2 variant, including the Delta variant.