Solutions For a Better Night’s Sleep

SleepIn a follow-up to an article found on his official website, Vancouver physician Dr. Ali Ghahary continues the discussion on natural ways to combat insomnia right here on his WordPress blog.

Insomnia affects millions of Canadians and can be caused by a number of factors, including certain health conditions, medication, or can even be for reasons that are simply unknown. While it can be a complex condition, it can also be easily treated both by medication and with natural remedies.

As previously mentioned, things like chamomile tea and stress management are great, natural and safe sleep aids. Warm milk is another natural sleep solution that has been known to benefit those suffering from insomnia – almond milk, especially, as it is also a great source of calcium.

Ensuring you’re getting enough calcium can also be indicative as to whether or not you’ll get enough sleep each night. Even the slightest marginal lack of magnesium can prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. You can find magnesium in foods like leafy, green vegetables, pumpkin seeds and almonds. You can also find magnesium supplements – however, due to their ability to interact with medication it is important that you first check with your pharmacy and/or physician before taking them.

magnesium

Lastly, sometimes curing insomnia simply comes down to making lifestyle changes. If you tend to surf the internet, watch television or listen to music late at night, try breaking those habits to see if it benefits your sleep pattern in any way.

Ear Infections: Types and Causes

Ear infections are caused by viruses and/or bacteria. They occur when the middle ear becomes build up with fluid and can result from upper respiratory infections, such as sinus infections, excess mucus, air pressure changes, smoking, or allergies.

Ear Infections

Common symptoms that Vancouver physician, Ali Ghahary, will see in patients with ear infections, include: discomfort and/or a feeling of pressure inside the ear, hearing difficulty, and pus. Young infants with ear infections may be more irritable than usual.

There are various types of ear infections, with Otitis Media being the most common. This is an infection of the middle ear and typically occurs in infants and young children. OM infections can cause pain, fever, and redness of the eardrum. Most OM ear infections are viral and often go away on their own. However, if they persist or worsen, antibiotics may be required. It some cases, Otitis Media infections can be chronic. If fluid is seen in the ear for more than 6 weeks, tubes may be necessary to help the ears drain properly. For more information on ear infections in children, click here.

Otitis Externa, also known as “swimmer’s ear” or an outer ear infection, is more common during summer months. It can be the result of frequent swimming and not keeping the ears dry. Typically, it’s easily treatable with ear drops and taking precautions to keep the ears from getting wet.

Mastoiditis, a bacterial infection of the ear, affects the bone located behind the ear. It is usually the result of otitis media spreading due to not being treated. Mastoiditis can be severe and lead to meningitis, brain injury, blood poisoning or even deafness if left untreated.

Eardrums can also rupture. This can occur as a result of having a previous ear infection, by noise or injury. A rupture eardrum will typically heal within a few weeks, but can cause temporary (and in certain cases, permanent) problems with hearing.

Injury Prevention

An est. 5 million Canadians will suffer an injury each year that is usually severe enough to limit their normal activities and send them to their physician or nearest emergency room.

Ali Ghahary - Injury Prevention

Some of the most common types of injuries that Ali Ghahary sees as a practicing physician in Vancouver include sprains and strains, followed by fractures and broken bones, as well as the typical cuts, scrapes, bruises and blisters.

Those at a higher risk of developing an injury include children and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19, as well as seniors. Injuries can affect many parts of the body including the ankles, feet, legs, hands, wrists, shoulders, elbows, arms and even head – and can lead to concussion, and sometimes even death. In Canada, the majority of injuries in youth are often caused by sports or other recreational activities. For seniors, injuries often occur as a result of walking or doing household chores.

In order to prevent injury, Dr. Ali Ghahary suggests taking precautions, such as wearing helmets and other safety gear.

Concussions, for example, are often a result of physical activity and/or sports, and are most commonly seen in hockey and football players. Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of developing a concussion. For a more in-depth look at concussions and how they are treated, read Dr. Ghahary’s article titled ‘Concussions: Risk and Prevention.’

concussions

Seniors are also at an increased risk of injury due to their bones being more fragile. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations as well as deaths for seniors living in British Columbia. Prevention may include a number of factors such as in-home changes, using wheelchairs and/or walkers, and ensuring that snow and ice is cleared from outdoor staircases and walkways to avoid slips, trips and falls during winter months.

Click here for a detailed slideshow on how injuries can impact the body’s muscles and ligaments. You can also find information on other injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, by clicking here.