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Manage Your Spring Allergies

The grass is becoming green again, flowers are blooming, leaves are returning to the trees. Spring is here! Unfortunately for some of us this means spring allergies. Learn how to manage your allergies and enjoy the warmer weather.

Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders Spotlight10

NIH Spends $26 Million on Flu Research

Tuesday April 15, 2014

The National Institutes of Health has awarded $26 million to 5 institutions for influenza research. The goal is to reduce the estimated 30,000 flu related deaths that occur annually in the United States and to head off future influenza pandemics. Among the institutions awarded funds includes the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Scientists at Mount Sinai plan to study the ways that the flu is spread from one human to another and also from animals to humans. Researchers hope that their work will lead to better flu vaccines to prevent the transmission of influenza in the future.

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Spring Allergy Hype

Monday March 31, 2014

The headlines state that snow melting from the polar vortex will make this year the worst allergy season yet, or that the brutal winter will cause horrible spring allergies. In other news, a list of the 10 worst states for spring allergies. The message is clear... this spring is bound to be the worst ever. The only problem is that if you pay attention for a few years in a row you'll notice a pattern, experts seem to predict every spring to be the worst allergy season yet. Why is this? It's a good question, that probably has multiple answers.

First of all, there is some research indicating that the number of people who suffer from allergies is on the rise. Some health professionals believe this is due to global warming, a couple studies have shown possible links to things like low vitamin D, or more people living in cities. Some experts are skeptical that the incidence is rising at all but believe that more awareness means more people are just being diagnosed than before. Whatever the reason don't let these doomsday headlines get you down. Just because experts predict a lot of pollen this spring doesn't necessarily mean it will affect you. For your allergies to get worse there has to be an increase in the specific allergen that causes your symptoms and it has to be in your area.

Even the highly publicized list of the 10 worst states for spring allergies might be considered suspect. Which cities make the list and in which order is based on previous pollen counts, the number of allergists in an area, and the amount of allergy medication sold. Of the three only pollen counts could be considered a reliable indicator, but even so, just because previous years have meant high pollen counts in an area doesn't mean that same area will have a lot of pollen this year. However, if you do find yourself suffering from spring allergies we hope that the information in these articles can help:

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Investigational Drug Offers Hope for People With Meniere's Disease

Monday March 31, 2014

Meniere's disease is a frustrating disorder which can cause chronic and debilitating symptoms including vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus, nausea and vomiting and more. Health professionals don't really understand what causes Meniere's disease but think it is a disorder of the inner ear and lymphatic system. With no cure currently available, treatments are aimed at controlling symptoms. An investigational drug initially showing promising results can offer new hope to those with the disorder, however.

The drug is currently referred to only as OTO-104 but initial research has shown that the medication reduces the frequency of vertigo and may improve the tinnitus associated with Meniere's disease. Initial results also indicate that the drug is safe and well tolerated. However, OTO-104 is still a ways off from being available to the public. The medication is currently undergoing additional testing. If you have Meniere's disease and are interested in participating in this research you can learn more at http://menieresdiseasestudy.com/about-the-study.html.

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Runner Gabrielle Grunewald Survivor of Two Types of Cancer

Saturday March 29, 2014

Runner Gabrielle Grunewald made headlines earlier this month when she was disqualified and later reinstated as the women's 3000 meter champion at the USA Track and Field Indoor Champtionships but the most amazing thing about Grunewald is that at only 27 years old she has survived not one but two types of cancer. Grunewald is a survivor of thyroid cancer and salivary gland cancer. While the diagnosis of thyroid cancer among young women has become increasingly more common, I myself was diagnosed at the age of 24, salivary gland cancer is rare and can be difficult to treat.

When asked if beating cancer has made her a tougher runner, Grunewald stated in an interview with Athletics Illustrated, "Yes, I think so. It just made my dreams crystallize a little bit more and it helped me prioritize certain things in my life that have ultimately helped my running too. Sometimes at the end of races when you have that choice of giving up and settling for a certain place or really going for broke, I have that little voice (sometimes it's really loud, actually!) telling me that I have to go for it -- because you just never know when you'll get another shot. That is something that has stayed with me throughout all the years since my initial diagnosis."

Congratulations to an amazing woman on this latest win, I for one, look forward to seeing more great things from her!

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