Monday, August 29, 2016


Tinnitus is a condition when someone hears ringing, buzzing, hissing or roaring in one or both ears. The sound may get louder or softer during movement or exercise.  It may also interrupt sleep. A conservative estimate is that 10% of adults have the condition and many don’t even mention it to their physicians. Certain patterns of tinnitus (such as pulsatile or clicking) may merit a specific evaluation.

Tinnitus may be caused by damage to cells in the inner ear caused by loud noises, some medications, head or neck injuries and certain diseases. Tinnitus is more common in women and becomes more common with aging. Tinnitus is difficult to cure but there are treatment options.

There are wearable masking devices available as well as hearing aids. Amplifying the outside sounds can make the inner noise of tinnitus less bothersome. A tinnitus expert can help train you to ignore the sound and biofeedback may make the sound less annoying or stressful. Listening to quiet music or a white noise machine can achieve a lesser degree of masking

Depression is common in people with tinnitus; there are good treatments for depression as well as for tinnitus. Long-term tinnitus is unlikely to go away completely but with help can be less bothersome.

More information: American Tinnitus Association.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


The epididymis is a partner to the testicle in the scrotum. It has an important role in helping sperm mature enough to be able to swim. It is almost always a silent partner – until it’s not. Inflammation of the epididymis develops over several days and is almost always only on one side. Symptoms are a hot, tender and swollen hemi-scrotum. Urination may be frequent and painful.

In young sexually active men the most common causes of epididymitis are chlamydia and gonorrhea. In older men enteric pathogens (bad bowel bacteria) are to blame. Treatment relies on supportive measures, including bed rest, scrotal elevation, and analgesics, in conjunction with empiric antibiotic therapy based on the patient's age and clinical and sexual history. If chlamydia or gonorrhea is confirmed all sexual partners should be treated.

There are some unusual causes of epididymitis, such as drug induced and vasculitis. Withdrawal of the medication and treatment of the underlying disease are appropriate. Almost all cases resolve completely and failure to improve within three days should prompt reevaluation of the diagnosis and/or treatment. It is important to complete a full course of treatment to prevent complications.

More information - with pictures