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Personal Health Management - 20 Myths That Are Truly "In Your Head"

By Revenflo

We have all heard as many myths about medicine and treatment as there are sicknesses and injuries. Following are 20 common myths and misconceptions about ear, nose, and throat issues, remedies and medicines. You may be surprised at what you read.

1) I have post-nasal drip – The typical human produces 1 quart of mucus a day, and most of that mucus converges with our saliva and is swallowed. As Dr. Oz said, having a “post-nasal drip” is like saying we woke up this morning and yawned. The only time one should be concerned is when their mucus is too thick to naturally flow, or is obstructed in some way.

2) Why an ear, nose and throat specialist? – Each of these components of the neck and head are interrelated, share the same membrane structure, and, therefore, often acquire the same infections or allergies. Ear pain can affect the throat and ……….

3) Q-Tips – Q-tips are designed to clean around the ears, and not be forced deep into the ear canal. When this is done, our ear wax, which we are often trying to remove from deep within, is actually there to protect you against infection. Whenever reaching deeper into our canal to draw out the wax, we often push it farther in causing it to compact. This is harmful and will lead someone to an ENT to remove the blockage.

dog with cold

4) Flu Shots Cause the Flu – Not true. The virus’ in the flu shot are deactivated, or, killed. But sometimes the shot causes temporary flu-like symptoms. What is not killed is designed to build up one’s immune system. Still, one can get the flu after a shot because of the variety of respiratory strains floating around.

5) Catching a Cold – Colds are caused by cold virus’, not the cold weather. While cold weather may provide an environment in which these virus’ flourish, colds are not the direct result of it being cold outside. It is wise to bundle up and stay warm, but your mother’s admonition to put on a jacket before you catch cold is a myth.

6) Hearing Aids Harm the Ear – Some people assume that the amplified sounds provided by a hearing aid will only further damage one’s ear and ability to hear, needing greater amplification over time. Not true. Technology has provided the affected hearer specially designed instruments that will not further harm the ear. An audiologist can adjust them as needed, which is important because store bought hearing aids are not fitted for the patient and can cause problems.

7) Child Ear Infections Need Antibiotics – Not always true. According to a recent study conducted in Finland among children ages 6-35 months shows that poor diet, second hand smoke, bottle-feeding, and day care centers, where kids are exposed to more viruses, may cause a middle-ear infection. Most of these do not require antibodies and will typically go away on their own in a few days.

8) Ear, Nose, and Tongue Piercings are Always Safe – Hygiene plays a grave role in keeping a pierced area from being infected. While more common today than ever, facial piercings can still become infected if proper hygiene is not maintained. Lobes have a lesser chance of infection than cartilage because there is more blood flow to the area where natural antibodies can do their work. Allergic reaction to the jewelry can cause infection. What’s worse, the infection can possibly enter the bloodstream creating worse problems.   If you find you have an infection, it is wise to visit an ENT specialist for an examination.

9) Tilt Head Back with Nose Bleed – Isn’t that what we’ve always been taught? A nose bleed can occur from the nose being struck, dry air, allergies, migraines, and even cocaine use. Blood clotting disorders and blood thinners can cause them as well. Do not recline but put your head over your heart. This will keep blood from going down the back of your throat and will slow down your heart’s pumping enough to help stay the flow. Press between the soft portions of your nose for a minute. If bleeding persists, then seen an ENT.


10) I’ve Had the Flu, So I Won’t Get it Again – Viruses are always evolving. Influenza, cold, and pneumonia viruses require different antibodies each year as a result. Just because you’ve had one strain of flu does not mean you will not be affected by another.

11) I Don’t need a Flu Shot This Year Because I had One Last Year – This is similar to #10. Each year flu viruses evolve, and our medical scientists attempt to create remedies to match and beat this year’s model. Last year’s H1N1 vaccine will not protect against this year’s strain.

12) Tinnitus Has No Cure – Tinnitus is a ringing in one’s ear and has long been held to have no cure. Not all suffer from it constantly, but up to 50 million Americans experience it periodically. When the little hairs we have in our ear die, ringing will occur. Although not a serious threat to one’s health, it is aggravating, to say the least. Lowering one’s stress, removing salt from a diet, electrical stimulation, and garlic and zinc have proven to reduce or clear up any ringing. Ultrasound imaging allows medical personnel a closer look inside the ear to see if there is other damage causing the tinnitus.

13) Dry Climates Will Solve My Allergy Problems – Not so. Tree pollens, ragweed, and grass pollens are found almost everywhere. Pet dander, food allergies, and other kinds, are leading causes of allergies and have nothing to do with where one lives.

14) Cold Sores are Sexually Transmitted – Not all variations of herpes originate from sexual contact with an infected individual. Genital herpes is sexually transmitted, however, but other forms can come from kissing, drinking from the cup of an infected person, or other shared objects where bacteria-carrying saliva is found.

15) Antibodies Cure Colds – Antibodies are designed to treat bacterial infections and colds are caused by viruses, and will, therefore, have no effect on the cold itself. While many doctors still prescribe antibiotics for a cold, it will have little effect unless a bacterial infection arises from having a cold.

16) Starve a Fever and Feed a Cold – Fevers are not lowered one bit by starving oneself. This myth has been around forever, it seems, and is not based on good medicine. Healthy food will actually strengthen one’s body, giving it the nutrients it needs to fight of bacteria and viruses. Also, staying hydrated is essential as fevers drain the body of fluids.

17) There’s No Way to Prevent Swimmer’s Ear – This is not true. Cuts and abrasions in the ear area can come into contact with bacteria in unclean water and create soreness and possible infection, but removing the water from your ear immediately after swimming or showering can help prevent any bacteria from gaining hold. Also, a drop of rubbing alcohol in each ear will dry up remaining water and also prevents against wax build up.

18) Sneezing is only Caused by Dust and Airborne Irritants – Sunshine, plucking eye brows, workouts, and sex can trigger bouts of sneezing. Some sneezing conditions are hereditary. But sneezing plays an important role in our immune system by clearing and cleaning out viruses and bacteria. The sneeze helps force these out of your system, which is why it is so important to cover one’s mouth and nose when they do sneeze, then clean their hands immediately afterwards.

19) Asthma is for Kids – Outgrowing asthma is not possible. While it typically develops in children, it remains with the individual the rest of their life. Still, symptoms may improve over time for a variety of reasons, but usually needs some type of ongoing treatment, especially when flare ups occur.

20) Sore Throats are Synonymous with Strep – White spots on the throat, stuffy noses, and ongoing sore throats lasting more than 3 weeks does not necessarily mean one has strep. Sore throats can be caused by a number of reasons, but it is not always because of strep. If you have sudden, ongoing fever, and headache combined with a sore throat, and do not have a stuffy nose or a cough, then you may have strep.

About the Author

Revenflo Web Team: A team of writers dedicated to making the internet a better place.


The above guest post is published based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. The opinions made within it are those of the author and not of The links you may find within this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.

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