Why Is My Ear Hurting? The Common Causes Explained

The human ear is a sensitive, finely balanced mechanism of the body and it can easily be neglected as one grows into adulthood. Ear pain may be fairly common in children, but as adults, it’s far rarer. 

While ear pain does not immediately point to an infection, it could be bring-to-light other health issues you may not have even thought of. Your ears may be for listening, but it’s also important to listen to them when they’re trying to tell you something.

If you find yourself asking ”why is my ear hurting?” this blog outlines all the possibilities. 

 

1. Ear Infection 

Ear infections in adults are not as common as in children. However, adults are not totally immune to them. Otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear is a common infection that can cause mild or severe ear pain. 

Usually, water inside the outer ear canal causes bacterial growth, which leads to an infection. Objects inside the ear canal can also cause infection, such as cotton swabs. These foreign bodies damage the thin layer of skin that protects the ear canal. 

If the pain is severe, it’s important to schedule a doctor’s checkup right away. You will be referred to a specialist for more advanced infections is, such as Dr. Zadeh, an ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist

2. Sinus Infection 

This is another common cause of ear pain that many adults fail to acknowledge. Your nose, sinuses, and ears are intricately connected. Swelling in the lining of the sinuses and nose can cause excess pressure, resulting in ear pain. 

Sinus infections are often caused by exposure to dust and smoke, as well as untreated colds, and irritation due to allergies.

3. Excessive Ear Wax Buildup 

Ear wax is completely normal and essential for the health of your ears. But too much of it can cause a host of issues. An excessive buildup of wax can lead to dull earache and your ears feeling constantly ”full”. 

Do not attempt to clean out ear wax buildup with an earbud. This can sometimes do more harm than good. You’ll need to be diagnosed and treated by your doctor to remove excessive ear wax. 

4. A Ruptured Eardrum 

A ruptured eardrum can be intensely painful, characterized by a small tear in the tissue between the outer ear canal and the middle ear. 

Common symptoms of a ruptured eardrum include sharp, intense pain that comes and goes very quickly and leaking mucus from your ear. As well as temporary hearing loss, constant ringing in your ears, vertigo, nausea, or vomiting.

The cause of a ruptured eardrum varies, including severe head injury if you’re in an accident. Other causes include middle-ear infections, prolonged exposure to very loud noise, or changes in air pressure. 

5. Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ) 

Anyone who suffers from TMJ will tell you how uncomfortable and painful this type of jaw pain is.

Basically, the jawbone is connected to the skull via the temporomandibular joint. TMJ is usually a result of head injury, teeth grinding, teeth clenching, or poorly aligned teeth. 

As a result, this constant jaw tension and inflammation can travel up to the ear and cause dull, aching pain. 

6. A Tooth Abscess 

An abscessed tooth can cause all types of painful woes. Generally, the pain is located in the mouth and along the jawbone.

But if the abscess is large enough, pain can travel up into the ear as a dull, throbbing pain, or as persistent itchiness in the ear. 

Treatment Options For Ear Pain 

The treatment plan for your particular type of ear pain obviously depends on what’s causing the pain in the first place. 

It’s not advised that you guess what’s causing your ear pain and attempt to treat it yourself. Instead, schedule a checkup with your doctor or an ENT specialist. 

For ear infections, you are prescribed antibiotic ear drops and over-the-counter painkillers, such as Advil. If the infection is advanced, oral antibiotics are necessary.  

If you have a ruptured eardrum, it is usually left to heal on its own, which may take a few weeks. However, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for an infection. Over-the-counter drugs are recommended for pain. If the rupture is large enough, you may need a surgical procedure to repair it.  

You don’t always have to turn to pharmaceuticals for pain relief though. There are a few simple remedies for pain.

You can apply an ice pack or heat pack to your painful ear — just don’t use extreme temperatures. Or, try not to sleep on the side of your affected ear and elevate your head a little with an extra pillow 

Remember that ear pain doesn’t always away on its own, this especially important for small children. If your earache is accompanied by a high fever, it’s time to see a doctor. 

The same goes for symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, swollen ears, or weakened facial muscles. If your symptoms worsen within 24-hours, seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

Why Is My Ear Hurting? Now You Know the Possible Causes

If you find yourself wondering ”why is my ear hurting?”, don’t leave it unattended for too long. Your body is trying to tell you something, and without medical attention, this could only lead to bigger problems down-the-line. 

Looking for more handy advice as a parent? Check out the rest of this website for articles on family life, how to save money, and earn money through thrifty business.

The Pros and Cons of Using Public Transportation While Traveling

Are you going to be traveling to a part of the country that you’ve never been to before? Or better yet, are you going to be traveling to a different part of the world to see what it’s all about?

Either way, you should consider using public transportation throughout the course of your travels as opposed to renting a vehicle. It could very well turn into the most effective mode of travel transport for you when you’re trying to get around to different places.

Before you commit to using public transport, though, you should find out about the pros and cons of doing it to ensure you’re up for the challenge. Utilizing public transport when traveling is a great idea for a lot of people, but it’s not for everyone.

Here are the pros and cons of using public transportation while traveling.

Pro: Public Transportation Is Usually Your Most Cost-Effective Option

You are going to have to pay at least some money to use public transportation in most cities throughout the country and world. But that money will often be nothing compared to what you would have to pay to rent a vehicle.

If you’re on a relatively tight budget while traveling, the last thing you want to do is waste a bunch of money on a car rental when public transportation is an option. You’re better off using public transport to your advantage and saving your money so that you can spend it on more worthwhile experiences.

Con: It Can Be a Little Confusing Using Some Public Transportation Systems

If you live in a place where you use public transportation all the time, you probably know your specific public transport system like the back of your hand. But that doesn’t mean that you’re going to pick up on another system right away.

Using public transportation systems in some cities can be a very confusing experience. From figuring out where to catch a subway to finding out where a bus route travels to, it’s going to require a decent amount of research on your part.

You might end up spending more time trying to make sense of a public transport system than you do using it. That’s time that could be better spent on exploring everything in a new place.

Pro: Public Transportation Allows You to Experience Everything a City Has to Offer

When you use public transportation in a place that you’ve never been to before, it’ll allow you to rub elbows with all the locals. They’ll all be using the public transport system, too, in most cases, which will give you a unique look at how a city operates.

You’re going to miss out on this experience when you choose to rent a car. You’re not going to cross paths with locals as often as you would otherwise.

If your ultimate goal is to immerse yourself in a new place and soak up everything it has to offer, taking public transportation is the best way to do it. You’ll feel like you were really a part of a place for a few days.

Con: It Might Prevent You From Making Your Way to Certain Places

One of the biggest drawbacks of using public transportation is that it’s going to limit you somewhat as far as where you can travel to in a city. There are no doubt going to be places that you’ll want to see off the beaten path that you won’t be able to get to easily by using the local public transport system.

You might be able to get to them by getting off public transportation at a certain stop and walking a great distance. But that might not prove to be worth all the time and effort you’ll have to put into it.

Pro: Public Transportation Is Great for the Environment

Anytime you visit a new city, you should go to great lengths to ensure that you don’t do anything to leave a mess behind. That means not littering in the city and, if possible, using public transportation as opposed to renting a car.

A car is going to put out emissions that will pollute the environment that you’re visiting. Public transportation will also pollute it to some degree, but it’ll limit the carbon footprint that you leave in a city while visiting it.

You should be especially mindful of not polluting the environment when you’re visiting a city for an extended period of time. You shouldn’t spend days, weeks, or even months driving around in a rental car if you don’t have to.

Con: It May Stop You From Traveling Around at Different Times of the Day or Night

There are some public transportation systems around the country and world that operate on a 24/7/365 schedule. But there are others that shut down at certain times of the day and night.

If you happen to try and use one of these systems while traveling, you could find yourself in a position where you can’t use it at different times. This could limit your ability to see everything that you want to see in a city.

This could be particularly problematic if you need to find a way to get to the airport. You’ll want to think about using an airport transportation company instead of public transportation to guarantee you don’t miss a flight.

Is Using Public Transportation While Traveling Right for You?

There are so many great benefits that you’ll get to enjoy when you use public transportation while traveling. But as we’ve mentioned a few times here, it’s also not an option that’s right for everyone.

Consider whether or not you want to use a public transport system while visiting a new place. It could make or break the experience that you have there.

Would you like to get your hands on more great travel tips prior to taking a trip? Check out the articles on our blog to find some.

8 Brilliant Kid’s Birthday Party Ideas For a Backyard Bash

If your child’s birthday falls during the summer, you have the perfect excuse to throw a backyard birthday party. An outdoor kid’s birthday party has many options for fun activities such as games, bouncing castles, inflatable water parks, etc. It also saves you a lot of money on renting a venue.

Your child’s birthday is the best day of their year so you definitely want to make it special. Read on for 8 great ideas for a kids birthday party that you can throw in your backyard.

1. Throw an Overnight Camping Party

What do kids love more than birthday parties? Sleepovers. So imagine how happy your child will be to have an overnight birthday party in your backyard. If your child is part of a scout or girl guide troop then camping is a great kids birthday party idea for them. 

Put up tents where the children can spend the night and ask each of the kids to bring their camping sleeping gear. Activities could include toasting marshmallows and making s’ mores, treasure hunts, nature hikes, camping games and bonfire storytelling. You can also set up an outdoor movie theatre for the children to have a cool outdoor movie experience.

2. Amateur Art Party

Art parties are one of the more popular kids birthday party ideas. Having an art-themed kids birthday party in your backyard will give your children the freedom to get as messy as they want. Paint spills in the backyard may not be as damaging as paint spills on your polished living room floors.

If your kid loves arts and crafts then an amateur art party will be especially fun for them. To make this party interesting make sure to provide lots of art supplies for the kids.

If the activity will be painting then provide a canvas board, paints, and paintbrushes for each attendee. Other art activities could include tie and dye, cupcake decorating, splatter paint -shirts, etc. 

3. Obstacle Race Party

Another great idea for a backyard kid’s birthday party is to prepare an obstacle race for the children. If planned properly, an obstacle race party will be a great hit because children love games and they love getting dirty. 

Some of the birthday party games for kids that you can have include a trampoline, inflatable water park, water slide, hula hoops, etc. Big exercise balls can also be used to create obstacles that kids can bounce over like on the TV show Wipeout. 

4. Circus Party

The circus theme is a popular birthday party idea for kids because it has many elements that children love. There could be clowns, magic tricks, carnival games, and popcorn. Set up your backyard like a real circus using multi-colored streamers, balloons and circus music playing on outdoor speakers. 

Kids birthday party food for a circus theme can include hot dogs, candy floss, pretzels, popcorn and animal crackers. For entertainment, you could hire a clown or events company that has circus-themed party packages. 

5. Safari Kids Birthday Party

Petting zoos are wonderful kids birthday party places for children that love animals. You can create your animal safari park in your backyard by throwing a safari-themed party for your animal-loving child.

Decorate the yard with lots of stuffed animals and pictures of animals. If possible, you can also hire a company that can bring kid-friendly animals like ponies for the children to ride. 

You can serve cupcakes decorated with different animals and animal-themed snacks such as animal crackers. Decorations could include green streamers that can transform your backyard into an African jungle.

For games, you could have an arts and craft session whereby the kids can create animal masks or draw and paint different animals. You could also play animal charades and pin the tail on the donkey.

6. Nerf War Party

A nerf war party can be the ultimate birthday party for a child that loves shooting and battle games. Set up a war zone in your backyard using cardboards, tires, tables turned over, beach umbrellas, etc. Attendees can bring their own nerf guns and foam darts.

Another fun event could be target practice using plastic cups. Consider providing quick and easy snacks that the children can grab on the go, in between their war games.

In case your backyard is too small for this sort of party you can hold the birthday party at an actual battle sports arena. You can also have a water gun fight to add more fun to the event. 

7. Backyard Beach Party

Summer is the best time to have some fun at the beach. But if you are unable to go to the beach for your child’s birthday party, bring the beach to you. A backyard beach party would include an inflatable pool, a sandbox, beach towels, beach balls and a sprinkler. 

You’ll need a cooler box to hold your cold drinks, ice lollipops, fruit salad and picnic snacks. Remind the children to carry their swimsuits and set up games such as beach volleyball and miniature golf for them to play. For party favors, you can give all the attendees snazzy sunglasses

8.Wild West Party 

Another awesome birthday party idea to hold in your backyard is an American western party. The dress code for the children would be cowboy hats, jeans, bandanas, and cowboy boots. You would need to play country music and classic games such pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs. 

You should have a ‘watering hole’ station to serve drinks such as lemonade and food. Create a photo booth with a ‘wanted’ sign for the kids to take memorable photos. 

Try These Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Summertime is a great opportunity to hold a fun birthday party in your backyard for your kids. There are many themes that you can choose from depending on what most interests your child.

These kids birthday party ideas can help you make your child’s big day amazing. We share more parenting discussions on the website. For more party planning tips and ideas read the rest of our blog. 

Ocean Cay: Top 5 Things to Know During Your Family Vacation

As far as cruise experiences go, there are few that are more exclusive and over-the-top as Ocean Cay.

Situated just 65 miles east of Miami, Ocean Cay is a sprawling and idyllic private island that is exclusively for the use of MSC cruise ship passengers.

It is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the region, owing to the huge amount of activities on offer.

Ocean Cay offers something for everyone, from those seeking family travel packages to those looking for a festive party weekend. If you’re considering traveling to Ocean Cay, here is what you need to know before you go. 

1. MSC Passengers Experience Ocean Cay for Free

Of all of the world travel family destinations in the Caribbean, Ocean Cay arguably represents some of the best value.

If you are stopping by on an MSC cruise, access and all activities on Ocean Cay are free of charge.

As this guide on things to know about Ocean Cay explains, entertainment, food, experiences, and activities are free. This means that you can enjoy all the island has to offer without spending a penny. 

2. Ocean Cay Is a Sustainable Island Destination

For many travelers in 2020, sustainability is a top priority when choosing where to go. If you’re looking for places to travel with family that have strong environmental credentials, Ocean Cay is the place for you.

The island was once an industrial waste site before a team of ecologists and scientists were brought together to transform it into an eco-sanctuary.

Today it is a licensed marine reserve featuring hundreds of protected coral reefs and more than 75,000 imported trees and shrubs. 

3. Several MSC Ships Will Be Stopping at Ocean Cay

If you’re wondering why MSC ships are scheduled to make a stop-off at Ocean Cay in 2020, we’re here to help.

As of this writing, the MSC MeravigliaMSC SeasideMSC Divina and MSC Armonia will all be making a scheduled stop at Ocean Cay during the remainder of this year.

If you’re planning on staying aboard one of these exquisite vessels, make sure to plan for your trip to Ocean Cay. 

4. Ocean Cay is an Ideal Family Vacation Spot

Although some might think that Ocean Cay is more of a tropical party paradise, it is also one of the best family travel destinations around, with something for everyone.

There is the family lagoon, which is perfect for exploring the waves and wildlife with the little ones. There are family-oriented entertainment shows across the island, as well as a dedicated Activity Pavilion designed just for the kids.

No matter what age, the evening lighthouse light show is something that simply cannot be missed.

5. You Should Pre-Plan Your Itinerary for Ocean Cay 

Finally, it is worth noting that Ocean Cay is very big and spread out, and there is an awful lot to do.

While Ocean Cay is one of the best places to travel with family, the sheer size of the island and the range of activities means you should plan everything before you arrive.

Consult a map of the island and plan a logical route to explore. Try and time your itinerary to coincide with the shows and activities you wish to partake in.

If you plan carefully, you can get the most out of your trip. 

Plan for the Perfect Family Vacation in 2020

Now that you have the inspiration and knowledge needed for a flawless family vacation at Ocean Cay, it’s time to start planning.

In our Travel section, you will find expert guides on how you can plan a vacation that is safe and fun for the whole family in 2020. 

 

Help the Ones We Love: This Is How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab

It’s hard to help those who refuse to help themselves. It’s even harder to keep trying without growing bitter and hopeless.

But don’t give up because there is hope. You can learn how to convince someone to go to rehab. And you can do it right here.

This article explains clearly the steps you need to take to convince your loved one to seek help. It also explains what not to do so you don’t make matters worse.

Learn the proper way to approach intervention by reading this guide.

What Not to Do

First thing’s first: you need to stop any behaviors that aren’t helping your cause. One of the most common is nagging or begging them to stop their addiction. 

This clearly hasn’t been working and both of you know that by now. These pleas aren’t an encouraging, actionable, or logical way to stop addiction. If anything, they enforce the addict’s pattern of ignoring you.

Next, cease all judgment and outrage in your response to the addiction. Again, these help nothing and only make the addict feel worse. Their response will be to turn to their addiction for comfort.

Start Fresh

Bitterness can be addictive, too. Stopping your outrage, judgment, and nagging is easier said than done.

It’s best to pretend you’re starting all over, addressing this addiction for the first time. Letting go of the past makes it easier for you to adopt the more helpful behaviors we’re about to explain.

Plan the Intervention

NEVER try a spur-of-the-moment intervention. It will surely do more harm than good.

Instead, plan ahead by educating yourself on the addiction and on intervention. Plan exactly what you’re going to say. Clear a spot in your schedule and have the addict clear theirs for this “appointment.”

Also, learn about the different kinds of rehab programs that are available. Some are very traditional and clinical while others are more nature-based, like this one here. Research these options ahead of time to find the program that may suit the addict best. 

Bring this information with you into the intervention. Then, you and the addict can decide on a course of action together.

Have a Heart-to-Heart

Next, you or the person closest to the addict must carry out the plan above. Before a group intervention, it’s best to try a one-on-one approach.

Be Honest

Be honest about how you feel about this addiction. Be firm in explaining that you absolutely will not tolerate this behavior anymore.

Be Empathetic

Next, you must let them know that you’re doing this because you love them, not because you’re sick of them or their behavior. Remind them that, if you didn’t care about them, you wouldn’t be having this conversation.

As much as you can, avoid the words “you” and “should.” These come off as accusatory and judgemental. Use “I” statements instead.

Try to be general in the way you speak about addiction so they don’t feel personally singled out.

Group Intervention

If the one-on-one approach doesn’t work, it’s time to try a group intervention. Choose the group members from the addict’s closest friends and family.

Make sure they are fully educated on addiction and intervention. They must be prepared to intervene as we’ve described above.

Professional Intervention

As a final effort, enlist professional help. A professional interventionist is better equipped than the average person to perform an intervention.

But they should still be your last choice. This way, the addict is approached first by those who truly care about them.

Keep This Guide on How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab

Preparation and proper communication is key to getting through to the addict you love. Don’t attempt intervention unprepared. Follow this guide on how to convince someone to go to rehab.

We have many more articles like this one for you to explore. Discover more helpful relationship advice on our relationship blog.

 
 

5 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe and Healthy in 2020

Cleaning your home may not be on your list of favorite things to do, but it offers many benefits.

For one thing, it can help you and your family breathe better. If you have kids or other family members who have respiratory issues, keeping a clean home can help reduce asthma and allergy triggers.

Another benefit is injury prevention. Especially if you have older loved ones living with you, you’d want to keep walkways clear to prevent falls and eliminate tripping hazards. 

There’s more, but all these contribute to a safe and healthy environment for everyone living in your house. That being said, here are some healthy home tips every homeowner should keep in mind.

1. Guard Your Home Against Water

Water leaks aren’t a minor problem. If you leave them alone, they could end up causing structural damage.

The best way to avoid this is to check for water leaks, especially in your roofing system and interior plumbing. Once you confirm that you have water leaks, call professionals to fix them asap.

Now, if for some reason, the pros can’t come to your house right away, and you’re seeing spills, make sure to wipe them as best as you can. Don’t forget that standing water is attractive to pests – another enemy of a healthy home.

2.  Get Rid of Contaminants 

A safe home is a contaminant-free home, but what exactly are these contaminants?

It depends. For example, lead may be a contaminant in older homes (pre-1978), but the good thing is there are different lead paint removal options to choose from including encapsulation, enclosure, wet cleaning, etc. 

Another contaminant to check for is radon, which could enter your house through cracks in your foundation, crawlspace, and so on. Should you detect a high level of this dangerous gas in your home, you can either buy a radon removal system or hire a radon removal specialist.

3. Keep Your Home Safe and Healthy by Eliminating Viruses

Beyond cleaning, you have to learn how to disinfect your home to keep it virus-free. That means using effective disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide, bleach, etc. 

As to which areas of your home you need to disinfect, think surfaces where viruses and germs collect fast. These include faucets, tables, sinks, toilets, bathtubs, door handles, floors, chairs, and so on. Now, if you’re still not sure how to clean all viruses, you can check out this complete virus removal guide.

4. Let in Fresh Air

Did you know that the air inside your home can harbor more chemical pollutants than the air outdoors? This is why you need to open your windows to let in some fresh air and sweep away indoor pollutants.

And speaking of ventilation, don’t forget to ventilate your bathroom/s, kitchen, and attic. You should also make it a habit to replace your HVAC filters regularly to reduce allergens in your home.

5. Follow a Home Maintenance Schedule

Part of ensuring health and safety at home is to follow a maintenance schedule, so you don’t forget important tasks.

For example, springtime is the perfect time for thoroughly cleaning your home, while summer is ideal for exterior repairs such as a fresh coat of paint for your porch. The idea is not to let small problems become big headaches later on.  

Want More Home Improvement Tips and Advice?

Now that you know some top tips for keeping your home safe and healthy, don’t stop here.

For more tips and advice on keeping your house in tip-top shape, feel free to check out our other articles.

7 Luggage Packing Tips That Will Save Your Trip

Are you all set for your next trip?

Whether its work or pleasure, getting away for a while is always something to look forward to. But properly packing your luggage is essential for a successful trip.

Make sure you’re ready for your vacation with these luggage packing tips.

1. Make a Packing List

You should start packing days (or even weeks) ahead of when you’re set to leave. Put together a complete list in writing, because you’ll likely have extra bits you need to buy. An itemized packing list ensures you never leave anything important behind.

2. Set Bag Limits

Buy a hard-sided suitcase, suited for your length of stay. For example, if it’s a long weekend or a week, use one that’s 22 inches tall so it counts as a carry-on. The structured shell is an automatic bag limit, and you can’t keep squeezing in those extras you don’t need.

3. Use Vacuum Bags

There are several times of travel compression bags on the market. Some need a vacuum, others take the air out of bulky items by rolling them up. They compress your items down and save space (or let you use a smaller suitcase). You can also use them to put your dirty clothes inside throughout the trip to keep everything separate.

You should note that they can leave thin fabrics wrinkled. And because they save so much space, it can be tempting to pack too much. This could leave you with an overweight bag (and extra charges if you don’t spot it early).

4. Pick a Travel Palette

To cut down the number of clothes you’re packing, pick a struck color palette. Have a base of neutrals (black, gray, beige) and then one accent color. The accent can be any color; red, plum, yellow, or even a pastel shade.

From a few basic items, you’ll be able to set out a week’s worth of outfits. Then pack a few pairs of shoes that will work with each of them.

5. Use All The Space

When you’re packing, make use of all the space inside the suitcase. Fold socks into each other and put them inside shoes and roll up small items like underwear and tops. Make your items as small as possible and fill up every inch possible.

6. Keep it Clean

To keep those mystery travel stains at bay, pack toiletries in a secure bag. For light clothing, fold them and pack them inside out to protect them. And those disposable shower caps in your last hotel? Keep them to protect your clothes from the bottoms of your shoes.

7. Store Your luggage

Nothing ruins a trip around a new city like dragging your heavy luggage everywhere you go. Even if you bring only the bare necessities, a large bag (or two) will get in the way of your enjoyment. Use a luggage storage app to find a secure place to store your luggage so you can enjoy your trip and give you arms a rest!

Luggage Packing Tips Made Easy 

The two key rules of packing are to limit yourself and to maximize the amount you can pack. Following these luggage packing tips will let you pack everything you need, without weighing you down.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out our other blog posts.