Ear piercing is a combination of both an art and science. The precise optimal location for your ear piercing(s) are important so that is does not interfere with your natural energy (Qi). When not in the proper location it may adversely affect your health.
Cerument (Ear Wax) or is made up of sebum (a body secretion mostly made up of fat), skin cells, sweat and dirt.
Earwax is produced by the ear to act as a natural cleanser gathering dead skin cells, hair and dirt from the inside of the ear canal to the outward. Typically, ear wax can come in two forms: wet and dry. Wet earwax is more common among Caucasians and African people whereas dry and flaky earwax is more prominent in East Asian or Native American ancestry[1[.
In some cases, individuals may produce more ear wax than others. Build-up of ear wax may be contributed to:
A simple ear examination will show whether you have ear wax build-up. However signs and symptoms of ear wax build-up include:
In most cases, the build-up of wax loosens and falls out by itself without the need for intervention. However, in some cases medical intervention is required. Treatment may include:
If these treatment strategies are not effective or if there is a large amount of hardened wax, referral to an ear specialist should be considered
 Queensland Health (2019, April) 10 things you never knew about ear wax health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/ear-wax-cerumen-cotton-bud-ear-cleaning
 Harvard Medical School (2018, April) Got an earful? Here’s some advice. health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/got-an-ear-full
 Health Direct (2018, May) Ear wax healthdirect.gov.au/ear-wax
 Seattle Children’s (2020, February) Earwax Buildup seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/earwax-buildup/
 Better Health Channel (2019, February) Ear wax betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/ear-wax
Epistaxis (nosebleeds) are very common, particularly in children and are caused by a multitude of factors, including:
Nosebleeds occur when a small blood vessel inside the nose lining bursts and bleeds.
There are two types of nosebleeds:
1. Anterior nosebleeds- more common and less serious (accounting for 90% of all nosebleed episodes)
2. Posterior nosebleeds which are more serious and generally require medical attention.
In most cases nosebleeds will stop on their own. One important step in treating nosebleeds is to apply direct pressure by pinching the nose for a few minutes. In some severe and/or persistent cases they can be life threatening due to the significant amounts of blood loss, in which case even blood transfusions may be indicated.
Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service (2016, December). Nosebleed (epistaxis). childrens.health.qld.gov.au/fact-sheet-nosebleed-epistaxis/
Safer Care Victoria (2019, July). Epistaxis (nosebleeds). bettersafercare.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-07/Epistaxis.pdf
Harvard Medical School (2019, February).Nosebleed (Epistaxis). health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/nosebleed-epistaxis-a-to-z
Tabassom and Cho (2019, January). Epistaxis (Nose Bleed). StatPearls Publishing
Labyrinthitis is an inner ear infection causing the labyrinth (the balancing centre) to be inflamed. Generally, labyrinthitis is caused by a viral infection from a cold, the flu or the herpes group of viruses.
Common symptoms of labyrinthitis include:
Treatment varies depending on the cause. Commonly, labyrinthitis resolves without treatment in a few weeks but if symptoms persist, a vestibular rehabilitation exercises may be required. These exercises involve retraining the brain to interpret the distorted balance messaged from the labyrinth. In addition to this, management of symptoms can include:
 Health Direct (2019, May) Labyrinthitis. healthdirect.gov.au/labyrinthitis
 NHS (2017, February). Labyrinthitis. nhs.uk/conditions/labyrinthitis/
 Better Health Channel (2014, November)Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis. betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/labyrinthitis-and-vestibular-neuritis
A common symptom we all have experienced throughout our lives is a sore throat (medically termed as pharyngitis). Sore throats can be categorised as itchy, painful, feelings of burning and scratchiness.
There are a variety of causes that can result in a sore throat but the most common cause of a sore throat is due to viral infections. Other causes include:
Typically there are two options for treatment of a sore throat:
1) Letting the infection get better by itself, or
2) Taking antibiotics.
It is important to see your medical practitioner to discuss these symptoms and performs a thorough physical examinations (such as assessing your glands or taking a throat swab) to correctly diagnose the cause.
Taking antibiotics unnecessarily However, as the majority of sore throats are caused by viral infections and antibiotics may not help, and may lead to very serious health problems such as antibiotic-resistant infections. Your doctor may prescribe other medicines or provide tips to help ease symptoms and make you feel better. These can include:
 Holland (2013, September) Help for Sore Throats healthline.com/health/cold-flu/help-sore-throats#Remedies-for-a-sore-throat
 Health Direct (2019, February) Sore throat (pharyngitis) healthdirect.gov.au/sore-throat
 Seattle Children’s (2020, July) Sore Throat seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/sore-throat/
 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (2016, November) Sore throat: should I take antibiotics? safetyandquality.gov.au/sites/default/files/migrated/Patient-Decision-Aid-Sore-Throat-Nov-2016.pdf
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019, August) Sore Throat cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/for-patients/common-illnesses/sore-throat.html
Tinnitus is an annoying, often constant, ‘ringing’ noise in the ears. It may be high pitched and of varying nature, such as ‘rustling, train like, or whistling’. It may result from a side effect of prescribed medication and may be associated with excessive noise, headache, sleeping problems and loss of energy.
Commonest causes of tinnitus include:
It can also be due to:
Vertigo is a type of dizziness that commonly presents as a sensation of spinning, movement, tilting or swaying. It is often described as feeling as though you and the world are spinning when you are not.
There are multiple causes of vertigo with the most common cause resulting from an inner ear problem known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). In BPPV, there is an accumulation of calcium particles in the inner ear coming loose within the ear canals. which alters how the brain controls balance1. It is thought BPPV occurs due to sudden movement activities such as bending over quickly, looking up, lying on one ear and getting out of bed2.
Other causes of vertigo include Meniere’s disease and vestibular neuritis.
Common symptoms of vertigo are similar to motion sickness and include:
Depending on the cause of your vertigo, the type of treatment recommended for you may vary. For example, if BPPV was causing vertigo, a potential treatment may include otolith positioning procedures to move the inner ear ‘crystals’. If vestibular neuritis were causing vertigo, balancing exercises may be a suitable strategy in aim to ‘retrain’ the nervous system.
In a percentage of patients vertigo may persist. Regular general practice may advise medicines such as motion sickness medication4.
 Better Health Channel (2019, May) Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/benign-paroxysmal-positional-vertigo-bppv
 Dommaraju and Perera (2016, April) An approach to vertigo in general practice racgp.org.au/afp/2016/april/an-approach-to-vertigo-in-general-practice/
 Better Health Channel (2019, May) Dizziness and vertigo betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/:~:text=Vertigo%20is%20a%20type%20of%20dizziness%20that%20feels%20as%20though,apparatus%20(called%20vestibular%20neuritis).
Xerostomia (Dry mouth) is a condition characterised by not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet and moisturised. Saliva plays an important role in ensuring bacteria is kept under control in the mouth, aiding in digestion, helping defend against tooth decay and acts as a vehicle in strengthening tooth enamel. Although everyone experiences a dry mouth from time to time, persistent feelings of dry mouth may be a sign of xerostomia.
Symptoms which persist in this condition include:
There are a number of factors thought to cause dry mouth such as:
Fortunately there are treatments and strategies in place to reduce the discomfort from dry mouth. As dry mouth increases the chances of tooth decay, it is crucial to protect your teeth by visiting the dentist regularly, using a soft toothbrush and mouth rinse and avoiding sugary or acidic foods. Furthermore, staying hydrated and avoiding foods that irritate the mouth have been found to ease the discomfort of dry mouth.
 Queensland Government – Queensland Health (2008, April) Healthy teeth for life fact sheet. health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0023/154076/htfl_dry_mouth_v2.pdf
 Colgate. Dry Mouth colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/dry-mouth
 Better Health Victoria (2017, February) Dry Mouth Syndrome betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/dry-mouth-syndrome
 Health Direct (2018, April) Dry Mouth Syndrome healthdirect.gov.au/dry-mouth-syndrome