Apex Medical Center
2116 S. Wayne Rd. | Westland, MI 48186
(734) 629-8971

How to Avoid Some Less Common Summertime Ailments

Westland Michigan Summer Doctor Checkups

As Ella Fitzgerald once sung, “summertime, and the livin’ is easy”. This summer you might be looking forward to beach barbecues, backyard parties, or simply sitting at home with an ice-filled drink. The temperatures will be soaring, and you’re going to want to find some way to cool down. Despite this, let’s remember that we shouldn’t just be wary of the heat. While the livin’ may be easy, it’s still a good idea to be careful. There’s a plethora of ailments that can befall the unwary during the hotter months. We’re going to take a look at some of the things you should watch out for this summer to make sure you aren’t caught off guard.


Mumps

Mumps is a viral disease that spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes; the virus then becomes airborne and can infect those nearby. This is especially contagious during the height of summer. Things like soft drink cans or water bottles can become contaminated with the virus, which can then spread if the item is shared with other people. Your kids could catch it while they splash around in the kiddy pool with the neighbor’s kids, or maybe they just wanted to be friendly and share a drink with their playmates at the park. Whatever the case, you should be watching out for signs of fever and muscle aches. The salivary glands on each side of the head can also become swollen; this can be very painful, especially if the glands are touched. There’s no specific treatment for Mumps, so to protect your children, it’s best that they be given an MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is spread by when a human is bitten by a tick carrying Lyme disease-causing bacteria. A circular rash about six inches in diameter (almost like a bullseye) will develop around the bite. Initial symptoms are very similar to the flu: headaches, fever, and muscle pain. After a while, the infected person may develop problems with their nervous system, such as numbness of the extremities, trouble concentrating, and memory loss. Arthritis is also one of the later symptoms. If Lyme disease is untreated or treated too late, these symptoms may present themselves anywhere from weeks to months later. Scary stuff!

Tick populations are usually found in areas with tall grass and abundant wildlife, such as forests. There are some preventative measures you can take, such as wearing long shirts and pants and using insect repellents containing DEET. You should check for ticks after being in wooded areas for any period of time. It’s also a good idea to shower after being outdoors; aside from washing away sweat and grime, it also gets rid of any loose ticks. If you do find a tick, simply washing the bite mark with soap and water should suffice for the first treatment. Preserve the tick by putting it in a zip lock bag or other sealable container.

Lyme disease can be treated with prescription antibiotics, but if left untreated, the damage can become permanent. If you have any suspicions that you might have Lyme disease, get it checked right away.

Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis externa)

Swimmer’s ear, also known as otitis externa, is the inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal. When water enters the ear canal and isn’t properly drained, it can cause the ear to become susceptible to irritation and swelling. Increased water exposure carries with it the risk of bacteria getting into the sensitive ear tissues, resulting in Swimmer’s ear. Any trauma of the ear (such as using a cotton-tip swab to clean buildups of earwax) can also cause Swimmer’s ear if bacteria is already present. Typical symptoms include redness, itchiness, and pain, especially when the ear is touched or the head is moved.

Treatment is relatively straightforward; typically, antibiotic ear drops for at least a full week are all that are required. The only caveat is that during the treatment period, the patient needs to avoid submerging his or her head in water. This is obviously going to be a challenge if you have an adventurous 6-year-old who wants to be in the pool to escape the summer heat.

Now, if you want to prevent swimmer’s ear, it’s pretty simple: keep the outer ear and ear canal as dry as possible and avoid irritating the tissues of the ear. If you have a buildup of earwax and want to get it cleaned out, ear irrigation (also known as ear syringing) can be performed by a physician. This is preferable to using a cotton-tip swab as it does not push the wax deeper into the ear canal and cause blockage. Manual removal of earwax can also be effective.

For these and any other common issues, APEX Medical can help. Whether you need a vaccination or treatment, we are committed to providing personalized, high-quality healthcare so that you can have a worry-free summer. Call us today at 734-629-8971 to learn more. You can also find us on-line at our social media accounts:

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