Four Ear Infection Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Ear infections can be a painful problem for children and adults alike. While some cases of ear infections can be treated at home, there are some symptoms that can indicate it’s time to see an ENT specialist before the infection turns into a severe problem. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand the importance of ENT health, so we’ve laid out some ear infection symptoms that mean it’s time to see an ear doctor:


  1. Sudden Onset of High Fever

Fever is often a common symptom associated with ear infections but be sure to keep an eye on your body temperature. Fever is the body’s response to an infection, but a sudden, high fever caused by your ear infection can indicate a more serious problem that needs to be addressed by a medical professional. According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, adults with fevers higher than 103 degrees that last for over 48 hours should seek medical attention (1).


  1. Swelling Under or Behind the Ear

Swelling behind or under the ear can occur in some cases of ear infections. While this swelling isn’t usually dangerous, it is still important to see an ear doctor when it occurs. It could indicate that the mastoid bone, located behind the ear, has become infected. According to the National Health Service, this condition, called mastoiditis, often occurs following an ear infection (2). If diagnosed and treated early, mastoiditis often resolves quickly with no complications. However, if left untreated, this condition can cause serious problems. As swelling is a key symptom of mastoiditis, it’s important to see an ENT specialist for ear swelling to rule out the possibility of this condition.


  1. Blood Coming from the Ear

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, a middle ear infection can sometimes result in a rupture of the eardrum, called an eardrum perforation (3). When this happens, built up fluid is able to drain from the ear. If you notice bloody drainage coming from your ear, you’ll need to see an ear doctor for a professional diagnosis. Some eardrum perforations may require surgery to fully heal. Even if surgery is not required, your ENT specialist can treat the perforation and help protect it from further damage caused by water or trauma.


  1. Inability to Move Normally

According to the National Institutes of Health, an ear infection can cause balance problems, as the vestibular system that helps control balance is affected (4). When your ear infection affects your ability to balance, the condition is called labyrinthitis. While labyrinthitis may slightly affect your sense of balance, it should not impair your overall ability to move normally. If your ear infection is accompanied by difficulty with everyday movement, you may need to see an ENT specialist. In severe cases of labyrinthitis, vestibular rehabilitation therapy is needed to help regain normal function. Your specialist will be able to determine which method of treatment is needed for your situation.


Ear infections usually resolve on their own with only mild symptoms. However, if you notice any of the above listed symptoms, it’s best to see your ENT specialist to rule out any severe problems. For the leading ENT treatments in the Clear Lake area give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620 or learn more at














The Top 5 Tips to Increase Your Bone Health This Summer

Most people don’t think of “bone health” when they think of summer. Instead, many people think of sunny days, beach vacations, and splashing around in the pool. However, summer is actually the perfect time to focus on the health of your bones. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know the importance of taking care of your bones, so we’ve listed some ways to increase bone health this summer:


  1. Snack on Seasonal, Polyphenol-Rich Foods

Thanks to ample sunshine and warm weather, produce is abundant in the summer. Much of this produce is rich in polyphenols, a group of plant-based chemicals. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, polyphenols also play a role in bone health, with an association between increased polyphenol intake and decreased risk of bone fractures (1). This season try increasing your intake of blackberries, raspberries, beets, or cherries to give your bones a boost of polyphenols.



  1. Spend Time in the Sun

Spending time in the sun is an easy way to help your bones this summer. Sunlight helps our body produce vitamin D, which allows our body to produce calcium. The National Osteoporosis Foundation states that those who do not get enough vitamin D are at a greater risk for broken bones and bones loss (2). For your daily dose of vitamin D, try spending at least 20-30 minutes a day in direct sunlight. Just remember to use sunscreen.



  1. Take Some Time to Relax

Believe it or not, your mental health can impact the physical health of your bones. When you don’t take time to relax, stress can easily build up. This stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which the National Center for Biotechnology Information cites as a factor for bone loss (3). To keep your bones at their best, be sure to take some time to relax this summer. Spend some time in the pool, take your dog to the park, or enjoy another fun summer activity to help reduce stress levels and bone-damaging cortisol production.



  1. Go for a Walk

While you may want to avoid going for a walk when the sun is at its brightest, it’s still important to get some movement into your day. The National Institutes of Health state that bones, like muscle, respond to exercise by becoming stronger (4). This means that daily exercise can help reverse the effects of bone loss as we age, as it makes them more resilient against breakdown. A walk is the perfect option this summer to get up and get some exercise. Aim for 30 minutes of movement a day, preferably indoors or when the sunlight is not at its brightest.



  1. Stay Away from the Cola

Many people enjoy a daily cola during the summer, but it’s best to avoid this sugary drink for the sake of your bones. The National Center for Biotechnology Information shows an association between cola consumption and lower bone mineral density (5). To keep hydrated and support your bone health, milk or water are better options. You can even add some fresh, seasonal fruit to your water for a flavor boost.


These tips will help keep your bones at their best all year long. Houston Physicians’ Hospital is the leading orthopedic hospital for Clear Lake, Texas, and the surrounding areas. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620.




























Is It Allergies or Something More? Here’s When to See an ENT Specialist

Summer is here, and many residents in the Clear Lake and the surrounding areas are finding themselves dealing with allergy symptoms. While allergies are often a normal occurrence during the warmer months, they can become severe and need to be addressed by an ENT specialist. We know your health is important here at Houston Physicians’ Hospital, so we’ve laid out some signs that mean it’s time to visit an ENT doctor for your allergies:


  1. You Frequently Have Sinus Problems

If you often find yourself suffering from sinus problems such as sinus infections or severe sinus pain, it may be time to speak with a medical professional about the possibility of an ENT problem. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology states that those who have allergies are at a greater risk for infections and other problems with the sinuses (1).



  1. OTC Treatments Have Not Worked

Typically, it is best to try OTC (over the counter) methods to treat allergies before speaking to an ENT specialist. In fact, the American Journal of Managed Care estimates that 57% of allergy sufferers are able to treat their allergies using OTC treatment methods (2). However, if you have tried different OTC medications to treat your allergies and still suffer from persistent symptoms, it can mean you need to speak with an ENT specialist.



  1. Breathing is Extremely Difficult

While a stuffy nose is a common symptom of normal allergies, it shouldn’t cause breathing to become extremely difficult. If you suffer from breathing difficulties along with your allergies, you may have a condition called “allergic asthma.” According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergic asthma is a condition in which allergens trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing or difficulty breathing (3). Speak to a medical professional as quickly as possible if breathing is extremely difficult as a result of your allergies.



  1. Your Symptoms Interfere with Your Daily Life

The National Sleep Foundation cites that allergy symptoms can make it difficult to sleep at night (4). If your allergy symptoms are getting in the way of your regular sleep cycle, you should seek treatment from an ENT specialist. Also consider whether your allergies affect any other aspects of your life, such as your exercise routine or your appetite. Allergy symptoms can be challenging to deal with, but if they are holding you back from your daily life, it’s time to seek treatment from a medical professional.


Allergies can hinder many people’s summer plans, but they shouldn’t control your life. For professional allergy management, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620. We proudly offer expert ENT treatments in Clear Lake and the surrounding areas.



















These 4 Outdoor Activities Are Great for Your Back!

Summer is upon us, and it’s a great time to be active outside. For those who experience back pain, outdoor activities may seem more like a burden than a fun way to get active this summer. As a leading name in pain management, Houston Physicians’ Hospital believes that no one should be held back from enjoying fun outdoor activities, so we’ve listed some back-friendly options to try:


  1. Yoga

Many people enjoy doing some outdoor yoga on a beautiful summer morning, and it just so happens to be a wonderful way to help with chronic back pain. In fact, the National Center for Biotechnology Information states that not only does yoga reduce the intensity of back pain, but it also helps restore function and movement in the back (1). Some great poses to try are Seated Spinal Twist, Sphinx Pose, and Lower Back Clasp, as these poses focus primarily on the muscles that help support the spine.



  1. Swimming

Swimming is the perfect warm weather activity. It can help your back and provide the extra benefit of keeping you cool. The National Center for Biotechnical Information cites water-based cardio activities, like swimming, as one of the most useful methods of exercise for those suffering from back pain (2). Whether you’re playing pool games or swimming laps, your pool will help keep your back pain-free in the warm weather.



  1. Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding is a low-impact activity that can help build strength in the core and improve balance. A study published in The Journal of Sports Sciences also associates paddle boarding with improved static and dynamic postural control (3). This increase in postural control is directly related to the amount of back pain present, according to the National Center for Biotechnical Medicine (4). Get out on the lake and try some paddle boarding for the perfect warm weather, back-friendly activity.



  1. Walking

NHS England, a public body of the Department of Health and Social Care, suggests walking as a way to help relieve back pain (5). A morning stroll is a great option to help back pain, as there is no equipment needed, and it can easily be done in your own neighborhood. Keep in mind that you will need supportive shoes to help absorb the shock as your feet hit the ground.


Back pain often appears at inconvenient times, but these four outdoor activities will keep you pain-free as summer arrives. For expert back pain management treatments in Clear Lake, Texas, and the surrounding areas, give The Spine Solutions Center at Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at 832-340-2134.






















Use These Tips to Protect Your Back While Traveling

Summer is getting closer and closer, and many people in Webster, Texas, and the surrounding areas are ready for a vacation. However, your travel plans can easily be hindered by back pain without the proper pain management techniques. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand that everyone wants a pain-free vacation, so we’ve listed some tips to help you protect your back while traveling:


  1. Divide Your Luggage

Instead of packing all of your vacation items into one bag, try dividing your items into 2 or 3 smaller, lighter bags. According to the Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, heavy lifting was one of the most commonly stated causes of lower back pain (1). Packing separate bags allows you to pack whatever you may need for a trip, without causing one bag to become too heavy and increase your risk for back pain.


  1. Avoid Twisting When Lifting Luggage

According to the medical journal Spine, twisting motions are significantly related to back pain (2). When lifting heavy luggage, replace a twisting motion with a pivot. This allows your whole body to move, reducing the amount of strain placed on your back and reducing the risk for injury.


  1. Bring an OTC Medication as a Backup

If you’re prescription medication runs out, you don’t want to be stuck with pain during your trip. Bring an Over-the-Counter medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce pain in the event you are left without your prescription. However, be sure to speak with your local pain management doctor to ensure these medications are safe for you to use.


  1. Get Up and Stretch

If you are traveling by plane, get up and stretch once the pilot has stated it is safe to move around. Plane rides often involve long periods of sitting still, which can mean bad news for your back.  According to the medical journal Spine, prolonged sitting in a constrained posture increases the risk for back pain (3). Getting up and moving around can help relieve the back from being confined to one posture for extended periods of time.


  1. Wear Slip-On Shoes

According to the medical journal Occupational Medicine, frequently bending over shows significant potential for contributing to back pain (4).  Avoid this by wearing slip on shoes. These shoes can be easily taken off after a long day of walking without the need to bend over and potentially make your back pain worse.


Vacation is a time to relax and enjoy yourself, not deal with back pain. These simple tips can help keep your back pain-free when traveling. For expert back pain treatment in Webster, Texas, and the surrounding areas, give the Spine Solutions Center at Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at 832-340-2134.




Protect Your Back When Doing These Spring Activities

Spring has arrived, and many Houston, Texas, residents are excited to begin their favorite seasonal activity. However, with many spring activities, the risk for back pain increases. As a leading name in pain management in Webster, Texas, and the surrounding areas, Houston Physicians’ Hospital understands that no one wants to be held back from their favorite spring activities due to back pain. We’ve listed some easy ways you can protect your back when doing some popular spring activities:


  1. Running

If your spring exercise routine involves hitting the pavement for a run, you’ll want to add a viscoelastic insert into your running shoes to protect your back. These inserts redistribute the pressure beneath your feet and can reduce back pain by absorbing some of the shock as your feet hit the ground. In fact, according to the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, adding these inserts into your shoes can help cushion the spine and reduce spinal damage (1) during activity.


  1. Golfing

Many residents in Webster, Texas, and the surrounding areas enjoy spending their season on the golf course. However, your favorite pastime can potentially contribute to back pain. To avoid back problems and spend more time golfing, the journal Clinics in Sports Medicine states that proper swinging mechanics are imperative (2). A hunched posture when swinging can place strain on the back, leading to an increase in back pain. When swinging, make sure to engage your core muscles to help ensure your back remains straight.


  1. Tennis

With the weather warming up, many people are excited to get to their favorite outdoor activities, such as tennis games. When it comes to orthopedic injuries associated with tennis, most people think of “tennis elbow.” However, tennis can also negatively impact the back. According to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, sports that involve repetitive hyperextension movements are associated with higher rates of spondylolysis (3), or a stress fracture occurring in one of the vertebrae. To keep your back pain-free and avoid the need to see your local orthopedic hospital, avoid arching your back too much when serving. Instead, bend your knees and raise your heels to support and balance the weight from your upper body.


  1. Gardening

A popular springtime activity is spending the day planting beautiful flowers in a garden. However, hours of bending over to tend to your flowers can quickly lead to pain in the back. According to Occupational Medicine, repetitive bending movements actually increase the risk for back pain significantly (4).  To avoid any problems that lead to the need for a pain management doctor, consider using raised flower beds. This will allow you to enjoy gardening without the pain associated with frequently bending over.


Back pain can make your favorite spring activities seem like a hassle. Protecting your back when doing these activities can help you reduce pain and do the things you love. For an effective pain management plan to help you enjoy your favorite activities, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital’s Spine Solutions Center a call at 832-340-2134.