Mike: All right, thanks Glen. Time now to answer some of your common health questions. Joining me is News Channel Five’s medical expert, Dr. David Soria, the Chief of Emergency Medicine at Wellington Regional Medical Center. First of all, thank you so much as always.
Dr. David Soria: Good to see you, Mike.
Mike: First question here is, can Swimmers Ear be harmful? So much water around Florida, good question.
Dr. David Soria: Yeah, and we’re kind of ending the season but it still impacts us because we swim around here year long. Swimmers Ear is the same as external otitis externa, basically, that’s an infection of the outer canal that leads to the eardrum. Little different than a middle ear infection, which is the eardrum itself. Swimmers Ear can cause a lot of pain, causes swelling, drainage from the ear itself but it actually uncommonly causes complications, but it still can. What it can do is, it can rupture an eardrum, it can cause infection systemically that can travel to the bone underneath the ear, and in rare occasions, it can actually cause Meningitis. So the times that I would want you to see your doctor, is obviously, if there’s a lot of pain, but also if you develop a fever, if there’s a significant amount of pain in the bone here beneath the ear, and if you develop and stiff neck or a headache. Absolutely come see us to make sure it’s nothing more serious than that.
Mike: Okay. Take care of it right away, right there. All right, second question. Seeing spots in your eyes, is that a dangerous situation?
Dr. David Soria: Yeah. Typically, it is not. What those are called are floaters, and those are small little specks that can kind of float around in your visual field. Typically, those are from small pieces of collagen that can break off over time. Rarely is that indicative of anything serious and typically over time they actually resolve. But they can be a sign of something more significant that’s going on with the eye. So for example, it could be a retinal tear. Retinal detachment, Diabetic Neuropathy can do it, and in rare cases, eye tumors. So when do I want you to go see your doctor when you see floaters? Well, it’s always a good idea to get it checked out, but certainly, it’s more significant if you see an increase in the number of floaters, acutely. If you see flashes of light, if it’s associated with pain, if you have any sort of visual loss, or if you start to see floaters after eye or head trauma, absolutely come see us, we need to check you out.
Mike: Is there any certain time when people are seeing the most spots in their eyes, maybe getting up too fast or is there any-
Dr. David Soria: Typically not. You see them the most when you’re looking at something bright. So if you’re looking at the sun outside or at a white sheet of paper, that’s when you’ll see those floaters most prominently.
Mike: Always here to have your back is Dr. David Soria. If you have a question for him, just simply go to our website, wptv.com and click on the health link, scroll down and then on the right-hand side that’s where you’ll find that form to write your question. Again, thanks for coming in doctor. And we’ll be right back.