SLEEP: HOW TO GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

SLEEP: HOW TO GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

Getting a good night’s sleep requires more than just going to bed on time. Try the following sleep tips to give yourself the best chance of getting consistent, quality sleep each night.

  • Allocate enough time for sleep. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise so it is important to allocate the right amount of time in your day for sleep and plan the rest of your schedule accordingly. Getting a good night’s sleep means 7–8 hours each night for adults (including older adults), 9–10 hours for teenagers, at least 10 hours for school-aged children and 11–12 hours for preschool-aged children.
  • Create a consistent sleep routine. As creatures of habit, we are usually more successful when following a routine. Sleep is no different. From your pre-sleep ritual to going to bed and waking up at the same time, you will find that consistency makes it easier for you to fall asleep.
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and comfortable – especially your bed. It may take some experimenting on your part but finding a comfortable bed and pillow is invaluable. We spend one-third of our lives in bed so don’t compromise on comfort.
  • Turn off all light emitting gadgets at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Whether it’s television, reading, email or texting, give yourself a nice window of time to unwind and relax before sleep. Television and bright lights also suppress melatonin production thereby making it more difficult to fall asleep.

If you feel like you’re doing everything you can to get a good night’s sleep but no longer have the energy to do the things you love, you may have sleep apnea which affects three in 10 men and nearly two in 10 women. Talk to your ENT surgeon or Sleep Coordinator about your sleep issues.

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NASOPHARYNGEAL CANCER

NASOPHARYNGEAL CANCER

Nasopharyngeal cancer (also known as NPC) is when a tumour develops in the lining of the nasopharynx which is the area of the upper part of the throat behind the nose. NPC is quite common accounting for around 5% of all cancers in Malaysia. It can start at the age of 35 years with a peak incidence of around 50-60 years.

Main Causes of Oral Cancers are:

  • Genetic (common in Southern Chinese)
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Salted fish or preserved vegetables
  • Wood dust or industrial fumes (formaldehyde)
  • Epstein-Barr Virus

Symptoms & Signs of NPC

  • Tinnitus which is a buzzing sound in one ear (early sign)
  • Decreased hearing in one ear
  • Blocked or recurrent infection in one ear
  • Blocked or congested nose
  • Swollen gland in the neck
  • Recurrent nose bleeds
  • Headache or double vision (late sign)

CT, MRI & PET Scans helps to localise the NPC to help doctors plan treatment.

Treatment of NPC

Nasopharyngeal cancer is treated by a team of doctors and health professionals which include the ENT surgeon, Dietician and Oncologist. Treatment requires:

  • Intensive Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT)
  • Concurrent Chemo-Radiotherapy
  • Neck dissection or Naso-pharyngectomy surgery (required if chemo-radiotherapy fails)
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SALIVARY GLAND CANCER

SALIVARY GLAND CANCER

There are 3 major salivary glands on each side of our face which make saliva which is important for our oral health. Saliva contains enzymes which help in the process of digesting food as well as antibodies to prevent infections of the mouth. It also helps to lubricate our mouth and throat to allows us to swallow dry or hard foods easily and prevent sore or dry throat after talking too much.

The salivary glands are:

  • The parotid gland is the largest salivary gland and is situated just in front of the ear and accounts for around 70% of all salivary cancers
  • The sub-mandibular gland is smaller and is situated just below the jaw.
  • The sublingual gland is the smallest and is situated under the floor of the mouth and below either side of the tongue.

Symptoms & Signs of Salivary Gland Cancer

  • Mass or Swelling at the neck region
  • Difficulty opening mouth or swallowing
  • Change in voice
  • Numbness or weakness in the face
  • Pain on one side of the face

Treatment of Salivary Gland Cancer

Salivary Gland cancer is treated by a team of doctors and healthcare professionals which include the ENT surgeon, Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeon, Speech Therapist and Oncologist. Treatment may involve:

  • Surgery & reconstruction
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
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ORAL CANCER

ORAL CANCER

Oral cancer is when a tumour develops in the lining of the mouth. The tumour can be on the surface of the tongue, the insides of the cheeks, the roof (palate) or floor of the mouth, the gums or the lips. Oral cancers are NOT very common accounting for around only 2-3% of all cancers. They are usually found in older adults over the age of 50 years.

Main Causes of Oral Cancers are:

  • Tobacco smoking
  • Betel nut chewing
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Human Papilloma Virus
  • Spicy hot foods
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth

Symptoms & Signs of oral cancer

  • Ulcer in the mouth which is NOT painful and NOT healing
  • Mass or swelling
  • Neck swelling
  • Unexplained loose tooth which does NOT heal
Treatment of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is treated by a team of doctors and health professionals which include the ENT surgeon, Dentist, Maxillo-Facial surgeon, Speech Therapist and Oncologist. Treatment may involve:

  • Surgery & reconstruction
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy

How to self-examine yourself for Oral Cancer

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RECOMMENDED VACCINES WHEN YOU TRAVEL TO AFRICA

RECOMMENDED VACCINES WHEN YOU TRAVEL TO AFRICA

Recommended Vaccines When You Travel to Africa

1) Hepatitis A 

Risk increases with duration of travel and is highest for those who live in or visit rural settings, trek in back-country areas, or frequently eat or drink in areas with poor sanitation.

2) Meningococcal Disease

Risk is increased for travellers to sub-Saharan Africa (the ‘meningitis belt’) during the dry season, especially if there is prolonged contact with locals.

3) Typhoid Fever

Risk is higher where environmental sanitation and personal hygiene may be poor. The adventurous eater venturing “off the beaten track” should also consider vaccination.

4) Rabies

Should be considered in most parts of the world if exposure to animals is expected. Travellers spending time outdoors, especially rural areas, and who are involved in outdoor activities (eg cycling, camping, hiking outdoor work, caving) are at particular risk. Children are also considered higher risk because they tend to play with animals and may not report bites.

5) Yellow Fever

Recommendations may vary by country.

Proof of vaccination (International Certificate of Vaccination) against yellow fever may be required or travel to and from some of the countries in South America and Trinidad and Tobago.

Some countries with endemic yellow fever may waive requirements for travellers coming from non-infected areas and staying less than 2 weeks. Vaccination is recommended for travel in countries that lie in yellow fever endemic zones but do not officially report the disease.

Note: This is a guide only. Advice by your healthcare professional will vary depending on destination, duration of travel, types of accommodation and what types of activities you take part in.

References:

1. Marshall GM. The Vaccine Handbook: A practical guide for clinicians, 4th edition. 2012.

2. Travel Clinics of America. Destinations 

3. World Health Organization. International Travel and Health 2014.

4. Kita Y, et al. Replacement of oral polio vaccine with inactivated polio vaccine and inclusion of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine in the national childhood immunization schedule. Epidemiological News Bulletin 2013; 39(2): 27-33

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 Dr. Suraya

Dr. Suraya

Vaccination Practitioner (Adult)

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