Ear, nose, and throat

3 reasons to leave earwax alone

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Many people don’t realize that cleaning their ears with a cotton swab is not a good idea. Doing so can be harmful, and the ears are self-cleaning anyway.

Keep your seasonal allergies in check

Dominic Wu, MD
Dominic Wu, MD, Contributing Editor

There are a variety of treatments available for seasonal allergies, but they should be used with care in order to avoid any unwanted, or even dangerous, side effects. For example, nasal decongestant sprays may work well in the short term, but can worsen symptoms when used too often.

Spinning out of control: Vertigo

Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN, FAHS

Vertigo occurs when the systems the body uses to maintain balance send contradictory information to the brain, causing a sensation of movement when you’re actually standing still. It’s very common for people to experience vertigo while on board boats. There are several medications that can ease the discomfort of vertigo.