Wednesday, 29 January 2014

CAPD under the magnifying glass ...

CAPD under the magnifying glass ...

CAPD Is a growing problem affecting about 5% of school aged children.
These kids cannot process the information they hear in the same way as others because their ear and brain are not fully coordinated. The brain cannot properly recognize and interpret sounds, most notably speech.

Kids with CAPD do not often recognize the subtle differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are loud enough to be heard.
These problems usually occur when there is a lot of background noise such as children in a classroom or sitting at a mall or restaurant.

How to detect CAPD:
The child has no problem picking up pure tones delivered in a sound proof booth, as it’s a processing problem so once listening conditions are not ideal the brain has a problem interpreting the message heard. So, most kids with CAPD do not have a loss of hearing sensitivity, but have a hearing problem in the sense that they do not process auditory information normally.

If not detected in time or managed early, many of these kids will have speech and language delays and academic problems.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can take on many forms.

1.     Is your child easily distracted or unusually bothered by loud noise or sudden sounds.

2.     Are noisy environments upsetting to your child?

3.     Does your child’s behavior or performance improve in quieter settings?

4.     Does your child have difficulties following directions, whether simple or complicated?

5.     Does your child have reading, spelling or writing or other speech- language difficulties?

6.     Is abstract information difficult for your child to understand?

7.     Are verbal math problems difficult for your child?

8.     Is your child disorganized and forgetful?

9.     Are conversation hard for your child to follow.?

10. Does your child often say “huh”?

These question are also similar to the questions asked about a ADHD child thus the 2 disorders are often confused or the child might have both.
It is also possible to have CAPD and specific language impairment or learning disabilities.

Causes are unknown, but there is evidence to link it to chronic ear infections, lead poisoning and head trauma.

What to do if you suspect your child has CAPD:

Find an audiologist that can determine and has experience with CAPD as it is not evident during a routine hearing test – only audiologists can perform auditory processing testing and determine if there is a real problem.

Once correctly diagnosed the child will most probably need to work closely with a speech and language therapist and return often for evaluations.

This problem once identified can be overcome if all parties involved with the child such as teachers and parents are informed.

With out identification the child can withdraw and struggle to cope with school- work and social events and they cannot properly identify noise and its source.

I urge all parents that if they have had a child with reoccurring ear problems or have a child that has been diagnosed with ADHD to have your child properly screened for CAPD.

Source of information:

Music to my Ears ...


On a train,bus or in the gym , it is a familiar sight, young people with earphones in their ears, listening to the latest tunes, sometimes so loud that you can hear it clearly just sitting next to them. It is almost a sin to be without an earphone "surgically attached" to their ears.
The effects of this lifestyle is not immediately detected or even after a few years but give it a decade or two and there will be an epidemic of hearing problems in younger people due to ignorance.

It is a similar situation to sunbathing, we all know the life threatening effects of continuous sun bathing such as skin cancer but do not take a simple precaution such as using a good sunblock.
Well ear care is no different!! It is simply making a choice as to whether we want our
hearing to last into our golden years. Use an earplug for noise protection, use Bioears which is anti bacterial to prevent ear infections and whatever you do don't poke foreign objects into your ears its amazing how many people use matches, car keys or even toothpicks to scratch their ears, if you damage or tear your eardrum their is nothing that can be done to repair it.

Our ears, unlike most of the rest of our body never turn off or stop working they go 24/7 so take care of them and make good choices for quality hearing. Creating awareness especially amongst younger people is necessary not to stop them from enjoying the music but perhaps so that they don't set it too loud or have it at an acceptable noise level so as not to cause trauma to the ear.

That Village people song comes to mind "You can't stop the music, nobody can stop the music" Nor would we want to. Enjoy the music!! That is one of the pleasures of life. Many people enjoy a longer life span today more so than previous generations but what is the point if you go deaf and have to spend most of it hearing impaired. I encourage young people, mother,fathers grandparents take care of what you have.

Now that is music to my ears!!

Friday, 11 October 2013

ADHD Confused with Hearing Problems ...

When my daughter first started school she was a bright learner, but very soon into Grade 2 the teachers picked up "problems" . People nowadays with no formal training are very quick to prescribe any child that does not act "normally" as an ADHD child. However in my daughters case ( as with many kids)  this was not the "problem" .She had had many serious ear infections as a child which unbeknownst to us had caused hearing damage. On several doctors visits I requested a process to prevent reoccurring ear infections not merely treat them once they had occurred.

So this is how I came to bring Cirrus Healthcare into SA- they have a range of specialized and medicated ear plugs which actually solve and treat day to day ear problems in a simple ear plug format.
We have 9 different earplugs -each with very unique attributes.

Earplanes: Equalize pressure during take off and landing in a plane or even whilst driving from PMB to Durban. They work simply by causing an impedance of flow. These plugs have been successfully used in the USA for over 30 years and locally in SA for 5 years. They are performance guaranteed if  used correctly. Children from 8 months onwards can also use them to alleviate  pain associated with changes in air pressure.

Cloudsoft: Is a soft foam earplug used for noise protection in adults (not Children) and students. It assist in causing restful sleep and can be used whilst studying to amplify the learners concentration level by removing the distracting noise around the learner. It can also be used in a open work environment  to increase productivity in workers as it limits distractions.

BioEars: The first medicated earplug infused with Active Aloe which makes the earplug anti- bacterial, anti-fungal and anti- viral. It prevents germs from hands and the water from getting into the ear and causing secondary problems. It also prevent cross contamination for suing in an infected ear. It is used for any type of water exposure not just swimming. This is a BIG misconception when using earplugs that they are only for swimming, but when a toddler bathes they are essentially interacting and learning from the experience by splashing around and putting their heads in the water and enjoying the whole experience. I have never seen a child sitting still and upright in a bath- they enjoy wetting the whole room which includes their ears. So this is key to ear protection. Protect your ears from water whilst bathing, swimming, showering and washing hair. If a parent of a baby starts applying these rules early on the child will then learn to accept the plug in their ears and should then experience very few water associated ear infections.

Earhurts: Earhurts is a medicated earplug which infuses natural healing properties into the ear easing pain, inflammation and infection in the ear. If applied early it helps sooth and relive pain associated with ear discomfort from many sources such as teething, teeth grinding (stress), headaches, sinus congestion and middle ear infection. The active ingredients work - Tea Tree oil, Eucalyptus, Mullein extract, Echinacea, within minutes to relive ear pain and discomfort. They are safe to use with grommet and antibiotics. These are my families favourite as I keep them in my emergency kit and use when I grind my teeth from stress, or go for a walk on the beach and the cold wind aches my ear or when my kids get snotty during spring and autumn ( sinus and hay fever) to prevent ear infections. They also lubricate the ear and alleviate the symptoms of eczema and itchy ears.

Clearears: A water absorbing earplug- really!! yes. This earplug works so simply to absorb any water trapped in the ear canal after showering, swimming or any form of water exposure. I find men need this earplug the most as they do not protect their ears during water exposure and then get secondary ear problems such as swimmers ear or eczema from the trapped water in the ear canal. Its safe to use with grommets as it doesn't clog the grommet.

TinniteX; Earplug infused with Aloe, B12 and Zinc - key ingredients which are shown to be lacking in a person suffering from tinnitus or any noise in the ear. They are a slower acting earplug which works to introduce more blood flow to the ear problem to alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus- however this in not a cure merely a treatment process.

Sponge Bob and Hello Kitty: Why make earplugs with cartoon characters? we are trying to encourage kids to wear ear protection. These earplugs are not only for water exposure but offer a good quality level of sound protection for babies, toddlers and kids.

When I started this whole process i didn't realize how little people ( including myself ) knew about ear care.

Firstly noise pollution is increasing at an alarming rate- all messages directed at kids are frenetic and loud causing them to be unsettled as loud noise cause fight or flight responses in individual people. Let me explain depending on the child's character they will either become aggressive from noise or withdraw. In my option this is one of the major causes of an increases in ADHD in kids. And have you ever considered the long term damage those ear phones are causing your kids. It may not be evident yet but in the next 10 years we are looking at a serious hearing impaired youth - all due to bad earphone usage. Control the duration they are,listening to earphones and the volume level.
Golden Rule: low to medium volume for a maximum of 15 minutes.

Secondly: Water exposure causes secondary ear problems so protect your ears from water.

Thirdly: COTTON BUDS and FOREIGN OBJECTS are not allowed in your ear. Firstly they can break off and leave things lodged in the ear. Cotton buds are truly bad for our ears as they strip the ear from the natural wax which is NOT dirty but in fact anti-bacterial. It protects the ear from water and dust. They also push all excess wax back into the ear causing a plug on the ear drum which in turn lowers hearing.

So what do we know now:
Don't clean your ears with cotton buds or pencils or car keys.
protect them from Noise
Protect them from water.

I hope that every mom reading this will learn and become more aware of how to care for their families ears, I write this as I learnt the hard way as hearing impairment is permanent- no pill can fix it.
I write this from my heart to every mom out there who has rocked a child screaming with ear infection late into the night.

Penny Fatsilidis
Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +27 12 548 5745
Fax: +27 86 639 6446

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Hearing loss

Hearing loss is permanent, it cannot be fixed so this summer take care to protect your ears and that of your families with proper noise protection earplugs.

Remember to use silicone noise protection for kids such as Spongebob or Hello Kitty earplugs from Cirrus Healthcare as it molds easily to the child ear shape and is relatively inexpensive and soft foam Cloudsoft in adults.

Here are the registered levels for common sounds, courtesy of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery:

30 decibels - soft whisper
50 decibels - rain
60 decibels - normal conversation/computer typing
70 decibels - expressway traffic
85 decibels - earplugs recommended for prolonged exposure at this level
90 decibels - subway, lawnmower, shop tools
100 decibels - chainsaw, snowmobile, drill
110 decibels - power saw
115 decibels - loud rock concert, sandblasting, car horn
130 decibels - race car
150 decibels - fireworks/jet engine takeoff
170 decibels - shotgun

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Protecting Ears

Sleepless nights, tons of tears and repeated wails that “my ear hurts!”

We’ve all heard these words from countless parents.

It turns out that summer time + swimming fun = swimmer’s ear.

Not every child will get swimmer’s ear, but if you have cared for a child who has had swimmer’s ear, you know how incredibly painful it can be.

Swimmer’s ear, or otitis externa, is an inflammation of the external ear canal. It’s caused when water gets into the ear and doesn’t drain properly. That’s when the ear canal can become irritated and infected. Your child may complain that her ear itches or hurts, especially when she moves her head.

So what can you do to prevent swimmer’s ear?

Here are some top 3 tips for preventing swimmer’s ear in kids.

1.  Use BioEars from Cirrus Healthcare - the only anti- bacterial silicone earplug that kills germs associated with earplug contamination, dirty water and contamination though handling. The Activ- Aloe in the plug kills germs within the ear-canal creating a balance to re-establish ear health.

2.  After swimming, encourage your child to use ClearEars- water absorbing earplugs thus not allowing water to stagnate in the ear and cause further problems.

3.  DON’T put objects in the ear canal (including cotton-tip swabs, pencils or fingers). Scratching the skin of the ear canal can let germs get in under the skin and cause infection. Also wax is there for a purpose and helps create a protective layer within the ear- wax is not dirty.

If your child complains that her ears feel itchy, it could be because of an early swimmer’s ear.  You might try using EarHurts which has active ingredients embedded in the plug to heal the ear. The natural ingredients are anti-bacterial, anti-septic and anti- inflammatory thus healing the ear gently from within with no added medication.

Remember September is Hearing awareness month in SA, so remember to care for your ears with the only medicated range of earplugs in the world- Cirrus Healthcare Products

Penny Fatsilidis
Chief Executive Officer
Cirrus Healthcare Products SA
Tel: +27 12 548 5745
Fax: +27 86 639 6446

Friday, 30 August 2013

Now that we are all looking forward to summer and have that 'Spring fever', I am hearing so many complaints in the gym, at school and at work, how everybody has sinus pain and resulting in headaches etc.
Of course we don't think that the trees are shedding pollen at a staggering rate and that the rain has not yet come to wash it all away. Did you know that different trees flower at different times? Therefore we generally have this problem re-occurring throughout the year.
What does that have to do with my ears you may ask?
Well, everything actually. Your sinuses, ears, eyes and head are all connected, if one is affected by allergic reactions then there will be effects on all these other areas.
That is why EARHURTS help so much with allergic rhinitis and symptoms thereof. They are natural, safe and can be used year-round even with grommets or medication.
Once the ear plug is inserted it is warmed up by your body temperature and healing vapours are released into the ear canal which helps to sooth pain not only in the ears but sinuses as well.

A multi purpose product. Use it - it works!!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

I recently flew overseas for our holiday in Europe but left SA with a blocked nose and flu. I had no worries as I knew I was armed in-flight with my EarPlanes, which effortlessly equalized the difference in air pressure causing me to suffer no pain or discomfort.
We arrived in France, what a dream, the city was beautiful but freezing cold. Thinking we were going to a warmer climate we were ill prepared for the cold and rain that hit us as we hopped frenetically between the sights. The extremely cold wind at the top of the Eiffel Tower caused me such pain, so I whipped out a pair of EarHurts- never travel with out EarHurts. You never know when a cold or ear-pain will set in and leave you scrambling for doctors or medical assistance in a foreign country (not a good experience).
We finally left the freezing "mild" weather of France to be hit by a 45 degree heat wave in Greece.
Hitting the beach I searched my pool bag for BioEars, my daughter sometimes prefers the Cirrus Swim plugs but I found that even after dropping my BioEars into the sand I could merely wash them off and reinsert.
As I left the beach, my husband who refuses to wear earplugs complained of having sea water trapped in his ear- TADA - ClearEars, which by the time we got home had absorbed all the water trapped in his ear that was causing him discomfort.
Now people we take our city living for granted -sleeping in a cosmopolitan city like Greece is noisy and very unsettling, so I used CloudSoft noise protection earplugs to drown out the sounds of the city with its traffic and watermelon vendors which sell you water melons at 6 in the morning - go figure! They even fetch the refuse bins at 2 in the morning as its too hot to work in the day, they rattle the bins and have sirens marking their arrival.
With my CloudSofts securely in place i could begin to enjoy the holidays and get the rest I was so craving for.

So that was my EARPLUG TRAVELLING EXPERIENCE  I always say better be prepared than get stuck somewhere with out a possible solution. Trust me, travelling with my earplugs made my holiday a joy.