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What's Going Around Aug. 13, 2012

Triple digit temperatures across central Arkansas are leading to more than just sweaty socks; the intense heat can also lead to bigger medical problems.
Triple digit temperatures across central Arkansas are leading to more than just sweaty socks; the intense heat can also lead to bigger medical problems.

Dr. Kenneth Dill in Lonoke says a big one is swimmer's ear.

Dr. Dill says there are many factors that lead to swimmer's ear, including spending more time in the pool to try and keep cool. But humid and hot temperatures can also lead to the outer ear infection.

Symptoms include swelling and fullness in your ears, along with being itchy and painful.

To prevent swimmers ear doctors recommend using well-fitted ear plugs while in the water and use alcohol or ear drops specifically designed to quickly evaporate water in your ears once you dry off.

"In patients that are predisposed can do some preventative measures such as using a hair dryer to dry the canal," Dr. Dill says.

The doctor warns, if you use the hair dryer, put it on the lowest temperature.

If you do need to go on medication, Dr. Dill says people usually see relief in just a few days.

Another summertime health issue is stomach flu.

Dr. Dill says bacteria thrives in the summer weather and with more people eating outside with picnics opens the door for you to be exposed to the sickness.

He says always wash your hands and don't cross contaminate your food, along with chugging the water to keep your body flushed from any bacteria.

And the heat might make you cranky but there is debate on whether hot weather can lead to depression and anxiety.

Dr. Susanna Shermer at the Midtown Clinic in Little Rock says she is seeing patients with these symptoms.

Some studies say there is a link with hot temperatures and mood disorders while others say there is not.

Doctors with Saint Vincent say if you are dealing with depression or anxiety you need to visit your physician. And that's what's going around this week.

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