Mosquito bites and swimmer's ear: Answers to some burning summer health questions - Metro US

Mosquito bites and swimmer’s ear: Answers to some burning summer health questions

Why do mosquitoes pick and choose their victims? Troubled by swimmer’s ear? Metro asked Dr. Joshua M. Kosowsky, clinical director at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s ER, about common summer health problems.

Why do mosquitoes bite certain people and not others?

No one really knows. Scientists have suggested that mosquitoes are attracted to higher body temperatures, higher levels of carbon dioxide in the breath or even certain blood types.

What exactly is swimmer’s ear and what can people do to prevent it?

Swimmer’s ear is inflammation of the outer ear, caused by water getting trapped in the ear canal. You can usually keep this from happening by turning your head from side to side until any sense of fullness or hearing impairment is gone. It is especially important to not put anything (like a Q-tip) into the ear canal itself, because this can damage the lining of the ear canal and cause more inflammation.

What’s the best thing to put on sunburned skin?

There are no topical agents that have been shown to speed recovery, but aloe vera can help with sunburn symptoms. Cool soaks with Burow’s solution (available in most drugstores), or

with equal parts milk and water, can also provide temporary relief.

Can swimming with your eyes open underwater, especially in a chlorinated pool, cause damage?

Prolonged exposure to any kind of water will have the effect of drying out your eyes, which is irritating. If your eyes become irritated after swimming, rinse with cold water and use eye-drops to keep them moist. There’s no long-term eye damage from swimming occasionally with your eyes open. Still, if you are swimming regularly, it’s a good idea to use swim goggles.

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