What? WHAT?

Teen Hearing DamageTeens, with earbuds jammed firmly into their ear canals, might not be hearing the message about loud music and hearing loss. Almost all adolescents have risky listening habits. What’s to blame? Loud music, either from those in-ear headphones (earbuds) or crowded clubs and loud concerts. All of this recreational loud noise can damage auditory nerves, which can lead to hearing impairment later in life (called noise-induced hearing loss). Why is this so important? This hearing impairment isn’t temporary. When the noise exposure is especially loud, regular or prolonged, there can be damage to the auditory nerve (the nerve that carries the electrical impulse to the brain) or the tiny hairs inside the cochlea (inner ear), and the hearing loss is then permanent.

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Medications that can cause birth defects

MedicationsThere has been a lot of news coverage about the Zika virus and the birth defects it can cause if a woman is infected during pregnancy.  Did you know that the medication in your cabinet may also cause harm to a developing fetus?

When you (or your teenage daughter) start a new medication, it might be the last thing on your mind to think about whether that medication can cause birth defects, otherwise known as a teratogen. After all, if you’re not trying to get pregnant (or you don’t think your teen is having sex, right?), it may not be the first thing you think of when you or your teen start a medication. But…what if? What if you or someone you love were at risk of getting pregnant while on a medication that causes birth defects?

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Moments of Clarity on P4

Carrie CronkI started my nursing career 20 some years ago on F4/4 on the fourth floor of UW Hospital. As a nursing student starting on that floor I was inspired by the multidisciplinary approach and team work it took to care for these complex patients. I saw the impact the team made and I knew that this is where I wanted to be.

Our job in caring for these patients is to heal on so many different levels. Healing does not always mean curing. This is when it is trying and tough.

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Going for the Gold?

Sport SpecializationI was going to write about a completely different topic for this week’s post, but I just saw an incredible presentation about sport specialization by UW’s own Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Dr. Brooks was presenting research about whether sport specialization – when an athlete focuses on one sport, usually throughout the year and at the exclusion of participation in other sports – is a healthy and effective way to help youth achieve their athletic goals. In other words, does someone who wants to play in the WNBA have to play in a year-round basketball league before high school (or even middle school)?

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