Ask the Doctor: Knee pain, hearing problems, COVID booster shots

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 2:24 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every Tuesday on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1 (from MaryLou): “Any recommendations for knee pain, bone-on-bone? Don’t really want surgery. Also, inflammation?”

DR. BOB: MaryLou is talking about knee arthritis here. There are many non-surgical ways to manage knee arthritis.

When I talk to patients, I discuss that there is really a spectrum of management. The most basic thing you can do is stretch, do exercises, and ice your knee. If that isn’t working, you can try Tylenol.

The next step is an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. But you need to check with your doctor if this is safe for you.

If those medicines aren’t working, you can consider doing physical therapy or getting an injection of a steroid in your knee.

Question #2 (from Laura): “How long do ears stay plugged, like talking through a tunnel after an ear infection? Basically, how long does it take for the fluid to drain?”

DR. BOB: If you are having trouble hearing, many different things can be the cause.

You mention an infection. If your infection is appropriately treated, you should be back to normal in a week or so. If not, you should follow up with your doctor.

Often in the clinic, we see that people have wax build up in the ears, which leads to hearing problems. This is usually a very simple thing to fix with flushing the ears.

People walk out of the clinic hearing great!

Question #3 (from Denise): “When should someone get the new vaccine booster shot? As soon as it’s available, or is there a benefit to waiting until further into the winter months?”

DR. BOB: I assume Denise is asking about the COVID booster that may be coming out this fall. Really, this is a difficult thing to discuss.

These recommendations continue to be based on emergency use authorization. The decision of the FDA is complicated and comes from different types of evidence, but there is limited clinical evidence for the new iteration of the vaccine.

I really think it is best for individuals to discuss with their physician whether they need to get another booster shot at this time.

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