Are you doing something every day that could be complicating your life?
We reached out to four of our Keck Medicine of USC doctors to get the inside scoop on 10 things you are probably doing that you should be avoiding:
1. Sitting with poor posture.
When you sit with poor posture for a long period of time, multiple things can happen. You can develop back pain. Your energy levels can decrease, which affects your mood. Your stress levels can increase, because your chest is compressed. When your chest is compressed, it causes your lungs and heart to work harder. Poor posture also compresses other organs and causes improper digestion. Improving your posture can help prevent all of those things from happening. Stretching regularly, yoga and Pilates can all help strengthen your core and support your spine.
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2. Googling medical symptoms.
Most people waste precious time ‘Googling’ medical symptoms, which leads to incorrect self-diagnosing and anxiousness. People end up with misleading information that can cause stress. Instead of searching the Internet for medical answers, try scheduling regular checkups with a primary care provider that can put your mind at ease and directly address your concerns.
3. Wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight.
Wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight put you at risk for developing or worsening bunions and blisters. Bunions are deformities in the big toe, which can lead to pain. Wear shoes that are comfortable and allow space for your toes. Your feet will thank you.
4. Doing the same workout everyday.
Repeating the same workout daily is not necessarily a bad thing, but it will make it difficult to lose and keep weight off. The body adapts to the workout and will adjust to maintain your current weight. You should devise a balanced workout schedule that involves different activities and intensities. This will keep your body guessing and in the end, help you better reach your goals.
Karla O’Dell, MD, assistant professor of clinical otolaryngology in the Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, is a laryngologist from the USC Voice Center at Keck Medicine of USC. These are three things she says you should avoid:
5. Taking cough drops.
Cough drops may feel soothing while you are sucking on them, but they can actually make your cough and throat irritation worse. Cough drops often contain methanol and other substances that significantly dry the throat. This dryness can worsen your cough and throat discomfort. Instead, suck on a glycerin based drops, sugar-free hard candy or drink small sips of water to help soothe your throat.
6. Using speakerphone.
When you use the speakerphone when driving, working at your desk or at a meeting, you are forcing your voice to speak loudly. According to Dr. O’Dell, over time, this can cause trauma to the vocal cords. Instead use a good head set when you need to talk on the phone hands free.
7. Whispering when you have a sore throat or laryngitis.
It is quite common to whisper when your throat is sore or sounding hoarse. But according to Dr. Karla O’Dell, whispering is actually more harmful to our vocal cords. Whispering requires more effort than using our voice at a regular volume. This can cause injury to our voice box. When the throat is sore or you have a hoarse voice, resting the voice and speaking at a regular volume is a much better alternative.
8. Keeping your contact lens case for more than three months.
It’s very easy to get attached to things that you use on a daily basis, but a contact lens case should never be one of them. According to Veronica L. Isozaki, OD, optometrist at the USC Eye Institute, old contact lens cases are a common place where bacteria can grow, infecting your contact lenses and ultimately your eye. To prevent bacteria growth, remember to let your case air dry during the day and be on top of replacing your case every three months.
9. Removing your glasses with one hand.
According to Dr. Isozaki, it may be easier to take your glasses off with one hand, but this is a common way to warp your frame. By pulling on only one side of your frame, the opposite side will bend and bow out, making your glasses a loose fit on your face. Rather than removing your glasses from one side, use both hands to remove your glasses straight from your face.
10. Using your shirt or a tissue to clean your glasses.
Glasses can get smudged from fingerprints or natural oils from our face, but using your shirt or a tissue can actually scratch your lenses. Dr. Isozaki recommends using a lens cloth and cleaner, which are not as abrasive as normal cloth and soap. But don’t forget to wash your cloth regularly. Otherwise it too can accumulate dirt and debris that can equally scratch your lenses!
Want to know more things that you should be avoiding? Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to go over your daily routines.
If you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking for exceptional care from some of the top physicians in the world, be sure to schedule an appointment by calling (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or by visiting keckmedicine.org/request-an-appointment.
By Leonard Kim