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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Habits To Prevent Low Back Pain

  • Avoid sitting for too long
    Whenever you sit for hours on end at a desk or watching TV, you are keeping your low back flexed and your back muscles are strained. Researchers at a Norwegian University discovered that teenagers who sat in front of TV or computer for 15 hours or more in a week were three times more likely to suffer from low back pain. Moreover, the way out if you must sit for long is to stretch your body or walk around at intervals to relax your muscles.
  • Quit Smoking
    Numerous studies have shown that smokers are more likely to suffer from low back pain than nonsmokers. Cigarette contains a substance, nicotine which disrupts blood supply to intervertebral discs of the spine leading to a crack or rupture of the discs. Also, smoking slows the healing process and depletes the oxygen supply to the muscles and tendons in the back.
  • Indulge in Exercise
    Numerous evidences have revealed that stretching and strengthening exercises including Yoga often help to speed recovery from chronic low back pain by enhancing the flexibility and strength of the muscle groups that support the lower back. Similarly, studies have shown that low-impact aerobic exercises are good in maintaining the integrity of intervertebral discs. The implication of this is that if you are experiencing low back pain, you need to resist the temptation of confining yourself to prolonged bedrest or avoiding all forms of exercise.
  • Take more Calcium and Vitamin D
    Arguably, the role of calcium and vitamin D in the formation of strong, healthy bones cannot be overemphasised. When your bones are strong, the possibility of suffering from low back pain due to osteoporosis is ruled out. Dietary sources that are rich in calcium and vitamin D include milk, fresh green vegetables, sardines, cheese, oranges, egg yolk and so on.
  • Mind your Diet
    Research has shown that the same diets that are good for your heart, weight and blood sugar are also good for your back and vice-versa. A study that was conducted in Finland discovered that individuals who experienced low back pain were more likely to have clogged the arteries supplying the spine. Furthermore, shortage of nutrient supply to the spine triggers inflammatory responses that may lead to back pain. In view of the foregoing, it’s better to stick to a healthy diet of whole grains, proteins, fresh vegetables and fruits while avoiding excess caffeine and processed fatty diets.
  • Avoid Heavy Loads
    The nature of the jobs a lot of people do is such that they often have to lift, pull or push heavy loads, all of which put a considerable strain on your spine and ultimately set the stage for lower back pain. If you must carry a heavy load, make sure you distribute the weight evenly on both shoulders or arms to avoid tilting to one side and twisting your spine. Preferably, if you can get your hands on a bag with wheels or a rolling cart, it is better for the health of your back.

Types Of Thyroid Disorders

Grave’s Disease

Named after the doctor, who first revealed it, it is a common form of overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism. It is an autoimmune disorder that strikes when the immune system of the body attacks the thyroid gland, and hence, results in overproduction of thyroid hormone. With high level of thyroid within the blood stream, the body may show symptoms such as:

  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Intolerance to heat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Bulging eyes and improper vision
  • Frequent bowl movements or even diarrhea
  • Hand tremors
  • Irregular heartbeat

Goiter

A noncancerous result of the thyroid gland, goiter is common worldwide and is considered mainly an outcome of iodine deficiency within the body. Goiter can affect at any age, but is common in people above 40. Medical history, pregnancy, radiation exposure, and usage of certain medication are the major risk factors of this illness. Mild goiter cases may not reveal any symptoms, while complex goiter cases may show up with following symptoms:

  • Tightness/swelling in the neck
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Difficulty in breathing and/or swallowing food

Thyroid Nodules

Thyroid disorder can also lead to another acute ailment known as Thyroid Nodules. The nodules are the growth form in or on in the thyroid gland. The primary cause for this illness is however not known, but it is witnessed that it can be cancerous in nature in small fraction of cases. The risks associated with thyroid nodules may increase with age. Thyroid nodules does not unveil any symptoms, but if they grow large enough then they can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Tremors
  • Clammy skin
  • Increased appetite
  • High pulse rate
  • Nervousness
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling in neck
  • Problem in swallowing and breathing
  • High level of pain

Each thyroid disorder is different, and hence, the treatment options for each also differs. To make sure that you do not meet any major side effect, it is essential to visit a specialist, go for proper diagnosis and stick to the treatment.

Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Primary teeth are usually called baby teeth or milk teeth and first start to erupt through the gums of your baby between 4 to 6 months of age. Teething lasts until all 20 teeth appear, the children being usually around 2 ½ years of age by this time. Teething is a major milestone in the development of your child but it is also, quite often, a painful one. The eruption of primary teeth, or teething, can cause sore and tender gums that appear red and puffy. To help relieve the pain, you can give the baby a cold teething ring or a damp washcloth to chew on. My mother used to give me a cold carrot stick to suck on.

If you’re bottle-feeding you need to be more aware of tooth decay – most often called baby bottle tooth decay. One reason bottle-fed babies are more prone to tooth decay rather than those who are breastfed is due to the sugars found in milk formula, although the sugar levels in today’s formulas are markedly less then they used to be. However the biggest contributor to baby bottle tooth decay is the practice of putting baby to bed with a bottle, which he can suck on for hours. Yet another cause of decay is the use of pacifiers; a personal hate of mine! Not only does the use of pacifiers dipped in sugar exacerbate decay, it makes babies look most unattractive.

In summary, when you bottle-feed you must be more aware of how your child can contract toot decay and on how to prevent it. The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry has developed the following guidelines for preventing baby bottle tooth decay:

  • Don’t allow a child to fall asleep with a bottle containing milk, formula, fruit juices, or other sweet liquids. Never let a child walk with a bottle in her mouth.
  • Comfort a child who wants a bottle between regular feedings or during naps with a bottle filled with cool water.
  • Always make sure a child’s pacifier is clean, and never dip a pacifier in a sweet liquid.
  • Introduce children to a cup as they approach 1 year of age. Children should stop drinking from a bottle soon after their first birthday.

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Posterior tibial tendonitis is when this tendon becomes damaged. A common cause of this damage could be an injury. I recently came back from New Orleans and they have this street called Bourbon Street. On this street you can drink alcohol and strangely enough they have all these potholes. All it takes is you looking at something else while you step in a pothole and then twist this tendon, and now you have this problem.

Another way it can get damaged is through wear and tear over time. Perhaps someone is a stuntman who falls on their feet a lot. People who play lots of basketball or tennis could also tear down this tendon over time. Another big risk factor is being overweight, diabetes and high blood pressure.

What do you think the number 1 symptom of this condition is going to be? Yes, it’s going to be pain where the tendon is located. You could have a challenging time walking and even standing. Due to the tendon supporting the foot there could also be pains in other places such as the ankle and even the knee.

One of the best ways to prevent this type of injury would be to strengthen these muscles. You could lift your body up with your toes or sit down and make circular movements with your feet. Another idea would be to wear comfortable shoes and avoid putting too much stress on the muscle.

Also don’t forget that there are a lot of vitamins and minerals that play a crucial role in the health of muscles and tendons. Taking a good multivitamin supplement brand might just help you in more ways than you can imagine.

To sum everything up posterior tibial tendonitis is when there is an injury to the tendon that connects the calf muscle to the bones in the feet. You can prevent this injury by strengthening the calf and ankle muscle. Other ideas include wearing comfortable shoes, avoid putting too much stress on the tendon and taking a good multivitamin supplement.

Conservation of Hearing

Certain types of deafness are determined before birth. Some of these appear in early life, others with advancing years. Most deafness, however, is due to inflammatory conditions of the middle ear, to interference with normal nasal breathing, to foci of infection in sinuses, tonsils, teeth, gall bladder, or other organs of the body, to the toxins of scarlet fever, diphtheria, or syphilis, to accumulations of wax in the external ear canal, or to certain nutritional, glandular, or general diseases.

Inflammatory conditions of the middle ear are produced by infections which reach the middle ear from the throat by Way of the Eustachian tube. In children the Eustachian tube is straighter and larger than in adults; hence, infection can traverse its course most easily in childhood. An acute infection of the middle car, even though the eardrum is ruptured or opened usually produces little or no impairment of hearing, but recurrent or chronic infections are almost certain to result in a greater or lesser degree of deafness.

The complications of “abscessed ears” can in a large measure be avoided if the condition is given the attention it deserves. Unfortunately in the past, earache and abscessed ears have been considered as incidental to childhood, like measles or chickenpox. Profuse discharge from an ear attracts attention, but once it has started “drying up” the ear is often forgotten and the infection smolders on until a chronic condition is reached or the infection suddenly flares up to the extent that an operation on the mastoid may become necessary. It is nothing short of criminal to allow an ear to discharge over a long period of time when proper treatment will clear it up. Hearing once lost can never be restored.

The prevention of ear infections depends primarily upon the Prevention and treatment of nose and throat infections and general diseases, upon the removal of diseased tonsils and adenoids, and upon care in the blowing of the nose – the nose should be blown gently with both sides open. Deafness from scarlet fever and diphtheria is preventable, for we have a safe and effective immunization against each of these diseases. Syphilis, even if acquired, need never develop at the stage at which it affects hearing. Adenoids and tonsils can be removed when indicated, obstruction to breathing relieved, loci of infection eliminated, and general health improved.

Wax, which is normally present in the external ear canal in small quantities, occasionally accumulates and hardens so that it covers the eardrum and interferes with hearing. This usually may be removed by gently syringing the ear canal with warm water. If this is not successful, a physician should be consulted. The use of hard instruments may result in injury and infection.

Swimming and diving, in the opinion of most otologists, are not dangerous to the ears in individuals with intact eardrums provided certain precautions are taken. Diving feet first so that water forcibly enters the nose, improper exhaling with the head submerged, and vigorous blowing of the nose after emerging from the water may allow water to get into the sinuses or Eustachian tubes and may so irritate the nasal passages that an inflammation of the membranes lining these spaces results. Whenever one has even a semblance of a cold, one should refrain from diving and should keep the head out of water in swimming. Persons who have repeated ear infections, damaged eardrum, or mastoid operations should use special precautions to prevent water from reaching the middle ear.

Life for a deaf person is difficult at best, but if the handles are recognized early and faced intelligently much can he done to minimize its seriousness. Proficiency in lip reading enables many deaf persons to lead a normal or a relatively normal life, but order to attain proficiency the study of lip reading needs to be started early. Teachers of handicapped children report that it is far more difficult to teach the deal than the blind and that whereas the blind are usually happy the deaf tend to be despondent. To delay preparation for and adjustment to this handicap is tragic.

Improvements in electrical hearing aids are making it possible for the partially deaf to keep their contact with the world the type of instrument best adapted to each particular case should be advised by an otologist and its use started before the hearing is too seriously impaired. It is the height of folly to waste time and money upon commercially advertised hearing aids or methods for the relief of deafness. Earphone radios, which like the telephone transmit sound waves through the bones of the skull to the nerves of hearing, have brought many pleasant and happy hours to the deafened.

Life for the partially deaf could be made much easier if their friends when speaking to them would first attract their attention and then speak distinctly and slowly rather than loudly. Shouting is annoying, irritating, and difficult to understand.

CPAP

Constant positive airway pressure (CPAP) is an effective method of treating obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. CPAP-therapy was introduced to clinical practice in 1981 by an Australian physician and Professor. Colin Sullivan for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

The mechanism of action of the CPAP device is quite simple. A small compressor is used for creating constant air flow under a certain pressure in the airways during exhalation through a flexible tube and a nose mask. It is also used a humidifier that provides moisturizing and heats the air which enters the airways. This device does not allow the upper airways to be obstructed because of the constant positive air pressure and eliminates the main cause of the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

CPAP-therapy for patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is now universally accepted. Before prescribing CPAP-therapy, a Polysomnography is required or in other words a Sleep Study. Polysomnography is a medical examination of a patient’s sleep with the use of specialized computer systems. Polysomnography allows calculating the apnea index and determining the severity of the disease.

The apnea index is the frequency of apnea episodes during one hour of sleep. Apnea index determines the severity of the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The apnea index is considered pathologically significant if there are more than 20 apnea episodes per hour, regardless of the presence or absence of clinical symptoms. By the way, even more than 5 attacks of sleep apnea episodes are considered to be threatening for a person with a gradual development of daytime drowsiness, memory impairment, psycho-emotional disorders, insomnia, development of cardiovascular diseases (arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease or stroke), and disturbance of cardiac rhythm.

The first session of CPAP-therapy is performed on the next night after a diagnostic polysomnography. The purpose of the first CPAP session is to select the minimum air pressure that eliminates obstructive apnea, snoring and other respiratory disturbances in all positions of the body and in all stages of sleep. During the first session of CPAP-therapy, the minimum set of parameters will be recorded: electroencephalography, electrooculography, electromyography, chest and abdominal movements, body position, snoring, electrocardiography, blood saturation. These parameters allow you to determine the work of the brain and the stage of sleep, which excludes the possibility of insufficient air pressure through undiagnosed wakefulness episodes.

The “golden rule” is to use CPAP machine every night during the entire time of sleep. Patients often follow this recommendation in severe forms of obstructive sleep apnea. In this case, there is an improvement in the quality of sleep and daytime activity. In the mild and moderate forms of the disease, the irritating effect of the mask and airflow may sometimes decrease the quality of sleep, nevertheless, there is a clear positive effect on daytime activity and on a number of other symptoms. One of the important advantages of CPAP-therapy is the absence of side effects.

Of course, sometimes in the beginning, as with any method of treatment, there may be side effects. Among the most common complaints, this may be irritation of the skin under the mask (about 50%), dryness of the mucous membrane of the nose and pharynx (about 30%), nasal congestion or rhinorrhea (about 25%), eye irritation (about 25%). However, these symptoms are not serious, they eventually disappear and do not interfere with the continuation of treatment. The use of more comfortable masks and heating moisturizers effectively eliminates all these side effects.

About Winter Eye Problems

Tearing Eyes

Apart from winter weather drying out your eyes, the cold weather can also make your eyes over produce tears which can be very annoying and can make vision blurry. The best thing to help with this is to wear glasses, goggles, or sunglasses when outside to avoid the wind causing watery eyes. Also, if you are wiping your eyes to get rid of the tears make sure you use clean tissues or cloths to avoid infection. Excessive tearing eyes can also be caused by other factors such as infection, blocked tear duct, or surprisingly dry eyes, so if you are concerned make an appointment with your eye clinic or opticians so they can check it out.

Tired Eyes

The winter months are darker and natural light is less which can make certain tasks more difficult, reading and writing for example. Straining your eyes to see in lower light can cause eyestrain making your eyes feel tired quicker than usual. To help avoid this try having a lamp on when carrying out close work and if you require glasses to see well, make sure you wear them to avoid overstraining your eyes.

Light Sensitive Eyes

The sun tends to be lower in the sky during winter and this can cause difficulty seeing, especially when driving, light sensitivity, and damage caused by UV rays. Try to make a habit of not only wearing sunglasses in the summer, but also the winter. If you drive, keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your car so you are always prepared for the low, bright sun. Sunglasses also protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays which can contribute to many eye issues, such as cataracts. Make sure your sunglasses are 100% UVA and UVB protected.

Red Eyes

Red eyes can be a sign of many things, such as tiredness, dryness, blurry vision, over tearing, infection, and inflammation. Winter weather can cause eye redness due to many of these factors but also it can be caused from the sunlight either directly or from being reflected on snow for example. This can lead to inflammation of the cornea causing the red eyes, therefore this is another reason why wearing sunglasses or snow goggles is so important in winter.

Plantar Fasciitis

If you know people with plantar fasciitis, you likely heard plenty of horror stories of how the pain and discomfort of the condition can put one’s life on hold. Regardless of whether you have it and don’t want to make the condition worse or you’re so scared of getting it, you’re open to ways that won’t trigger it, here are some common causes of this painful, increasingly common foot health condition:

Being overweight. Plantar fasciitis is triggered when pressure is put on the feet. If you’re overweight, you’re putting more pressure on your feet.

Being overly ambitious in your workout. Overdoing yourself by doing too much too fast in your exercising can cause plantar fasciitis. With this foot condition, a tear is formed in the tendon that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot. Doing too rigorous a workout suddenly increase your chance of tearing or straining this tendon. Doing a lot of certain types of physical activities that involve much hard pounding on the feet like dancing, aerobic, hiking and running.

You have an on-your feet job. The constant strain and pressure of being on one’s feet all day can take a toll, causing plantar fasciitis. If you factor in a hard floor, such as one made of cement, your risk of getting this painful foot condition increases.

Poor Footwear. Footwear such as high heels that over time make it more difficult to move your foot and shoes with thin soles and poor arch support can also increase your risk of getting plantar fasciitis or cause it to flare up.

Anatomical Issues. Your feet are designed to evenly distribute pressure and weight. When that gets thrown off with foot arches that are either too high or too flat. Plantar fasciitis can occur. The way one walk s and tight calf muscles that make it difficult to flex the foot can also increase one’s risk.

Great Bedtime Routine

  • Consistency is often an important contributor to a good sleep routine, where you have a designated time to switch off from work, eat healthily and aim to go to bed and get up at the same time. Training your mind and body as to when to wind down is the key to supporting an effective sleep pattern.
  • Be proactive in dealing with each day’s stresses. Ask yourself if you’ve done all you reasonably can to address a particular area of concern, then aim to let it go until further input from you is required. Being disciplined is important in order to calm your ‘fight or flight’ approach to stress. Commit to good daytime habits and take regular breaks throughout the day, stopping for lunch and aiming to get some fresh air and exercise; all ways to support a positive approach to work/life balance and good sleep.
  • Spend quality time with family and friends as well as scheduling some ‘me time’ for the things that are important to you. This may require you becoming more assertive and saying ‘no’ to some of the demands made upon you, but taking good care of yourself means being clear about how much of your time you’re prepared to compromise.
  • Many people need to maximise their use of space, especially when they work from home. If you’ve set up an office in your bedroom be sure to screen it off at the end of each working day. Ensure that your bedroom is a calm haven, the place where you close the door at bedtime and relax. Try to keep it free from clutter and an excess of technology, as its presence can be a distraction.
  • Be firm about technology. Aim to turn off your phone and gadgets two hours before you go to bed, so avoiding the temptation to check in ‘just one more time’. Have set times for checking emails and social media so that you become more focused and time efficient. Then allow yourself time before bed to calm and still your mind. Keep your phone away from the bed as its blue light has been found to affect sleep quality.
  • Also, if you work from home or spend a lot of your time there have a cut off time when you turn everything off and introduce a routine that signifies the end of the busy part of your day. Turn your phone to answerphone, close your office door, go for a walk and change out of your daytime clothes all ways to draw a line under your working day.
  • Save any meaningful/important/stressful conversations for a more appropriate time. Last thing at night or when one person is busy, distracted or over-tired will serve neither of you well and can play on your mind when you should be preparing to sleep. Both agree when to have the discussion and ensure that it then happens. That way you can confidently ‘park up’ your issues, safe in the knowledge that you won’t forget to raise the matter at a better time.
  • Do you come home after work feeling mentally tired and jaded but physically under-exerted? Many people have work that requires either mental or physical effort, so that they end up tired in one area but not the other. Try to find some balance by exercising mentally, with quizzes and crosswords, or by walking, swimming and physical activity, so that you’re better able to fall asleep. Otherwise you may be restless and unable to relax.

Improve Your Sleep

Meditate

Meditation has a restorative effect on the brain. There are all sorts of benefits that meditation can have for a person. Many of the benefits of meditation include reduced stress and a better ability to cope with difficult issues in one’s life.

Meditation is also great for insomnia. A Harvard study found that mindful meditation helped combat insomnia. It invokes a relaxation response in those who participate helping them relax enough to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night. If you are not familiar with how to meditate there are many guided meditation audio programs that you can buy or check out from your library.

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene is a practice to help you sleep better at night. It has to do with environmental cues. Alaska sleep notes that these environmental cues should be taken into consideration if you aren’t sleeping.

  • Use the bedroom for sex and sleep only
  • No electronics
  • Keep the room dark and quiet
  • Keep your room cool
  • Have a good mattress
  • Set your alarm clock away from your bed

Get Up Every Morning

Getting up at the same time every day and avoiding naps helps your body follow a circadian rhythm. According to Verywell we need this to sleep well at night. There are two really important elements to this step.

  1. Stop hitting the snooze and train yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you hit the snooze button once or twice (or 6 times), you are not really training yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you know you do not need to get up until a7:30, stop setting your alarm for 7. Save yourself the 30 minutes of interrupted sleep and set the alarm for 7:30, get up the first time it rings.
  2. NO NAPS. If you are not used to getting up in the morning, then this may be the hard part for you. Napping can throw you off for sleeping at night because you simply are not tired enough to get to bed on time. Skip the nap (and the caffeine), and stay up so that you can get a good nights sleep.