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Monthly Archives: January 2019

Foot Self-Exam

A foot self-exam is really simple can be done by anyone within a few minutes. It involves one visually examining each foot, looking for abnormalities or unusual growths. The next step is touching and feeling of each foot.

When examining one’s feet, it is important to look over the whole foot, including in between each toe. Applying pressure to areas of the feet can also help you locate pain spots and feel lumps and abnormal bone growths.

For an easier self-examination one can use a handheld mirror and/or ask for assistance from a friend or family member.

A careful look at your feet can help you quickly identify physical oddities that can likely indicate something isn’t right with your foot or feet. Here are the most common things to look for when examining your feet:

Swelling. Swelling can indicate a number of things ranging from an infection, a fractured, sprained or broken bone, to issues with the nerves or lymph or blood flow and circulation. Notice if the swelling has increased and whether it affects one or both feet.

Redness. Redness is often associated with excessive pressure, poor circulation, a rash or an infection.

Blisters. Blisters are often the result of excessive irritation, friction, pressure and use. It is recommended that blisters not to be pricked unless by a foot care specialist as they can leave behind scars and lead to infections if improperly pricked and not cared for.

Cuts, scratches, or bleeding. Cuts can hurt and they can bleed seemingly uncontrollably. Cuts, scratches and bleeding indicate an injury to the skin surface. This can be the result of a fall where one’s foot is scratched or there is rubbing of the feet against the inside of the shoe.

If cuts and scratches aren’t treated, bleeding will continue and the risk of potential, dangerous infections will increase.

Bad-looking nails. Are your nails yellow, chipped, crooked, curving under into the nail bed? Can you see blood and bruising under the nail? Fungal infections not only make the nail look gross, but it can decrease the proper, protection power of the nail and lead to infections affecting other areas of the toe.

Diabetes And Neuropathy

Diabetes is of three main types:

— Type I: This is also known as juvenile diabetes and is a result of insufficient insulin production by the pancreas.

— Type II: Accounting for about 90% of all cases of diabetes, type II diabetes mellitus is defined by insulin resistance which means that insulin receptors on cells do not respond to insulin.

— Gestational Diabetes: This is seen in pregnant women who do not have a prior diagnosis of diabetes. It is theorized that gestational diabetes is caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Neuropathy refers to a condition in which there is damage or disease affecting the nerves. Nerves control both movement and sensation, so depending on the type of nerve affected (motor, sensory, or mixed), there can a number of varied signs and symptoms such as weakness, numbness, tingling sensation, etc.

It can affect a single nerve or many nerves simultaneously and it can be a chronic or acute condition.

It may seem far-fetched that diabetes can affect nerves but this is one of the most common and most debilitating complications of diabetes.

It is theorized that diabetes causes damage to nerves by altering the function of the small blood vessels that supply the nerves. The excessively high levels of glucose in the blood are thought to cause damage to the covering of the nerves. This covering called the myelin sheath helps in the conduction of impulses along the nerve cell and from one nerve cell to another.

Damage to the myelin sheath results in reduced or slowed conduction of impulses in the nerves which gives rise to the various symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.

It can affect any nerves: motor, sensory, or mixed. Usually, diabetic neuropathy first starts in the feet and then progresses to other regions of the body.

Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetic Neuropathy

Signs and symptoms depend on the particular nerves that are affected, their location, and their functions.

Common symptoms are:

— Numbness, especially in the extremities (hands and feet)

— Tingling sensations

— Burning or freezing sensations

— Shooting pain

— Loss of muscle mass and tone in the small muscles of the hands and feet

— Imbalance

— Random muscle contractions

— Dizziness

— Increased sweating

— Urinary problems

— Sexual dysfunction

How Is Diabetic Neuropathy Diagnosed?

It is diagnosed by a doctor based on physical examination, patient reporting of symptoms, and physiological tests such as a nerve conduction test.

Nerve conduction tests are a type of neurophysiological testing that involves passing small amounts of current through major peripheral nerves to access their function.

Treatment For Diabetic Neuropathy

The primary treatment is regaining and maintaining control of blood glucose levels. Treatment of diabetic neuropathy aims to prevent further nerve damage, restore as much nerve function as possible, and relive the signs and symptoms associated with this condition.

Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and taking the appropriate medications are vital to controlling diabetes and diabetic neuropathy.

You may also be given medications to help you cope with the pain of diabetic neuropathy, as well as medications to encourage nerve and myelin sheath repair.

It is important to be vigilant and proactive about foot care. Anyone with diabetes or diabetic neuropathy should routinely examine their feet for any wounds or injuries. Early detection and treatment of foot problems in people with diabetes can prevent life-altering and devastating consequences.

Common Visual Defects

When one looks at a distant object, a near one in the same line of vision is indistinct. Now, if one focuses upon the nearer object, the distant one is not seen so well. This is because a clear image is obtained only of the object which is brought to focus upon the most sensitive portion of the retina. The other become indistinct as it goes out of focus. This shifting of focus is accomplished by a change in the thickness of the lens. In a normal eye the rays of light from a distant object come to focus upon the retina when the eye is at rest, that is, when the ciliary’s muscles are inactive and the lens is thin.

Farsightedness of Children

In this condition, called “hyperopia,” the eyeball is shorter than normal. This is a universal condition at birth but should disappear before there is much use of the eyes for near vision. If it persists, the rays of light with the eye at rest come to focus not on the retina but behind it.

Blurring of vision results

This is unsatisfactory, so the ciliary’s muscles correct the difficulty by contracting and making the lens thicker, thereby bringing the point of focus forward until it is on the retina. This gives clear vision but requires excessive work on the part of these muscles. For short periods of time this gives rise to no difficulties but if it continues muscular fatigue is inevitable. This in turn causes headache, pain in the eyes, nervousness, and general fatigue. This type of visual defect is the one which causes the most severe symptoms of eyestrain.

Important though farsightedness is as a cause of eyestrain, it is rarely discovered by the ordinary vision test, because during the test clear vision is secured by excessive use of the ciliary’s muscles. Hence, if a child brings a report from school that his vision test shows 20/20 in each eye this should not be accepted as conclusive evidence that the eyes are normal. If symptoms of eyestrain are present, a further examination is indicated.

The Use of Drops for Eye Examinations

There has been much misunderstanding and misinformation concerning the use of “Drops” for the examination of the eyes. The drops contain a drug, such as atropine or homatropine, which temporarily paralyzes the ciliary’s muscles. Unless this is done, the activity of these muscles in persons under about forty years of age makes the accurate measurement of certain visual defects impossible. Everyone who needs glasses should have a thorough eye examination, and for a young person this implies the use of drops.

Improve Your Vision Health

You can splash cold water over your closed eyes 3 times a day. This can be done once in the morning as you wake up. You can also get into the habit of splashing cold water on your face before lunchtime and immediately before going to bed.

Why is splashing cold water on the eyes good for your vision? This can benefit the eyes by relieving eye strain. This visual habit also helps to refresh the eyes and has a positive effect on eye health. This is due to the fact that this good visual habit brings circulation to the eyes and also relieves tired eyes. It also relaxes the eyes by releasing stress and tension in the visual system; one of the major keys to better vision health.

Here are some additional benefits associated with splashing cold water on your closed eyes. Health experts suggest that it improves skin health due to the fact that cold water has properties that tighten and protect the pores of the skin which becomes exposed to the harmful rays of the sun.

There is also a benefit that comes with reducing dark circles around the eyes. This is due to the fact that it stimulates healthy circulation in the eyes. Poor circulation around the eyelids is one of the major causes of dark circles around the eyes.

There are also additional things that you can do to improve your vision health. Some of these include getting an adequate amount of sleep each night and including more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Splashing cold water on your closed eyes is a wonderful way to support better eye health. The benefits of practicing this good visual habit are the following: eye strain relief, the release of stress and tension in the visual system and the elimination of tired and fatigued eyes. Practicing this habit along with other vision improvement tips such as eating right and getting an adequate amount of sleep can help you do the things you need to do to improve your vision health.

Eye Anatomy

The macula is the part of the human eye that is located at the back of the eyes at the center of the retina. The macula plays an essential role in vision function due to the fact that it is the part of the eye that is responsible for enabling us to see fine details clearly therefore it plays an important role in improving visual acuity. Due to the fact that it helps us to achieve sharp eyesight and enables us to see fine details it is a part of the eye essential in reading efficiency as it also helps us to see fine details and to read fine print clearly.

The macula is particularly essential in vision function due to the fact that it consists of a yellow spot. This yellow spot is that particular color for a reason. This is due to the fact that this part of the eyes consists of carotenoids. Caroteniods are described as the pigmentation that gives fruits and vegetables their green, blue, purple and yellow colors. Caroteniods also consists of the vision nutrients Lutein and zeaxanthin that are responsible for sharper eyesight and improve the density of the macula for sharper eyesight.

Without the macula we could not perform a lot of activities in the night and we couldn’t see colors brightly. This is due to the fact that the interior of the macula consists of a layer of cells called rods and cones. The cones are responsible for enabling us to see colors brightly while the rods enable us to have sharper night vision.

The macula is the part of the eyes responsible for helping us to see colors brightly and it is also responsible for sharper vision at night. Without the macula we could not have sharp day and night time vision. Therefore, the parts of the eyes that make up the macula are responsible for sharper eyesight also knows as better visual acuity as it helps us to see fine details and read fine print clearly. This part of the eyes also controls central vision; the part of our vision that is located in the center of our visual field. This part of the eyes helps us to perform many important daily activities and as such is it an essential aspect of our visual system. Therefore, let us do the things that we need to do to preserve and protect our precious natural eyesight so that it serves us efficiently for years to come.

Smart Contact Lenses

Let me try to put this technology into perspective. Imagine going to the convenience store after a long day’s work. You are there to pick up your favorite adult beverage. Once you find your beverage you stand in line and wait to be served at the cash. As you impatiently stand there you decide to try and expedite the purchase process by having your credit card and license ready to hand to the cashier. Unbeknownst to you, while standing in line with your card in hand, there is a gentleman standing behind you wearing smart contact lenses with the ability to record. He carefully focuses on your financial and personal information hoping to later review the recording and compile the information to be used for nefarious activities. Cautious as you are remaining aware of your surroundings you handle your cards in a vigilant way, hiding any prominent numbers or personal info limiting risk. As you finally get to checkout you quickly and carefully hand your credit card to the cashier for review and processing, avoiding any prying eyes. Unfortunately you are oblivious to the fact that the cashier is new to the job and that he has a history of petty crimes. The cashier, also wearing smart contact lens has devious intentions. This scenario isn’t isolated to convenient stores, gas stations, and supermarkets, what if there are questionable people using this technology at banks or worse yet within government agencies? This technology, which was created with the best of intentions in mind can now be exploited to leverage identity and credit card theft, or even espionage.

The above may list worse case scenarios when it comes to personal and intellectual theft but what about other more intimate infringements that this technology can be used for? For instance, people with depraved minds could use it to seamlessly record you or your loved ones unassumingly in the most intimate of settings. Once they have the recordings there is virtually nothing that can stop them from personally using it, sharing it, or posting it to social media channels.

Technology and innovation is fundamental to progress but it is essential to analyze the entire scope of use that the technology provides. It is crucial to take a deeper look at the strengths and weaknesses along with any opportunities and threats it may offer. Although new technology is welcomed and it may introduce many advantages it is important to remain critical and circumspect of it. To paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, one person’s rights end where another person’s begins.

Corneal Transplants

Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK)

This type of cornea transplant is a partial thickness transplant and replaces the front 99% of the cornea with a donor cornea. Unlike penetrating keratoplasty, DALK keeps the back layers of the cornea, the Descemet’s membrane and endothelium layer, in place and it is used as an alternative to PK, when these back layers of the cornea are healthy. The surgery itself is carried out much the same as PK, but just less donor cornea is used. Again, stiches are used to keep the donor tissue in place, but as only part of the cornea has been replaced, healing and visual recovery are usually quicker than what are seen with PK. To get the best vision following surgery, glasses or contact lenses may need to be worn.

Endothelial Keratoplasty (EK)

This type of cornea transplant is a partial thickness transplant and replaces only the back layers of the cornea. Unlike to above two transplants, EK can be further split into two methods; Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) and Descemet’s membrane endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK). Both DSEK and DMEK are very similar and the procedure to carry them out is the same, but DMEK differs as the donor cornea tissue does not include any stromal layer tissue. The consultant ophthalmic surgeon will decide which surgery is necessary, depending on the damage or disease that is present. EK transplants are used when there is a problem at the back of the cornea. To help keep the cornea clear, the cells lining the inside of the cornea pump fluid to stop the cornea from swelling, if there are not enough cells, due to disease or damage, then the cornea starts to swell and vision will become cloudy. The surgery is carried out differently when compared to PK and DALK; it will again be under either local or general anaesthetic but a very small incision is made between the coloured and white part of the eye. The eye surgeon removes the dysfunctional endothelial cells through this opening and a disc of donor cells is placed back inside the eye. The donor endothelial cells are pressed to the back of the cornea with an air bubble and the patient will need to lie still for about 1 hour following surgery to make sure the air bubble stays in place. Occasionally, a few stitches to close the incision may be needed. Vision will stay misty or cloudy for a few days, and will get better over 3-4 months, as with all types of corneal transplants glasses or contact lenses may be needed after surgery to get the best results from vision.

Common Eye Conditions

According to optometrists in America some of the most common vision complaints that people make when they visit their eye doctors are blurry vision, photophobia (also commonly known as light sensitivity, macular degeneration, eye twitching, eye floaters, Glaucoma, dry eyes, cataracts, lazy eye, color blindness, Blepharitis (inflammation of the eye lids), Strabismus and pink eye to name a few.

Here are some definitions of some of these vision conditions along with some possible causes. Additionally,here are some eye conditions that can be treated by pursuing a natural vision improvement program of eye exercises:

Glaucoma: A serious eye disease that is caused by damage to the optic nerve as a result of the buildup of unhealthy pressure in the eyes. This condition is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.

Macular Degeneration: An eye disorder characterized by vision loss in the center of your field of vision. There are 2 particular types of macular degeneration. These include wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration.

Dry Eyes: A condition caused by an insufficiency in tear production in the eyes. This is caused by a variety of factors including age, weather, environmental factors, lasik surgery, smoking, coffee drinking and hormonal changes to the surface of the eyes in aging women to name a few.

Photophobia: This is a condition that is better known as Light Sensitivity caused by an intolerance of bright lights and other various light sources such as the sun, the flash of a camera, headlights and fluorescent lights to name a few. This is also caused by nutritional deficiencies along with the inability of the pupil to constrict properly thereby letting in too much light into the eyes.

Lazy Eyes: A condition whereby one particular eye is stronger than the other eye. It generally develops in younger kids. If this condition is left untreated it can lead to permanent vision problems.

Eye Floaters: This is an eye condition whereby tiny spots, squiggly lines, cobwebs and specs of clouds are floating around in your field of vision. This is caused by the action of the vitreous (the gel like substance in the eye), pulling away from the back of the eye wall.

Generally, the pursuit of a natural vision improvement program of eye exercises can correct certain vision conditions such as lazy eye, strabismus (cross eyes), Double vision and other common eye conditions such as light sensitivity and dry eyes. Other eye conditions that can be treated with eye exercises are nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism and eye strain.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

  1. Patients tend not to initially feel them and this allows the ulcer to grow (wider and deeper rather than the ulcer actually “growing”) and become complicated
  2. If you had no issues then a cut is usually sore and the body has a really good way of treating them. However a diabetic usually has complications that tend to reduce healing
  3. Diabetics have a normal reduced immunity
  4. In some cases the circulation is poor to allow adequate healing/getting antibiotics to the area
  5. Any ulcer can be quick to heal or take a really long time (years with some leg ulcers)
  6. Even when the ulcer is healed it will take 2 years to heal the underlying structures. That means that area is fragile for a long period of time and the occurrence of another ulcer on the same site is quite high.
  7. The foot is a complicated place to have an ulcer because you need your feet to walk- so any dressing under the foot tends to get squished out. Any rubbing or pressure areas (most of the underside of the foot) will add to reduced circulation. The foot is far away from everything and has small blood vessels going to the toes which can become complicated
  8.  Foot ulcers especially can go from healing to bad in a very short space of time
  9. Bad blood sugar control reduces healing. Infection can also raise blood sugars- as well as stress.

Increase Macular Density

One particular part of the eye called the Macular controls our central vision. The word macular is defined in Latin as yellow spot. Therefore, the macular is defined as the small yellow spot that is found in the center of the retina in your eyes. This particular yellow spot is this specific color due to the fact that it has the highest concentration of carotenoids in the eyes. Carotenoids are defined as the pigmentation found in fruits and vegetables that give these vision foods their red, green, blue, purple or yellow colors. Some examples of carotenoids include carrots and blueberries. In the case of the macular the 2 main carotenoids found in the macular are Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Why is it so important to increase the macular density of our eyes? This is due to the fact that neglecting the care of our macular health via poor nutrition may increase the risk later on in life for the age related vision disease macular degeneration; an eye disorder characterized by a loss of central vision that leads to blindness.

Therefore, what can you do to increase the macular density of the eyes? 1 We can eat vision foods rich in carotenoids such as carrots, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes and blueberries. The problem with our foods nowadays is the fact that due to current farming practices we are not getting a sufficient amount of nutrients from foods alone. As a matter of fact, a study published by the U.S Department of Agriculture admitted in an official report that our produce is deficient in Vitamins and minerals by as much as 88%. 2 Therefore, another way that you can increase the density of the macular is to start taking a comprehensive vision supplement with all the various key nutrients in the right dosages that are necessary for improving your vision health. By taking these preventive steps in vision care you will ensure the maintenance of healthy eyesight for years to come.