Selective Mutism Or Autism?

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My daughter was diagnosed with autism in May 2008. For several months after getting the diagnosis I had a very hard time believing it. Many people told me it can be very difficult to accept your child is autistic but the quicker you accept it, the better off your daughter will be. I decided to go ahead and start the therapy path suggested to me but I continued to feel my daughter’s diagnosis may be wrong.

When given the diagnosis, I was told there was nothing I can do for her but to get her help through the state with therapy sessions. It took a very long time to get the therapy set up for my daughter. In the meantime, I started on my own crusade. While researching and talking to people, I learned a lot from so many other parents and teachers who deal with autism every day.

The first mom I ran into told me to try the Gluten Free / Casein Free diet. This diet helped alleviate her obsessive-compulsive behaviors, cut out her 2 hour tantrums, she began interacting with her siblings more, she no longer pulled her hair out and started sleeping through the night.

Another mom told me to take red dye out of her diet. I did this and it helped lessen the tantrums even more: It seemed to help calm her down. I met a dad who told me about a supplement called “TMG” (Trimethylglycine with Folic Acid & B12). This supplement helped level her tantrums as well. When I tested her and took her off this supplement she was less social and more emotional. When I say emotional, she was just not very happy or as happy while on the supplement.

All of the above treatments I mentioned helped tremendously but then I met some people that changed her and my life forever; her special education preschool teachers. They questioned if she was “really” autistic from when they first met her and seemed to think she was a Selective Mute (SM).

SM is considered a rare psychological disorder. It causes high social anxiety in the people who have it. Children and adults who have typical speech in comfortable settings may not say one word or act extremely “shy” in social settings. For instance, some kids will talk freely at home but once they arrive to school they clam up and don’t say one word. Or, like in my daughter’s case, they only whisper.

Some of these kids get diagnosed with autism because they appear to have autistic characteristics while being evaluated. My daughter would hardly say one word to the psychologist. She would not want to participate in answering their questions because her social anxiety would basically paralyze her. She would not exchange any eye contact. She would pinch her fingers in situations of high anxiety (which we used to think was stimming). When a psychologist would ask question after question, she did not say one word. If we were at home, she would have answered them all without hesitation.

Kids that are autistic can also have high social anxiety. This is where it may become confusing if the person diagnosing your child is not familiar with SM or if they are not thinking outside of the “autism box.” You can most likely tell an autistic child from a SM child because most autistic children experience stimming, poor eye contact, sensory issues and repetitive behaviors in any situation. However, as I mentioned above regarding my daughter, she experienced many of these characteristics ONLY in social settings. If this behavior sounds familiar to you then you may want to have your child reevaluated and bring up your concerns of SM. Remember to video tape you child at home so the psychologist can see how they act in a comfortable setting.

The more research I do, the more I believe my daughter had the “perfect storm” and that is what led her to the autism diagnosis. I haven’t mentioned a major point in my daughter’s story yet. She has a food allergy (Celiac disease) that gave her certain characteristics of autism. The combination of those characteristics and having high social anxiety looks just like autism.

I never bought into her autism diagnosis because she never had the hand flapping or body rocking, none of the physical sensory treatments were working for her (actually had opposite effects), she was always very affectionate (loved to get hugs and being held) and she was very compliant. So many things just didn’t fit for me. I always questioned it. I never knew if I was questioning it because I didn’t want to believe it or if it was just a wrong diagnosis.

When the teachers first suggested SM I started my research and the more I learned, the more it seemed to fit my daughter like a glove. I finally had a diagnosis that made sense. I could finally get my daughter the correct treatment she needed.

I set off to research treatment plans for SM and found it very difficult to find any information. Over a week’s time, I sadly learned there is just not a lot of information available for SM. I posted many posts on this disorder on my blog and received a tremendous amount of feedback from other parents looking for more information as well.

I was very excited when I met a woman online who is a psychologist with a SM daughter. Her name is Shannon Morgan-Gillard, Psy.D. She runs a clinic for SM children; The Brave Center.I asked her what she thought of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT); since this is the treatment I read was the most widely accepted in treating SM. Below are some thoughts and suggestions she gave me:

1. CBT is the right treatment for SM. Sometimes a psychiatrist is needed to find out if medication is recommended. However, Dr. Morgan-Gillard suggests you try CBT for one year before considering medication.

2. Focus on the anxiety. You need to treat the anxiety that lies underneath the verbal issues. Do not try to make your child talk (this may only lead to further anxiety). This is why ABA therapy is one of the worst types of therapies for an SM child. ABA tries to bring the language out. Once ABA therapy sessions began for my daughter, they caused a tremendous amount of stress for her. The therapists did not know it then, but they were making her anxiety worse. This is why it is very important to discover if you child has SM and autism or just SM. I believe in ABA therapy for autistic children but please make sure your child has the correct diagnosis before implementing any type of therapy.

3. Build confidence. Dr. Morgan-Gillard said, For young children, the behavioral part of CBT treatment is what is effective at first, because they do not have the capacity to identify their thoughts or reason with themselves to change their thoughts (that’s the cognitive part of the CBT) until about age 7. CBT therapy can be implemented by helping your child complete tasks that cause a lot of anxiety for them. Approach these tasks by pulling them apart into workable phases. For instance, take your child to the grocery store and ask them to place an item on the conveyor belt. Overtime, once they are comfortable with that ask them to hand the money to the clerk. Once they are okay with that, ask them if they want to say “Hello” to the clerk. And so on. It may take a long time before your child will want to talk to a stranger so you never want to push that. The goal to this form of therapy is to make the child gain confidence and a level of comfort in normally high anxiety situations.

Children and adults that have SM are afraid of being judged in a negative manner when they are put into a high anxiety situation. For instance, kids may not talk because they do not want the attention to focus on them. Maybe they are afraid they will say something incorrectly or give the wrong answer. By encouraging your child to talk to people at a young age and ensuring they receive a positive response, you are helping to build their confidence and self-assurance. This is the basis of CBT.

4. Play dates are very important for small children with SM. Dr. Morgan-Gillard suggest you have as many play dates as humanly possible. With SM, the more frequent a repetition of something, the better. If you could have a play date every day, it would speed progress. When the child is in his/her comfortable setting, they can more quickly move to feeling socially comfortable with a peer, and toward talking with that peer. It’s best to repeat play dates with the same peer for a while; then add another peer or switch play dates to another peer and repeat with that one, then add two together after a while, said Dr. Morgan-Gillard.

5. Act silly. If you can act silly around your child and be physically active with them, it may help reduce their anxiety level. I actually tried this at a birthday party. All of the kids were playing with the clown and running around acting like farm animals. My daughter ran over to stand by my side and held onto my leg as tight as possible. I took her hand and walked into the middle of the crowd of kids. I started acting like a farm animal too. She looked up at me with complete surprise. The other parents gave me the same look but it didn’t faze me. I wanted my daughter to know it is okay to act silly. She jumped right in with me. We played farm animals for quite some time.

6. Don’t say they are shy. A tip I learned from my sister was to never call my daughter, “Shy.” Previously, this response was second nature for me. I always felt uncomfortable when a stranger would approach us and tell me how cute my child was and then try to ask my daughter a question and she would not respond. When my daughter would hide behind my leg and not say one word I used to come back and say, “Oh. She is shy.” My sister brought up a good point and told me not to label her. If my daughter hears me say this over and over, then maybe she will believe she is shy. Now, I just give the stranger and smile and say, “Have a nice day.”

These are the tips and therapy suggestions I have found helpful to date. I am always researching and looking for ways to help my daughter. My next target of research is art and music therapy. Although I am still in my learning phase of SM, I felt compelled to share what I have learned because any parent of a child who has been recently diagnosed with SM knows there is not a lot of information available.

I am happy to announce my daughter was re-diagnosed in May of 2009. After one year of questioning her autism diagnosis we finally received a diagnosis that made sense: She is no longer considered autistic and has SM. I stopped the ABA therapy instantly. The state dropped her because she is no longer considered disabled which was bitter sweet. I am now on my own trying to help my daughter with the CBT approach. I feel incredibly hopeful and have seen tremendous improvements in my daughter; so much so that I now consider her to be a “typical” child.

I hope my daughter’s story will help educate the public on Selective Mutism. I can’t help but wonder how many kids are currently diagnosed with autism that actually have the same “perfect storm” as my daughter had. I believe trying the Gluten Free / Casein Free diet is always a smart thing to do once your child receives any behavioral disorder diagnosis. I know it does not help all children but if it does help your child, it may give them their “typical” life back.

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Source by Alicia P Smith

Famous People With Speech Impairments

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Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech impairment where the person has disrupted speech due to prolongation of syllables, words, sounds, and repetition of sounds or words, which is always involuntary. The person also suffers from periods of silence where he is unable to produce any sounds.

This form of speech impairment does not affect a person’s intelligence. The only problem a stutterer has is that he is unable to put his thoughts into words. A stutterer does not always stutter; instead the problem becomes obvious only in certain situations like talking on the phone, being anxious or talking in front of a group of people.

Usually stuttering occurs in childhood and can be resolved with proper speech therapy. However, it can be acquired in adulthood due to head injury, tumor, stroke and drug abuse.

Here are some famous people with speech impairment:

o Bruce Willis: A famous Hollywood actor used to stutter in his youth and was afraid that it would affect his prospects as an actor. However, he overcame the impairment without therapy. He said that he lost his stutter because of acting.

o Tiger Woods: One of the best professional golfers of all times, Woods used to stutter as a child. However, he overcame the problem with therapy, which included talking to his dog until he fell asleep.

o Julia Roberts: This famous Academy Award- winning actress used to stutter when she was younger. However, she does not talk too much about it. Today, she speaks fluently and there is no sign of the impairment.

o Anthony Quinn: This Hollywood actor started acting in 1936 and gained a lot of popularity for his mafia roles. He used to stutter as a child but overcame the problem with proper speech therapy.

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Source by Pauline Go

How to Cure Stammering

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I’m going to show you how to cure stammering. I know, you are thinking what a bold statement that is, but keep in mind that something as deep-seated as stammering in your psyche isn’t going to be removed just because I say that I am going to show you how to cure stammering. But bear with me a moment as I go on.

What I am going to show you here is not a quick fix. You are not going to wake up in the morning free of your stammering. You will have to do some work on your part. Okay, a lot of work on your part. Because there are certain action steps that I am going to describe to you to get the job done properly.

There are two fancy terms in the science of stammering that I am going to bring up briefly, and then we are going to put them away in the back of your mind, because this isn’t a science journal. But it is important that you know about them, because they are part of the cure. These two words are triggers and blocks. In the case of stammering, we are dealing more so with blocks than with triggers, as triggers are more related to stuttering.

What I am going to show you, then, is a way to break through those blocks that are mentally and physically causing you to stammer. Get to know your blocks and you can work your way around them and into more fluent speaking. This is just one exercise but it will show you clearly that there are ways to cure stammering.

The first thing you want to do to get started using this exercise is to get hold of a favorite book, or even a magazine that you have lying around Find a selection that you’d like to read from the book or magazine and time yourself reading from this selection over the next minute. You want to focus during that brief minute on speaking as clearly and fluently as you can.

What you don’t want to do is get nervous or stressed out over this minute of reading aloud. Don’t obsess. When the minute is done, count the number of words you read during that time. This will give you a number that you can gauge as you progress with the exercise. This number is the number of words you read during that minute and often is referred to as the baseline.

Your next step is to read the selection again. You want to read at a pace that is comfortable, but will not invoke any real stammering. Again, don’t stress out if your reading pace is slow. Record how many words you read during that minute. Whether or not it is more or less than the number from before is not important. You just want to focus on reading at a rate of speed that will not cause you to stammer while you are reading.

Rinse and repeat. Continue to read the selection out loud, and recording your number of words read in that minute. Your ultimate aim is to get faster over time. Take your time about it though. You only want to get faster with your reading if you can get through the selection without stammering so, just concentrate on reading without stammering, and get faster as you keep practicing.

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Source by Thomas Davey-Clarke

Speech Devices and Their Technological Differences Used in Stuttering Treatment

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There are two main types of Speech Devices available for the stuttering person to use in their treatment.

One is the DAF speech device and the other is the DMAF speech device.

These two Speech Devices are very different in their technology that is built into each one.

The treatment for stuttering is very specific when it involves Speech Therapy Devices.

The speech therapist who adapts their stuttering treatment with Language Devices, will find these two types, DAF and DMAF, of speech output devices the most frequently recommended.

The two technologies used in these two are very different and the differences are as follows:

First, The DAF device which stands for Delayed Auditory Feedback, is the Most Well Known Device for the treatment of stuttering. This device can be purchased and taken home with the Stutterer to use with day by day speaking situations.

The DAF device allows the stutterer to hear his or her own voice with a time delay, like an echo. The DAF device tricks the brain into thinking that the stutterer is talking in unison with another person. It has been known that when sing or talking in unison with another person the stutterer tends not to stutter. This is called the ‘Choral Effect’.

There are two major problems with this device that has come to light.

First, It has been found that the brain can not be tricked to long, so the effect, (Choral Effect), wears off with time.

Second, The DAF device has a problem with background noise to the earpiece. The person is only able to use the device in a quite setting. Using the device outside or in a noisy room is almost impossible because of the constant background noise coming through to the earpiece the person is wearing.

Taking all this into consideration, the Stutter Device that uses DAF technology is only a Temporary Fix to the persons stuttering problem.

The second speech device, DMAF, which stands for Digital Mixed Auditory Feedback, uses ‘Vocal Tone’ as the main technology used. This also can be purchased and taken home for self therapy.

‘Vocal Tone’, which is produced by the opening and closing of the speakers ‘Vocal Folds’ (vocal cords) is detected as a Buzzing sound, which we all have inside our bodies when we talk.

This Buzzing sound is actually detected by a sensor within the device and then mixed with the persons ‘Real Time Voice’. This sound is then transferred to the earpiece the person is wearing.

This process is called DMAF. The person hears the actual Buzzing sound of the ‘Vocal Folds’ paralleled with each word that is spoken.

This effect reduces ‘Vocal Fold’ muscle tension and improves the coordination of the persons speech muscles. This in turn automatically “gets back” the normal muscles functions of fluency, while it helps replace bad stuttering habits with good, relaxed, fluent speech.

There has not been any long term studies on the DMAF speech therapy device that uses Vocal Tone as its main technology. The use that has been noticed so far with the DMAF vocal tone device has been very positive. With more stutterers being introduced to this device, hopefully it will prove to be the device needed for a lasting, positive, Self Treatment for the stuttering person.

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Source by Chris E Brewer

Adnoids – What Are Common Problems With Adnoids?

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Are you curious as to what, exactly, your adnoids are and what they do for you? Using your tongue to probe the back of your throat, you may find that you can actually feel your tonsils. Well known for their removal and subsequent ice cream filled recovery, these dangling structures are typically easy to see just by opening your mouth widely while looking in a mirror.

What you don’t see with that open mouthed expression are the adnoids which reside back behind the noise and soft palate. These two structures, sometimes referred to as T&A, work together to provide a barrier against harmful bacteria as well as aiding the body in producing antibodies.

With such helpful functions, you may be wondering why this body structure duo is so well known for its removal. These structures are commonly prone to problems including infection (extreme and chronic infections contribute to removal of the adnoids), unhealthy enlargement, and tonsil stones.

Tonsil stones are globs of material that form and collect in the pitted surface of the structure. These globs contain bacteria, post nasal drip, and sulfur compounds. The sulfur compounds give the bits an especially offensive smell that may contribute to bad breath. Sufferers may also find that they feel like something is caught in the back of their throat.

In addition to the infections commonly associated with the structures, sleep apnea and dental problems can result when these structures are abnormal or unhealthy. Medical professionals may select from a range of treatment options that may include surgical removal to treat adnoids issues.

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Source by Susan W Robinson

Common Sinus Problems and Symptoms

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Many people don’t know this, but a sinus is actually a hollow space or cavity filled with either blood or water. There are a number of sinuses in our entire body. They are present in bones, as well as in different tissues and organs. However, the sinuses that are most familiar to man are the paranasal sinuses, which are four pairs of cavities found in the bones of our faces. We are more familiar with the paranasal sinus because that’s where common sinus problems emerge.

Several disorders afflict the paranasal sinuses, the most common among which is sinusitis. Sinusitis is a problem caused by the inflammation of the tissues that line our sinuses. It may be brought about by an allergic reaction to something, by the inhalation of irritating substances, like gases, fumes and other kinds of pollutants, or via a bacterial or viral infection.

The cells that line our sinuses produced mucus that exit into the nose via the openings that connect the sinus to the nasal passageways, those who have small openings are the most prone to sinus problems that emerge from poor drainage.

Poor drainage may be caused by the inflammation of the mucus membranes lining the sinuses, which cause swelling and, thereby, blockage to the openings. Because of this, the chance of an infection is greater and becomes more difficult to address.

Most people with mild sinus irritations have a postnasal drip, nasal discharge, or both, sometimes accompanied by sinus headache and congestion. These symptoms usually can be relieved with aspirin or other mild analgesics, antihistamines (when allergy is involved), or nasal decongestants to shrink the inflamed passageways and allow for better drainage.

More serious sinus problems occur when the sinuses become infected. When the infection is due to a virus as part of an upper respiratory infection the symptoms are usually mild and disappear in just a few days. However, bacterial infection may complicate a cold or upper respiratory infection or may arise – especially in the maxillary sinuses – from infection in the teeth, or as a result of fracture during dental extraction.

An acute sinus infection usually causes local pain, tenderness, often accompanied by swelling, and fever. X-rays will tell us that the air in the sinus has been replaced by fluid or mucus. When this happens, antibiotic treatment is often the recourse, but the sinuses may have to be irrigated first (sometimes, even surgically done).

Untreated sinus problems may lead to serious complications, like bone infections, or infections of the tissues around the eye, meningitis, or brain abscess. Chronic infections may also lead to chronic postnasal drip and congestion. Thus, it is recommended that people suffering from such chronic sinus problems also stay away from smoking and being exposed to too much pollutants to avoid triggering sinusitis.

A lot of people often dismiss headaches as simply nothing and just resort to analgesics and other kinds of painkillers to relieve the discomforts they feel. However, if the condition becomes chronic, or recurs, it should not be taken for granted, as it could be the onset of something grave, like a serious sinus problem.

Television commercials often say that sinusitis can be cured with simple medications alone. While there is also truth to this, it is still best for you to consult your physician if the discomforts and the pain become unbearable.

Actually, you shouldn’t even wait for the pain to escalate to emergency levels before you see your doctor. An ounce of prevention is greater than a pound of cure, as the saying goes. When you notice the signs, don’t hesitate to go to the doctor and find out if you have a growing sinus problem or not.

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Source by Mike Herrington

Foods to Help Stop a Running Nose

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Nothing can be as irritating and embarrassing as a running nose. When you’re sick with a cold or suffering from allergies and your nose is constantly running like a faucet it’s hard to keep it plugged up, let alone dry. Mucus and phlegm production is normal and the body produces about an ounce of clear mucus each day, but when the mucus production in the body exceeds the normal rate, we encounter a running nose.

When expectorants and tissues are somewhat effective in battling the running nose, why not stop the enemy right outside the gateway? There are some foods and other components that provide a remedy to this problem. Peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil are effective.

Garlic, asafoetida and ginger increase the body temperature and loosen the mucus from the lung to give you relief. Asafoetida additionally activates the cilia to sweep mucus out of the airways. Clove is effective in curing infections caused by the mucus. Hot, spicy food is really effective in curing running nose. Add red chilly, pepper, mustard or wasabi and see instant results. Deficiency of Vitamin C is the chief cause of a common cold. Add Indian Gooseberry to your diet, it is a rich source of Vitamin C and dissolves mucus from the lung. Basil and honey are both good at increasing immunity and clearing mucus. Bishop’s weed is very effective in clearing mucus to give relief from dry cough. Fennel and aniseed are good flavored spices and helps dissolve mucus.

If you include the foods listed above in your diet then you can enjoy allergy season and even winter so much more!

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Source by Nicole C Carter

Penile Atrophy – Understanding and Overcoming Penis Shrinkage

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While most men are not comfortable talking to their doctor about problems related to the penis, failure to deal with problems related to penile appearance and function can significantly impair a man’s quality of life. Issues such as penile atrophy and loss of function can affect a man’s self-esteem, as well as causing problems such as depression and anxiety.

By understanding the potential problems that may develop, men can tackle issues like these head-on, significantly improving penis function and appearance and boosting their overall well-being.

What is penile atrophy?

The penis often changes in size and shape due to environmental factors such as heat and cold, not to mention arousal. These changes are normal and do not affect the overall size of the penis. In addition, the accumulation or redistribution of body fat can make the penis appear smaller than normal, although there may be no change in its actual size.

On the other hand, penile atrophy refers to actual reduction of penis tissue; atrophy of the penis may also affect its ability to function normally. Atrophy is generally a condition of older age; men over the age of 60 are more likely to experience shrinkage. However, in certain cases, younger men may also notice a long-term change in the size and shape of their penis.

What causes penis shrinkage?

Penile atrophy may be caused by a number of factors:

  • Reduced blood flow – A reduction in blood flow to the penile tissue can eventually cause a reduction in size. Health problems such as atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and even poor circulation caused by tight clothing or excessive body weight can deprive the penis of the blood it needs to nourish the penile tissue. Men with circulatory problems may also experience a loss of erectile function, as the blood that is needed to flood the erectile chambers is not adequate.
  • Low testosterone – Men who have significantly reduced testosterone levels may have accompanying shrinkage of the penis; when low testosterone is to blame, men also may notice a reduction in testicle size. Testosterone levels may drop as a result of aging, as well as systemic disease and chemotherapy or radiation therapy, particularly when used for treating prostate cancer.
  • Connective tissue problems – Problems such as Peyronie’s disease which affect the connective tissue of the penis may cause an overall loss in size, as well as extreme bending or curving of the penis and loss of erectile function.

Treating penile tissue loss

Treating loss of penis size depends on the underlying cause; men who are experiencing tissue loss are urged to talk to their doctors in order to get to the source of the problem. In the case of reduced blood flow, lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthy, and taking medications for cardiovascular disease may help to restore depleted tissue. Men with low testosterone may opt for hormone therapy, although there are considerable side effects that should be weighed in this case. There are also numerous options for treating problems related to the connective tissue. In some cases, men have experienced considerable improvement from treatment with vitamin E, while in others, surgical repair or implants may be recommended.

Nourishing the penis from the outside in

Along with any medical procedures and/or lifestyle changes suggested for dealing with penile atrophy, a penis nutrient creme (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) may provide additional benefits. Applying a nourishing vitamin formula targeting penis health may help to support healthy tissue growth and regeneration. By including a health cream as part of the daily penis care regimen, men can receive the full advantages of important nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, D, and B, as well as tissue-building amino acids, antioxidants and moisturizers.

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Source by John Dugan

Cataract – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

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A cataract is a change in the clarity of the natural lens inside the eye that gradually degrades visual quality. The lens plays a crucial role in focusing unimpeded light on the retina at the back of the eye. A significant cataract formation blocks and distorts light passing through the lens, causing visual symptoms and complaints. Cataract development is usually an age-related process because of protein loss in the lens. Other causes of cataract include eye surgery, eye inflammation, congenital cataract, exposure to excessive ultraviolet light, diabetes, smoking, and the use of certain medications like steroids, statins and phenothiazines. Blurred vision, difficulty with glare, increased near-sightedness, and occasionally double vision are some of the symptoms of cataract.

The conventional treatment for cataract is surgical removal along with implantation of an artificial lens. Once a cataract has formed, there is as yet no scientifically proved medication which can clear the cataract and avoid surgery. However, there are a number of Ayurvedic medicines which can be taken in an early age to prevent or delay future cataract formation. Such medicines can be divided into two categories: medicines which act locally on the eyes and medicines which have a general anti-aging effect on the whole body.

Triphala (Three fruits) is a combination which has been recommended for the eyes in the ancient Ayurvedic texts. Triphala consists of Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Behada (Terminalia bellerica). Triphala can be used in a decoction form to wash the eyes on a regular basis, and can also be used as eye drops. Triphala-Ghrut is recommended for oral intake on a long term basis to improve the vision in the eyes, cure night blindness and prevent other diseases of the eyes. Medicines like Saptamrut-Loh, which are specially indicated for the eyes, contain Triphala as the main ingredient. In addition, other medicines like Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Haridra (Curcuma longa) and Daruharidra (Berberis aristata) are also very useful for the eyes. If used on a long term basis, these medicines preserve eye function, prevent degeneration of the lens, prevent or reduce the accumulation of waste products inside the eyes and also prevent abnormal capillary formation in the retina, which can lead to bleeding and premature loss of vision.

The second category of medicines which has a general anti-aging effect on the body is the group of medicines called ‘Rasayanas’. These medicines include Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Samudrashosh (Argyreia speciosa), Naagbala (Grewia hirsuta), Amalaki, Haritaki, Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Aparaajita (Clitoria ternatea), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Punarnava, Mudgaparni (Phaseolus trilobus), Mashparni (Teramnus labialis) and Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris). These medicines prevent atherosclerosis and thus ensure a good supply of blood to all the parts of the body. They act directly on each cell of the body and help to maintain an optimum cellular environment. These medicines also act on vital organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and brain and help to ensure an optimum function of these organs and prevent premature ageing. The overall effect on the entire body is to maintain health and to improve longevity, while preserving the function of all the organs of the body. These medicines therefore act on the eyes too, by preventing or delaying cataract formation and maintaining a healthy retina.

This sort of preventive, rasayan therapy can be used by everyone, but is specially indicated for those people who are more prone to a cataract formation such as people having cardio-vascular disease, previous eye surgery and diabetes. It is also important to take other preventive steps to minimize exposure to factors that promote cataract, such as wearing sun glasses while going out. A healthy lifestyle with a proper diet, regular exercise and rest, and avoidance of smoking and alcohol also helps a lot in preventing the formation of cataract.

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Source by Abdulmubeen Mundewadi

Glaucoma and the Optic Nerve

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Glaucoma is a disease involving the optic nerve that affects the loss of retinal ganglion cells. If glaucoma is left untreated it will eventually lead to permanent damage of the optic nerve and then blindness. Glaucoma is caused most commonly by intraocular pressure on the nerves in the eye. A damaged visual field can never be fixed or recaptured. Glaucoma is a tricky disease because its progression is so slow. It can gradually wear down one’s eyesight without the person noticing much of a difference and once the disease is detected; there isn’t much a doctor can do to prevent it from getting worse, because it was detected at such a late stage.

People with ocular pressure, diabetes, and African American decent are three times more likely than others to develop Glaucoma. People that have a family history of Glaucoma have a six percent chance to develop the disease than people without a family history of it. The use of steroids has also been linked to the development of Glaucoma. Studies have also shown, in rare cases, that Glaucoma could be linked to hypertension (high blood pressure).

Glaucoma is usually diagnosed after a routine eye examination with an optometrist or ophthalmologist. The doctor will test the eye for changes in intraocular pressure, changes in the size or shape of the eye and an examination of the optic nerve. Glaucoma could also be examined by looking at the patient’s background; their sex, race, history of drug use, refraction, inheritance and family history. The majority of treatments for Glaucoma is the continued use of eye drops to help lower the level of intraocular pressure.

There is yet to be a cure for Glaucoma but surgery is one way to treat the disease. The surgery will help to lower intraocular pressure by allowing fluid to leave the eye after a hole has been opened up in the meshwork. Surgery can be performed with a laser or conventionally. A patient could also undergo a canaloplasty. A canaloplasty is when the Schlemm Canal is opened, allowing fluids to flow freely, ultimately lowering the pressure of the eye. Glaucoma patients that don’t respond to these normal treatments could look into Glaucoma drainage implants. This is the final option for patients if the eye does not respond to any other treatment. A flow tube is inserted in the eye to allow for fluid to flow out of the eye, thus lowering the intraocular pressure.

There are a handful of different stages of Glaucoma. They are primary, developmental, secondary and absolute Glaucoma. All of these stages develop over time and can eventually lead to blindness if the disease is not treated properly. Not all people with elevated pressure in the eye develop Glaucoma. Some patients of Glaucoma have developed the disease without elevated pressure in the eye. This could just be from their family history. In fact, the most common type of Glaucoma disease is hereditary. Everyone is at risk for the disease and in most cases there are little to no symptoms.

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Source by Brenda Williams

Blindness in Cats – Five Common Causes of Feline Blindness

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Cats naturally have superior vision. However, there are various conditions that can cause blindness in cats. Some of these conditions include hypertension, glaucoma, and cancer. Let’s take a look at some of these causes of feline blindness.

Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the leading causes of blindness in cats. If left untreated, the pressure can cause the retina to rupture. This can occur in just a matter of days. Cats that have kidney disease, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism have the highest risk of developing hypertension.

An early sign that your cat is suffering from high blood pressure is the presence of dilated pupils. The pupils won’t respond to a change in light, and there also may be blood in your cat’s eye. Hypertension is dealt with by treating the underlying cause. Your cat may also need to start eating foods low in sodium.

Glaucoma

One of the next common causes of feline blindness is glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition in which there is too much pressure within the eye. It is also a common problem for humans. If your cat is diagnosed in the early stages, the pressure may be reduced via medications. If it has already progressed, your cat may need surgery to correct the problem.

Cancer

Another cause of blindness in cats is cancer. Tumors can grow in or around the eye. In most cases, the eye will need to be surgically removed. However, it is usually replaced with a prosthetic eye to give a more natural look.

Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is an untreatable condition that leads to feline blindness. Most cats suffer from this condition because they inherited it. The disease progresses slowly over time, but will lead to total blindness.

Kidney Disease

One of the final common causes is kidney disease. It is common for older cats to suffer problems like chronic renal failure as they age. Unfortunately, chronic renal failure leads to hypertension. As stated earlier, hypertension can easily cause sudden blindness in cats if the retina ruptures.

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Source by D Swain

Nearsightedness and Farsightedness

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Nearsightedness and farsightedness are two of the most common visual ailments. Both of them are vision conditions related to the distance that one can see when they are look at objects. They have the behavioral and the psychological causes of their own. This article is going to explore these two causes for each of them.

Nearsightedness

It is also known as myopia whose symptom is that the sufferers can not see objects in distance. It is represented by elongating eyeballs which is often the result of focusing on objects close up for a long time. It is common among young people who are studying in school. It is normally caused by the bad learning habits that people assume when it comes to reading and learning.

You will know why when you take a look at the posture that students take in a classroom. They are bending themselves over the book for a long time. I was one of them and didn’t realize that at all until someone took a picture of me while I was reading a book.

Another important cause is to strain our eyes. When children are forced to learn or look at things that they are not interested in, they tend to strain their eyes, trying to focus on it. Doing this for a long time will cause myopia.

Myopia can also be caused by psychological near sight. This means that they fear what is lying ahead of them and would rather not look far into the future.

Farsightedness

Farsightedness, otherwise known as presbyopia, is a symptom where the sufferer can only see things in the distance but cannot see things close up at hand. Normally, farsightedness is closely related to age. It will affect one at his or her forties. As we age, our lenses will become solid and lose their ability to focus.

We tend to take the age for granted and rely on glasses.However, the muscles around our eyes can be trained to make it up for the hardened lenses.

Presbyopia is also related to what’ s in our mind. If one fears what is close up at hand and looks forward to what’s far away in the future, this eye ailment can occur. For example, if we kept looking at preparing for the life after retirement, but feared to deal with things at hand, it could turn up in our eyes.

Tips

When nearsightedness and farsightedness occur to us, the first thing that comes into our mind is glasses. This is what irresponsible people do because we are relying our vision on glasses and making the eyes lazy at focusing by themselves.

In stead, we can get started by change our bad habits including the wrong postures. Don’t keep the same posture for a long time. If you have looking at objects close up at hand for an hour, then you may want to look far away at the trees outside. If you have take distant look for a long time, then just grab a newspaper or book and read. Take breaks from time to time. Learn to train your eyes to relax most of the time.

As you can see, nearsightedness and farsightedness can be cured naturally by taking healthy habits of using our eyes. Now it’s your turn to put the tips into practice and finally throw your glasses away.

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Source by Chas James

Myopia, Presbyopia and Contact Lenses

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For individuals suffering from eye sickness, you have to go through regular check-ups and do research on your own. The two widespread disorders are (Myopia or near-sightedness) and Presbyopia (far-sightedness). These can be given remedies primarily through the use of corrective lenses or surgical operations. Some people choose eyeglasses apparently because of stylish options which can be bought from optometry clinics. Glasses have particular advantages since these devices do not call for sterilization or use of disinfectant solutions. Surgery is preferred by patients who yearn for permanent solutions and are willing to go under the knife. You also need to consider personal preferences.

Certain persons have a high regard for eyeglasses while others feel more relaxed without glasses. One particular research study that was published in a prestigious medical publication several years ago found that these modern lenses did not alter the intensity of visual sharpness experienced by a number of people. Yet, the use of contacts resulted in a remarkable improvement with regards to personal feelings about appearance and satisfaction with the quality of the visual correction.

Likewise, experts assert that the positive benefits of contact lenses are quite impressive. These same qualities could be considered attractive to anyone with a visual impairment. Eyeglass frames can obstruct vision around the lenses, and peripheral vision may be inadequately served by eyeglasses, while contact lenses shift with the eye to accommodate the entire field of vision. Eyeglasses can move out of place while walking or running, causing obscured vision. Weather disturbances such as rain or fog can blur eyeglass lenses, whereas contact lenses remain relatively unaffected by weather changes.

You can save on your finances on contacts and still be assured of quality products as well as excellent customer service provided you know what you are looking for and how to find it. There are different online retailers of. Just make sure that you now the sites to look at and how you can get the best possible deal. Shopping online is also an ideal option and is preferred by many consumers due to convenience and cost. You can check out different online outlets to make a good cost comparison for as long as you have a legitimate prescription. Each wearer has various motives for wearing these eye devices.

Wearers of these medical eye implements also think that these lenses are very expensive. You have to know all these concerns correctly. Your ultimate goal is to spend the right amount for these modern eye devices. Purchasing these eye pieces calls for several visits to the optometrist for eye tests and fitting. You can save money on contacts by looking for discounts on bulk orders or compare prices and features. There are a lot of these medical devices for the eyes that you can purchase from online stores like the Air Optix contacts. The important aspect is to be careful with the propaganda used by advertisers since this is simply part of the marketing strategy of manufacturers and distributors to gain the nod of potential customers.

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Source by Johns Lugod

Where to Stay in Ocean City, Maryland

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Which is the best route into Ocean City?

Ocean City is a peninsula; surrounded by the inlet at the southern tip, the bay on the west, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. You can enter Ocean City by crossing the Route 50 Bridge, by crossing the Route 90 Bridge, or through Delaware via Route 1.

Coming across the Route 50 Bridge brings you into the heart of downtown via a 2 lane highway. Here you will find the typical hustle and bustle of a resort community, with bathers, boardwalk visitors and automobile traffic all vying for their turn at the road.

Crossing further north at the Route 90 will bring you into Ocean City at 62nd Street. Here you will find low to mid-rise hotels and condos on the Ocean side and a mixture of condos, low-rise hotels and commercial facilities on the bay side. There will be less traffic but keep in mind that Route 90 is a single lane highway with no option to pass.

For visitors from the north, entry into Ocean City is best accomplished via Route 1. Here you will enter Ocean City at the northern end, which has the least amount of traffic. You will find low-rise hotels and condos on the Ocean and along Coastal Highway and homes and low rise hotels and condos on the bay side, with commercial facilities lining both sides of Coastal Highway.

Where should I stay?

This is a loaded question with no answer being the same for everyone. Let’s start by breaking Ocean City into 4 areas.

Downtown; this for my purposes will include everything from the inlet north to 27th Street. This includes the entire length of the boardwalk. Choose this area if you like to be in the middle of the excitement. Boardwalk shops and entertainment are open until midnight or later during the summer season and is right at your door. Staying in this area is best for the young or the young at heart. It is also ideal for families with teens that feel their children can go off exploring on their own. The boardwalk is well lit and maintains fairly heavy foot traffic until late at night. My personal recommendation is the HOTEL MONTE CARLO located at 216 N Baltimore Ave.

South Center; this for my purposes will include everything from 28th Street to 84th Street. This area includes low to mid-rise hotels and condos on the ocean and bay with commercial facilities lining Coastal Highway. You will also find some good deals on hotels and condos on and around Coastal Highway. Keep in mind that Ocean City is not that wide in most areas so walking to the beach is not a major ordeal. I consider this area to be the best mixture of convenience and quiet for most families. The QUALITY INN OCEANFRONT hotel located on 54th Street is well suited for families and couples alike and is only 1/2 mile from the convention center.

North Center; this for my purposes will include everything from 85th Street to 118th Street. This area is the same as South Center except hi-rise hotels begin lining the ocean. From 100th Street to 118th Street the ocean is virtually lined with hi-rises. For those singles, couples and families that like to be pampered with room service, saunas, etc., this is your area. On the bay side you will find townhouses for larger families, many with your own boat dock. Large families, families sharing a vacation, and boaters will find the largest selection of rentals in this area. The CAROUSEL RESORT HOTEL & CONDOMINIUMS is located ocean front on 117th street. A little history for those new to the area: the Carousel was the first hotel built on the north end of Ocean City, it was built by Bobby Baker (a reputed member of the (“mob”). Needless to say everything is here, including an indoor ice skating rink, a deli, an ice cream shop, indoor and outdoor pools, jetted tubs, room service and much more. Other than a trip to the boardwalk there’s not much reason to leave the complex. This is probably my favorite hotel in Ocean City and worth a visit even if you don’t stay here.

North; this for my purposes will include everything from 119th Street to the State line at 146th Street. This area resembles South Center except it is less congested with several homes on the bay side. Walking to a restaurant or store is less likely in this area. For those guests that like to be in a quiet area yet close to the “action” this is the best choice for you. Hotels in this area are not as plentiful but a good choice is the FENWICK INN.

Special recommendation; just before entering Ocean City from Route 50 you will see the Francis Scott Key Motel on your right. This hotel is located on 14 acres and has plenty of room for children (of all ages) to play. The indoor pool is used by many local families in the off season for birthday parties. There is plenty of shopping nearby and even has it’s own restaurant and bar. No need to drive into Ocean City, a free shuttle is available during the season that runs every hour from 10:00am to 10:00pm.

As you can see there is something for almost everyone in Ocean City. I don’t believe you will be unhappy with any of the areas, but offer this guide as a general outline of what each area offers for those guests not familiar with Ocean City.

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Source by Frank W Keller

Cosmetology Careers – Career Path Requirements

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You’ve chosen a school, are doing well in your studies and need to start planning for your future. Which career path is right for you? What are the benefits to the different careers cosmetology offers? Do you have to cut hair in order to succeed in this industry? All of these questions may start weighing on your mind as you begin your education in cosmetology. Most are best answered before you dive too far in your studies so you will know exactly which area you want to specialize in.

There are a few things required regardless of which career path you choose. As a cosmetologist you will be working with the public to offer a specific service. Having a courteous and professional demeanor is required to ensure you are able to build repeat clientele. Being friendly, personable and a good listener will take you far in this career choice. Most clients will come back to you for your winning personality even if you make a mistake and take off more than the inch they requested in a hair salon. In addition to building a good rapport with your clientele, it is important for cosmetologists to maintain a clean work environment and be conscience of their own appearance.

If you are thinking of having your own business, you may want to consider taking a class in business management. Having your own business offers the flexibility of building your own hours and setting your own fees, but you’ll need to remember that being the owner of a business will require you to fulfill more duties that just styling hair or giving a manicure. There are business licenses, insurance, having a good stock of products and being able to do your own advertising to consider.

Places available for a cosmetology graduate to find employment are plentiful world-wide. Spas, salons, health and fitness centers and even doctors’ offices offer employment to many cosmetologists. For hair stylists, salons are the obvious choice to start your career path. Some salons offer an hourly wage to their employees, where as other salons offer booth rentals for a percentage of your earnings or a set price per month.

Nail technicians often have their own salons or are incorporated within a salon where hair stylists also work. Because of the ability to easily transport their equipment nail technicians and manicurists are able to offer to bring their services to their clients. This can greatly increase the fee they are able to charge as well as make it easier for them to set their own hours. Cosmetologists are able to have extremely flexible schedules to meet their needs as a mother, wife, or other full-time employee.

A career in cosmetology can be rewarding on several different levels. Most cosmetologists enjoy that they are able to pamper their clients and often see them walk away with a smile on their face. Cosmetologists are able to beautify our world one person at a time and make a difference in the way a person sees themselves.

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Source by Susan Bean