Fits And Epilepsy: A Guide To Treatment And Diagnosis

Epilepsy is a condition well-known for centuries. Maybe you recognize it by its more common name ‘fits’. No matter what name you use, epilepsy is a condition that affects the lives of millions of people all over the world. It is the most common neurological condition. It is estimated that 1-3% of the global population is affected by seizures, with men being more likely to have epilepsy than women.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition characterized by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This abnormal electrical activity results in convulsions or fits. The most recognizable type of convulsion is one in which the person experiences rapid and violent jerking movements of the body. However, there are many other types of fits or convulsions that do not look like this and may sometimes be so small or so fast that even the patient does not notice them. Convulsions can be very varied and are different from person to person and sometimes varies in the same person at different times.

Epilepsy can affect anyone at any point in their lives. Contrary to popular belief, epilepsy does not mean that a person is incapable or mentally comprised. A seizure or fit generally lasts for less than a minute. If a person has a seizure for more than five minutes or if they remain unconscious for a prolonged period of time after the fit has stopped, call for emergency services.

How Is Epilepsy Diagnosed?

For a diagnosis of epilepsy to be made, a person must experience two or more unprovoked seizures. For a seizure to be called unprovoked, it means that there should be no environmental or detectable cause of the seizure such as overdose, hypoxia, infections, etc. A neurologist will diagnose epilepsy based on a thorough medical examination and medical history. It is important to be as honest as possible about symptoms so that you can receive an accurate diagnosis.

A neurological examination is a way to test for the motor, sensory, balance, mental functions, and other higher brain functions. A doctor may also ask for certain blood tests to paint a clearer picture of the situation and rule out other conditions. Neurophysiological tests such as an electroencephalogram (EEG) and imaging tests such as MRI help in the diagnosis of epilepsy and convulsions.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) measures the electrical activity of the brain. Metal electrodes covered with a conductive gel are placed over the scalp and these measure the electrical potentials generated by neurons in the brain. This is a painless procedure that can provide valuable insights into the functioning of the brain. This is the most commonly used test for epilepsy. If a person experience fits or convulsions, there is an electrical disturbance in the brain that can be detected with an EEG. By studying the patterns and types of abnormalities seen in the EEG, a specialist can determine the type of epilepsy. This will dictate further treatment and prognosis for the patient.

Imaging tests like CT and MRI help in visualizing the brain structure. This helps in detecting any structural damage or abnormalities that may be causing the fits.

Treatment Of Epilepsy And Convulsions

Once epilepsy has been diagnosed, a person may have to take medication every day. The type and frequency of medication depend on the person, their condition, and their doctor. Medications used to treat fits are called anticonvulsants. They are also called anti-seizure medications or anti-epileptic medications. Finding the right anti-epileptic can be a long and drawn out process. Some people may even need more than one anticonvulsant or may require additional medication apart from anticonvulsants. Remember to be patient, health can be an arduous journey.

Some people may not respond to medications. In such cases, specialists may suggest other treatment modalities such as surgery and novel therapies such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Surgery for epilepsy is not as scary as it sounds. It is grounded in sound medical and scientific work. Epilepsy surgery is usually recommended to people with focal seizures (a single, clear, defined area of abnormal electrical discharges) which are not controlled by adequate drug therapy. The aim of surgery is a complete cessation of convulsions.

In people who are not candidates for surgery, newer neurostimulation techniques like TMS can be tried. Other ways to control and reduce the severity of convulsions is getting enough sleep, eating regular meals, following a ketogenic diet, exercising, reducing stress, and other lifestyle modifications.

Epilepsy is nothing to be scared of. It can disrupt normal life but with correct diagnosis and treatment, a person with epilepsy can live a full, safe, and satisfying life. Epilepsy may not always be completely curable but it can be controlled. Don’t be afraid of a diagnosis; it is the first step in a journey towards better health.

Aging and Physical Fitness

People in the present age have realized the importance of physical fitness and how to be physically fit. People have become aware of the fact that they have to take part in some kind of physical activity on a regular basis. Most of the people are now joining fitness classes and some of them are trying to get some kind of exercise equipments at their homes. This noteworthy concern in fitness bases from various research studies and their publications. The research proves the tremendous health benefits which can be obtained from a more eminent level of fitness. These studies have also established the danger of health problems and death from diseases. As the fitness level of a person improves the risk of being attacked by heart disease, cancer, polygenic disorder, and apoplexy decreases.

There are four components of physical fitness. They are as follows:

o Muscle strength and survival

o Tractableness

o Physical composition and fat

o Cardiovascular survival

To achieve a good degree of fitness, your physical fitness acts should concentrate on each of the above mentioned areas. Each and every part of physical fitness is linked directly to the health and his / her ability to do the day's actions without getting too exhausted.

Significance of fitness to ripening adults

The areas of fitness mentioned above are all cranial to a healthy lifestyle. If the body has to move as expeditiously as possible and prevent those enfeebling diseases you have to make sure that all four parts of fitness are worked out on a weekly basis.

Muscle intensity and survival is needed to discharge the day to day activities. Daily activities may include climbing stairs, carrying groceries or even lifting boxes etc., and doing all this depends on your muscle strength and endurance. Once you start aging, your physical strength decrees and doing your daily routine becomes difficult. Experts believe that muscle intensity and its survival is crucial to fitness for older adults. So in order to gain muscle strength agreed people will also have to do some sort of physical exercise to keep them fit.

Exercising as a daily routine keeps your circulatory system that is the heart, blood vessels and lungs in a fit condition. Good cardiovascular survival also gives lots of energy so that you do not become tired while you carry out your house hold tasks.

Flexibility means the ability to be able to stretch the connective tissues in our body. The connective tissues are the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Aging leads to rigidity of the body due to lack of physical activity. So to a avoid this you have to adopt physical exercise as a regular part of your daily work.

Physical composition is the 4th part of fitness and it is the amount of fat that your body stores. Actually body fat is a dead weight and as it increases it takes most of your energy and you find it difficult to do your routine activities. So to reduce your body fat as you grow older you have to keep a track of your physical exercise.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Stroke Patients

There's a treatment for stroke called HBOT or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. This basically entails enclosing a patient within a glass cylinder that contains 100% oxygen for the patient to breathe in at pressures greater than normal atmospheric (sea level) pressure.

To be exact, at a pressure of 1-3 atmosphere (atm) that lasts 90-120 minutes per session. The duration and number of session per patient actually varies and is, in fact, not standardized in clinical practice.

HBOT is really not a newly-invented therapy. It has been in use since 1662 and was first used clinically as a remedy in 1783 by French physician Caillens. HBOT was originally used for a number of beneficial mechanisms in the 1950s after it was used 20 years earlier by the US Military to treat deep sea divers with decompression sickness.

Forerunners of the glass cylinder used in HBOT were hard-shelled vessels used for deep sea diving. There are other versions of the cylinder such as the ones recently in use for home-based therapy that are soft, reliable, and portable chambers which operate 0.3-0.5 bars above atmospheric pressure. Aside from monochamber-like administration of HBOT, another form of treatment is via a multiplace chamber which allow medical personnel to work in the chamber and care for the patient, especially those with acute cases.

HBOT has been approved by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) for the treatment of air or gas embolism, crush injury, compartment syndrome, acute traumatic ischemias, enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds, anemia, intracranial abscess, osteomyelitis, delayed radiation injury, skin grafts, and thermal burns, among others.

In the United Kingdom, HBOT is also applied to autism, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, radiation-induced hemorrhagic cystitis, and certain kinds of hearing loss. It is legal in the US, on the other hand, to prescribe HBOT for Lyme Disease, stroke, and migraines.

The use of HBOT for the treatment of stroke has been on the rise but not on a full-scale basis, however. It is, in fact, still under study. The US-based Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality conducted a research on the benefits and hormones of HBOT for brain injury, cerebral palsy, and stroke in 2003.

According to their study, the evidence of HBOT for the treatment of stroke is insufficient to determine whether it reduces mortality in subgroups because no controlled trial assessed was designed to assess mortality. The evidence about morbidity is also conflicting over controlled trials. There is no difference found in neurological measures in patients treated with HBOT versus patients treated with pressurized room air in three of the best quality trials conducted. There were two controlled trials that showed HBOT improved neurological outcomes on some measures but the trials were poorly rated in quality.

Thus, HBOT as a treatment for stroke still requires further research. With treatments for it costing from $ 108 to $ 1000, it is still best to stick to treatments for stroke that are already proven and guaranteed effective worldwide such as NeuroAid.

Hair Loss – Cause And Effect

Hair loss reaches its final state when reaching baldness. I am sure you have seen many bald people on the street or in different places near you. The question now rising is: what causes baldness?

Baldness is also known, in medical terms, as Alopecia. For males, the manifestation of alopecia is characterized by hair falling from the sides of the forehead. In addition to this, many subjects can also present a bald patch on the top of their heads. The responsible party for this type of baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is no other than DHT. This is a hormone that controls hair growth; it can affect the hair and also the prostate. Scientists do not understand yet why is this hormone affecting the scalp this way. Signs of its manifestations can appear for the first time during puberty or in the late twenties in most of the cases.

This hormonal problem is in most of the cases genetic. The genetic factor is the one indicating if you will be hairy or bald. So all you have to do now is look at your family, and if your father or grandmother is bald, you will probably be too.

This type of hair loss is conditioned and permanent and there are few chances to prevent it. The market offers many solutions for this problem but none have yet shown 100% efficient. A study made in the US showed that five subjects out of twenty using Propecia obtained considered results after one year of using the product.

Another permanent manifestation is Alopecia Areata. This causes hair to fall on different areas of your entire body, including the head. Other types of hair loss are temporary or provoked.

Traction Alopecia is present on people who wear their hair in a ponytail or harm the hair brushing it intensely. You can imagine yourself that pulling hard on your hair everyday is not a good choice.

Infections, especially mycotic infections can cause hair to fall intensely. Medical advice is welcome in this case. Any mistreatment of the scalp can lead to devastating effects.
On areas of your body where you find sebaceous cysts, you are most likely to experience hair loss. This will span over 2-3 weeks depending on case.
Other factors causing temporary hair falling are stress and dehydration. If you have a busy job and you do not have time to take care of your health you will experience hair loss so the best way to keep your beauty is protecting it.

Female Hair Loss On Sides, Temples, And Around Edges

Female hair loss that occurs in the temple area, edges, or sides of head could be caused by several different disorders.

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia

Frontal fibrosing alopecia is a newly discovered condition. It was first described in 1994. Characteristics include symmetrical hair loss along the top hairline and the sides of scalp. Complete or partial eyebrow loss can also occur. This condition does not happen suddenly. It is a slow, gradual process. The bald area progressively recedes farther and farther back, forming a “band” around the top and side edges that resembles a receding hairline. The baldness can extend as much as five inches past the original hairline. There may be a slight or noticeable contrast in the appearance of the skin in the affected area. It may appear pale or mildly scarred.

The condition was originally named “postmenopausal frontal fibrosing alopecia” as it was originally thought to only affect women of postmenopausal age. Now it is being seen in younger women as well. Although it was once considered very rare, it is increasingly becoming more common. The cause is unknown but there is speculation that the immune system and/or hormonal system may be involved.

Because it is a type of cicatricial alopecia, scarring occurs under the surface. The scarring creates a closure over the affected follicle, making it impossible for that follicle to ever produce hair again. Treatment revolves around stopping the progression rather than trying to re-grow the hair that has already been lost. Early intervention is necessary.

Alopecia Ophiasis

Ophiasis is a more severe and dramatic variation of alopecia areata. A pattern of baldness occurs at the temples, behind the ears, along the sides, and extending to the nape (or entire occipital area) of the neck. The bald areas often occur on one side or in one area first, gradually connecting together to form a band around the perimeter of scalp on the sides and along the bottom of neck area. Ophiasis is a Greek word meaning serpent, referring to the snake-like pattern that is formed as this condition progresses.

With alopecia areata in all its various forms, the follicles are not damaged or destroyed so there is always the possibility of regrowth. The prognosis for ophiasis is not as positive as it is in less severe forms of this disorder, but as long as the follicles are still alive the opportunity is there. Early intervention provides better results.

Because it is an autoimmune disorder, proper treatment would include calming, nourishing and balancing (but not over-stimulating) the immune system, as well as treating the hair loss itself. Autoimmune disorders require specific anti-inflammatory diet that may also require elimination of gluten and other possible food allergens. Natural or synthetic agents may be used to encourage follicle stimulation and new growth.

Traction Alopecia

Traction is one of the most common causes of temporal thinning in women and girls. This occurs from wearing tightly pulled hairstyles consistently for prolonged periods of time. The sustained tension on the scalp strains the follicle, causing the underlying strand to loosen from the follicle. Persistent tension may eventually damage the follicle.

Treatment involves wearing hair loose as much as possible and massaging area with essential oils, coconut oil or jojoba to provide nourishment and circulation to follicles. Early detection is necessary as scarring can occur with this condition. Once scarring occurs, hair loss is permanent.

Ear Infections in Children – Causes and Treatment

Ear infections frequently recur in young children and babies, and are one of the most common indications for prescription of antibiotic drugs. Three out of four children will suffer from ear infections (also called otitis media) before the age of 3, according to health officials.

What are the main symptoms of otitis media in children parents should look for?

1. Increased irritability and fussiness, especially during night time
2. Fever – most commonly just slightly higher than normal
3. Flu / cold symptoms – otitis media is generally followed by cold or other high respiratory infections.
4. Ear pain or mild hearing loss
5. Discharge from the affected ear
6. Loss of sleep and appetite

Causes of ear infections in children

1. Immature Eustachian tubes: infections of the ear tend to be more common in children due to narrows Eustachian tubes (passes that connect the middle ear to the back of the throat). In children, these tubes are more susceptible to blockage, thus causing fluid buildup in the middle ear. Children's Eustachian tubes are shorter and more horizontal in comparison to adults. This anatomic difference enables easier movement of bacteria from the throat.
2. Colds: colds or other upper respiratory infections cause swelling of the nose, which in turn, interrupts with fluid drainage. Bacteria and viruses may enter the ear and cause an infection, resulting in increased fluid in the ear, ear pain, fever and in several cases, hearing loss
3. Immature immune system- not fully developed; therefore children are more prone to infections.
4. Adenoids are larger in children and can interfere with the Eustachian tube's opening, not allowing fluid to drain

Treating ear infections in children

Until recently, children suffering from otitis media were treated with prescribed antibiotics. However, new studies indicate that most infections of the ear clear out without the use of antibiotics. Over 50% of all infections are caused by viral infection, rendering antibiotic ineffective in these cases. It is important to note that unnecessary antibiotic treatment may cause bacterial resistance (some strains of bacteria have grown resistant to certain antibiotics), side effects and allergic responses. For this reason, most doctors are referant to prescribe antibiotic immediately after diagnosis, and prefer the "watchful waiting" approach. According to this approach, antibiotics are oversubscribed, raising worries regarding drug resistance and growing evidence that most ear infections in children are cured by their own.

Deafness in Dogs and Cats – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Although deafness in dogs and cats is not a dangerous condition, early detection and proper treatment is absolutely necessary for the well being of your pets. In most cases the first sign of deafness is when pets stop responding to commands or loud noises.

The progress of deafness in dogs is usually slow. Moreover dogs try to compensate the hearing loss with their other sharp symptoms which is the reason why most pet owners fail to detect their pet's deafness in time.

Dogs in the early stages of deafness are confused or unsure of the commands and as the poorness progresses they slowly stop responding to commands altogether. Some of the other symptoms are sleeping for prolonged periods, waking only when touched physically, responding only to commands that are given when they can see you, continuing shaking of their head and pawing at their ears.

There are two types of deafness in pets: conductive and sensorineural. Conductive deafness is caused mostly due to some abnormalities in the outer ear, middle ear, ear canal or the eardrum. This type of deafness can also be caused by excessive build up of ear wax or severe ear infections. Conductive deafness usually causes only partial hearing loss in pets and can be resolved by medical or surgical treatments.

The sensorineural type most often results in total hearing loss and involves the inner ear of pets and is caused due to abnormalities in the nerves present in the inner ear or in the brain.

Deafness in pets can also be hereditary in nature. Certain breeds like Dalmatians, border coolies and Boston terriers are more prone to hereditary deafness than other breeds. Cats that inherit white coat genes and blue iris genes are predisposed to deafness and similarly, dogs that inherit the merle coat gene are at higher risk.

Hearing loss can also be unilateral or bilateral when it occurs in one or both ears respectively. Unilateral or partial deafness is hard to detect in pets without the help of specialized diagnostic equipments. Typically, deafness in dogs and cats can be confirmed only with their response to commands or other sounds. Consult your vet immediately for a complete ear and neurologic examination if you think that your pet is having hearing problems.

Other diagnostic procedures include the BAER Test or Brainstorm Auditory Evoked Response Test that employs electrodes to determine the neuro-electrical activities in the brain that are associated with hearing.

Treatment for deafness will depend on the outcome of the physical and other diagnostic tests. For pets suffering from construction deafness the problem can be easily solved by cleaning which must be done only by professionals. If deafness is due to ear infections then your vet may prescribe antibiotic. For sensorineural type of deafness treatment options include medications and surgical procedures. While hearing aids can also be used to resolve deafness in pets, most pets are not comfortable with them.

Home care is an important part of treatment of deafness in pets. Make sure that the prescribed medications are given in a timely and appropriate manner. If the problem is irreversible then it is very important to teach your pet the necessary skills that it requires to be safe.

Stephen King – The Stand

If he never wrote another word, Stephen King describes to be remembered for this, his contribution to the "Disaster Novel" genre. (Note: This review applies to the ORIGINAL release of the novel, not the "Special Edition")

It begins innocently enough, with an army officer running away from his base. But he has left it too late, and he carries a new disease into the world. Over the next months people begin to die, in small numbers at first, then in their hundreds, thousands and finally millions.

The survivors, a disparate band drawn from all walks of life, find they have to make a choice; to join with the forces of evil, personified in Flagg (one of the best fictional villains in living memory) or to take a "Stand" for good, personified by Aunt Abigail, an old wizened black woman with a fundamentalist approach to her faith.

Soon all the survivors are lined up on one side or the other, and the final battle for their future destiny is set up when the main characters must take their own "Stand"

The questions of faith posed by this, and how each of the protagonists make their choices, form the moral core of this book, and the rigors of basic survival when civilization has fallen forms the backbone of the plot, but it is the characters who stick in your mind long after you've finished reading.

King has always been good at "country" types, but here he shows a sure hand with such disparate people as a deaf-mute, a rock star, a garage worker, a pregnant teenager and her admirer-from-afar neighbor Harold (a gentleman so slimy you'll feel like taking a shower after just reading about him)

You feel rapport with these characters, and are soon cheering them on, and King has managed to reel in his propensity for "bloat", and does not let any one character take over.

The book carries a strong moral tone throughout, and at times seems almost biblical in its "fire-and-brimstone" intensity. In typical King fashion there are some terrifying set pieces, the pick of which takes place in a tunnel which is full of dead and decomposing bodies that must be navigated without a light. Not for the squamish.

A lot of people have been daunted by the sheer size of this book. At over 1000 pages, it is not a quick read, and in the early chapters it is sometimes difficult to keep track of its large list of characters. Also, King seems to take delight in slowing things down and looking in great detail at some pretty unpleasant deaths as a result of the disease – a super-flu which results in particular messy fluid expulsion.

However once Flagg appears and starts insinuating him into the survivors' dreams. the tension starts to crank up and King knows how to keep you hooked, cheering the good guys along to the denoument.

I will not spoil it by giving away the ending, but the final "Stand" does not come quite as expected, and has some really shocking consequences for the protagonists.

For a jaded horror fan brought up on John Wyndham and John Christopher, this book revitalized my interest back in the late 70's. This was the book that bought me back to horror, and made me want to write it myself.

For that alone it's got a lot to answer for.

How to Stop Stammering – Hypnotherapy and NLP For Stammering

Many people who stutter or mispronounce words spend their lives obsessed with t he question of how to stop stammering. It’s not hard to see why. Even if no one blames you or makes fun of you for your stammering, the experience of not being able to say what you want quickly can be incredibly frustrating. No one likes feeling inarticulate. Most of the time, the stammerer knows that his speech impediment isn’t his fault. Yet, that lack of agency is perhaps one of the most frustrating things about stammering or stuttering. Is there a worse feeling than knowing just what you want to say, and being unable to say it, than being silenced by some mental quirk you don’t understand?

How People Stammer

After all this time, modern science still hasn’t figured out what causes some people to stammer. Most of our knowledge of stammering consists of the “how,” rather than the “why.” What we do know is that people’s stuttering can take several different forms. Some people find themselves opening their mouths and having to say one syllable or word several times before going on to the rest of their sentence. Others only have trouble with certain letters and certain sounds. Others still have trouble beginning statements. They get ready to speak, they open their mouths, and no words come out; their minds draw a blank.

Stuttering Is Mysterious

One of the main reasons this common speech impediment is so mysterious is that it’s highly specific to each individual suffering from it. Although most stuttering speech sounds alike enough, people’s reasons for stuttering are as unique as they are mysterious. Some people started stuttering the moment they learned to talk. Some didn’t start until young adulthood. Some stammerers spontaneously start speaking normally at age 13. Some normal speakers spontaneously start stammering at age 25. Some people have an obvious precedent for their speech impediment, such as abusive homes in which children learned early on that speaking, often as not, results in a beating. By contrast, some people stutter for no clear reason.

Stop Stammering With NLP And Hypnotherapy

The disciplines of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and hypnosis can be combined with voice training and breathing exercises to help put an end to this frustrating involuntary habit. NLP and hypnotherapy are a powerful addition to the conventional techniques used by speech therapists to help stammerers.

NLP therapy trains people to recognize, understand, and control their emotional states. Although nobody knows the exact cause of stammering, negative emotions such as nervousness and dread of speaking are often involved. Using NLP techniques, stutterers can learn to stop over-preparing and over-analyzing the words you want to say before they try to say them. Even the most severe stammerers never stammers when they sing or shout. Much of this has to do with the spontaneity sung and shouted words. Hypnosis can also be used to help stammerers learn to relax before they speak.

With the help of voice training and breathing exercises, these techniques can achieve astonishing levels of success–even in situations where traditional speech therapy has failed. Many people have relied on these techniques to stop stammering altogether.

Sinus Anatomy and Histology

ANATOMY:

External Nose:

the external nose – the part of the nose that you see – is there for more than just to make you or your child beautiful. Those cartilage and bone structures are there to keep the nasal airway open. Think of the boxer with the pulverized nose who can no longer breathe through his nose. Anyone who has ever broken their nose – elbow during basketball, softball to the nose, whatever – knows that having those structures intact helps keep your nose open, helps keep your breathing clear, open and smooth.

Nasal Cavities:

where all the action takes place, your nose functions as:

  • air conditioner – humidification, warming or cooling incoming airstream
  • filter the incoming airstream of microorganisms and pollutants
  • immune function – preventing infection by airborne microorganisms
  • olfaction – sense of smell
  • voice quality – affects voice resonance

Nasal Septum: divides the nose into right and left halves. If the nasal septum is deviated (born like that or acquired from trauma), obstruction can result. If severe enough, septal deviation may warrant surgery (septoplasty) to improve nasal airway.

Turbinates:

3 swellings along the side wall of the nasal cavity. Their function:

  • create turbulent airflow – this aides in sense of smell, and helps mucus trap microorganisms and pollutants in the airstream (a good thing)
  • cover the openings to the paranasal sinuses (why, we don’t know)
  • alter voice resonance? (we’re pretty much speculating here)

Adenoids:

The Adenoids lie in the nasopharynx at the very back of the nose. The adenoid tissue is lymphoid tissue. It looks well, pretty gross. It is involved in killing microorganisms that are captured by the nasal secretions. Those secretions are swept to the back of the lose by cilia motion. This is the area where the nose, sinuses, adenoids and tonsils, and the openings to the Eustachian tubes (to the middle ears), all connect.

Therefore, in a way, the adenoids are sort of a key to keeping everything here (nose, sinuses, eustachian tube and middle ears) healthy. Unhealthy adenoids – acute or chronic adenoiditis – can be a cause of major nose, sinus, and ear problems.

If you look at the picture below, taken through the mouth using an angled endoscope, looking forward toward the front of the nose, the top of the palate is at the bottom, you can see the nasal septum in the middle, the nasal turbinates attached to either side of the nose, the Eustachian tube opening on the right side is visible (there is one on the left also), and the adenoids at the top of it all.

If the adenoids are too big, they can block the nose – nasal obstruction. The result is difficulty breathing through the nose, and probable rhinitis and sinusitis.

Paranasal Sinuses:

air-filled cavities within the bones of the face, connected to the nasal cavities. There is great variation in sinus shape and size between people. Have uncertain role; some speculate that they help lighten the facial skeleton, sort of like hollow bird bones make them lighter.

The sinuses consist of four paired cavities each of which is named after the bone in which it is located. The four sinus pairs:

  • the Maxillary sinuses – in bones of cheeks, one on each side. May grow to be as large as 15ml (could hold about 3 tablespoons).
  • the Ethmoid sinuses – usually 6 – 10 per side, situated between the orbits (eye sockets), up to the skull base. Responsible for more complications from sinusitis than other sinuses, usually involving the orbits (eye sockets) and tissues around the eyes. The Ethmoid sinuses are small and irregular, sort of like the “nooks and crannies” that you see when you cut open an English muffin.
  • the Sphenoid sinuses – 1 or 2 lie in the very middle of the head, surrounded by the pituitary (part of the brain), optic nerves (from the eyes), internal carotid arteries – all important structures. Rarely a source of sinusitis complications, but due to location, complications can be life-threatening (meningitis, brain abscess).
  • the Frontal sinuses – situated in the eyebrow area of forehead bone of the skull. Usually one each side, but one or both are absent in about 5% of us. Due to the fact that the brain is just behind the frontal bones, sinusitis complications in the frontal sinuses can be serious (meningitis, brain abscess); fortunately this is rare.

HISTOLOGY:

The lining of the nose is our first line of defense against airborne microorganisms and pollutants. This task is handled by the epithelium through mucociliary clearance (more detail about this in another post). The nasal epithelium functions to:

  • Acts as a physical barrier to inhaled foreign materials
  • Entraps and clears foreign material by…
  • Mucus secretion (snot) and
  • Cilia activity
  • Is an active part of our immune response – contains enzymes and antibodies
  • Helps condition the air we breathe in: warm it, cool it, moisturize it

Nasal (and sinus) epithelium: is comprised of

  • cells with cilia
  • cells without cilia
  • goblet cells, and
  • basal cells
  • transient immune cells – lymphocytes and mast cells

The ciliated and non-ciliated cells help create most of the physical barrier as they form a tightly-connected sheet that lines the nasal cavity. This “tight junction” that is formed between these cells, effectively keeps foreign materials – pollutants and microorganisms- from getting into our tissues and bloodstreams. A breakdown in this barrier can be dangerous.

The goblet cells produce mucus – snot. Nasal mucus, in the proper viscosity (thickness, stickiness) and amount, is the key to the system of mucociliary clearance working normally. Mucociliary clearance is the holy grail for healthy sinuses. Achieve this, you achieve respiratory health.

Cilia:

The most important feature of the respiratory epithelium, are the cilia.

Cilia of the ciliated epithelial cells work together to sweep out the mucus that contains any adherent foreign material, including microorganisms and pollutants.

In order to work normally, these cilia need a certain level of humidity. They are also VERY sensitive to airborne pollutants. These include toxins that are in cigarette smoke, in common air pollution, and various volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). VOC’s are all around us in our synthesized, plasticized, man-made world. They come out of our cleaning agents, out of adhesives, and out of all that plastic. These toxins prevent the cilia from working properly.

If mucociliary clearance does not function, we can expect chronic respiratory illness, and life-threatening infections can result. These cilia are on the respiratory epithelial cells that line the upper and lower respiratory tract, including the nose, the sinuses, and the middle ear, as well as the trachea and bronchioles. So, if they don’t keep these areas swept clean, the result can be infections in those areas: rhinitis, sinusitis, otitis (ear infections), bronchitis, and pneumonia.

The basal cells are progenitor cells – baby cells – that will divide and grow to replace the other cell types when they grow old or are lost due to a toxic environment. The immune response of the nasal epithelium helps us fight off attacks from various microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, mold), but if it goes haywire, can contribute to allergic rhinitis.

Immune Function:

Finally, the mucus contains special antibodies and enzymes that:

  • prevent viruses and bacteria from sticking to the epithelial lining
  • help our white blood cells to recognize viruses and bacteria as invaders and to kill them

Sorry for the dry, boring anatomy lesson, but it is important to have some idea of how the sinuses relate to the nose and rest of the upper airway, how it all fits together and how it works, if we are to succeed at keeping it all healthy. Thanks for visiting.

Penile Atrophy – Understanding and Overcoming Penis Shrinkage

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.

Glaucoma Eye Drop Shows Promise in Improving Vision for Macular Degeneration Patients

Eye redness was the clue that something was happening to Celia Ramirez's vision. Although she was not having trouble driving or doing other tasks, her children urged her to have a checkup. It turned out she was in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that attacks a person's central field of vision.

Mrs. Ramirez, who lives in Mission in the Rio Grande Valley, had surgery that successfully controlled her eye pressure, but her central vision continued to deteriorate. Her specialist is William E. Sponsel, MD, associate professor and director of research in the Department of Ophthalmology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC). Dr. Sponsel's research led him to prescribe treatment with new combinations of medicines. "These last two medicines he's had me on, they have really worked," Mrs. Ramirez said. "We've done a lot of praying.

The miracle involves carbon dioxide, which is crucial for vision. The healthy eye produces enough carbon dioxide to dilate blood vessels around the retina and maintain proper blood flow. The ailing eye does not produce enough. This holds important implications for the treatment of patients with blind eye diseases such as AMD and glaucoma, which are marked by diminished circulation of blood in the back of the eye. Eye pressure also is a conventional barometer of eye health.

About 60 of 65 patients have seen their vision improve while receiving treatment at UTHSC's teaching hospital, University Hospital. "The patients are receiving combination drug therapy, including agents that trick the eye into retaining more of its carbon dioxide," Dr. Sponsel said. "We have patients with glaucoma and no AMD, patients with AMD and no glaucoma, and patients with both disorders.

The Health Science Center is the first medical center to initiate this combination therapy for patients with central visual loss, Dr. Sponsel said. Consider research yielded the conclusions that now help patients. "You do not expect these patients to get better, you expect them to get worse," he said. "We have seen dramatic results that bode well for treatment of these disorders in the future."

The researchers measure patients' sensitivity to light on visual function tests. An increase of 10 points represents more than a million-fold increase in actual visual acuity. Mrs. Ramirez's vision in the macula – the central visual area that enables perception of letters and colors – was scored as inherently zero on early tests. After the recent treatment, her score is now 24.

The miracle agents are called "carbonic anhydrase inhibitors" (CAI's). Given as eye drops, CAI's reach the back of the eye rapidly and slow the clearance of carbon dioxide while increasing the supply of nutrients. They help dilate blood vessels inside and behind the retina, which is the structure that receives, processes and transmits visual images relayed from the brain.

Dr. Sponsel pursued this line of research in an intriguing way – after discovering that adults who hyperventilated and rapidly blew off their body's carbon dioxide demonstrated reduced vision, eye pressure and circulation in the back of the eye. He was raising subjects one week with a CAI called dorzolamide and the next week with placebo eye drops. During hyperventilation, the subjects on dorzolamide maintained good light sensitivity in their central field of vision, while the same subjects during placebo treatment showed central visual loss. Dr. Sponsel holds two US patents on this work. One valuable aspect of the research is that it proves increased eye pressure is not necessarily the definitive indicator of eye vessel disease.

Mrs. Fernandez is seeing more light at the end of the tunnel these days, thanks to the combination therapy Dr. Sponsel is testing. "Vision is precious," he said. "Despite the odds, she has had a beautiful retention of her ability to see."

The drugs used in this novel therapy, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAI's) are only available by prescription and must be prescribed by your optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Dr Edward Paul – America's Eye Doctor – http://www.DrEdwardPaul.com

Scuba Diving – How to Cope With Nearsightedness

Whether it’s a wreck site, or a reef brimming with colorful marine life, the ability to view breathtaking underwater sceneries is one of the finest rewards of scuba diving. Thus, an excellent field of vision matters a lot in this recreational sport where myopia becomes the gravest, if not the worst enemy of scuba divers.

Myopia is a medical condition affecting the cornea or the eyeballs which results to a limited focus of certain distances; where any object located farther than than the myope’s limit appears blurred. Myopia is commonly known as near or short sightedness and affects around 7 to 9, out of 10 Asians. If myopia is getting in the way of scuba diving fun despite being equipped with high performance scuba gear, here are few remedies you can pursue to compensate for you lack of “foresight.”

  1. Get a Laser Eye Surgery. This will correct your eye condition pretty much indefinitely. While the operation would cost you a bit, if you think it’s worth a few grand then go for it. However, you will have to wait a few months before engaging in any scuba diving activity (as prescribed by your doctor) in order to prevent the onset of eye infections.
  2. Wear Contact Lenses. Disposable soft contact lenses should be able to help you get a clearer view of the underwaters. Moreover, soft lenses will not easily get lost in the water even if you’ve flooded your mask. And because said lenses are disposable, it wouldn’t cost you a lot to get a replacement in case one of the lenses drifts away during the dive.
  3. Invest in a Scuba Diving Mask with Optical Lenses. If you’re more comfortable with the wear of a pair of good ol’ specs on regular days, then masks outfitted with graded lenses should do the trick. Contact your optometrist to order custom-made lenses. Meanwhile, if the precise degree of your nearsightedness has been determined, simply purchase a scuba mask that is designed to accommodate optical lenses.

    So the next time you shop for pertinent scuba gear – particularly the scuba mask, opt for a durable, watertight and lightweight mask that is outfitted with interchangeable lenses (fit for divers with vision correction requirements). Do a bit of online research and you’ll discover that there are quite good a number of affordable scuba masks to choose from.

For hardcore scuba diving enthusiasts, myopia should not be a major hindrance since there are a number of ways to remedy the condition; particularly through the wear of dive masks outfitted with optical lenses. So why not invest in a set of IST Proline Zeus Mask today? The scuba gear [http://www.scubasuppliers.com] is full featured with interchangeable optical lenses to suit your vision requirements underwater. For discriminating divers, the lightweight H2Odyssey Alpha 2 Mask comes with optical lenses especially designed to cater to nearsighted scuba divers.

How to Get Six Pack Abs Without Going to the Gym

More than anything else, people who want to improve the appearance of their bodies want to know how to get six pack abs fast. Nothing makes a body look fitter than a flat, defined stomach. Almost every diet supplement or piece of exercise equipment that is on the market uses pictures of a model that has a perfect midsection to persuade to you that their product will give you what you're looking for. If you've tried everything to get that washboard six pack abs or you want to try for the first time, you can do everything you need at home to get amazing results.

If you have always believed that hundreds of sit-ups were how to get six pack abs, think again. It will take a combination of nutrition, cardiovascular training, and abdominal exercises to get the look you want. Most people believe that they must develop new abdominal muscles in order to achieve this look. The truth is, we all have the muscles in our abdominal that are referred to as "six packs" but they are actually not visible because of the layer of fat that covers them. The fastest way to get six pack abs is to get rid of the extra fats that is covering your abdominal muscles.

Many people believe that going to the gym every day and hitting the weights is how to get abs fast, and they can not get in any other way. Although using exercises and weights to tone your abdominal can help give them more definition, it will not make any difference if you do not lose the fat first. That means doing cardiovascular exercises as well as strength training. If you have a treadmill at home, then this is the first approach you need to take. If not, walking at a fast pace will work as well. Also, exercise tapes that help you burn the fat give you the freedom to burn calories without having to go outside.

You will not find a system on how to get six pack abs that promises to turn fat to muscle that will work. Burning fat and building muscles are two different processes. If you are already thin, fit, and muscular and do not have the six pack abs you want, then it may simply be a matter of toning your abdominal muscles to get the definition they need.

Lower abdominal exercises for toning muscles you can do at home include bicycling. This is one of the easiest exercises that get you great abs and work other muscles at the same time. For this exercise, lie on the floor on your back with your hands behind your head. Bring your left knee up towards your chest as you take your right elbow towards the left knee. Then repeat with the right knee and left elbow. Go continuously from side to side.

If you follow a six pack abs diet, add cardiovascular exercises to your exercise routine, and do abdominal exercises, you'll find that you can get six pack abs fast without ever having to leave home.

Finding a New Dentist

If you're looking for a dentist in Derby, you're actually spoiled for choice (unlike some parts of the UK where patients are forced to wait long periods for dental appointments). In addition to general dentists in the Derby area, you can find a whole host of cosmetic dentists, orthodontists, and pediatric dentists, together with a number of nationally recognized experts who specialize in areas such as oral surgery and periodontics.

There are currently 85 different dentists listed in and around Derby and, if you're prepared to drive for just 20 minutes or so, you can find even options available nearby Burton-upon-Trent and Nottingham (both are within 15 miles). With so many dentists to choose from in the Derby area, many local dental patients can feel overwhelmed by the sheer choice available. In these situations, many people simply choose the nearest dentist, the cheapest, or one that a friend or family member recommends.

Yet with such a golden opportunity to find exactly the type of service you're looking for, it just does not make sense to go with the easiest option. By walking through the simple process below, you'll be able to ensure that you find the right dentist for you and your family, whether you live in the center of Derby or in the surrounding area in Ashbourne, Belper, Ripley, etc.

In order to ensure you make a sound decision and find the best dentist in Derby, you need to do three things: 1. Work out what you're looking for, 2. develop a list of prospective dentists in Derby, and 3. narrow down your list to just one or two dentists that you'll actually book appointments with.

The first step in the process is to work out what you're looking for in a dentist. Ideally the best way to do this is to sit down with a pen and paper for a few minutes and list everything that's important to you.

One of the main things to consider is whether you'd like to choose a private or an NHS dentist for your treatment in Derby. NHS dentists are typically cheaper than private ones and there are plenty of these available in the area (check the Derby NHS Choices website for a full list). As is other parts of the UK, there may be times when you have to wait to get an appointment with an NHS dentist, although this should be less of a problem in Derby than in more isolated areas of the country. Additionally, the range of treatments available on the NHS may be restricted, so this is something else to consider when you're thinking about your budget for dental care.

Once you've thought about whether an NHS dentist or private one would suit you better, the next thing to focus on is whether you are looking for particular skills or specialities from your dentist. These might include such things as specializations in orthodontics or pediatric dentistry (for your children) as well as cosmetic dentistry, or dealing with nervous patients, if that is a priority for you. As indicated above, you can find specialists from all the main branches of dentistry in Derby, as well as a number of visiting specialists who offer appointments in the area on a regular basis.

Another section on your list of needs should center on your lifestyle requirements. These can include things like the ideal location of your dentist (dentists listed as being "in Derby" may actually be out of the town center in Spondon, Mackworth, Chaddesden, etc.) In addition to location, you'll also need to consider your schedule and think about when you'll most likely be able to see your dentist. Remember that traffic conditions can be bad in Derby, so make sure you're not too optimistic about being able to make it to your appointment on time! There are a few dentists in Derby that are open late and at the weekend and this may help with scheduling, but this is far from typical.

Finally, as you come to the end of your list of needs, note down anything else that will determine your choice of dentist. Do you have strong preferences regarding facilities? Is the latest equipment an important factor for you? Do you need to be able to bring in your own music to help you relax? You might also want to consider whether you're looking for a dentist that shares your attitude to health care. For example, you may be looking for a dentist that provides white mercury-free fillings and who prefers to limit the number of x-rays to the minimum in the interests of your overall health. Whatever is important to you, add it to your list here.

Once you've completed your list of needs, the next step to finding the best dentist in Derby is to create a list of prospects to choose from. There are three main ways of doing this: using the internet, checking the Yellow Pages, and asking family and friends. Of these, the easiest and most convenient is to use the internet. Choose your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo or Bing) and look for listings of dentists in Derby, as well as additional information that may help you to make your decision (such as user experiences, reviews, etc). Also, have a look at any dentists websites that come up, as you'll also be able to learn a lot from these, although, surprisingly, many dentists in Derby do not seem to have their own websites!

Although you will not be able to find as much information as when using the internet, the Derby Yellow Pages can still be quite useful. One of the benefits of using the Yellow Pages is that it makes finding telephone numbers easy (for some reason, as well as lacking websites, it's also often difficult to find the phone numbers for a number of dentists in Derby when searching online! If you do not have a copy of the Yellow Pages for Derby, you can find lists of phone numbers on the dental directory and NHS sites for Derby.)

Finally, after checking the internet and Yellow Pages, it's a good idea to ask family, friends and other people you know about which dentists they recommend. This can be especially useful when you have particular needs (such as being a nervous patient, etc) and know someone in a similar situation. Good dentists rapidly attract positive word of mouth, so pay attention to what others are saying about their dentists in Derby. You might even consider traveling a little further out (past Mackworth, for example) if you hear of a particularly good dentist outside Derby town center. One thing to be careful of, however, is assuming that a dentist will suit you just because he or she suits someone else: we all have different needs. After writing out your list of preferences, you should now be quite clear on what's important to you when looking for a dentist.

By now you're now ready to narrow down your list of prospects further to find the best dentist for you. There are several ways to do this. Firstly, consider the conversations you've already had about scholars with your family and friends. Can what you've already learned help you to cross some dentists off your list, or place others at the top? When you've thought about this, have a look at the dentists' websites and see what impression you get. You should be able to develop a clear picture of what services they offer and what it's like to receive treatment there. If the dentist does not have a website, this process will be more difficult for you and you're going to have to call them or pay them a visit to find the information you need. As mentioned earlier, this will not be too much of a problem as almost all of the 85 dentists in the Derby area are within a half-hour drive of the city center.

Before you contact the dentist's clinic, make a list of your questions in advance and check to see that you've covered everything from your list of needs. Use the telephone to prune down your list of prospects to the final few. When you've done so, it's time to visit the last remaining clinics in Derby to get a sense of whether you'd like to be treated there. Meet the team, talk to the dentist, have a look around and notice how the patients seem. Are they relaxed and in a good mood, or do they seem nervous? Together with the results of your earlier research, this step should provide you with information you need to chose one or two scholars for the final step in the process: making an appointment.

In the absence of comprehensive ratings system for scholars, the best way to determine if a particular dentist is right for you (or not!) Is to schedule an appointment. This first appointment will probably just be for a consultation and a brief look at your teeth, or perhaps a simple cleaning. Use this opportunity to ask the dentist any final questions you might have and to get a sense of whether you feel you can relax with and trust the dentist. If at this stage you feel some misgivings or if there are any problems, it's better to move onto one of the other politicians from your list and schedule an appointment there. If, however, everything seems right and you feel positive about this new dentist then well done! It looks like you might have just found your new dentist in Derby!

By following this process: thinking through your needs, developing a list of prospective dentists in the Derby area, pruning them down to the final few, and then getting direct experience of being treated by them, you'll be sure to find the best option for you, while avoiding the problems so many other people face when dealing with a dentist that simply was not the right choice for them from the start.