How to Deal With Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, especially among African-Americans over the age of 40, people over the age of 65, and individuals with family history of glaucoma. Usually associated with increased pressure in the eye, it damages the optic nerve and often leads to progressive blindness.

Management of glaucoma as early as possible is the key to preventing blindness from developing. However, in the case of open-angle glaucoma, it is not recognized until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. With closed-angle glaucoma, the patient usually seeks medical attention as soon as possible due to the sudden eye pain.

The most common and most convenient way to manage glaucoma is through medication in the form of eye drops. Several eye drops are used and the functions are usually to decrease the production of aqueous humor and to increase its outflow leading to decrease in intraocular pressure. Some medications are administrated for short-term and long-term effects so each one is necessary. This requires an effort in the part of the patient since compliance with the regimen is important. According to studies, the blindness among those who are already diagnosed and started medication was changed from non-compliance to home medication.

Beside medication, surgery is also one of the effective managements of glaucoma. It is important to note that surgery does not cure glaucoma. Instead, it only provides symptomatic treatment. To date, there is still no cure for glaucoma.

Trabeculectomy is the conventional surgery for glaucoma patients. This is done by removing a portion of the blocked fluid pathways, making an opening in the sclera of the eye and closing it loosely to function as the new drain of the eye fluid. It is effective in lowering intraocular pressure but may have side effects such as scarring, infection and cataract formation.

Laser trabeculoplasty is a treatment specifically for open-angle glaucoma. The laser stimulates the trabecular meshwork to open and drain fluid more effectively. Laser iridotomy is done by making a hole in the iris of the eye to drain fluid. It is effective among those with closed-angle glaucoma.

Artificial drain may also be implanted in the eye if the response to medication is poor. Another procedure called viscocanalostomy is done by making the front of the eye thinner to help drain the fluid, but this is not as effective as the conventional surgery.

After a Stroke

There are changes after a stroke which are not only physical – your personality often changes too. These alterations have an impact on your family, who are not prepared for this. They cannot see these variations to your persona, only the physical changes are apparent. You can become short tempered, irrational and uncooperative, in fact quite unlike your old self. It often takes a long time for your family and colleagues to appreciate these changes to your personality.

The stroke can decrease your “Executive Function”. This means your ability to make responsible and rational decisions as these thought processes become impaired and your concentration becomes limited. You may want to hide these changes and worry about them alone hoping matters will improve, and, of course, this is possible. However by far the best approach is to share these worries of loss of memory etc. with your loved ones. They are not at all concerned at, say, memory loss of times gone by, people’s names or birthdays. The family is just delighted to have you with them again, to share in future exploits, however limited.

Another often undiagnosed outcome for you is depression – it is sometimes overlooked even by the medical profession. Your spouse may become affected too and also other members of your family. Speak to your doctor about these experiences and he will offer advice, perhaps medication and maybe even suggest you join a Rehabilitation Clinic where you will meet other similar stroke victims.

The greatest success seems to come for stroke survivors who fight to regain their losses. Yes, you are alone to some extent but it comes down to the information in the ‘Serenity Prayer’: Having the courage to change what you can, the humility to accept what you can’t and the wisdom to know the difference!

Always remember to ENJOY LIFE, however limited. Always remember your loved ones want you and, yes, need you, and that the journey is not over until someone else calls “Time”.

Helping Aids – Perhaps you could use a computer to find out if second hand items are available to aid your mobility, i.e. electric ride-on vehicles, walking frames or chairs which can be operated to help you get up more easily. You could collate all of this information onto a “news Sheet” and give it to hospitals, clinics and various other outlets. Not everyone has a computer or knows hot to operate one. This information could prove to be invaluable to fellow sufferers and will make you feel you’ve made a very worthwhile contribution to Society. It could also mean you make a new circle of friends. The ramifications are enormous – Good Luck!

State Of Environmental Health In Uganda – A Community Psychologist's Perspective

Health and environment are linked. In fact, most people prefer using the phrase environmental health to have the union of the two. The union intends to show how influences of human health could come from changes in the environment.

But, within environmental health, there are other issues, like poverty, population, organic farming, environmental politics, environmental health accounting, environmental health protection and environmental stress (from humans and climatic changes). In other words, it would simply mean external factors that potentially affect health.

The environmental health continues to be under serious threat from; ever increasing population that encroach it, lack of concern from both communities and their leaders, multinational firms' scaling up of pesticide and chemical use in agriculture, and degradation of the environment -without moral conscience.

Use of chemicals is said to be highly destructive not only to weeds and pests but also to humans. Apart from losing the natural taste of food, eating food crops sprayed with chemicals, even after several hours of cooking, could soon have it set in vital organs of the body -as lungs and liver. And thereafter, lifespan of humans and animals could be lowered.

Unfortunately, suppliers of such destructive drugs are big corporate firms -that are capable of bribing off influential African leaders, employing huge numbers of people and investing heavily in advertisements. As such, it would be so easy to shut people's mouths -majority of who are beneficiaries, not to complain or advocate otherwise.

Yet, just looking at organic farming, which uses natural solutions to agricultural problems, it is something that is environmentally friendly-meaning that whatever constituent of the environment is not harmed. Rather, people practicing it co-exist with an understanding of the knowledge of sustainability in resource utilization.

Communities, in this case, are mindful of paying back to the environment from which they find food -with no pollutants, and ensuring that natural resources regenerate. There is, therefore, mutual benefit, unlike in scenarios -where use of pesticides, bush-burning and huge de-forestation for arable land is the mentality. Organic products are natural and in line with the similar natural needs of the body.

And products are what consumers could be willing to pay more for in order to safeguard life. The practice of farming is itself gentle to the earth – where both compliment each other in terms of soil conservation, conservation of vegetative cover and ensuring sustainability.

Pressure on land has forced many to migrate into game and forest reserves, and thus, catapulting into aggravated de-forestation, and extinction of rare species of both animals and plants. In south west Busoga forest reserve, in Mayuge District, it is now history that there used to be buffalos and hippopotamuses in the area.

It is a place with most violent panga-yielding encroachers ever known in Uganda. They can go as far as attacking tree-planters, cutting down artificial plantation, and even uprooting of newly planted trees.

Such grave environment degradation is what in turn adds to the already existing threat of global warming, adverse affecting ecological balances, leading to natural punishments (natural disasters), and creating conditions for disease causing germs as well as immunological disturbances.

Encroachment is a key critical issue, but governments in Africa are passive about dealing with the problem. Instead, they focus more on political goals. Politics is usually mixed with serious environmental health concerns. In Uganda, the problem, mainly, is with the forest resource.

For wild life, it is well able to quell off encroachers -according to reports by forest officials in Uganda. There is a kind of discrimination in regard to forest land protection, as would be compared to resources like oil and wild life.

With many of them being immigrants from other regions of the Uganda, the reason they (encroachers) give is lack of land for food production, where denial of forest or animal park land would mean starvation to death. In fighting to live, they are willing to be shot down.
But independent observers say encroachers are runaway criminals, who ended up in forests. And those in the forest think justice can hardly be processed to the very end, which gives them a feeling of personal safety.

The passage of local leaders has not generated action against encroachers-since they are voters capable of helping regimes in Africa stay in power. Governments, therefore, find it a delicate issue to handle. Instead, they choose to keep a blind eye as the environment is massively degraded.

While family planning would be an excellent strategy to combat growing population, the conservative lives of most Africans do not give room to the practice. Education too is out of reach for the majority of the populations around game and forest reserves -realizing that such areas tend to be remote.

The remoteness implications total absence of schools as much as the value of education. Yet, In line with education, going to school is said to discourage high birth rate and living without planning for the future. Some areas like Mayuge District have mainly junior level schools and parents value less the idea of ​​sending children to school.

Parents think educating children is a waste of money, and that in the first place, it is hard to get. While at the same time their forest life is unpredictable -since they believe government would at one time expel them. So, surviving day by day is all they look at. Neverheadless, older men would always be on the look out for breastfeeding-pointing young girls to devour sexually. As a Consequence, many drop out before joining secondary schools.

There is public health concerns in the face of high population growth -with pressure on utilities and irresponsible behavior in handling of community resources. People in such areas, as game and forest reserves -hardly care about hygiene and sanitation. Instead, the reserves act toilets or latrines.

And because they lack clean water, they frequently "host" water-borne diseases. Worse still, inaccessibility to reproductive health services makes them prey to HIVAIDS and other STIs / STDs. Where would you find condoms while in such areas?

The implications here are; improper disposal of waste materials, early sexual intercourse and rural prostitution around town centers. Further, in such areas, sexual intercourse is like taking a cup of tea -this time round, in Western Europe context, where anytime is believed to be tea time.

Besides, lack of proper nutrition, lack of well trained personnel, and engineered lack of drugs put local residences more at the risk of dying from the mainly water-borne, sexually transmitted infections and other simple infections -that else would be treated.

Since health services are inaccessible, local residents resort to traditional medicine. Rarely would you walk in rural areas without meeting a kind of "Dr" Rashid Lukwago clinic that fill gaps where modern medicine has failed to reach. However, with integrated health service delivery system, traditional medicine and modern are one, although standards need to be set for the former.

People, there, are at compliance level. They have very little or nothing to sale so that money is generated to buy medical drugs. Herbal medicine, therefore, becomes the most appropriate to them.

Interestingly, people claim herbs have been more effective at curing serious illnesses than modern medicine. No wonder, recent health strategy called for a twin approach to treatment of diseases.

Much as the lucky urban and semi-urban areas would be found with decent health care facilities, patients find no drugs in them. What is thought to be free treatment at government health centers is never so. At best they would offer blood testing and prescription. The patient, then, plays the last role of going to the pharmaceutical shop find drugs.

Perhaps, it is cost-sharing at work that government introduced in early stages of its rule. But, remember, people are poor. If unable to buy medicinal drugs, and when traditional herbs fail, they could succumb to death.

The health sector happens to be one of the most infested government departments with acts of corruption. As a remedy, liberalization of the economy in general and health sector particularly in this case, sounded as though the answer.

However, doing so, well, helped to improve on services offered. On the other hand, only the rich could afford. The poor, as usual, were left out -and only had to pray that they do not fall sick and get close to their creator.

Not very long ago, health ministers were implicated for misuse of global funds for prevention and treatment of malaria and HIV / AIDS. As the lords where busy feasting and driving posh cars around, AIDS patients were dying. Sincerely, where are the hearts in the Uganda's political players?

Unfortunately, belief in witchcraft is another problem in such areas. Any strange incident could call for a witch-doctor's consultation or referral to culturalorms. It was not surprising; therefore, when finds by butabika hospital showed that majority of people in Uganda preferred traditional healers or faith-based prayers to health centers -as curative.

Meanwhile, the same cultural ideas could be so entrenched that changing attitudes might pose a challenge. Development pace could be slow or even static-since people find it "impossible" to think beyond simple cultural excuses. Actually, witchcraft, being at the center of cultural practices, plays roles of what science would be purposed for.

Without encouraging people to take their children to school such young people post-pone marriage, it would always be hard to control infections and diseases as much as to change their attitudes towards the mainly useless cultural beliefs.

Useless cultures could have adverse connections to almost everything in life -be it with health service promotion, proper agricultural practices and viable leadership or managerial options. All could suffer under wrong mentalities.

More so, as the saying goes, "educate a woman, educate the nation." The saying, just as from; different research findings on gender, experiences and the statistical occurrence of child abuse and neglect cases, educated men would tend to act more irresponsibly on matters of child development than educated women.

There could be a difference between good orderliness of a family of an educated mother and one -who is uneducated. Education, which is understandably, the high intellectual state and tangible resourcefulness of a person-long after he or she has left school, could help scale down incidences of child abuse and neglect.

Upon this background, prospective parents must go or return to school not just to attend classes, but to learn. Having done so, the future could have environmentally caring and patriotic generation.

Herbal Remedies to Beat Colds and the Flu

Our approach to colds and the flu is comprehensive and holistic. Just as in our most comprehensive and integral health and wellness programs, it works best to look at the whole person, taking into account many different aspects of wellness health care and then nourish and support the body's own natural means of keeping itself well.

If you've been interested in a more natural approach to colds and flu and in taking better care of your whole self you should know:

Over the counter drugs that are designed to eliminate the symptoms of the cold – ease congestion, stop the cough, soothe the sore throat – actually interfer with the body's protective immune responses. The condition may seem to get better because of the masking of the symptoms, but actually all that has happened is that the body's natural immune response has been curtailed. Over the counter cold remedies do nothing to fight cold viruses or boost the immune responses so they can have little effect on the duration of colds.

Of the five antihistamines commonly used to treat colds, research shows that only one of them may actually help dry a runny nose.

Researchers have found that over the counter drugs may have no benefit for preschoolers.

Decongestants can produce side effects like jitters and insomnia.

Mucus, tears, and saliva are treated with IgA antibodies. Mucus is a genetically engineered antibiotic substance that contains specific antibodies to your current infection. So when you take an over the counter decongestant that dries mucus secretions during a cold or flu you may be reducing your immune responses and contributing to prolonging the duration of your infection. It's better to take substances that thin and liquefy the mucus and keep it flowing freely with plenty of liquids.

Herbs like licorice may deal with excess mucus through a moistening action, loosening mucus and making it flow more readily out of the body. Other herbs that may help to do this include marshmallow and slippery elm.

Echinacea and Goldenseal are probably the most frequently used herbs for colds and flu in the United States:

Clinically Echinacea is not generally considered to be a major herb for working with the flu although it is often used as an auxiliary herb. Research suggest that Echinacea may be particularly helpful at the sunset of a cold or flu. If taken early enough in the appropriate dosages it may contribute to heading off a cold or flu.

Once the cold is well established, though, Echinacea by itself is not the most effective herbal approach. After the cold or flu has taken hold Echinacea continues to be useful in combination with other herbs and it helps shorten the duration and severity of the infection. By itself Echinacea is not usually sufficient to knock out a cold or flu.

Taking Goldenseal in the early stages of a cold or flu may actually make the condition worse by drying up the mucus membranes. This inhibits the mucus, saturated with antibodies to fight the bacteria, virus or other microbes, from working.

Clinically Goldenseal is used for subacute and chronic infections of the mucus membranes but it is not usually thought to be appropriate for use in the acute stage.

Goldenseal works as a cleanser and anti-inflammatory. It can be helpful at very specific times in very specific doses in a cold. But there is not a single study that shows that Goldenseal works as a cold fighter.

Even better cold & flu herbs:

Black elder is another traditional herbal remedy that has been shown that it may have good effects on the flu. A recent clinical trail showed that a preparation of black elder cases of the flu within three days and also boosted the immune system responses. Oregon grape can be used as a contemporary substitute for Goldenseal and may be much better than even Echinacea for use with the common cold.

Peppermint contains compounds that can relax the airways and open congested sinuses and nasal passes.

Ginger appears to fight inflammation and pain. It also appears to act as an expectorant and have warm effects that can be helpful if you are chilled.

Yarrow fires inflammation and muscle spasm and promotes sweating. It has long been used against colds and flu.

Thyme is an expectorant and appears to fight microbes. Its flavonoids may help decrease smooth muscle spasm which may assist in opening tight airways.

Mullen is a demulcent which contains mucilagous substances that coat and soothe irritated respiratory linings. It may help to loosen a cough and fight viruses.

More natural herbal remedies:

St. John's Wort has been shown in test tubes studies to inhibit influenza A viruses and parainfluenza virus but not rhinovirus (a cold virus). Osha has traditionally been used in the Rocky Mountains as the most important plant for treating respiratory infections. Osha is used extensively to treat colds, flu, and bronchial infections. The tincture or tea is antibacterial.

Boneset is used as a traditional remedy for the flu. Traditionally, Boneset was used as a major remedy for the flu, fevers, and as a general tonic. It has been used to treat both acute and chronic conditions. In one study the immune stimulating polysaccharides in Boneset were found to be ten times more potent than Echinacea polysaccharides.

An herbal bath may be an effective remedy for accelerating cold symptoms and increasing immune responses. It may help to nip them in the bud. During the bath the essential oils of the herbs are released by the hot water. These oils are believed to be absorbed through the pores of the skin and through the nose and mouth mucus membranes. Absorption through the mucus membranes may bring the oils into contact with the upper respiratory tract where they are able to exert their antibacterial effects.

Copyright (c) 2008 Mary Ann Copson

Alopecia Barbae – An Explanation For Balding Facial Hair

Patches of hair loss in the beard is a unique variety of hair loss known as Alopecia Barbae. This condition is portrayed by little circular shaped spots of facial hair loss. It is a type of alopecia so it is in the same class of hair loss as male pattern baldness. Basically, the it is unknown what causes facial hair loss and there is no known way to inhibit Alopecia Barbae. For some men, the bald patches can stay for a lifetime while others experience hair regrowth a few weeks after it fell out.

Although Alopecia Barbae is regarded as harmless, it can diminish a man’s self-esteem and reputation. It is not connected to any other diseases and does not diminish your health in any way. Men who experience Alopecia Barbae once can commonly experience it again at another point in time though this variety of alopecia doesn’t indicate or raise your likelihood for other types of alopecia or loss of hair. There is no way to predict when you may experience another patch of hair loss because, despite popular belief, this form of hair loss is not triggered by stress.

Alopecia Barbae is a reasonably uncommon type of alopecia. Only about two percent of humans suffers from a variety of alopecia areata where hair falls out in occasional areas. Researchers have concluded it is an autoimmune condition where your immune system erroneously assaults healthy human cells because it believes the body is under attack. With alopecia your immune system attacks the hair follicles. The roots of hair follicles become inflamed and the hair can fall out sometimes in just a couple of days. Thankfully, different from the majority of autoimmune conditions, the hair follicles can repair with time and the bald patches can completely fill in.

Dermatologists commonly care for this loss of hair with cortisone injections. The medical doctor will inject many tiny doses of cortisone in the area affected by baldness. Your body naturally creates cortisone with the adrenal glands. It’s basically regarded as a reliable procedure though unintended effects can include skin thickening or sunken areas in the skin at the site of the injection that normally cures itself over time. You could also be prescribed cortisone capsules that you swallow.

The actual harm of Alopecia Barbae is to a man’s self-esteem. Though the issue doesn’t damage the body, society commonly interprets patches of hair loss to indicate significant disease and labels that person as “sickly”. Remedies can help the majority of men regenerate all or part of their facial hair. Some men opt to just shave their facial hair off completely rather than have a spotty beard.

Epilepsy, Food Sensitivity, and Heavy Metals: A Supplementary and Alternative Medicine Approach

November has been selected as "Epilepsy Awareness Month" according to the Center for Disease Control. This year, their focus is on seizure recognition and first aid.

There are four main categories of seizures include:

  • Generalized Seizures – affect entrain brain
  • Partial Seizures – affect part of the brain
  • Non-Epileptic Seizures – not caused by epilepsy, but other things such as diabetes, fever, etc
  • Status Epilepticus – a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes

Epilepsy affects more than 2.7 million people in the United States, and some patients can experience over 100 seizures in a single day.

The CDC recommends that a person seek immediate medical care if someone has a seizure that meets any of the following criteria:

  • If the person is pregnant
  • If they injured themselves during the seizure (falls, broken bones, etc)
  • If this is the first time they have had a seizure
  • If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes (Status Epilepticus)

Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of the brain can trigger epilepsy. Trauma, illness, brain damage, abnormal development, food intolerances, and heavy metal toxicity can all be factors with epileptic patients. It is estimated that over 75% of patients with epilepsy do not know what is causing their seizure activity. Patients are generally provided with toxic medications that attempt to alter the seizure activity without identifying the underline cause of the problem.

From a Complementary and Alternative standpoint, I often find that patients are able to reduce the frequency of their seizure activity through dietary modifications and removing heavy metals from the body. Certain food intolerances such as gluten (wheat, barley, rye, etc) casein (dairy), corn, or soy can be a major "triggers" for patients with epilepsy.

Heavy metal toxicity can induce a myriad of problems in our bodies, from epilepsy, to infertility, dementia, autoimmune diseases, and more. Once of the most common ways that we experience heavy metal toxicity is through our teeth. Mercury fills, gold crowns, and other metals that are placed in our mouth have the ability to "leak" into our bodies and accumulate in various organs, including the brain. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology has a video in regards to the effects of metal toxicity in our bodies. Click HERE to view it .

Speak with your doctor in regards to the potential symptoms that food intolerances and heavy metals can be causing in your body. If your doctor is unaware of the associations relating to food and toxins, you may wish to include a doctor that incorporates a holistic approach to health to provide another opinion as to your specific symptoms.

Learn to Kill Your Stutter

While it isn’t generally a speech problem that effect every body – a stammer is a massive problem for babies and children, teenagers and grownups today. A stammer can cause even the most confident person to avoid conversations with co-workers and friends and and avoid interacting with with other acquaintances for fear of embarrassment. In reality, a stutter can actually ruin anybody’s life.

Even though being cursed with a stammer truly is a terrible ailment and often a majorly perplexing affliction, the reality is, it’s easily achievable to get rid of a stutter. The fact is, it’s completely possible to totally quit stuttering and wave bye bye to stuttering for ever.

Now you may be thinking that this does sound too good to be true. Be that as it may the the whole truth (and nothing but the truth) is that, being cursed with a stutter is a completely psychological issue and an issue that can easily be fixed as long as the stem of the issue is revealed.

While it more than likely does seem like it, you’re not by yourself with this stammer. According to statistics somewhere near 1% of today’s population can’t stop stammering but the sad truth is only a tiny of this percentage of sufferers will really attempt to cure their stutter.

While that small minority of stutter sufferers who make the decision to kill their stammer will go on to live happy, fulfilled lives, the great majority of the sufferers who don’t end their stutter will drop further into the background, keeping off as much social enjoyment as is humanly possible.

Is the real solution to take stuttering therapy classes?

In truth, therapy is the answer – but this does not really need to mean private professional therapy. Having a stutter can be be easily remedied in as little as sixty minutes but since professional therapists are paid an hourly rate, this isn’t cost effective for them.

This isn’t to say that professional counsellors are actually avoiding trying to cure their patients in a sneaky attempt to boost their earnings but there is an element of truth to this idea. But, more important why do you need to spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars for private expensive therapy when you can quit stammering on your own.

Flu Prevention and the Gym Member

Health officials' warning this month of a potentially harsh flu season should be a red flag to avid aerobic-bunnies and gym-jocks alike. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warn that the flu is transmitted when flu virus in the air is inhaled after an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Transmission also occurs when a person touches a surface that has flu virus on it and then touches his or her nose or mouth. Those familiar with the typical health club milieu, then, can easily liken a workout in the gym to sitting in a veritable Petry dish …

Heavy-breathing members on closely-enclosed cardiovascular machines and in crowded group fitness classes, hundreds of sorts of shared equipment from dumbbells and weight plates to public restrooms and the corner water fountain provide countless opportunities for contact with the flu virus. So, short of ditching our fitness goals until mid-Spring, it would do us well to learn more about the flu, it's prevention, and what we can do about it.

What is the flu?

The flu, or influenza, is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. It attacks the respiratory tract in humans (nose, throat, and lungs). The flu is different from a cold; it usually comes on suddenly and may include these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness (can be extreme)
  • Dry cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Body aches

About 10% to 20% of US residents will get the flu each year. Among these persons infected, an average of 36,000 will die, and 114,000 will be hospitalized. Although the CDC claims it is not possible to accurately predict the severity of the flu season, this year's early incidence of Type A flu strain is historically associated with a more severe flu season, including higher numbers of related hospitals and deaths. To make the outlook more grim, an epidemiological assessment by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) already reports "widespread" influenza activity in over 10 US states.

Who is at risk?

Although anyone can get the flu, including individuals who are healthy, there are various groups who are at higher risk for complications. These high risk groups include:

  • people aged> 50 years;
  • residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house persons of any age who have long-term illnesses;
  • adults and children> 6 months of age who have chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma;
  • adults and children> 6 months of age who need regular medical care or had to be in a hospital because of metabolic diseases (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system (including immune system problems caused by medicine or infection with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV / AIDS]);
  • children and teenagers (aged 6 months to 18 years) who are on long-term aspirin therapy and there before could develop Reye Syndrome after the flu; and
  • women who will be more than 3 months pregnant during the flu season.

How to Prevent Getting the Flu

Health officials are encouraging people, particularly those in high-risk groups to obtain a flu shot. The CDC states that an annual flu shot is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get the flu.

The best time to get a flu shot is from October through November, although you can still benefit from getting the vaccine after November, even if the flu is present in your community. Be aware that it takes about two weeks after the vaccine for antibodies to develop in the body to provide protection.

Obtaining the vaccine does not guarantee a flu-free season, however. Influenza viruses are constantly changing, and vaccine effectiveness depends on the match between vaccine strains and circulating viruses and the age and health status of the person getting the shot. Although the strain in this year's flu vaccine is different from the circulating strain, the CDC states that studies indicate that the vaccine should provide some cross-protection against the circulating A strain.

Some people resist getting the flu shot because of the belief that they will get different side effects, or even the flu itself, from the vaccine. The viruses in the vaccine are inactivated, so you can not get the flu from a flu shot. Certain side effects are possible, such as soreness, redness, or swilling where the shot was given, fever (low grade), and aches.

Chances that the shot will cause serious harm, or death, is very small and allergic reactions to the vaccine, though possible, are rare, states the CDC. Most people who get the vaccine have no serious problems with it. However, the following groups should not get a flu shot before talking with their doctor:

  • People with an allergy to hens' eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to a flu shot in the past.
  • People who have developed Guillian-Barre Syndrome in the 6 weeks following a flu shot.

Since obtaining vaccination does not necessitate guarantee immunity against the flu, it is wise to add common sense to our prevention efforts while we are busy pumping iron at the health club. Old fashioned hand-hygiene can go a long way in helping to prevent flu transmission. Although you do not want to spend your entire workout running to the restroom to wash your hands after every set, it's certainly advisable to make sure your hands are clean before and after the workout. Refrain from touching your nose and mouth during the workout to avoid obtaining the virus. Use of hand-antiseptics which include alcohol can also help to prevent transmission of the flu virus.

What to do if you get the flu

So what if you obtain a flu shot, practice stellar hand-hygiene and manage to contract the flu anyway? Since it is impossible to tell if you have the flu based on symptoms alone, visit your doctor. Tests can be performed in the first few days of the illness to determine the diagnosis. Since influenza is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not work to cure it. You need to rest, drink plenty of fluids, avoid using alcohol and tobacco, and possibly take medication to treat symptoms.

The CDC warns never to give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever, without speaking to your doctor. Doing so can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.

By all accounts, we may be in store for a particularly harsh flood season this year. Take precaution to reduce the likelihood of getting the flu, particularly if you are an avid gym-goer. Preventative measures may not only help to avoid the flu, but also interrupting hard earned progress on your fitness goals.

For more information about the flu, it's transmission, prevention and treatment, check out the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/

Treating Rose Fungus

There is more than once ailment that can beset a rose and each one is considered a fungal infection. Mildew, Rose Rust and Black Spot are common fungal infections that can easily be treated with fungicides.

Rose fungus, or fungal infections are rampant at the start of hot or humid weather and prevention is perhaps the most important part of care for roses. There are some precautions one can take to prevent rose fungus yet at times prevention is not possible and these instances rose fungus must be treated.

Precautions
Providing plenty of water is the first step in promoting healthy plants along with good air circulation and fertilizers. Keep roses pruned and avoid wetting their leaves as this can encourage disease. Pick off all old stems and leaves.

If other plants in your garden show signs of disease this may be spread to roses through insects. Insects on their own are carriers of disease. Once you have spotted fungus in your garden start treatment without haste.

Planting roses in sunny areas and providing lots of water will go a long way to preventing rose fungus taking hold.

Treating Rose fungus
A good quality fungicide is normally an effective rose fungus
treatment if done early. If the fungus is left to fester it can be hard to control and hard to eliminate. Rose fungus will weakened plants as the effort taken to fight against disease makes it harder for them to grow and produce flowers. Fungicides that contain sulphur are good for the control of fungus.

If you find fungus on your plants start with removing all dead leaves as this will provide a smaller area that the rose has to fight against disease. It can then concentrate on new growth.

Rose Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew grows on the surface of any green areas such as leaves and stems. It can only survive on healthy plants as it demands nutrients and feeds off the host plant. At the first sign of mildew treat your roses with a fungicide according to the directions.

Young leaves will start to curl up and die and may not grow to their full size.

Rose Black Spot
Black spot is a common disease among causes caused by a fungus called diplocarpon rosae. It is distinguished by black spots on the under side of the leaf. Around these black spots the leaf will turn yellow and ever fall off and if left untreated every single leaf will drop off. The rose will become very weak and will most likely die.

It is important to remove each diseased leaf off the ground and burn it. Do not put them into the mulch pile. Treating black spot should be done in Spring with the aid of a fungicide that is specifically formulated. The treatment should continue through the growing season until the first frost.

Rose Rust or Rusty Spots
Rose Rust is caused by a fungus from the Phragmidium family. Fungus rust is able to survive winter on a host plant and infect the plant in spring. Rose Rust spores are air borne and are spread by the wind.

Rose Rust first shows on the underside of the leaf and creates bright orange pustules. As it spreads and develops the top of the leaf begins producing yellowish to orange spots.

It is as important to remove all fallen and infected leaves from your garden completely. Treatment is needed for the entire rose bush with a specially formulated fungicide.

Botrytis Blight
This type of fungus mainly affects flower buds which deceay and then die. It is greyish to black in color and grows just below the head of the bloom. In order to prevent this fungus from spreading it is necessary to remove the blooms.

Brown Canker Fungus
This fungus has the ability to attach to any part of the rose bush that is above ground. It has the power to kill a rose plant if not treated. Brown Canker produces purple or red lesions on new rose stems and in older rose stems These lesions are grayish white.

Fungicides that are specially formulated for Brown Canker Fungus work well, but should be administratively strict according to directions.

It is also feasible to treat roses with homemade solutions such as a mixture of water and baking soda or dish washing liquid diluted in water. Place in a spray bottle and spray the infected areas well. Repeat this process until you see results.

Loosing My Hair – Could it Be Alopecia?

There are a lot of factors that cause hair loss. In males, it may be associated with hereditary conditions and male pattern baldness. It may also be stress induced or it could be a side effect of medication. It could also be Alopecia. Alopecia is a medical condition that can affect anyone. It is not contagious. Symptoms usually start early and gradually progress and get worse as the patient gets older. However, there have been rare cases in which the symptom will eventually decrease and disappear.

Causes of Alopecia

At present, there is no known cause of Alopecia. It is speculated that the disease may be hereditary since most people who have it, have relatives who also suffer from the condition. It is also believed to be a form of autoimmune disease. How so? Well, that's because Alopecia occurs when the body's immune system rejects its own hair follicles – that, causing hair to fall out. It has also been observed that Alopecia affects patients with other autoimmune disorders such as SLE (Lupus), Thyroid problems, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and others.

Who is at Risk for Alopecia?

Both men and women suffer from Alopecia. It can affect people from every race and nationality. The disease can also strike at any age – but, most of the time symptoms present themselves in the teenage years. As mentioned, there is evidence that the disease is hereditary. That is why individuals who have relatives with Alopecia are at risk for developing the disease. People who previously suffer from autoimmune conditions also have a chance of developing Alopecia.

Signs / Symptoms and Patterns of Alopecia

Hair loss is the general symptom of Alopecia. The different patterns of hair loss determine what type of alopecia a person has. Alopecia Areata, is a form of Alopecia wherein the patient develops bald spots on the scalp. That is the reason why it is also referred to as Spot Baldness. Diffuse Alopecia on the other hand presents with an even degree of hair loss all over the scalp. Alopecia Barbe referers to spot baldness on beard region and Alopecia Universalis is when a person looses all bodily hair. Early symptoms of Alopecia often include tendness (pain to touch) on the bald spots.

How is Alopecia Diagnosed

Diagnosis of Alopecia often involves a biopsy of the affected scalp tissue. This will determine if the hair fall has been really caused by Alopecia and not by other causes. Another telltale sign of Alopecia is referred to as – Exclamation Point Hair. It means that the strands of the affected hair taper off toward the roots.

Treatment

Since there is no known cause for Alopecia, it has become very difficult to cure. To this day, there is no known cure for the condition. All a patient can do is alleviate the symptoms and help to reverse the hair loss. In this case, common hair loss treatments may be used to re-grow hair. But, a patient must remember that despite the fact that hair is growing back, the treatments can never stop new bald spots from developing. New 'experimental' treatments for alopecia include drugs that subdue the autoimmune system.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring can be a super irritating condition and when you or your partner snores, all you want to do is stop snoring! Snoring can cause sleep disturbances for both the person that snores as well as the person that has to hear the snoring. Thankfully, snoring help exists and there are methods one can implement in an effort to stop snoring.

Shape of your mouth, tonsils and adenoids

Snoring is caused by a number of different sources. Snoring can be caused by the way your mouth is shaped and by the shape of your tonsils and adenoids. For instance, large tonsils can block the passageway of the throat when sleeping and this can produce a snoring sound. The removal of tonsils and adenoids is sometimes required in order for an individual to quit snoring. Just as the shape of your mouth and throat might cause snoring, you will find that issues with the nasal passes might also cause you to breathe with your mouth open at night: a common symptom associated with snoring.

Body weight

Your bodily condition can be a source for snoring too; statistics reveal that people that have weight problems snore more. Sleep Apnea is a condition that causes an individual to have breathing difficulties at night and involves the blockage of airways in the throat: the result is snoring. This condition is sometimes associated with people that are obese, but thin people can also have the condition. This condition can be dangerous because it can minimize restorative sleep and it can have a negative effect on one's heart.

Environment

Sometimes snoring has environmental causes. Over consumption of alcohol or the use of some medication can be responsible for causing snoring too. When the throat muscles and tongue are super relaxed, they can block off the airway and cause snoring. If you have a uvula that is long in the back of the throat, this piece of tissue can also cause you to snore.

Snoring help

For snoring help, some people turn to appliances that can be put in the mouth just before going to sleep. Mouthpieces can help to shift the position of the jaw and tongue, and can help to keep your airway open more. As mentioned earlier, sometimes surgical procedures are required to quit snoring, and there are also laser surgery options available to shorten a long soft palate that might be responsible for snoring problems too. Special machines are further assigned to people with chronic Sleep Apnea to stop snoring: the process is identified as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy. The individual is given a mask to wear that delivers a rush of air into the air passage to keep the airways open and clear all night long.

Severe Vaginal Atrophy – Are You Treating it the Way You Should?

One of the most common unspecified conditions to plague women today is severe vaginal atrophy. This disorder affects almost every woman upon entering menopause. It also could occur at any other point in your life when the estrogen levels drop. However, it is an extremely treatable disease.

When the vagina starts to atrophy, it first loses moisture. The lining becomes thin and fragile. It also may shake something. Generally, it takes 5 to 10 years for the condition to become severe. Most women do not notice that they have it until sex becomes impossible.

Some of the early symptoms include vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse. As time goes on, it becomes more painful. You may even bleed slightly following intercourse.

However, this condition can be reversed. It's caused by a drop in estrogen levels, which is normal during menopause. Most doctors will treat it using a low dose of estrogen therapy. Many women have also found relief using natural hormonal replacement therapy is helpful but despite not without side effects.

These natural remedies are herbs approved by the FDA. They contain phytoestrogen. This plant based form of estrogen is extremely similar to what your body would produce. Some would say it's superior to the type created in the laboratory.

Before you start any treatment period, it's best to talk to your doctor. Herbs will work the same as medication, so they do have the chance of interacting with prescriptions you currently take. However, there is no need to live with severe vaginal atrophy.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Deafness and reduced or absent hearing can be congenital, meaning a child is born with reduced ability to hear. This can range from mild to severe. Severe hearing loss often requires the use of sign language and is beyond the use of a hearing aid. Babies with hearing problems often show delayed development, especially in speech and cognition.

For many people problems with hearing are familiar, meaning that they develop sometimes in life after birth. Sometimes it is hard to find the reason or reasons for an individual's hearing loss. For some people the loss is minimal and for others it is more severe.

There are two main causes for acquired hearing loss and deafness in patients. There are more specific causes within each general category.

Sensor neural hearing loss is quite common. In this type of problem there is damage to nerve transmission of sound somewhere along the pathway from within the inner ear to the brain. It is often called 'nerve deafness'. In the cochlea, which is in the inner ear, there are hair cells that transmit sound impulses to the brain through nerves. Any nerve injury that interferees with this information transfer from the hair cells of the inner ear to the auditory nerve that conducts from the inner ear to the brain causes sensor neural hearing loss.

Some examples of this type of problem include:

Aging – Older people often lose cochlear hair cells which is often responsible for decreased hearing in more senior adults. This can be mild or severe hearing loss. Sometimes the loss is sufficient enough to require a hearing aid.

Acoustic Trauma- This refers to having an injury of some kind to the nervous contracting mechanisms. Very loud noises can damage hair cells in the inner ear. This is why excessive volume for sound producing electronics is so dangerous to hearing. Also ear protection should be worn in noisy environments, such as working in a shop or during hunting.

Infections – Some infections can cause loss of hair cells ie mumps or meningitis. Sensor neural hearing loss does not always show up immediately but usually does not improve once it develops. That development can be gradual over many years, or it can be sudden and acute.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing loss is basically caused by obstruction in the outer or middle ear which prompts or inhibits sound passing to the inner ear. Many of these causes are acute and can be resolved.

This type can be caused by anything that interferes with the transmission of sound from the outer to the inner ear, such as;

Ear infections are common in children. Hearing typically returns to normal one the infection subsides.

When the ear behind the tympanic membrane (the middle ear) becomes filled with a sticky fluid, often resulting from many reoccurring ear infections, conductive (temporary) reduced hearing occurs, which typically resolves after the fluid is drained.

Wax build up in the ear canal can cause hearing loss, which usually resolves when the wax is removed.

Damage to the small bones in the ear (ossicles) or a perforated ear drum (a hole in the ear drum) can cause reduced hearing that can be permanent. These problems can cause sufficient permanent hearing loss. Some of these problems can improve with the use of a hearing aid. Hearing aids are a choice to help with some chronic hearing loss problems. There are many types and style available to suit most users needs, and can help improve the user's lifestyle. A professional can provide definitive advice about what is suitable for an individual's specific needs.

Cure For Stammering – How to Stop Stammering Through Hypnosis

The root cause of stammering is fear. You might be surprised to know that the reason of this fear lies deep in your memories (subconscious mind). There was a person,who used to stammer only on the ‘R’ alphabet. He would speak all other words right, but whenever he has to speak any word, which either starts with or includes letter ‘R’ in it, he would stammer!

When hypnotized, it was found out that he had a troubled childhood. His father was an alcoholic, and as a kid, he often used to beat him. When angry, his father used to swear at him, and he often used the word ‘Rascal’, which was followed by a hard slap or something equally violent. This left such a deep impression on him that he subconsciously developed a fear against the anything related with the letter ‘R’.

This is just one of the many cases that we can easily find around us. There are many people in this world that have the same problem. They stammer while speaking, and because of it, some people make fun of them, which makes them low in confidence.

Fear can indirectly result in creating many complex problems in our life. As it is a problem related with our mind, the solution for fear, and anxiety lies within us. There are lots of problems that are directly related to our subconscious mind. In the conscious state, we will not be able to imagine that the solutions of these problems lies deep within us, but through hypnosis, we can easily locate these problems, and through proper hypnotherapy, we can also cure them permanently

Complications That Arise From Untreated Strep Throat

When you get a sore throat, besides feeling miserable you may not do anything. However, just to warn you, it may be strep throat, which should not be taken lightly. There are several complications that can arise from untreated strep throat. Some of them include coronary heart disease, rheumatic fever and kidney problems.

Thanks to the invention of antibiotics, strep throat is no longer fatal as it was decades ago. Antibiotics allow strep throat to be treated so that complications do not arise. But many people fear use of antibiotics. Untreated strep throat can lead to scarlet fever or tonsillitis.

Many people who do not treat strep throat risk ear infections, sinusitis, mastoiditis (infection of the mastoid process, a part of the skull behind the ear, glomerulonephritis (infection of the blood vessels in the kidneys) and peritonsillar abscess (collection of pus near Egypt along the tonsils).

Remember, strep throat is contagious and if someone in the family has it, the chances of other family members getting the infection are very high. Strep throat is spread through close contact, sneezing and coughing.

You certainly will not be happy with a strep throat considering that you will be suffering from swollen lymph nodes, swollen and painful tonsil, cough and fever. Strep throat is often mistaken for a sore throat but you should leave the diagnosis to a qualified doctor. Rather than bear the discomfort and risk complications, it is best to visit a doctor and get proper treatment for this bacterial infection.