Positive Glaucoma – Omega 3 Treatment Benefits Vs. Negative Glaucoma Omega 3 Treatment

Glaucoma is an eye disorder characterized by extremely high pressure in the eyeball and causes the optic disk to be damaged. Although the symptoms may not show up until it is in the advanced stages and is irreversible. This causes the optic disk to be damaged. People should get regular eye exams especially after the age of 40.

In the later stages of Glaucoma there is a loss of peripheral or side vision capability. Blurred vision, blind spots, and halos around lights may occur. Poor night vision is also a late stage symptom of Glaucoma. Left untreated blindness could occur.

Typical treatment includes medicated eye drops and pills that are often effective in decreasing the pressure in the eye. This happens in one of two ways: by slowing down the production of fluid in the eye or by helping to drain extra fluid from the eye. Laser trabeculopathy or trabeculectomy are two surgical procedures that may be done to relieve the pressure and drain the fluid from the eye.

Omega 3 fatty acids include DHA-docosahexaenoic acid is important to eye health and brain functioning. EPA-eicosapentaenoic acid and alpha-linolenic Acid are also Omega 3 fatty acids and together are believed to support good health. Omega 6 fatty acids are Linoleic acid and Arachadonic acid. While these do have some health benefits most diets have an overabundance of Omega 6 and this has been linked to such problems as Heart disease, Macular Degeneration, Strokes, Diabetes, and Arthritis.

Specific studies have not been done to test the reliability of using Omega 3 fatty acids in the treatment of Glaucoma. They have been known to have benefits in other eye problems such as retinal issues and Macular Degeneration. It would be interesting to see studies that addressed the durability of Omega 3 treatments.

There have been studies done to test the benefits of Cod Live Oil according to one study has been shown to relieve intraocular pressure in dogs. Cod Liver Oil is one of the few fish oils that are very rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and since it is already known to relieve other eye conditions can we then believe it would help treat Glaucoma in humans? This definitely bears further study. If Cod Liver Oil does prove to be a positive treatment of Glaucoma it would be an important addition to current courses of treatment.

Three Secrets of A Consistent Golf Stroke

What you are about to read … will change your golf life forever! What are these three "secrets"? If you knew how would they effect your game ?. These three "secrets" are what the worlds best players do. Every player MUST know these "secrets" if they are to have a powerful, repeating golf stroke.

The problem with the majority of golfers is that they do not know what to do. Oh their friends, well wishers at best, tell them that they are "bending their left arm", "raising up through the shot", "coming over the top" and host of other swing faults. But these are the same people that shoot the same scores you do! What could they possibly tell you that would improve your game?

The information you are about to receive is not theory or conjecture but science. Ooooh, you say, this sounds complicated. Well it is not, it is simply the laws of force and motion that govern our entire lives and day to day living. Once you understand these simply laws your golf game will forever change … for the better!

Secret # 1: A Flat Left Wrist

Because the golf stroke involves a golf club, a left arm, and a wrist in between, it is called a "lever system". The left wrist acts as a "hinge pin" much like the old time "flail" used to beat wheat. This "hinge pin" can rotate, cock or uncock but NEVER Bends!

Golfers however routinely bend the left wrist causing the clubhead to reach the ball before the hands do. This causes a "quitting" motion, adds loft to the clubface, points the face to the left of target, makes the clubhead swing upward disabling the downward motion that ALL good golf shots MUST have. Good players DELOFT the clubface at Impact. Poor players ADD loft to the clubface costing them distance, direction, and trajectory.

A 5 iron, for example, has approximately 8 degrees for "forward lean" when soled properly. At Impact with good players the "lean" is approximately 15 degrees. This turns the 5 iron into a 4 iron. Poor players reach Impact with a "backward" leaving clubshaft thereby ADDING loft and turning the 5 iron into a 6-7 iron!

Secret # 2: A Staright Plane Line

You only have two choices when it comes to the swing plane, you are either on or you're off. There is no middle ground!

What exactly is the swing plane? The plane is the angle of the clubshaft as it sets at address – period! It is NOT Hogans plane of glass as many would have you to believe. There are only three planes available;

1. Horizontal – a wall

2. Vertical – the floor

3. Inclined somewhere in between

As golfers you and I use the Inclined Plane to swing the club back up and end, down out and forward, up back and in making the Golf Stroke three dimensional.

The clubshaft, actually the sweetspot of the club, may travel to any other plane angle during the swing as long as it DOES NOT cross the base of the plane. Here is a simple way you can know if you are on plane or not. Whichever end of the club is near to the ground MUST also point at the base of the plane from horizon to horizon. If none end is nearer then the clubshaft MUST be horizontal to the ground and parallel to the base of plane.

Secret # 3: A Lagging Clubhead

Lag by definition means "trailing". When the clubhead passes the hands coming into Impact there is no "lag". Without "lag" the golf ball can not be compressed, we can not hit downwards, and we have a tremendous power loss. Clubhead lag promotes a steady and even acceleration giving us a dependent way to control distance.

Look at any picture of your favorite player at Impact. The left arm and clubshaft are in ONE LINE! Never two lines. This means that the player is utilizing "lag". When a ball is stuck with "lag" it explodes off the clubface! Without this "lag" the sound turns into one of mush, a soft Impact instead of a driving Impact.

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If you follow this outline, learn these three "Secrets" you will be hitting the ball with more compression than you ever thought possible.

For example, a Driver striking a golf ball with a 2 degree "backward" leaving clubshaft at 100 mph with 9.5 degrees of loft produces a launch angle of 6.4 degrees and a carry distance of 230 yards.

By changing Impact to a 2 degree forward lean clubshaft the player produces a launch angle of 10.4 degrees and a carry of 251 yards. A 21 YARD INCREASE WITHOUT buying a new Driver and simply having clubhead lag!

YOU can improve your game dramatically by following the steps above above. Become the best player YOU can be and start winning those 4 way presses! If you really want to elevate your game, hit it farther, straighter, and nearer the hole then practice what I've shared with you.

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Chuck Evans, GSED

Home

chuck@chuckevansgolf.com

PS Visit our website for more information on how to become the best player YOU can be.

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Simple Steps to Improve Your Health

There are various ways of attaining good health and this article discusses easy techniques and small lifestyle changes that you can make in order to achieve a better, healthier lifestyle. Here are a few simple steps that might help you achieve better health –

1) Nutrition

Sustenance and Health is an online worldwide companion investigated diary that spotlights on the connection amongst nourishment and wellbeing. In the event that you need to keep your body clean, avoid sugar-loaded artificially treated nourishment that is so normally sold nowadays. Stick to home-made clean nourishment things that exclusive join crisp fixings without additives. These practices enable you to accomplish a superior build, as well as give a special reward of mental fulfillment. Consuming a sensible, balanced diet can help us to achieve optimal health throughout life.

Drink plenty of clean and safe water.Water is important for life and is necessary every day. A person needs about eight cups of fluid per day. When it is very hot, while working, sweating or suffering from diarrhea, vomiting or fever, a person needs to drink even more to replace the water that has been lost. If drinking-water is collected from a protected well or borehole it is important to store it in a clean container. If the water is from an unprotected well or river the water should be boiled for at least ten minutes and stored in a clean container (see advice on food hygiene)

2) Exercise

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Regular trips to the gym are great but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day.

Our bodies are designed to move — they actually want exercise. Regular exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases.

3) Sleep

Sound sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise. Try to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep on a daily basis. Sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

Research suggests that people who get less sleep i.e. six or fewer hours a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get enough sleep sleep

4) Yoga

Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Yoga is being practiced as an alternative healthcare practice. The number of Yoga practitioners continues to rise tremendously. Of the many benefits ascribed to yoga practice, blood pressure control is among the most studied. Now-a-days, millions and millions of people across the globe have benefitted by the practice of Yoga which has been preserved and promoted by the great eminent Yoga Masters from ancient time to this date.

Yoga’s attention to breathing techniques and meditation can also improve your health. Regular yoga practice may promote better posture and help you do activities requiring a greater range of motion, from dancing to reaching up to a high shelf. A lot of yoga poses, especially the warrior pose, plank pose and boat pose, also help tone the muscles of the trunk – the hips, abdominals and lower back. These muscles contribute to balance and improve back function.

Summarizing these points, I would say that choosing a healthy lifestyle is in our hands and its a good change that we should bring in our lives and embrace it fully. Make these points your habit and I am sure you would not be disappointed.

Stroke Recovery – All You Need To Know

I am saddened to think that stroke recovery is sometimes trapped in an outdated and dogmatic approach to help people with their stroke recovery. But the sad truth is unless you are one of the very fortunately ones, either geographically to be located next to a cutting edge stroke rehabilitation facility or the monetary means to afford such treatment, you are stuck with the stock standard cookie cutter approach to stroke treatment . And there is a good chance that it is stuck in the past.

Myths surrounding stroke recovery may be perpetuated by a number of factors. It seems that once something has been printed in a newspaper or magazine it is taken as a gospel. Many of the belief surrounding the brain have been around for a long time and despite new research dispelling the myth, it takes a long time for this to filter into mainstream belief systems. This can clearly be seen with all the out dated beliefs in the exercise and fitness world. This article will discuss three main myths surrounding stroke recovery. Firstly that the brain is set in stone and can not change. Secondly that there is only a small window of opportunity for stroke recovery to happen. And the last myth is that there are not better and more effective ways to perform stroke rehabilitation.

I can not believe that myth number one still gets any credence. Some people still feel that the brain is set in stone and can not change. We see the brain changing all the time and at every age. Every time we learn something new, the brain has changed. For example for you to learn a new skill such as like playing tennis requires your brain to change. As you improve, your co-ordination gets better, your speed improves and your accuracy sharpens all this must be reflected by changes in your brain and nervous system. The brain controls everything, and when changes happen like the previously mentioned tennis ones, the brain must have changed. This myth has been dispelled by science and neurology and as a far as I am concerned is really, pardon the pun, a no brainer to argument against.

Another commonly held myth about stroke recovery is that recovery can only happen in a small time period after the stroke and once that window is closed any further recovery is impossible. As a carry on from the point above, that the brain can change at anytime, this is once again just a myth. I do not discredit that making progress could be easier if stroke rehabilitation is started earlier but to say that it can not be made after a magical window has closed is forbidden. I have heard of some individuals 10 years after their stroke, who have been at a certain level of recovery and were then exposed to advanced stroke recovery methods and made more progress at that stage of their recovery than previously. The brain is capable of change at any time and if you are a stroke survivor and wanting more progress do not ever give up.

The last myth to discuss may not really be a myth as such but has more to do with the outdated and inefficient stroke recovery exercises that patients are given. The last 20 years has seen huge leaps forward in areas of brain research and subsequently stroke rehabilitation. The people at the top of stroke rehabilitation are doing some really ground breaking things. Unfortunately it takes time for this top end information to assimilate down to the masses, so as a consequence many stroke survivors do not get exposed to the best stroke recovery techniques like constraint induced therapy or mirror therapy.

Unfortunately there are many myths surrounding stroke recovery. I hope this article has helped to educate and open your mind up to the truth about your stroke rehabilitation and how you should be approaching it. At times stroke rehab can be a very daunting task, filled with too much science, jargon and technique that may be difficult to understand. I have made it my goal to try and make available the best stroke recovery techniques to stroke survivors, their family members, care givers and health care practitioners.

Nutrition and Stroke Patients

Nutrition augments stroke treatment and must be administrated accordingly by the caregiver and stroke patient's family. According to research, nutrition affects the course and outcome of a stroke patient's life and recovery.

A study conducted by Salah Gariballa of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom notes that, "stroke patients are highly dependent on others for their nutritional requirements being met. Many are undernourished prior to the stroke and their nutritional status declines further in the hospital" .

Gariballa's research showed that due to poor diet provided to stroke patients, they become susceptible to diseases such as urinary tract infections, undernutrition, dehydration, among others.

A great way to avoid these from happening would be to undertake considering measures such as:

1. Get a reputable nutritionist – the first thing family members and caregivers of stroke patients should do to get a reputable nutritionist to identify what diet should be complied with. This ensures tailor-fitting meals that will help the stroke patient recover physical and mental strength to adapt to the various treatments, as well as absorb learning where applicable.

2. Subscribe to a health and wellness food magazine – exposure is one of the best ways to adapt to change. If the patient used to love unhealthy food it is relevant then to immerse him or her to literature that will boost the desire for healthy food. This is also a great way to improve memory and reorient the patient in relearning various topics, especially since food magazines are typically very visual and can pose as a great activity for learning images.

3. Watch cooking shows for the health-conscious – if food magazines are not available, find useful purpose for the television through cooking shows the inspire consumption of good food and health habits.

4. Encourage everyone to adapt to the new health lifestyle – any endeavor, to be effective, requires conscious group effort. The same goes to having a healthy lifestyle for the patient. This must be supported by family and friends – the best way of showing support is eating nutritious food yourself.

5. Enjoy the food together – there's no better way to enjoy good nutritious food than eating it with loved ones. Boost the patient's gusto for food by joining them in their meals.

Proper and good nutrition augments stroke treatment as it provides the necessary antioxidants and components for the body to recover from the deficiencies of stroke. It is the role of caregivers and family members to ensure the stroke patient gets the nutrition needed as the latter is solely dependent on the former for this.

Does Stuttering Have Something to Do With Intelligence?

Does stuttering have something to do with intelligence? This is one of the most ellogical questions occupying the minds of most of the non-stutterers. And the answer to such a question is a definite no. Stuttering is only a speech hindering disorder which causes the sufferers to stammer when they speak. Being a speech disorder, stuttering has no connection whatsever to intelligence and intellect. Although some may argue that the neural patterns of stutterers differ from those of non-stutterers, the neurons are responsible for hearing and speech are in no way related to the neurons liable for intelligence.

The notion of comparing stuttering to intelligence is in itself erroneous because the intelligence of a person is measured through the IQ or Intelligence Quotient. The IQ of a person depends large on the ability of a person to help new things and learn stuff quickly. But the neurons responsible for determining one's IQ is present in the frontal cortex whereas the ones responsible for hearing and speech are present at the posterior and this clearly shows that one can in no way affect the other.

Although scientifically there is no connection between intelligence and stuttering, the intelligence of a stuttering individual can deteriorate because of the problem. This is largely based on how the stuttering kids were treated in their surroundings. Stutterers are generally made fun of and are never given a chance to show their prowess. Although the society considers them to be disabled in a way, it denies them the compassion which is usually shown towards disabled people. Where concessions are made for other disabled, the stutterers are either given the concessions nor are they treated with concern and even worse are the taunts pointed at them.

Even though some stutterers have been able to successfully overtake the taunts and displayed their intelligence, they have not been able to showcase their abilities because of the society's indifference to them. On top of that, the society has created a view around them depicting them as a dull lot, giving the world an impression that they are not as intelligent as other people. But one proving point to show that there can be no link between stuttering and intelligence is the number of famous successful people including Sir Winston Churchill, King George VI, etc., who have provoked their astuteness in spite of their stutter.

Honey For Horses – For First Aid? Yes!

Are there effective natural first aid remedies available for horses? Yes there are.

UMF manuka honey – ever gaining in popularity for its effectiveness on people – also makes a great natural first aid treatment for your horses.

Cuts, scratches, wounds, all things that horses tend to get from time to time. On humans there has been a growing amount of research, university, clinical and anecdotal, of how UMF® manuka honey is effective in treating infected wounds, making them sterile, and aiding healing. The same natural antibacterial properties it contains can also have a positive impact on animals.

What is UMF® Manuka Honey?

A unique honey from New Zealand that research shows has extra antibacterial properties. There are now specialist sterilised versions of it aimed at external wound use. Main attributes include providing antibacterial barrier protection, a moist wound healing environment, osmotic action resulting in odour control and reduction in wound fluid, and helping with growth of new tissue.

There is unfortunately a downside to using honey – it’s sticky – but if you can deal with that minor aspect, then this is a great natural remedy that actually has some proper research supporting it”.

It is important to remember not all manuka honey is the same, as a naturally occurring product, it does come with natural variation. The UMF® trademark is there for consumer protection for them to know they are getting honey that has been properly tested and measured for its antibacterial property.

After applying the honey to a wound on your horse, the best thing to do is place a dressing over top of it (use as non-absorbent a dressing as possible – you don’t want to draw too much honey away from the wound). This is mostly to stop the horse, or another horse, from licking the honey off. But don’t worry if they do still end up licking it – unlike some other products there are no chemicals or other things in it, it is still just pure honey.

You can make use of the jars of UMF® Manuka Honey that have a rating of 10+ or higher, although there are also now options with this honey in sterilised form in tubes, specifically aimed at external wound use, and potentially easier to apply. There are even ready made dressings with it too.

The use of this particular type of honey for healing wounds is supported by a growing amount of university and clinical trial research (focused on humans but applicable to horses), that does make it an effective first aid remedy for cuts and wounds. And there is growing anecdotal reports of people successfully using it on animals.

Stroke – You Can Protect Yourself From Catastrophic Losses

A stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is often caused by a blood clot in the brain which interrupts the brain's blood flow thereby causing serious brain damage. A person who has a stroke may develop paralysis of one side of the body, may lose the ability to speak or might lose his sight. The type of damage done to the person is determined by which side of the brain the blood flow is interrupted. A person who has a stroke affects the right side of the brain, will suffer losses to the left side of the body. A person who has a stroke affects the left side of the brain will suffer loses to the right side of the body. Smoking and high blood pressure are some of the risk factors to having a stroke.

Other factors that determine whether or not you might have a stroke are hereditary factors. If you have a family history of stroke, you are more likely to have a stroke yourself. If you come from a family with a history of heart disease and stroke, then there are health insurance plans that you can purchase to supplement your primary health insurance. The supplementary insurance is known as a critical illness supplement. These types of plans pay out a lump sum upon one's diagnosis of having suffered from a heart attack or stroke. These types of plans are also called catastrophic insurance because they insure the person against a catastrophic illness or injury.

This type of health insurance is not usually cheap, but it is an effective way to ensure that you get all the treatment you want and need in the event that you have a stroke. A person who suffers from a stroke will need not only the initial care at the hospital following the event, but will also need follow-up physical therapy and / or occupational therapy as well as speech therapy to regain his faculties.

Even if you choose not to purchase a supplemental or catastrophic policy of insurance to cover you in the event that you have a stroke, you may want to acclimate yourself to exactly what your existing health insurance policy covers. Figure out your deductibles and the limits of your coverage. In doing so, you can get a good idea about the coverage that you can expect if you have a stroke or suffer from any other serious illness.

If you need assistance in finding coverage that will protect your from these conditions, or if you had a stroke and are having difficulty finding insurance because of this, please visit our website at http://www.health-insurance-buyer.com and provide your contact details so we may respond to your request and help.

How Needles Help A Stroke Patient To Recover

Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) is usually regarded as an alternative treatment. Patients will seek help from TCM doctors only when they can not be treated by western medicine.

Lately, a growing number of western doctors have started to learn and use TCM to complement their western medical knowledge to treat their patients.

Acupuncture is a major component of TCM to fight pain and illness. It has been practiced in China since 2500 BC. It involves inserting thin, metallic disposable needles into certain points of the body. These needles are then turned by hand or stimulated by machine. The aim is to balance of qi or "life force" in Chinese. TCM believes that qi flows in the body to keep us going, and it must be kept in good balance.

Acupuncture can have any one of the six effects:

– Relieve pain through raising the level of endorphins, a painkiller released by the body;

– Give a feeling of sedation;

– Adjust the body's homeostasis or the balance opposing systems such as a respiration rate and body temperature;

– Enhance immune system;

– Provide an anti-inflammatory result;

– Furnish an anti-allergy effect.

Acupuncture is beneficial in treating muscular pains, joint pains, nerve pains, migraines, insomnia and anxiety. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists several conditions which can be evaluated by acupuncture, including rhinitis, headaches and facial palsy.

However, there are skeptics, too.

For instance, a German study in 2005 suggested that putting needles into the body causes pain relief, regardless of where they are placed because of the place effect – the patients believed they would be get better. This is of course not true from the perspective of TCM because the position of placing the needles is very important in treating illness.

Success stories do exist as well.

Here is a case study of a stroke patient, aged 71, who was treated with acupuncture while taking the western medicine.

A stroke left the right side of Steve's body paralyzed. He could not turn over in bed. When he started acupuncture treatment with a TCM physician, he could not even lift his legs.

After 8 sessions, he could turn over in bed. And after 20 sessions, he was able to walk with the aid of a stick. Now, he can walk slowly for a whole hour.

His speech has become clear, too and he can swallow now. He can eat harder foods including apples.

He is taking anti-coagulants as well as drugs to manage his high cholesterol levels and hypertension. Both of these are risk factors for heart disease. He is also doing 2 sessions of physiotherapy a week.

Even a few sessions before the 40 sessions prescribed for stroke patients, he has already begun to return to normal life.

Ear Infections and Homeopathy

As I am sitting at my desk, writing this very article, the phone rings. I had just finished referencing some recent medical journal articles (see below) which conclude the worthlessness of, and harm from, treating most childhood ear infections with antibiotics. There is a man on the line inquiring if I can help with his child’s ear infections. It seems his 14 month old daughter gets an ear infection about once per month. She has received multiple courses of antibiotics, all to no avail, and now their pediatrician wants to put her on a six month course! “This can’t be good for her,” he says to me. “So I am trying to find out if there is something else we can do.” These calls come all to often, usually after yet another failed antibiotic prescription or just after being told by the pediatrician that “If this doesn’t clear up soon we’ll need to do surgery to put tubes in Johnny’s ear.” Sound familiar? If not, yours is a very unusual child indeed. Earache is the single most common reason for bringing a child to a pediatrician. Three quarters of all children will have had at least one earache by the time they’re three years of age, and about a third will have had more than three episodes. Over the past 20 years the incidence of childhood ear infection has increased, occurring both more frequently and beginning at an earlier age.

Ear infections, or otitis (oto=ear, -itis=inflammation) can involve any part of the ear. Most commonly are infections of the outer ear or the ear canal called otitis externa, and the middle ear and ear drum, called otitis media. Of the two, otitis media is the more serious and the one most often referred to when your doctor diagnoses an “ear infection.” How the middle ear becomes infected is fairly straightforward. Why is not always so. There is a small tube, called the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear and the throat. It’s purpose is twofold. One is to open and close to allow fluid produced in the ear to drain out and into the throat and prevent other fluids from backing up into the ear. It’s second function is also to open and close for the purpose of normalizing air pressure. When we travel to a higher altitude and our ears “clog.” Swallowing causes them to “pop” because that action opens the eustachian tube allowing the pressure inside and out to equalize. Ear infections may develop when the eustachian tube does not open and close properly, allowing germ-laden fluids from the throat, along with secretions produced in the nose, to back up into the middle ear and not drain out. Colds and allergies may produce inflammation in the area and can be another cause for the eustachian tube to not function properly. As the immune system does it’s job to fight the infection, dead bacteria and white blood cells form pus which puts pressure on the eardrum as it builds up. The eardrum, or tympanic membrane, bulges outward under this build up, becoming painful as it is stretched. An older child will be able to tell you that there is something going on with their ear. With younger children you may notice them tugging at the ear or behaving differently, becoming either particularly irritable or perhaps very clingy. Fever may or may not accompany an ear infection and can be low or quite high. Occasionally the thin tympanic membrane tears, producing an alternative route for the pus to drain out. If this happens you may notice a discharge coming out of the ear. Don’t become alarmed if this happens. The body has rid itself of unwanted infected material and a torn eardrum will usually heal by itself rather quickly.

But why do some children seem to have one ear infection after another and others not. As mentioned above, the inflammation produced by a cold may ultimately lead to an ear infection. The more colds a child gets the higher the risk of frequent ear infections. Allergic reactions, especially to certain foods, are also associated with an increased incidence of ear infections. The top offender seems to be milk, and dairy products in general. In addition to being a very common allergen, dairy also increases mucous production, making bodily secretions thicker and harder to drain away. Other commonly associated allergens are wheat, as well as other gluten-containing grains such as rye, oats and barley. Eggs, corn, oranges and nuts may also be suspect. Diets high in sugar and fruit juices should also be looked at.

Two interesting studies have implicated both pacifiers and second hand smoke. A Finnish study published in the September, 2000 issue of the journal Pediatrics implicated pacifier use with an increased risk of ear infection in infants, as well as higher rates of tooth decay and thrush. The study found that children who used pacifiers continuously had 33% more ear infections than did those who never used them or used them only when falling asleep. A report on a Canadian study in the February, 1998 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine showed that children residing with two smoking parents were 85% more likely to suffer from frequent ear infections than those who lived in smoke-free homes.

Another possible influence are childhood vaccinations. Although there is much controversy as to whether or not there is a direct relationship, a significant body of evidence suggests that there may be. From a homeopathic point of view, though, there are certain categories (called constitutional types) of people who, due to inherited influences, are more susceptible to vaccine reactions.

Serious complications of middle ear infections are rare but can and do occur. These include mastoiditis, an infection of the part of the skull bone just behind the ear, and meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of mastoiditis may include swelling, redness, pain and tenderness in the bony area behind the ear. Symptoms of meningitis are severe headache and stiff neck. Vomiting, mental dullness and mood changes may also be involved. If evidence of either of these two complications are seen, a doctor should be consulted immediately. By far the most common complication of middle ear infections are the chronic ear problems that often follow. Serous otitis media, commonly known as “glue ear,” is an accumulation of non-infectious fluid in the middle ear. It can cause problems with hearing as the fluid interferes with normal motion of the eardrum.

So now that we know what it is and how it got there, what should be done about it? As is evident from the opening paragraph of this article, conventional western medicine treats this problem with antibiotics. And shouldn’t they? This is an infection, right? And infections have to be treated with antibiotics, don’t they? If not, who knows what could happen! This couldn’t be further from the truth. The purpose of this article is not to debate the pros and cons of antibiotics. No one argues that, used appropriately, they can save lives. But they have not been used properly. They have been over-prescribed and wrongly prescribed. So much so that an article in the New York Times on June 13, 2000, reported that “The World Health Organization, taking its first comprehensive look at drug-resistant diseases, concluded in a report released today that the effectiveness of antibiotics had been so eroded globally that some diseases that were once easily treatable are now often incurable. Misuse of antibiotics, including over prescribing, and their use to increase animal growth have made treating illnesses as diverse as ear infections, tuberculosis and malaria much more difficult, said the report from the health agency, part of the United Nations.”

A paper published in the July 23, 1997 issue of the British Medical Journal reproached doctors for prescribing antibiotics routinely for ear infections in their pediatric patients. It reported on an analysis of existing studies relating to such treatment and concluded that not only is the practice a waste of time and money, it appears to be harmful. Antibiotics don’t speed recovery (in fact, at least one previous study suggests that they lead to more recurrences) and promotes proliferation of stronger, drug-resistant bacteria. The British researchers estimate that 97 percent of physicians routinely prescribe antibiotics for ear infections. An editorial in the November 26, 1997 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the largest medical journal in the world, citing this same study, encouraged physicians to stop all antibiotic use (except in very severe and recurrent cases) for this most commonly treated infection in childhood.

The RAND corporation’s Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC), conducting research for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, discovered some interesting facts regarding the management of acute ear infections. They found that nearly two-thirds of children with uncomplicated ear infections are free of pain and fever within 24 hours of diagnosis without antibiotic treatment, and that over 80% recover completely within 1 to 7 days. 93% of children treated with antibiotics recover within that same 1 to 7 days. The researchers also found that the newer and more costly antibiotics, such as cefaclor, cefixime, azithromycin, or clarithromycin, provided no additional benefit to children than amoxicillin. Amoxicillin caused fewer side effects than the other antibiotics as well. The EPC also found no evidence that short-duration (5 days or less) versus long-duration therapy (7-10 days) made a difference in the clinical outcome for children over 2 years of age. More than 5 million cases of acute ear infections occur annually, costing about $3 billion. The report points out that in other countries otitis media is not treated with drugs at the first sign of infection. Rather, in children over the age of 2 years, the norm is to watch and see how the infection progresses over the course of a few days. The report notes that in the Netherlands the rate of bacterial resistance is only about 1%, compared with the US average of around 25%.

The conventional western medical treatment for children who develop chronic otitis media is a surgical procedure called a tympanostomy. This involves the insertion of small tubes into the ear drum to drain away the fluid build up. The rationale behind this approach is that the reduced hearing caused by the condition may lead to long-term speech and hearing problems, and even behavioral and intellectual impairments. What I often hear from parents is that they have been told their child will go deaf if the procedure is not performed. Again, the current research does not bear this out. A study published this year (April 19, 2001) in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that children with persistent otitis media who get the tubes inserted immediately do not show measurable improvements in developmental outcomes. And this procedure is, by no stretch of the imagination, without it’s risks. The editorial which accompanied the NEJM article stated that “The tubes often lead to long-term anatomical changes in the tympanic membrane, especially tympanosclerosis [hardening of the ear drum,] retraction, and changes in mobility. What happens, for example, to hearing and the mobility of the tympanic membrane in middle-aged persons who had tubes inserted in childhood?” Not to mention that in any procedure requiring anesthesia, there is always the possibility of death!

Now that we have an understanding of what causes this all too common problem and know how not to treat it, let’s talk about what to do. As with any illness, first and foremost is prevention. And the best preventative for any infection is a strong immune system. For infants and small children, the best way to build their immune system is breast feeding. Breast milk is by far the most nutritious food for your child. For a more detailed discussion of this, and for alternatives for women who cannot or will not nurse, I refer the reader to Sally Fallon’s wonderful book, Nourishing Traditions, 1999, New Trends Publishing, Washington, D.C. Of course, prevention also means avoiding the various risk factors already discussed, such as providing your child with a smoke-free living environment, limiting the use of pacifiers, identifying and eliminating food allergies, limiting or removing sugar and fruit juices from the diet. If your child has already taken antibiotics, the use of probiotics, or “friendly bacteria,” is essential. Antibiotics destroy not only the “bad germs,” but also the good ones which reside in our gut. These bacteria are an important part of our body’s natural defense. A study published in the January, 2001 issue of the British Medical Journal showed that the addition of probiotics reduced both the number of recurrences of, and complications from, otitis media.

Now, to the active treatment of acute otitis media. A well known alternative medicine practitioner and columnist, Dr. Joseph Mercola, advocates putting a few drops of breast milk (your own or, if you’re not lactating, someone else’s) into the ear every few hours. He claims that this will clear up most ear infections within 24-48 hours. While the thought of clearing up a case of otitis media in one to two days using only breast milk may sound great, for me this is still way too long for a child to suffer. The well selected homeopathic remedy will act gently and very quickly, often within minutes (see cases below.) But there are so many homeopathic remedies that are useful in treating ear infections. In fact, a search in my repertory (the book homeopaths use which list all symptoms and which remedies are associated with them) under ear pain shows 326 remedies, 114 specifically under middle ear pain and another 65 under inflammation of the middle ear. Obviously then, different remedies are needed to treat the same symptoms in different people. For the average person, choosing the right remedy from this list can seem a daunting task. An important point to understand is that homeopathic remedies should be taken one at a time. Taking several remedies at once (as is found in combination remedies sold in stores for this ailment or that) can be confusing to the body and is not recommended. If you don’t know what remedy to take it is better to consult with an experienced homeopath, who will know how to elicit the necessary information in order to make an appropriate remedy choice. If your child has already been prescribed a constitutional remedy (a remedy which covers your general constitution and not just the symptoms of a particular illness) that will be you first and best remedy choice in any acute situation, earache or otherwise. For chronic problems, including chronic otitis, a constitutional remedy becomes a necessity. However, it has been my experience that for most cases of acute, uncomplicated middle ear infections, just remember “ABC.” “ABC” stands for the homeopathic remedies aconitum, belladonna and chamomilla. Following is a brief description of each.

Fear and anxiety are the main feature of aconitum. The aconitum earache is notable for it’s sudden onset, often being brought on by exposure to the elements, especially a cold, dry wind. The pain is intense and there may be a high fever. The child will be restless and thirsty, and the ear may appear bright red.

The belladonna earache has severe pain. The ear will be red, hot and throbbing, as will be the eardrum, as seen with an otoscope. More often than not, the belladonna earache will be right-sided and worse at night. These may be brought on by changes in temperature, with the child getting chilled or becoming overheated.

With the chamomilla type earache, the pain seems unbearable in a child who is already the oversensitive type, especially to pain. The child who will respond well to chamomilla will be quite irritable and seemingly inconsolable, except when held or carried.

D.W., a 2 year old girl, could be heard screaming in the background of the message her mother left on my answering machine. “She’s got a terrible ear ache. She keeps tugging at her ear. I don’t know what to give her.” (The mother, a patient of mine, had a well supplied homeopathic medicine kit.) “Oh, we’re supposed to leave for vacation in 15 minutes.” When I returned the call a few minutes later I got their machine. Hoping they hadn’t left yet I asked several questions. A few minutes later there was another message back with the answers. “Right ear, red and hot to the touch.” I called back, only to get the answering machine again. A very frustrating game of phone tag. “Belladonna,” I said. About an hour later I received a call, this time from the car phone. There was silence in the background. “I gave her the belladonna just before we got into the car. Within five minutes she stopped crying and the redness and heat left her ear. She’s been sleeping ever since.”

A.B., a 3 year old boy was brought in by his parents. He had a persistent ear infection in both ears. He had already been on three different antibiotics. A ear specialist put him on steroids, but still the tympanogram ( a devise that measures the mobility of the ear drum) showed little improvement. The specialist suggested “the tubes.” On examination his left ear drum was looking not too bad, the right was red and bulging from behind with fluid. A homeopathic consultation with a child this young not only requires finding out as much as possible about the child, but also about the parents. I prescribed chamomilla ( which seemed to be his constitutional type) in a liquid potency to be given on a daily basis, along with some probiotic products. I also performed a special cranial procedure to open the eustachian tubes and help the built up fluid to drain out of the middle ear. He was symptom free by the next morning. When I saw him five days later both ears were perfectly clear, with no redness or sign of fluid at all. A follow-up tympanogram by the specialist a few days later was normal.

Homeopathy and Childhood Ear Infections

Think “ABC”

by Stuart H. Garber, D.C., Ph.D.

Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure And The Dangers

People often think of hypertension (high blood pressure) when blood pressure problems or issues are mentioned – they seem to forget that low blood pressure problems also exist.

The American Heart Association defines high blood pressure parameters being 140/90 and higher and normal as 135/85 and lower. The higher numerical reading is the systolic reading – the pressure required to pump blood through your arteries and the higher the number the less elastic your arterial system is. The lower numerical reading is the diastolic reading – the pressure remaining in your system between heart beats and is the number that affects your cardiovascular system the most. If the pressure remains high in your system even when your heart is at rest then there is greater risk of heart failure, kidney failure and stroke.

Likewise the diastolic reading is important in determining warning signs or problems. There is some disagreement about what numbers constitute low blood pressure – it is agreed that symptoms can be identified and some experts regard a reading lower than 90/60 as low. Only one of these numbers has to be low, for example, 115/50 is considered low as the diastolic reading of 50 is below 60.

It can be dangerous when there is a sudden drop in blood pressure. For example, a change of only 20 mm HG (systolic reading change from 130 to 110) may cause fainting or dizziness because not enough oxygen is received by the brain.

While high blood pressure is dangerous, low blood pressure also has dangers that impact negatively on a person’s health. Some low blood pressure sufferers are in great physical shape and have strong cardiovascular systems and experience symptoms because their cardiovascular systems and hearts are strong with arterial systems elasticity being flexible.

Low blood pressure can mean cardiovascular problems or may result by changing anti-hypertensive medications. Symptoms include lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, rapid shallow breathing, clammy and cold skin, lack of concentration, thirst, nausea, fainting and fatigue. Some people suffer from Shy-Drager syndrome (neurological damage) after consuming a large meal which means a lot of blood is directed to the gastrointestinal system for digestion and even causes faulty brain signals. Other common reasons are medication side effects, pregnancy, dehydration, blood loss,infections and anemia.

Baby Health – Immunization

'Prevention is better than cure' is the basis for the widely propagated immunization program for tiny tots. Perpetually, it is better to avert a disease than to cure it.

Not only do the vaccines protect those who have been administrated the dose, but also the un-vaccinated part of the population. Children who are vaccinated as per the immunization program have a heightened resistance towards potentially life threatening diseases.

The importance of immunization stays put even if your child has been consistently breast fed. Although the immunity boosting antibodies provided your milk are very essential, they do not last longer than a year after his birth.

Also, maternal immunization is not able to deal with more sinister diseases like whooping cough and polio which are also extremely contagious. Due to the world wide campaign for immunization and its significance, certain fatal diseases like small pox have been almost entirely wiped out.

The complete immunization program mostly works on eradicating the disease like Tetanus, hepatitis, whooping cough or pertussis, polio, rubella (German measles), mumps, haemophilus, influenza b and diphtheria.

Certain vaccines provide the child immunity for his entire life span, while others may have to be administrated more than once. When a disease infests itself in the human body, it turns into a battleground between the disease causing organisms (antigens) and our protectors, the antibodies. Our body retaliates against the invaders by rapidly producing antibodies which fight and annihilate the antigens. Vaccines are actually the dwindled or killed form of the pathogens that cause a particular disease. Once inside the body these bacteria or viruses do not harm but invoke the same reaction from it, that is, the rapid production of antibodies. These antibodies then remain active for a lifetime or less, depending on the vaccine.

After vaccination routine side-effects like fever or rash might make your baby little fussy, recommended doses of simple medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen will make him feel better. Although the usefulness of vaccines is debated at times, the boons of immunization outweigh any risks by far. Give you baby a lifetime of health and smiles by meticulously following the immunization schedule.

15 Essential Oils That Can Help You Heal Post Surgery

Below you'll find a list of common essential oils that can be used post surgery and the affect each oil has on the mind and body. Typically, essentials oils have both a physical as well as mental applications. Along with the list of their names is an explanation of how each oil is used for both physical and mental ailments.

Your doctor may prescribe a medication, post surgery that could negatively interact with herbal remedies. Therefore, it is extremely important to consult with your doctor before incorporating herbal remedies into your healing routine.

1. Bay
Physical Effects: Settles digestive system and eases general aches and pains.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Triggers inspiration.

2. Chamomile
Physical Effects: Relieves migraines and headaches, insomnia, and bowel disorders.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Relaxes the mind.

3. Eucalyptus
Physical Effects: Eases respiratory problems and arthritis and injuries fatigue.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Encourage mental concentration and focus.

4. Fennell
Physical Effects: Stimulates appetite and trees bloated stomach, constipation, and other digestive problems.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Boasts courage.

5. Ginger
Physical Effects: Relieves nausea, indigestion, morning sickness and improvements poor circulation.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Alleviates feelings of loneliness and low libido.

6. Jasmine
Physical Effects: Heals dry skin, stretch marks, and scars.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Eases nervousness and tension.

7. Juniper
Physical Effects: Heals swollen joints and muscle fatigue.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Alleviates tension and stimulates the nervous system.

8. Lavender
Physical Effects: Treats insomnia and acts as an antiseptic.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Soothes irritability, depression, and stress.

9. Lemongrass
Physical Effects: Treats pain associated with nerve conditions and rheumatism.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Increases energy.

10. Patchouli
Effects on the Body: Prevents fluid retention and speeds healthy skin cell regeneration.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Fights anxiety and depression.

11. Peppermint
Effects on the Body: Reduces skin redness and itchiness and prevents flatulence.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Stimulates creativity.

12. Rose
Effects on the Body: Repairs broken capillaries and stimulates the liver and gall bladder.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Helps with grief and anger.

13. Sandalwood
Effects on the Body: Clears asthma, cough, bronchitis, and other chest infections.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Relaxes nervous tension and stress, and it's an aphrodisiac.

14. Tea Tree
Effects on the Body: Treats gum infections and mouth ulcers, skin and scalp irritations.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Restores balance and clarity.

15. Ylang-ylang
Effects on the Body: Balances overly-dry and / or overly-oily skin.
Mental / Emotional Effects: Relieves fear, panic, shock and the associated rapid heartbeat and breathing.

Because of their concentrated nature, essential oils generally should not be directly applied to the skin in their undiluted form. Some oils can cause severe irritation and even provoke an allergic reaction. To prevent this, always blend essential oils with vegetable-based "carrier" oil before applying to your skin. Some common carrier or base oils include olive, almond, hazelnut and grapeseed.

The above list of essential oils and their uses is certainly not exhaustive and the ones mentioned here have healing properties not listed. Also, there are many, many more essential oils available that aid in healing. This is a basic list commonly used and easily found at many local health stores.

While essential oils can be a beneficial aid in post surgery healing ~ as mentioned in the beginning of this article, always speak with your doctor before adding any type of herbal remedies to your healing regimen.

But I Can See Just Fine – Things No One Told Me About Diabetic Eye Disease

Living with diabetes, I’ve been told many times that I need a retinal eye exam every year. I’m told this by my health insurance, by my doctors, by every diabetes awareness council out there. Now, I’m spreading the message, but with a difference.

None of these sources ever told me WHY I needed a retinal eye exam. I found them to be quite an ordeal and never kept up with them. Now I am paying the price.

Things I’ve learned about 2 1/2 years ago:

  • I was legally blind.*
  • There is such a thing as an eyeball injection.
  • No matter what Ophthalmologist tells you, eyeball injections feel exactly the way you imagine they feel.
  • By the time you notice symptoms of diabetic eye problems, you’re already at the point where you probably need said injection and maybe even surgery (and not the laser kind… the scalpel kind).

*”Was” is the operative word there. Fortunately, in my case, much of the damage was still reversible.

About ten years or so ago, I was having some vision problems and figured it was time to go in and get a new pair of glasses. I had been prescribed lenses in the past for my astigmatism, but they were not very strong and I almost never wore them. I figured that the years had worsened the problem and maybe it was time to give in and get a new pair. I had excellent vision benefits at my job, so there was no reason to put it off any longer.

Through the refractive examination (that’s where they put different lenses in front of you and you tell them which is better) we reached a point where there was improvement, but they couldn’t get me to 20/20. That’s when they gave me my first retinal exam, and problems were found.

I was diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy. This occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged as a result of diabetes. These damaged blood vessels are no long able to adequately nourish the retina, so your body responds by growing new blood vessels. However, it doesn’t do a very good job of it, and these new blood vessels are prone to leakage.

I was treated with a laser to seal off those blood vessels and was warned that I needed to keep my blood sugar and blood pressure under control to avoid further complications. My vision at this point did suffer some permanent damage. There were small areas in my field of vision that just didn’t work anymore. I didn’t notice until I began looking for it that my brain was filling in these gaps subconsciously. I found that if I looked at printed text with one eye closed, it became more apparent. I could see places where the text would warp to fill in one of the holes.

The exam itself was unpleasant, but the treatment was a nightmare. The exam involved shining a bright light in my eye to illuminate my retina while the doctor looked into my dilated pupils while the doctor used a magnifying lens to look examine the retinal surface. The treatment involved a device to hold my eye open, while a lens was pressed against my eye to flatten the cornea while lasers were shot at the blood vessels. Those appeared as even more super bright lights, and I could feel a burning sensation inside my eye. I was glad when that was finally over.

The following year, the memory of my last visit still very fresh in my mind, I was hesitant to go back for another checkup. I ended up not going. After all, my vision hadn’t changed any, so I didn’t think there was any need to go back.

The following year, I found a similar excuse. The year after that, well, I just didn’t bother. Nor did I bother the following year, nor the one after that… This was a mistake.

Fast forward a bit. At least, that’s what it feels like. The years go by so quickly now. I found myself noticing what I thought was shoddy workmanship on the bathroom tile. The grout was all crooked and it made the tiles look like the edges were indented. After a few weeks, I realized it wasn’t the tile at all. It was my eyes. I didn’t have any medical insurance by then, so rather than make an appointment, I put it on my list of things to get checked out once I had insurance again. Another mistake.

Months pass. I got new insurance through my new job. I began noticing my vision is noticeably worse than it had been in the past. However, it was November, I had just moved, the holiday season was beginning, there was surely no time to be making doctor appointments. I’m just making all kinds of mistakes here.

About a month into the new year, 2013, I found an ophthalmologist that accepted my insurance and scheduled an appointment. I had my appointment on a Friday afternoon. After a few standard tests, the ophthalmologist took pictures of my retina. After looking them over he told me I needed to see a retina specialist right away. And he meant RIGHT AWAY. He didn’t want me to wait until Monday. He made some calls and found someone who could see me that day.

I was immediately sent to a retinal specialist. The news was bad. I had more issues with Diabetic Retinopathy, and also Diabetic Macular Edema. The macula is a small indentation in the back of the eye, in the middle of the retina, near the optic nerve. This area was severely swollen, due to fluid leakage from all of those haphazardly formed blood vessels, leading to further warping of my vision, and also it gives things kind of a washed out look, like if you have your TV set too bright and the contrast too high. It makes it hard to see detail. It had gotten to a point where I could barely read my computer monitor anymore, and driving had become dangerous.

These issues would have been detected with regular eye exams, and they could have been solved before causing damage to my vision. At the time of the diagnosis, my vision was 20/400 in my left eye, and 20/200 in my right (legally blind).

I’ve been undergoing treatment for about two and a half years. Those treatments have included several more lasers, monthly injections of medicine into each eye (which those have come to an end about 3 months ago), and one surgery on my left eye. I may still need surgery on my right eye in the near future.

All in all, the treatments have been an ordeal, but, combined with keeping my blood sugar under better control than ever, they are working. My uncorrected vision right now is 20/50 and 20/40.

I wish I knew ten years ago what I do now. I certainly would have opted to take the inconvenience of an annual exam. Many diabetic eye conditions don’t affect your vision until they are fairly advanced. A retinal eye exam can reveal issues before you become symptomatic.

For more information about Diabetic Eye diseases, their causes, diagnoses and treatment, please contact your eye care specialist. Don’t put it off.

How to Stop Stammering at Home

If you want to know how to stop stammering, without having to go and see a speech therapist, then this article is a must read. As you are probably aware, stammering affects a person’s speech, and causes the sufferers to often repeat certain words or letters over and over again. If this sounds like you, then I’m sure you want to know exactly how you can speak fluently again, right?

Well, I want to show you exactly how to stop stammering right here. The unfortunate fact is that at the moment there is no cure for stammering. Well, I’m not surprised, because stammering, otherwise known as stuttering, is not even a physical condition. It is often to do with bad speaking habits, which you need to stamp out in order to speak fluently.

A lot of sufferers complain that they simply try to get the words out too fast, and therefore cannot get their point across clearly as the stuttering comes in to play. So therefore you need to slow things down! I don’t mean talk like a sloth for the rest of your life, but don’t rush! Take in deeper breaths and simply talk slower.

Here is a fact for you. Stammering is made worse in stressful situations. Therefore, if you find yourself stuttering a lot more when trying to make a good impression with a stranger, or talking to a group of people, then you need to find a way to relax. Yoga is a good way to relieve the built up stress in your body, so this could help improve fluency.

A great tip I can give you, if you want to know how to stop stammering, is to pause and collect your thoughts before you speak. So instead of simply coming up with the words while your speaking, say the sentence in your head first, and then say it. Give it a try when you’re next out, it may really help you out.

The road to curing your stammer is a hard one, though. You need to be armed with the tried and tested methods if you want to get rid of your stammer completely, and avoid relapse. For some stammerers out there, they may never get rid of their stammer.

Often, these people find it so hard to speak to anyone in public, that they go into recluse and simply no longer connect with the outside world.