How to Get Rid of the Flu

Influenza viruses attack the respiratory system, from the nose and throat, down through the bronchial tubes, and into the lungs. In the 1918 flu pandemic, victims built up so much fluid in their lungs that they essentially died of drowning. Symptoms of flu are like those of a cold, except much worse, and they come on much faster. High fevers and chills are common, and there may be vomiting and diarrhea. It’s highly contagious.

Because most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before their own symptoms develop (and up to 5 days after becoming sick), you can be in danger of becoming infected from someone else before you or the other person knows they are sick.

The Flu: A Good Excuse to Stay Home and Sleep

Most people are not in deadly danger from a flu virus (though occasionally a particularly potent virus emerges that puts vast segments of the population in danger, as it did in 1918). The usual treatment is plenty of bed rest, lots of fluids, and aspirin or Tylenol to reduce fever.

There are many flu home remedies:

* Vitamin C, zinc, garlic capsules. These supplements may be of limited value once you’ve got the virus, but they probably can do no harm. Recent studies have said that Vitamin C and zinc supplements show no effect in reducing symptoms.

* Drink tea that’s a mixture of 1 tsp. bayberry bark, 1 tsp. grated ginger root, ½ tsp. cayenne powder, and 1 cup of boiling water. Allow to steep for 20 minutes.

* Catnip tea and 1/2 tsp. of lobelia tincture every four hours supposedly will lower a high fever. Pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers, and children under one year old should, however, avoid this stuff.

Wash your hands frequently. Doing so helps you to avoid spreading the disease or even getting it in the first place. Additional advice for avoiding the virus:

* Follow a well-balanced diet. A poor diet lowers your immunity and makes you more vulnerable to infections. A good balanced diet features fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and small amounts of lean protein.

* Get enough sleep. The amount needed varies from person to person. If you feel tired during the day, you may be getting too little sleep, which leaves you open to opportunistic infections, such as the flu.

* Exercise. Improve your immune system through doing such regular cardiovascular exercise as walking, biking, or aerobics. People who exercise are less likely to get upper respiratory infections, have less-severe symptoms when they do, and recover more quickly.

* Avoid air travel. New flu strains tend to spread rapidly in November, during the height of the holiday travel season, and air circulation systems in airplanes are notorious for spreading colds, flu, and other infectious diseases.

* Stay away from crowds during flu season. The season is typically from November through March. Flu spreads quickly through any kind of crowd.

Who Should Get a Shot?

At particular risk are older folks, young children, and people with comprised immune systems such as diabetics. These people, from the age of six months to seniors of any age (as well as pregnant women in their second or third trimesters), are advised to get injections of flu vaccine before the beginning of the winter flu season. Older adults and those with chronic illnesses should also be inoculated for pneumococcal pneumonia, a potentially deadly complication of influenza.

But even if you have not gotten an inoculation, if you begin to show severe symptoms, there are anti-viral drugs that may be prescribed to shorten the length of time you are ill and might also prevent even more severe symptoms from developing. Should pneumonia develop, getting medical attention is imperative.

Other flu complications include ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

Some people, however, should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician:

* People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.

* People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.

* People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.

* Children less than six months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for use in this age group).

* People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms ease off.

As a final thought, consider the similarities between influenza and living in earthquake zones. In California, you can expect a mild shake every now and then. Every decade or so, there is a large one that kills a number of people and levels some buildings. But then, there is the “Big One,” like the one that leveled San Francisco in 1906. These generally come about once every 70 years, and California is overdue for the monster quake that will undoubtedly kill scores of people.

A pandemic like the one in 1918 also hits at least once every century. Public health officials await the next one with some trepidation. There may be no inoculation for the next “Big Flu Attack.”

CPPS Causes Uncomfortable Penis Pain

Even the mention of penis pain is enough to get some guys feeling tense. All men know how very sensitive the penis is; that sensitivity is responsible for the glorious feelings a male experiences during orgasm, but it’s also responsible for the intense pain that the manhood sometimes suffers. Proper penis care helps to strengthen the organ, but penis pain still occurs. Getting hit in the crotch is one common source, but it’s passing pain. Something like CPPS (chronic pelvic pain syndrome) is longer lasting.

What is CPPS?

CPPS is a condition which can strike both men and women; when it occurs in men, it may go by other names, such as chronic nonbacterial prostatitis. CPPS is defined as a pain or discomfort in the pelvic area that lasts for three months or longer and does not have a bacterial agent as the cause.

There is still a great deal being learned about CPPS, and at this point, most of the time a diagnosis is arrived at by ruling out other possible causes – which means that it can take some time before a proper diagnosis is made. When a man has CPPS, he experiences penis pain (sometimes significant) and has urinary symptoms similar to a urinary tract infection – but without the bacteria that cause such an infection. Sexual dysfunction, frequently related to the penis pain, is also typical.

CPPS is found in between 2% and 16% of men around the world and is thought to be the most common urologic disease in men who are under 50 years of age. (Women also have a female version of CPPS.)

When a man has CPPS, there is a general underlying discomfort in the pelvic region, sometimes specifically in the penis, sometimes elsewhere in the region (the balls, the perineum, etc.). Penis pain is often pronounced when urinating or ejaculating.

Prevention and treatment

Although doctors do not yet know the cause of CPPS, there are theories. Some suspect it is an immune disorder, others suspect increased pressure in the prostate, and some suggest trauma may be a factor.

However, in some men there do seem to be some identifiable triggers which are associated with CPPS. These include possible reactions to food or drink, especially spicy foods, alcohol, coffee and tea. Lack of sufficient exercise can also help bring about CPPS in some men. Therefore, prevention strategies often involve dietary changes to limit potential triggers and programs to ensure greater physical activity.

There are numerous treatment options which may be employed in treating CPPS and its symptoms. In addition to changing the diet and increasing exercise, doctors may recommend a range of medications. Anti-inflammatory drugs as well as pain medications are often used, as are muscle relaxants. Alpha blockers are often prescribed, as these can help relax the muscles around the prostate. Prostate massagers are also sometimes utilized for the same purpose. When pain is intense while sitting, use of a pillow or inflatable ring may be beneficial. Some men report improvement from use of acupuncture.

Men with CPPS may experience psychological issues because of the pain, and these can often worsen the condition. Counseling is often recommended to help a man learn how to better deal the disorder when it is chronic and long lasting.

Working with a doctor is important to relieve penis pain from CPPS. When the penis is already in good shape, that helps to deal with conditions like CPPS, so men are urged to daily apply a top notch penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Keeping penis skin well moisturized helps provide some soothing relief, so select a crème that includes both a high end emollient (such as shea butter) and a natural hydrator (such as vitamin E). In addition, look for a crème that contains vitamin D, which when added to a personal care regimen can provide important health benefits (especially during the long dark winter months).

Things to Do If a Loved One Has a Stroke

For someone who is at risk for a stroke or who has had a stroke you will want to make sure that they understand exactly what a stroke is. It is very important that you know all of the warning signs of a stroke. You will see that a lot of the symptoms will occur quickly so you will want to call 9-1-1 or get your loved one medical help as quickly as possible. Even thought some of the people who have the symptoms are not having a stroke. It is important to recognize all of the symptoms, but you should also act quickly so that you can minimize the damage.

If you experience a sudden numbness in the face, arm and leg you will want to get immediate attention. A stroke may occur on both sides of the body or it may just be one side. It all depends what side of the brain was affected. There are times when the body is only affected on one side. You may also notice that the person may have problems with their speech and may have a difficult time understanding others. Also, they may be experiencing, dizziness, tiredness, and loss of coordination as a sign too. You will want to get emergency care quickly so that your friend can have a better chance. There are people who do die from a stroke.

For these reasons you take the time to write down all valuable information and leave it next to the phone. Make sure you have all the numbers that you could possibly ever need to help you for emergency problems. You may also want to enter the same information in a cell phone or write it down and carry it with you in your pocket, purse, or wallet for any occasion that you might be out and need to get emergency help.

You have to treat every stroke as an emergency. It is very important you think about getting help as if you new someone was taking a heart attack. You will also find that timing is very important. Early treatment can help you save your friends life. You will want to make sure to get treated within three hours of showing signs. You will be given medications to dissolve blood clots and you will also find that your doctor or the hospital will try to do all that they can to minimize the damage.

After a stroke you will need to give the person some time for rehabilitation. They may take several months off and learn the basics all over again. Most people are unable to do things like walking, talking, or even associating with those that they love. Sometimes it is best that you spend as much time with a person who has had a stroke so that they know that they are loved and make a good recovery.

Alopecia Symptoms – How to Know If You Are Affected With Alopecia

A lot of people can be observed with balding spots or receding hairlines. There are some who has it because of heredity, but a lot of them have the condition because of alopecia. It could be bought many reasons. They could be using the wrong hair care product or there is a problem with their diet. People who are undergoing certain medical treatments like chemotherapy are also aware to have hair loss symptoms. Most of these hair loss condition signs are treatable. Once the cause is removed from their system, the hair grows back. You too could have been practicing an unhealthy habit which could lead to hair loss. If you are not sure, there are some signs of alopecia that you need to watch out, before your hair is all gone.

The first is hair loss. If you observed that your crown is thinning out for no apparent reason, then you can be a candidate for the disease. Humans lose a certain amount of hair everyday. That is normal. But if you notice that you are losing hair in unusual number, then a trip to specialist is recommended. These experts will know what is causing it and can prescribe a remedy before your hair is all gone. Next in line for symptoms of Alopecia that needs to be monitored is baldness. The condition is defined as loss of scalp hair and is caused by many factors including drug side effects and certain medical conditions. However, if you have none of these causes and you are balding, you might already have alopecia and you need to have it treated as soon as possible.

Temporary or patchy hair loss was also observed to be signs of alopecia. Take note that alopecia does not affect scalp hair only. It is observed to be present in body hair as well. Therefore, the scalp need not only be the observed area. The effects of alopecia can be remedied if proper diagnosis and prompt medical treatment is given. It is a disease that affects many so instead of hiding or condemning it, do not be accused to consult with a medical specialist.

Hair Regrowth in Alopecia Areata

One of the many causes of hair loss is alopecia areata. This is an autoimmune disorder. This causes the immune system to attack the hair follicles, making the hair fall out. This can be quite troubling for many people. There are various treatments that can be made to help with hair regrowth in alopecia areata. Knowing these treatments and how much results you can expect can make the process a lot easier on you.

There are several different treatments to aid hair regrowth in alopecia areata. One of the many is creams that go on your scalp. These can help you regrow new hair and may even be able to cut down on the amount of hair that is lost. Scalp injections, such as cortisone have also been found to help. Cortisone can have lasting side effects so it is important to understand all of the pros and cons before going this. Another treatment is drugs, such as immune suppressing drugs. These drugs can be very beneficial because they will lower your immune system that is killing your hair. With this it is important to keep in mind that suppressing your immune system means that your body will not be able to fight off infection as well. This means that you will be more prone to getting sick. Serious illnesses and sustained high fevers can also lead to hair loss. These are just things to keep in mind.

Knowing what to expect from hair regrowth with alopecia areata is important as well. You may find that the treatment you are using is working and you have regained most of your hair. The only thing you must keep in mind is that autoimmune disorders tend to go through cycles of flare ups. This means that your hair loss treatment can be going fine and then one day you start to notice that you are losing your hair again. This could just be a flare up, but it can also be a serious medical problem. This means that you should see your doctor as soon as possible to get the problem checked out to make sure it is just a flare up. If it is, your doctor may be able to help you find a treatment that will add an exra punch to your hair loss treatment.

Hair regrowth in alopecia areata can seem like a constant battle. There is no cure for autoimmune disorders at this time, only ways to suppress them. This means that it will be something you will battle for the rest of your life. However there are many treatments available and many specialists that you can see. Your specialist can fully explain this disorder to you. He or she can answer all your questions about how treatment works. Your doctor will also be the one that will prescribe you treatments to help with this. As long as you keep yourself healthy and keep working towards getting your hair back, hair regrowth in alopecia areata can be very attainable.

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

Neurological Significance of the Disorders of Vision – Optic Neuritis, Papilledema and Optic Atrophy

Amaurosis reflects to blindness from any cause. Amblyopia refers to injury or loss of vision which is not due to an error of refiation or to other disease of the eye itself. Visual impairment can be secondary to disease process anywhere along the visual pathway from the cornea to visual cortex.

Disorders affecting the media of the eye are included under ophthalmological disorders. Diseases of retina may cause visual impairment due to involvement of the Peripheral neurones, the rods or cones. Conditions like retinities, chorioretinitis, vascular diseases, retinal detachment and hemorrhages cause patchy or even complete loss of vision depending on the extent of lesion. The optic nerve may be affected by degenerative disorders, infections, neoplasms, toxins, trauma or vascular insufficiency. Such disorders begin as a central scotoma or a partial field defect and proceed to complete visual loss in that eye.

A lesion in the chiasma produces a characteristic field defect depending on whether the lesion begins at the center of the chiasm or from the outer aspect. The former produces betemporal hemianopsia, eg, Optic nerve glioma. The latter produces binasal hemianopsia, usually due to extrinsic compression by tumor. Lesions in the Optic tract produce contralateral hemianopsia, with absent pupillary light reflex. However, if the pupillary light reflex is preserved then the lesion is either at the geniculate body or in the optical radiation. Involvement of the lower fibers of the optic radiation coursing in the temporal lobe causes contralateral superior quadrantic hemianopsia, and affection of the upper fibers in the parietal lobe causes contralateral inferior quadrantic hemianopsia. Lesions of one occipital lobe cause contralateral hemianopsia with intact pupillary light reflex. Involvement of the upper lip of the calcarine fissure causes inferior quadrantic hemianopsia, and that of the lower lip of the calcarine fissure causes superior quadrantic hemianopsia, and that of the lower lip of the clacarine fissure causes superior quandrantic hemianopsia. Incomplete lesions of the optic tract and radiation usually partial central (macular) vision. A lesion of the tip of one occipital lobe produces a central homosexual hemianopic scotoma since half the macular fibers from both eyes terminate there. Lesions of bot occipital poles as in bilateral posterior cerebral artery embolism cause bilateral central scotoma, and bilateral lesions of the entire calcarine cortex cause cortical blindness.

Optical neuritis : In this, there is unilateral or bilateral loss of vision. It may be due to demyelination of toxic damage to the optic nerve. Common causes include toxic agents such as methyl alcohol, nicotine, lead, quinine, ethambutol or demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica (a combination of optic neuritis and transverse myelitis). The condition is associated with pain behind the eyeball. When the under cause cause is removed or treated, the vision typically recovers, but some cases may lead to inflammation of the optic disc (papillitis) and optic atrophy.

Papilledema : This is swelling of the optic disc as seen through the ophthalmoscope. The margins of the disc are indistinct. The physiological cup is filled. The medical margin of the disc shows more marked changes. The veins are congested.

Causes : Increased intracranial tension, malignant hypertension, disease of the retinal arteries such as giant cell arteritis, retinal vein thrombosis, cavernous sinus thrombosis, hematological disorders like acute leukemia and plycythemia vera, emphysema and pre-eclamptic toxemia. Visual loss consistants of concentric reduction of the field of vision and enlargement of the blind spot.

Optic atrophy The Ophthalmoscopic appearance of optic atrophy consists of pallor of the optic disc, with a punched out appearance, prominence of the lamina cribrosa and narrowing of the arteries. Optic atrophy may be "primary" or "secondary" and the fundoscopic findings are distinct. In primary optical atrophy, no other lesions is detectable on funduscopy. the lamina cribrosa is less distinct .. The term "consonic optical atrophy" is used when the Optic atrophy results from retinal diseases.

Causes : All causes of retrobulbar neuritis may lead to optic atrophy as well. Other rarer causes include pressure on the optic nerve or optic chiasm, occlusion of the central retinal artery and injury to the optic nerve. Primary optical atrophy occurs in association with hereditary cerebellar ataxias, Oras an isolated abnormality. Optic atrophy leads to gross dimunition of vision, leading to total blindness.

Glaucoma Identity Kit – What is It?

Glaucoma is a dreaded eye problem where the eyes can not drain properly and the patient becomes blind because of too much fluid pressure. There are many different types of glaucoma, but one of the most common is called congenital glaucoma. That means this kind of glaucoma is passed on through your genes. Would not it be great if some sort of glaucoma identity kit was devised to see if you or your children carried this particular gene before you started to go blind?

What Is Congenital Glaucoma?

Congenital glaucoma is a problem for young children, who often are educated to the doctor or ophthalmologist when it's too late. Although some children can be diagnosed as newborns, as many as 15% of babies with congenital glaucoma go undiagnosed, according to some studies done in America. When the symptoms develop, they often go blind in both eyes 75% of the time. For some unknown reason, boys are more affected than girls.

Discovery In 1997

The first step in developing such a glaucoma identity kit is discovering the specific gene that causes congenital glaucoma. Considering how many genes and gene combinations a person carries, it's easier to find a needle in a haystack. But in March of 1997, University of Connecticut Health Center's research scientist, Mansoor Sarfarazi, Ph. D, found the needle.

The studies were mostly funded by a company called InSite Vision, which was hoping to use the discovery of the gene to develop profitable glaucoma diagnostic tools. Unfortunately, these things take time. InSite, in cooperation with an Italian company, did plan to test a product called OcuGene in Italy in 2002. Its technical name was ISV-900. It Disappeared into Obscurity after 2003. In 2007, InSite Viiosn announced in court papers that "Our marketing and sales efforts related to OcuGene glaucoma genetic test have been significantly curtailed."

No glaucoma identity kit of any kind is currently listed in the company's products, not even for clinical development. It is unknown how long InSite will own the exclusive rights to the University of Connecticut Health Center's research to allow other companies the chance of developing a diagnostic kit.

Seeing Into The Future

The mention of ISV-900 probably makes anyone at InSite Vision shudder. There was a terrible court battle with those same Italian companies with a lot of the details being hushed. As of 2008, no medical supply company or pharmaceutical giant has been able to develop such a diagnostic tool so far. Despite the fact that there are a lot of children who get glaucoma, apparently not enough of them go blind or they are not from families rich enough to mount any kind of legal protest.

Perhaps in the future, pharmaceutical companies will concentrate on what's best for people's health rather than what's best for their shareholders.

Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment for Alopecia (Baldness)

Alopecia or baldness is hair loss usually noted with respect to the scalp of both men and women. While generalized hair loss is known as alopecia, small and circular bald patches are termed as alopecia areata. Noticeable hair loss and the resulting premature baldness can be psychologically very disturbing, since a luxuriant hair growth on the scalp is considered a sign of good health, grooming and personality. Premature hair loss is usually caused due to a genetic tendency, chronic diseases, medications, stress, injury or damage to the hair, and as a side-effect of strong treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. While actual baldness is more apparent in men, severe hair loss and apparent thinning of hair is more common in women; however, both types of hair loss can prove to be devastating for affected individuals.

Treating baldness or hair loss constitutes a booming medical industry, and various treatments for this condition have emerged, which include allopathic and alternative medications, local scalp treatments using laser therapy, shampoos and conditioners, as well as specialized treatments like wigs and hair grafting. Medicated oils for treating hair loss are available at all chemists over-the-counter, with new medical preparations being added regularly.

Ayurvedic herbal treatment for alopecia is a systematic process of looking for the cause of the condition and giving comprehensive treatment for it. A careful history is important in order to identify and treat specific causes such as chronic diseases and the use of specific drugs or harmful treatments. It is best to avoid any known cause for the condition, if possible. Anxiety, stress, a harmful lifestyle, and improper nutrition to the hair roots are usually the commonest causes of premature hair loss in men and women.

Ayurvedic treatment can be given as a combination of oral medication and local applications. Oral medication involves the use of medicines which can treat the known causes for the condition. In addition, medicines which have a specific action on the scalp as well as the hair roots are also important in the management of this condition. These medicines improve the blood supply to the hair roots and thereby provide better nutrition to the scalp, while at the same time removing toxins and unwanted elements from this area. These medicines also provide stimulation to the hair roots so as to help regenerate new hair and prevent hair loss.

Oral medication is usually supplemented with local application in the form of medicated ointments, pastes, and oils which have to be applied regularly so as to provide good results. Local applications not only provide nutrition for hair roots but also treat skin inflammation, infection and dandruff, and thereby reduce the tendency for hair fall. Regular massage with medicated oils not only aids in hair regrowth but also relaxes the scalp and neck muscles and induces good sleep.

It is equally important to give herbal medicines to treat stress and anxiety which are important factors which continue to propagate severe hair fall. It should also be remembered that the rate of regrowth of hair should be much more than the rate of hair fall in order to prevent noticeable hair loss and baldness. Most individuals affected with this condition require regular treatment for 6-9 months in order to get significant benefit from Ayurvedic treatment.

What is Myopia How is it Treated?

Myopia is also called nearsightedness as those who suffer from it can see close objects in focus, but distant objects appear blurry.

Short sightedness can often develop quickly in children as they grow, becoming worse in teenage years. As you enter your twenties the condition tends to stabilize.

Myopia can often be spotted in children because of the tendency of those kids to squint at objects.

So what exactly causes Myopia?

To understand this, we need to understand a little about the structure of the eye.

At the back of the eye is the retina. You can think of the retina as being like a cinema screen onto which the world around you is focused. As you look around you, light from the objects you are looking at passes through the outer layer of your eye (the cornea), through the iris and lens, and finally onto the retina. As the light passes through these layers, it is bent so that the images are focused on the retina.

Myopia is a defect in the eye that causes images coming into the eye to focus in front of the retina. The result is that the image will be blurry and out of focus.

Myopia can be caused by the following:

1. The cornea (the outer surface of the eye) is too curved.

2. Your eyeball is too long.

When someone suffering from Myopia looks at distant objects, the light rays from those distant objects are near enough parallel to each other. To focus the image, the rays need to be bent so that they converge onto the retina at the back of the eye. However, because of the problems mentioned above, the rays are bent too much and converge in front of the retina.

However, when someone with Myopia focuses on a near object (for example, when reading a book), the rays of light from those close objects enter the eyes at an angle, which means the light needs to be bent more, and in this case , the rays do focus properly on the retina, so near vision is not affected by the myopic condition.

There are a few different treatments for people with myopia who want to see clearly.

When you wear glasses or contact lenses to fix myopia, those lenses ensure that the light entering your eye converge on the retina, thereby bringing images into normal focus.

Another option to correct Myopia is LASIK eye surgery, where the surgeon can reshape the cornea so that light focuses properly. For more information on Myopia, especially if you think you or your children suffer from this condition, consult your doctor.

Effects of Myopia on Our Lives

Some years ago, my friends and I were sitting in a lecture when out of the blues one of them noticed how much I was squinting just to read the PowerPoint slides. I brushed her comment as thought thoughtlessly and carried on paying attention to the lecture. It was not until recently that I got into a car accident which opened my eyes to this visual defect I possessed called 'Myopia'. Sure, I sat the driving test four years ago which was accompanied by a vision examination and I past with flying colors, yet many people like myself are unaware that vision can change quickly over a short period of time. This article is simply written to define myopia and explain how it arises. Hope you enjoy and understand it

What is Myopia? Myopia is simply defined as' short sightedness or 'near sightedness'. As the term implies, people are not able to see distant objects because the images appear blurry and fuzzy so their eyes are only capable of seeing objects up close. The retina is a structure of the eye which is analogous to a movie screen since everything we perceive in the real world falls on this anatomy. Anything which falls in front or behind the retina (movie screen) will not be in focus therefore in the case of myopia; parallel light rays from distant objects come to focus in front of the retina producing blurred images. To compensate for this condition wearing negative power contact lenses or glasses allow people to reach '20/20 acuity' or 'normal vision'.

How does myopia arise? Myopia arises from a mismatched between the refractive power of the eye and its axial length or its abnormal cornea curvature. The length of the eyeball is too long for its eye's power or the cornea (the transparent outermost structure of the eye) is too flat and has lost its correct curvature. It has been heavily debated for years whether its cause is of 'nature or nurture'. Strong supporting evidence show that myopia can have a genetic constituent or occur as a result of environmental influences. If short-sightedness arises during infancy or preschool years of a child then this proves that there is a strong heretitary component but if myopia presents itself later on in life then there is a greater possibility of an environment influence on this condition since the greater opportunity for preventive measure.

Canaloplasty: Fixing The Hole With A Straw

"There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,

There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it. "

"With what I'll fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza?

With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, with what?

With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, a straw. "

Does this song sound familiar? Sesame Street incorporated the song as a comedic skit in the 1970s except instead of a "straw," the hole in the bucket was fixed with a "stick". The same holds true with canaloplasty. To fix the leaky bucket (glaucoma), a straw is needed (microcatheter).

Canaloplasty is a recent advancement in non-penetrating glaucoma surgery that gains aqueous outflow without forming a bleb (blister). This approach does not create a full-thickness hole into the fluid-filled space inside the eye (anterior chamber), as with trabeculectomy. Instead, the eye fluid flows slowly through the natural drainage channels with the help of a stent, preventing a rapid and dangerous drop in eye pressure. This gives canaloplasty an excellent safety profile, with early eye pressure stability after surgery and faster recovery time. It also means less activity restrictions and post-operative visits for patients when compared to trabeculectomy.

In addition, canaloplasty and trabeculectomy both resulated in similar reductions in intraocular pressure (IOP) and medication use one year after surgery. Experts agree that canaloplasty is a desirable option for glaucoma patients because it decrees the number of necessary post-operative visits and there are fewer complications to treat. As an added bonus, patients save thousands of dollars in the cost of medications because cancaloplasty reduces the amount of medication patients need in order to control the IOP. The ultimate result? A happier patient who can go back to enjoying life without restrictions.

Although anyone with open angle glaucoma can benefit from canalopalsty, it is especially valuable for patients who are also contact lens wearers, have eyes with significant ocular surface disease (dry eyes), and those individuals with a failed trabeculectomy in the other eye. Because of the improved safety profile, canaloplasty will likely have an increasing role in the surgical management of patients with glaucoma.

Stress and Hair Loss

Stress and hair loss … hair loss and stress, which comes first? Research has shown that both sides have a strong argument; stress unduly affected the hair cycle and losing ones hair causes a lot of stress. Below I have discussed the effects of stress and hair loss looking at both sides of the equation.

DOES STRESS CAUSE HAIR LOSS?

The role of stress on hair loss (alopecia) is controversial, however, there is evidence that acute and / or chronic stress may precipitate certain hair loss conditions.

Genetic Hair Loss …

As male hormones trigger genetic hair loss, many researchers believe that stress can aggravate the condition as, during stressful episodes, the adrenal glands increase their output of certain hormones that can lead to the production of more dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. Also, some researchers believe that the skin becomes more sensitive to the effects of testosterone during stress, so increasing the chances of hair loss.

Telogen Effluvium …

Severe stress can also influence diffuse shedding of hair (telogen effluvium), though this condition tends to be reversible. One possible explanation for stress induced telogen effluvium could be that the body's uptake of glucose is increased during a stress episode, leaving less available for non-essential tissues, such as the hair, causing the fiber to be shed prematurely. One study in Britain of 800 professional women who worked in a stressful environment found that over 30% were experiencing hair loss.

Alopecia Areata …

Alopecia areata or "patchy" hair loss has also been connected to stress episodes. One study showed that over 90% of patients with alopecia areata were under more stress. As alopecia areata is believed to be partially a product of an auto-immune response, the stress impact on reducing the immune system is thought to be a factor in the condition.

Trichotillomania …

Trichotillomania, the compulsive habit of recurrently pulling the hair, is also associated with stress, as well as more severe psychological problems. Amongst other factors, it is stress that tend to be a very important influence in both the sunset and continuity of the condition.

DOES HAIR LOSS CAUSE STRESS?

Obviously, people who are losing their hair tend to become very worried about the consequences. Many cases have been reported of people becoming introverted and withdrew due to the worry of losing their hair. This has been confirmed by research studies on men and women losing their hair. It has been reported that many subjects felt their lives changed and their stress levels increased after they noticed a worsening of their hair quality / quantity, not before.

Dr. David H. Kingsley, PhD is a board certified trichologist (hair loss specialist). He is the only trichologist in the world who is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Kingsley has 3 New York City trichology centers. For more information on hair loss, please log onto http://www.HairAndScalp.com/

Vaginal Atrophy – Dryness, Itching, and Burning

Vaginal atrophy can affect women of all ages but it is more common that women between the ages of 40 to 59 will suffer from dryness, itching, and burning related to vaginal atrophy. In the top ten afflicting problems of menopausal women, this is often at the top of the list. It is not expected or predictable. Vaginal dryness is because of many reasons. In youngger women, dryness can be caused by birth control pills, surgical treatments (like cystectomy or tubal ligation), emotional issues, and multiple other medical conditions.

Vaginal dryness is often experienced when there is a lack of vaginal lubrication, often caused by a lack of estrogen production. Some will develop female sexual dysfunction which can cause one to dread intercourse and to avoid sex. Intercourse can be very painful. These women may also experience libido problems as well. Hormonal imbalance is also the cause of vaginal dryness, as well as chronic yeast infections, bacterial infections, or some kinds of cleansing of the vagina.

Many couples use condoms and foam or a method that involves a gel of some kind. Birth control pills sometimes do not provide the required level of estrogen and production of testosterone to maintain vaginal lubrication and necessary libido.

To resolve these issues there are many steps which can be followed. Use of a water soluble lubricant like Astroglide may be helpful. Estrogen therapy is useful if there is only vaginal dryness. Women who use vinegar, bubble baths, hand lotions etc can cause this dryness to become more complicated and lead to infectious. Use of multivitamins or mineral supplements can be useful as well. Balanced diets can and proper nutritional intake can help maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce some of the complicating issues surrounding vaginal dryness.

Many women who do not want to have babies for the rest of their lives permanently they go for tubal ligation surgery. After tubal ligation women experience many side effects in which hormonal changes are the one most common. But with the change in life circumstances, some women want their own babies that they want to reverse the process. Many will elect to undergo a tubal reversal. Other than having their own babies, women will proceed with a tubal reversal for many reasons. Women who undergo the process of tubal ligation may experience irregular and painful periods, vaginal dryness, menstrual related problems, trouble sleeping, hot and cold flashes, loss of libido, early onset menopause, mood swings, palpitations etc To resolve some of these issue they seek out a tubal reversal. While tubal reversal my not be the best solution for these problems, some women find that a tubal reversal procedure may help them feel more psychologically sound. Many will attribute a tubal reversal with the resolution of some of these complaints.

Low Backache

Definition. The term includes many types of pain on the lower part of the back viz,, pain at the sacrum, coccyx, on the lumbar spine, soreness on the back and sciatica; low backache is more common in women than in men.

Causes

A. Gynaecological causes. These form less important causes of low backache. The causes may be as follows:

(1) Uterine prolapse with retroversion may drag on the pelvic ligaments causing backache; this gets relieved on lying.

(2) tubo ovarian mass, parametritis and chronic cervicitis;

(3) benign and malignant pelvic tumours impacted uterine fibroid or ovarian cyst, pelvic endametriosis, advanced carcinoma of cervix, retroperitoneal tumour;

(4) postoperative because of sacro iliac strain following gynaecological operation in lithotomy position under anaesthesia;

(5) Premenstrual low – pain especially in premenstrual syndrome.

Site of backache due to gynaecological cause is sacral but never extends above fourth lumbar vertebra; it has got bilateral distribution but not localised. Causes mentioned above do not necessarily produce backache in all cases.

1. Orthopaedic causes. These are the commonest cause. There are numerous factors that can play. Some important ones are the following-

(i) Sacro iliac strain or subluxation this often follows pregnancy and labour. Pain is felt on lifting weight or stooping move¬ment. There may be tenderness at the sacroiliac joint;

(ii) postural cause muscular and ligamentary strain on the back is possible due to postural defect. Obesity may also cause such strain;

(iii) Spinal arthritis ;

(iv) congenital anomalies sacralization of last lumbar vertebra or lumbarisation of first sacral vertebra, spina bifida occulta may cause back pain;

(v) lumbago this is due to myositis of the lumbar region;

(vi) coccygodynia pain at the coccyx commonly following labour. Tenderness can be elicited on movement of the coccyx ;

(vii) other spinal diseases prolapse of intervertebral disc, caries spine, spinal cord compression.

Sites of pain in orthopaedic cause vary according to the particular lesion But pain tends to be localised with tenderness at a site; pain is also related to exercise or rest. Sacroiliac strain becomes worse at night while lying flat on back or turning to the side.

II. Nonorthopaedic causes.

(1) Renal pain distribution of pain is characteristic i.e. unilateral arising at the Join.

(2) Rectal pain. Constipation, rectal spasm or carcinoma may have sacral pain or discomfort.

In some cases, no demonstrable cause for backache can be found. psychological upset is alleged to be a factor to play in this group.

Investigations.

1. Careful history taking, thorough clinical examination of the patient’s general condition, pelvic condition, should be done. Examination of spine and back especially for any local tenderness is essential. Radiology of lurnbosacral region is al¬ways taken to detect any evident lesion. Urological investigations should be taken up in cases suggesting the cause.

2. Cases showing no gynaecological factor for backache should be referred to the orthopaedic surgeon.

Treatment. This is done according to the cause. The gynaecological causes are treated. For the orthopaedic causes, local application of heat, local massage of some liniment, rest, analgesics can be instituted before the orthopaedist takes up the cause for treatment.