How to Deal With Glaucoma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Summary About Hair Loss – DHT and Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic Alopecia is the most common form of thinning hair in men, but is also a surprisingly common cause of female hair loss. Often known as Male Pattern Baldness, it results when:

1. Hair loss occurs at an abnormally high rate;
2. Hair replacement occurs at an abnormally slow rate;
3. Normal hairs are replaced by smaller, thinner hairs, called "miniaturization"

Androgenetic Alopecia affects approximately 30% of men before they reach the age of 30, and 50% of males over the age of 50. More surprisingly, it also affects 40% of women over the age of 50.

The causes of Androgenetic Alopecia are still not fully understood, although as its name suggests, it is widely thought to involve both hormonal (Androgens are hormones) and genetic causes. Of the many hormones that regulate hair on the scalp, Androgens have the largest effect.

Of the androgenic hormones, Testosterone and Dihdrotestosterone (DHT) have the greatest effect on hair loss. Testosterone is converted to DHT by enzymes all over the body, but there are high concentrations of these enzymes in the scalp, and especially inside the hair follicle. DHT is the active form of testosterone that interacts with your body's signaling pathways. In hair loss, DHT stimulates the mechanism that stops hair growth, and begins the hair's Catagen and Telogen Phases.

The genetic aspect of this may be twofold. Firstly there is evidence that some populations have higher basal concenrations of DHT, they simply have more naturally. This, like many hormonal differences, is probably genetically inherited. Also, there is a theory that a set of genes could make some people's hair follicles more sensitive to DHT. This means some people react more strongly to increase in DHT, and lose hair, while others do not from lose hair the same change in hormone level. However, even if you are genetically predisposed to thinning hair, there is no guarantee you will have it, in the same way that people in families with thinning hair often do not suffer from it.

Many women find that the hair on their head is thinning during menopause or pregnancy – this is due to changes in the levels of the hormone DHT in the scalp. Thinning hair in women is often referred to as hormonal hair loss rather than Androgenetic alopecia, but they are in fact the same condition.

In men, DHT is very important for reaching maturity; it is DHT that causes body and facial hair to begin growing. Later in life however, these same Androgens (primarily DHT) are responsible for the reduction in size of the follicles in the scalp.

The longer the hair follicle is kept in the presence of DHT, the more miniaturized the follicle becomes. Miniaturisation is caused by the shortening of the Anagen or growth phase, and is when the hair itself becomes shorter and thinner. DHT also increases the rate of hair loss by signaling to the hair to reach Telogen phase sooner, so more hair is lost is well; these factors combined give noticeable thinning hair.

If treatment is not administrated, this process continues, the follicles progressively become shorter and less visible, and some will eventually close completely and stop growing.

DHT is integral to the majority of androgenetic alopecia sufferer's problems. So it is clear that any hair loss treatment should begin by removing DHT or relieving the effects of DHT. There are many products available to inhibit DHT formation, the prescription option Finasteride is very effective, but unfortunately there is a wide variety of severe side effects, and can not be used by women. There are a variety of alternatives to Finasteride available; some like saw palmetto also prevent DHT production, and some like Minoxidil or Superoxide Dismutases work in a different way to reverse the effects of DHT.

Understanding Spatial Neglect in Stroke Patients

Understanding spatial neglect in stroke patients is detrimental to identifying if a patient is suffering from it. Spatial neglect is a syndrome that manifests itself after stroke. Normally, the patient itself is not aware of having it, making it an often under diagnosed complication of stroke without those often-visible indicators such as paralysis and speech impairment.

According to experts, the effect of having spatial neglect to a stroke patient is more harming than other common deficiencies. A stroke patient who is not diagnosed with having spatial neglect but actually has his will find rehabilitation difficulty and functional independence impossible, especially since there is a gap in accurately viewing things as they are and responding to it accordingly.

Caregivers have the important role, therefore, of identifying whether their patient has spatial neglect or not, after all they are the ones mostly with them. To fully gratify spatial neglect requires understanding what actually happens from the perspective of the stroke patient.

The right hemisphere of the brain can get damaged during a stroke, which may lead to the patient experiencing spatial neglect. Note that not all patients who right hemisphere of the brain is damaged during stroke suffer this syndrome. Research shows that only up to two thirds of acute right-hemisphere stroke patients demonstrate this phenomenon.

The right hemisphere of the brain is in charge of object location, mapping and estimation. This also allows us to see the left side of whatever is in front of us. So when a person suffices a stroke and this hemisphere of the brain gets damaged, the person will tend to see of what is actually before him and therefore correlate similarly.

Thus, it involves a stroke patient's inability to report, respond, or orient to stimuli. The following symptoms are good to watch out for:

• disordered awareness of events occurring in the neglected side.
• difficulty maintaining internal map relating to environment, objects, body parts, etc.
• difficulty making appropriate facial expressions or vocal intonations to accompany their emotions or to detect that of the person before them
• trouble directing actions into portions of space
• slow to act or no reaction at all
• attend to the left side of their body only

Stroke patients with spatial neglect generally have difficulty identifying where an item or object and / or have difficulty aiming at something.

Prism adaptation is the most promising treatment for it so far, wherein the rightward horizontal placement of patients' visual fields are induced. But this still requires further research. Although there are stroke patients healed of this, experience has shown that remain severely disabled due to their stroke.

Caregivers have an important role in understanding spatial neglect for ease in identifying its existence in the stroke patient. This way, the patient's rehabilitation program will be formulated accordingly to ensure higher rates of recovery in the long-run.

Top Reasons to Consider Acupuncture for Glaucoma Treatment

Millions of people in America and around the world are affected by glaucoma, a cluster of eye disorders that can result in optical nerve damage, peripheral vision loss and eventually blindness. This disorder usually progresses gradually and alternative therapies such as acupuncture for glaucoma can be effective in preserving the health of the optic nerve and vision, especially if the condition is diagnosed at an early stage.

What Causes Glaucoma?

There are different types of glaucoma and researchers are still in the process of understanding how each type of glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve. For chronic open-angle glaucoma, it is understood that intraocular pressure gradually increases due to improper fluid drainage from canals in the eye. This leads to an accumulation of fluid that gradually damages the optic nerve and retina. Lack of blood flow to the optic nerve and retina is also observed in many types of glaucoma which gradually leads to retinal nerve cell damage and loss of peripheral vision even though the eye pressure does not go up. Acupuncture for glaucoma is a non-surgical method that can deliver positive results in the form of decreased intraocular pressure and improved fluid and blood circulation, especially when the eye drop caused so much irritation to the eyes and still cannot bring down the eye pressure.

Who is at Risk?

Anyone can develop glaucoma but some groups are at a higher risk than others. If you’re over sixty, an African-American over the age of forty, if you have near-sightedness, diabetes or a family history of glaucoma, you could fall in the high-risk category. Because glaucoma tends to progress gradually, it often remains undiagnosed and untreated before damage is already done. If you’re at a higher risk, it’s important to get your eyes examined by a qualified ophthalmologist every year to rule out the disorder or catch it at an early stage.

Treatment Options for Glaucoma

There are a wide variety of treatments for glaucoma including eye drops, laser surgery and conventional surgery to name a few. Acupuncture for glaucoma can be considered as a complimentary therapy to preserve and improve optic nerve health, vision and reduce the dry eyes. A combination of early detection, diet, acupuncture, Chinese medicines and medical treatment is the ideal plan to slow down the process of glaucoma and maintain the optic nerve function.

Positive Effects of Acupuncture

You might be wondering why acupuncture can be used to treat glaucoma and if it’s really worthwhile to try. Depending on patient’s condition and severity of glaucoma, an acupuncturist will develop an individual plan for each patient. A series of treatments (24 to 36) involving the use of very fine acupuncture needs at various points of the body may be recommended. Further treatment depends on how well your body responds. When done by a qualified and trained acupuncturist, acupuncture for glaucoma has many positive effects including decreasing intraocular pressure, improving fluid and blood circulation in the eye and improving peripheral vision. Considering all these benefits, acupuncture is a therapy worth considering for glaucoma relief and nerve regeneration.

If you’re ready to try this treatment, make an appointment with an experienced acupuncturist trained in Chinese medicine!

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.

Causes and Solutions For Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatic Nerve Treatment and Chiropractic Manipulations

Sciatica pain originates in the lower back and radiates down one or both legs. The pain may be intense, moderate, or minimal, and occasional, frequent, or constant.

Physicians term sciatica as a radiating or referred pain, or as neuralgia. This pain is often dull, achy, sharp, or even similar to an electric shock.

Causes of Sciatica Pain

Sciatica pain is not a disorder, but a symptom of compression of the sciatic nerve. The most common causes are spinal disorders due to:

– partial dislocation of a vertebra in lumbar spine
– herniated or bulging discs
– postural problems
– sitting on one's back pocket wallet

Sciatica pain may sometimes be due to certain non-spinal conditions such as diabetes and chronic constipation and pregnancy, childbirth, infections or tumors.

Piriformis syndrome also causes pain similar to sciatica. The Piriformis muscle in the lower spinal region and connects to the thigh. It is crucial for the rotation of the hips. When this muscle shortens or spasms due to an injury, hip arthritis, or difference in leg length, it pinches the sciatic nerve. The pinched nerve causes pain, numbness and tingling in the buttocks and along the path of the sciatic nerve.

Treatment of Sciatica Pain

Conventional sciatic nerve treatment involves symptomatic pain relief through non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and / or muscle relaxants. The problem is that the pain is caused due to the pinched nerve, and medications can not correct that. Surgery may lead to irreversible changes in the disc or bones. Another problem is presented by the fact that sciatica pain gets worse with bed rest.

Chiropractic manipulations play an important role in alternative treatment modalities. Even in conventional treatments of sciatica pain, the initial step is stretching exercises, massage and avoidance of activities that add to the pain.

Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatica Pain

Chiropractic treatment of the pinched sciatic nerve is based on the scientific principle that the cause of the pain is the restricted spinal movement due to reduced functionality and performance. Chiropractic care is drug-free and non-invasive, which means that there is no risk of side effects.

A chiropractor employs various methods for treating sciatica pain. The most common and effective among them is a comprehensive manipulation of the dislocations that have occurred in the patient's body. This involves application of gentle and minimal pressure, or fast high velocity tensions to restore the position of the misaligned vertebrae in the column column.

In addition, a chiropractor may employ cold therapy and / or heat from ultrasound. Cold therapy is an effective way of reducing inflammation and pain relief. Heat produced from gentle sound waves from an ultrasound increases circulation and reduces muscle spasms.

It is important that you get chiropractic care from a qualified chiropractor. Chiropractic practitioners undergo training in colleges where techniques of treating partial dislocation of joints or organs are taught.

Like all alternative therapies, chiropractic care is also based on the self-healing capacity of the body. Chiropractic care does not seek to cure, but instead helps to restore the spine to its original position so that the herniated disc does not compress the sciatic nerve.

A qualified chiropractor will refer you to another sciatic nerve treatment if the condition is not within the scope of chiropractic care.
Sciatic Nerve Treatment and Chiropractic Manipulations

Sciatica pain originates in the lower back and radiates down one or both legs. The pain may be intense, moderate, or minimal, and occasional, frequent, or constant.

Physicians term sciatica as a radiating or referred pain, or as neuralgia. This pain is often dull, achy, sharp, or even similar to an electric shock.

Causes of Sciatica Pain

Sciatica pain is not a disorder, but a symptom of compression of the sciatic nerve. The most common causes are spinal disorders due to:

– partial dislocation of a vertebra in lumbar spine
– herniated or bulging discs
– postural problems
– sitting on one's back pocket wallet

Sciatica pain may sometimes be due to certain non-spinal conditions such as diabetes and chronic constipation and pregnancy, childbirth, infections or tumors.

Piriformis syndrome also causes pain similar to sciatica. The Piriformis muscle in the lower spinal region and connects to the thigh. It is crucial for the rotation of the hips. When this muscle shortens or spasms due to an injury, hip arthritis, or difference in leg length, it pinches the sciatic nerve. The pinched nerve causes pain, numbness and tingling in the buttocks and along the path of the sciatic nerve.

Treatment of Sciatica Pain

Conventional sciatic nerve treatment involves symptomatic pain relief through non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and / or muscle relaxants. The problem is that the pain is caused due to the pinched nerve, and medications can not correct that. Surgery may lead to irreversible changes in the disc or bones. Another problem is presented by the fact that sciatica pain gets worse with bed rest.

Chiropractic manipulations play an important role in alternative treatment modalities. Even in conventional treatments of sciatica pain, the initial step is stretching exercises, massage and avoidance of activities that add to the pain.

Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatica Pain

Chiropractic treatment of the pinched sciatic nerve is based on the scientific principle that the cause of the pain is the restricted spinal movement due to reduced functionality and performance. Chiropractic care is drug-free and non-invasive, which means that there is no risk of side effects.

A chiropractor employs various methods for treating sciatica pain. The most common and effective among them is a comprehensive manipulation of the dislocations that have occurred in the patient's body. This involves application of gentle and minimal pressure, or fast high velocity tensions to restore the position of the misaligned vertebrae in the column column.

In addition, a chiropractor may employ cold therapy and / or heat from ultrasound. Cold therapy is an effective way of reducing inflammation and pain relief. Heat produced from gentle sound waves from an ultrasound increases circulation and reduces muscle spasms.

It is important that you get chiropractic care from a qualified chiropractor. Chiropractic practitioners undergo training in colleges where techniques of treating partial dislocation of joints or organs are taught.

Like all alternative therapies, chiropractic care is also based on the self-healing capacity of the body. Chiropractic care does not seek to cure, but instead helps to restore the spine to its original position so that the herniated disc does not compress the sciatic nerve.

A qualified chiropractor will refer you to another sciatic nerve treatment if the condition is not within the scope of chiropractic care.

Alopecia Areata Treatment – Part 3

Saw Palmetto for Baldness

This herb has the ability to inhibit 5-a-reductase, the same enzyme that Proscar and Propecia affect. In several double blind studies, saw palmetto has been shown to improve symptoms of benign prostate enlargement. One 3 year trail comparing saw palmetto with Proscar showed significantly greater improvement with the herb than with the prescription drug.

If saw palmetto can prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT by blocking enzymatic activity, then there is a reason to believe, that this herb could be at least as good as Propecia in growing hair.

Aromatherapy

Some people think that aromatherapy is sniffing aromatic herbs. The Scottish dermatologist who did the research with this treatment says that aromatherapy "involves the use of essential oils and essences derived from plants, flowers, and wood resins, which are generally massaged into the skin."

They point out that "Cedarwood, lavendarm thyme, and rosemary oils have hair growth-promoting properlytied These oils have been anecdotally used to treat alopecia [baldness] for more than 100 years.

People in the study had been diagnosed with alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition in which hair loss occurs in patches. It may affect as many as 1% of people in Western countries and is not limited to male or female, old or young. In many instances, hair growth recurs at any time, but treatment is difficult and the condition can be psychologically damaging.

For this study, 84 people were randomly assigned to either of 2 groups. One group of people received a placebo mixture of 3 ml of jojoba oil and 20 ml of grapeseed oil and were told to massage it into the scalp each night for 2 minutes. The head was then wrapped in a warm towel to enhance absorption of the oils, with the addition of essential oils of thyme, lavender, rosemary, and cedarwood. The study lasted for 7 months.

Follow-up was done with photographs and computer analysis of tracings of bald patches at 3 months and again at 7 months. Of those using the essential oil mixture, 44% had measurable improvement, while only 15% of those using the placebo oil improved. This difference was statistically significant. They even provided before-and-after photos that were nothing short of amazing .

None of the people in this study experienced negative effects from the oils. This gives the aromatherapy treatment a better safety record than the pharmaceuticals often used to treat this condition. That does not mean such a concoction is safe for everyone. Some people may be sensitive to one or another of these essential oils and experience a rash or dermatitis.

Although this study focused primarily on alopecia areata, one of the individuals in the study also had male pattern baldness, known medically as androgenic alopecia. This is the most common form of hair loss. The researchers noted "some moderate regrowth of hair loss." Whether other men with this problem would benefit remains to be determined.

Sudden Deafness – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Sudden deafness, also known as Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL), is a rapid loss of hearing which may occur all at once or over a period of up to three days. SSHL is defined as a loss of at least 30 decibels in three connected frequencies, and usually occurs in only one ear. It may be accompanied by dizziness and ringing in the ears. Only about 10% of affected individuals have known causes which include infections, trauma, immune disorders, circulatory or neurological disorders or drugs toxic to the ears. While most people recover spontaneously within a few weeks, about 15% experience progressively worsening symptoms. Standard management includes removal of the known cause, antibiotics, steroids and inhalation of a mixture of carbon-dioxide and oxygen.

The Ayurvedic treatment of SSHL constituents of treating the known cause of the condition and giving symptomatic treatment for the hearing loss. Infections related to the ears and upper respiratory tract can be treated using medicines like Sukshma-Triphala, Sitopaladi-Powder, Tribhuvan-Kirti-Ras, Kamdudha-Ras, Sutshekhar-Ras, Shwas-Kas-Mishran-Ras, Ras-Sindur, Yashtimadhuk (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum) and Pippali (Piper longum). Immune disorders can be treated using medicines like Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Pippali, Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Yashtimadhuk, Bhumiamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri), Suvarna-Malini-Vasant, Laghu- Malini-Vasant and Madhu-Malini-Vasant.

The treatment of circulatory disorders is important while managing SSHL since it is believed that a reduction in blood circulation to the internal organs in the ears could contribute primarily to the sudden loss of hearing. Medicines are used to remove blood clots, reduce blood toxins and obstruction, and inflammation of the arterial walls. These medicines include Tapyadi-Loh, Ekangveer-Ras, Maha-Yograj-Guggulu, Saarivadi-Vati, Punarnava-Mandur, Manjishthadi-Qadha, Saarivasav, Arogya-Vardhini, Lashunadi-Vati, Suvarna Bhasma, Panchamrut-Parpati, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis ), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Patol (Trichosanthe dioica), Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa) Daruharidra (Berberis aristata). Neurological causes can be treated using medicines like Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani, Maha-Vat-Vidhvans-Ras, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Vish-Tinduk-Vati and Agni-Tundi-Vati.

In addition, symptomatic treatment for SSHL includes the use of medicines like Kaishor-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Maha-Rasnadi-Guggulu, Saarivadi-Vati, Punarnava-Mandur, Abhrak-Bhasma, Suvarna-Bhasma , Raupya -Bhasma, Mukta-Bhasma and Pathyadi-Qadha. These medicines improve the perfusion of the inner ear and also increase the functioning of the auditory nerve.

A judicious use of Ayurvedic medicines can thus be used to treat refractory patients of SSHL who do not improve spontaneously or with conventional treatment.

Epilepsy – Living With Intractable Refractory Diagnosis and What That Means

Intractable Refractory Epilepsy (IRE) is a diagnosis, made only after all available treatments have been tried and all have failed – the person continues to suffer from seizure activity. The amount and frequency of seizures will differ from one person to another.

In any case though, life is drastically different for people with this diagnosis than the average person realizes. While it is hard to wrap one's mind around the effects of intractable refractory epilepsy, it is even more difficult to comprehend the full impact this diagnosis has on daily life.

The person with intractable refractory epilepsy will never:

  • Be able to drive a motor vehicle. Most states require a person be seizure free a minimum of six month. This is verified by written report from the person's doctor for obvious reasons. Motorcycles are strictly off limits. Even a go-cart can be deadly for someone with IRE.
  • Be able to seek or maintain gainful employment in most industries that require – the operation of any machinery, sharp utensils, handling of glass, hot liquids, precision of touch, abstract thinking, climbing. Or involve strong odors, flashing lights, sharp or sudden noise, extreme temperatures, the list looks to be endless. Even specifically jobs developed and aimed towards the handicapped will most often preclude any opportunities for those with a diagnosis of this type epilepsy.

Imagine never being able to take a bath, unless someone is right next to you. Nor can you take a shower in privacy. Never going on a walk, unless accompanied by a companion. Even visiting amusement parks can be a seizure trigger. No rides that have sudden movements or move too fast, too high, too loud or flashing lights. Snow or water skiing are big no-nos without having someone in tandem. Riding a bike is even dangerous for people with intractable refractory epilepsy.

Cooking is dangerous for obvious and not so obvious reasons: danger of hot oils or food, heat and fires, blenders and mixers, knives, glassware and more. Whether dropping these items, falling upon these items, or flinging these items during a seizure; all possess the potential for deadly consequences – or at the least, disfiguring and maiming consequences.

Even in the privacy of their own rooms, there is no privacy. Someone is either watching or at the least, listening at all times. Sporting events, watching movies, even walking can be a life threatening danger for people with this diagnosis.

For women diagnosed with this condition, the possibility or potential for giving birth is next to none. Many are on volatile medications, some of which cause birth defects. Even removing or barring those risks, there remains high risk and low probability for carrying to full term due to hormonal fluctuations. Changes in hormone levels often trigger seizure onslaughts.

Sexual relationships are even a 'stretch of the imagination' for women and men with this diagnosis. Stimulation and arousal, changes in blood pressure and endorphins which trigger emotional reactions cause chemical changes in the body, thus causing changes in brain activity. All of which can trigger seizure activity.

Imagine for a moment … being dependent on another person for almost every need you might have. While they are not alone in their circumstances, their special needs tend to be overlooked and under funded. Accommodations must be made for the immobile person which requires wheelchairs, walkers and so forth. But, for these individuals, the gaps and gaping cracks in services, considerations, awareness and legal recourse are the equivalent of trying to cross oceans without a boat or so much as a life preserver.

To fully grasp the reality of this diagnosis is impossible for anyone who has not deal with it personally. But, to get a better idea of what these people face I suggest the following :

Spend just one day trying to function under the shadow of a companion. Whether it's your morning shower or simply eating breakfast. What about getting out of the house and going somewhere? Did you remember to carry your medical information with you? How about some extra clothes? And odor sealing bag for soiled clothes, if necessary. Yes, this is also a reality for people with this diagnosis.

Now, imagine again – you are in the store shopping one moment, then the next thing you know, you are lying on the floor [most likely with soiled clothes] and people are standing over you. You hear them speaking, but the words make no sense. You try to speak back, but only garbled syllables come out of your mouth. At first, you are trying to figure out where you are or what you were doing. Slowly it dawns on you what must have just happened – you had a seizure. If this is not disturbing enough, you must now make your way to the public restroom and clean yourself up. Aware of all the onlookers and 'calls' for 'cleanup' might also be heard over the PA system. Making a quiet or discrete exit is impossible.

People with IRE will not even have the benefit of leaving under the cover of medical assistance [ambulance]. You see, with this diagnosis, more often than not, it is up to the caregiver accompanying them to attend their medical needs. Calling an ambulance every time they have a seizure is not only impractical, but is most often not considered a 'covered' medical emergency.

Unlike all other seizure disorders, regular seizures are anticipated and considered 'normal' for the person with this diagnosis. Although there are trials going on that hold some promise, the person with IRE can only live each day to the utmost until a cure is found.

I hope this glimmer of insight has given you some idea of ​​what a person with intractable refractory epilepsy deals with on a day to day basis, and over their life times.

Copyright 2009

Treating Otitis Media (Middle Ear Inflammation) With Nasal Irrigation

In the evening of the Lantern Festival, the street outside the clinic was crowded with cheerful people and beautiful lanterns. Winnie, a five-year-old sat quietly on the clinic chair, her dad waited nervously for me to disclose the result. As always, I first checked Winnie’s ears with otoscope, both of her eardrums turned back to the normal gray color; I then picked up the otitis media checker to check her middle ear pressure, as the normal pressure green light turned on, the dad finally relaxed and said: “great! we are finally relieved.” Rest assured, I believe they will have a wonderful festive evening.

Before Winnie came to the clinic, she had already been treated with antibiotics for her chronic sinusitis for over six months. In addition, she also had otitis media with effusion. Since her parents did not want her to have a ventilation tube placement surgery to treat the effusion, I suggested her to try pulsating nasal irrigation with warm saline and additional drugs to treat her chronic sinusitis and effusion. After one month of therapy treatment, her thick yellow-greenish pus symptoms of chronic sinusitis had shown great improvement. However, the progress of her middle ear effusion was not ideal. Her ear drums were still amberish and slightly depressed. The other two children who started the treatment about the same time had already been cured, so I jokingly told her that the others have graduated, and you still have to continue your effort. I suggested her to continue using nasal irrigation for two to three weeks before returning for diagnosis, and finally she graduated too.

Whenever I saw middle ear effusion or acute otitis media patients, I would carefully examine their nose. In addition to taking the appropriate medication on time, I often recommend the patients not to blow their nose too hard, but to frequently use saline nasal spray or nasal irrigation to rinse the nose instead. Patients often feel strange, and some patients even reminded me that their children are here to examine their ears.

In fact, otitis media in children is a complication of common cold and/or sinusitis. The complication has a very high probability of occurrence. According to research statistics, 1/3 of children at the age of three have had three or more otitis media. It is in fact the second most common complication (after upper respiratory tract infection) seen in the clinic. The main cause of otitis media is due to the nasal cavity bacteria travel through the eustachian tube (connecting the nasopharynx and middle ear cavity tube) to the middle ear cavity. Therefore, the real cause of the otitis media or otitis media with effusion is in the nasal cavity. If your rhinitis is treated, nasal passage is clear, eustachian tube is functioning well, then your middle ear effusion will be cured.

After appropriate treatment of acute otitis media, most can be cured within two weeks, but there is still a small number of patients who show no sign of improvement; and the condition worsens and middle ear effusion pus becomes thicker. The color of the eardrum turns amber and depressed. If the child’s middle ear effusion lasts more than a month and pus thickens, it is usually caused by sinusitis or nasopharyngeal adenoidal thickening (adenoidalhypertrophy). At this time, one should be focusing on the sinusitis treatment, which often solves otitis media effusion subsequently. If the middle ear effusion continues after three months of treatment with no improvement, it is usually recommended to insert the ventilation tube to restore hearing and avoid affecting the children’s ability to learn and interact with others.

Many patients often find it very strange, when a child obviously has ear pain, hearing issues, but the ENTs (otolaryngologists) keep asking if the child has nasal congestion, streaming yellow pus and spend a lot of time doing the local treatment of nasal and seemed to forget prescription of ear medications. In fact, for general acute otitis media, if the eardrum has no perforated hole and pus leaking out, using ear medication has no effect in treating otitis media (because the medication will only be in the ear canal but does not go through the eardrum into the middle ear intact.) So when I suggest patients with otitis media to use nasal spray to spray the nose, or use the pulsating nasal irrigation to rinse the nasal cavity, the patients often wonder if the saline water is going into the nose or to the ears. After a detailed explanation, many patients then realize that blowing your nose too hard may affect the middle ear, and using nasal irrigation with saline water is one way of treating otitis media with effusion.

Stammering Help

Children are especially vulnerable when it comes to having problems with stammering. I'd like to go into a little detail about how we can help our children who are suffering from this problem. If we can give them stammering help, it will boost their confidence that they will be able to overcome this condition.

Start by slowing down. This begins with your actions. As children are generally hyperactive by nature, this is easier said than done, but by showing the children that they can gain better control of their stammering by slowing down, they will come around soon enough and slow down.

Along with slowing down activity and not rushing into things quite so fast physically, the child needs to slow their talking down. Along with hyperactive bodies, they have hyperactive tongues, which could wreck havoc on their talking.

Teach the child you are giving stammering help to all about patience, and how having that in abundance will help him or her is able to say what they want to say. There is no hurry when it comes to eliminating their stammering tongue. Patience really is a value. Nothing is ever gained by rushing headlong into it and running the risk of messing it all up. True for kids as well as for adults.

Teach the child to take a moment before they speak to gather their thoughts. Doing so, they can see in their mind what they want to say, and visualize themselves saying it. Kind of like rehearsal for their speech. Take the time here to teach them basic visualization skills. Treat it similar to daydreaming, so that they understand the concept better.

Remember never to force the words out. This will only make things worse. What will provide stammering help is to remember that there is no hurry. No one is timing you when you speak. Relax, get rid of the stress and anxiety surrounding your child, and let them have a go at it. You've been surprised at the results.

Reward the child for their effort. For a child, there is no greater stammering help than a treat. They will even find themselves trying harder, if they know they have a treat waiting for them after a hard session.

What child is not motivated by a candy bar, or even a trip to the movies, for their efforts at improving themselves?

As you give stammering help to these struggling children, be sure to let them know that changes will not happen overnight, but with patience and a little fun, they will be speaking fluently in no time. Let them know that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to, anything at all, and that overcoming their stammering issue is no different than anything else.

How to Treat a Yeast Infection – 5 Tips For Fast Relief

Most women have had to deal with a yeast infection at least once in their lives. Yeast infections are caused by a bacterium in the vagina called Candida, which can cause the yeast in the vagina to overgrow. When this happens it causes the affected area to itch, release heavy discharge and a foul odor. Unfortunately, there are women and even children who deal with chronic yeast infects quite often and it can be difficult having to go back and forth to the doctors all the time. Here are five tips to help cure a yeast infection from home.

Tip Number One: Eat lots of yogurt. Yogurt is known to have many things in it to help with all kinds of ailments. You can also use yogurt as a cream and apply it directly to the infected area. Yogurt has an ingredient known as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which is naturally found in a vagina that is healthy. There are two ways you can apply the yogurt. You can apply the yogurt frozen and inserted like a tampon or you can use a syringe and apply the yogurt directly into the vagina.

Tip Number Two: You can get an over the counter cream that works well. Although prescriptions tend to work better, there are a few different yeast infection medication kits that you can buy over the counter that actually do work. Some of them come with creams and others come with a capsule that is inserted into the vagina with a syringe.

Tip Number Three: Garlic has anti-body properties that can help cure an infection. A clove of garlic opened and rubbed onto the infected area, do this a few times a day until the infection is gone. If the infection is inside the vagina, garlic cloves can be inserted into the vagina and left for a couple of hours. Be sure to tie a string securely to the cloves or have some other method of removing them safely.

Tip Number Four: Tea Tree oil is an essential oil that has been known to have extremely good anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Tea Tree oil is very strong and needs to be diluted with another carrier oil such as sweet almond oil before applying it to an area like the vagina. You only need a couple drops of the tea tree oil per treatment.

Tip Number Five: Boric acid is another great way to cure a yeast infection. You can get boric acid at your local pharmacy. You will also need some empty gel capsules. Fill the capsules with the boric acid and insert the capsule into the vagina. Do not remove the capsule for a couple of days, then then it should have dissolved letting the boric acid soak into the infection.

These are just five of the great ways of getting rid of yeast infection without having to spend hundreds of dollars at the doctors and on prescriptions. When you do get rid of your infection you should take time and research how to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Make sure you wear loose clothing, this will help the airflow nicely. Also you will want to hold off on eating too much junk food and drinking too many caffeine loaded and carbonated drinks. Buttermilk can help get rid of yeast infections, but it can also help prevent them as well.

The good news is that the causes and prevention candidia is now well understood. With a few lifestyle changes you can ensure that yeast infections are never a problem again.

How to Cure Stammering – What is the Root Cause?

Learning how to cure stammering was something that was top of my priority list not long ago. It was something I had suffered with since early childhood but I always assumed I would grow out of it; however as an adult I continued to suffer badly with speech. Read on to learn what I did to speak fluently and with confidence for the first time in my life and how you can do it too.

The main problem when learning how to cure stammering was actually coming to terms that there was no cure. After going back and forth to my doctor who kept making me do these silly speaking exercises that never really helped, I began to think that maybe I would be stuck with this condition for the rest of my life.

Growing up as a teenager with a stutter is probably one of the worst things a guy can go through, especially because other kids can be so cruel. I suffered badly with a confidence problem because of my stutter and this made it much harder to meet new people and make new friends. My social life was pretty poor, not to mention my lack of any type of success with girls! I mean what girl want’s to be with a shy, low confident stuttering guy anyway?

I knew that this was something I wanted to get rid of completely, not just learn to control, I wanted total fluency. I remember my doctor telling me to speak slower, so I did for a while. OK it may have helped a little bit but it made me sound like I was some sort of thick idiot! I didn’t want that, I wanted to speak normally like everybody else!

So I stopped going to see this doctor and instead went about trying to find out how to cure stammering my own way. After doing a lot of reading I realised that that the fact I was very shy and maybe even had a mild form of social anxiety didn’t help my problem. I discovered that I had to attack the root cause of my stutter.

In order to learn how to cure stammering I had to build up my broken confidence, and this is where it all begins. I met up with others stutterers and we discussed our problems together which really helped and we began to build our confidence with meeting new people and trying to be more open with people.

What is Vaginal Atrophy? Signs and Symptoms of an Atrophied Vagina

A little known condition that affects many women is vaginal atrophy. But what is vaginal atrophy? And is there any cure?

Vaginal atrophy is a condition that results from a significant decrease in estrogen over a long period of time. In this condition, the vaginal walls become thin and weak. They lose their elasticity and decrease in size. Also, the vagina becomes very dry. This condition leaves the vagina vulnerable to inflammation and infection.

The most common cause of atrophic vaginitis is menopause. However, most women don’t even notice it happening until 5 to 10 years after menopause begins. This is because this disorder develops slowly over several years.

The first thing you will likely notice is vaginal dryness. There may also be and itching or burning sensation, especially after intercourse. Intercourse may become painful and you may even bleed afterwards.

However, this disorder is very treatable. Most doctors will start you on a low dose of estrogen. It should be the lowest possible dose to avoid complications such as breast cancer. Many women have also used natural plant-based sources of estrogen to find relief. You can use over the counter lubricants for short-term relief, but they do not treat the underlying problem. They merely relieve the symptom of dryness.

So what is vaginal atrophy? It’s a very treatable disease that affects most women of a certain age. You can make it better than using prescription or natural estrogen therapies. Talk to your doctor to develop the best treatment plan for you.

Warning Signs Of A Stroke

There are some warning signs of a stroke that you should know about. I will try to cover at least the ones I experienced and hopefully more. I was very lucky and had minimal damage. You have to be careful and realize that you may not be completely safe from having a stroke and even though you are healthy, you might be at risk. You would not believe what the risk factor are for a stroke and how easy it is for even healthy people to have one. You have to make sure that you are taking the right precautions so that you are not putting yourself at risk for having the devastation of a stroke happened to you.

There are warning signs of a stroke that you have to know about. If you think that you are having any of these symptoms, you need to seek medical attention at once. It is better to be safe than sorry later on down the road. Pay attention and make sure that you think hard about these signs so that you or anyone that you know can get the attention that they need fast. I want to stress that it is with fast intervention, that the seriousnous of a stroke can be minimized. I was lucky enough to have mine occur while I was at a hospital for an outpatient visit with my cardiologist. I was put into a wheel chair and taken to emergency right away, which really helped minimize my after effects.

* Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body only.

* Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding when others talk around you.

* Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

* Problems with walking or being dizzy or losing your balance or coordination.

* Sudden or severe headaches with no reason that you can think of.

You should call 911 immediately if you or someone that you know has these symptoms. You need to make sure that you are doing what you can so that you are able to keep yourself or your friends or family living as long as you can. A stroke is a very serious problem and anyone that thinks that they may have signs of having one need to pay attention and keep in mind that this is your life and body and you should not take it too lightly. My gosh man, YOUR LIFE!

When I had my stroke I was visiting with my cardiologist and my wife and the cardiologist both recognized my speech was really baddly slurred. Being diabetic, they thought maybe I had high blood sugar (which causes similar effects) and just needed to take a shot of insulin.

We left the cardiologist annd walked down the hall to the elevator. I walked a good 50 yards and then my legs, mostly the left, got really heavy and I could barely lift it. I knew something was wrong and called my wife's name. We were 10 feet away from the elevator. I do not remember taking that last 10 foot walk, but I did it and fell into my wife's arms. Good thing she was strong enough to catch me or I would've gone down. My wife "carried" me out of the elevator into a chir right beside the elevator. She ran to get my cardiologist and they tested my blood suger. It was high, but not enough to cause what was happening to me.

At this point, I passed out again and do not remember the trip to the emergency room, the time in the emergency room or travel to my bed there in the hospital. This memory will never come back and I feel a great void in my life because of just that. A stroke is so scary it is not unusual for a full grown man to cry, knowing he could have just lost his life or been seriously handicapped. I was very lucky. Minimal damage but a very very big warning sign.

There are many sources that you can find out more about a stroke. Learn about strokes BEFORE one occurs to you or a loved one. I can not emphasize how important it is to help the strike victim recover. Talk to your doctor and find the facts out. You can also go online and find more about this terrible problem and what leads up to the disease. The more that you know means that you can protect yourself better and put your mind at rest about a stroke interrupting your life when you least expect. No time is right for a stroke but location can make a big difference. Treating stroke within 2 hours of it happening is critical to minimizing the damage a stroke can cause.