Protecting Your Eyes from the Cataract-Causing UV Rays

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It is always important to protect the eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. To ensure eye protection from the cataract-causing UV rays, follow these protective ways.

Constant exposure of your eyes to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation can be very harmful. Recent studies have shown that light at the blue end of the spectrum can cause damage to the retina and would lead to cataract.

Cataract is a condition that impairs your vision as the lens of the eyes grows cloudy or hazy. Normally, the clear lens serves to direct light into the eye. However, this function is affected when the lens become cloudy or opaque. Opaque lens diffuses the light that enters our eyes resulting to blurred and hazy vision. In order to correct this condition, a surgical operation is necessary to remove or scrape away the damaged eye lenses which can be replaced by special contact lenses, glasses, or an implant.

We all know, however, that an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. This is why keeping our eyes protected, especially from the direct glare of the sun, is important. The following are steps on how to protect the eyes from the cataract-causing UV rays of the sun:

Avoid long and unnecessary exposure to the sun. When spending time outdoors during the day time, always remember to slip on your handy pair of sunglasses and visors.

UV-protected glasses are able to keep 90 percent of visible light and 100 percent of UV rays. Choose your sunglasses carefully; bearing in mind that non-UV protective sunglasses could cause more damage to your eyes. Because they give a darker shade, these glasses make our pupils dilate even further, thus allowing more UV rays to enter our eyes.

Children’s pupils sometimes dilate twice as much than the average adult. Make sure that kids wear protective sunglasses to keep harmful rays from damaging their eyes.

Bear in mind that expensive glasses may be stylish and chic, but do not necessarily give you more of the needed protection. Do not look at the price tag or the brand name. Remember to look for a 100 percent UV-protective certification.

For further protection, choose wraparound shades. These types of sunglasses prevent light from getting into the eyes from the sides.

How to Deal with Common Eye Emergencies

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The eye is a very sensitive organ, because even a small object such as dust can cause extreme or permanent damage such as blindness. Thus, it is important, especially for parents, to know what to do in cases of eye emergencies to prevent further infection or damage to the eyes.

Common eye emergencies include having a foreign object in the eye, chemical injury and eyelid and eye cuts. Injured eyes can experience loss, decreased, or double vision, sensitivity to light, itchiness, pain, and stinging or burning sensations. Injured eyes can also appear bloodshot or red, and the pupils may become of unequal size.

Where a person gets a foreign object in his eye or eyelid and the eye has not cleared itself of the object within a reasonable time through multiple blinking and producing of tears, the person with the injured eye should not rub it. Another person with clean hands can check and examine the eye properly to look for the object. He can ask the patient to look in different directions so that the area around the eye can be more visible. He can also pull down the lower eyelid gently or use cotton buds to flip the upper eyelid to see if the object is inside the lid. The foreign object, whether it is found on the eye or on an eyelid, can be flushed out with water. If the object is found on the eyelid, it can also be gently removed by a cotton-tipped swab. However, one must be careful not to touch the eye itself using the cotton swab.

Where an object has already been embedded in the eye, one must not try to remove it anymore. Both eyes must be bandaged instead, using a clean cloth or gauze. If the imbedded object is large, a paper cup can be placed and taped over the eye. It would also be helpful if both eyes are bandaged even though only one eye is injured, for this would prevent the patient from looking in every direction and avoid eye movement. The patient must then be immediately brought to a hospital.

Having chemicals in the eye is very dangerous, and a person must seek medical help immediately to help the injured person. While waiting for medical help, the eye should be flushed with running and cool tap water for at least fifteen minutes. If the injured person is wearing contact lenses, they should be removed after having running water flush the eye.

Where the eye is bleeding or swelling, cold compresses can be applied to stop bleeding and to reduce swelling.

Diabetes and the Eyes

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Diabetes can cause complications in almost any system of a person’s body, including his ocular system. The eyes are actually among the most commonly affected systems of the body, together with the nervous system, circulatory system, and the kidneys. In fact, according to studies, one of the leading causes of blindness is diabetes. Diabetes, whether Type I or Type II, can cause different optical complications, including retinopathy, vitreous hemorrhage, cataract, glaucoma and changes in refraction.

If a person with diabetes observes certain visual symptoms, he should not dismiss them for they are signs of possible optical complications. Common eye symptoms which are related to diabetes are changes in refraction, variable vision or focus, blurred vision, light sensitivity, faulty color vision, and blindness. When one observes these symptoms, he should consult his doctor immediately, for in their early stages, they can still be corrected by standard prescription lenses, medication, or surgery. As in all other medical complications, early detection and diagnosis is the key to treatment or prevention.

Eye Problems Associated with Diabetes

Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the common eye complications related to diabetes. This is characterized by leakage of blood from vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is manifested by symptoms such as blurred vision and reduced sensitivity to color. This complication occurs in various stages, and most severe stage may require surgery, especially when the complication has already caused the detachment of the retina. This stage of the complication can, at its worst, cause severe vision loss or even blindness.

Cataract is another common eye complication caused by diabetes. This complication causes hazy vision and increased sensitivity to glare or light. Cataract occurs when there is a clouding of the transparent lens of the eye. This complication is, however, not as alarming as retinopathy, since cataracts can usually be surgically removed to cause improved vision.

Another complication is secondary glaucoma, which is the blocking of the outflow of fluid from the eye caused by the formation of a new network of new vessels in the eyes, which network goes directly to the iris. This results on increased pressure of the fluids inside the eye, which in turn causes loss of full visual field.

Lastly, changes in refraction can occur due to high blood glucose levels. Changes in refraction means there is a variation in the accurate focus of light rays on the retina. Such changes are caused by the swelling of the lens of the eye, which results in near-sightedness.

There are other eye complications resulting from diabetes which might result in vision impairment and loss; this is why every little change in vision of one who has diabetes should be made known to the doctor immediately, so as to prevent any further damage.

Proper Eye Management

Diabetics should be aware that their disease causes complications in other bodily systems, particularly the optical system. Thus, he should always undergo, at constant intervals, optical examinations such as refraction. These examinations should be conducted only by an ophthalmologist. They should also ask from their ophthalmologist a periodical fluorescein angiography test, which is designed to detect early signs of retinopathy which cannot be detected under a standard vision examination.

Where a diabetic already experiences low vision such that he can no longer perform his usual activities due to the impairment of his vision, he can seek special types of magnifying and vision-enhancing devices which are especially designed for people with diabetes. There are also particular optical devices which are designed for a only a specific purpose or task requirements. These devices may include magnifying spectacles, hand magnifiers, and focusable monocular telescopes. Aside from these optical devices, the diabetic can also utilize non-optical devices such as proper lighting to help him see better.

For people with diabetes who already have advanced vision impairment, it might already be necessary to go through vision rehabilitation teaching. Under this program, a diabetic can learn special skills which are necessary for his independence, such as training in kitchen safety, getting around places and personal management.

Other management techniques will apply not only for those who already experience visual impairment, but for everyone who has diabetes. These include constant measurement of blood glucose, exercise, proper diet, and stress control.

Blood glucose should be regularly measured and monitored several times a day because treatment and complications can be affected by the changes in the level of one’s blood glucose. Another management tool is regular and moderate exercise, since it improves blood glucose control. However, one should not over exert himself when exercising; the type of exercise should be designed to fit into the person’s health and eye condition. Diabetics should be aware that sometimes, strenuous exercise can cause adverse effects, such as an increase in the level of blood glucose. Therefore, every exercise program the patient wants to follow must first be consulted with, and approved by, a doctor.

Diet is one of the most important tools in diabetes management. A dietician should be consulted as regards the foods which can be eaten by a diabetic and which are forbidden.

Lastly, persons with diabetes should develop effective stress-reduction and relaxation techniques because stress adversely affects the condition of diabetics. These stress management techniques include meditation, listening to music and relaxation.

What You Should Know Before Wearing Contact Lens

beautiful human eye and contact lens isolated
beautiful human eye and contact lens isolated

Before one decides to wear contact lenses, he must first consult a licensed eye care professional about his eye condition, his particular needs, and whether it is recommended that he wears contact lenses or not. Some eye disorders, like astigmatism, require a special kind of contact lens. Therefore, it is important that one seeks professional help first before buying himself a pair.

Here are the important things one must keep in mind before getting a pair of contact lens.

Visit Eye Experts

First of all, a person must know whom to consult. Not all eye practitioners are authorized to examine the eyes and prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses. The best choice for a person who wants to start wearing contact lenses is an ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who is particularly trained to diagnose and treat all disorders of the eye. Thus, he is trained in all aspects of eye care including medical, surgical and optical.

The other type of eye care professional is an optometrist who is a state-licensed health care professional. He is authorized to diagnose and treat vision problems. Thus, he can prescribe glasses, contact lenses, and engage in low vision rehabilitation and vision therapy.

However, there is a certain class of eye professionals who cannot prescribe contact lenses and these are the opticians. They only design, finish and dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses based on either an ophthalmologist’s or an optometrist’s prescription. They cannot issue prescriptions by themselves.

Spectacles or Contact Lenses

The next step for the person is to choose between using spectacles or contact lenses. Both can have certain benefits over the other. Eyeglasses are maintenance-free. One only has to wear them over the eyes and they are set for the day, while contact lenses require a cleaning regimen which has to be strictly followed in order to avoid eye infections. On the other hand, contact lenses can be worn under any circumstance and they do not restrict movement. For example, it would be easier for athletes to perform well in their sports since they will not have to worry about losing or breaking their glasses. Moreover unlike eyeglasses, contact lenses do not have barriers around the eyes which interfere with a person’s peripheral vision.

Choose the Correct Lens

When a person chooses to wear contact lenses over eyeglasses, the next thing to do is to choose the correct lenses which will correct his personal eye problem. There are many types of contact lenses which are applicable to various eye disorders and it is up to the eye doctor which type of lens he would prescribe for one’s use.

In some cases, a person may want to wear contact lenses, not because of impaired vision, but just to change his look. In that case, he must still consult an eye doctor who will first examine his eyes to determine if it would be safe for him to wear lenses.

Different Types of Sleep Disorders

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Do you find yourself wide awake at the middle of the night every night and very sleepy during the day? Are you having problems falling asleep in spite of counting flocks of sheep and listening to lullabies? Overcome your sleep disorders by identifying what you have.

Importance of Sleep

Sleep is essential for normal individual function. Having a sleep disorder considerably impairs an individual’s capacity to do normal work and may even be life-threatening. Sleep disorders come in a variety of forms and the following are the more common ones you should be aware of.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the breathing of a sleeping person is interrupted. The lack of oxygen prompts a person to gasp for breath, disturbing the normal sleep process. A common result is restlessness, fatigue, and irritability due to lack of restful sleep. This may be caused by blockage of the breathing apparatus, or the stimulus of breathing is interrupted in the brain. Sleep apnea is also linked with advanced age and obesity. To avoid this, make sure you control your weight. Also, avoid sleeping right after eating a meal.

Insomnia

Insomnia, a common sleep disorder among teens and adults, is the inability to sleep or remain sleeping. This is caused by many factors; the more common of which includes stress, fear, anxiety, and other conditions such as depression. Normally, insomniacs are prescribed sleeping pills or are taught relaxation techniques in order to sleep.

Parasomnia

Parasomnias, on the other hand, are disturbances in sleep, and these include recurrent nightmares, sleepwalking, violent sleep behaviors, and REM behavior disorder, where sufferers move their bodies in response to dream events. Suffering from this kind of sleep disorder may be dangerous and harmful to the individual, so it is best to cure any kind of these disorders in the soonest possible time.

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is the incursion of rapid eye movements (present in deep sleep) during waking moments. This results in sudden loss of muscle tone, and may appear to observers as apparently dropping dead. Narcoleptic episodes last for a short time, for about 10 to 20 minutes, and the individual comes out without any recollection of what happened. Narcolepsy is a dangerous illness, and accidents may occur if a sufferer takes charge of machinery or drives.

RLS and PLM

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Periodic Leg Movement (PLM) are sleep illnesses characterized by a tingling sensation in the leg, which prompts the individual to move. They result in disturbed sleep and corresponding reduced restfulness. These disorders are highly treatable and interventions result in the elimination of symptoms in more than 90% of sufferers.

Dealing with Sleep Disorders

To establish regular and complete sleeping habits, you have to make certain lifestyle changes that your body will adapt. Here are some steps you may want to try to have a good night sleep every night.

Take a warm bath before going to bed. Essential aromatic oils may help to soothe your senses and relax your mind, helping you fall asleep easily.

Try to listen to soft music or soothing sound such as the waves of the ocean or waterfalls.

Avoid doing intensive work before going to bed such as exercising or working on your computer. These may further stimulate your mind and body and, thus, won’t help in making you sleep.

Have a nice body and head massage.

If all else fails, consult with your doctor and check if you have any underlying condition that causes your sleep disorder.

Sleep Aids: Helping You Get that Sound Sleep Every Night

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Having trouble sleeping every night? If milk and warm bath at night could simply not help you anymore, there are some powerful sleeping aids that might actually get you attain that sound sleep every night!

Why We Need Complete Rest Every Night

The benefits of a good night’s sleep can never be underestimated.

A good night’s sleep repairs and rejuvenates the body, restoring it from the wear and tear of everyday routine. Especially for fitness enthusiasts, good sleep helps achieve fitness goals. One cannot hope to build muscle and sculpt a lean body with missing out on sleep.

Doctors and experts recommend that adults sleep for an average of seven to eight hours every night, adjusting it accordingly to individual needs. The most important thing is to feel rested and re-energized as one wakes up in the morning. Needing an alarm clock or sleeping longer on weekends is a sign of sleep deprivation. These must be solved by inculcating good sleeping habits and maximizing one’s sleeping time at night.

Getting to sleep and maximizing it need not be achieved by taking sleeping pills. Sleeping pills must only be resorted to as a last resort and under a doctor’s supervision. Improper use of sleeping pills may actually worsen an otherwise normal sleep pattern and induce dependency.

Natural Sleeping Aids

Now, if you are having trouble sleeping every night, here are some natural sleeping aids and alternatives that could help you get that sound sleep:

Magnesium: This nutrient is commonly overlooked in one’s diet. However, magnesium has a big effect in relaxing the muscles and mind. To sleep better, you can consider supplementing with magnesium before bedtime (about 450 mg) to aid in drowsing off. Doctors also suggest taking calcium with magnesium to avoid an imbalance.

ZMA: This is a highly available form of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 that promotes restful and recuperating sleep while at the same time boosts strength. Take two capsules 30 to 60 minutes before sleeping and experience that restful sleep you have always wanted.

Melatonin: Take 5 mg of melatonin six or seven hours before you sleep to fix your body clock. Melatonin actually defines the biological clock; so taking it could help you sleep on time.

5-HTTP: Short for 5-hydroxytrytophan, this sleeping aid has relaxing and mood-elevating effects. Take 50 mg of this before dozing off and feel the rejuvenation it brings to your sleep.

How Chiropractic Helps Improve Your Sleep

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Sleep is a vital activity that every human being should make time for. It plays an important role in our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. If you don’t get enough sleep every night, your body and mind will suffer, and you will immediately feel the negative effect on your health. Frequent lack of sleep also causes a lot of diseases and ill conditions to the mind and body.

Benefits of Complete Sleep

Doctors recommend that we get complete sleep every night, as well as enough rest or nap throughout the day. For children, between eight to 10 hours of sleep is recommended, while adults should have at least seven hours of continuous sleep every night.

Below are some of the major benefits of having complete sleep.

Sleep helps repair damaged cells and blood vessels.
It helps improve the memory and prepare your brain cells for the upcoming activities the next day.
It positively affects the quality of life. In fact, according to a 2010 study, researchers suggest that proper sleep promotes longer life.
It helps prevent inflammation and diseases associated with stroke, heart problems, arthritis, diabetes, and premature aging.
It spurs creativity and sharp thinking. Even quick naps within the day do this, so make it a habit to rest your eyes and mind when you are feeling burnt out.
It provides enough energy to last you throughout the day – whether you are an office employee, an athlete, or a housewife.
It helps students recall stuff they have read or studied the night before. Thus, sleep is essential during examination periods, instead of staying up all night and cramming.
Additionally, it helps sharpen students’ memory during class and lectures.
Sleep also helps you maintain and control your weight. A study conducted in the University of Chicago showed that dieters who have complete rest lost more fat than those who lack in sleep.
Finally, sleep reduces stress and calms your mind and body.

Overcoming Sleep Problems

While we all agree to the benefits of having a complete sleep every night, many of us cannot practice this due to many reasons, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and snoring among many others. To improve your sleep every night, here are some tips you may want to rake note of.

Avoid distractions at night, including lights, TV, music, games, gadgets, and noise. Prepare a quiet and cozy room that can help you get a good night sleep.
Take a warm bath or drink warm milk. The warm temperature will add comfort to your body and make you feeling refresh before shutting your eyes.
Avoid drinking coffee or any beverage that contains caffeine before going to bed or as early as the afternoon. Some caffeinated drinks are too strong that their stimulant lasts a couple of hours.
Get a good body massage before going to sleep. The healing power of massage, together with the aromatic scent of essential oils, can help soothe your senses and relax your mind for a peaceful slumber.
Try to sleep at the same time every night. This is like telling your body that when a particular hour arrives, it’s time to shut off and relax for the night.

The Role of Chiropractic Care in Improving Sleep

Chiropractic care and spinal adjustments have been known to help an individual relax, and therefore sleep better. These treatments also improve the flow and circulation of blood in the nervous system, correcting any misalignments, problems, or sublaxations in the spine. Thus, when you have sleep problems, a couple of visits to your chiropractor can help improve your condition.

Chiropractic Care vs. Physical Therapy

Chiropractic and physical therapy may be considered specialty health care services whose professionals help in the treatment of different injuries or trauma to the body.

Chiropractic focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system through manipulating your spine and adjacent muscles. Physical therapy focuses on rehabilitative health and uses specially designed exercises and equipment to help patients regain or improve their physical abilities.

 

The Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are specialized in the adjustment of the spine. Physical therapists (PTs) are specialized in human movements and the restoration of all dysfunctions related to movements.

 

The two disciplines may differ in the way they treat the condition but they have essentially the same goal, i.e., to relieve tension, strengthen the nerves, and restore normal mobility in the patient without the use of drugs or surgery. Let us take as an example the treatment of back pain, which can be treated using either of these two approaches.

 

Chiropractic Treatment

 

Back pains are usually caused by slipped or dislocated discs, wherein the pain is created from the pinching effect on the nerve in the spinal column. The chiropractor will manipulate with speed and force the slipped disc and strained nerve to return to their original positions. The tension coming from the stressed joint will be released at this point. For this procedure to be effective, you should be calm and relaxed.

 

With the initial treatment session, you will already feel significant improvement with your condition – you will notice that the pain in your back has been reduced and you would have better mobility. The release of tension can also relieve compression of the blood vessels and facilitate the flow of blood to the affected area. You should know, however, that the part of your back that had been manipulated may sore for close to 24 hours after the chiropractic treatment, but the application of ice to this area often reduces this condition.

 

Chiropractic care tends to focus on full-body health and the interaction between your spine and the rest of your body as opposed to focusing on a single joint.

 

Physical Therapy Treatment

 

Physical therapy can utilize a series of techniques, which can include massage, ultrasound, heat therapy, mobilization and exercises. Therapists are more likely to concentrate on stretching and strengthening the muscles including the connective tissues near the affected area, all to improve your posture, stance, and support, and, at the same time, enhance flexibility and movement. This rehab is done is carried out focusing specifically on the joint and/or muscle.

 

Additionally, physical therapy aims to provide gradual recovery and in maintaining the positive results initially obtained. The effects, therefore, may not be experienced right away, unlike those of a chiropractic session. It takes about two weeks of regular sessions for you to notice a difference. The length of time for the result of the physical therapy to be felt caries from one person to another and may depend on the type of injury you have. In any case, patience, persistence, and dedication to completing the prescribed activities and program are necessary for the therapy to be effective. Nevertheless, after completing the program, you should experience reduced pain and tension.

 

Chiropractic and physical therapy are two different methods to solve problems which may not necessarily be similar in condition. It is best to have your situation evaluated to determine the best method to fix the problem that you are facing.

 

 

Chiropractic and Its Advantages

Alternative medicine is becoming popular as people realize the benefits they offer, especially as the limits of conventional medicine like the application of surgery and medication become evident.

Chiropractic is a system of complementary medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. It holds that general health is affected by the nervous system and disease results from abnormality in the nerve function. It employs manipulative treatments of body structures, such as those of the spinal column.

Advantages of Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic treatment is generally considered safe. In the U.S. alone, the estimated number of deaths each year from drug-related reactions and medical errors are staggering – 140,000 and 100,000, respectively. In the insurance companies’ evaluation of the risks of all professions, it has been determined that chiropractors have the lowest risk. They are therefore charged the lowest insurance premiums of all medical practitioners. This is an indication how safe chiropractic practice – and treatment – is.

Chiropractic is non-invasive. It does not involve drugs or surgery. This is one major factor that makes it safe relative to mainstream medicine which relies heavily on the use of these two major treatment methods.

Chiropractic is effective. It is employed primarily as a pain relief alternative for joints, muscles, bones and connective tissues like ligaments, cartilages, and tendons. In some cases, it is used in conjunction with the treatments employed in conventional medicine.

Chiropractic is also effective for many types of injury and disorder including acute and chronic back pain. When treated with chiropractic care, acute back pain resulting from lifting a heavy weight or being tackled in a contact sport, typically lasts no more than six weeks and the condition gets better on its own.

It has been determined from research that chiropractic care is helpful in treating disorders like neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches. Moreover, patients with osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia have been found to respond favorably to the application of moderate pressure by chiropractors.

Chiropractic care can be used in any age group. Babies, adults and the elderly can get the benefit of chiropractic treatment, as has been the experience of millions of patients worldwide. In countries like Denmark, a chiropractic doctor responsible for detecting abnormalities in a newborn’s spine and other bones and joints, is a part of the birthing team.

Other Benefits
Along with the advantages of chiropractic treatment cited earlier are the following benefits to the patient:
• lmproved circulation
• lncreased delivery of oxygen and nutrients
• lncreased flexibility
• Reduced soreness, muscle spasms, and pain
• Reduced recovery time
• Reduced chance of injury
• Helps the body to relax and repair

There is good news for people who suffer from different conditions associated with the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. We have an alternative and complementary method of treatment and care apart from the common medication/surgery method of today’s conventional medicine. With experts’ advice, we can decide which the preferred way of dealing with the injury is or disorder to make sure our condition will benefit from alternative method we chose.