HEALTH & FITNESS

Don’t ignore discharge from ear
Dr Arjun Das
E
very part of the body is important, but the ear is a special gift to mankind. It helps in hearing as well as maintaining the balance of our body. Ear enables us not only to communicate with one another but also helps to enjoy music and nature.

Is your child suffering from stress disorder?
Dr Vikas Sharma
S
tress in children is surely on the rise. Blame it on our life-style or the rapidly changing social scenario or on increased academic pressures, stress is taking a heavy toll of younger Indians.

When cornea becomes conical
Dr Mahipal Sachdev
K
eratoconus is a condition of the eye in which the cornea becomes conical. It is a rare condition. The chance of having keratoconus varies between 1 in 3,000 to 1 in 10,000. It usually affects both eyes, although one eye is affected before the other.

Health Notes
Crush garlic before cooking for health benefits

London:
If you are cooking with garlic, crush the pods first for health benefits, says a study.
Garlic’s health benefits and medicinal properties are well known. It has long been considered a herbal “wonder drug” with a reputation in folklore for preventing everything from the common cold and flu to the plague.

 

 

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Don’t ignore discharge from ear
Dr Arjun Das

Every part of the body is important, but the ear is a special gift to mankind. It helps in hearing as well as maintaining the balance of our body. Ear enables us not only to communicate with one another but also helps to enjoy music and nature. Like any other organ, it may also be affected by various diseases leading to ear discharge, decreased hearing, vertigo (giddiness), tinnitus (ringing in the ear), etc. Discharge from the ear is a common problem.

The ear can start discharging in the case of any age group, but children of poor families and those having unhygienic living conditions are more vulnerable.

Management

The patient is examined by an ENT surgeon to know the cause of the discharge and the type of the disease. The discharge is examined to know the type of organisms. Depending upon the report, the treatment is started in the form of ear-drops. Before putting the ear-drops the ear is cleaned by a sterilised cotton wrapped over a stick. Once the ear is dry the hearing assessment is done, X-rays of the temporal bone are done to know the involvement of the bone.

An examination of the ear under a microscope is done to confirm the type of the disease. If only the drum is perforated, it is repaired with a graft and if the bone is also involved then the diseased bone is removed with the help of a machine. If the perforation is successful then the ear becomes dry and hearing will improve. In a few cases, the operation is not successful. Then the surgical procedure is repeated. Attention is also given to the infection in the nose, para-nasal sinuses, tonsils and adenoids.

Preventive measures

Breast-feeding or bottle-feeding should not be done in the lying down position. While feeding, the head of the child should be kept at a higher level and after the feed burping is done.

  • Don’t take bath in dirty ponds.
  • Don’t get ear cleaned by untrained persons.
  • Don’t put any oil or liquid in the ear.
  • Don’t clear the ear with sharp objects.
  • If there is any complaint regarding the ear, consult an ENT specialist.

The writer is Professor & Head, Department of ENT, GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh.


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Is your child suffering from stress disorder?
Dr Vikas Sharma

Stress in children is surely on the rise. Blame it on our life-style or the rapidly changing social scenario or on increased academic pressures, stress is taking a heavy toll of younger Indians.

The word “stress” is a very general term and is usually indicative of an individual’s mental or physical response to environmental (social, family and academic) pressures. The mental handling capacity of a child is usually dependent upon the personality of the child. The personality is shaped up by two main factors: the genetically acquired traits and the environment the child is exposed to.

Some amount of stress is considered normal for children. This is beneficial, too, as it helps them in adapting to the environment around them. The problem comes when either the stressor (condition or stimulus that causes stress) is very high or the child finds normal stress too difficult to handle. This results in mental as well as physical symptoms.

The effects of stress varies from one child to another, and each child may develop unique symptoms or individual styles of handling stress. Causes of stress include parents' divorce, abuse or neglect, poverty, school failure or illness. Even positive events can create a degree of stress such as moving to a new home, a new job for a parent, a new baby in the family, etc.

A new form of stress is also there. Striving for academic excellence is also taking a big toll. Aspiring for professional colleges has led them into a different kind of lifestyle like late night study, waking up early for tuitions and too much indulgence in non-physical activities like computer and television is breeding high levels of stress in them. This kind of indulgence is keeping them away from any kind of physical recreational activities.

Children using the Internet and mobile phones are precociously exposed to an advanced stage of mental development thereby leading them to a state of confusion. It is being very commonly seen nowadays that girls are attaining puberty at a much early age. This is in reality a fallout of their minds developing faster than the physical body.

Medically speaking, it is very imperative to realise that children should not be drugged with medicines that slow down their nervous system and retard their development; a safer and more natural approach should be sought. Homoeopathy forms a safe and permanent way of dealing with stress. It aims at treating the root cause. Homeopathic medicines do not have any collateral damaging effects on the body and neither do they slow down your child’s nervous system.

Managing stress disorder becomes a very complicated task both for the parent and physician to handle. The first step in reducing stress is a stress-free environment. Counselling with an expert can be a great help in locating the cause of stress and helping the child to cope with it.

The writer is a Chandigarh-based homoeopath.



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When cornea becomes conical
Dr Mahipal Sachdev


EYESIGHT

Keratoconus is a condition of the eye in which the cornea becomes conical. It is a rare condition. The chance of having keratoconus varies between 1 in 3,000 to 1 in 10,000. It usually affects both eyes, although one eye is affected before the other. It is a non-inflammatory eye condition in which the cornea becomes stretched near its centre, and this thinned part of it bulges making the vision distorted. The stretching of the cornea tends to progress, but the rate varies.

The cause of keratoconus is unknown. However, it may be associated with allergy or possibly have a genetic component. Keratoconus rarely appears in an individual until puberty. Although no one can be sure how far keratoconus will develop in an individual, the condition does not cause blindness.

In the early stage of keratoconus, vision can often be improved using the glasses. The glasses have a cylindrical power which increases as the keratoconus progresses. However, in later stages most patients require rigid gas permeable lenses for improvement in the quality of vision.

There are special Rose-k lenses which are of help to these progressive keratoconus patients. INTACs are plastic ring segments which can be inserted into the mid-peripheral cornea to produce flattening of the central cornea. This results in the reduction of the severity of keratoconus, and improves both vision and contact lens fitting to a certain extent. However it does not affect the progression of keratoconus.

Keratoconus patients now have a new hope, a new treatment modality in the form of collagen cross-linking. Although the procedure does not provide cure for keratoconus, it certainly can stop its progression. Hence attempt should be made to diagnose keratoconus early enough and stop its progression using collagen cross-linking. Corneal topography can detect keratoconus at an early stage. So, this test should be performed in all cases with high astigmatism, — cylindrical power — or when there is a doubt to detect keratoconus at an early stage.

Cornea Collagen cross-linking using riboflavin (C3R) is a new procedure. Here the corneas are cross-linked by the application of the photosensitized riboflavin and exposure to UVA light (370 nm, 3 mW/cm2) for 30 minutes.

In extensive experimental studies, researchers have demonstrated a significant increase in corneal stiffness after collagen cross-linking using this riboflavin / UVA treatment. The results of Dresden clinical study in human eyes have shown the arrest of progression of keratoconus in all treated eyes.

Collagen cross-linking may be a new way for stopping the progression of keratectasia in patients with keratoconus. The need for penetrating keratoplasty might then be significantly reduced in keratoconus. Long-term results are necessary to evaluate the duration of the stiffening effect and to exclude long-term side-effects.

The writer is Chairman and Medical Director, Centre for Sight, New Delhi. Email: msachdev@bol.net.in 


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Health Notes
Crush garlic before cooking for health benefits

London: If you are cooking with garlic, crush the pods first for health benefits, says a study.

Garlic’s health benefits and medicinal properties are well known. It has long been considered a herbal “wonder drug” with a reputation in folklore for preventing everything from the common cold and flu to the plague.

Garlic is used extensively in herbal medicine and it contains compounds shown to help prevent blood clots. But most studies have tested that raw garlic and cooking can damage garlic’s anti-clotting compounds, reported an online edition of health magazine WebMD. — IANS

TV viewing linked to 15 health problems in children

London: A review of 35 academic studies has led to the listing of 15 ways in which too much of television watching may effect children’s health, such as fuelling obesity, shortsightedness, premature puberty, 
and autism.

Dr Aric Sigman, the study author and an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, said that the findings implicated television in “the greatest unacknowledged health scandal of our time”. — ANI

Chronic distress related to higher dementia risk

NEW YORK: Older adults who are prone to emotional distress may have an increased risk of developing dementia, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that older men and women with chronic distress were more likely than their peers with low distress levels to develop dementia before they died. However, distress was not related to the plaques, tangles and other brain changes that mark Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. — Reuters

Exercise may help prevent breast cancer

NEW YORK: A few hours of daily exercise may help prevent breast cancer and also help those who are suffering to cope, said studies.

In one study, researchers surveyed 15,000 women and found that those who indulged in over six hours of strenuous exercise a week and have no family history of breast cancer may be 23 per cent less likely to develop the disease than women who don’t exercise at all. — IANS



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