HEALTH & FITNESS

EYESIGHT
Refractive surgery: a boon for aviation industry
Dr Mahipal Sachdev

A young man walks into our centre, interested in getting rid of his glasses as his profession does not allow him to wear them. Yes, he is aspiring to become a professional pilot and he has a refractive error which was a problem for him. So he wanted to know what best could be done for him so that he could fulfil his desire.

Homoeopathy & You
When you feel your nose blocked
Dr Vikas Sharma

If you constantly suffer from a blocked or stuffy feeling in the nose, reduced or complete loss of smell and constantly running or dripping of mucous, there are chances that you have a polyp in your nose. Nasal polyps are fleshy growths on the linings of the nose or sinuses. They vary in size and are shaped like a tear-drop, with a narrow neck joined to the nasal lining.

Bio-absorbable umbrella fixes hole in heart
London: British scientists have created a novel bio-absorbable implant that uses the body’s natural building materials to seal a hole in the heart, avoiding the need for open-heart surgery or metal implants.

Health Notes
Drug for acne may soon be in the market
Washington:
Resear-chers have reported that a previously unknown side- effect of an unnamed drug currently on the marketplace could be useful for treating acne.

  • FDA approves first in new class of HIV drug

  • New method to treat lazy eye in adults

 

 

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EYESIGHT
Refractive surgery: a boon for aviation industry
Dr Mahipal Sachdev

A young man walks into our centre, interested in getting rid of his glasses as his profession does not allow him to wear them. Yes, he is aspiring to become a professional pilot and he has a refractive error which was a problem for him. So he wanted to know what best could be done for him so that he could fulfil his desire.

Aviation is a dream profession for many people. There are vision specifications in this profession as they are exposed to different environmental conditions. Ordinary spectacles and contact lenses not only affect combat capability but also cause difficulties in withstanding high-altitude, dry and strong winds and other challenging environmental factors. The need for these visual specifications came after World War-I.

The analysis of war casualties and their causes revealed physical disability as the main cause of it. sixty per cent of aviation casualties were due to “physical defects” of aviators. Only 2 per cent of the casualties were because of the enemy actually being able to cause the damage.

First Vision Standards for Aviators were set as:

  • Visual acuity without glasses must be normal.
  • Any error of refraction or any cause of vision below normal is a cause for rejection.
  • Ability to estimate distances must be normal.
  • Colour blindness for red, green or violet is a cause for rejection.

Indian Air Force (Police) and Indian Air Force (Security) trades require 6/6 vision with both eyes unaided and normal colour vision.

Refractive surgery options available to get rid of one’s glasses are radial keratotomy — RK, photorefractive keratectomy — PRK, Laser in situ keratomileusis — LASIK, Intracorneal ring (ICR, Implantable contact lens ICL).

The latest option — INTRALASE with customvue — is now available in India also. Here the flap created for procedure is done with Laser. As it is done with laser, the flap is very precise in thickness, diameter and regularity with minimal chance of human error. Flap-related complications are very less with Intralase.

Intralase coupled with VISX excimer technology (customvue) is the only laser procedure certified for the US air force and navy. The flap is so secure that it can withstand high gravitational forces.

For commercial pilots, each airline company sets its own vision standards and most major air carriers allow pilots to fly after refractive surgery. Airlines may impose a waiting period (usually six months) after surgery before considering hiring an applicant after refractive surgery. There is an estimated 1 per cent risk of not being able to meet vision standards after surgery and being permanently disqualified from flying duties.

Refractive surgery holds a lot of promise. When we hear about the shortage of professional pilots in India and there is need of foreign pilots to take up the jobs here, we hope the availability of the latest technique in refractive surgery be looked as a boon. One should aspire to fulfil one’s dream of becoming a pilot or an airline crew with the availability of the US FDA approved technique in India.

Commercial airlines have now approved laser vision correction as the acceptable treatment to get rid of glasses. We hope the Indian Airlines will also look very carefully at this option. If the same can be approved in the US forces, why not in India?

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

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Homoeopathy & You
When you feel your nose blocked
Dr Vikas Sharma

If you constantly suffer from a blocked or stuffy feeling in the nose, reduced or complete loss of smell and constantly running or dripping of mucous, there are chances that you have a polyp in your nose. Nasal polyps are fleshy growths on the linings of the nose or sinuses. They vary in size and are shaped like a tear-drop, with a narrow neck joined to the nasal lining.

Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths which occur due to an inflammation in the mucous membranes (lining) of the nose and sinuses. Homeopathic treatment of nasal polyps is very effective as it gives permanent relief. Homeopathic medicines can effectively cure the underlying disorders like chronic cold, asthma and allergy.

What causes nasal polyps?

Although the reason for this chronic inflammation is not clear, polyps tend to occur more in those who suffer from chronic nasal problems like sinusitis , chronic colds , asthma and nasal allergies.

Chronic inflammation causes the blood vessels in the lining of the nose to become more porous, causing them to accumulate a lot of water in the cells. When over a period of time the gravitational force acts on these heavy water-laden mucous lining, polyps develop.

What are the symptoms of polyps?

Small polyps cause no symptoms at all. Larger ones can cause obstruction in the air passages of the nose causing stuffiness or blocked sensation. When they obstruct the discharge from the sinus openings, polyps lead to chronic sinusitis (inflammation in sinuses). When they obstruct the air from reaching the sensitive area in the nose which carries the sensation of smell to the brain, the sense of smell gets affected.

There can be a total loss of smell or partial loss. This is mainly due to mucous dripping down from a polyp. Other symptoms include headache, snoring and a permanently runny nose. Large polyps can cause difficulty in breathing while lying down, causing the patient to breathe from mouth.

Homeopathic treatment not only speedily removes the polyps, it also helps in stopping their recurrences by treating the underlying causes such as allergies, asthma or chronic cold. Homeopathic medicine Sanguinaria is very effective in treating the polyps that result out of chronic colds.

Teucrium is very effective for large polyps which cause complete loss of smell. Teucrium is also more effective in treating polyps in the posterior part of the throat. Calcarea Carb, along with the removal of polyps, treats the body’s tendency to develop them over again.

The writer is a Chandigarh-based homoeopath.

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Bio-absorbable umbrella fixes hole in heart

London: British scientists have created a novel bio-absorbable implant that uses the body’s natural building materials to seal a hole in the heart, avoiding the need for open-heart surgery or metal implants.

BioSTAR, as the new device is called, take the shape of biological umbrellas when implanted to fix the hole. The authorities have approved it for use in the UK.

The implant mends the common defects that increase the chance of having a stroke, and eventually gets absorbed by the body and replaced by the patient’s own tissue.

A condition wherein a patient is born with a hole between the right and left atrium of the heart is known as patent foramen ovale (PFO) in scientific language. The hole can allow unfiltered blood and fat particles to pass into the arteries and cause blockages. It can also affect blood supply to the brain, causing debilitating migraines and possibly strokes. — ANI

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Health Notes

Drug for acne may soon be in the market

Washington: Resear-chers have reported that a previously unknown side- effect of an unnamed drug currently on the marketplace could be useful for treating acne.

A UK company is about to start a Phase 1 trial with the drug involving 18 healthy human volunteers and the results are expected to be announced later this year.

In an earlier Phase 1 study in nine healthy human volunteers, the treatment was seen to reduce the excretion of sebum by the skin, which is associated with acne development, by up to 70 pct. — ANI

FDA approves first in new class of HIV drug

London: Pfizer’s maraviroc, the first in a new class of HIV drugs formulated to stop HIV virus from entering the immune system, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

However, only those who have had ‘pharmacogenetic’ test, which shows that the virus enters their CD4 cells through a particular molecule, will be given the drug.

HIV attaches itself to the CD4 receptor and to one of its two co-receptors, CCR5 and CXCR4. The drug obstructs the CCR5 co-receptor.

The FDA has approved the drug since 50 to 60 per cent of people infected by HIV have forms of the virus that bind to CCR5. — ANI

New method to treat lazy eye in adults

London: Researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a method that helps an adult recover function in an eye that has been damaged and dysfunctional from birth.

The study may help treat Amblyopia, or lazy eye, as it showed that complete visual loss promoted subsequent recovery in an eye that has had severely compromised vision throughout life.

Clinical studies have demonstrated that the probability to recover amblyopia, caused by unilateral cataract, depended on the age at which the cataract was removed. The probability to recover fully was maximum when the cataract was removed by the age of three.

As part of the study Hai-Yan He, Baishali Ray and Katie Dennis, by blocking the input into one eye from eye-opening to adulthood, mimicked a unilateral cataract in a rodent model. Similar to what cataract does, the experimental occlusion caused rapid fall in deprived eye’s acuity. — ANI

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