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Asthma may lead to nearsightedness at young age

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Man about to use asthma inhaler

New York: People with asthma, sleep apnea or Down syndrome, have much higher odds of developing an eye condition that causes serious progressive nearsightedness at a relatively young age, new research has revealed.

The researchers also confirmed that men are at greater risk of contracting the condition called keratoconus than women.

Keratoconus makes the rounded, clear covering of the eye, called the cornea, weak, which leads it to become cone-shaped over time.

The last decade has brought new treatment options, but many people do not receive a diagnosis early enough to take full advantage of them, the researchers pointed out.

“Eye health relates to total body health, and we as opthalmologists need to be aware of more than just eyeballs when we see patients,” said first author of the study Maria Woodward, assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School in the US.

The study also showed that people with diabetes appear to have a lower risk of the disease.

The findings support the idea that while diabetes causes other negative effects to the eye, the cornea may be strengthened as a by-product of those changes.

The researchers arrived at their findings by looking at data from health insurance claims, half of them from more than 16,000 people with confirmed keratoconus and half from an equal number of people with similar characteristics but no keratoconus.

This allowed them to see which characteristics and medical conditions were most associated with keratoconus, and which were not.

The people in the study were mostly in their 30s and 40s.

The study was published online in the journal Ophthalmology. (IANS)

(Photo courtesy: www.huffingtonpost.com)

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Fish during pregnancy may protect baby from asthma

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Pregnancy
Fish during pregnancy may protect baby from asthma

New York, Oct 3: Women who consume fish during pregnancy are just as likley to protect their offspring from developing asthma as those who consume fish oil supplements, suggests a new study.

Pregnant women who consume high doses of omega-3 fatty acids in the third trimester may help protect their kids from developing breathing problems in their early childhood, according to the study.

“With almost equal to slightly higher cost, consuming 8-12 ounces (2-3 servings) of fish with low mercury levels a week not only may attain the same asthma protection, but also strengthen the nutritional benefits to infant growth and development,” said Richard Lockey, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US.

The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, was conducted in three groups of women in their third trimester.

The first group consumed omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil daily while the second group took a placebo. The third group was named the “no oil” group who were allowed to consume either fish or fish oil supplements as per their choices.

The researchers found that the children in the fish oil and the “no oil” groups took less asthma medication as they aged to 24 years old, inferring both groups developed less asthma.

“Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be synthesised by humans and therefore are essential nutrients which are derived exclusively from marine sources,” said iChen Hsing Lin from the University of South Florida.(IANS)

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Chennai Police Department Makes 19 Year Old Boy with Down Syndrome Police Officer for a Day

Sometimes from a small seed, greatness grows. And despite all odds, the 19-year-old Stevin is a testament to this

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'Sub Inspector' Stevin Mathew on patrol. The Hindu

Chennai, September 28, 2017 : Throughout his childhood, Stevin had just one, very simple wish.

He had longed to be a police officer. His parents claim Stevin grew up uttering “I am police, I am police” as he saw his favorite actors perform the role of a uniform-clad officer in multiple films.

Sadly though, being born with a disability meant that this wish was nothing short of a fantasy.

Doctors had long identified that a young Stevin Mathew was suffering from Down syndrome, a genetic disorder of chromosome 21 that causes developmental and intellectual delays. While the condition can be supervised with treatment, it cannot be completely cured.

For many children, being born with special conditions often means giving up on their dreams. However, we increasingly forget why they are called ‘special’ in the very first place.

Stevin Mathew’s story has been special, too.

Originally hailing from Chennai, the family is currently settled in Qatar. But it was only during a recent trip to Chennai that Stevin’s father Rajeev Thomas approached the commissioner of Chennai police, making a special request to allow his son to wear the prestigious khaki uniform for a day.

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In a gesture of goodwill, Commissioner A.K. Vishwanathan agreed to help young Stevin realize his dream of becoming a police officer. Consequently, Chennai’s Assistant Commissioner Vincent Jayaraj and Inspector Suryalingam visited Stevin at his Chennai dwelling and made the fundamental arrangements for action.

A customized uniform with two stars glittering on the shoulder badge was stitched for Stevin, keeping all necessary details in mind.

“He was fascinated by the police after watching his favorite stars Suresh Gopi, Vijay, and others. He always wanted to become a police officer. So I decided to write a mail to the commissioner when we came to Chennai for a vacation”
                                          – Rajeev Thomas, Stevin’s father 

Welcomed with bouquets at the Ashok Nagar police station, the 19-year sub-inspector assumed position for an hour and was also given his own desk and briefed about the tasks undertaken for crime prevention in order completely experience an officer’s life.

Armed with a walkie-talkie and an agenda, Stevin attended phone calls and also set out on patrol duty in a police jeep along with two other constables.

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Stevin tending to his duties as a sub-inspector. Deccan Chronicle

A bright 19-year old boy, Stevin is a Diploma-holder in Computer Applications and has never let circumstances decide the course of his life.

Stevin’s parents, Rajeev and Ciby Mathew run a special school for children called HOPE Qatar in Doha and believe that special children should be given equal opportunities to help include them into the mainstream society.

Commissioner A.K. Vishwanathan and the Chennai Police department must also be acknowledged for setting an example and motivating children to dream despite all hardships.

Sometimes from a small seed, greatness grows. And despite all odds, the 19-year-old Stevin is a testament to this.

 

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Having Difficulty Sleeping with a Snoring Partner? Here are 7 Reasons why we Snore and how to Cure it

Snoring is often portrayed in a hilarious manner when in reality, it is anything but that.

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Snoring
Those who snore always fall asleep first. Because the other person in the room will probably stay up all night, trying to escape the unwanted snores. Pixabay
  • Snoring is loud, noisy breathing during sleep
  • It can be caused by allergies and dust and blocked nasal tract or the throat
  • Regular exercise of the tongue and the throat can help relieve an individual from snoring and enjoy uninterrupted sleep

New Delhi, September 9, 2017 : Snoring is often portrayed in a hilarious manner when in reality, it is anything but that. Those who snore always fall asleep first. Obviously! Because the other person in the room will probably stay up all night, trying to escape the unwanted noise.

Snoring can be understood as noisy breathing during sleep and is a common problem among people of all genders and all ages. Snoring, if not treated correctly, can augment as we age.

Apart from being a health concern, snoring can cause disrupt not just your sleep but also your bed-partner’s sleep, ultimately leading to patchy and un-invigorating sleep which can eventually transform into poor performance at daytime jobs.

Snoring is a deal breaker. Not only is it stressful for people who share a room but also for the person himself and calls for immediate solutions. Read on to know the Why’s and the How’s.

What causes snoring?

  1. Weight

Being over-weight can be a primary possibility that can transform into snoring, or make an existing problem worse.

Extra weight means extra tissues in the throat which contributes to the noise. The extra tissues tend to block the throat and interrupt air flow thus, creating vibrations that result in the loud noises.

  1. Alcohol and sedatives

Sedatives and alcohol have a calming effect; they relax the tissues in the throat and make them expand. This in turn blocks off the airways and thus, results in snoring.

  1. Weak muscles of the throat

In case the muscles in your throat and tongue are weak, there is a high chance that they would slip lifelessly backwards when the body is in a resting position. As the body ages, this agility tends to deteriorate because the tissues begin to lose their strength and elasticity. This means, the loose tissues begin to fill up more airways than they previously did. The resulting passage blockage doubles the snoring noise, making sleep distracted.

  1.  Dryness in the air

Sleeping in a room with dry air can also contribute and make a person snore. The dryness in the air tends to dry out the membranes in the throat, thus contributing to congestion. In such a case, when the air moves inside the throat, the tissues begin to vibrate and producing a loud, snoring noise.

5.  Age

Aging naturally causes snoring, and further makes the activity dominant and frequent over time. The muscles in the throat tend to change as we age, and become slightly narrow.

  1. Nasal congestion

Nasal congestion is a clear and common factor that causes an individual to snore. Allergens like dust, pollens, and other minute irritants can cause congestion in the nasal tract. Furthermore, allergies, sinus infections or other issues in the nose such as nasal-polyps can also cause snoring during to their obtrusive nature.

  1. Body position during sleep

Sleeping on your back can cause your throat and neck to relax more than they normally would, thus instantly blocking the airway.  Additionally, during the resting position, the tongue tends to fall back and block your throat.  This obstruction inside the throat can result in possible snoring noise.

According to research, it is speculated that,

  • Snoring with your mouth closed – If your mouth is shut but you are still snoring, it indicates a problem with your tongue or the nasal tract.
  • Snoring with your mouth open – If you sleep with an open mouth, snoring can be caused by the tissues that partially obstruct the passageway. In an attempt to force more in more air when you sleep, this can result in loud snoring noises.
  • Snoring regardless of the body position – This can possibly be a sign of a more serious problem, for example sleep apnea which is known to cause intense periods of momentary choking during sleeping periods.
Snoring
Snoring while sleeping is harmful not just for you, but also for your partner. Pixabay

How to stop snoring?

Snoring is a tricky problem because there isn’t exactly a ‘cure’. To naturally stop or lessen the loud noises, lifestyle changes are necessary.

The process begins with identifying what is possibly causing you to snore- you can examine your lifestyle and diet. Take a look at the following tips,

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  1. Do not consume alcohol or sedatives at least two hours before bedtime.
  2. Anti-snoring pills that are herbal in nature are available that can be consumed to control or stop the loud noises.
  3. Raise the head of your bed with pillows while you sleep. This will keep your tongue from falling back and open the airways for easy passage.
  4. Practice Pranayam, which is aimed at controlling one’s breathing. It is also known to relieve various sleep disorders that can disrupt sleeping, like sleep apnea.
  5. You’re mistaken if you think only your biceps and the triceps need all to workout. There are a number of different exercises that one can try to keep the muscles of the throat strong. Here are some of the simplest ones,
  • Protrude the lower jaw over the upper jaw, in an attempt to expose all your teeth and slowly count to ten. Repeat this routine 5-10 times a day.
  • Train your throat muscles by repeating this phrase 10-20 times before going to bed, “The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue”.

 

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