Monday October 23, 2017

Cases of Glaucoma show a rising trend in India, can be caused by Smoking: Doctors

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A patient suffering from Glaucoma, VOA

New Delhi, March 19, 2017: As cases of glaucoma show a rising trend in India, ophthalmologists blame smoking as one of the major reasons behind it.

Besides glaucoma, several other eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), can also be caused or aggravated due to smoking, but only 10-20 per cent people are aware of these facts, they said.

Stating that lifestyle matters a lot for eye-related diseases, the doctors said research papers have proved that smoking increases the risk of AMD and glaucoma.

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“Smoking is very much connected to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome,” Kamal B. Kapur, from Sharp Sight Group of Eye Hospitals, told IANS.

Kapur said that people who do not smoke, but become passive smokers, also are prone to develop AMD.

Glaucoma is a disease that damages eye’s optic nerve, while AMD causes loss in the centre of the field of vision. In dry macular degeneration, the centre of the retina deteriorates. With wet macular degeneration, leaky blood vessels grow under the retina.

AMD begins as a loss of central vision which makes it difficult to read and see fine details. Over time, vision loss increases significantly.

Mahipal Sachdev, Chairperson and Managing Director of city-based Centre for Sight, said: “Vision loss due to smoking does not have any symptoms like many other eye diseases, but a dilated examination can detect eye diseases in their early stages before vision loss occurs.”

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Some other types of eye-related problems caused by excessive smoking include cataract.

“People, who smoke in excess like 10 cigarettes a day, have up to three times the risk of cataract as non-smokers. Similarly, there is a strong nexus between glaucoma and smoking,” said Sachdev.

The doctors said that there is a special need for awareness among people about the strong link between smoking and vision loss.

“In the first place, smoking has to be brought down, which actually leads to the damage of not just lungs and throat but gradually, the eye nerves also get damaged,” said Samir Sud, a city-based ophthalmologist.

Talking about the dietary habits, he said that nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins C and E might help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataract due to smoking. (IANS)

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Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking? New Research Suggests Why You Should Switch

While the best approach for a healthy life is to entirely quit smoking, but the most critical thought is that smoker stop smoking tobacco in the first place

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E-cigarettes and other vaping devices do not contain tobacco and can in turn add years to a smoker's life. Pixabay

Washington, October 6, 2017 : In present day societies, smoking is considered ‘cool’. Unfortunately, in this race to look trendy, the practice has become one of the biggest man-made killers. Today, tobacco consumption is among the world’s leading causes of preventable death and takes as many as six million lives every year.

While quitting smoking is difficult, a new research suggests e-cigarettes are far safer than smoking and can add multiple years to anyone who switches.

According to a new cancer research team, if all smokers switch to e-cigarettes and similar vaping devices exclusively, they could live for 86.7 million years in total.

The study has been carried out by Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The Research 

According to David Levy, the lead author of the study and a professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi, the study has been carried out to encourage “replacing cigarette smoking with vaping to yield substantial life year gains,”

The study is the first ever theoretical piece to trace the health outcomes of people who are choosing to quit smoking and shift to different vaping devices.

The study relied upon multiple factors like,

  • When a subject began smoking
  • when they quit smoking
  • when they switched from smoking a cigarette to vaping

Studying the responses, the researchers anticipated both a hopeful result and a negative result.

Pessimistic Result : 1.6 million would add a 20.8 million years to their lives.

Optimistic Result : 6.6 million cigarette smokers would include 86.7 million years from switching.

These results suggest that even in the grimmest outcome, vapors live more instead of those who inhale deadly measures of toxicants with cigarette smoke.

A switch from smoking to vaping will not only add years to an individuals’ life, but will also have multiple benefits on general health. According to Professor Levy, “There would be tremendous health benefits including reduced disease disability to smokers, reduced pain and suffering, and reduced exposure to secondhand smoke”

Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices do not contain tobacco. Instead, they contain a nicotine-filled liquid which is heated to produce vapor, which in turn is inhaled. This satisfies the cravings known to be associated with cigarette addiction.

While it will be wrong to say that these devices are completely harmless, it can be said that these devices to not cause life-threatening diseases like cancer- which tobacco does.

In this way, e-cigarettes are far safer than smoking.

While the best approach for a healthy life is to entirely quit smoking, but the most critical thought is that smoker stop smoking tobacco in the first place.

The study has been published in a global journal that studies and analyses the effect of tobacco abuse called Tobacco Control.

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala

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World Heart Day 2017: 6 Simple Tips to Keep your Heart Healthy | NewsGram

How strong are your ABCDEF’s? Let’s find out!

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September 29 is World Heart Day. Here is how you can care for your heart! Pixabay

New Delhi, September 29, 2017 : World Heart Day is here, and that gives us another reason to reiterate why you should be going an extra step to care for your heart. India accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s burden of heart diseases. This risk in Indians is almost double than their western counterparts and can be mainly attributed to genetics, diet and lifestyle.

An Increasing Trend of Heart Diseases

According to a WHO report released in mid-September, it was revealed that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and cancer are an increasing cause of premature deaths all around the world, taking as many as 30 million lives annually. These diseases cause self-inflicted damage and trace their roots to individual lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, drugs and unhealthy or unbalanced diet.

ALSO READ Even less physically fit people can help themselves to prevent risk of Heart related Diseases: Study

Common Causes of Cardiovascular Diseases

Heart diseases are primarily caused because of accumulation of fats, cholesterol and other substances within and on the walls of the arteries. This is known as atherosclerosis.

This build-up begins from a young age and ultimately results in blockage of the arteries, which disabled the heart from pumping necessary quantity of blood. This, in turns, results in various disorders of the heart and the blood vessels.

Symptoms of Cardiovascular Diseases

Typical symptoms when your heart’s health is fluctuating will include chest pain or angina, breathlessness, sweating, palpitations and gastric pain. Some people may even complain of bloating or abdomen fullness.

Your heart is the reason your body is doing everything it can. So why not do something special for your heart on this World Heart Day?

World Heart Day 2017

World Heart Day is celebrated on September 29 and focuses on a holistic approach to generate awareness about cardiovascular disease.

A truly global initiative, World Heart Day is aimed to unite people from all corners of the world in the fight against cardiovascular diseases and encourage healthy hearts and healthy lifestyles across the world.

Heart diseases are the biggest man-made killer in India and the world. So what should be done on this World Heart Day to address the problem? All you have to do is keep your ABCDEF in check.

But how strong are your ABCDEF’s? Let’s find out!

6 Simple Tips To Keep your Heart Healthy Forever:

  • ABC: “A1c, Blood Sugar & Cholesterol” :

ABC remains for A1C, Blood Sugar, and Cholesterol individually. A1C is a test to check for glycated hemoglobin; it is fundamental to hold ABC levels in line for a more beneficial heart. You must also make it a habit to monitor your blood sugar and cholesterol levels and endeavor to keep the levels inside the recommended confines.

  • D : Diet  “Eat Heart Healthy Diet” :

You must consume a heart healthy diet that includes supplement-rich foods: Nutrition is critical to general well-being. As indicated by several nourishment researchers, a diet healthy for the heart, comprising of nutritious foods, for example, 1.5 servings (43 grams) of almonds may decrease levels of heart harming inflammation and additionally bring down aggregate and LDL cholesterol. Consumption of fish or salmon is also good for the heart as they are a rich source of Omega-3.

E : Exercise “Maintain a Healthy Waistline” :

It is a well established fact that a healthy waistline directly corresponds to cardiovascular well-being. Accumulation of fat on the stomach is directly proportional to rising blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and soaring triglycerides level which are significant hazard factors for heart ailments. As previously revealed, consumption of 42 grams of almonds every day reduces belly fat and waist circumference- and increase in both of which are well-established coronary illness risk factors.

F : Fit Lifestyle “Fitness begins with an active lifestyle” :

As indicated by the American Heart Association, 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week is prescribed for development in heart-health. Alternatively, you can also undertake 75 minutes of energetic or high-force exercise.

Physical activity is a boon for your heart; no amounts of healthy or controlled diet will prove beneficial unless complimented with a fit lifestyle.

Additionally, if your heart’s health is on your mind, then you must quit smoking.

Smoking harms the inner lining of the arteries and further deposits fat, thereby resulting in clogging. A cigarette may seem small, but its effect can be long lasting and ultimately result in death. These include a stroke, angina or a heart attack.

ALSO READ Worried About Your Heart’s Health? Make These 5 Spices a Part of Your Diet and See the Benefits Yourself!

These activities must not only be taken into account to celebrate World Health Day. Instead, aim to make them a part of every routine and witness how life changes for the better!

A little effort today will go a long way to keep you healthy and ready for all that life has to offer. On this World Heart Day, if you take a pledge to keep your ABCDEF’s under check, a healthy heart and a fit lifestyle are sure to follow!

 

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC