Monday, 1 September 2014

Uveitis


Uveitis
Uveitis – Inflammation of Middle Layer of Eye

Uveitis is the internal inflammation of the middle layer of the eye known as the uvea or uveal tract which is made up of the iris, the coloured part of the eye, ciliary body, that is the ring of muscle behind the iris and choroid, the layer of tissue which supports the retina, all of which together form the middle layer of the eye between the retina and the sclera which is the white area of the eye.

The eye is like a tennis ball having three types of layers of tissue which surround the central gel filled cavity known as vitreous while the innermost layer is the retina which is responsible in seeing light and sending images to the brain.

The middle area between the outer layer being the sclera or the strong white wall of the eye and the retina is the uvea which comprises of several blood vessels namely the veins, capillaries and arteries. These carry blood to and from the eye.

 The uvea plays an important role in nourishing various parts of the eyes since it transports blood to the different parts of the eye that are important for vision and if inflammation of the uvea occurs, it could damage the sight of the person.

Causes & Types of Uveitis

Eye Diagram
There are several potential causes for Uveitis which may include infection with a virus while other causes could be fungus, parasite, bacteria, and inflammatory disease affecting various other parts of the body or an injury to the eye. Common symptoms of uveitis may be pain in one or both of the eyes, blurred vision, redness of the eye, floater which are shadows that move around in your field of vision, or sensitivity to light – photophobia. There are four types of uveitis namely –

Iritisis one of the commonform of uveitis that affects the iris and is usually associated with auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or sarcoidosis. It could develop suddenly and could last for weeks with treatment. Chronic cases may need close and long term monitoring which is quite rare.

Uveitis
Cyclitis is an inflammation in the middle area of the eye which may affect the muscles that focuses the lens and could also develop suddenly lasting for several months.

Retinitis another type which affects the back of the eye and progresses rapidly makes the treatment difficult which could be caused by viruses like shingles or herpes with bacterial infections like syphilis or toxoplasmosis.

Choroiditis is the inflammation of the layer which lies beneath the retina and this could be caused by infections like tuberculosis.

Uveitis – Serious Condition 

The two types of uveitis namely, retinitis and choroiditis, can be caused by auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid, lupus or arthritis and in most of the cases of uveitis, the cause is unknown. Sometimes stress could be the cause since the inflammation is triggered by the body’s immune system.Since uveitis is a serious condition, treatment should be started immediately.

 If uveitis is not caused by an infection, the physician may recommend eye drops with steroids which may reduce the swelling that has occurred along with drugs to relieve the pain. People with infectious uveitis are prescribed antibiotics. Dark glasses are suggested to help with light sensitivity.

Importance of Blood Sugar Monitoring System


Health
Next time you are offered a sweet or decide to eat chocolate, think twice. Not only because you might gain may some calories but you end up with high blood sugar levels. Blood sugar concentration is the amount of glucose present in human or animal blood. The human body regulates the glucose levels as a part of metabolic stability hence blood sugar monitoring becomes important in case of any visible symptoms or irregularities. 

What is diabetes?

High blood sugar level or diabetes is one of the commonest metabolic disorders all over the world including India. As per statistics, diabetes cases are likely to cross 300 million by 2015. Pancreas in human body secretes insulin, a hormone which breaks the glucose from the food we eat into energy and helps it to enter our blood cells. Diabetes is inability of pancreas to produce normal amount of insulin which makes its job ineffective. It can affect anybody from an infant to an adult.

What can health hazards of diabetes?

Important health hazards due to diabetes have been mentioned below:
  • Heart Disease –Diabetes increases the risk of heart attack
  • Organ Complications – Diabetes increases the risk of blindness, foot problems and other organ related problems
  • Nerve Damage – Diabetes can cause damage to nerves, it hampers the regenerative process of tissue hence healing takes time which is a major concern during high end operations
  • Side effects during pregnancy – Diabetes during pregnancy can lead to high birth weight babies, problem in normal delivery and post pregnancy issues
  • Effects lifestyle – Diabetes can change lifestyle due to strict diet regime and medication

What is the need for monitoring diabetes? 

Uncontrolled diabetes can be fatal with life threatening complications. Hence monitoring is important to check fluctuations which might need immediate medical help to avoid chronic repercussions. Testing determines response to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) like diet adjustments, exercise, and injecting insulin. In gestational diabetes, reading patterns determines whether insulin doses are sufficient or needs to be altered for normal sugar level which is essential for safe pregnancy.


How to monitor diabetes? 

Diabetes can be monitored either by blood test in lab or finger pricking (using glucometer) at home. The second one is highly recommended for diabetes patients and gestational diabetes. Glucometers have a chemical substance which reacts with glucose in blood to return a value within few seconds.
If the reading is beyond permissible range on either side, precautionary measures needs to be taken as per doctor’s advice. Basically a glucometer pack contains the device, testing strips and lancets. The device is calibrated and battery operated. The testing strip, which needs to be fitted to the device, contains the substance which when come in contact with a drop of drop pricked by using the lancet will determine the sugar reading. Both the testing strips and lancets are one time use and can be bought separately in packs. The device is intelligent enough to detect an erroneous testing Readings are generally displayed in mg/dl or mmol/I. Values also depend on the time reading was taken like fasting or after meal. Readings needs to be maintained in a chart along with timing. The pattern determines the sugar variations and hence the course of action.

Various glucometers are available in the market which makes monitoring easy and reliable. OneTouch is one of the most popular glucometers along with Dr. Morepan, Bayer etc. You can check out various glucometers and their pricing at Healthgenie and Healthkart. Use healthkart coupons to save the money while shopping glucometers from here for more offer and deal visit CouponzGuru.com.

So next time you want to have a sweet, keep your glucometer handy if you are worried about your rising blood sugar levels!



Sunday, 31 August 2014

Giardiasis – An Intestinal Infection



Giardiasis
Giardiasis is an intestinal infection of the digestive system caused by a microscopic, single celled parasite known as Giardia intestinalis or Giardia lamblia or Giardia duodenalis. These parasites are usually found in lakes, ponds or streams which have been contaminated by humans, dogs or beaver faeces.

Giardiasis is also known as beaver fever. Most of the people may get affected with this condition by consuming drinking water which is contaminated with the Giardia parasite or through direct contact with an infected person.

It could also pass on the infection if the infected person does not wash their hands properly after using the toilet and handles the food which is eaten by others. Besides this, the food could also tend to get contaminated if it has been washed with the infected water.

It is essential to adopt good hygienic habits like washing of hands regularly with soap and clean water, ensuring the water consumed comes from good source, could contribute in helping to avoiding the risk of giardiasis.

High number of infection is often seen in late summer and at times with few deaths taking place. People travelling to regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America could be at risk of getting infected since clean water supplies are quite low in these regions.

Symptoms – Diarrhoea/Cramps/Bloating/Flatulence 

There are possibilities where some healthy people may not get affected from Giardia lamblia but they could still pass on the infection to others. Children, seniors and others with long term illness could be prone in getting infected since the risk of transmission is high in day-care centres as well as seniors’ residence.

The most common symptom of giardiasis is diarrhoea while other symptoms may include abdominal cramps, flatulence and bloating. These symptoms may tend to be unpleasant but it is not a serious threat to health and can be treated. The parasite which is the cause of giardiasis lives in the intestine of the infected person or animals and enters the soil, food and water or other surfaces after bowel movements.

 People may also tend to get infected through hand to mouth transmission which involves eating contaminated food or touching contaminated areas thereby swallowing the parasite unknowingly.

Treated with Antibiotics 

These parasites produce cysts which are swallowed which is turn reproduces in the intestines resulting in signs and symptoms of giardiasis. The parasites then form new cysts which are passed in the stool and this is the on-going cycle of the parasite and ingestion of around 10 cysts is enough to infect a person with this ailment. When faced with the symptoms which could last for a week, the person is advised to consult a physician especially if they have travelled abroad.

To diagnose the condition, the physician could send some sample of faeces to the laboratory to get tested and based on the result can diagnose the ailment. To ensure a correct diagnosis, three samples may be needed to be taken over a number of days. Giardiasis is treated successfully with antibiotic which can kill the giardia parasite and free the person from this disease.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Rosacea


Rosacea
Rosacea – Acne like Benign Skin Condition 

Rosacea is considered to be common red, acne like benign skin condition which could affect several people. The main symptoms of Rosacea comprises of red or pink facial skin, small dilated blood vessels, like small red bumps and at times may contain pus, cysts and pink or irritated eyes. Many people are not aware that they may be having rosacea and that it is diagnosable and can be treated.

They may have the notion that they blush or that their skin may be sensitive to the sun. Rosacea mainly involves the central area of the face especially the forehead, the cheeks, lower area of the nose, chin, neck, chest and scalp and is often seen in people with light skin namely English, Irish and Scottish.

It is not contagious or infectious and there is no evidence that it can spread by contact with skin, or sharing towels or through inhalation. Rosacea can affect people of any age group and has four subtypes, where three affect the skin while the fourth affect the eye which is an ocular type. It could tend to get worse over a period of time if not treated though treatment like topical steroid could aggravate this condition.

Symptoms can be Controlled with Treatment

Rosacea can affect both men as well as women though it is three times more common in women and has its peak age of onset between the age of 30 and 60.

This is a relapsing condition wherein there are times when the symptoms are bad followed by instances when the condition is less severe. Most of the symptoms can be controlled with treatment and the physical changes in appearance may take place as a result of the condition which may have a psychological as well as social impact that may affect the overall personality of the person.

The cause of this condition is not known though a number of possible factors have been considered including abnormalities in the blood vessels of the face together with reaction to microscopic mites which are most often found on the face. Though all these causes may not be the direct result of this ailment, several causes have been identified which may worsen rosacea.

Laser and Intense Pulsed Light- IPL

Exposure to sunlight, stress, hot or cold weather, hot drinks, alcohol and caffeine, certain spicy food and strenuous exercise may cause rosacea. Though there is no cure for rosacea, treatment could contribute in controlling the symptoms. Long term treatment would be essential and there could be instances when the symptoms may tend to improve and treatment could be stalled temporarily.

Treatment for most of the people could be a combination of self-help measure and medication like avoiding drinks which may contain alcohol or caffeine, medication in the form of creams and gels, applied directly to the skin to reduce spots and redness, oral medication like tablets or capsules which may help to clear up some of the severe spots, like oral antibiotics.

In other cases, certain procedures like laser and intense pulsed light –IPL could be a helpful treatment which involves beams of light that are focused on the visible blood vessels in the skin in order to shrink them and are made less visible on the skin.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless Legs Syndrome - Neurological Disorder 

Restless legs syndrome – RLS, is also known as Willis-Ekbom disease – WED and is a neurological disorder. It is the disorder of the part of the nervous system, affecting the legs which causes an unpleasant feeling in the feet, calves and thighs of crawling or creeping sensation with an irresistible urge to move them which often gets worse in the evening or at night, Moving the affected part modulates the sensations and provides some temporary relief to the affected person. It usually interferes with sleep at night and is considered a sleep disorder.

It can also be associated with involuntary jerking of the legs or even arms at times which is known as periodic limb movements. Its symptoms may tend to vary from being mild to severe and in severe cases; this condition could be very depressing which may disrupt the normal activities of the person.This condition ranges from pain or an ache in the muscles to an itch which one cannot scratch, or a tickle which does not stop, besides the crawling or creeping sensations. These sensations tend to begin or intensify at the time of quiet wakeful moments, while relaxing, reading or trying to drop off to sleep.

Nature of Body in Handling Dopamine

In most cases, the cause of restless legs syndrome is not identified though doctors refer this as idiopathic RLS or primary RLS which may tend to run in the family while some neurologist are of the opinion that the symptoms may have something to do with body’s nature in handling chemical called dopamine.

It plays a role in controlling muscle movement and could be responsible in the involuntary leg movement which is associated with restless legs syndrome. Some other cases of restless legs syndrome are caused due to the underlying health condition like iron deficiency anaemia or kidney failure and the doctors consider this as secondary RLS.

Pregnancy also has some link to restless legs syndrome and around one in five pregnant women may experience symptoms in the last three months of their pregnancy and at times, this condition tends to disappear after the women has given birth.

Good Sleep Pattern/Regular Exercises/Refrain from Alcohol, Smoking

Other mild cases of this ailment which may not be linked to an underlying health condition would not need any treatment, but the need to make a few lifestyle changes like adopting good sleep pattern which may involve regular hours and avoid alcohol, caffeine at night, do away with smoking if one tend to smoke and regular exercise during the day. If the symptoms are severe, treatment may be essential to regulate the level of iron and dopamine in the body.

If the condition is caused due to the iron deficiency anaemia then the need for iron supplements may be essential to overcome the symptoms. If the cause is not known, the symptoms may tend to get worse with time and may affect the person’s life though it is not a life threatening ailment but it can lead to insomnia and give cause for depression and worry.Women are more likely to develop restless legs syndrome than men and this condition is also common in middle age though the symptoms may tend to develop at any age which may also include childhood.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Marfan Syndrome

Marfan Syndrome
Marfan Syndrome – Condition of the Body’s Connective Tissues

Marfan syndrome is a condition of the body’s connective tissues which is a group of tissues that maintains the structure of the body and supports internal organs as well as other tissues. The connective tissues help to control the growth and the development of the body.Marfan syndrome mostly affects the connective tissue of the heart and blood vessels, bones, eyes, lungs and the covering of the spinal cord and due to this condition it could affect several parts of the body, resulting in many complications some of which could be life threatening.

Children are likely to inherit it from one of their parents. Some characteristics or signs of Marfan syndrome would include heart defects, being tall, lens dislocation, wherein the lens of the eye gets into an abnormal position, abnormally long and slender limbs, fingers and toes. It is a genetic disorder, a change or a mutation in the gene which tends to control the formation of fibrillin, which is a protein that has a major role in the body’s connective tissue and is the cause of Marfan syndrome.

Heart & Aorta Serious Complication

This ailment varies from person to person and while some people suffering from this condition may have several signs or traits, others may have only a few of them. The heart and the blood vessels is the most serious complication of Marfan syndrome which can also affect the aorta, which is the main blood vessel supplying oxygen rich blood to the whole body.

When affected with this ailment, the aorta tends to stretch and grow weak and this condition is known as aortic dilation or aortic aneurysm and if the aorta stretches and grows weak, there could be a tear or burst and the possibility of blood leak. This condition is known as aortic dissection which is very dangerous and may lead to severe heart problem or even death.

There is no cure for Marfan syndrome though treatment could help in delaying or preventing complications which may set in and hence the treatments is focused on handling the symptoms and reduce the risk of any complications. Treatments include medicine, surgery together with other therapies.

Genetic Test to confirm definitive Marfan Syndrome

Certain activities could be limited or changed and the performance of the same could contribute some help in reducing the risk to the eyes, aorta and the joints. Treatment is based on the condition affecting the body. Diagnosing this disease could be difficult since the symptoms may differ from person to person and as the symptom does not always develop during childhood, it could also occur during teenage years.

A diagnosis of Marfan syndrome in most cases is based on a thorough physical examination together with detailed assessment on the medical and family history of the person. To confirm definitive, Marfan syndrome, a genetic test is done by closely studying the affected gene though it could be time consuming as well as an expensive process since the gene can mutate in over 1,000 various ways. The life span of the person with Marfan syndrome is likely to be short if the heart and aorta are affected.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Macular Hole


Macular Hole

Macula -Focussing Area of the Eye 

The macula is a very small, central area of the retina, a thin layer of light sensitive tissue that lines the back area of the eye and is the focusing surface of the eye. Light rays are focused onto the retina where they get transmitted to the brain and identify the image which is seen. The macula is responsible in pinpointing vision, enabling to see the print while reading, sew or to recognise a person.It helps to see things directly in front as well as helps to see colour and other details.

The macular hole is a small break in the macula, the area which is responsible for details and the central vision of the eye. In the early stage, a macula hole could cause blank spots, blurring or distortion of the central vision. Straight lines may tend to be seen wavy or bowed and one may face discomfort while reading small print.

After some time, the persons may see small black patch or a missing patch in the centre of the vision. As we tend to age, the thick vitreous gel in the centre of the eyes shrinks, pulling always from the macula and the gel sticks to the macula and does not pull back, the macular tissues gets stretched eventually tears and a hole is formed.

The Amsler Grid Test

Macula hole is very common in people who have crossed the age of 60 and above and this condition may differ among individuals and a consultation with the physician is essential if faced with any of these symptoms. The macula often affects only the central vision and the peripheral or side vision is not affected but the person may have some difficulty in reading and with close vision and may notice grey or black spots or even blank area in their vision.

 It usually affects only one eye instead of both the eyes though there could be a possibility of both the eyes getting affected.It may develop over a period of time and one may fail to notice any symptoms till the vision gets affected.The initial stage starts with blurring and distorted images and the straight lines like the window frames, telegraph poles or lines of text may appear wavy or bent. A simple test, the Amsler Grid, will help to determine if the vision is distorted.

Virectomy for removal of the Vitreous Gel 

The location and the size of the macula hole can determine on how much the vision has been affected. There are three stages of this condition wherein the vision will tend to deteriorate as the condition progresses and worsens.

The treatment for macula hole is most effective if it is carried out in its initial stage of development of the condition. Surgery is usually essential to repair the hole and is often successful though one needs to be aware of the possibility of complication of treatment and that the vision may probably not return completely to its normal state. An operation known as vitrectomy is adopted to carefully remove the vitreous gel from the affected eye and replaced with a gas which helps in the healing of the macula hole