Saturday, 31 January 2015

Salivary Stones

Salivary Gland Stone – Calcified Structure

Salivary gland stone also known as salivary duct stone is a calcified structure which could be formed in the salivary gland or duct and block the flow of saliva in the mouth. Most of the stones affect the submandibular glands which are located at the floor of the mouth.

In fewer cases, the stones tend to affect the parotid glands which are on the inside of the cheeks or the sublingual glands that are under the tongue and several people with the condition suffer from multiple stones. These stones tend to form when the chemicals in the saliva gets accumulated in the duct or gland which contain mostly calcium.

Though the cause of this condition is not known, factors contributing to less saliva production and/or thickened saliva could be the cause for salivary stones. These factors include poor eating, dehydration as well as the consumption of certain medications together with blood pressure drugs and psychiatric drugs. Besides this, trauma to the salivary glands could also contribute to the risk of salivary glands.

The stones at the time of formation do not cause any symptoms though if they tend to reach a certain size which may block the duct, saliva goes back into the glands causing pain as well as swelling. The person may experience pain on an off which may gradually worsen with time. Inflammation and infection within the affected gland could also take place.


Some of the symptoms experienced include dull pain over the affected gland, swelling of the gland which could flare up and down, infection of the gland causing severe pain and the formation of an abscess and a feeling of being sick. The person will also experience intense pain and swelling after eating. If the salivary gland is blocked completely, one would feel sudden and intense pain once they start eating their meal which is followed by swelling and eases after a meal.

The physician could diagnose the stone on examining the mouth or through x-ray. If the stone is not seen through x-ray, one of the following scans may be needed: A computerized tomography - CT scan is done wherein x-rays and computer to create detailed images of the inside of the head and neck area is used.

A magnetic resonance imaging –MRI scan using strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images is done, Sialograph, a dye injected in the gland before an x-ray is taken and sialendoscopy, where a thin tube with a tiny light with camera at one end is inserted into the duct to enable the doctor to see the gland. Should a stone be visible, it can be removed at the same time.


The physician could also remove the stone by probing the salivary duct with a thin blunt instrument and if this does not seem to work, a procedure known as therapeutic sialendoscopy is done wherein a local anaesthetic is given to numb the mouth and a very thin endoscope is pushed into the duct .If a stone is seen the tiny instrument at the end of the tube is used to grip the stone and pull it out.

If the stone seems to be large, it may have to be broken up by using shock wave treatment where ultrasound waves are directed at the stone in order to break it up. This is known as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. Earlier the procedure of removing salivary stone was done by making a small incision in the mouth but such an operation is rarely done in present times.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis – A Stage of Wakefulness and Sleep

Sleep paralysis is a temporary feeling of being conscious though unable to move and occurs when a person goes through a stage of wakefulness and sleep. During this time the person may not be capable of moving or speaking for a few seconds or minutes. In some cases the person may tend to feel pressure or a sense of choking. It could also accompany other sleep disorders like narcolepsy which is an overpowering need to sleep resulting in a problem with the brain’s ability to regulate sleep.

Though the person may be awake, the body tends to be briefly paralyzed after which the person can move and speak as normal. Sleep paralysis does not cause any harm to the person though being unable to move could be quite alarming. Some may have this disorder once or twice in their life, while other may experience it a few times a month or more often. Sleep paralysis could affect individuals of any age though it is more common in teenagers and young adults. Common condition is often noticed first in the teenage years though both men as well as women may experience this ailment or it could also run in the families

Hypnagogic/Predormital –Hynopompic/Postdormital Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis usually takes place at one of two times and if it occurs while a person is falling asleep, it is known as hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis. If it tends to occur while awake it is hypnopompic or postdormital sleep paralysis. As the person begins to fall asleep, the body tends to relax gradually and the person usually is not aware or notices the change. But if one is aware while falling asleep they may notice that they are unable to move or speak.

At the time of falling off to sleep, the body tends to alternate between rapid eye movement – REM and NREM – non-rapid eye movement, sleep. A cycle of REM and NREM sleep could last for 90 minutes where NREM takes place first taking up to 75% of the overall sleep time At the time of NREM sleep, the body is relaxed and restores itself and at the end of NREM, the sleep then shifts to REM. The eyes move quickly and the person visualises dream and the rest of the body remains very relaxed with the muscles turned off during this stage of REM sleep. Should the person become aware before the REM cycle is completed, one may notice that they are unable to move or speak.

Factors Related to Sleep Paralysis

Factors that are related to sleep paralysis may include – lack of sleep, a changed sleep routine, sleeping on the back, mental health condition like stress or bipolar disorder, use of certain medication, other sleep problems like night time leg cramps, besides narcolepsy and substance abuse. Symptoms could be controlled or improved by altering the sleep habits as well as the sleep environment. It could affect people who have been deprived of sleep and hence it is essential that the person gets enough sleep which could reduce the symptoms of sleep paralysis. An average adult would need six to eight hours of quality sleep each night. Maintaining regular hours of sleep each night and rising up at the same hour each day could be of great help to the person with sleep paralysis.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


Neuroblastoma – Rare Cancer Affecting Young Children 

Neuroblastoma is a type of rare cancer which affects mostly young children and develops from nerve cells known as neuroblasts. The term neuro refers to nerves and blastoma refers to cancer which affects immature or developing cells. These cells are found in a chain the run down the back of the chest and stomach and in several cases; it tends to develop in the adrenal glands, the two small glands above the kidneys and could spread to various other areas like the bones, skin and liver. .

This kind of cancers occurs often in infants and young children and is rarely found in children older than ten years. The cause of this condition is unknown and there are some rare cases where the children in the same family tend to get affected though it does not run in families. Symptoms would depend on where the cancer is located and whether it has spread to other areas in the body. It is often difficult to diagnose neuroblastoma in its initial stage as the symptoms are common like aches and pain with loss of energy and appetite. A late sign is a lump or swelling in the abdomen since this is where the cancer usually begins and could be missed out in a young child. The lump could cause constipation as well as difficulty in passing urine and is accompanied with pain and discomfort.

Symptoms and Signs 

Besides this, other symptoms could include lump in the neck, pale skin, bruising, bleeding with frequent infection, if the cancer has reached the bone marrow, bone pain with difficulty in walking if the bones are affected, numbness, weakness or loss of movement in the lower region of the body if the cancer has affected the spinal cord and bluish lumps on the skin and appearance of black eyes.

Test may include urine analysis test for certain chemicals found in the urine which could produce neuroblastoma cells, scans of various areas to look for affected parts of cancer like ultrasound scans, computerised tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging scans. A special kind of scan which involves an injection of a substance is taken up by neuroblastoma cells in any area of the body known as mIBG scan. A biopsy also enables the cancer to be identified wherein the sample is removed under general anaesthesia, using a special needle.

Different Stages of Neuroblastoma 

Neuroblastoma is defined by stages as with most cancer cases which reflect the spread of the condition and in stages 1 and 2- L1, the cancer is in one site and has not spread. Stage 3 - L2, the cancer has reached local structures though not to the distant parts of the body, while stage 4 – M, the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body.

Stage 4s – Ms, is a special stage for tumours diagnosed in babies under the age of twelve months though it could spread to other areas of the body and the outlook is good since it can get better on its own.Based on the stage of infection, chemotherapy is given in order to shrink the tumour before it can surgically be removed and in some cases followed by radiotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Factors For Consideration When Choosing Bed Rails

Security Pole

There are many factors for consideration when choosing bed rails. The durability of the front is an important factor for people who are not study on their feet. The cost of the item that may often be a consideration for people who are on a limited income. The material from which the product is made also needs to be carefully considered for durability purposes. The grip structure of the rails must also be investigated prior to making any purchases.


Choosing the right size of the rails is important for people who are trusting to give themselves more independence. If the product is not the right size it can be detrimental to the overall health of the person using it. As the rails are too short it will be difficult for people to grab them comfortably. If they are too long, a person may have to spread their arms wide in order to reach them.


The product must be sturdy in order to be of maximum benefit to potential patients. When there's a certain level of security in using the product people are going to feel more independent. Having the availability of a product which provides personal independence is the main reason that people choose to purchase the product. Finding a product that is easy to grip is also essential to the development of a long lasting disability assistance product. Interested parties can order today.


People will need to do a good bit of research in order to find a product which will fit their budget. Working with a sales associate can sometimes be helpful for people who are not sure what they're looking for in terms of a security support system.

Monday, 26 January 2015



Sarciodosis – Rare Condition Affecting Multiple Organs

Sarcoidosis is a rare condition, an inflammatory disease which affects multiple organs in the body, mostly the lungs and lymph glands. People suffering from sarcoidosis have abnormal masses or nodules known as granulomas, comprising of inflamed tissues which form in certain organs of the body and these could change the normal structure and possibly the functions of the affected organs.

The typical symptoms may include red tender bumps on the skin, persistent cough and shortness of breath though it may differ from person to person depending on which organ is affected. There is no cure for this ailment but the condition tends to improve without treatment and passes off within a few months or years.

The symptoms are not usually severe and do not affect the daily functions of the person affected. In some cases the symptoms tend to begin suddenly or severely and disappear in a short period of time while in other cases there may be no indication of outward symptoms at all though some organs could get affected. In still other cases, the symptoms tend to appear gradually which could last or recur over a long period of time.

Other Symptoms May Include 

Symptoms would depend on which organ is involved and besides tender red bumps, persistent dry cough and shortness of breath, other symptoms could also include: fatigue, red and watery eyes or blurred vision, swollen and painful joints, enlarged lymph glands in the chest and around the lungs, hoarse voice, enlarged and tender lymph glands in the neck, armpits and groin, pain in the hands, feet or any bony area which is due to the formation of cysts in the bones, kidney stone formation, enlarged liver, development of abnormal or missed heart beats, inflammation of the covering of the heart or even heart failure and the nervous system gets affected which could include hearing loss, meningitis, seizures or psychiatric disorders such as depression, psychosis, or dementia.

The exact cause of this ailment is not known. It is a kind of autoimmune disease which is associated with an abnormal immune response though what could trigger this response is uncertain and study is in progress to find out the spread of sarcoidosis from one area of the body to another.

Diagnosis & Treatment 

If the symptoms indicate that the person has pulmonary sarcoidosis which affects the lungs, a chest x-ray or a computerised tomography- CT scan of the lungs is done to identify for signs of the condition. Doctors may also need to examine the inside of the lungs in some cases, by using a long, thin flexible tube with a light source together with a camera - endoscope, at one end which is passed down through the throat and a small sample for lung tissue may also be removed at the time of this test where a microscopic study of it could be done.

This is known as biopsy. If sarcoidosis has affected other organs like the skin, heart or eyes, scans or examination are carried out on these areas. Treating this condition is done by simple changes in lifestyle and over the counter medication to treat any pain to control any flare-ups. Doctors could monitor the condition and check to see if the person is improving or getting worse without treatment which could be done with regular x-rays, blood tests and breathing tests.

Saturday, 24 January 2015


Lipoma – Slow Growing Fatty Lump

A lipoma is a slow growing fatty lump which grows between the skin and the underlying muscle layer. Lipoma usually occurs in middle age and in some cases, may have more than one lipoma. It is unusual to have more than one or two lipomas unless the person may tend to have a rare inherited condition known as familial multiple lipomatosis that may cause it to occur all over the body. It is not cancerous and is usually harmless and can occur on any area of skin where there are fatty cells though it is usually seen on the neck, shoulder, chest, arms and back.

The size could range from the size of a pea to a few centimetres and tend to grow very gradually. One can recognise a lipoma by pressing it which should feel smooth and soft like dough or rubber which may move about under the skin. If unsure, one could consult the physician and get it confirmed whether the lump is a lipoma on examining it. It is a collection of fat cells and does not have any evidence of turning into skin cancer. If the lump tends to change in any way, feels hard or is painful and grows back after it has been removed, the person should consult the physician to check for either angiolipoma, a benign lipoma which could be caused due to an increase in small blood vessels, or liposarcoma which is a rare form of soft tissue cancer.

Diagnosing Lipoma

There are several factors which could increase the risk of the development of lipoma such as being in the age group of 40 and 60 and though it could occur at any age, it is common within this age group and is rare in children. It could also run in the family. People with any other disorder like adiposis dolorosa, Cowden syndrome and Gardner’s syndrome could be at risk of multiple lipomas.

Diagnosing a lipoma is done by a physical examination, removal of a tissue sample or biopsy for lab examination or an ultrasound or other imaging test like an MRI or CT scan if the lipoma tends to be large or has unusual features or appears to be deeper than the fatty tissue. Chances are less and a very small lump resembling a lipoma could be a form of cancer known as liposarcoma which are cancerous tumours in fatty tissue that tend to grow rapidly and does not move under the skin and are painful. If the doctor suspects liposarcoma, a biopsy, MRI or CT scan is done to diagnose the same.

Treatment – Surgical Removal/Steroid Injection/Liposuction

Treatment is not usually needed for lipoma, but if it tends to bother the person, is painful or begins to grow, the physician would recommend it to be removed which can be done surgically by cutting it out. Recurrences after removal are not common and the possible side effects are bruising and scarring. For less scarring, a technique known as minimal excision extraction could be used. Steroid injection is also administered to shrink the lump though it does not eliminate it. Liposuction treatment is also used with the help of a needle and a large syringe to remove the fatty lump.

Monday, 19 January 2015


Roseola Affecting Babes & Toddlers 

Roseola is a generally mild infection which usually affects babes and toddlers. It tends to cause a distinctive skin rash that could be alarming though it is not harmful. Children could get infected with roseola by the time they enter the nursery school and fight off the virus recovering fully within a period of one week. There are two kinds of herpes virus which could cause roseola and the condition causes several days of fever which is followed by rash.

In some cases, the children develop a mild case of roseola and do not show any indication of illness while in other cases; they may experience the full range of symptoms. This condition is not serious and very rarely a high fever could cause any complications. Treatment for roseola comprises of bed rest, accompanied with plenty of fluids and medication to reduce the fever.

If a child is exposed to some other person suffering from roseola and get infected with the virus, it could take around a week or more for signs and symptoms to show up, if it appears at all. There could be a possibility of a person getting infected with this condition, though they may have signs and symptoms which could be mild to be noticed.


Symptoms of roseola could start with high fever often greater than 103 F and some children may also tend to have a slightly sore throat, with runny nose or cough together with or preceding fever, The child could also develop swollen lymph nodes in the neck together with fever which could last for three to five days. When the fever subsides, rash tend to appear though it is not often.

 The rash seems like several small pink spots or patches which are generally flat, and some may be raised. There could also be a white ring around some of the spots. These rash usually tend to appear initially on the chest, abdomen and back and then spread out to the neck and arms. The rash may or may not spread to the legs and face and are not itchy or uncomfortable and could last from several hours to many days before they disappear.

Other Signs & Symptoms 

Other symptoms and signs could include fatigue, mild diarrhoea irritability in infants and children, decreased appetite, swollen eyelids, besides runny nose. Roseola is caused by human herpes virus, are of eight types that can infect humans. It is caused by infection with type 6, human herpes virus or HHV 6 and cold sores are usually the result of type 1, human herpes virus.

Roseola could spread in the same way as a common cold wherein a child could get infected on coming in contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected child. For instance, if an infected child tends to sneeze on an object and the same is touched by another child a little later, they tend to get infected. Besides this, sharing cups used by the infected child is also another common way in spreading the virus.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


Anthrax – Rare, Serious Illness

Anthrax, a rare though serious illness is caused by a spore forming bacterium – Bacillus anthracis, a germ which breeds in soil. It tends to affect livestock and humans can get infected through direct or indirect contact with sick animals. There is no evidence of anthrax being transmitted from person to person but there could be a possibility of anthrax skin lesion which would be contagious through direct contact.

The anthrax bacteria usually enters the body through a wound in the skin or could get infected on eating contaminated meat or inhaling the spores. The symptoms and signs are based on how one is infected and could range from skin sores to vomiting to shock. Timely treatment with the use of antibiotics could be of great help in most anthrax infections.

 Inhaled anthrax seems to be very difficult to treat and could also be fatal. Anthrax could cause three forms of disease in humans namely, cutaneous that affects the skin and people having cuts or open wounds could get infected if they touch the bacteria, inhalation is when it affects the lungs on breathing in spores of the bacteria and gastrointestinal is when the digestive system tends to get affected on eating infected meat.

Types of Anthrax

Cutaneous Anthrax – infection enters the body through cuts or wounds on the skin and is the most common form of route. It is also the mildest and is seldom fatal. Symptoms and signs may include: raised itchy bump which resembles an insect bite that develops quickly into a painless sore having a black centre. There is also swelling in the sore as well and nearby lymph glands.

Inhalation Anthrax - develops when one breathes in anthrax spores and is the most severe way to get infected where the disease and treatment could also be fatal. The initial symptoms and signs may include: shortness of breath, nausea, coughing up blood, difficulty in swallowing, mild chest discomfort and flu like symptoms like sore throat, with mild fever, fatigue as well as muscles aches that could last for some hours or days. One may also experience more symptoms as the disease progresses which may include – shock, breathing problem, high fever and meningitis, which is a potentially life threatening inflammation of the spinal cord and the brain.

Gastrointestinal Anthrax – is another form of infection which starts on eating undercooked meat from an infected animal and symptoms may include: abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, headache, and loss of appetite, with fever, severe bloody diarrhoea at the later stage of the infection, swollen neck and sore throat with problem in swallowing.


If the ailment is diagnosed early, antibiotic could cure this condition but very often most of the people are not aware of this condition till it is too late to treat. Vaccine is available to cure anthrax in military and others who could be at risk of getting infected with this disease.

Effective decontamination of people can be done by thoroughly washing down with antimicrobial soap and water and the waste water should be treated with bleach or any other antimicrobial agent. Moreover, effective decontamination of the used articles could be done by boiling them in water for about half an hour or longer.

Formaldehyde is effective in destroying spores and vegetative cells on surfaces as well as burning clothing.

Monday, 12 January 2015


Agoraphobia – Anxiety Disorder

Agoraphobia is a kind of an anxiety disorder wherein the victim begins to have fear and avoids places or situations which could cause them to panic or make them feel trapped, helpless or even embarrassed. With this disorder, the person feels afraid on actual or anticipated situation which could be a feeling of anxiety related to a place or situation.

Several people are of the notion that agoraphobia is a fear of open spaces though it is more complex than this, wherein a person could be afraid of travelling on public transport, or leaving home or visiting a shopping centre. Person with this disorder may find themselves in stressful situation and may experience symptoms of a panic attack which may include rapid breathing/heartbeat, feeling hot and tends to sweat, feeling sick.

They may also have a tendency of avoiding situations which could give cause to anxiety and would only leave their home with a companion or order stuff, online for fear of going out. This form of change in behaviour is called `avoidance’. Often people begin to develop agoraphobia after experiencing one or more panic attacks which leads them to fear another attack and thus they avoid the place where it could have occurred.

Complication of Panic Disorder

Agoraphobia develops as a complication of panic disorder or an anxiety disorder which could involve moments of intense fear and panic attacks that could be related to past instances in their life. Few cases of agoraphobia have no history of panic attacks and in these cases their fear could be connected to some issues like fear of crime, illness, terrorism or being involved in an accident.

Certain traumatic incidents like bereavement could also contribute towards agoraphobia together with some genes which are inherited from their parents. This disorder could severely limit their ability to work, socialize, attend important functions and even in handling their daily functions.

Agoraphobia usually starts before 35 years of age though older people also start to develop this disorder and women suffer from agoraphobia more than the men. Besides the panic disorder or other phobias, the risk factors also includes the tendency of being nervous or anxious, experience stressful life episodes like abuse, death of a parent or being attacked, having a blood relative suffering from agoraphobia.

Three Step Approach 

People with this disorder find it difficult to feel safe in any public place especially when crowded and hence always have the need of a companion like a relative or a friend whom they can trust. Treating an agoraphobia person could be very challenging since it means facing the fears though with psychotherapy together with medications one could be free from agoraphobia and live a life without fear.

Diagnosis is done depending on the signs and symptoms together with a detailed interview with the physician. A physical examination could also be carried out to check for any other conditions which could cause the symptoms. For treating agoraphobia, a three stepwise approach is recommended which may include in educating the person about the condition, possible changes in lifestyle and self-help techniques that could help to reduce the symptoms.

The second step would be to enrol the person on a guided self-help program and step three would be a more intensive treatment like cognitive behavioural therapy – CBT or medication.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Trigger Finger

Trigger Finger – Painful Condition Affecting Tendons in Hand

Trigger finger is a painful condition which can affect the tendons in the hand and when affected, the finger or the thumb tends to bend towards the palm and the tendon gets stuck clicking or locking the finger. Trigger finger is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis or stenosing tenovaginosis and this condition could affect one or more fingers.

The symptoms could include pain, clicking, stiffness with a small lump in the palm towards the base of the affected finger or thumb which is known as nodule. In the thumb, it is known as trigger thumb. Trigger finger occurs when the tendons in the finger or thumb area gets inflamed. Tendons are the tough bands of tissue which connects the muscles and the bones and the combination of the tendons and muscles in the arm and the hand, bend and straighten the fingers and the thumb.

They enable the bone to move when muscles get contracted. In the hand, the tendons tend to run along the back and front of the bones in the fingers which are attached to the muscles in the forearm. Tendons on the palm area of the hand are held in place by strong bands of tissue or ligaments which are arch shaped over the tendon and it is these ligaments that form a tunnel on the surface of the bone and the tunnel is known as a tendon sheath.

Tendons Glide Easily – Synovium 

The tendons tend to glide easily through the tissues in the body which covers it, due to its lubricating membrane that surround the joint known as synovium. At times the tendon could get inflamed and swollen. When there is a problem with the tendon like a swelling it means that the tendon is unable to slide easily through the sheath and get bunched up forming the nodule due to which it tend to get difficult to bend the affected finger or thumb.

If the tendon is caught in the opening of the sheath, it could click painfully when straightened.When this takes place, bending the finger or a thumb could pull the inflamed tendon through the narrowed tendon sheath or covering, resulting in a pop or snap.

This condition could be caused due to repeated movement or using force on the finger or thumb. Besides this rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and gout could also be the cause of trigger finger. Grasping a power tool with a firm grip for a long period of time could also lead to trigger finger.

Symptoms & Treatment

The first symptoms of trigger finger includes soreness at the base of the finger or the thumb and the most common one is a painful clicking or snapping while bending or straightening the finger. This sensation gets worse on resting the thumb or the finger but loosens with movement while in some cases; the finger or the thumb gets lock in a bent or straight position as the condition progresses and get worse. Straightening with the other hand could be done gently.

Trigger finger is diagnosed on a physical examination done on the hand and fingers. No lab test or x-rays are done to diagnose this condition. Treatment like rest and medication, splinting, Corticosteriod injections to reduce swelling, or surgery on the affected sheath is done which involves releasing the affected sheath to help the tendons to move freely

Monday, 5 January 2015

Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s Disease – Disorder Affecting the Inner Ear

Meniere’s disease is a rare long term progressive disorder which affects the inner ear with symptoms causing vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss as well as a feeling of pressure deep within the ear.People suffering from this ailment tend to experience these symptoms with sudden attacks which could last for around two to three hours though it also take a day or more for the symptoms to go away completely.

Meniere’s disease usually progresses through various stages where, in the initial stage, several people tend to have sudden and unpredictable attacks of vertigo together with nausea, vomiting as well as dizziness. At the later stage, the occurrence of vertigo tend to reduce and at times stops altogether within five to ten years though the tinnitus and the hearing loss becomes worse over a period of time and may be left with a permanent balance problems.

Cause of this ailment is unknown but several factors are presumed to be responsible for the development of these conditions like increased pressure of the fluid in the endolymphatic sac, an allergic factor which damages the inner ear or other unknown factors.

Unpredictable & Distress Illness

Meniere’s disease is an unpredictable and a distress illness and as it progresses and the vertigo tends to get less severe, there may be instances of imbalance which could be very uncomfortable in moving around with ease. Usually it is only one ear which may get affected but around fifty percent of the people may tend to develop the condition in both their ears.

Though there is no absolute cure for Meniere’s disease, it can be treated to control the symptoms which includes - balance training (vestibular rehabilitation), medication to treat the symptoms and prevent attacks, changes made in their diet with low salt diet, relaxation techniques and surgery in some severe cases. Several surgical procedures are used to treat people based on the condition of their symptoms, if only one ear or both ears are affected.

The effectiveness of some surgical treatment is uncertain though progress in researches continues with regards to this issue. Some suffering from this disease could also notice that the condition may have a significant impact on their mental state of mind and the unpredictable condition of the attacks and restrictions could lead to feelings of anxiety as well as depression.

Symptoms of Ailment

The symptoms of vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus may also occur in other illness too and may be needed to be excluded by tests for instance; blood test and MRI scan, before a final diagnosis is made. Since this disease is symptomatic, treatment may differ from one individual to another and may include medication, diet and lifestyle changes, vestibular rehabilitation, tinnitus management, hearing aids as well as counselling.

For four out of five individuals, non-surgical treatment could be sufficient in controlling the symptoms of this ailment though if vertigo seems to be a problem, surgical procedure could be beneficial to them. The physician could offer the best suitable advice needed depending on the symptoms. Besides the physician, a number of support groups like the Meniere’s Society could also provide assistance and guidance when needed.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Hay Fever

Hay Fever – Allergic Rhinitis 

Hay Fever is also known as allergic rhinitis and have symptoms of cold like itchy eyes, running nose, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure though unlike a cold, this ailment is not caused by a virus. It is caused due to an allergic response to airborne substances known as allergens, in indoor or outdoor atmosphere, like pollen, pet dander or dust mites.

In most of the cases, those who do not get affected with hay fever, these substances are not allergens since their immune system does not tend to react to them. Hay fever does not actually mean that the person is allergic to hay and has a fever and is hardly an allergen and does not cause fever. Hay fever could make one feel miserable and may affect the overall working system at work or school.

Symptoms of hay fever could begin at different intervals of time and could depend on what substance is person is allergic to. Should be person be allergic to common pollen and when the pollen count in the air is higher, the symptoms could be more severe. Some of the common symptoms could include – sneezing, watery eyes, itchy nose/throat and block nose.

Symptoms of Hay Fever 

Severe symptoms could include headaches, sweats, itchiness that spreads from the throat to the nose and ears and facial pain which could be due to blocked sinuses. At times hay fever symptoms could also lead to insomnia, tiredness and irritability. People who tend to suffer from asthma may find that when they suffer from hay fever symptoms, their wheezing as well as their episodes of breathlessness becomes more severe.

In some cases, people only have asthma symptoms when they suffer from hay fever. Hay fever tends to affect a person when the immune system mistakes a harmless airborne substance as a threat and when this happens; the body produces an antibody known as immunoglobulin E to attack it. It then releases chemical histamine which is the cause of the symptoms.

Seasonal hay fever may trigger off during certain months of the year which include pollen and spores that can cause the symptoms which include: tree pollen and tend to affect people during spring season, grass pollen, tends to affect a person later on in the spring as well as in summer, while weed pollen are more common during autumn time. When the weather is warm, fungi and mold spores are the more common triggers.

Avoid Substances Causing Reaction 

The best treatment for hay fever is to avoid the substances which may cause a reaction and though this is not always possible, additional treatment together with strategies to prevent exposure may be needed. For hay fever which is not severe, over the counter medications are available to ease the symptoms while in severe cases, one may need a prescribed medication.

Several patients tend to get much relief from a combination of allergy medication that could be tried in finding out which works best for the person.There are certain medications which are approved for children while others are only for adults. It is essential to make a note of these instructions at the time of over the counter purchases to avoid any other form of complications.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome

Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome – Problem of Nerve Signals

Lambert Eaton myasthenic syndrome – LEMS is a rare ailment caused by a problem with the transmission of nerve signals to the muscles. It results in a weakness in the muscle and at times,associated with dryness of the mouth, constipation as well as impotence. It is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder affecting the presynaptic neuromuscular junction.

The muscle weakness in the case of LEMS is due to auto-antibodies to voltage gated calcium channels at presynaptic area of the neuromuscular junction which leads to a reduction in the quantity of acetylcholine that is released from the nerve terminals. Person suffering from LEMS tend to experience fatigue, stiffness and muscle pain and the weakness is more pronounced in the lower extremity muscles especially in the legs and hip girdle areas.

Other problems may include reduced reflexes, drooping of the eyelids, problems in swallowing and facial weakness besides dry mouth, constipation and impotence. In some rare cases, these problems could be life-threatening when the weakness is related to respiratory muscles.

LEMS - Paraneoplastic/Non-Paraneoplastic

LEMS has two forms where the first type is related to people having cancer, the majority of those having small cell lung cancer – SCLC is related to those who smoke and starts after the age of 50. This form of LEMS is known as paraneoplastic.

 Fifty percent of the cases of LEMS are triggered due to underlying lung cancer which is associated with smoking and the person usually tends to develop this disease during middle or at a later age. In the other form of this disease, there is no tumour and this condition tends to start after the age of 40 though it could also start in children under the age of 10 which is known as non-paraneoplastic LEMS.

The immune system tends to mistakenly attack the nerve endings resulting in weakening the nerve impulses from the nerves to the muscles, thus preventing the muscles from contracting or tightening properly.The first symptom of LEMS is weakness in the leg with difficulty in walking. Oculobulbar weakness which affects the muscles of the eyes, face and throat could develop later, causing droopy eyelids or ptosis, speech impairment together with problem in swallowing.

LEMS Can be Controlled

For diagnosis, a special kind of blood test is conducted to detect the antibodies which may damage the nerve endings where these antibodies do not show up in people without LEMS. Nerve conduction test which involves electromyography, a procedure which is used to identify communication problem between the nerves and muscles is done, where a needle electrode is inserted through the skin in the muscle.

 This produces an electrical recording on the activity of the muscle and if the person suffers from LEMS, the muscles tend to fail in responding to the electrical stimulation. Besides this, a nerve stimulation test is also carried out which shows whether the transmission of signals between the nerve and muscle is poor or not. Those diagnosed with LEMS should first be investigated for any possibility of cancer and if found with cancer, they should first be treated for the removal of cancer which could improve the symptoms.

Though LEMS cannot be cured, its symptoms can be controlled by stimulating a great amount of acetylcholine, by prolonging the activity of the acetylcholine which is released and by reducing the levels of the antibodies caused by the condition.