Reduce (and treat ) Seasonal Allergies

Ahh! Spring is the time of year that we normally think of when it comes to seasonal allergies. As the trees start to bloom and the pollen gets airborne, allergy sufferers begin their annual ritual of sniffling and sneezing. Each year, 35 million Americans fall prey to seasonal allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever. Although there is no magical cure for spring allergies, there are a number of ways to combat them, from medication to household habits.

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Oral Healthcare And Your Health

Your mouth is connected to the rest of your body. Did you know that your oral health can offer clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Your mouth is connected to the rest of your body. To understand how the mouth can affect the body, it helps to understand what can go wrong in the first place. Bacteria that builds up on teeth make gums prone to infection. The immune system moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. The Inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control.

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Pertussis

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease of the respiratory tract, caused by Bordetella pertussis. It occurs mainly in infants and young children, and is easily transmitted from person to person, mainly through droplets. The first symptoms generally appear 7–10 days after infection, and include mild fever, runny nose, and cough, which in typical cases gradually develops into a paroxysmal cough followed by whooping (hence the common name of whooping cough).In the youngest infants, the paroxysms may be followed by periods of apnoea. Pneumonia is a relatively common complication; seizures and encephalopathy occur more rarely. Untreated patients may be contagious for three weeks or more following onset of the cough. Pertussis can be prevented by immunization.

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Tips for Power Napping

Whether you think you need daytime rest or not, picking up a nap habit—or continuing to make time for one—is a smart, healthy move. Consider the evidence: The Mayo Clinic says naps promote relaxation, reduced fatigue, better mood and alertness, and a sharper-working mind (better memory, less confusion, fewer mistakes). A 2008 British study found that compared to getting more nighttime sleep or guzzling caffeine, a mid-day nap was the best way to cope with the mid-afternoon slump. People who napped regularly had a 37 percent reduced risk of dying from heart disease compared to people who didn’t nap.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Winter days can really drag you down. Natural sunlight is a free and available mood enhancer. It encourages us to produce vitamin D and protects us from seasonal mood changes. However, because society is more aware than ever of skin cancer and sun damage, most of us have significantly reduced our exposure to natural sunlight. But, in doing so, we have traded the risk factors of one disease for others. Lack of natural sunlight can lead to vitamin D deficiency – which contributes to an increased risk of and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

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Facts About Color Blindness

Color blindness is usually genetic, but can also be caused by traumatic injury or exposure to chemicals. There are three types of color blindness – one type makes it difficult to distinguish between red and green, the second type makes it difficult to distinguish between blue and yellow, and a third type is actually complete color blindness in which the eye cannot detect any colors at all. Red-green color blindness affects 10% of males in the United States, while only 0.5% of women are affected, and 99% of all people with color blindness have red-green color blindness.

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Can Too Much Vitamin D Harm Your Health?

Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin” because its primary source is the sun but sometimes too much of any good thing is a bad thing. Too much vitamin D can cause an abnormally high blood calcium level, which could result in nausea, constipation, confusion, abnormal heart rhythm, and even kidney stones. Vitamin D can be obtained through three different sources: diet, sunlight and dietary supplements. While the risk of consuming too much vitamin D through diet and sunlight is virtually nonexistent, some people can overdose on vitamin D through supplementation.In fortified supplements and foods, vitamin D is present in two different forms: D-2 and D-3. Both forms of vitamin D can effectively raise the body’s levels of vitamin D. This nutrient helps the body absorb calcium and is necessary for bone growth. A lack of vitamin D can cause a number of conditions, including brittle bones, osteoporosis and rickets in children.

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The Common Cold

The common cold places a heavy burden on society, accounting for approximately 40% of time taken off work and millions of days of school missed by children each year. The common cold is a self-limited contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses. The common cold is medically referred to as a viral upper respiratory tract infection. Symptoms of the common cold may include cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing. Because so many different viruses can cause a cold and because new cold viruses constantly develop, the body never builds up resistance against all of them. For this reason, colds are a frequent and recurring problem.

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Bladder Cancer & The Elderly

Cancer is a disease that occurs more frequently in later life, and the proportion of cancers that occur in the elderly is increasing relative to younger age groups. By 2030, over 70% of all cancers are expected to occur in people aged over 65 years. Proposed mechanisms for the increased incidence of cancer in the aging population include an accumulation of genetic and cellular damage, prolonged exposure to carcinogens, and fundamental changes in the host environment. The presence of age-related physiological changes in elderly patients, presents clinicians with challenges that require specific knowledge of geriatric oncology.

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Technological Problems with Medical Treatment

The high cost of new diagnostic and treatment technologies means that they have to be used selectively, and at that point decisions must be made about who should get to use them. In recent years there have been increasing charges of improper use of these new technologies, coupled with increasing discussion of their costs and benefits. Unfortunately, the use of such technology tends to spread indiscriminately and so add indiscriminately to health care costs. Given this situation, there is a need to examine the relevance of new diagnostic and treatment methods, the causes of technological abuse, the ethical aspects of the use of medical technology, and even the relationship between technology and society.

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