Thursday, 26 February 2015
What you need to know about corns?Written by George
On a daily basis, an individual spends several hours using their feet and takes on thousands of steps. The walking will put pressure on the feet that is equal to 2-3 times the body weight. This is why many experience sore feet at some point in their lives. In reality, the usual foot problems are blamed on not walking but on the walking shoes used. Corns form on the toes since the bones push up against the shoe and add pressure on the skin. The skin surface thickens and builds up, thus irritating the tissues below. The hardened corns are usually situated on the top of the toe or on the sides of the small toe. The soft corns are similar to open sores and develop between the toes as they rub against each other.
- Using shoes that do not fit properly. If the shoes are too tight, they will squeeze the foot, thus increasing the pressure. If the shoes are too loose, the foot can slide and rub against the shoe, producing friction.
- Toe deformities such as claw toe or hammer toe.
- Using high-heeled shoes since they increase the pressure on the forefoot.
- Socks that do not fit properly.
- Rubbing against the seam or stitch inside the shoe.
Diagnosing and treatment
Corns can be seen easily and have a sensitive region in the middle and enclosed by dead skin with a yellowish tinge. The treatment of foot problems is usually a team effort. The individual should work with the physician to ensure that issues do not recur.
When restoring the normal contour of the skin and reducing the pain, the doctor will trim the corn by shaving the dead layers of the skin with a scalpel. The procedure must be performed by a healthcare professional especially if the individual has diminished circulation, poor eyesight or lack of sensation in the feet. Once the doctor ascertains an underlying issue such as toe deformity, it can be corrected. Most of the surgeries are usually carried out on an outpatient basis.
What to do at home?
- The individual can soak the feet on a regular basis and utilize a pumice stone to soften and reduce the size of the corn.
- You can use lamb’s wool that is placed in between the toes to cushion the soft corns.
- Wear foam pad that has a donut shape over the corn to help reduce the pressure. You can utilize a non-medicated corn pad. Do not use the medicated pads since they might increase irritation and result to an infection.
- Wear shoes that properly fit and have enough space for the toes to move.
If possible, it is best to utilize the right types of shoes that provide comfort especially those that are used most of the time. You can help ease the symptoms of this condition if you will register for first aid training today.
Friday, 13 February 2015
How to control dust mites effectivelyWritten by George
Once you discover that dust mites are one of the causes of the allergy symptoms, you might be forced to vacuum most of the time. On the other hand, vacuuming is not the solution. Using a vacuum cleaner will stir up clouds of fine dust that can linger in the air for up to 8 hours, thus causing runny nose, sneezing and itchiness. If you want to properly manage these symptoms, you can register for first aid training today.
It is vital to wait until the individual is out of the house before vacuuming. If you want to avoid stirring up the dust, it is best to invest on a vacuum cleaner with a built-in HEPA filter. You can maintain low level of dust by cleaning all non-carpeted floors at least once a week with a damp mop and utilize a moist cloth to wipe flat surfaces, window ledges and photo frames.
Air-conditioning and keeping the windows and doors closed are effective in keeping the house free from allergens or irritants brought in by the air from the outdoors. Even though it can be expensive to install centralized air-conditioning, it is economical to install a unit in the bedroom to help the individual sleep better at night. Remember to check and clean regularly the air-conditioner filters to control the growth of mold.
When a HEPA air cleaner is used, it can reduce the symptoms. Nevertheless, air filtration must complement and should not replace measures to control dust mites. In reality, air cleaners will not drastically reduce exposure to dust mites and not recommended for dust mite control.
What you need to know about dust mites
Dust mites are considered the main source of allergens in dust. It is hard for many individuals who are allergic to accept that they are present in large numbers even in a well-cleaned house.
Dust mites are members of the same family with spiders. They are too small to be seen by the naked eye and they thrive in any place where humans live. Dust mites feed on any protein that they can find, particularly dead skin scales that are shed by humans every day. They also need moderately warm, damp environment with the temperature of 65 degrees F or higher and humidity around 65%. Remember that bedding is the ideal place for dust mites since it offers warmth, fibrous materials, adequate moisture and abundant dead skin cells. Dust mites are also present in clothing, upholstered furniture, carpets and soft toys.
Maintaining low humidity
Dust mites flourish when the humidity is around 75-80%. Once the humidity level drops below 50%, dust mites will shrivel and die. With this in mind, reducing the humidity level can reduce the population of dust mites. A dehumidifier is useful in drying out the air.
Friday, 13 February 2015
Overview on SARSWritten by George
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is considered as a serious form of viral pneumonia. This is a new disease and the virus responsible was initially identified in 2003.
SARS has been identified as a worldwide health threat and the epidemic back in 2003 affected many individuals in China, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam before spreading around the globe. The disease caused hundreds of fatalities before it was successfully contained.
Symptoms of SARS
The symptoms of SARS are strikingly similar to pneumonia which includes the following:
- Dry cough
- Fever higher than 100.4 degrees F
- Difficulty breathing including shortness of breath
- Muscle stiffness
- Appetite loss
The breathing issues initially manifest within 2-10 days after the individual was exposed to the virus. The individual who presents these symptoms will be quarantined if he/she has a history of travelling abroad. The quarantine will last for 10 days in order to prevent the virus from spreading.
The factors that can increase the risk for acquiring the disease include close contact with an individual diagnosed with SARS and a history of travel to China, Canada as well as Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore or any country reported with SARS outbreak.
How SARS spreads
SARS can spread when an infected individual coughs, sneezes or comes into face-to-face contact another individual. The face-to-face contact includes the following:
- Contact with bodily fluids of an individual with SARS
- Caring for someone with SARS
- Hugging, kissing, touching or sharing of utensils with an infected individual
SARS can also be acquired by direct contact with a surface that has been tainted by respiratory droplets from an infected individual and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth. The disease can also spread via the air but this has not been confirmed. If you want to learn measures to ease some of the symptoms, read here.
There are various lab tests that have been developed to detect the SARS virus. During the first outbreak, there were no laboratory tests for the disease. A diagnosis is made through the symptoms and medical history. With the advancements made, laboratory tests can be carried out on nasal and throat swabs or blood samples. A CT scan or X-ray can also reveal indications of pneumonia that are characteristic of SARS.
There are measures to prevent the transmission of SARS if in close contact with an individual who has been diagnosed with the disease.
- Wash hands regularly
- Use disposable gloves when contact with any infected bodily fluids could not be avoided
- Use a clinical mask when staying in the same area with a SARS patient
- Wash all personal items including utensils and bedding used by the individual diagnosed with SARS
- Disinfect all surfaces that has been contaminated by the virus
It is important to follow these measures at least 10 days after the symptoms of SARS have gone away. Additionally, children should stay at home if they develop fever or any breathing issues after contact with an individual who has SARS.
Treatment of SARS
Those who are diagnosed with SARS are given antibiotics to treat pneumonia. Steroids and antiviral medications are also given to minimize the lung swelling. Supplemental oxygen or ventilator can be prescribed if needed. In severe cases, blood plasma from an individual who recovered from SARS can also be administered. Nevertheless, there is not yet enough evidence to prove that these treatments are effective.
Thursday, 12 February 2015
Overview on central pain syndromeWritten by George
Central pain syndrome is described as a neurological disorder that is caused by damage to the central nervous system. The central nervous system includes the brain, brainstem and the spinal cord. This condition can be triggered by various conditions such as stroke, tumors, brain trauma or epilepsy. Those who have central pain syndrome usually feel various types of pain sensations such as the following:
- Sharp pain
The symptoms tend to vary widely among individuals. It can occur right after trauma or other conditions or it might take months or even years to develop. It is important to note that there is no cure for this syndrome. In most cases, pain medication, antidepressants and other types of medications can provide relief. The condition can drastically affect the quality of life of any individual.
Causes of central pain syndrome
Central pain syndrome involves pain that stems from the brain and not from the peripheral nerves that are situated outside of the brain and spinal cord. Due to this, it is different from other pain conditions.
Remember that there is no harmful stimulus. An injury to the brain produces the perception of pain. Take note that this injury typically occurs in the thalamus which is a structure in the brain that processes the sensory signals to other parts of the brain. The usual conditions that can lead to central pain syndrome include:
- Brain hemorrhage
- Brain tumors
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injury
- Parkinson’s disease
- Traumatic brain injury
- Surgical procedures involving the spine or brain
Symptoms of central pain syndrome
The main symptom of central pain syndrome is pain in the body that varies from one individual to another. The pain is typically described as aching, burning, prickling, freezing, stabbing, itching, tearing and shocking. The pain can range from moderate to severe in intensity. It can even be agonizing in some individuals. In severe cases, those with central pain syndrome can experience pain even when lightly touched by blankets, clothing or even the wind. You can register for first aid training if you want to learn pain management measures to help ease the discomfort.
Diagnosing central pain syndrome
Central pain syndrome can be difficult to diagnose. The pain can be extensive and does not seem to the linked to any trauma or injury. Remember that there is no testing tool that can be used to identify central pain syndrome.
In most cases, the doctor will review the symptoms, conduct a physical exam and ask about the medical history of the individual. It is vital to inform the doctor regarding any conditions or injuries in the past or recently as well as medications being used.
Management of central pain syndrome
Central pain syndrome is hard to treat. Pain medication such as morphine is oftentimes used but not always successful. In some individuals, the pain can be managed by taking antidepressant or antiepileptic medications.
Generally, these medications will minimize the pain but will not make it go away entirely. Through trial and error, the ideal medication can be discovered or a combination of medications that works best for the individual.
The last resort is neurosurgery which includes deep brain stimulation. The procedure entails an electrode that is embedded in specific areas of the brain to transmit stimulation to the pain receptors.
Thursday, 22 January 2015
Can I use garlic for chest congestion?Written by George
Garlic has been used for its medicinal properties throughout the years. The uses of this herb range from protection from the plague back in the 18th century and even protection for gangrene. Even though garlic has its role in traditional medicine, few of these used are considered effective. Due to the presence of active compounds in garlic, it is typically used in treating chest congestion. Even though initial studies found this herb to be effective in managing the symptoms of common cold, it might not be the best natural treatment for chest congestion.
If you want to be prepared to manage the symptoms of common cold, including chest congestion, it is best to enroll in a class on first aid today.
What are the active constituents?
It is important to note that garlic is composed of several active constituents with the primary compound called as alliin. This compound is derived from cysteine which is an amino acid that contains sulfur that is responsible for adding most of the medicinal qualities present within garlic.
Once the garlic bulbs are broken down, alliin is changed into allicin. The garlic is required to undergo fermentation in order to break up the components of allicin so that that it can be properly absorbed by the body. It is believed that this chemical decomposition produces several water-soluble sulfur compounds which are known to improve the healing qualities of garlic in the body.
Chest congestion and garlic
The active constituents present within garlic can improve the functioning of the immune system as well as relieve the symptoms of common cold which includes chest congestion. In a study conducted, it was discovered that garlic boosts the immune system, thus helping out the body fight off the symptoms of common cold.
If you are going to use garlic as part of the treatment for common cold, it is recommended to consume 600-1200 mg of aged garlic on a daily basis. The individual can be given 2-4 g of minced garlic on a daily basis. The best way to gain the most out of garlic is to consume 2-5 mg of allicin on a daily basis. When preventing a stomach upset from developing while consuming garlic, it is best to consume the garlic supplements together with food.
Considerations to bear in mind
Even though garlic is considered as generally safe for consumption, it is still important to consult the use of garlic with a doctor first, especially if the individual is currently using medications such as HIV medications or blood thinners. The usual side effects of consuming garlic include unpleasant body odor, bad breath, gastrointestinal discomfort and heartburn.
If an individual is planning to include garlic as a supplement, it is best to consult a doctor first if it is allowed and to be familiar with safety precautions.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Useful remedies for child with coughWritten by George
It is a known fact that coughing is a mechanism of the body to eliminate excess mucus in the airways. Even though most cases of coughs do not need to be suppressed, coughing can be irritating and can lead to a sore throat, lack of sleep and sore chest muscles. If a child is suffering from a persistent cough or high fever, a doctor must be consulted for proper assessment. As for mild cases of cough, they can be managed at home with several remedies. You can readily manage mild cases of cough by enrolling in a course on first aid today in your area. In doing so, you can learn the appropriate steps to take to manage the cough.
Increase the moisture
A child who has a cough that sounds similar to a bark might indicate croup. A mild croup can be managed at home. All you have to do is to bring the child to the bathroom and run the shower with the water in the hot setting. Instruct the child to inhale the warm air for about ten minutes.
Another option is to use a humidifier in the bedroom of the child. Once the child shows signs of respiratory distress such as difficulty breathing, wheezing or bluish fingernails, it is best to seek immediate medical care.
In case the cough of the child originates from a ticklish throat, you can provide him/her with cool drinks or cough drops to ease the irritation. It is best to avoid any carbonated beverages and orange juice since they can sting an already irritated throat. Just remember not to provide children below 4 years old with cough drops or hard candy since they are considered as choking hazards.
If the child is having difficulty in falling asleep due to a cough, you can provide him/her with 2 teaspoons of honey before going to bed. Take note that honey is considered as an effective cough suppressant just like with over-the-counter remedies that contain dextromethorphan. In case the child likes to drink tea, you can provide him/her with a warm cup of sweetened honey to help soothe the throat. Honey should not be given to babies below one year old since it can cause infant botulism.
There are also some herbal remedies that can help ease a cough. Just remember that it is best to consult a doctor first before any herbal remedies will be used. Take note that some remedies are not suitable for the age of the child or might react with other medications currently taken.
Peppermint contains menthol which is considered as a natural decongestant and also works as an expectorant. Another popular remedy is eucalyptus that is used for coughs and colds. There are cough ointments in the market that are made from eucalyptus and menthol. Other herbal remedies commonly used for cough include licorice, slippery elm, thyme and sundew.
Thursday, 15 January 2015
Why do I have green mucus in the eye?Written by George
Any discharge or mucus in the eye can be triggered by various conditions. Many individuals will wake up and end up with a minor buildup of debris in the edges of the eyelids. In most circumstances, it is simply due to the accumulation of tear components while sleeping throughout the night. One should be concerned when new or a large amount of mucus in the eye is present. It is important to note that mucus discharge that is accompanied by changes in the vision or eye pain entails proper assessment by a doctor in order to determine the underlying cause.
Large amounts of green mucus in the eye can indicate an ocular contamination. Remember that bacterial eye infections frequently occur with dense, greenish discharge together with redness and pain. The bacterial eye infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to prevent lasting vision problems. Take note that antibiotics are not required for all eye infections and bacterial resistance can occur if overused.
The cases that are triggered by viruses do not respond to antibiotics and the doctor will recommend a different approach. When an individual is diagnosed with pink eye, it simply indicates that the infection is contagious and typically resolves without treatment just like common cold. Nevertheless, all cases of eye infections must be assessed by a doctor to determine the right treatment.
Dry eye syndrome
Dry eye is a condition in which there is inadequate tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Problems with the tear film linked with dry eye can lead to symptoms of discharge, debris along the eyelids and watering. The usual complaints with dry eye include the feeling of scratchiness or sandy. There are various over-the-counter eye lubricants that can help enhance the natural tears and reduce the symptoms.
Certain environmental factors such as dust and wind can worsen the condition along with extended use of electronic devices and computers. In addition, using humidifiers, avoiding fans and vents as well as wearing wrap-around sunglasses can help minimize these environmental effects.
Take note that allergies might be a culprit for the green mucus in the eye. An allergic reaction can occur due to exposure to seasonal allergens or animals. There are also medications that can cause these reactions. Those who are highly sensitive to certain materials and chemicals can instigate a reaction. You can take a course on first aid today so that you are prepared to handle allergies.
Those who suffer from ocular allergy suffer from a stringy-type of discharge that is usually while in color or clear. As for the itchiness, it is the most common symptom linked with allergies. The individual should not rub the eyes since they will only aggravate the condition. In most circumstances, swelling of the conjunctiva and eyelids can also occur during an allergic response. Allergy eye drops prescribed by the doctor are highly effective in reducing the symptoms. There are also over-the-counter allergy eye drops that can be used. Additionally, you can apply a cold compress over the eyelids.
Wednesday, 24 December 2014
What are the possible complications of vasomotor rhinitis?Written by George
It is important to note that vasomotor rhinitis involves the inflammation of the padding in the nose that was caused by the engorged blood vessels. The resulting engorgement stimulates the mucus glands which cause the distinctive nasal dripping and congestion in most individuals.
Vasomotor rhinitis is not instigated by an allergic response in the body. It is actually initiated by infections, changes in the weather, spicy foods, environmental irritants as well as using medications.
Chronic sinusitis is described by the inflammation of the sinuses which are cavities around the nasal passages. Take note that the inflammation clogs the drainage from the sinuses and results to the accumulation of mucus. The symptoms of chronic sinusitis include drainage of mucus down the throat, pain and tenderness around the eyes and nose, breathing difficulty, reduced sense of smell, aching in the jaw and cough. In most cases, antibiotics and medications are usually effective in relieving the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. In severe cases in which the condition persists, surgery might be required. If you want to properly manage this condition, you can enroll in a first aid course today.
Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths that develop on the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses as an outcome of the chronic inflammation. The small-sized nasal polyps do not cause any problems and often go unnoticed. The large nasal polyps can clog up the nasal passages resulting to breathing difficulty, sinus infections and reduced sense of smell.
There are a number of medications that can be prescribed to help shrink the size of the nasal polyps. In case the medications are not effective, surgery might be required to eliminate them. Nevertheless, nasal polyps can return and some even lose their sense of smell permanently.
Middle ear infections
The accumulation of fluid combined with nasal congestion can eventually lead to a middle ear infection. The Eustachian tube which is a small tube that links the middle ear to the back of the throat ends up blocked by congestion and mucus that result to an infection.
The symptoms include fluid in the ear, pain as well as pus, redness of the ear, difficulty hearing and fever. In case the pressure is very high, the eardrum can rupture. Always remember that middle ear infections triggered by vasomotor rhinitis typically go away on their own in 2-3 days.
Reduced quality of life
The mild symptoms can lead to reduced productivity while school or work. The severe symptoms and frequent visit to the doctor results to missed school or work. The breathing difficulty linked with vasomotor rhinitis can also reduce the ability of the individual to take part in sports or physical activities.
If the individual suffer from persistent vasomotor rhinitis, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible for proper assessment of the condition.
Thursday, 18 December 2014
What to do for foot fungus among children?Written by George
It is important to note that foot fungus is quite common among children and often called as athlete’s foot or tinea pedis. Even though foot fungus is quite common among adolescents and adults, children can also become infection and end up with an annoying rash on the feet. Nevertheless, since skin issues on the feet of children can stem from various causes, a doctor should be consulted before attempting to treat the issue at home.
In case a child develops foot fungus, you can readily manage the condition if you will register for first aid training today.
What are the symptoms?
An indicative symptom of foot fungus among children is an itchy rash that develops in between the toes. Take note that the skin between the toes will turn red in color and become cracked and scaly or even develop a cheese-like appearance. If the condition is not treated right away, it has the tendency to radiate to the instep and even reach the toenails as well. Always bear in mind that foot fungus will also produce a foul stench. If the child scratches the rash, it can become raw and wet.
Foot fungus has the tendency to spread via direct exposure to the fungus. Take note that this often occurs once the child walks barefoot in areas where the fungus is present. The fungus is capable of surviving in moist areas especially in public showers, swimming pools and locker rooms.
The fungus can also be acquired by sharing a towel with an individual who has the infection. Nevertheless, even if exposed to the fungus, the child can only develop the condition if the feet are also moist since the fungus thrives well in moist environments.
Treatment for foot fungus
The appropriate treatment for foot fungus among children is to apply a cream or powder over the affected foot to help eliminate the fungus. The doctor can recommend the suitable medication for the infection that is appropriate to the age of the child.
In case the topical solutions will not work, the doctor will recommend an oral medication to eliminate the fungus. Regardless of the mode of treatment used, you should keep the feet of the child dry and instruct to avoid walking barefoot during the course of the treatment. Remember that the fungus could not grow in dry, airy environments.
Since the fungus that causes the condition requires moisture to survive, it is vital to keep the feet dry and clean at all times to prevent it. Children must be taught to dry their feet thoroughly after showering, bathing or swimming.
It is also recommended to wear loose shoes and change socks regularly to prevent the feet from becoming soaked by sweat. You can also prevent exposure to the fungus by providing the child with flip-flops or other footwear to use when using public showers, swimming pools or locker rooms.
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Why do I have a rash after receiving the shingles vaccine?Written by George
The shingles vaccine works by reducing the risk of developing shingles as well as the development of the common complications particularly post-herpetic neuralgia. It is important to note that the usual side effect after the shingles vaccine is administered is a rash. If you want to be prepared to handle the rash that occurs after the shingles vaccines is given, all you have to do is to look for a course. You can learn ways to ease this side effect by enrolling in a course on first aid today.
Always bear in mind the initial type of rash is comprised of a small number of blisters that are similar to shingles that develops at the injection site and they do not spread to other parts of the body. In some cases, a second type of rash comprised of blisters similar to shingles can develop in another part of the body other than the injection site. Take note that these blisters tend to be numerous and can also affect a wider area which is similar to the naturally occurring shingles.
Onset of the rash
Those who were given the shingles vaccine should report all forms of rashes that developed within 42 hours after the vaccine was administered. Individuals who experienced rashes on the injection site developed 2-3 days after the vaccine was given. Others who experience rashes in other parts of the body usually appeared more than 2 weeks after the vaccine was administered.
How long the rashes last?
The rashes that developed on the injection site typically resolve within 5 days unlike from the rashes that developed on other parts of the body which resolves within 18 days. The rashes that develop on other parts of the body are likely to reflect vaccine failure rather than a side effect of the vaccination. Take note that in all but a few cases, the laboratory tests show that the cause of the rash was in reality shingles but not the strain of the virus that was utilized in the vaccine.
It is important to note that less than 1% of cases who received the shingles vaccine developed a rash. The rashes are more likely to occur among individuals 60-69 years old than those over 70 years old.
In rare cases, a rash that develops after the shingles vaccine is given can indicate a complication such as an allergic reaction or an infection. The indications of an allergic reaction usually include nausea, chest tightness or pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, facial swelling, anxiety or dizziness. The symptoms of infection include fever or discharge of the injection site. Those who suffer from these symptoms must consult a doctor for instructions or simply bring the individual to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.