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10 Great Dental Hygiene Tips

April 11, 2018 0

Who doesn’t love flashing their pearly white teeth as they smile widely? You can usually tell that this person has recently visited the dentist, hence […]

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How To Spot Signs of Concussion In A Toddler

Children will eventually bump their heads, we can watch them carefully and take every safety precaution imaginable, but it will still happen sooner or later. Now while a bump on the head is usually not much to worry about there is always the risk of a more serious injury.

The head is a sensitive place after all especially with a young child, but that doesn’t mean you should panic if your child falls or bumps their head against something. Whatever happens, stay calm and cool-headed because if you to notice the signs of a concussion in a toddler you’ll need to pay close attention.

A concussion is not always the onset of doom either despite what movies and TV shows might tell you. There is certainly a lot of variation when it comes to concussions some can be very mild while others can be much more dangerous. In the majority of cases, they will be temporary issues as well with no long-lasting damage.

Spotting The Signs of A Concussion

One of the tricky parts of spotting a concussion is that it’s not always obverse. You might know for a fact that your child has suffered a head trauma of some sort, but they might not show any noticeable symptoms. Sometimes you can suffer a concussion and not actually feel or show any symptoms till later on.

So, there is a lot of variables to take into consideration and this is made either more difficult when it comes to young children because they won’t usually be able to tell you or explain how they are feeling. Even young children who can talk might find explaining how they are feeling difficult, which makes spotting a concussion during the early stages quite hard.

This is bad news because the earlier you spot a concussion the better off your child will be. But likewise, you don’t want to run to the doctors or casualty every time your child hits their head, do you? So, let look at what warning signs you should watch out for. To make this easier I’ve broken it into two main categories.

Symptoms For Babies and Toddlers

Babies and toddlers are more adventurous that many people think which means a bump or knock to the head are more common than you might think. But what should you watch out for if your child bumps their head?

Crying: This symptom might not be the most helpful because even if it’s just a little bump on the head a toddler or baby will likely cry! But if the crying doesn’t stop after a while or is on and off then it could be a sign of a concussion. Don’t panic right away give your child/ baby time to calm down but if the crying continues you should call a doctor.

Vomiting: Again, this can sometimes happen due to shock especially if your toddler/ baby has eaten not long before bumping their head. However, it is a more serious warning sign to watch out for and there is no harm in calling a doctor if your child is sick after hitting their head.   

Bruising: Bruising will likely happen with any bump to the head a young child’s skin is very sensitive after all. But if the bruising is big and far-reaching then going to your doctors to get the injury checked out is advisable.

Sudden Behaviour Changes: This is the warning sign that you really need to watch for carefully because you might not always pick up on it. If your child as a rapid change in behaviour after bumping their head, then it could be due to a concussion.

Behaviour changes can take many forms with some of the most common being changes to their sleeping habits or a loss of interest in their usual habits. They might also suddenly become more irritable as well, so keep your eyes peeled and stay alert. If you notice some strange behaviour consult your doctor.

Symptoms For Children Aged Two and Up

Children who are a little older will show more signs of a concussion which makes spotting them a lot easier. Many of the symptoms we previously looked at still apply but when it comes to behaviour changes there are more things to watch out for, which we’ve laid out below.

Difficulty With Balance: Having difficulty with balance after a head injury is normal but if it doesn’t dissipate quickly then it could be a sign of a concussion. Even if your child can talk they still might struggle to fully explain what is wrong so keep an eye on their movement and make sure their balance is back to normal. 

Increased Sensitivity: More sensitivity to light or movement is a notable sign of a concussion so ask your child how they’re feeling and if things look normal to them. They might also experience blurry vision especially if your child wears glasses.

Fatigue/ Dizziness: Dizziness is again relatively normal after a knock to the head, but it should again only be a temporary symptom. If your child is still feeling dizzy later on, then I would advise calling a doctor as soon as possible just to get them checked out.

Forgetfulness/ Confusion: This is one that might take form later on so stay alert for it. If your child starts showing increased signs of forgetfulness or confusion after a head injury then they could have a concussion. So, call a doctor if you notice your child showing this symptom.

Treating A Concussion

Concussions can only really be treated with rest, but this doesn’t mean sleep either in fact if your child does suffer a knock to the head you shouldn’t let them sleep straight away. It means a rest from physical and mental activity, so you should ensure your child takes a break from the television or computer.

Using screens will increase the pressure on the brain which is the last thing you want if your child as a concussion. Early nights and naps are a good way to let your child get some rest and keep their head clear. 

How To Keep Your Kids Safe Around The Pool

It is no secret that swimming is a powerful way to tone your body and to build your stamina. It is a lifelong skill that once learnt goes a long way and pays at every step of your life.

Indulging in an activity like swimming rewards you in ways beyond your comprehension. The immeasurable health benefits offered are full body workouts, a fantastic way of practicing water aerobics, no stress on the joints, improved and regulated heart rate and respiratory system through strengthening lungs, enhances the flexibility of muscles and amplifies the power of balancing and sporting the right posture.

According to willshapools.com the advantages of swimming are not just physical yet extend to the mind as well. The psychological benefits include: immediate control over mood swings, stress relief, capability to deal with pain, boosts the ability to cope up with panic and adds to the skill to focus and retain memories.

While the social aspects make one mingle with strangers and be friends with like minded swimmers. It allows you to indulge in friendly competitions that sharpen your capability of managing pressure. It also gives them the confidence of being on their own.

WHY YOUR CHILD SHOULD LEARN TO SWIM

SAFETY: One of the most major aspects of giving your child a chance to learn swimming is water safety. It the only sport that can save your child’s life. One of the causes of accidental deaths in kids is said to be drowning. In order to avoid any unfortunate events, learning to swim will make them comfortable around water and be able to help themselves when in need.

FUN: Anything that is related to water is tremendously fun for kids and adults of all ages. It is a learning opportunity with fun being an integral part of it. Being in water is every kid’s definition of paradise. This way they get to be on their own and gain some self confidence. Apart from all that, envision a hot sunny day and having the ability to splash around and cool off by jumping in to the nearest swimming hole.

COORDINATION: Do you come across any such activity in your day to day life where you can rub your tummy and pat your head simultaneously? This needs some serious coordination between the two body parts in action which is only attainable via swimming.

It allows coordination between your heart rate and breathing frequency; it also makes other body parts move in perfect harmony. This super quality that you attain after mastering the art of swimming comes handy while out-of-water activities.

“Remember, you can’t always be there. Learning to swim may save their life one day”

ARE YOUR KIDS SAFE IN THE POOL?

The most important question that arises is: are the children safe in the pool? Have you, as a parent, taken the right measures for effective pool safety? Are we vigilant enough to keep the kids away from the pool while no one is supervising them?

We have gathered some very key recommendations that should be kept under consideration when you let your children into a swimming pool.

PARENT SUPERVISION

There cannot be anything better than undivided and exclusive parent supervision. While the kids are having their practice sessions or just a regular swimming activity, you must stand by and make sure you keep a constant eye on them.  Sure, feel free to read a book or check your phone but you must keep your eyes and ears open.

You need to be highly attentive while being the supervisor, and the supervision should be a divided responsibility with your partner. Supervision can and has failed resulting in fatal drowning cases. Hence, there need to multiple measures to be taken.

DO NOT DIVE IN

As much fun as it looks, diving should not be permitted! Unless your child’s swimming coach or you give the go-ahead, do not let your child take that risk. It often happens that they overestimate the depth of the pool which results in head injuries and broken necks. Diving should always be done in the deep end of the pool rather than in the shallow end or anywhere in between the pool.

If there is no expert supervision, kids should have the basic understanding to jump in feet first.

FENCING

Fencing and barriers are considered to be an important layer of safety. Approximately, a fence should be four feet high with a self closing and self latching properties. Ideally, the latch is supposed to be 54 inches above the ground to make it out of reach of children.

But again, barriers are not enough of a safety measure. If the pool is not in use, there should be safety covers installed as well as any portable ladders that can aid in bypassing the barriers should not be found in close proximity to the pool.

GROUND RULES

There should be a set of definite ground rules which should be followed by each and every person using or around the pool. There should be an understanding among the kids that there should be no pushing, no running on the pool deck or perimeter, usage of any electric appliances should be prohibited, no toys around the pool such as riding the bikes.

CPR

All the owners of a backyard swimming pool should be aware of the basics of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). This has proven to be the most basic first aid that was given to several kids and adults being rescued from the bottoms of the pool.

VERDICT: It is in a child’s nature to be attracted to something that that he has been told is not for him. His inquisitive nature provokes him to do experiments and, in that quest, could harm himself.

Despite having numerous advantages and benefits, safety should never be taken for granted. It should be considered as one of the prime measures one should take before indulging in the activity to avoid any sort of an unfortunate event.

How arriving in debt from current lifestyle choices can affect your mental and physical health

It was often considered that poor mental health was a disorder of the brain alone but with current levels of research and understanding we are now fully aware that poor mental health leads to physical symptoms in much the same way that poor physical health can also have a great impact on a sufferer’s mental health too.

It can be quite ‘chicken and egg’ in many cases. Each can easily lead to the other, exacerbating further advanced poor levels of both. This can easily extend to the further demise in both the sufferer’s poor mental health and physical health symptoms often feeling like a never-ending circle.

From its inception the NHS had looked at physical health and mental health as separate issues but readily this is changing as more is learned about new links between the two health factors.

More people are being referred into talking therapy than ever before

Depression is one of the biggest current health problems in today’s society with over 1.4 million referrals from the NHS for sufferers into talking therapies for the conditions of depression and anxiety through 2017 alone. Thanks to the Increasing Access to Talking Therapies programme more people are getting treatment than ever before, success rates are higher and lengthy waiting times are coming down too.

The well-being that IAPT is hoping to bring to both its clients and the economic state of the NHS is by recognising and treating these manageable issues earlier they are less likely to develop into further serious and expensive to treat problems, thus saving the NHS valuable funding that is required in so many areas across the board.

If these two elements of our health are not linked then how come exercise is one of the main recommendations for combatting poor mental health?

There are many suggested ways to combat poor mental health. As discussed already the NHS now accept that one of the prime methods of garnering real successes and positive results is through talking therapies; counselling, therapy, psychotherapy, cbt and more, these are proven systems to discover the root of the sufferer’s problem and to help them to be able to process it in a healthy manner to having no more or a lessened impact on our emotional well-being.

Other means of combatting and continually managing our mental health revolves around regular exercise programs. By performing activities that elevate our body’s performance to a point where it becomes out of breath and breaks into a sweat, it will create many of the chemicals both our mind and body need to work to their optimum performance levels. Regular exercise has been proven to bring down blood pressure, raise positivity, mindfulness and increase our levels or well-being.

Depression has now been linked to serious physical illness

Research has shown that depression has been linked to a 67% increased risk of death from heart disease. The stress and anxiety levels your body has to manage under this mental health complaint decrease its ability to perform its job in maintaining your body’s general good physical health. The impact takes effect on your immunity, blood pressure, sleep efficiency and more, and in turn your body isn’t as efficient in protecting itself in the way it needs to in order to maintain a good level of physical health.

Depression has also been shown to have a 50% increased chance of death from cancer. A 50% increased chance. Nobody would say that cancer is anything but a physical illness so there you have it. Someone suffering from depression is much more likely to develop a life threatening illness than someone who isn’t. By 50%. That’s a big figure.

Other research into mental health illnesses has shown that sufferers of schizophrenia are at double the risk of heart disease and three times the risk of death from respiratory diseases.

These are huge increases of risk of physical illness due to mental health problems. If we live in a world that understands this then why are so many of us falling into the same problems over and over again?

There are myriad reasons why we suffer from poor mental health

Nobody is immune to mental health issues. They aren’t exclusive to those who have suffered abuse as a child or an adult, have had to grow up without a home or a family, nor is it something we’re born with. Many of your closest friends will have suffered some form of mental health issue and probably without you even knowing. These problems can come from anywhere.

A poor relationship, the stresses of parenting, trouble at work, trouble finding work, debt issues, feelings of inadequacy in a world where social media portrays everyone in their best light and rarely at their worst. This level of social competition is adding feelings of failure to what could otherwise be healthy and happy lives, and this increased anxiety can easily become a rut that will lead to depression.

Falling into debt can be both a symptom and a cause of poor mental health

Today’s society has carved out an expected quality of life that is unsustainable for many of us on a day-to-day basis. Two car families taking three holidays a year, enjoying the latest technologies and being active within a level of social living we see amongst our peers that we feel we all deserve now but unfortunately come with a price-tag that isn’t always within everybody’s reach.

When we try and stretch ourselves to match the lifestyles of those around us, to that of which we think our partners and spouses expect of us too, then far too often this can lead to spending outside our means with a view to repaying the cost of those luxuries and extras we feel we deserve.

Combatting debt problems can be a huge way of reducing anxiety for those suffering it. Choosing a sympathetic and understanding partner to help you through such a crisis can also add to the reduction of financial anxieties.

Anyone in such a position can reach out to debt management companies as a method to deal with their financial problems before they lead to bigger and more impacting mental health issues.

Combatting debt — and combatting one of the causes of a possible mental health issue

For any debt advice and dealing with financial problems before they become a more serious health issue such as depression or a severe case of anxiety you can contact Creditfix who will listen to you and consider your unique debt case. They will help you to understand the different ways you can deal with it and guide you through the process of eliminating the debt by means that are affordable to you, and not only eliminating the debt itself but also the chances of developing a mental health problem too.

How Long Does Fybogel Take To Work?

Fybogel, is made up of a fiber whose scientific name is Isphagula husk, is a laxative administered to someone who has difficulty in defecating better known as constipating. This includes constipation during pregnancy. It is also used for the maintenance of regularity and the management of bowel function for patients who may be suffering from hemorrhoids, anal fissure, colostomy, irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis.

It is usually in the form of granules which maybe plain or fruit-flavored which are mixed with water to make a drink which is rich in fiber. This substance is available in supermarkets, pharmacies and can be prescribed by a doctor.

It is best taken twice a day mostly in the morning and in the evening, preferably after taking a meal or a snack. It takes two or three days for it work ensuring you are back to your normal self almost immediately.

Ensure you take plenty of water whenever you take this drink to make sure it courses your entire blood stream. There are no age limits to taking this drink, however, we advise you to only give this drink to children above the age of six. For younger children, make sure you have a medical prescription to do so.

Expectant and lactating mothers can also take this drink as it will have no adverse effects on their babies. Fybogel has not been shown to have any adverse effects on fertility so this should not be a cause of worry.

Also, it has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive or when operating any machinery. Therefore, you can take it and go on with your day-to-day activities. However, there are some people who should never take this laxative.

If you have had an allergic reaction to Fybogel before then you should never at any cost, consume it again. People with a bowel obstruction or any muscle weakness of the bowel or have phenylketonuria should also avoid this drink. Please avail your entire medical history to your doctor who will then gauge whether this laxative is helpful or harmful to you.

Dosage Required

Fybogel comes in the form of sachets which are mainly lemon or orange flavored. A child above the age of thirteen and an adult should take one sachet twice a day. Those aged between six and twelve should take a five-milliliter spoonful of the sachet twice a day. Children under the age of six should take a five-milliliter spoonful twice a day but only under medical supervision.

For the elderly, there is no indication that the dosage should be modified to suit them, therefore, administer it as you would any other adult. It leaves no bad after taste unlike other medications. It is fruit-flavored to appeal to those who may have a problem taking medicine especially children. The effects of this laxative will begin in twelve to twenty four hours.

How to take it

This medicine is only intended for oral use as a suspension in water. First of all, open the sachet and carefully pour the contents into an empty glass. Add about a hundred and fifty milliliters of cold water and then stir well to make sure all the granules have completely dissolved. If the solution is clear, drink it straight away.

Avoid breathing in the powder as you prepare the concoction as it may trigger a slight allergic reaction which is characterized by sneezing. If you take too much of Fybogel, just take ample glasses of water. If this does not calm your nerves then you may consult your doctor. Avoid going to sleep immediately after you have taken it as this may cause bloating.

Precautions for use

This laxative should never be taken dry as this may lead to an overdose which may cause abdominal discomfort, bowel obstruction or even flatulence. To counteract this, take adequate fluids to ensure the extra laxative is efficiently dissolved. It should not be administered to patients who have symptoms such as vomiting, unless advised by the doctor. Medical supervision is advised while administering the laxative to the elderly and debilitated patients.

Side Effects

Like all medication, Fybogel may cause a few side effects in some people. The rest experience no side effects or very minor ones. The most common side effects are wind and bloating. This occurs due to the sudden increase of fiber in your diet. However, this poses no harm as it will clear out in a few days. If these side effects do carry on, please consult your doctor. Sometimes a mild reaction such as an itchy nose or itchy eyes may occur but this is only temporary.

Sometimes, however, some people experience a serious allergic reaction to the laxative. The following are the major signs that you may be having a serious allergic reaction, such as, tightness in your chest or thoracic cavity, wheezing, a skin rash, anaphylaxis which is not being able to breathe properly, swelling around your mouth, tongue or even throat. In case you have a serious allergic reaction to Fybogel, please report this so that closer monitoring can be carried to ascertain what may have caused it and how this can be avoided in future.

You should be cautious while mixing some other medicines with Fybogel. A medicine such as carbamazepine which is used to treat epilepsy has been shown to be less effective once taken alongside Fybogel. The same is evident with most heart medication and gut medicine. Administer these drugs at least an hour before taking Fybogel. There are no known problems for mixing Fybogel with home-made remedies or herbal supplements.

Fybogel has a shelf-life of about three years so it can be kept for later use and will still be as effective. It should be stored in a cool, dry place with a temperature of about 30 degrees Celsius. It should be kept away from the reach of children who may assume it is a type of sweet because of its flavor.

U And E Blood Test Results Explained

U AND E BLOOD TEST RESULTS EXPLAINED

The U and E blood test stands for the Urea and Electrolytes blood tests which is performed to assess kidney and renal function especially homeostasis and excretion. Our kidneys are essential organs that help in managing the body’s fluid balance. The tests are also used to diagnose any urinary symptoms and kidney infections one may be suffering from.

Substances such as urea and creatinine are supposed to be excreted out of the body. A rise in their presence may indicate that there is kidney damage or a disorder. Also, levels of electrolytes in the blood and the glomerular filtration rate may be used to investigate this.

Who is supposed to undertake this test?

This test is for anyone who wishes to know how his or her kidneys are functioning. This test is administered as a general health checkup or for those individuals who are taking medicine that is known to affect the kidneys. For those who already have kidney failure or any kidney-related infection, this test may be used to monitor whether any progress is being made.

How is this test performed?

Since it is a blood test, a few milliliters of your blood will be required from a vein. However, in newborn babies, blood is taken from a heel-prick sample.

Kidney Function

In order to understand the importance of this test, we have to understand the major functions of the kidneys first. The kidneys have three major functions which include, homeostasis, endocrine activity and excretion. Homeostasis involves the regulation of blood volume, maintaining pH levels and regulating levels of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.

Endocrine activity mainly involves regulating blood pressure and supporting red blood cell production. Excretion is the removal of waste products such as urea and creatinine. Kidneys have millions of smaller units which are called nephrons. The top part of a nephron is known as the glomerulus which acts as a filter for the contents in the blood stream.

Urea and Creatinine

Urea is derived from the liver as a by-product of the biochemical metabolism activities. Creatinine is derived from the muscles as a by-product of the breakdown of proteins in the blood. These tests mainly focus on the levels of these products. These two waste products help in the excretion of excess nitrogen in our blood stream.

Electrolytes

As stated above, this may include sodium and potassium which are secreted in our blood. Raised sodium levels may be caused by consuming a diet rich in salts or by dehydration. This can be identified by a sudden loss of elasticity on our skin.

Low blood volume is also another reason for raised sodium levels which can be as a result of excessive loss of water in urine, while sweating or diarrhea or drinking less water. Drinking more fluids is a simple treatment of this condition. Low sodium levels may be caused by the body retaining excessive amounts of water or excessive loss of water. This can be treated with thiazide drugs.

Raised potassium levels may be as a result of failure to excrete or potassium being released from damaged cells such as tumor cells during chemotherapy. This may be treated by administering insulin and glucose to get potassium into the cells. Low potassium levels are caused by excessive vomiting or diarrhea or alkalosis. Treatment is administered orally or by adding potassium via intravenous infusion.

Glomerular Filtration Rate

This is the ultimate test for whether the kidney is functioning properly. It is the rate at which blood is being filtered over the glomerulus in order to begin urine production. The glomerular filtration rate falls as one grows older, so the minimum level should be 90ml/minute/1.73m2. in the past, glomerular filtration rate was measured by taking a 24-hour sample but is now measured from one of two equations.

These two equations are; the Cockcroft-Gault equation and the MDRD formula. The former uses serum creatinine, weight, age and sex while the latter takes into account ethnicity, age, creatinine and sex. There are free online calculators which are available for the two equations. However, please consult your doctor who should carry out a laboratory test to determine which of the two is more accurate.

Kidney-related diseases

Renal disease

There are so many causes of renal diseases which may be categorized into three stages. Pre-renal disease is characterized by the following factors such as, failure of blood flow into the kidney which may be caused by renal artery stenosis or poor cardiac output which may be associated with heart failure.

True renal disease is experienced in septic shock, in renal carcinoma, in high levels of toxicity and even in traumatic damage. Post renal disease is associated with problems in the lower parts of the kidney such as the ureter or the urethra or the bladder. This may be caused by kidney stones, prostate cancer or bladder cancer. All these prevent urine flowing out which will eventually back up to the kidneys.

Chronic Kidney Disease

This is the irreversible loss of kidney function. There may be too much or too little body fluids being excreted. This is life-threatening since the patient is unable to excrete electrolytes such as potassium and sodium. There are also low levels of calcium which may occur due to the kidney losing the ability to facilitate the absorption of calcium in the intestines. This may lead to anaemia which is caused by the lack of water in the blood stream.

Urinary Tract Infection

This condition is common in women this because the urethra which removes urine from the body is close to the anus hence, any bacteria present may be introduced. If not treated, it may continue to infect the kidneys.

Having sexual intercourse may also introduce the bacteria into the urinary tract. The symptoms of this disease are, a burning sensation while urinating,you may experience pain in your lower abdominal area, feeling fatigued all the time, your urine may appear darker or may be producing a strange smell.

How Do You Know When a Verruca Is Dying!

Before we discuss the signs that show a verruca you may have is dying, let’s try and understand what a verruca is and what causes it. A verruca or a wart, as it is sometimes called, is a small fleshy bump on the surface of the skin which is characterized by mucous. It is caused by the human papilloma virus which is common referred to as HPV.

They are mostly found on the feet but can also be found on the genitals or even the face. Since warts do not usually cause any pain or discomfort, with the exception of those on the soles of the feet, you cannot use that as a means to tell whether the one you have is gone or not.

A dying verruca refers to a wart that is nearing the end of its life expectancy. During the beginning stages, verruca usually have a smooth top and are rough around the surface. You may even notice tiny blood vessels through which these warts get blood supply. The dying off of verruca is a sure sign that the medicine you are taking is effective.

They can, however, die off without the need for medicine but all you as a patient requires is patience. Some plants have been shown to have medicinal properties which may help in getting rid of these verruca such as Japanese mushrooms known as AHCC

Facts You Need To Know About Verruca

First of all, we must all understand that a verruca will not die off overnight. It may take some time and if it takes long enough then you will have to seek treatment. Verruca survive by living off your blood, so the sooner you get rid of it the better the chances. This is because it may start growing bigger or even spread to other parts of your body. Another fact is that no single treatment will cure all the warts you may have, this is why you may have to mix them up to improve the chances of getting rid of all them.

Treatment Options

There are many options to choose but we would recommend the use of salicylic acid and cryotherapy, also known as freezing treatment. Various lotions, paints or special plasters contain salicylic acid. This acid burns off the top layer of the verruca when applied. You can buy it from any pharmacy or your doctor may even prescribe one and it is usually in the form of a gel or a paint. Read the instructions carefully to avoid any side effects on the unaffected areas.

As for cryotherapy, it mainly involves the use of liquid nitrogen which is extremely cold. It freezes the entire wart by completely thawing it which then destroys it. However, to completely destroy the wart, you will need four to six treatments.

This method is painful and there is the risk of scarring the surrounding unaffected skin. Combining the two treatments is an effective method which will clear any warts as soon as possible. Do not apply any salicylic acid on the verruca until any soreness or scabs caused by cryotherapy has diminished. Some other methods may include the use of duct tape, acupuncture or even having them scraped off.

Signs that a verruca is dying

The first sign that a wart is dying off is when it starts turning black or dark. Do not confuse this with the dark spots which are common on the verruca. These are just the small blood vessels coursing through it. When it starts turning black, it is a clear indication that the blood supply has been cut off.

Since it survives on blood, the lack of this will surely kill it! Another indication is to check whether it has started to seem shriveled or shrunk. If you notice bits of the wart are starting to fall off then it is a sure sign that it is disintegrating. However, make sure this is not just dead skin. Give it a slight rub to make sure it is falling off. However, these are not signs that the plantar wart is completely gone. It may leave a hole which may still contain the virus. A dead verruca will not cause any further infection on other parts of your skin.

Signs that you might still have a verruca

Just because the verruca has started dying off, does not mean that you should now stop administering medication. If you notice a raised lump of callous dead skin on the same spot a verruca was, then there are chances that you may still have it. If not raised, the dead skin will be circular in shape and may even appear darker than the surrounding skin. You may still have a slight discomfort when you walk around barefoot and that should clearly tell you that the verruca is still there. The absence of pain, however, does not necessarily mean it is dead. It may still spread unnoticed. 

Signs that a verruca is completely dead and gone

Dead warts drop off from the position they occupied on your skin. They leave behind a hole which lacks any dark spots or bumps clearly showing the verruca is gone. The areas around an affected area should start to appear normal to show that the plantar wart is dead and that the healing process has kicked in.

Also, if you can spot thin lines, such as those you see in a fingerprint, across this hole then that should tell you all is well. If you apply pressure to the spot where the verruca used to be, and feel no pain or discomfort then it is a clear indication the verruca is completely gone. The skin around the affected area should now be smooth while where the wart was should appear lighter.

However, these plantar warts can occur again so we recommend continuous observation along with treatment until you are completely sure you have gotten rid of the verruca.

10 Great Dental Hygiene Tips

Who doesn’t love flashing their pearly white teeth as they smile widely? You can usually tell that this person has recently visited the dentist, hence the shiny smile! Since we were children, our parents have stressed the importance of oral hygiene.

If we don’t follow their directions as adults, we can end up suffering from gum disease, heart issues, bone loss, and other forms of infections. Regular appointments with your family dentist such as https://anooshafifidds.com/will keep you safe from such medical melodrama.

Remember that you have to go the extra mile and simply brushing your teeth will not be adequate. You may want to think about taking some additional measures which we are more than happy to share.

Know Thy Technique

We think we know how to brush our teeth, but there is no harm in reviewing the correct technique. Here goes: angle the bristles of your toothbrush at 45 degrees near your gum line. The surface of your tooth along with your gum line should be near the bristles.

Start by brushing the exterior area of your teeth using a back and forth, up-down motion and do not forget to be gentle! You do not want your precious gums to start bleeding. Give your tongue and the top of your mouth a good rub down as well to eliminate any bacteria that could create unwanted oral odour.

Do your best to brush your teeth twice a day as it will help prevent any acid that exists due to food consumption. If you are unable to engage in brushing twice a day, an effective alternative is to wash your mouth with water (gurgle well!) after every meal.

Forget Tobacco

Doubling down on those mints and candies as a way to conceal cigarette breath? What if we told you there was another way? Simple, stop smoking or simply try to cut back. Tobacco usage can cause critical illnesses such as oral cancer and other periodontal problems. If you wish remain orally healthy, then it is imperative that you avoid all forms of tobacco.

Bye to Fizzy Drinks/Alcohol

Don’t stress, we are only kidding-to an extent. You do not have to completely sacrifice your love for soft drinks and alcohol but reducing its intake would greatly improve the status of your teeth. Yes, this is a highly recommended step despite the volume of phosphorous included in such drinks (including coffee).

Even though phosphorous may be a healthy mineral, too much exposure to it can create calcium deficiency in your body and could potentially lead to gum disease or tooth decay. If you want to protect those gorgeous pearly whites, then avoid drinks that contain food dye and corn syrup.

These give your teeth the appearance of being discoloured and dull. Switch that cup of coffee for a delicious glass of milk in the morning. Beverages such as milk make your teeth stronger and will help toughen your enamel. Water is also known as the nectar of the heavens as it keeps you hydrated for a longer time and will also give you lovely skin.

Floss Away

Flossing is a dental art that can remove any unwanted particles in those tiny corners of your teeth that are inaccessible to tooth brushes or cannot be washed away by mouthwash. For most effective results, try to do this at least once a day. As this takes time, see how you can fit this process into your routine. We suggest doing it before you call it a night and go to bed.

Use Mouthwash

We know it tastes bitter, especially those mouthwash brands that come with Listerine. But this brand of mouthwash will be your best friend as it removes and kills any form of bacteria in your mouth. We believe in the power of this brand as other mouthwashes may not yield as fruitful results. Alongside awesome healthcare, you can enjoy good breath too.

Have Vitamins

Devour yoghurt guilt-free as it has plenty of calcium that is essential for your teeth and your bones. Other dairy products such as fortified orange juice and milk are great too for this very purpose! Of course, you also have calcium supplements (as per your age requirements) in case you are lactose-intolerant.

Vitamin D is great for preserving healthy teeth and gums whilst Vitamin B safeguards your teeth from bleeding or cracking. Other minerals such as zodiac, iodine, iron, potassium and copper are also necessary for you to consume to maintain your oral health.

Toothache

Experiencing discomfort in your jawline or within your teeth? Make an appointment with your dentist immediately and do not prolong it. Prevention is better than cure!

Scrape Your Tongue

As strange as it sounds, you need to have a toothbrush that is capable of cleaning your tongue. A lot of toothrushes come with a ridged tooth-scraper on the back that serves this purpose. Even after brushing, it is possible that some bacteria remained on your tongue so be sure to scrape your tongue as well on an everyday basis. This will also give you awesome breath!

Change Your Brush

It is advised to change your tooth brush every three months as the bristles tend to depreciate over time. Not only that, they may not remain capable of giving you as effective a clean as they were at the beginning of their lifecycle. Also, make sure you clean the bristles of your toothbrush comprehensively. Wash it with water after every time you use it and let it dry naturally. We do not recommend covering them as that tends to give birth to bacteria.

Visit Your Dentist

We all dread visiting the dentist. However, it is essential to oral hygiene and your healthcare. Get comfortable on your dentist’s chair as it will save you from any serious harmful issues as an entire checkup is performed. Xrays will be taken that will highlight the current status of your teeth and mouth. If any treatment is required, you will be informed immediately and will be able to begin at once.

What is the Ganzfeld Effect?

If you’ve heard of the Ganzfeld effect you’ve probably come across talk of mind-bending experiences and hallucinations – but what’s the truth?

We’ll look into the science of the Ganzfeld effect and how you may be able to experience Ganzfeld like hallucinations from the comfort of your own home…

What is the Ganzfeld effect?  

The Ganzfeld effect is a type of perception-based phenomenon that occurs when an individual experiences very limited sensory stimulation.

Ganzfeld is German for “whole field” – and while you may see the term ‘sensory deprivation’ used when the Ganzfeld effect is talked about – it’s actually more accurate to consider the Ganzfeld effect as overloading the brain – but with just one type of stimulus.

When this overloading occurs, the brain tries to make sense of the stimulus – but will struggle to do so. In the absence of any visual variation, every type of sensory input is amplified by the brain and then interpreted by the higher visual cortex. When the higher visual cortex gets involved, that’s when you may very well start to hallucinate – seeing things that simply are not in front of you.

Is it just about your vision?

Although most of the experiments you’ll hear about with the Ganzfeld effect relate to overloading your vision with just one type of stimulus, the effect can be amplified by preventing your other senses from providing an understandable input to the brain.

To get a full idea of what we mean, it’s worth looking a how the Ganzfeld effect is achieved – but don’t worry – we’ll go into a little more detail later if you’d like to try this at home.

So, your sense of sight can be overwhelmed by with exposure to just a fixed blank scene – a one colour wall or a mask fitted over your eyes. You can then isolate your other senses – ear plugs can be worn, or white noise played through headphones and a neutral, supported, sitting pose found which exerts no stress on the body.

The more senses that are neutralised, the more intense the feeling is likely to be.

Can you just close your eyes?

It might seem strange to think about shutting off stimulus to the eyes with goggles (or even half ping pong balls as you’ll see used in some experiments!) when we’ve got eyelids to shut our sight off whenever we wish!

However, there’s a big difference between depriving your eyes of stimulus – as you would by closing them – and overloading them, as you would by keeping them open but only exposing them to one colour or light level.

Shut your eyes and your brain knows it’s not going to see anything – keep your eyes open and your brain is completely expecting to see things going on around you…

What will you see?

As far as any psychological or neurological studies go – there seems to be absolutely no rhyme nor reason to the type or intensity of the hallucinations you’re likely to experience. That said, it’s probably important at this stage to say that it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have the kind of hallucinogenic ‘trips’ you might associate with some illegal drugs, instead, momentary visualisations or alterations to the world around you.

For example, some people talk about seeing a scene before them that is somewhat close to the colour they’re actually experiencing – so a warm white colour might appear as a white coloured room you know, or perhaps a more-stark white colour would translate in your brain to being a snowy scene, blue might be the sea or the sky – etc.

It’s probably accurate to consider Ganzfeld experiences to be like dreams that you have with your eyes open. It might be difficult to focus on exactly what’s happening though, as you’d be trying to focus your eyes on something that’s just not really there.

How can you experience the Ganzfeld effect yourself?

Firstly, I would suggest you exercise some caution if you are susceptible to any intrusive thoughts or anxiety that might be brought on by not being fully aware of the world around you. I would describe the sensation as being no more visceral or overwhelming than meditation or mindfulness though, so if you feel comfortable with those things, you should have no problem.

Mild safety warning aside, if you’re interested in experimenting with the Ganzfeld effect you can do so fairly easily.

Starting with your vision is important – we process the vast majority of our sensory stimulus this way. Many experiments suggest halved ping pong balls worn over the eyes are an effective method – then again, a cheap ski or swim goggle with the lenses covered might be less fiddly (and significantly less strange if you’re not home alone!)

Start by getting used to sitting in a relaxed posture with your eyes covered. Try to make sure you’re not uncomfortable or have any intrusive sensations – like drafts, uncomfortable cushions, etc. The more neutral your surroundings the better.

Working on the other senses

When you’ve become comfortable with your sight being impaired, you could try to introduce ear plugs or headphones that are playing some ‘white noise’. Music will not work as it offers a familiar pattern that could be associated with memories, feelings or previous visual experiences.

Some people find it useful to gently clasp their hands together – this way your hands and fingers feel like one motionless entity, rather than distinct and individually controllable parts of your body.

Your experience

It’s very difficult to say what you’ll experience when experimenting with the Ganzfeld effect – just in the same way that it’s difficult or impossible to tell someone what they’re likely to dream about tonight.

It’s probable that you’ll need to take a few shots at getting it exactly right and getting comfortable with the process – but, like dreaming, when you do, it’s often useful to keep a note of journal of what you see or experience. This is the first step toward controlling the visuals that are brought through experimenting with the Ganzfeld effect.

Ultimately, relax and see what happens! At the very least, you’ll get a skewed sense of time when you’ve got nothing around you to reference – and many people describe an extremely relaxing feeling that comes alongside this.

 

 

How to Get Rid of a Chalazion Overnight

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Having a chalazion can be uncomfortable – in more ways than one, so it’s normal to be asking how to get rid of a chalazion quickly – overnight if possible.

If this is the knowledge you’re seeking – you’re in the right place. We’ll start by explaining exactly what a chalazion is, how you get them – and importantly, how you can get rid of them quickly and painlessly…

What is a chalazion?

A chalazion isn’t dissimilar to having a pimple or spot inside your eyelid.

They’re benign (meaning not harmful) and more often than not are completely painless. That said, they can be uncomfortable and cause some irritation to the eye – and if they continue to grow can look cosmetically unappealing, one of the main reasons people seek treatment.

What causes a chalazion?

Chalazia (the plural term) usually occur after a person has a stye – so we’ll begin there!

A stye is a red bump that occurs in or around the edge of the eyelid and is a result of a build-up of bacteria around either one of the eyelash follicles or one of the tiny oil glands within the eyelid.

Staphylococcal bacteria are usually to blame for the infection, they’re easily transferred between the mouth or nose and the eyes. As the infection takes hold some redness, swelling and pain will probably occur – similar to having a painful spot inside your eyelid. When a stye heals (usually in around 5-10 days), the pain and tenderness will usually go away – but the internal build-up of pus and oil can remain – leaving a chalazion.

This isn’t the only route to getting a chalazion, they do sometimes occur by themselves – although they can hang around longer if you don’t know how to treat it.

When do chalazia and styes occur?

There’s no real pattern to chalazia or styes appearing on a person – however, anything that makes rubbing the eyes more likely could up your chances of getting one. If you’re a hay fever sufferer you might find you’re more prone in the summer and autumn months.

Popping chalazia

As a chalazion feels similar to a rubbery spot, you might be tempted to line it up for a good squeeze – but be warned, you could be about to make the situation worse. Whether you’re thinking of popping a stye or a chalazion, you might end up spreading infection around your eye, increasing the chance of getting more.

How to treat a chalazion

Although it might not be the explosive popping quick fix you were hoping for, the very best way to get rid of a chalazion is to help to speed up the natural healing process.

Let us explain how:

Step 1.

Run a bowl of hot water. It shouldn’t be too hot though – and most certainly not boiling. Aim for the same temperature you’d go for if you were having a hot bath.

Step 2.

Get a clean face cloth and soak it in the water. It’s important that it is clean as any cleaning products (soap etc) can irritate the eyes further.

Step 3.

Ring most of the water out of the cloth and place the warm and damp cloth over the affected eye. Keep it there for around 15 minutes – renewing the heat by submerging and ringing-out again whenever you feel it cooling down.

Step 4.

After you’ve held the hot compress over your eye you should try to massage the chalazion. You can do so from either side of the eyelid – but you should make sure your hands are very clean when you’re doing so.

Again, you might be tempted to squeeze – but don’t, it won’t pop and it’s probably just going to hurt.

Step 5.

Repeat!

You should use this hot cloth compress technique anywhere between 3-7 times a day. Each time making sure to use a clean cloth and to massage with clean hands.

The result?

By applying a hot compress as frequently as possible you help the body to naturally break down the pus or oil that’s trapped inside the chalazion. You’re likely to see the chalazion reducing in size itself, but it might form a head similar to a pimple – which then pops of its own accord.

Is an overnight fix possible?

 In truth, it’s likely to take more than the 12 hours overnight to rid yourself of a chalazion completely – however, you can expect to see some significant reduction in the redness and swelling if you hot compress and massage as suggested.

Since a chalazion is generally totally painless and the cosmetic impact is the part that’s the most unpleasant, most chalazia sufferers will be happy with this outcome.

What if you see no change?

If you’ve tried the hot compress and massage technique for 2-3 days and you’re not seeing any reduction in the redness, swelling or size of the chalazia, it might be a good time to see a doctor.

In some very rare instances, a chalazion can grow – sometimes quickly. If this is the case, or you start to see redness spread into your eye, you should see your doctor as quickly as possible. While it’s unlikely to be anything serious, it’s always worth getting things like this checked out for your own peace of mind – especially if there’s a hint of any spreading infection.

What will a doctor do?

 Your doctor will take one of two probably courses of action to rid you of a chalazion. The first method involves a steroid based cream that will work to reduce the swelling and help the body breakdown the fluid inside the chalazion.

However, if you’re experiencing any significant discomfort, a doctor may drain the chalazion – applying a numbing anaesthetic cream and making a tiny incision, before massaging out any oil or pus. While this might sound like a quick fix, you’ll find that most doctors are keen to pursue the cream option before resorting to wielding anything sharp around your eye!

While you’re healing

It’s well worth avoiding heavy makeup and scented cosmetics near to your eyes while you’re healing. Your eyes generally do a very good job of keeping themselves clean – however, your doctor might suggest some eye drops that will make certain this is the case.

And – to prevent any reoccurrence going forward, it’s worth making absolutely sure your hands are always clean, old make-up and brushes are discarded after 6 months or so – and contact lenses are handled as hygienically as possible. You can’t always prevent styes and chalazia – but you can stack the odds in your favour.

How to get rid of hiccups – pressure point technique

Hiccups can be really annoying.

In fact, hiccups can be more than annoying.

It’s not uncommon for hiccups to cause muscular pain and even nausea. So, what can you do when a bout comes on? Do you need to follow the myths and have someone give you a fright?! Is there a more tried and tested way to rid yourself? Is the hiccup pressure point anything more than a myth?

We’ve looked at the facts – and can hopefully offer some help!

What are hiccups?

The word ‘hiccup’ comes from the noise that’s made in your mouth and throat when there’s a sudden contraction of your diaphragm.

You’ll find that definition all over the place – from the NHS to pharmacy websites – but what does it actually mean?

Well, your diaphragm is the main part of muscle that you use in the breathing process. Although it’s our lungs that fill with air, we don’t control our lungs directly – instead, by breathing in, we cause the diaphragm to tighten and move down in our torso.

When the diaphragm contracts and moves down the body like this, the pressure inside our lungs decreases and they expand – opening up. To bring the pressure back to normal, the lungs suck air in through our nose and mouth. As we relax our diaphragm it moves back up, squeezing that air back out of our lungs.

Fortunately, for most people this breathing process is done unconsciously and rhythmically – meaning it doesn’t  interrupt anything else we’re doing; that is, until our diaphragm twitches or momentarily tightens outside of the normal rhythm. As the normal air flow is interrupted for a split second, the ‘glottis’ (an opening in our vocal cords) responds to this pressure change by closing for another fraction of a second.

And there you go! Hiccup.

So, that explains what happens – but what causes it? And importantly – how can you get rid of them?!

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What causes hiccups?

I’m sorry to say that there’s no conclusive proof that any one thing causes hiccups. In fact, doctors suggest that there are a vast range of conditions that can end up with a person having hiccups, including:

  • Drinking alcohol, fizzy drinks or hot drinks
  • Quick changes in the air temperature
  • Smoking
  • Having a full or bloated stomach
  • Eating quickly or excessively
  • Having a fright or experiencing excitement

There are certain non-serious medical conditions that seem to have an impact on hiccups too – not least the common cold. In fact, anything that might have an impact on your normal breathing rhythm might bring hiccups on – coughing, sneezing or even vomiting.

Could hiccups be a sign of serious illness?

In some cases, hiccups may be the indication that there’s something more serious happening in your body. Try not to worry though – in the overwhelming number of cases, hiccups are nothing more than a reaction to a twitch in your diaphragm and happen for virtually everyone in the world.

Having hiccups for a prolonged period of time (or reoccurring frequently in a period of time) would normally be the first indication that it’s worth having them checked out by a medical professional.

And by long time – we mean for 2-3 days or moving into weeks. There’s no need to worry if you haven’t been able to shake them off after a few hours!

There are a variety of conditions that can cause hiccups to occur like this – from breathing issues like Asthma, to more serious issues related to the heart of nervous system. But to reiterate, most hiccups are totally harmless.

Getting rid of hiccups – the myths

When you’ve got hiccups there’s always someone close by to let you know about some kind of weird or wonderful method of getting rid of them – but not all cures for hiccups are so effective!

Even if they’re suggested – it’s worth avoid the following:

  • Drinking or sipping fizzy, hot or alcoholic drinks
  • Having a cigarette
  • Eating something cold, followed by something hot
  • Having something spicy to eat
  • Eating something very quickly
  • Chewing gum

Some kind soul might even suggest (or just act upon) the idea that giving you a fright will help rid you of hiccups – and while it might take your mind off it for a short period of time, there’s no medical evidence that it works – although the theory probably relates to drawing a sharp intake of air and disrupting the spasm in the diaphragm.

Getting rid of hiccups – what’s effective?

Hiccups are different for everyone – and because there’s no solid facts around what brings them on for most people, there’s also no solid research around how you can reliably get rid of them.

That said, there are a few things that you can do, including:

  • Breathing into a paper bag
  • Sitting with your knees up to your chest and leaning forward
  • Sipping cold water
  • Swallowing a small amount of granulated sugar
  • Tasting something acidic – like lemon juice or vinegar
  • Holding your breath for a short time

These are worth trying – but there could be another option…

Hiccups pressure points

Pressure points are interesting – while there’s little medical evidence to formalise their effectiveness – there are many doctors who acknowledge their use – including alternative therapies that make use of them – such as reflexology and acupuncture.

Try these techniques next time you have hiccups and see if they work for you:

The philtrum

Your philtrum is the little groove above your top lip running between the nose and the mouth. Press in the centre of this area gently compressing it against your top lip for 20 seconds.

The forearm

Clench your fist on either arm and you’ll hopefully be able to see tightened tendons in your inside wrist. Move your thumb down about 1-2 inches (3-6 cms) and press between those tendons for around 30 seconds.

The chest

Your breastbone is right in the middle of your chest, press gentle just underneath with one finger and hold that slight pressure for around 30 seconds.

The stomach

Move down a couple of inches (3-6 cms) from your belly button and press with 2 or 3 fingers, as if you’re pressing toward your back. Hold this pressure for around 20-30 seconds.

The result?

The pressure points should activate certain muscle groups that, in our deeply interconnected body, have an impact on the muscles connected to the diaphragm. It might sound difficult to believe – but given that pressure on muscle or nerves in our leg can lead to headaches – it’s not surprising that our body is more deeply connected that you might first think!

Give these techniques a try – and remember, if you’re worried about hiccups hanging around for a long time, go and see your doctor for peace of mind.

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