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What is diabetic retinopathy?

By: | October 20, 2016

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the retina caused by diabetes that involves damage to the tiny blood vessels in the back of your eye. While the early stages of the disease may not cause symptoms, they will eventually develop is it progresses into its advanced, or proliferative, stage.

You may develop a gradual blurring of vision that can often go unnoticed. In some patients, blood vessels leak at the macula of the eye, i.e. the part of the retina responsible for central vision, causing loss of vision. A special photographic process known as fundus flourescein angiography (FFA) may be recommended by your ophthalmologist to help detect early effects of diabetic retinopathy.

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Keep a watchful eye

By: | October 17, 2016

Eye tests play a hugely significant role in making sure your eyes stay healthy. Not only are eye tests important for checking whether you need to start wearing glasses or need to change your prescription, but also for detecting some common medical conditions such as diabetes! An eye test is recommended at least every two years.

Your eye doctor will usually conduct a basic eye examination that will consist of an external check of your eyes, the eyelids and the surrounding areas. Parts of the eye, such as the conjunctiva, sclera, cornea and iris, will also be inspected for signs of disease.

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Oily fish may slow down eye diseases

By: | October 12, 2016

Eating fish like mackerel and salmon which are abundant in Omega-3 fatty acids can help to slow down the effects of early and late stage macular degeneration, according to a 2008 study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Age-related macular degeneration is a chronic irreversible medical condition that can result in the loss of vision due to damage to the macula, also known as the central part of the retina.

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Quit stressing out

By: | October 9, 2016

Some of us can attest to the admittedly unhealthy benefits of rushing a deadline with only an hour to spare as it somehow pushes you to produce your best work. But what people conveniently leave out is the constant headaches, lethargy, and generally high levels of irritation due to the lack of sleep. Did you also know that being under stress for an extended period of time may even cause irreversible cognitive damage?

Contrary to what you see in the movies, the last thing you want if you are prone to bouts of stress is regular cups of coffee throughout the day. So, step one for reducing anxiety is to become caffeine-free!

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No one likes a negative Nancy

By: | October 5, 2016

Feeling like you’re lesser than your peers for reasons like career progression, yearly bonuses, lavish lifestyles, or even looks is one that’s all too familiar for the majority of us. While there is no shortage of articles on the internet telling you that comparison is the thief of joy, even the best of us fall into the trap of wallowing in self-pity, some much longer than others.

So how do you dig yourself out of this hole once you feel you’re in too deep? Here’s a few ways you can get out of that rut:

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Feeling out of place?

By: | October 1, 2016

While it’s generally common to sometimes feel out of place at a social event you got dragged to by a friend, are you aware that there exists a serious disorder related to that feeling? Social anxiety disorder, sometimes referred to as social phobia, isn’t just feeling shy to speak to a stranger.

Having social anxiety disorder makes you extremely anxious about other people’s opinions about yourself, how they may judge you and as a result, social interactions with other human beings become an absolute nightmare.

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The science of feeling emotions

By: | September 30, 2016 image03

When you receive good news, your heart soars! Conversely, when you hear terrible news, you might feel a sinking feeling or deal with what is known as heartache. Ever wondered how emotions can affect you physically? How exactly do intense emotions have a direct effect on specific feelings in our body?

This study in 2010 published in the Scientific American explains that this experience is linked to the anterior cingulate cortex, a region of the brain that is believed to regulate emotional reactions. Robert Emery and Jim Coan, professors of psychology at the University of Virginia, theorize that the anterior cingulate cortex becomes more active during high intensity and stressful situations.

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Keep your arteries clean

By: | September 26, 2016 image07

Coronary artery disease, the most common type of cardiovascular disease, is the narrowing or blockage of the artery or arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle. This narrowing is caused by plaques, which are cholesterol deposits on the vessel wall, resulting in abnormal and gradual thickening of the lining of the heart arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis.The narrowing usually develops slowly over many years.

If this sounds like a harrowing experience, that’s because it probably is. Patients who smoke, or have conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension and high blood cholesterol or fat levels are much more prone to developing coronary artery disease.

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Debunking the defibrillator myth

By: | September 23, 2016 image08

Watch enough detective or hospital television dramas and you’re bound to notice dramatic scenes where doctors attempt to bring patients back to life using a defibrillator! In reality, defibrillators are typically used on patients with cardiac dysrhythmias, also known as irregular heartbeat, and ventricular fibrillation.

As the name suggests, defibrillation stops fibrillation, the useless trembling that a person’s heart muscles can adopt during a cardiac arrest. Simply put, a defibrillator works by using a high-voltage to pass an electric current through the heart so it’s shocked into working normally again.

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Tennis elbow: not just for tennis players!

By: | September 17, 2016 image05

Tennis elbow, known medically as lateral epicondylitis of the elbow, occurs due to a small tear in the tendon(s) on the outside of the elbow that attach the forearm muscles to the elbow joint. The micro tear and subsequent development of the damaged tissue is due to forceful and repetitive forearm use. Tennis elbow by definition is most commonly associated with tennis, hence its name, but it can occur in any sport or work that requires forceful and/or repetitive forearm usage.

Most tennis elbow diagnoses are not related to actually playing tennis! For example, painters, plumbers, landscapers, butchers, office or house cleaners, assembly-line workers, golfers and baseball players all can develop the condition. Read More