Eyesight: 4 eye problems in your 40s and older – ‘Can make it hard for you’

Optometrist Dr Pamela Miller said: “As you reach your 40s you might start to notice that you need to squint to see and read, this could be presbyopia. As you age the lens of your eye naturally hardens, losing its ability to change shape, which can make it hard for you to focus on things that are close up.”

Dr Miller continued: “If you find yourself suffering, it might be worth seeing your optician to find out what treatment is best.

“Most people just need to pick up some reading glasses to help correct the condition.”

If you notice blurry vision, and colours appear less vibrant, Dr Miller cautioned that “you may be suffering with cataracts”.

“It’s one of the most common vision changes in your 40s,” she warned. “And also the most common cause of vision loss in people over 40.”

Dr Miller explained that cataracts “develop as the tissues in your eyes [the ones responsible for focusing your vision] begin to age”.

Cataracts can make the lens of your eye look “cloudy”, but the eye problem can be corrected with prescription glasses.

For people whose vision is progressively getting worse, corrective surgery might be required.

“Just like cataracts, glaucoma can make your eyes look cloudy or foggy,” added Dr Miller.

“As you age, the pressure in your eyes can grow and damage your optic nerve, making your vision blurry. In some cases you may even feel physically sick.”

While relatively common for people aged 40 and older, glaucoma can go undetected for numerous years as the condition may present with no symptoms.

“This is why it’s so important to see your optician regularly as they’ll be able to catch the condition early and provide you with a treatment plan,” Dr Miller emphasised.

Then there’s age-related macular degeneration, which is when you begin to notice blind spots in your vision.

AMD, as it’s shortened to, can be a “serious risk to your health”.

Dr Miller said: “As you age, the macula, the middle part of the retina which allows you to see fine detail, deteriorates.

“This condition can be treated if caught early with nutritional supplements and lots of exercise.

“More severe cases of AMD may require injections or laser therapy. However, if left untreated it can lead to vision loss.”

Dr Miller is an advocate for regular eye examination which can catch most conditions in the earliest of stages.

By addressing any eye conditions as they develop, a treatment plan can ensure your eyesight is protected.

“Shockingly, our research recently revealed around 27 percent of those over 40 haven’t visited an optician in over two years,” said Dr Miller.

“And over one in four (28 percent) of Brits don’t even consider their eye health a priority.”

If you have not booked an eye examination in the past two years, now is your time to do so.

Dr Miller works on behalf of All About Vision.

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  • 1 час, 21 минута назад 16.08.2022Health Care
    Doctor warns of the dangers of ‘face icing’ as ‘rejuvenating’ TikTok trend goes viral

    Face icing – where ice or very cold water is applied to the skin – is making a comeback on social media platforms. The trend has a variety of skincare benefits including soothing redness, exfoliating the skin, and controlling blemishes. Although these qualities may seem alluring, the practice isn’t without its risks.

    According to Cleveland Clinic, some benefits of face icing are:

    Konstantin Vasyukevich, a facial plastic surgeon in New York City, told Healio: “Face icing is one of those skin treatments that become very popular every once in a while then the popularity fades a bit.

    “[…] It has a role in the overall armamentarium of things we use to keep people looking young and beautiful.

    “There are different effects, some are immediate and some may be longer lasting. Most of the immediate effects are fairly positive.”

    Though problems are rare, skin icing can cause irritation and redness in people whose skin is susceptible.

    The trick to avoiding these complications is to carefully manage how long you apply ice to the skin.

    It is also recommended to avoid applying the ice cube directly to the face, and instead wrap it in a thin cloth.

    Once wrapped, the ice should be rubbed on the face in a constant and circular movement, without resting on any portion of the skin for too long.

    Beyond causing irritation and redness, leaving ice on the skin for too long could even cause frostbite, warns the Cleveland Clinic.

    “When you put ice on your face the blood vessels will constrict. Then when you remove the ice, the blood vessel will go in the opposite direction, dilating,” explained Mr Vasyukevich.

    “This helps to give the skin more plumpness, increasing the elasticity of the skin, and gives it a little bit of a shine.

    “It’s a youthful look people can appreciate immediately after they ice their face.”

    He continued: “Long-term effects might be something that I would caution people about because any extreme temperatures applied to the skin for a long time may not be beneficial.

    “We know from life experience that for people whose skin is exposed to extreme temperatures or for people who work outdoors, oftentimes the skin loses elasticity and collagen, so it begins to age as opposed to looking younger and healthier.”

    The Cleveland Clinic adds that anyone with thin, sensitive skin and broken capillaries should steer clear of the treatment.

    The health body adds that anyone recovering from domestic surgery should skip facial icing in favour of letting your skin health naturally.

    Mr Vasykevich noted: “For people with sensitive skin or some skin conditions, they could cool off the skin, but I would not recommend the extreme temperatures.”

    The surgeon advises anyone considering a new skin regimen to consult a dermatologist first, so they can check if you have any skin conditions.

    Skin icing, however, tends to be safe and has a very low likelihood of leading to other problems.

    Any minor injuries that do arise, such as skin burns, should clear by themselves.

  • 3 часа, 19 минут назад 16.08.2022Health Care
    Woman has new tongue made from leg muscle after mouth cancer operation

    Charlotte Webster-Salter – who likens it to a drumstick lolly – initially blamed recurrent ulcers on tiring shifts as a flight attendant in 2018.

    But tests last year found a tumour and in a nine-hour operation medics replaced the diseased part of her tongue with muscle from her left leg.

    Charlotte spent two weeks with a tracheostomy tube in her neck so she could breathe, fearing she might not be able to speak or eat normally again. But her speedy recovery stunned doctors and she was overjoyed to learn the cancer had not spread.

    The student midwife, 27, who now has a leg freckle on her tongue, says: “You rarely hear about mouth cancer. It’s usually older men or smokers diagnosed. The doctors had never treated someone as young as me. It’s definitely something that needs to be talked about more.”

    Charlotte, who lives with boyfriend Tom Hendrie, 31, in Petersfield, Hants, said of her ulcers: “I thought it was just stress or feeling rundown. I even thought it was from being hungover or eating spicy food. I had my teeth straightened and had fillings but nothing helped.”

    Charlotte’s first operation at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, went well. But her tongue lost blood supply and she was rushed in for another four hours of surgery, followed by four days in intensive care.

    However, she says the hardest thing was breaking news of her diagnosis to mum Sam, 51, who had just come through a gruelling battle with breast cancer.

    She said: “She had been through so much and it broke my heart to tell her that her daughter had cancer too.”

    Charlotte – whose first word 10 days after the ops was “Hello” – admits: “Losing the ability to speak was the scariest thing for me.” She also went through therapy to relearn how to talk, eat and even walk following the surgery on her leg.

    She says: “The hospital staff and surgeons were incredible. I can’t thank them enough.

    “I’m a rare case as I’m so young. But it’s so important to look out for symptoms at any age. If just one person reads my story and recognises the symptoms, I’ll be happy.”

  • 3 часа, 19 минут назад 16.08.2022Health Care
    ‘Emergency surgery on my 30th birthday saved my life’

    Olivia Bartlett has suffered with Type 1 Diabetes for 15 years and was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease after a series of unbearable symptoms. The 30-year-old from Newtownabbey, North Belfast, said she had been passing blood and going to the bathroom up to 30 times a day.

    Alongside these uncomfortable experiences, Olivia was vomiting and losing a lot of weight, reports Belfast Live.

    In February 2020, she was rushed to hospital by ambulance, where she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis – a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed.

    This started months and years of treatment trials, some more successful than others, but all with the hope of avoiding the need for major surgery to have a stoma bag, something Olivia never wanted to happen.

    Olivia, who is weeks away from one year with a stoma, she said she is now grateful for the stoma bag, which she says saved her life at a time where she was critically ill.

    “I first became unwell in 2019. Before Christmas I was very fatigued and passing blood,” she said.

    “I also had severe vomiting and diarrhoea. I was going to the toilet about 20 or 30 times a day and losing a lot of weight, I couldn’t keep anything down.

    “I developed pneumonia and was on antibiotics. I was so fatigued, I couldn’t get out of bed.

    “My diabetes then started to suffer and I was having out-of-control blood sugar levels.

    “I had thought I maybe had an intolerance to dairy or gluten so I cut that out of my diet, but it didn’t work.

    “In February 2020, I was rushed to hospital by ambulance and that is when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

    “I spent a few weeks in Antrim Hospital on different medications and trying out different methods of treatment.

    “They had me on a lot of steroids, which made me put on a lot of weight and swell up really badly.

    “I had pains all over my body and then my blood sugars were skyrocketing.

    “I was in and out of hospital for two years, really violently ill. None of the treatments were working. I was on everything, infusions, tablets, injections.

    “I was then diagnosed with crohn’s colitis because they couldn’t specify if it was either or.

    “Every CT scan showed that by bowel was extremely ulcerated, and it would have perforated if they had of performed any full colonoscopies.

    “Each treatment was just a different trial, to avoid a stoma bag.

    “I was around 27/28 at the time, and I didn’t want a stoma bag, I was trying everything in the cupboard to avoid it, however my whole body just couldn’t copy with the medication.

    “I was severely anaemic too, I was getting iron and blood transfusions, just very very sick.

    “I had no quality of life, and couldn’t leave my house because I always had to be near a bathroom.”

    Olivia is very open about how her health journey had a negative impact on not just her physical health, but her mental health too.

    As a once bubbly and very outgoing woman, she was beginning to feel more introverted and not interested in leaving her house.

    Travelling for work as an air hostess, Olivia was always meeting new people and trying out different life experiences. But that part of her life was put on hold due to her health condition.

    She said: “In August of 2021, I was back in Antrim Hospital again, severely ill and they tried a new treatment.

    “The steroids were destroying me, my body, everything. People around me, my age, were out living their lives, and I was watching them from home and sick.

    “So at the end of September I got the new treatment, and for my 30th birthday I had booked to go to a huge house in Lurgan with my family and friends, and it was supposed to be a weekend of celebrations.

    “Things didn’t go to plan and I ended up in bed the whole Friday night, vomiting blood and couldn’t get off the bathroom floor, on the Saturday of my 30th birthday I ended up in an ambulance to Craigavon Hospital where I was admitted to re-suss.

    “The surgeons came and explained to me that nothing else could be done, and that I needed emergency surgery for my large bowel to be removed, and a stoma bag.

    “I was devastated. I was critically ill and if I didn’t get the surgery when I did, I probably wouldn’t have lived.

    “I was critically ill in ICU for two weeks after the surgery.

    “One week after it, I was brought back to theatre and they thought that my organs were shutting down and I took sepsis, I was on oxygen and critically ill again.

    “They had to open my wound again and drain fluid from my stomach. When I brought onto the ward I ended up with clots in my lungs, I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t get out of bed.

    “It was hard, but I soon came to realised that this stoma bag was giving me back a bit of quality of life and once I started to recover, and feel better, I was able to get on with my life.

    “Physically, it was very tough, looking at my body with a stoma bag and a wound. I had 28 stapled down my stomach and I felt like I was a sick patient at 30 years of age.

    “But I got up and tried my best to pull through the tough times and I did have really good days.

    “After screaming and crying every day, I told the nurses I couldn’t live with a stoma bag – but when I was on social media I was looking on Instagram and TikTok for people in the same situation as myself and I found so much support online.

    “I thought, I would love to be a source of support for people in my situation.

    “I wanted to raise awareness and remove the stigma attached to people having stoma bags. I would be dead without it. I appreciate it every single day now. I can enjoy the little things in life again.

    “Yes there are really hard days, but they make you a stronger person. I love my body more now, because of how much it has gone through.”

    Olivia took the decision to use her Instagram platform to raise awareness for hidden illnesses and shows the good, the bad and the ugly side of living with a chronic disease.

    Her page “Styling My Stoma” comes from her passion for fashion.

    She said she should not have to stop her love for clothes and other nice things, just because she has a stoma bag.

    “I want everyone out there to know that life doesn’t stop when you have a stoma bag,” she added.

    “I would love more people to become aware of it, and decrease the stigma.

    “People look at me and they wouldn’t know that I have this illness, because it’s not physically visible to them. It’s not invisible to me though.

    “But other people just need educated on it more, that’s what I want to do. I don’t share my story for sympathy, I just want people to know that people can get through this.

    “This chronic illness is hard to accept sometimes, and I feel like I have been sick for a long time. I suffered terrible sickness for many years, but my stoma bag has given back my quality of life. It cannot be reversed, and I am asked that a lot.

    “Before I had a stoma bag, I didn’t know anything about it. So I am always so open with people, if they had questions. That is what I want to be able to do, I am always here to talk to anyone. Having a health condition is 24/7 but I try my hardest to get on with it.

    “Six weeks ago I took a twist in my small bowel, and had to get another operation. That set me back again. I am not back to work just yet.

    “All being well, I will be back to the way I was soon, and it is weird but this has been a good year for me – that is all down to my stoma bag, which I have named roma.”

    To follow Olivia’s journey, click here for her Instagram page.

  • 3 часа, 19 минут назад 16.08.2022Health Care
    Diabetes: The sunshine yellow drink shown to ‘significantly’ lower blood sugar for months

    Type 2 diabetes stems from a dysfunction in the way the body produces insulin – a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels in the body. Poor insulin reduction therefore results in unregulated blood sugar levels, which can cause a cascade of problems. Luckily, there is a workaround – improving your diet.

    Specific items have been touted for their blood sugar-lowering prowess.

    Chamomile tea falls into this category. Chamomile, which is called manzanilla in some areas, has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years as a natural panacea.

    The herbal tea has long been suspected of having antidiabetes properties.

    In a study published in the journal Nutrition, chamomile tea was shown to tame average blood sugar levels over months.

    Researchers examined the effects of chamomile tea on glycaemic (presence of blood sugar in the blood) indices in patients with type 2 diabetes.

    For the study, 64 subjects with type 2 diabetes (males and females) ages 30 to 60 years were recruited.

    The intervention group consumed chamomile tea (3 g/150 mL hot water) three times per day immediately after meals for eight weeks.

    The control group followed a water regimen for same intervention period.

    Blood sugar levels were measured at the beginning and at the end of the trial.

    Chamomile tea “significantly” decreased concentration of glycosylated haemoglobin.

    Glycosylated haemoglobin, also known as A1C tests, measure average blood glucose over the past two to three months.

    The researchers concluded: “Short term intake of chamomile tea has beneficial effects on glycemic control and antioxidant status in patients with T2 DM [type 2 diabetes mellitus].

    “A larger sample population and a longer intervention period may be required to show significant clinical improvements.”

    Other studies point to the antidiabetic effect of chamomile tea.

    One report, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found rats with diabetes that were given chamomile supplements showed decreased blood glucose levels.

    The research needs to be repeated in human studies before recommendations based on these findings can be made.

    Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

    Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

    “See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes,” advises the NHS.

  • 3 часа, 19 минут назад 16.08.2022Health Care
    Long Covid: The heart problem you could experience after initial infection has gone

    In the majority of Covid cases people make a full recovery within four weeks. However, if symptoms last longer it is likely you have long Covid. The most common complications include fatigue, shortness of breath and muscle aches.

    According to Doctor Annette Alaeus, an infectious disease specialist from online GP service, Livi, heart palpitations are a common symptom.

    “COVID-19 is considered to be a systemic disease, not just a respiratory disease, even though the virus enters the body through the respiratory system,” she said.

    “This systemic involvement is probably immune-related and different individuals react in different ways to the infection.”

    She explained: “Despite being initially thought of as a respiratory illness, we now know that the effects of COVID-19 can impact other areas of your body too, including the heart.

    “Although more research is needed to explain why long Covid can cause heart palpitations in some instances, experts believe that it could be due to the virus affecting the autonomic nervous system as opposed to the heart itself.

    “This part of our nervous system is responsible for regulating a number of the body’s automatic processes including breathing rate, blood pressure and heart rate.”

    She recommended talking to a doctor if you think you have long Covid.

    Doctor Alaius said: “Palpitations aren’t usually a cause for concern but if they persist or begin to worry you, it’s best to speak to a GP.

    “If you’re experiencing heart palpitations along with symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath or feeling faint, ring 999 and seek urgent medical help.”

    She advised on the best ways to look after the heart.

    “As treatment for long Covid is still being identified, it’s important to take extra care of your general health, in particular your heart,” she added.

    “Try cutting back on alcohol and caffeine and ensure you’re eating a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fibre.

    “Try to avoid foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, salt and sugar.“

    Regular moderate exercise such as a 30 minute brisk walk every day has proven health benefits to the heart, consult with your doctor to learn how to safely build up your cardiovascular fitness.”

    Other symptoms of long Covid include:

    The Office for National Statistics estimates that 1.8 million people in the UK (2.8 percent of the population) were experiencing long Covid symptoms as of July this year.

    Since the start of the pandemic the Government has recorded a total of 19,745,612 Covid cases in the UK.

  • 3 часа, 19 минут назад 16.08.2022Health Care
    Cancer: The purple berry shown to slash cancer cell growth by 60 percent within 24 hours

    The causes of cancer have remained elusive, making the development of a cure difficult. Although the diffusion of treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy has significantly improved survival rates, prevention remains the best option. Chokeberries, thanks to their high antioxidant activity, may reduce cancer growth in a short timeframe of 24 hours.

    The fruit – also known as aronia berry – is well known for its bitter taste and is grown in some parts of the UK to be used in recipes like pies and smoothies.

    But in recent decades, it has caught the attention of medical experts for its potent anticancer agents and phytochemicals.

    A report in the journal of Nutrition and Cancer states: “Phytochemicals that are particularly abundant in chokeberries include anthocyanin and phenolic acids.”

    Anthocyanin, the pigment that is known to give chokeberry its distinctive deep red and purple colour, can confer protection against diseases such as cancer.READ MORE: Bowel cancer: The sign in your poo of cancer that’s ‘harder to cure’

    The cancer-suppressing effects were put down to potent antioxidant activity, which has proven helpful in staving off several types of cancer.

    In fact, extracts from the berries were also shown to reduce oxidative stress associated with breast cancer in one 2009 study.

    The research, published in the journal Planta Medica, showed that a chokeberry extract could reduce the number of harmful superoxide free radicals in blood samples taken from breast cancer patients.

    While a great number of studies have highlighted the ability of anthocyanin to inhibit cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, there is evidence that applying the antioxidants topically can inhibit skin cancer too.

    Whether chokeberry confers any protection against skin cancer when applied topically, however, remains to be seen.

    According to the website Organic Facts, some antioxidants found in chokeberry:

    Current evidence on the link between chokeberry and cancer may be limited, but it highlights the value of probing the association in more depth.

    What’s more, the current proof that chokeberry can reduce the risk of colon cancer does not mean all cancers can be prevented.

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Health Care Eyesight: 4 eye problems in your 40s and older - 'Can make it hard for you'