Friday, December 28, 2007

Glaucoma - take care of your eyes

Glaucoma is an eye disease that strikes 325,000 Canadians, at least 2 million people in the United States, and 67 million people worldwide – leaving 6.6 people across the world blind. It is also the second leading cause of blindness in North America. So when I read articles like Cost of glaucoma medications may impact treatment, it worries me.

Glaucoma is a silent disease. You don’t know you have it unless it’s detected during an eye exam – or you lose your sight. Vision loss is irreversible. According to Glaucoma Research Canada, you have a higher risk of developing glaucoma if you:

* Are over 40 years old
* Have a family history of glaucoma
* Have an abnormally high intraocular pressure (Pressure in your eye)
* Are of African, Chinese, Scandinavian, Celtic or Russian ancestry
* Have diabetes
* Are nearsighted
* Have used steroids/cortisone regularly for long periods
* Have had a previous eye injury

Glaucoma can’t be cured, but the progress can be slowed with proper treatment so it’s vital to find out if you have it.

Recommendations are that everyone have their eyes checked at least every 2 years after the age of 40 and then every year after turning 65. It’s suggested those who fall into high-risk groups, such as African Americans, have their eyes checked at every 2 to 4 years once they have turned 30.

There are a few different types of glaucoma; the most common ones are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Although they are called silent diseases, they do sometimes have symptoms that aren’t picked up. They include:

· Blurred vision
· Halos around lights
· Reddening of the eye
· Severe eye pain
· Nausea and vomiting

Don’t wait if you fall into a high risk group. And if you don’t, be aware that the problem exists and be checked – just in case.

News for Today:

Triglyceride blood fat levels linked to stroke: study
Avastin prolongs survival of women with breast cancer: study
Handling pesticides associated with greater asthma risk in farm women
LASIK works well, according to long-term study of highly myopic patients
Treating oft ignored non-cancer health issues after cancer diagnosis prolongs survival

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Medical slang

I was doing some blog surfing yesterday and was reading Healthbolt. There, I learned about Doing a Hasselhoff. You can read more here.

I can honestly say, that these were new to me!

News for Today:

Honey-drenched dressings touted as the bee's knees for wounds
Bevacizumab found to improve survival for patients with advanced breast cancer
Brief intervention helps emergency patients reduce drinking
Stimulating muscles may improve musician's dystonia

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Many topics covered over the past 7 months

Going over the months since I started the blog, I covered a lot of topics – some more often than once. I went back to look to them and compiled them into an alphabetical list. I didn’t include the writing-related posts, but as it is, there are quite a few here. Also, a few show up in a few different categories because they include information from each one:

Childhood food allergy guidelines
Christmas trees

Alternative medicine
Holistic medicine

Appendectomy and tonsillectomy / Arthritis / Asthma / Autism

When should I bring my baby/child to the doctor?
Childhood diseases
Infections and antibiotics

Paintball dangers
Childhood food allergies

Back pain / Blood donation / Blood pressure / Cancers below the waist

Colon cancer / Cholesterol / Colds / Communication / CPR / Dementia

Root canals
Dental work


Rising rates of diabetes
Diabetes foot care

Drug warnings or recalls

Get more exercise
Getting kids moving

Flu vaccine / Gambling addiction / Grief / Handwashing

Head injuries / Heart attack

Heat 1
Heat 2

HPV vaccine / Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) / Living wills

Lyme disease
Don’t let Lyme disease keep you inside
Lyme disease

Med errors / Memory / Mental illness

Migraine pain
Migraines and strokes


What do nurses do
Nursing histories
Nurses and addictions

Nursing/breastfeeding moms

All in the eating
Coffee, tea, etc
Portion control

Obesity / Organ donation / Osteoporosis / OT and PT

Pain scales
Pain meds

Palliative care
World hospice day
World Health Organization palliative care

Plastic surgery deaths

Seeing a podiatrist
Diabetes and foot care

Pregnancy / Psoriasis / Rep. stress injury / Hip and knee replacements / Safety

Searching for health info
Searching for health info
finding health news

Seniors month
Broken hips

Sensory overload / Shingles vaccine / Sinus infections

Is it nap time yet?
Lack of sleep
Time for sleep

Smoke exposure

Vacation stress
Winding down
Professionals and stress

Migraines and strokes
Don’t wait if you’re having a stroke


Sun safety/ skin cancer
Sun safety 1
Sun safety 2

Skin cancer

Taking medications / Tattoos / TB / Vision / Vit. D

Weight / Working nights

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays to everyone.

Pain relief - meds need to be used properly

Pain relief is a big issue – as it should be. No-one should suffer from pain if we have a way to relieve it. However, using the wrong medications for pain can result in tragedy. A case in point is fentanyl, available in a skin patch form: Improper use of fentanyl pain patches linked to more deaths: FDA.

Fentanyl skin patches are a wonderful way of giving much-needed pain relief to people who are experiencing moderate-to-severe chronic pain. The method of delivery - through the skin, makes it usable for people who have trouble swallowing or who can't tolerate oral medications. It is also quite convenient.

These patches aren't meant for headaches, short-term pain relief from surgery, or anything like that – it’s only for chronic pain or for palliative pain relief. However, people have been using it for the wrong reason and this has resulted in overdoses and deaths.

The US FDA issued a warning in 2005 about the practice and, at the time, they reported 120 deaths due to inappropriate use of fentanyl. On Dec. 21, 2007, the FDA issued a second warning for the same reason.

News for Today:

Surgeons fail to discuss reconstruction with breast cancer patients: study
Improper use of fentanyl pain patches linked to more deaths: FDA
Patients use BlackBerrys to send health reports