Tag Archives: Harvard Medical School

Eatching & tearing of Eyes (Epiphora)

Definition:

Watery eyes (epiphora) tear persistently or excessively.

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Depending on the cause, watery eyes may clear up on their own. Self-care measures at home can help treat watery eyes, particularly if caused by inflammation or dry eyes.

Causes:
Watery eyes can be due to many factors and conditions.

In infants, persistent watery eyes, often with some matter, are commonly the result of blocked tear ducts. The tear ducts don’t produce tears, but rather carry away tears, similar to how a storm drain carries away rainwater. Tears normally drain into your nose through tiny openings (puncta) in the inner part of the lids near the nose. In babies, the tear duct may not be fully open and functioning for the first several months of life.

In older adults, persistent watery eyes may occur as the aging skin of the eyelids sags away from the eyeball, allowing tears to accumulate and flow out.

Sometimes, excess tear production may cause watery eyes as well.

Allergies or viral infections (conjunctivitis), as well as any kind of inflammation, may cause watery eyes for a few days or so.

There may be some more other cause like due to different medication & other  diseases.

Do your eyes itch after you’ve been near a cat? Do they puff up or run with tears when pollen is in the air? Allergies of the eye affect about 20% of Americans each year, and are on the rise. The same inhaled airborne allergens — pollens, animal dander, dust mite feces, and mold — that trigger allergic rhinitis (the familiar sneezing, runny nose, and congestion) can lead to allergic conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva, the lining of the eye). It’s not surprising that people with allergic rhinitis often suffer from allergic conjunctivitis as well.

About 50% of allergic conjunctivitis sufferers, who tend to be young adults, have other allergic diseases or a family history of allergies. About 80% of eye allergies are seasonal; the rest are perennial (year-round). The symptoms are itchy and red eyes, tearing, edema (swelling) of the conjunctiva or eyelid, and a mucous discharge. Although it can be uncomfortable, you can rest assured that it is not a threat to your vision.

Diagnosing allergic conjunctivitis:

Allergic conjunctivitis usually can be confirmed by your doctor based on your symptoms. Testing is not usually needed to diagnose the condition, but skin testing (the same kind that’s done for other allergic reactions) may help identify the allergens causing your symptoms.

If your symptoms don’t quickly respond to treatment, see your doctor in case you have a different condition. Dry eye, in particular, can mimic the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.

Treating allergic conjunctivitis:-

Avoidance is your first line of defense. If you are allergic to cats, for example, avoid them (or at least don’t touch your eyes when near one), and wash your hands immediately after touching one. If pollen is your nemesis, keep your windows closed and an air purifier or air conditioner going in pollen season. Also, don’t rub your eyes, because rubbing causes cells in the conjunctiva to release histamine and other inflammatory chemicals, which worsens symptoms. Use artificial tears (available without prescription) frequently for relief and to dilute allergens in the eye.

If your only allergy problem is allergic conjunctivitis, then medicated eye drops would be your first step. You can start with an over-the-counter product, such as ketotifen eye drops (Zaditor, Alaway). The active ingredient is an antihistamine and a mast cell stabilizer, both of which can control the immune system overreaction that leads to your symptoms. Prescription-strength products that have similar actions are also available.

Allergic conjunctivitis can also be treated with over-the-counter oral antihistamines such as loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and fexofenadine (Allegra), or the prescription antihistamines desloratadine (Clarinex) and levocetirizine (Xyzal). These are especially useful for people that have other allergy symptoms in addition to conjunctivitis.

For allergic conjunctivitis that is very severe and doesn’t improve with other medications, there are prescription eye drops that contain corticosteroids, such as loteprednol etabonate (Alrex, Lotemax) and fluorometholone (Fluor-Op, FML Forte). However, these eye medications should only be used under the guidance of an ophthalmologist.

General  precautions  & Alternative treatment of eatching & tearing eyes:

*Remember to keep their eyes free from dust and other particles that cause a blocking of the tear ducts.

*Wash the face and eyes frequently as this will also help to keep you refreshed. Washing your eyes frequently also removes the impurities from around the area of the tear ducts, keeping them free from blockages.

*You could also keep your eyes moist with the use of some mild eye drops. This will help in reducing the itchiness and the dryness that you experience.

*If you are going outdoors, make sure to wear some protective eye wear that help to keep impurities out of the eyes, thereby avoiding any irritability of the sense organs.

*Rose water is an excellent remedy to soothe dryness or burning sensations that are experienced in the eyes. Washing out the eyes in a capful of rose water will provide instantaneous relief.

*There are occasions where the optical nerve of the eyes and the muscles around the eyes have been strained, leading to dryness and itching, followed by a continuous flow of secretions. In order to relax the eyes and the relevant muscles, place slices of cucumber over the eyelids while you rest your eyes. The cooling effect of the cucumber slices will provide a great deal of relief to your tired eyes.

*On certain occasions, a warm compress, made by dipping a piece of towel into warm water and pressing it gently over the eyes will provide relief from symptoms of itching and continuous flow of tears.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Resources:
Harvard Medical School healthbeat@mail.health.harvard.edu via nf163.n-email.net
http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/askquestion/83237/causes-of-itchy-eyes-what-could-be-the-root-of-itc.html
http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/watery-eyes/basics/causes/SYM-20050821

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Fight Glaucoma With Leafy Green Vegetables

Think about this the next time you fill your plate with kale or spinach: a study published recently in JAMA Ophthalmology, found that boosting leafy green vegetable intake is associated with a reduced risk of developing glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.

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Harvard researchers analyzed the dietary information reported by more than 100,000 men and women in two long-term studies, each lasting more than 25 years. Those who ate the most leafy greens had a risk of developing glaucoma that was 20% to 30% lower than that of those who ate the least. What’s the link? Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve, through increased pressure from fluid in the eye or impaired blood flow to the optic nerve. Leafy greens are loaded with nitrate, which the body converts to nitric oxide. “Nitric oxide is important for maintaining optimal blood flow, and possibly for keeping eye pressure low” speculates Dr. Jae Hee Kang, the lead author of the study and a Harvard Medical School assistant professor. The study doesn’t prove that leafy greens reduce glaucoma risk; it only shows an association between the two. Eating leafy greens is also linked to lower rates of inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and even macular degeneration.

Sources: Harvard researchers

Lobelia chinensis

Botanical Name: Lobelia chinensis
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Lobelia
Species: L. chinensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name :Creeping Lobelia,Chinese Lobelia,Lobelia chinensis

Chinese  Name :Pinyin : ban bian lian

Habitat:Original native of China

Description:
Lobelia chinensis is a species of flowering plant in the family Campanulaceae. Growing Height: 2″-3″.  Small pink flowers all summer.
It is in hardy to zone 7.
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Cultivation:
Planting depth: Bog plant, not to be fully submerged. Thrives in full sun to partial shade. Works well in floating islands.

Chemical constituents:
Lobelia chinensis contains constituents including lobeline, lobelanine, isolobelanine, lobelanidine, and some chemical reactions of flavonoid, amino acid etc.

Medicinal uses;
It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.
It has a number of purported uses and folk remedies that include treatment for inflammation, scurvy and fever. A tea made from the stem and leaves can be made to act as a diuretic. Moreover, it also has certain astringent properties and uses.

Click to see : Cadmium and Other Metal Uptake by Lobelia chinensis and Solanum nigrum from Contaminated Soils  :


Other Uses:
This can be grown as cute little ground cover .It makes a darling groundcover of tiny leaves, topped all summer with miniature pink, lobelia-like flowers.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.callutheran.edu/gf/plants/category/gar-4463.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobelia_chinensis
http://www.watergarden.org/Pond-Supplies/Floating-Island-Bog-Plants/Chinese-Lobelia
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Lobelia_chinensis
http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Plants/Lobelia-chinensis.html

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Vitamin D May Have The Best Results In Preventing Illnesses

Vitamin D, a powerful antioxidant, may have the strongest results when it comes to preventing diseases, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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For example, a study found that men and women who had a high intake of vitamin D were less likely to suffer from high blood pressure, according to The Boston Globe. Another trial showed that high levels of vitamin D could help balance blood sugar levels, and lessen the risk of developing diabetes.

In another study, a total of 1,000 post-menopausal women were asked to take natural supplements that contained vitamin D and calcium. The researchers found that the participants had a much lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, the news source reports.

While researchers across the country have found many benefits from a high intake of vitamin D, investigators conclude that further studies are necessary to rule out potential negative effects of the nutrient.

JoAnn Manson, a professor at Harvard Medical School, stated that “I do think vitamin D is one of the most promising nutrients for prevention of cardiac disease and cancer, and I believe in it strongly.” She added that “[however], the evidence is far from conclusive.”

In addition to being a potent antioxidant, vitamin D can also prevent bone density loss, osteoporosis, altered bone marrow cells and low bone mass.

Vitamin D… America’s Single Deadliest Deficiency…

Nine out of 10 Americans are deficient in vitamin D… the sunshine vitamin. And surprisingly, even people that spend plenty of time in the sun can still lack this vital inflammation fighter.

This is dangerous because inflammation is a major cause of heart and brain attacks… high blood pressure… joint pain… bone loss… digestive problems… blood sugar imbalances and a host of other serious health problems.

But the good news is: You can quickly restore healthy levels of vitamin D with Advanced D3 Plus™ from Health Resources™ and even REVERSE many of your most dangerous health problems.

But you must have the RIGHT kind of natural vitamin D combined with the best quality ingredients for optimum bone, heart and brain health. To find out more, Click Here… :http://www.healthresources.net/p-142-advanced-d3-plus.aspx

Source: BETTER Health Research 15th.JUL.2010

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Few Tips On Health

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Harvard researchers praise stunningly simple discovery!
According to recent estimates, nearly 1-in-3 American adults has high blood pressure. But for the Kuna Indians living on a group of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama , hypertension doesn’t even exist. In fact, after age 60, the average blood pressure for Kuna Indian islanders is a perfect 110/70.
Is it because they eat less salt? No. Kuna Indians eat as much, if not more salt, than people in the U.S.
Is it due to their genes? No. Kuna Indians who move away from the islands are just as likely to suffer from high blood pressure as anyone else!
So what makes these folks practically “immune” to hypertension — and lets them enjoy much lower death rates from heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancer?
Harvard researchers were stunned to discover it’s because they drink about 5 cups of cocoa each day. That’s right, cocoa!
Studies show the flavonols in cocoa stimulate your body’s production of nitric oxide — boosting blood flow to your heart, brain, and other organs. In fact, one study found cocoa thins your blood just as well as low-dose aspirin!
But that’s not all. A Harvard Medical School professor claims cocoa can also treat blocked arteries, congestive heart failure, stroke, dementia, even impotence!
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Painless cholesterol cure:-

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works in just 7 days — and drives the “food police” crazy!
Want to lower your cholesterol so fast it’ll make your head spin? It’s a breeze, just eat guacamole — or any dish containing avocados!
Most health experts and nutritionists will tell you this rich, delicious Mexican dish is BANNED from any cholesterol- watcher’s menu. But not Dr. Steven Pratt. That’s because new research shows eating avocados can lower your cholesterol even faster than drugs…. without the side effects!
One study found after just 7 days on a diet including avocados, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels dropped by 22 percent. Meanwhile, HDL (“good”) cholesterol shot up 11 percent — something most cholesterol- lowering drugs won’t do!
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The cinnamon cure for high blood sugar

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Sprinkle a little cinnamon on your toast, cereal, oatmeal, or sliced apples. It not only tastes good, it lowers your blood sugar!
In a recent study, people reduced their blood sugar levels by as much as 29 percent in just 40 days. That’s with NO drugs, NO diet changes — just plain old cinnamon!
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The fat that blasts away cancer



You’ve been told cancer runs in families. You’ve been told what to eat and what NOT to eat — including LESS fat.
Yet Dr. Steven Pratt says there’ some fat you should eat MORE of. It’s the monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, found in olive oil! It should come as no surprise. After all, olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. And people in Spain and Greece are far less likely to develop cancer than in the U.S.
But what’s really interesting is how olive oil not only prevents cancer, it blasts away cancer cells that already exist! So if you’re even the slightest bit worried about cancer, this is one Super Food you don’t want to be without!
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NEW prostate-protecting champ trumps tomatoes!
Unless you’ve been asleep under a rock for the past decade, you’ve heard the news about tomatoes. They contain a potent antioxidant called lycopene that’s been proven to reduce the risk of certain cancers — in particular, prostate cancer.
A famous Harvard study back in 1995 found that out of 48,000 men surveyed, those who ate 10 or more servings of tomatoes a week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by more than one-third. What’s more, they lowered their risk of aggressive prostate tumors (the kind that are really tough to treat) by HALF!
But before you reach for that slice of pizza or bottle of ketchup, listen up. What if I told you about a sweet, refreshing food Dr. Steven Pratt recommends that’s even better for your prostate than tomatoes?
This NEW prostate protecting champ is watermelon! Ounce for ounce, watermelon is even richer in lycopene than tomatoes. And since you probably eat more watermelon in one sitting than you do tomatoes, you don’t have to gorge on it 10 times a week in order to slash your cancer risk! Just a few times a week should do it.
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Knock out an ulcer with broccoli?!

Could hot cocoa be the next “wonder drug” For high blood pressure?
About 25 million Americans will suffer from a peptic ulcer at some point in their lives. To get rid of their ulcers, most will take an antibiotic like amoxicillin.
Pretty tame stuff, right? Wrong! Amoxicillin can bring with it unwanted side effects like fever, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, even a yucky condition called “hairy tongue”!
And if you think that’s bad, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the cost of treating an ulcer with antibiotics over an average 17-day period can run upward of $1,000!
Fortunately, there’s one unconventional treatment with NO side effects Dr. Pratt swears by. “Eat broccoli!” he says. Why?
Broccoli contains a remarkably potent compound called sulforaphane, that kills off the H. pylori bacteria that cause most ulcers. Not only can it knock out an ulcer, eating one serving a day for a month might run you 20 bucks… a fraction of the cost of drugs.

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