Ailmemts & Remedies


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Blindness is the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or neurological factors.

Various scales have been developed to describe the extent of vision loss and define “blindness.” Total blindness is the complete lack of form and light perception and is clinically recorded as “NLP,” an abbreviation for “no light perception.” Blindness is frequently used to describe severe visual impairment with residual vision. Those described as having only “light perception” can see no more than the ability to tell light from dark. A person with only “light projection” can tell the general direction of a light source.


In order to determine which people may need special assistance because of their visual disabilities, various governmental jurisdictions have formulated more complex definitions referred to as legal blindness.[2] In North America and most of Europe, legal blindness is defined as visual acuity (vision) of 20/200 (6/60) or less in the better eye with best correction possible. This means that a legally blind individual would have to stand 20 feet (6 m) from an object to see it with the same degree of clarity as a normally sighted person could from 200 feet (60 m). In many areas, people with average acuity who nonetheless have a visual field of less than 20 degrees (the norm being 180 degrees) are also classified as being legally blind. Approximately ten percent of those deemed legally blind, by any measure, have no vision. The rest have some vision, from light perception alone to relatively good acuity. Low vision is sometimes used to describe visual acuities from 20/70 to 20/200.

By the 10th Revision of the WHO International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death, low vision is defined as visual acuity of less than 6/18, but equal to or better than 3/60, or corresponding visual field loss to less than 20 degrees, in the better eye with best possible correction. Blindness is defined as visual acuity of less than 3/60, or corresponding visual field loss to less than 10 degrees, in the better eye with best possible correction.

Legal blindness:
In 1934, the American Medical Association adopted the following definition of blindness:

“Central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective glasses or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a visual field defect in which the peripheral field is contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye.” The United States Congress included this definition as part of the Aid to the Blind program in the Social Security Act passed in 1935. In 1972, the Aid to the Blind program and two others combined under Title XVI of the Social Security Act to form the Supplemental Security Income program[4] which currently states:

“An individual shall be considered to be blind for purposes of this title if he has central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens. An eye which is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall be considered for purposes of the first sentence of this subsection as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less. An individual shall also be considered to be blind for purposes of this title if he is blind as defined under a State plan approved under title X or XVI as in effect for October 1972 and received aid under such plan (on the basis of blindness) for December 1973, so long as he is continuously blind as so defined.”
Kuwait is one of many nations that share the same criteria for legal blindness.

In 1987, it was estimated that 598,000 people in the United States met the legal definition of blindness. Of this number, 58% were over the age of 65. In 1994-1995, 107.3 million Americans reported legal blindness.

In November 2004 article Magnitude and causes of visual impairment, the WHO estimated that in 2002 there were 161 million (about 2.6% of the world population) visually impaired people in the world, of whom 124 million (about 2%) had low vision and 37 million (about 0.6%) were blind.

Causes of blindness:

Serious visual impairment has a variety of causes:


Most visual impairment is caused by disease and malnutrition. According to WHO estimates in 2002, the most common causes of blindness around the world are:

click to see
………………. Artist’s depiction of blind people

People in developing countries are significantly more likely to experience visual impairment as a consequence of treatable or preventable conditions than are their counterparts in the developed world. While vision impairment is most common in people over age 60 across all regions, children in poorer communities are more likely to be affected by blinding diseases than are their more affluent peers.

The link between poverty and treatable visual impairment is most obvious when conducting regional comparisons of cause. Most adult visual impairment in North America and Western Europe is related to age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. While both of these conditions are subject to treatment, neither can be cured. Another common cause is retinopathy of prematurity.

In developing countries, wherein people have shorter life expectancies, cataracts and water-borne parasites—both of which can be treated effectively—are most often the culprits. Of the estimated 40 million blind people located around the world, 70–80% can have some or all of their sight restored through treatment.

In developed countries where parasitic diseases are less common and cataract surgery is more available, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy are usually the leading causes of blindness.

Abnormalities and injuries:
Eye injuries, most often occurring in people under 30, are the leading cause of monocular blindness (vision loss in one eye) throughout the United States. Injuries and cataracts affect the eye itself, while abnormalities such as optic nerve hypoplasia affect the nerve bundle that sends signals from the eye to the back of the brain, which can lead to decreased visual acuity.

People with injuries to the occipital lobe of the brain can, despite having undamaged eyes and optic nerves, still be legally or totally blind.

Genetic defects:
People with albinism often suffer from visual impairment to the extent that many are legally blind, though few of them actually cannot see. Leber’s congenital amaurosis can cause total blindness or severe sight loss from birth or early childhood.

Recent advances in mapping the human genome have identified other genetic causes of low vision or blindness. One such example is Bardet-Biedl syndrome.

A small portion of all cases of blindness are caused by the intake of certain chemicals. A well-known example is methanol , found in methylated spirits, which are sometimes used by alcoholics as a cheap substitute for regular alcoholic beverages.

Willful actions:
Blinding has been used as an act of vengeance and torture in some instances, to deprive a person of a major sense by which they can navigate or interact within the world, act fully independently, and be aware of events surrounding them. An example from the classical realm is Oedipus, who gouges out his own eyes after realizing that he fulfilled the awful prophecy spoken of him.

Blindness prevention:
There exist a number of organizations, such as International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, ORBIS International, and Seva Foundation, who have developed programs aimed at preventing blindness.

On September 10, 2007, in a 6-year study, researchers, led by John Paul SanGiovanni of the National Eye Institute, Maryland found that Lutein and zeaxanthin (nutrients in eggs, spinach and other green vegetables) protect against blindness (macular degeneration), affecting 1.2 million Americans, mostly after age 65. Lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of AMD (journal Archives of Ophthalmology). Foods considered good sources of the nutrients also include kale, turnip greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, corn, garden peas and Brussels sprouts.

Adaptive techniques:

Visually impaired and blind people have devised a number of techniques that allow them to complete daily activities using their remaining senses. These might include the following:

click & see
.A tactile feature on a Canadian banknote.

  • Adaptive computer software that allows people with visual impairments to interact with their computer via audio or screen magnifiers.
  • Adaptive mobile phones that allows people with visual impairments to interact with their phones via audio or screen magnifiers. These mobile phones uses software called Mobile Speak a screen reader from Code Factory It provides audio feedback to every functionality on the phone.
  • Adaptations of banknotes so that the value can be determined by touch. For example:
    • In some currencies, such as the euro, and pound sterling,the size of a note increases with its value.
    • Many blanknotes from around the world have a tactile feature to indicate denomination in the upper right corner. This tactile feature is a series of raised dots, but it is not standardBraille
    • It is also possible to fold notes in different ways to assist recognition.
  • Labeling and tagging clothing and other personal items
  • Placing different types of food at different positions on a dinner plate
  • Marking controls of household appliances

Most people, once they have been visually impaired for long enough, devise their own adaptive strategies in all areas of personal and professional management.

For corrective surgery of blindness, see acquired vision.

Designers, both visually impaired and sighted, have developed a number of tools for use by blind people.

Many people with serious visual impairments can travel independently assisted by tactile paving and/or using a white cane with a red tip – the international symbol of blindness.

A long cane is used to extend the user’s range of touch sensation, swung in a low sweeping motion across the intended path of travel to detect obstacles. However, some visually impaired persons do not carry these kinds of canes, opting instead for the shorter, lighter identification (ID) cane. Still others require a support cane. The choice depends on the individual’s vision, motivation, and other factors.

…………………………… & see
………………………...Watch for the blind

Each of these is painted white for maximum visibility, and to denote visual impairment on the part of the user. In addition to making rules about who can and cannot use a cane, some governments mandate the right-of-way be given to users of white canes or guide dogs.

A small number of people employ guide dogs. Although the dogs can be trained to navigate various obstacles, they are not capable of interpreting street signs. The human half of the guide dog team does the directing, based upon skills acquired through previous mobility training. The handler might be likened to an aircraft’s navigator, who must know how to get from one place to another, and the dog is the pilot, who gets them there safely.

Orientation and Mobility Specialist are professionals who are specifically trained to teach people with visual impairments how to travel safely, confidently, and independently in the home and the community.

Reading and magnification:
Most blind and visually impaired people read print, either of a regular size or enlarged through the use of magnification devices. A variety of magnifying glasses, some of which are handheld, and some of which rest on desktops, can make reading easier for those with decreased visual acuity.

The rest read Braille (or the infrequently used Moon type), or rely on talking books and readers or reading machines. They use computers with special hardware such as scanners and refreshable Braille displays as well as software written specifically for the blind, like optical character recognition applications and screen reading software.

Some people access these materials through agencies for the blind, such as the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in the United States, the National Library for the Blind or the RNIB in the United Kingdom.

Closed-circuit televisions, equipment that enlarges and contrasts textual items, are a more high-tech alternative to traditional magnification devices. So too are modern web browsers, which can increase the size of text on some web pages through browser controls or through user-controlled style sheets.
Access technology such as Freedom Scientific’s JAWS for Windows screen reading software enable the blind to use mainstream computer applications. Most legally blind people (70% of them across all ages, according to the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind) do not use computers. Only a small fraction of this population, when compared to the sighted community, have Internet access. This bleak outlook is changing, however, as availability of assistive technology increases, accompanied by concerted efforts to ensure the accessibility of information technology to all potential users, including the blind. Linux distributions (as Live CDs) for the blind include Oralux and Adriane Knoppix, the latter developed in part by Adriane Knopper who has a visual impairment. The Macintosh OS also comes with a built-in screen reader, called VoiceOver. Later versions of Microsoft Windows include an Accessibility Wizard & Magnifier for those with partial vision.

The movement towards greater web accessibility is opening a far wider number of websites to adaptive technology, making the web a more inviting place for visually impaired surfers.

Experimental approaches in sensory substitution are beginning to provide access to arbitrary live views from a camera.

Other aids
People may use talking thermometers, enlarged or marked oven dials, talking watches, talking clocks, talking scales, talking calculators, talking compasses and other talking equipment.

Social attitudes towards blindness:
The story of the Blind Men and an Elephant uses blindness as a symbol of limited perception and perspective. Stories such as The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens provided yet another view of blindness, wherein those affected by it were ignorant of their surroundings and easily deceived. H. G. Wells’ story The Country of the Blind explores what would happen if a sighted man found himself trapped in a country of blind people to emphasise societies atttitude to blind people by turning the situation on its head.

The authors of modern educational materials (see: blindness and education for further reading on that subject), as well as those treating blindness in literature, have worked to paint a different picture of blind people as three-dimensional individuals with a range of abilities, talents, and even character flaws.

The Moche people of ancient Peru depicted the blind in their ceramics.

Young mammals:
Statements that this or that species of mammals are “born blind” refers to them being born with their eyes closed and their eyelids fused together; the eyes open later. One example is the rabbit.

In humans the eyelids are fused for a while before birth, but open again before the normal birth time, but very premature babies are sometimes born with their eyes fused shut, and opening later.


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Healthy Tips

How to Get the Calcium We Need

Adults who shrug off their calcium needs miss out on protective benefits — against broken bones, heart attacks, and cancer.

Calcium, the body’s most abundant mineral, plays a critical role in bone health, but it does much more than that. Calcium permits cells to divide, regulates muscle contraction and relaxation, keeps the heart beating and the brain working, plays an important role in the movement of protein and nutrients inside cells, helps control blood pressure, and is essential for blood clotting. Calcium also seems to protect against heart attacks and certain types of cancers.

“We evolved from the ocean, and the ocean is a high-calcium bath,” says Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, dermatology, and physiology at Boston University Medical Center. “Living organisms used calcium for all types of purposes because it was readily available. But now that we’re on land, the lack of calcium in our environment poses a serious risk.”

The body maintains its blood calcium level at any expense, Holick says. So if you’re not absorbing enough calcium from what you eat to satisfy your body’s requirement, you’ll steal it from your bones.

In effect, the body uses its bones as a calcium bank.
“It constantly takes calcium from the bone and supplies it to the blood to make sure that all of these essential functions can continue,” explains Bernard P. Halloran, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco.

When you eat a piece of cheese, drink a glass of milk, or take a calcium supplement, the calcium is digested in the intestine, where vitamin D stimulates its absorption.
It then travels through the body in your blood, where it. s constantly deposited and withdrawn from bone. “It’s as if we put a thousand dollars worth of calcium into the bone each day and remove a thousand dollars worth each day,” says Halloran. “The bone stays in a steady state, but a amount of calcium goes in and out of it.” This ensures that the body always has a source of calcium when it needs it..…click & see

We are Never Too Old
Many adults shrug off the need for adequate calcium and feel it’s not necessary since they’re no longer building bone, a process that ends at about age 30. “But if you continue to consume an inadequate amount of calcium, you’ll gradually erode your skeleton to the point where, one morning, you’ll break a bone when you get out of bed,” warns Halloran.

According to one researcher, if adults simply added one more glass of milk and a cup of yogurt a day, and either walked or participated in some other form of weight-bearing exercise for 30 minutes a day, they could substantially reduce the incidence of broken bones resulting from osteoporosis.

Because vitamin D plays a role in the body’s absorption of calcium, consuming a sufficient amount is also crucially important and simple. Milk has been fortified with vitamin D, so if you drink milk you’re getting enough. And, since your body makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s rays, 15 to 30 minutes of sunlight on your face and hands two to three times a week will take care of it. If you don’t drink milk and the weather is gloomy, take a multivitamin that includes vitamin D. But never use supplements of this single vitamin unless your doctor recommends them; too much vitamin D can be toxic.

Good Sources of Calcium
Although the optimal amount of calcium isn’t known, “enough” according to the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Institute of Medicine, is 1,200 milligrams (mg) a day for adults over 50. The most readily available form of calcium is in dairy products.

But  we can get calcium from many other foods as well. Tofu, if prepared with calcium sulfate, is an outstanding source. Just one-quarter of a block gives you a substantial 553 mg. Don’t like tofu? Try whizzing it in a blender with some milk or juice, fresh fruit, and a bit of honey to make a nourishing and delicious smoothie. Leafy green vegetables, calcium-fortified fruit juices, canned sardines, and canned salmon with bones are all good sources. Even carrots and green peas contain calcium. To up your consumption of calcium in a way you won’t even notice, add dry milk to soups or sauces. Just one-quarter cup of dry milk provides 375 mg of calcium.

Debunking Myths
“Milk is a poor source.” Some people believe that drinking milk is not a good way to get calcium because the protein in it carries away the calcium in urine. “Here’s the story,” says Holick. “The body metabolizes the sulfur amino acids in protein and releases sulfuric acid. And that acid, which is excreted in urine, takes calcium along with it.” So it does have a marginal effect on bones. However, if you get enough calcium in your diet, you can more than offset any loss.

“Coffee saps calcium.” A while back, reports warned that drinking caffeinated coffee would leach calcium from bones. “But a nicely done study shows that the amount of calcium in the milk you put into your coffee is enough to make up for the minuscule amount of calcium lost,” Holick says.

“Calcium causes kidney stones.” In the past, people whose risk of kidney stones was high were told to limit the amount of calcium they ate because the stones are made from calcium salts. But current thinking has it that calcium from food actually decreases the risk of kidney stones.

The most important message about calcium is also the simplest: Make sure you get an adequate amount. You don’t have to count milligrams with every bite, but learn which foods are rich in calcium and make them a regular part of your diet. And, to guarantee that the calcium you eat becomes available to your body, get sufficient vitamin D, via the sun or in a multivitamin tablet.

How much calcium is in … ?
Both men and women over age 50 should be eating 1,200 mg of calcium a day. The chart below shows the calcium content of some common foods:-

Yogurt..…………………….1 8-oz container……………….. 400
Low-fat milk..…………1………………………… 300 mg
Calcium-fortified juice…1………………….300 mg
Swiss cheese..…………1 1-oz.slice…………………………… 270 mg
Sardines with bones.……3 oz……………………………….200 mg
Broccoli….……………….1 cup………………………………………75 mg
Green beans.…………..1 cup………………………………………60 mg
Orange………………..1pce…………………………………………….50 mg

From New Choices (Reader’s Digest)

News on Health & Science

Heart stem cells identified

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A master heart stem cell gives rise to the different tissues in the mammalian heart, a discovery that could be great news for future heart repair……..CLICK & SEE

In Wednesday’s issue of the journal Cell, three teams of researchers in the US identified the embryonic stem cells in mice and say the cells could be cloned for use in developing new drug therapies. Embryonic stem cells have the ability to develop into any type of cell.

One team led by Kenneth Chien of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and another led by Gordon Keller of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, said the cells gave rise to three types of cells in the mammalian heart.

The three types are: cardiac muscle cells, smooth muscle lining the aorta, and endothelial cells that form coronary blood vessels.

Source:The Times Of India


Aspirin Is Very Useful

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Take two and call it a day -:- aspirin makes car, home, beauty, and clothing care a cinch!

Revive dead car batteries:-
If you get behind the wheel only to discover that your car’s battery has given up the ghost — and there’s no one around to give you a jump — you may be able to get your vehicle started by dropping two aspirin tablets into the battery itself. The aspirin’s acetylsalicylic acid will combine with the battery’s sulfuric acid to produce one last charge. Just be sure to drive to your nearest service station.

Remove perspiration stains:-
Before you give up all hope of ever getting that perspiration stain out of your good white dress shirt, try this: Crush two aspirins and mix the powder in 1/2 cup warm water. Soak the stained part of the garment in the solution for two to three hours.

Restore hair color:-
Swimming in a chlorinated pool can have a noticeable, and often unpleasing, effect on your hair coloring if you have light-colored hair. But you can usually return your hair to its former shade by dissolving six to eight aspirins in a glass of warm water. Rub the solution thoroughly into your hair, and let it set for 10-15 minutes.

Dry up pimples:-
Even those of us who are well past adolescence can get the occasional pimple. Put the kibosh on those annoying blemishes by crushing one aspirin and moistening it with a bit of water. Apply the paste to the pimple, and let it sit for a couple of minutes before washing off with soap and water. It will reduce the redness and soothe the sting. If the pimple persists, repeat the procedure as needed until it’s gone.

Treat hard calluses:-
Soften hard calluses on your feet by grinding five or six aspirins into a powder. Make a paste by adding 1/2 teaspoon each of lemon juice and water. Apply the mixture to the affected areas, then wrap your foot in a warm towel and cover it with a plastic bag. After staying off your feet for at least ten minutes, remove the bag and towel, and file down the softened callus with a pumice stone.

Control dandruff:-
Is your dandruff problem getting you down? Keep it in check by crushing two aspirins to a fine powder and adding it to the normal amount of shampoo you use each time you wash your hair. Leave the mixture on your hair for 1-2 minutes, then rinse well and wash again with plain shampoo.

Apply to insect bites and stings:-
Control the inflammation caused by mosquito bites or bee stings by wetting your skin and rubbing an aspirin over the spot. Of course, if you are allergic to bee stings — and have difficulty breathing, develop abdominal pains, or feel nauseated following a bee sting — get medical attention at once.

Help cut flowers last longer:-
It’s a tried-and-true way to keep roses and other cut flowers fresh longer: Put a crushed aspirin in the water before adding your flowers. Other household items that you can put in the water to extend the life of your flower arrangements include: a multivitamin, a teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt and baking soda, and even a copper penny. Also, don’t forget to change the vase water every few days.

Use as garden aid:-
Aspirin is not only a first-aid essential for you, but for your garden as well. Some gardeners grind it up for use as a rooting agent, or mix it with water to treat fungus conditions in the soil. But be careful when using aspirin around plants; too much of it can cause burns or other damage to your greenery. When treating soil, the typical dosage should be a half or a full aspirin tablet in 1 quart (1 liter) water.

Remove egg stains from clothes:-
Did you drop some raw egg on your clothing while cooking or eating? First, scrape off as much of the egg as you can, and then try to sponge out the rest with lukewarm water. Don’t use hot water — it will set the egg. If that doesn’t completely remove the stain, mix water and cream of tartar into a paste and add a crushed aspirin. Spread the paste on the stain and leave it for 30 minutes. Rinse well in warm water and the egg will be gone.

About 10 percent of people with severe asthma are also allergic to aspirin — and, in fact, to all products containing salicylic acid, aspirin’s key ingredient, including some cold medications, fruits, and food seasonings and additives. That percentage skyrockets to 30 to 40 percent for older asthmatics who also suffer from sinusitis or nasal polyps. Acute sensitivity to aspirin is also seen in a small percentage of the general population without asthma — particularly people with ulcers and other bleeding conditions. Always consult your doctor before using any medication, and do not apply aspirin externally if you are allergic to taking it internally.
From The Book : Extraordinary Uses For Ordinary Things