Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Blepharospasm

Definition:
Benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions and spasms of the eyelid muscles. It is a form of dystonia, a movement disorder in which muscle contractions cause sustained eyelid closure, twitching or repetitive movements. BEB begins gradually with increased frequency of eye blinking often associated with eye irritation.

CLICK & SEE
click to see the picture
Benign means the condition is not life threatening. Essential indicates that the cause is unknown, but fatigue, stress, or an irritant are possible contributing factors. Symptoms sometimes last for a few days then disappear without treatment, but in most cases the twitching is chronic and persistent, causing lifelong challenges. The symptoms are often severe enough to result in functional blindness. The person’s eyelids feel like they are clamping shut and will not open without great effort. Patients have normal eyes, but for periods of time are effectively blind due to their inability to open their eyelids.

Although strides have recently been made in early diagnosis, blepharospasm is often initially mis-diagnosed as allergies or “dry eye syndrome“. It is a fairly rare disease, affecting only one in every 20,000 people in the United States.


Symptoms:

*Excessive blinking and spasming of the eyes, usually characterized by uncontrollable eyelid closure of durations longer than the typical blink reflex, sometimes lasting minutes or even hours.
click for the picture
*Uncontrollable contractions or twitches of the eye muscles and surrounding facial area. Some sufferers have twitching symptoms that radiate into the nose, face and sometimes, the neck area.

*Dryness of the eyes

*Sensitivity to the sun and bright light

click to see the picture
Causes:

Some causes of blepharospasm have been identified; however, the causes of many cases of blepharospasm remain unknown, although some educated guesses are being made. Some blepharospasm patients have a history of dry eyes and/or light sensitivity, but others report no previous eye problems before onset of initial symptoms.

Some drugs can induce blepharospasm, such as those used to treat Parkinson’s disease, as well as sensitivity to hormone treatments, including estrogen-replacement therapy for women going through menopause. Blepharospasm can also be a symptom of acute withdrawal from benzodiazepine dependence. In addition to blepharospasm being a benzodiazepine withdrawal symptom, prolonged use of benzodiazepines can induce blepharospasm and is a known risk factor for the development of blepharospasm.

Blepharospasm may also come from abnormal functioning of the brain basal ganglia. Simultaneous dry eye and dystonias such as Meige’s syndrome have been observed. Blepharospasms can be caused by concussions in some rare cases, when a blow to the back of the head damages the basal ganglia.

Blepharospasm often occurs out of the blue for no specific reason. Rarely, it can run in families.

Diagnosis:
The diagnosis of blepharospasm depends on recognition of its characteristic features by an expert, such as a neurologist or ophthalmologist. There are no medical tests for proving the diagnosis, but some tests may be conducted to rule out other possible problems. These may include tests for allergies or dry eyes or scans of the brain.


Treatment:

*Drug therapy: Drug therapy for blepharospasm has proved generally unpredictable and short-termed. Finding an effective regimen for any patient usually requires trial and error over time. In some cases a dietary supplement of magnesium chloride has been found effective.

*Botulinum toxin injections (Botox is a widely known example) have been used to induce localized, partial paralysis. Among most sufferers, botolinum toxin injection is the preferred treatment method.[3] Injections are generally administered every three months, with variations based on patient response and usually give almost immediate relief (though for some it may take more than a week) of symptoms from the muscle spasms. Most patients can resume a relatively normal life with regular Botulinum toxin treatments. A minority of sufferers develop minimal or no result from Botox injections and have to find other treatments. For some, Botulinum toxin diminishes in its effectiveness after many years of use. An observed side effect in a minority of patients is ptosis or eyelid droop. Attempts to inject in locations that minimize ptosis can result in diminished ability to control spasms.

*Surgery: Patients that do not respond well to medication or botulinum toxin injection are candidates for surgical therapy. The most effective surgical treatment has been protractor myectomy, the removal of muscles responsible for eyelid closure.

*Dark glasses are often worn because of sunlight sensitivity, as well as to hide the eyes from others.

*Stress management and support groups can help sufferers deal with the disease and prevent social isolation.

Prognosis:

With botulinum toxin treatment most individuals with BEB have substantial relief of symptoms. Although some may experience side effects such as drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, and eye dryness, these side effects are usually only temporary.

Researches:
The NINDS supports a broad program of research on disorders of the nervous system, including BEB. Much of this research is aimed at increasing understanding of these disorders and finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blepharospasm
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/blepharospasm/blepharospasm.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/blepharospasm1.shtml
http://www.nature.com/eye/journal/v18/n3/fig_tab/6700624f1.html
http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/File:Botwoman.jpg
http://rarediseasesnetwork.epi.usf.edu/dystonia/patients/learnmore/craniofacial/

http://www.graphicshunt.com/health/images/blepharospasm-608.htm

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Achalasia

Other Name : Esophageal achalasia

Definition:
Achalasia is a disorder of the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus), which affects the ability of the esophagus to move food toward the stomach.

Click to see Achalasia Image

At first it may only cause a minor problem, and often goes unnoticed. However, over time someone with achalasia finds it increasingly difficult to swallow food and liquid.

This is because the muscles in the oesophagus (gullet) which move foods and liquids into the stomach stop working properly. This leads to the oesophagus dilating, or stretching, which may lead to choking or coughing fits at night, triggered by food or liquids being regurgitated when a sufferer lies down at night.

Signs and symptoms:

The main symptoms of achalasia are dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) and regurgitation of undigested food. Dysphagia tends to become progressively worse over time and to involve both fluids and solids.

•Backflow (regurgitation) of food
•Chest pain, which may increase after eating or may be felt in the back, neck, and arms
•Cough
•Difficulty swallowing liquids and solids
•Heartburn
•Unintentional weight loss

Causes:
A muscular ring at the point where the esophagus and stomach come together (lower esophageal sphincter) normally relaxes during swallowing. In people with achalasia, this muscle ring does not relax as well. The reason for this problem is damage to the nerves of the esophagus.

Cancer of the esophagus or upper stomach and a parasite infection that causes Chagas disease may have symptoms like those of achalasia.

Achalasia is a rare disorder. It may occur at any age, but is most common in middle-aged or older adults. This problem may be inherited in some people.

Diagnosis:
Due to the similarity of symptoms, achalasia can be mistaken for more common disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatus hernia, and even psychosomatic disorders. Specific tests for achalasia are barium swallow and esophageal manometry. In addition, endoscopy of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD), with or without endoscopic ultrasound, is typically performed to rule out the possibility of cancer. The internal tissue of the esophagus generally appears normal in endoscopy, although a “pop” may be observed as the scope is passed through the non-relaxing lower esophageal sphincter with some difficulty, and food debris may be found above the LES.

Barium swallow:
..CLICK & SEE
The patient swallows a barium solution, with continuous fluoroscopy (X-ray recording) to observe the flow of the fluid through the esophagus. Normal peristaltic movement of the esophagus is not seen. There is acute tapering at the lower esophageal sphincter and narrowing at the gastro-esophageal junction, producing a “bird’s beak” or “rat’s tail” appearance. The esophagus above the narrowing is often dilated (enlarged) to varying degrees as the esophagus is gradually stretched over time.[4] An air-fluid margin is often seen over the barium column due to the lack of peristalsis. A five-minute timed barium swallow can provide a useful benchmark to measure the effectiveness of treatment.

Esophageal manometry:
  CLICK & SEE THE PICTURE
Because of its sensitivity, manometry (esophageal motility study) is considered the key test for establishing the diagnosis. A thin tube is inserted through the nose, and the patient is instructed to swallow several times. The probe measures muscle contractions in different parts of the esophagus during the act of swallowing. Manometry reveals failure of the LES to relax with swallowing and lack of functional peristalsis in the smooth muscle esophagus.

Biopsy:
Biopsy, the removal of a tissue sample during endoscopy, is not typically necessary in achalasia, but if performed shows hypertrophied musculature and absence of certain nerve cells of the myenteric plexus, a network of nerve fibers that controls esophageal peristalsis

Treatment:
The approach to treatment is to reduce the pressure at the lower esophageal sphincter. Therapy may involve:

•Injection with botulinum toxin (Botox). This may help relax the sphincter muscles, but any benefit wears off within a matter of weeks or months.
•Medications, such as long-acting nitrates or calcium channel blockers, which can be used to relax the lower esophagus sphincter
•Surgery (called an esophagomyotomy), which may be needed to decrease the pressure in the lower sphincter. Click to see the pictures:
•Widening (dilation) of the esophagus at the location of the narrowing (done during esophagogastroduodenoscopy)
Your doctor can help you decide which treatment is best for your situation.

Alternative medicine:
Temporary improvement of achalasia symptoms in some cases has been reported with acupuncture


Possible Complications:

•Backflow (regurgitation) of acid or food from the stomach into the esophagus (reflux)
•Breathing food contents into the lungs, which can cause pneumonia
•Tearing (perforation) of the esophagus.

Prognosis: The outcomes of surgery and nonsurgical treatments are similar. Sometimes more than one treatment is necessary.

Lifestyle changes:
Both before and after treatment, achalasia patients may need to eat slowly, chew very well, drink plenty of water with meals, and avoid eating near bedtime. Raising the head of the bed or sleeping with a wedge pillow promotes emptying of the esophagus by gravity. After surgery or pneumatic dilatation, proton pump inhibitors can help prevent reflux damage by inhibiting gastric acid secretion; and foods that can aggravate reflux, including ketchup, citrus, chocolate, alcohol, and caffeine, may need to be avoided.

Prevention:
Many of the causes of achalasia are not preventable. However, treatment of the disorder may help to prevent complications.

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:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/achalasia.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achalasia
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000267.htm

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Health & Fitness

How Can YOU Control Your Excessive Sweating and Odor?

The best way to stop excessive sweating is to find the cause. For example, if it only occurs when you are nervous or anxious, stress reduction techniques in combination with the proper use of an antiperspirant may go a long way toward getting this under control. However, if the perspiration affects multiple areas of your body no matter what the situation, you may have a form of excess sweating known as hyperhidrosis. As for the odor, it’s most likely caused by the bacteria on your skin as it comes in contact with the perspiration. But one thing is clear: The symptoms are affecting the quality of your life and it’s time to regain control with a visit to your physician.

…………...CLICK & SEE

Sweating the small stuff:
Sweating is a part of life. Normal sweating is usually caused by one or a combination of the following:

1.Your body is too hot and needs to cool off (from fever due to an illness, hot temperatures, too many layers of clothing)…….CLICK & SEE

2.You’re anxious and stressed…..CLICK & SEE

3.You’re performing strenuous exercise……..CLICK & SEE

The pattern of perspiration may be different depending upon the situation. For instance, when you’re nervous, the sweat often appears under the armpits, the hands and even on the forehead. In contrast, when you exercise, the sweat tends to occur throughout the body.

Needless to say, the location, amount, odor and frequency that the sweating occurs are unique to each individual. For some, it’s explainable and hardly noticeable. For others, the potential for embarrassment exists and can change life experiences. This makes it especially important to speak with your physician and provide the answers to the following questions:

*Where does your sweating occur (armpits, groin, whole body, hands, feet, face)?
*At what age did it begin (early to mid teenage years) and does heavy perspiration run in your family?
*How often does it occur (everyday, a few times per week, once a month)?
*When does it occur (during the daytime, wakes you up at night, day and night)?
*How often do you need to change your clothes (shirts, socks, others) due to excessive perspiration (once, twice or several times per day)?
*Do you get skin irritations or infections in the areas where you constantly sweat?
*How often do you need to shower during the day to get rid of the odor?
*Are you afraid to shake hands because of your sweaty palms? If so, how often do you find yourself drying them off due to excess perspiration?
*Are you afraid to wear certain colors because the sweat stains will show through?
*What products have you tried (deodorants, antiperspirants) and did they provide any relief?
*Do certain situations make your sweating worse (spicy foods, when you are anxious or upset, meeting a new person)?
*Have other symptoms occurred since your sweating problem began (fever, cough, joint pains, rash)
*Are you taking any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medications?
*Does your sweating or fear of sweating keep you from certain events or social activities?

Next, It is advised to encourage you to take a look at the information at the International Hyperhidrosis Society to see how you rate on the hyperhidrosis disease severity scale. A result of 3 or 4 means you’re sweating is life-altering and may clue your physician to check for the conditions known as primary focal or secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.

Techniques to decrease perspiration:
If excess perspiration occurs only when you are stressed or nervous, relaxation techniques learned through biofeedback, hypnotherapy, yoga and/or meditation might help to decrease your anxiety induced sweating. Acupuncture may even provide some relief. However, if your sweating is made worse by a multitude of factors including hyperhydrosis, other suggestions to consider include but aren’t limited to the following:

*Avoid or decrease the consumption of caffeinated products

*Bathe daily to limit the amount of bacteria contributing to the sweaty odor

*Eliminate odor-producing foods (onions, garlic, others) from your diet

*Wear loose fitting clothes containing materials such as cotton, wool and silk. These “breathable” fabrics allow for a better flow between your skin and the surrounding air.

*Use antiperspirants daily to stop the sweat and the odor, instead of deodorants, which stop the odor, but not the sweat.
*While these products are commonly applied to the armpits, they are also effective in other areas such as the hands and feet.

*Antiperspirants are available with and without a prescription. Look for the ingredient aluminum chloride hexahydrate, a very effective agent for problem sweating. Preparations containing 10-15 percent aluminum chloride hexahydrate work well for excessive perspiration in the armpits, while those containing 30 percent tend to work better for problem sweating of the hands and feet. Apply the antiperspirant after the area has been dried (use a towel or cool air from a blow dryer) once per night (works better than a morning application as it takes six to eight hours for the antiperspirant to plug the pores and block the flow of sweat) or twice per day (morning and night).

*Consider the use of iontophoresis for extreme and uncontrolled sweating of hands and/or feet. This technique uses very low levels of electric current applied during a 15 to 20 minute session over a period of time (days or weeks). It seems to slow or shut down the flow of perspiration through the sweat glands.

*Injection of botulinum toxin type A (Botox) to the affected areas (armpits, hands, feet and even the face) where sweating is not controlled by other methods. One treatment is very effective at stopping the flow of sweat for a period of four to seven months, sometimes longer.

Fortunately, much can be done to help prevent or minimize the discomfort and embarrassment caused by your drenching underarm sweating.  If you wish you may contact  Mayo Clinic to help you.

Therapeutic  treatment of   excessive sweating  is : IONOSPHERES

You may click to see:->Excessive Sweating – Red Hands

Prickly Heat: When Sweating Hurts
Night Sweats
Can Stress Cause Body Odor?

Sources:MSN Health & Fitness

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News on Health & Science

Pillow that Can Wipe Out Wrinkles

 

Forget splashing thousands on anti-wrinkle creams or Botox injections, for a group of researchers has developed a pillow that can iron out the ugly looking lines. What’s more, the pillow can wipe out crow’s feet.

Boffins have developed a copper oxide pillow case, with tests showing those who used it for four weeks had fewer lines and wrinkles than those using conventional bedding. Clinical trials were carried out on 57 volunteers for four weeks, with the volunteers either given an anti-wrinkle pillow, which feels no different for normal fabric, or a similar conventional pillow.

By the trial’s end, those sleeping on the copper pillows were statistically more likely to have less wrinkles. Jeffrey Gabbay, owner of Cupron, which manufactured the copper medical dressings to develop the pillow case, said: “The surgeon doing our wound-healing trial remarked how an increase in collagen was helping to heal wounds.”

“We wondered if it might work on fixing wrinkles and lines on the face. So we had some copper woven pillows made up and noticed that over a few days of lying on a cooper pillow lines on the face started to soften,” the Telegraph quoted him, as saying. He added: “It has been the most fantastic discovery. The fabric… is best at ironing out the finer lines.”

Click to see:- >Copper oxide pillow anti-wrinkles

Sources: The Times of India

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WHY CORNER

Why Do Our Eyelids Sometimes Twitch?

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This irritating phenomenon, affecting millions of people, is not a serious condition for most. It is an involuntary muscle spasm around the eyelid, associated with an abnormal function of the “basal ganglion”, the brain area responsible for controlling the muscles.

CLICK & SEE

Eye twitching may be nothing more than a sign that you need to take it easy, as much as it may be a sign that something is very wrong. Some also believe that eye twitching is hereditary, running in families.

Why only the eyelid? Our bodies are remarkable machines, at times capable of doing unusual things. Muscle spasms can occur in other places as well including the facial area. Hemifacial spasm is a muscle spasm of a side of a face including the eyelids. Myokymia is not a twitch but more of a slow muscle contraction. Essential Blepharospasm is more of the quick muscle contractions, or twitching of the eyelid area.

Normal eye twitching will usually go away, but taking a few steps often helps reduce the eye twitches altogether. First, if you are seriously stressed, invest in some stress management techniques. The next key tip is to prevent over-fatigue and lack of sleep. Those toss-and-turn nights make us extra tired. Thus trying to get to bed early or taking a nap after a long night can help. To prevent fatigue, just don’t overdo it. Minimising caffeine intake can also help reducing the restless nights and extra tiring days. Some people find eye twitching a result of nothing more than anxiety. So, keep anxiety at bay.

If these don’t help, you should see a doctor as the condition could lead to other serious problems. There are treatment options like surgery and botox injections but coping with it the natural way is preferable.

You may click to see :-> Eye Twitching or Blepharospasm

Blepharospasm

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)