Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Raising awareness on the disease is very important as Glaucoma is the 2ND most common cause of blindness worldwide. It is TO BE 11 MILLION BY 2020.!!

Glaucoma ‘Silent blinding disease’
Are you a target?:

Manjari Peiris

World Glaucoma Week is celebrated from March 6 to 12, 2011 to raise awareness on the disease among the public

Raising awareness on the disease is very important as Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that 4.5 million people globally are blind due to this disease and that this number will rise to 11.2 million by 2020 with the increasing number of elderly people in the world by that year.


* Causes progressive damage to optic nerve

* Around 12 percent of Lankans become blind

* Second most common cause of blindness worldwide

* Caused blindness to 4.5 m people around the world

* Around 50 percent of affected people not aware about disease

Owing to the silent progression of the disease, at least in its early stages, up to 50 percent of affected persons in the developed countries are not even aware of them having glaucoma. This number may rise to 90 percent in underdeveloped parts of the world.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage of the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain.

Risk factors
If untreated, most types of glaucoma progress towards gradual worsening visual damage without neither warning nor obvious symptoms to the patient and may lead to blindness. Glaucoma is described as the ‘silent blinding disease’ as the damage is mostly irreversible.

There are several types of glaucoma - some may occur due to complications of other visual disorders in the form ‘secondary glaucoma’. However the majority is ‘primary’ occurring without a known cause.

Though there was belief in the past that glaucoma is caused due to high pressure within the eye, it is now accepted that even without pressure, one may suffer from glaucoma. The risk factors for causing glaucoma are the age (if over 40 years), racial ancestry, family history, high myopia (use of thick glasses) use of steroids for long time, short sightedness, high blood pressure or diabetes, eye injuries and smoking. Some form of glaucoma may occur at birth during infancy and childhood.

Vision loss
There is no cure for glaucoma as yet and vision loss is irreversible. However medication or surgery (traditional or laser) can halt or slow down any further vision loss.

Early detection is essential to limiting visual impairment and preventing the progression towards severe visual handicap or blindness. Eye care professionals can detect glaucoma in its early stage and advice on the best course of action. It is vital that when a person goes for routine eye examinations for spectacles, to remind the doctor to check eye pressure as well.

Addressing a media awareness program on Glaucoma, Health Ministry Additional Secretary Dr Palitha Maheepala said that in Sri Lanka 12 percent of people become blind due to Glaucoma, hence those who are over 40 years should get their eyes tested at least once a year, “especially those who use thick lenses and diabetic patients should get their eyes tested yearly,” he said.

Consultant Eye Surgeon, Eye Hospital Dr Muditha Kulatunga said that one should be treated at the pre-preliminary stage for glaucoma. According to her about 100 patients take treatment for glaucoma a day at the Eye Hospital.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Dirty air triggers more heart attacks than cocaine

Dirty air triggers more heart attacks than cocaine

Don’t skip dinner to shed kilos as you need carbs even to cut calories, experts tell us Should you have a glass of milk or just fruits for dinner? No!

Don’t skip dinner to shed kilos!
March 6, 2011, 8:52 pm

Don’t skip dinner to shed kilos as you need carbs even to cut calories, experts tell us Should you have a glass of milk or just fruits for dinner? No, say experts. That may be too little. Eat breakfast like a king (or queen), but don’t starve for dinner either.

Keep the meal light, but make sure you get your nightly fix of carbohydrates, vitamins and fibre. This will aid digestion and keep your weight down. Recent research, too, shows that carbs at bedtime may just help in losing and maintaining weight. The American Dietetic Association recommends eating both carbs and protein as a snack, giving examples such as crackers and low-fat cheese, yoghurt and fruit or cereal and milk. Carbohydrates are necessary to process and break down fat in the body.

Fitness expert and nutritionist Namita Jain says it’s a myth that one must avoid carbs for dinner. She explains, "Carbs should make up 55-60 per cent of your diet, as they are the body’s main source of energy. Fruits and vegetables are examples of carbohydrate-rich foods that have great nutritional value, as they are loaded with fibre, plus essential vitamins."

She adds, "Incorporate healthy or good carbs by including whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. These carbs are digested slowly, helping you feel full longer and keeping blood sugar and insulin levels stable."

Explains Ritika Samaddar, Max Healthcare, "A healthy diet consists of the right carbs and proteins. Just a soup or salad may not be enough for a meal as it may not give you the minerals and fibre you require. Start with a soup, which fills you up, and then go on to your regular meal." Eliminate processed foods and anything made with white flour and white sugar. These cause your blood sugar to go up and down, leaving you tired and sapped of energy.

And don’t skip meals. A study, published a couple of years ago in the American medical journal Metabolism, and conducted by the National Institute on Aging, found that skipping meals during the day and eating one large meal in the evening resulted in a delayed insulin response, which could lead to diabetes.

As the day progresses, our metabolic rate goes down. It’s advisable to have a light and early dinner. Give your body time to digest the food before you go to bed. Rahul Rana, executive chef from Galaxy Hotel, Gurgaon, recommends dining between 7.30 pm and 8 pm, as it takes three hours for the food to be digested. "Sleeping after dinner can store all your energy, which then turns into fat," he adds. An ideal dinner, he says, is one of soups, salads and fruits, which is high in proteins, minerals, vitamins, fibre and has less fat.

Nishant Chaubey, executive chef of Cibo, believes that most Indians still opt for a traditional meal of roti/chawal-sabzi-dal. He states, "We need 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram that we weigh."

Two rotis, sabzi, dal and salad is a good meal to end the day with, to get your fix of important nutrients. The trick is to keep the meal light and non-greasy, but make sure it’s nutritive. Says Mahima Trivedi, spa manager, Renaissance Hotel, Mumbai, "Fruits are not a substitute for dinner. Have a soup and salad, with a slice of multigrain bread. Avoid clear soups as they are low in nutrients. In salads, avoid heavy dressings."

She adds, "The right carbs, along with fibre, make digestion faster. Avoid potatoes and rice, and go for pulses, green vegetables and fruits. In meats, go for lean meats and opt for grilled over fried. Avoid red meats as they can make you feel heavy. A grilled chicken or chicken breast is a good dinner option." She adds, "One can even have a pizza for dinner if it has veggies but no cheese."

Remember not to skip meals, especially dinner!

The Good Dinner Diet?

- Chapatti, veggies and dal are an ideal meal.

- Soup, salad, wholegrain bread and tofu are a good option.

- You can have a healthy helping of beans such as lentils, black beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, fava beans, and lima beans.

- Frozen corn, peas, and other vegetables can be added to a recipe.

Dinner Don’ts

- Avoid sugary drinks. One 12-oz soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it! Try water with lemon or a splash of fruit juice.

- Trans fats are found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, fried foods. Also avoid processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

- Say a big no to desserts! (ToI)

It is the loss of brain functions due to interruptions to the blood supply to the brain.!!! A stroke was also called a ‘brain attack..!!!

Strokes, Killer No. 2 in Sri Lanka
March 6, 2011, 9:52 pm

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Strokes account for the second highest number of deaths in Sri Lanka, Consultant Neurologist Dr. Padma Gunaratne says.

Dr Gunaratne, who was elected President of the Sri Lanka Neurologists’ Association at the Annual General Meeting of the association, at the Cinnamon Grand recently, delivering her acceptance speech, said what was termed stroke had previously been known medically as a cerebrovascular accident. It is the loss of brain functions due to interruptions to the blood supply to the brain. A stroke was also called a ‘brain attack’, she said.

People over 50 years of age were prone to strokes and even children of 12 years old suffered from strokes, she said.

Dr. Gunaratne said that most people who were suffering from hypertension, diabetes and kidney failures were likely to have strokes and the factors leading to strokes had been identified. The high risk factors for strokes were high consumption of salt, lack of exercises, smoking and drinking.

She pointed out that people above 50, should get timely medical attention if they were suffering from heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney diseases. If they failed to get medication on time they were prone to strokes which, she said, were preventable. Every day about 40 died of and another 80 people suffered from strokes, Dr. Gunaratne said.

Dr Gunaratne added that healthy eating habits should be cultivated among people. Fruits, vegetables and cereal should be consumed by people instead of fast food which contained a very high salt concentration.

Caption: Consultant Neurologist Dr. Padma Gunaratne has been elected 44th President of the Sri Lanka Neurologist Association. Dr. Ms. Gunaratne delivers a speech on strokes after becoming the President at hotel Cinnamon Grand recently.