Conjunctivitis

These facts are as contagious as conjunctivitis.

  • Conjunctivitis is also known as ‘pink eye’ and ‘madras eye’.
  • Conjunctivitis is redness and swelling of the clear tissue that covers the eye, the conjunctiva, and the inside layer of the eyelids.
  • There are four main types of  conjunctivitis, bacterial conjunctivitis; viral conjunctivitis; allergic conjunctivitis; and chemical conjunctivitis.
  • Along with eye redness and swelling, bacterial conjunctivitis usually includes a combined mucous and pus discharge, which can cause crusting around the eye, and a gritty or scratchy feeling in the eye, that usually affects both eyes, although it may begin in one.
  • Virus caused conjunctivitis is usually a result of an infection from a common cold, and generally includes itchiness and a watery discharge from the eye, and may affect one or both eyes, and is usually left untreated.

 

Conjunctivitis, Disease, virus, red, eye, one, illness, sickness, Ten Random Facts, Flickr

Conjunctivitis
Image courtesy of Lone Primate/Flickr
  • Allergy based conjunctivitis has similar symptoms to viral conjunctivitis, with eye itchiness and a watery discharge, but it is generally accompanied by other symptoms, like an itchy nose and sneezing, as in hay fever, or other symptoms associated with an allergy, and is usually treated with antihistamines if deemed necessary.
  • Chemical induced conjunctivitis is cause by chemicals that enter the eye, which can include airborne chemicals like smoke and fumes, as well as chlorine from swimming pools and other chemicals that may have splashed in the eye, and flushing of the eye with water to remove the chemical is usually helpful.
  • Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and so extra care with hand washing and isolation from other people is important.
  • Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis if the eye has not healed within five days, however they are not useful in treating other forms of conjunctivitis.
  • Children under five years of age are most susceptible to getting conjunctivitis.
Bibliography:
Conjuctivitis, 2010, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, < http://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Conjunctivitis/>
Conjunctivitis, 2013, Wikipedia, < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjunctivitis>

Chilblains

Itchy pains…

  • Chilblains are also known as ‘pernio’ or ‘perniosis’.
  • Chilblains are an abnormal reaction caused from being cold, or lack of blood circulation, or both, and usually occur on the extremities of the body, especially on toes and fingers, and sometimes on the nose and ears, due to the body using its warmth to keep vital organs functioning properly.
  • Blood vessels contract when you are exposed to cold, and then they expand back to normal when you are exposed to heat, and if, during this contracting and expanding process, the blood vessels leak blood, the result is a chilblain.
  • Chilblain symptoms include red, blue or purple swollen skin, blisters, itching, tenderness and pain.
  • Chilblains usually heal after one to two weeks, depending on whether the body is kept warm and there is no further exposure to the cold.

Chilblains, One, Red, Swell, Finger, Lady, Pinky, Hand, Medical, Blister, Ten Random Facts

  • In medieval times, an egg, wine and fennel root mixture would be applied to help cure chilblains.
  • Females are more likely to get chilblains than males, and some groups of people are more susceptible to chilblains including elderly people, smokers (due to nicotine that causes poor blood circulation), those with a family history of chilblains, people that are underweight, or those that have circulation or blood vessel problems.
  • Chilblains can cause the skin to dry and crack, or can cause ulceration, both of which can be very painful and can become infected.
  • There is no satisfactory cure for chilblains, and it is better to prevent them in the first place, by having good blood circulation which can be improved with extra exercise, no smoking, and a healthy diet, and keeping one’s body temperature warm, with warm socks, gloves and other warm clothing, and keeping away from cold weather or temperatures.
  • Then are many suggested remedies for treating chilblains, including topical steroid cream (which is not advisable) and a medicine called nifedipine which dilates the blood vessels, however most of them do not work or not very satisfactorily, so if you are affected by chilblains, it is recommended that you keep your body temperature warm and resist the urge to itch the chilblains (as this leads to cracking and infection).
Bibliography:
Chilblains, 2012, Better Health Channel, <http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Chilblains>
Chilblains, 2013, Body+Soul, <http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+az/chilblains,23250>

Toothbrush

Toothbrush scares those germs.

  • Toothbrushes are hygienic equipment used to rid teeth of food and bacteria.
  • Toothbrushes, which come in different shapes, sizes and bristle textures, are usually hard plastic sticks with a head of nylon bristles, which are used to brush teeth.
  • Sticks, twigs, feathers and quills were all early toothbrushes.
  • The first use of bristles on toothbrushes was in China, around 619-907 AD.
  • Toothbrushes were traded from China to Europe and became popular in the 1600s.

Toothbursh, electric, Orange, Red, Yellow, Green, Shiny, Purple, Colgate, Ten Random Facts

  • Toothbrushes were first patented by H N Wadsworth in 1857.
  • Some toothbrushes are electric and some toothbrushes have removable heads.
  • Toothbrushes became common in America after World War II, after the American army taught their soldiers personal hygiene, including brushing their teeth daily.
  • According to the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, toothbrushes are the number one thing Americans can’t live with out.
  • William Addis, an Englishmen, is said to be the first mass producer of toothbrushes, which were made from bone and animal hair in the 1780s, after he came up with the idea in prison.
Bibliography:
Toothbrush 20 March 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toothbrush

Wart

An annoying virus…

  • Warts are a small, bump on the skin that are typically seen on people’s hands or feet.
  • There are more than five different types of warts including common, plantar, flat, mosaic and filiform warts.
  • Warts are contagious and enter one’s body through broken skin.
  • Warts often disappear after two months but in other cases they can take many years to leave.
  • Warts are started by contracting the human papillomavirus (HPV) through the skin.

Warts, Hand, Boy, Lots, Small, Medium, Finger, Back, Ten Random Facts

  • Salicylic acid is a commonly used for removing warts.
  • Warts sometimes regrow after being removed.
  • Toads may look like they have contagious warts, but they don’t and do not spread them either.
  • Girls typically get more warts than boys.
  • There are over 100 different types of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is why warts are common.
Bibligraphy:
Wart 23 January 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wart>

Coeliac Disease

Seel-ee-ak? Celiac or coeliac… they are the same thing.

  • People with coeliac (pronounced seel-ee-ak) disease can’t consume gluten found in barley, rye and wheat, and most coeliacs also react to oats.
  • One in five people affected by coeliac disease may not react to the gluten in oats.
  • When those with coeliac disease consume gluten, it damages the small intestine (villi), so that nutrients aren’t absorbed properly.
  • Coeliac disease is one of the only diseases that can’t be cured, but is easily treated via a gluten free diet.
  • If coeliac disease is not treated, serious problems could occur like poor nutrition, infertility, cancer and diabetes.
Coeliac Disease, Small Intestine, Bowel, Duodenum,
Effects of Coeliac Disease  (Inside Small Intestine)
  • Symptoms of coeliac disease can include depression, behaviour, fatigue, weakness, easy bruising, skin rashes, bone and joint pains, and in children, failure to thrive, irritability and delayed growth, as well as other health problems.  Sometimes no obvious symptoms are present.
  • Those with coeliac disease, must be on a strict diet that has no gluten or any traces of gluten.
  • Commonly, those with coeliac disease are lactose intolerant, although this often rectifies itself once a gluten free diet has commenced.
  • Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 Australians and 75% of people who have the disease do not know they have it.
  • Coeliac disease vaccines are currently being developed in Melbourne, to help those affected by coeliac disease to consume gluten without damaging the small intestine.
Bibliography:
Coeliac Disease 2011, Coeliac Australia, <Http://www.coeliac.org.au/coeliac-disease/index.html>

Hiccups

Hic, Hic, Hic – got the hiccups ey?

  • Hiccups are known as ‘Synchronous Diaphragmatic Flutter’ or ‘singultus’ in medical terms.
  • Hiccups or singultus comes from the Latin word ‘singult’ which means ‘the act of catching ones breath while one is sobbing’.
  • Hiccuping can be caused by quick eating, soft drinks, alcohol, dry breads, some spicy foods and laughing.
  • Hiccups repeat many times a minute.
  • The hiccups can be self-cured easily.

Sound Clip: Hiccup 

Sound courtesy of Mike Koenig /Sound Bible
  • American Charles Osborne had hiccups for 68 years (1922- February 1990) and won a Guinness World Record.
  • Only mammals can have hiccups.
  • Hiccups are also commonly known as hiccoughs.
  • An arc reflex involving the diaphragm and glottis make the ‘hic’ noise.
  • Hiccups are normally only treated for long, continuous durations.
Bibliography:
Hiccup 12 November 2012 , Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiccup>
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