Get Healthy May 11, 2018 Johnny No comments

Several facts about macular degeneration

 

As much as we would like to stay young forever, our bodies were not designed to last more than a few decades. The organs and tissues start degrading rapidly after a certain age but, if you combine an active lifestyle with a healthy diet and as little stress as possible, you might manage to trick seniorhood and postpone the signs of aging.

Unfortunately, no matter how many miraculous lotions and potions you use and no matter how active you remain, there will always be some organs that would continue to degenerate. Hair loss may be hereditary, but other aging symptoms like the loss of skin elasticity or hearing and seeing problems are inevitable.

Macular degeneration is one of the numerous health issues you might experience with age so here are some useful facts and information you should know about this condition and how it will affect your vision.

What is macular degeneration?

AMD or age-related macular degeneration represents the loss of central vision and mainly occurs when the blood vessels and cells behind the macula (a small part of the retina) start to get thinner and eventually break as they age.

According to the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss in adults that are over 50 years old. It is estimated that around 2 million people suffer from this condition in the United States alone, and another 7.5 million people will develop it in the further years.

This vision problem has two different forms – dry AMD (atrophic), and wet AMD (exudative). Unfortunately, most people suffer from the dry AMD disorder for which there is no cure discovered yet. The “luckier” ones who suffer from exudative AMD might have a chance of recovery with the help of laser procedures should the health issue be discovered in its early stages.

Symptoms

Although there is a large number of symptoms that can be associated with AMD, not all of them lead to this condition. This is why it would be best if you could see an ophthalmologist on a regular basis and run tests as often as possible.

In the early stages, AMD can be associated with a series of symptoms, including a gradual deterioration and eventual loss of the ability to see objects clearly even from a small distance, the loss of color vision or a dark spot in the center of your vision that doesn’t allow you to see too much.

You should be aware of the fact that some of these symptoms can be mistaken by common vision problems that naturally occur with age and require correction through eyeglasses. This is why it would be best to have your eyes carefully checked before receiving a diagnosis.

The regular consumption of certain foods, vitamins, and minerals seem to be able to ameliorate the effects of AMD or even postpone its development.

 

Get Healthy April 15, 2018 Johnny No comments

7 facts about genital herpes

 

Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases and although it is not deadly, once you have caught it, no treatment can cure it.

You will have to live with it for the rest of your life. The infection became known in the 80s and at that time it was associated with the lack of sexual education and hygiene among the population. Nowadays, the situation seems to be similar even in developed countries like the U.S., though information in this area is no longer a tabu and prevention methods are always at hand.

Since genital herpes is not mentioned as often as other diseases transmitted by sexual contact (for example, AIDS), we might think that it is not very serious. Unfortunately, the situation is different, because herpes requires a lot of care and special attention once it is contacted.

In order to avoid this type of infection, it’s important to learn more about it. Let’s start with the most relevant 7 facts:

 

  1.     According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 out of 6 people with ages 14-49 has genital herpes in the USA;
  2. The virus which causes it is called Herpes Simplex Type 2 (HSV-2). You will recognize a person carrying it by lesions around the genital area, pain when urinating, cold sores and flu-like symptoms;
  3. The herpes infection is very serious; apart from the fact that it never heals, causing its’ bearer a lot of embarrassment, it can easily pass from the genitals to other body parts. Also, a mother who carries it can give the virus to her babies and the little ones can die because of that. In addition, the infection weakens the immune system leaving ”the victim” more exposed to other diseases: hepatitis, meningitis and more;
  4. Genital herpes spreads very easily; most commonly, you can contact it by unprotected sexual intercourse and oral sex with affected people, but any skin-on-skin contact can get you this problem. Sometimes, people who transmit it to others don’t even know they have it;
  5. Like we mentioned before, genital herpes is an infection that lasts for life. Even if at some point the symptoms disappear as a result of treatment, they can reappear when the bearer goes through some stressful situation;
  6.     Like every other disease, genital herpes can be treated. The virus won’t disappear, but its impact will be less severe. Three drugs can be used with this purpose: ”Zovirax” (or ”Acyclovir”), ”Famvir” (”Famiclovir”) and ”Valtrex” (also known as ”Valacyclovir”).
  7.  Genital herpes can be avoided by following some common sense and sexual hygiene rules:

 

  • Abstinence is the best protection
  • Monogamy is safer than multiple sex partners
  •  Use a condom every time you ”get busy”
  • Don’t have sex with people who show sore genitals
  • You and your partner should be tested for genital herpes

 

In the end, remember that if you don’t take care of your health, nobody will!

 

Get Healthy March 9, 2018 Johnny No comments

Common herpes symptoms

 

Most people you will meet in your lifetime are most likely infected with one of the herpes viruses. However, they might not even know it, as not everybody develops revealing symptoms. The lucky ones might only have a short mild fever or a non-painful rash, which might lead the person to believe it has another unrelated condition like the flu.

 

 

Herpes hides a secret. It is not just a single virus, as it is commonly believed, but rather a group of them, and they mainly cause watery blisters or sores on different parts of the body. Herpes is a painful condition, especially in the beginning. And, unfortunately, there aren’t too many drugs that can treat it or make it occur less frequently within the population.

Most of the time, the primary symptoms like pain and fever can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, but you cannot get rid of the virus that caused them. There isn’t a vaccine against common herpetic infections, and the viral copies will stay hidden and dormant in your cells until your weakened immune system will let its guard down.

Herpes zoster is one of the bad guys from that group mentioned earlier. It can cause shingles and the scarier chickenpox. Herpes simplex is another one, and it is divided into type 1 and 2. These last two kinds cause the traditional blisters and cold sores around the mouth and sexual organs. That’s why genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease.

Some of the first symptoms an infected human might experience are flu-like. They predominantly consist of recurrent fevers, body pain, headaches and you can get even a runny nose. It all depends on how the sick body reacts to the strange viral DNA, as we are all unique to an extent and react in different ways to pathogens.

In the primary stage of the herpetic infection, which lasts up to eight days after the patient came in contact with the virus, he or she might experience discomfort and pain around the most vulnerable areas of the body. Soon after, those areas might develop tiny but painful blisters, that should not be popped.

They might break on their own, and even get infected by bacteria. It is essential that you keep the area clean. The second stage is less painful than the first eight days. It is the latent part when the virus hides and doesn’t cause an inflammatory reaction. This doesn’t mean it is inactive.

On the contrary, it replicates in your nerve endings, after it travels there from the surface of your skin. And the last stage is the shedding stage when the virus multiplies even more, a process which can result in excruciating pain, especially if it affects the nerves around your rib cage.

Optics February 25, 2018 Johnny No comments

5 things you didn’t know about binoculars

 

When it comes to binoculars, people think they know everything about these ingenious devices. But they still have secrets that wait to be discovered by a curious mind. To facilitate that, I’ve put together a list with some of the coolest facts that remain unknown to the general public.

Binoculars use efficient eyepieces which include potent lenses, to bring distant objects closer. They can have many other features besides that, like night and thermal vision. The devices were invented a long time ago, and they serve different purposes. Binoculars are mostly used in military missions and by hunters and adventurers.

But what people sometimes forget, is that binoculars can act as telescopes. They work pretty much on the same principle, although a high-quality telescope can offer considerably more detail when looking at the night’s sky. On the other hand, binoculars are much more comfortable to use, as they can be handheld.

Using binoculars to stargaze is something that can bring you a lot of satisfaction, especially if you want to observe the fascinating details of the Moon’s surface. If you are an amateur astronomer, with the help of binoculars you can also spot comets, supernovas and many other celestial bodies that might be of interest to you.

Another cool thing about binoculars is that you can use them with a lightweight monopod, which can be cheaper than a heavy tripod. Or, if you are crafty, you can even use a traditional tripod to secure your device. Most people use this combination when they want to keep the binoculars in the same position, especially when looking at stars from a roof or a tree house.

Did you know you can use binoculars as a microscope? If you reverse the object and if you look through the large lenses at anything from the size of an ant up, you can see the rich detail of the microcosmos. Granted, it’s not going to be as efficient as a traditional microscope, but it will still be fun to discover what the world we cannot see with the naked eye has to offer.

The great scientist Ignazio Porro invented the modern binoculars, invention which he called prism binoculars. He used a prism erecting system, which offered more detailed and a stable image, even in low-light conditions. Even to this day, this patent is often used in the manufacturing of binoculars, along with the roof prism design, which allows the product to be more compact.

Another thing that people don’t know about binoculars is that you can use them to take pictures of distant objects or views. The zoom on your camera is often inefficient, so using a high-quality pair, like the binoculars from Vortex, along with a DSLR camera, can solve that problem in an instant.