Healthy is the new black

Lasik_Eye_Surgery__Is_It_Right_For_You_


If you have poor eyesight and you have worn eyeglasses or contact lenses all your life, then you might want to consider LASIK eye surgery.

LASIK is the acronym for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileuses. This is a procedure where the patient has to undergo surgery to reduce or totally eliminate a person's poor eyesight.

There are certain eye imperfections that cause poor eyesight. Examples of these are:

- Astigmatism

A person with astigmatism sees 'distorted' imaged which is a result of deformities or irregularities on the lenses of the eyes.

- Nearsightedness

A person who is nearsighted has a condition called myopia. Here, the patient experiences difficulties seeing objects at a distance.

- Farsightedness

On the other hand, a person who is farsighted sees far objects without difficulty but the same does not apply to near objects. This condition is

also called hyperopia.

To treat these ailments, LASIK eye surgery is used, and this is the most common method of refractive surgery performed for patients nowadays.

'The Procedure'

In LASIK surgery, there is a knife-like tool that is mainly used for the procedure: the microkeratome.

This is used to produce a very thin and rounded flap in the clear, outer layer covering the front or the eye which is the cornea. A more technologically-advanced way to create this flap is by the use of laser.

The shape of the cornea is changed permanently once this surgery is performed.

After the flap on one side of the eye is produced, this is folded back to reveal the stroma. The stroma is the mid-section of the cornea.

Afterwards, the microkeratome or the laser beam will vaporize a part of the stroma by producing computer-controlled pulses.

Then, the flap is put back into place after making the necessary corrections.

There are other types of refractive surgery that may be performed on a patient,depending on the degree of visual disability.

'The Pros & Cons'

This type of surgery that aims to correct poor vision is very popular. Why do you think this is so? Here is a list of the advantages of LASIK eye surgery:

1. You will not feel pain while undergoing the procedure.

2. The results are immediate. Right after the surgery, you will experience an improvement with your eyesight. At the very least, you will get to literally "see" results a day or two after the operation.

Still, there is a downside to this type of medical procedure. Take a look at some of them and decide for yourself if undergoing the surgery is worth the risk:

1. Complications may arise.

Different patients respond differently to treatment. If there are certain health issued that your doctor is not aware of, the procedure may not have positive results.

2. There are certain jobs or profession which prohibit an employee undergoing LASIK eye surgery.

Be sure to check with your employer first if you think that this surgery might in any way inhibit you from doing your work.

3. The procedure is quite costly.

Over the years and because of its gaining popularity, the costs have gone down considerably.

However, it is still quite a hefty amount to squeeze out of your pocket if you are on a budget.

If you plan to undergo this type of surgery, ask your doctor about the

rates.

'Should You Do It?'

If you are not the type of person to boldly take risks,LASIK eye surgery may not be right for you.

Before deciding to undergo the procedure, make sure that you know about the costs, health risks and take all the necessary precautions.

Also, talk with your doctor about what you should do before, during and after the surgery.

Ask them what you can expect to feel and the results that you will get right after the procedure.

Natural_Relief_For_Arthritis_And_Joint_Pain_


The years of teaching high impact aerobics are catching up with me. Sure it's been great for the ticker, but the knees on the other hand are showing signs of age and making icky noises. What my Physical Therapist friends call "creep" and "crepitus" (which is just nice technical way of saying "grinding") had become loud enough to be heard by the naked ear! At the rate I was going - I was sure I'd need a knee replacement by 40. Of course this just won't do. So I've taken to doing leg extensions regularly and' taking glucosamine.

Glucosamine - What's That?

"Glucosamine" is a natural constituent of cartilage which has been shown to stimulate the production of connective tissue! In more technical terms, glucosamine is considered an "amino sugar." An amino sugar is the component of a carbohydrate which does not contribute to the body's energy - instead it gets incorporated into body tissues, forming such structures as tendons, ligaments, bones, skin, nails, eyes and heart valves.

What is Glucosamine Used For?

Glucosamine supplements have been used most recently (according to the research I consulted) for everything from joint pain to connective tissue repair. It's best know for its contribution to tendon and ligament support, for building joint cartilage as well as reducing destruction of cartilage. It has also shown promise in reducing inflammation due to asthma and bursitis, lessen the incidence of food allergies, tendonitis and skin problems! As if that isn't enough - what I find most exciting about glucosamine is its use in relief of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

How Glucosamine Works

It's fairly basic. We produce less glucosamine as we age, therefore our cartilage has difficulty retaining water. Depletion of this fluid, which ads "cushion" to the joints and other tissues, can create everything from joint pain to arthritis. Glucosamine (together with its counterpart chondroitin - another naturally occurring substance) - helps to counteract this water loss as well as restore cartilage.

Side Effects

So What's the bad news? I always want to know. Here's what I found: Since these substances are naturally occurring - they work on the body differently than synthetic drugs (think Prednisone) or anti-inflam's like Naproxen. This said - it takes a while to notice signs of joint help - more than likely it could take up to a year of regular supplementation before the benefits take hold. Once they do, however, 50% of all regular users have reported definite decreases in symptoms of joint pain - I will let you know! The only other downside I could find to the glucosamine/chondroitin complex users were nausea and heartburn - although they are rare and counteracted by eating prior to supplementation.

How To?

As I've just stated, always take the glucosamine/chondroitin complex with meals to avoid side effects. I take one, 500 mg tablet once a day. Dr. Mindell (I am a big fan of his work: see below) recommends taking just 1-3 500 mg. tabs daily for three weeks (to get a boost), then take one, 500 mg. tab daily.

My Usual Disclaimer:

As always, please check with your healthcare provider before supplementation - discuss with him/her any medications you are taking to avoid interactions. Although herbs and other naturally occurring substances are considered "food" (simply because they can't be patented and trademarked thus cannot come under scrutiny of the FDA) they are still very strong substances in the body and should not be taken lightly! Check out more literature - educate yourself!

My Favorite Resources (and research sources for this article) Include:

Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2004.

Khalsa, Dharma Singh, M.D. Food As Medicine. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.

Mindell, Earl, R.P.h., Ph.D. The Vitamin Bible. New York: Warner Books, 2004.

Mindell, Earl, R.P.h., Ph.D. Prescription Alternatives. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.