Cataracts

Cataracts occurs when changes in the lens of an eye cause vision to become unclear or blurry.

Symptoms:

  • Blurry/Clouded vision
  • Seeing small spots or patches
  • Difficulty when looking into dim or bright light
  • Double vision
  • Brownish tinge
  • Halo around lights
  • Glasses becoming ineffective

Cataracts is more common with geriatric patients, in the UK those over 65 are likely to develop cataracts. Moreover, men and women are both equally susceptible to cataracts.

A family history of cataracts can lead to its development later in life, however diabetes, eye surgery, long life corticosteroid medication, poor diet, smoking and life long exposure to sunlight increase the risk of its development. Presently, there is no single cause nor prevention of cataracts.

In most cases, new glasses and better lighting can be used to treat mild cases. However, usually people will undergo cataracts surgery.

The surgery takes place within around 45 minutes. The most common technique used in cataract surgery is known as phacoemulsification. In most cases, eye drops are used to apply local anaesthetic to the eye, however in some cases it is injected. The eye is thoroughly cleaned to reduce the risk of infection. The surgeon will then make a small incision in the cornea, after this a probe that releases ultrasound waves is inserted through the cornea of the patients eyes. The probe uses the waves to shatter the affected lens into small pieces. These pieces are then liquified so that they can be sucked out and removed at ease. After the removal of the lens a new artificial lens is placed in the old lenses position. The lens unfolds itself within the eye after it is injected. A small number of stitches are then put in place to close the cornea, which are removed after a few weeks.

One downfall of the procedure is that it can be difficult for a patient to readjust to life now that one of their eyes’ vision has been altered. They may find that the eye that has not been operated on is causing discomfort and may later opt to have the surgery performed on the other eye.

 

 

References:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cataracts-age-related/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.rnib.org.uk/eye-health-eye-conditions-z-eye-conditions/cataracts

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cataract-surgery/Pages/How-it-is-performed.aspx

 

Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

Plastic surgery had two branches: cosmetic surgery and reconstructive plastic surgery.

The first, cosmetic surgery is used primarily to improve physical appearance for aesthetic purposes. In this case, many people may pay to alter their appearance, for a number of reasons, however this type is solely dependent on personal choice.

Cosmetic surgery is not limited to the facial area but can include a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), eye lid surgery (blepharoplasty), breast surgery (mammoplasty). Despite the common notion that plastic surgery  for cosmetic reasons improves mental health, studies suggest that it may do the opposite. In fact, many may suffer from depression or body dysmorphic disorder.

The second, reconstructive plastic surgery is usually done after an accident or disease. In this case there is more of a pressing need to undergo the surgery. It is generally done to improve function and ability, but can be used to improve appearance. The main aim is to restore function, however throughout surgery a surgeon may attempt to improve the area for aesthetic purposes.

Many people feel as though plastic and cosmetic surgery is a waste of money and the money used should be spent on essential surgery or given to charity. However, it is a fundamental human right for a person to choose what they want to do with their own bodies. In my opinion, if someone has the means and wishes to use cosmetic surgery for their personal satisfaction, they should be able to do so, without the attached stigma possessed by society.

 

References:

http://www.bapras.org.uk/public/patient-information/reconstructive-surgery

https://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/155757.php

Stress

Most adults will have experienced some form of stress at least once in their lifetime. Stress can occur due to a number of different factors and can result from a build up of mental pressure. The total number of cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2015/16 was 488,000 cases.

Common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite, hair loss, headaches, pain and difficulty concentrating.

Despite stress not being an illness itself, it can cause a variety of illnesses if not dealt with properly. When controlled stress can help you to perform better, be a motivator and keep you safe. However when left alone, it can prove to be fatal. Stress can have physical effects as it engages the bodies flight or fight response as hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released.

Stress can be caused by a variety of factors which include:

  • Major life changes
  • Work or school
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Chronic worry
  • Pessimism
  • Unrealistic expectations

Stress can ruin peoples’ lives and in some cases make them develop anxiety or depression. However, stress can be combatted by:

  • Regular Exercise
  • Improved Diet
  • Healthier Outlook on life
  • Spending time with others
  • Engaging your senses
  • Relaxation or meditation
  • Increase in sleep

Being under pressure is part of life, so it is better to learn stress combatting techniques early on rather than suffer with the symptoms and effects of stress throughout life.

 

References:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/understanding-stress.aspx

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/stress#a55fweiZRlwzfXqy.97

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-causes-and-effects.htm

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/stress/#.WCc7KuGLTBI

Dementia

Dementia can be defined as a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.

Dementia is progressive which means that it gets worse over time. Dementia occurs in the second half of life, usually over 65 years old. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50-70% of all dementia cases. Dementia is a broad term, it is not the same as Alzheimer’s disease, but rather accounts for brain syndromes which affect memory, orientation, judgement and communication.

Most types of dementia cannot be cured, but if it is caught early there are treatments including medication which can help to slow it down and maintain mental function.

Symptoms of dementia:

  • Memory Loss
  • Difficulties in completing tasks
  • Lack of empathy
  • Decline in thinking speed
  • General Confusion when asked to remember specific details

Other types of dementia, other than Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Vascular Dementia – caused by strokes, are periods of recovery within
  • Frontotemproal Dementia – behaviour and personality
  • Dementia with Lewy Bodies – poor motor control
  • Young Onset Dementia – unexpected, affects young families

In the UK, we have an ageing population, so there is an increased need to know more about Dementia, its symptoms and how to help those who are experiencing it as well as their family members.

The risk of dementia can be reduced by keeping healthy in general. Quitting smoking, clean eating, positivity, regular exercise, reducing alcohol intake.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia-guide/pages/symptoms-of-dementia.aspx

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200363

http://www.dementia.com/about.html