Gurugram- Doctors in Gurugram district say online classes and work from home due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is causing eye and ear problems among children, adolescents and young adults.
Doctors have warned that this could lead to hearing and eye difficulties among those who failed to curb the use of earphones, mobile phones and laptops.
However, the doctors also asserted that one other reason which causes hearing problems is the noise pollution in Gurugram.
Rahul Garg, Head of RG Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) Hospital, said lifestyle choices lead to more cases of hearing and eye impairment than age-related factors.
"Before the Covid-19 pandemic, a few patients used to visit hospitals/clinics who were developing hearing problems after Diwali last year due to firecrackers but amid Covid-19, a number of patients from all age groups are visiting doctors' clinics due to hearing problems and eye infection complications."
Garg pointed out that all these complaints are directly linked to extensive use of headphones at higher volume, mobile and laptops.
The doctor said the continued use of earphones, mobiles and laptops at high volume is leading to such problems among people.
"120 decibels is harmful for ears and 140 decibels can permanently damage our ears. Any noise more than 100 decibels can impact the physical as well as the mental health of our body," Garg said, adding that adults can set the volume of earphones or headphones but children don't know to set the volume of earphones which causes hearing problems.
ENT Specialist Yogesh Goyal said, "Multiple people are working for more than eight hours wearing headphones and in front of laptops. This is putting a lot of stress on their ears and unsterilised earbuds or ear-plugs could spread infection."
Goyal advises removing the earphones from time-to-time in order to allow fresh air to go inside the ears. He said school children should not be using headphones at all. If they are attending classes on a laptop or personal computers, then the device volume is sufficient.
The doctors also suggest that the concerned authorities should strictly tackle noise polluters who are responsible for noise pollution. The traffic police should increase the use of audio meters which help to catch noise polluters.
D.K. Bhardwaj, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), informed that 326 challans were issued for pressure honking and 291 fines were issued for removal of silencer from motorbikes and other vehicles in 2020.
"We will not tolerate anyone in Gurugram who breaks traffic rules. The Traffic police from time-to-time has launched various campaigns to catch traffic violators. I would like to appeal to the motorists in Gurugram to follow traffic rules across the district or be ready to face hefty traffic fines," Bhardwaj said. (Agency)
New York- Light-intensity physical activity, including gardening, shopping or a casual walk may protect mobility in older women, suggests a new study.
The study indicated that women who did not have a mobility disability at the start of the study, and who spent the most amount of time doing light-intensity activities, were 40 per cent less likely to experience loss of mobility over a six-year period.
"Older adults who want to maintain their mobility should know that all movement, not just moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, counts," said researcher Andrea LaCroix from the University of California - San Diego.
"We found that, among older women, light-intensity physical activity preserves mobility later in life," LaCroix added.
According to the researchers, one in four women over age 65 is unable to walk two blocks or climb a flight of stairs. Known as mobility disability, it is the leading type of incapacity in the US and a key contributor to a person's loss of independence.
For the study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, the team involved 5,735 women age 63 and older. Participants wore a research-grade accelerometer for seven days to obtain accurate measures of their physical activity. The mean time spent in light physical activity was 4.8 hours per day.
Researchers found that women who spent the most time performing light-intensity physical activity had a 46 per cent lower risk of mobility loss compared to women who participated in lower levels of physical activity.
Women with and without obesity also reduced their risk of mobility disability, but the benefit was strongest among women with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 30. (Agency)
New York- If depression is making it more difficult for some unemployed people to land a job, one type of therapy may help, research suggests.
The findings indicated that 41 percent of unemployed or underemployed people undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) found a new job or went from part-to full-time work by the end of the 16-week treatment for depression.
Those who had a job but found it difficult to focus on and accomplish work tasks because of depression said the treatment helped to significantly reduce these problems, the researchers said.
"CBT helps patients overcome these views by teaching them that the experience of depression is not their fault and that they can take steps to improve their concentration and accomplish work more successfully even when experiencing depressive symptoms," said researcher Daniel Strunk from The Ohio State University.
For the study, published in the journal Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, the team involved 126 people who participated in a 16-week course of CBT, that teaches coping skills that help patients counteract and modify their negative beliefs.
In this study, 27 patients were seeking to improve their employment status (land a job or go from part-to full-time) at the beginning of treatment. Eleven of them (41 per cent) had succeeded by the end of the 16 weeks.
CBT had a clear impact for those who had jobs and reported at the beginning of the treatment that depression was hurting their effectiveness.
The findings showed that one way CBT had this effect was by reducing patients' "negative cognitive style," or the extent to which patients view negative events in overly pessimistic ways, according to the researcher. (Agency)
New York- Antibodies that guard against Covid-19 can transfer from mothers to babies while in the womb, say researchers indicating that vaccinating mother-to-be may also have benefits for their newborns.
The study showed that, among the participants, the vast majority of the babies born to women -- 78 per cent -- had detectable antibodies in their umbilical cord blood.
There was no evidence that any of the infants had been directly infected with the virus and all were Covid-19 negative at the time of birth, further indicating that the antibodies had crossed the placenta -- the organ that provides oxygen and nutrients to a growing baby during pregnancy -- into the fetal bloodstream, the researchers said.
"Since we can now say that the antibodies pregnant women make against Covid-19 have been shown to be passed down to their babies, we suspect that there's a good chance they could pass down the antibodies the body makes after being vaccinated as well," said researcher Yawei Jenny Yang from the Cornell University.
For the study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the team analyzed blood samples from 88 women who gave birth between March and May 2020 in the US.
All of the women had Covid-19 antibodies in their blood, indicating that they had contracted the virus at some point even though 58 per cent of those women had no symptoms.
Furthermore, while antibodies were detected in both symptomatic and asymptomatic women, the researchers observed that the concentration of antibodies was significantly higher in symptomatic women.
The team also found that the general pattern of antibody response was similar to the response seen in other patients, confirming that pregnant women have the same kind of immune response to the virus as the larger patient population -- something that hadn't previously been known for sure since a woman's immune system changes throughout pregnancy.
This data implies that pregnant women could pass along vaccine-generated antibodies in the same way, potentially shielding both mother and child from future infection. However, it is not yet known exactly how protective these antibodies might be, or how long that protection might last, they added. (IANS)
New York- Offering students more positive encouragement not only reduces disruptive classroom behaviour, but can improve students' academic and social outcomes, say researchers.
The findings, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, indicated that a behaviour management intervention helped increase student engagement and boosted the teachers' confidence in their ability to manage disruptive behaviour.
"As educators, we often focus on communicating what we don't want our students to be doing in class, but we have found that just doesn't work," said researcher Keith Herman from the University of Missouri in the US.
"Instead, we need to be setting clear expectations of what behaviours we do want to be seeing," Herman added.
For the study, the researchers implemented CHAMPS, a classroom behaviour management training intervention, into a school classroom over the course of five years.
The intervention not only decreased disruptive classroom behaviour and student concentration problems, but also improved both completed class work and standardized test scores, as well as increased the amount of time students remained on task with classroom assignments.
"The intervention is based off principles and practices research has shown to be helpful in creating successful classroom management, such as communicating clear expectations to students, giving more positive encouragement compared to negative reprimands and moving around the classroom to monitor student behaviour," Herman said. (Agency)
London- Loneliness has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents, who spend longer and longer periods of time online, says a new study.
"In the coronavirus period, loneliness has increased markedly among adolescents. They look for a sense of belonging from the Internet. Lonely adolescents head to the Internet and are at risk of becoming addicted," said researcher Katariina Salmela-Aro from the University of Helsinki.
According to the researchers, adolescents' net use is a two-edged sword -- while the consequences of moderate use are positive, the effects of compulsive use can be detrimental. Compulsive use denotes, among other things, gaming addiction or the constant monitoring of likes on social media and comparisons to others.
For the study, published in the journal Child Development, the team involved a total of 1,750 participants to investigate detrimental Internet use by adolescents. The subjects were studied at three points in time -- at 16, 17 and 18 years of age.
The risk of being drawn into problematic Internet use was at its highest among 16-year-old adolescents, with the phenomenon being more common among boys.
For some, the problem persists into adulthood, but for others it eases up as they grow older, the researchers said.
The reduction of problematic Internet use is often associated with adolescent development where their self-regulation and control improve, their brains adapt and assignments related to education direct their attention, it added.
In the study participants, compulsive Internet use had a link to depression. Depression predicted problematic Internet use, while problematic use further increased depressive symptoms.
Additionally, problematic use was predictive of poorer academic success, which may be associated with the fact that Internet use consumes a great deal of time and can disrupt adolescents' sleep rhythm and recovery, consequently eating up the time available for academic effort and performance. (IANS)