स्वास्थ्य विशेषज्ञों ने सोमवार को कहा कि पिछले दो वर्षों में कोविड-19 महामारी के दौरान 10 में से 9 लोगों की दृष्टि कुछ हद तक खो गई है। ऐसा इसलिए है, क्योंकि उनमें से अधिकांश ने महामारी के बाद लगने वाले लॉकडाउन के दौरान नियमित तौर पर कराई जाने वाली अपनी आंखों की जांच और इसके फॉलो-अप को छोड़ दिया है।
डायबिटिक रेटिनोपैथी या उम्र से संबंधित धब्बेदार अध: पतन (डिजेनरेशन) जैसे रेटिनल रोगों में शुरूआत में कुछ या मामूली लक्षण होते हैं और केवल आंखों की जांच या स्क्रीनिंग से ही पता लगाया जाता है। इन स्थितियों में समय पर देखभाल न करने पर आंखों को गंभीर नुकसान पहुंचाने की प्रवृत्ति होती है।
मुंबई रेटिना सेंटर के सीईओ विटेरियोरेटिनल सर्जन डॉ. अजय दुदानी ने आईएएनएस से कहा, दुर्भाग्य से, कोविड की पहली और दूसरी लहर के दौरान खराब फॉलो-अप के कारण 90 प्रतिशत रोगियों ने कुछ हद तक दृष्टि (देखने की क्षमता) खो दी है, विशेष रूप से एएमडी (एज रिलेटेड मैकुलर डिजनरेशन) से पीड़ित मरीजों में यह दिक्कत देखने को मिली है। ये मरीज ज्यादातर अपना इंट्राविट्रियल इंजेक्शन लेने से चूक गए, जिसके कारण बीमारियां तेजी से बढ़ीं हैं।
नारायणा नेत्रालय आई इंस्टीट्यूट, बेंगलुरु में सीनियर विटेरियो-रेटिनल कंसल्टेंट डॉ. चैत्र जयदेव ने कहा, कोविड के डर के कारण, हमने पिछले 3-4 महीनों में नियमित रूप से आंखों की जांच के लिए आने वाले रोगियों में गिरावट देखी है। इसके परिणामस्वरूप निदान और उपचार में देरी हुई है, जिससे लंबे समय में देखने की क्षमता प्रभावित हो सकती है।
डॉक्टरों ने कहा कि बीमारी को नियंत्रित करने और दृष्टिमें किसी भी तरह के नुकसान को रोकने के लिए शुरूआती पहचान और उपचार महत्वपूर्ण है।
क्लिनिक का दौरा जितना अधिक समय तक बंद रहेगा, आंखों की सेहत उतनी ही खराब होती जाएगी।
विटेरोरेटिनल सोसाइटी ऑफ इंडिया के महासचिव डॉ. राजा नारायण ने आईएएनएस को बताया, हमें इस कोविड लहर के दौरान सावधानी बरतनी चाहिए, मरीजों को मैकुलर डिजनरेशन या डायबिटिक मैकुलर एडिमा के विजिट में देरी नहीं करनी चाहिए, जब तक कि मरीज में कोविड के लक्षण न हों।
दुदानी ने आगे कहा, तीसरी लहर के साथ, हम अतीत के समान पैटर्न देख रहे हैं, क्योंकि रोगी की विजिट (अस्पताल में), विशेष रूप से बुजुर्गों के बीच, लगभग 50 प्रतिशत कम हो गई है। चूंकि रेटिना को बदला नहीं जा सकता है, इसलिए इंजेक्शन न लगना, या उपचार का पालन न करना, नेत्र रोग को बढ़ा सकता है।
डॉक्टरों ने रोगियों को टेलीकंसल्टेशन लेने के लिए भी प्रोत्साहित किया। ऐसे दृष्टि परीक्षण (आई टेस्टिंग) हैं, जिन्हें कोई भी व्यक्ति घर बैठे करा सकता है, जिनकी रिपोर्ट डॉक्टर को जांच और आगे के हस्तक्षेप के लिए भेजी जा सकती है।
जयदेव ने कहा, अगर रोगियों को धुंधली दृष्टि, दृष्टि की अचानक हानि या ²श्य क्षेत्र में काले धब्बे जैसे लक्षणों का अनुभव होता है, तो उन्हें तत्काल आंखों की जांच के लिए जाने की आवश्यकता होती है, क्योंकि ये डायबिटिक रेटिनोपैथी के लक्षण हो सकते हैं। इस तरह की जटिलताओं को और बिगड़ने से रोकने के लिए, मधुमेह रोगियों को यह सुनिश्चित करना चाहिए कि उनका शर्करा स्तर (शुगर लेवल) नियंत्रण में रहे।
यह भी पढ़े► बीएचयू में फेफड़े के गंभीर रोग पर अपनी तरह का पहला शोध
Washington- Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy was not associated with complications at birth such as preterm birth or babies born underweight, according to a study published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Pregnant women with Covid-19 are at increased risk for severe illness and adverse birth outcomes, yet many remain reluctant to be vaccinated. To explore the effect of Covid vaccines in pregnancy, the CDC evaluated 46,079 pregnant women in the US between December 15, 2020 and July 22, 2021.
Among more than 10,000 women who received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, the rates of preterm birth were 4.9 per cent compared to 7.0 per cent for roughly 36,000 unvaccinated women, researchers said in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published on Tuesday.
Further, the report also showed that Covid vaccination did not increase the risk of delivering a baby who weighed less than usual for the number of weeks of pregnancy. These data support the safety of Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy, said Heather S. Lipkind, from Yale University, US, in the report.
"Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy was not associated with preterm birth or small-for-gestational-age at birth overall, stratified by trimester of vaccination, or number of vaccine doses received during pregnancy, compared with unvaccinated pregnant women," Lipkind added.
Women with symptomatic Covid-19 during pregnancy have a more than two-fold increased risk for intensive care unit admission, invasive ventilation, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and a 70 per cent increased risk for death, compared with nonpregnant women with symptomatic infections.
Thus, the CDC recommends Covid-19 vaccination for women who are pregnant, recently pregnant, who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future.
However, vaccination coverage among pregnant women has been low due to concerns regarding vaccine safety. In the CDC report, the women became pregnant between May and October of 2020, before vaccines were available.
Nearly all who were vaccinated got the shots in their second or third trimester of pregnancy. Some 96 per cent of them had received at least one dose of an mRNA vaccine from either Pfizer, or Moderna. The remaining women received the single-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.
There was no difference in outcomes based on the timing of vaccination, or on which mRNA vaccine was received or how many doses. "Results have consistently shown no increased risk when stratified by mRNA Covid-19 vaccine dose, or by second or third trimester vaccination, compared with risk among unvaccinated pregnant women," Lipkind said.
Read More► Current Vax Effective Against Severe Omicron Outcomes: Study
Cellular immunity elicited by existing Covid-19 vaccines can fight the Omicron Covid variant, according to a study.
The yet to be peer-reviewed study, which focussed on Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson's Covid shots, showed that vaccines will protect against severe disease even if the antibody responses against the strain are not as strong or durable, the Financial Times reported.
"These data suggest that current vaccines may provide considerable protection against severe disease with the Sars-Cov-2 Omicron variant despite the substantial reduction of neutralising antibody responses," the researchers from Harvard medical school wrote in the study.
Previous evidence suggests that the existing vaccines lose antibody response when pitted against Omicron.
A third shot at least partially restores that antibody protection, and countries have been racing to scale up their booster programmes to avoid new restrictions.
But vaccines are still expected to protect against severe disease, and health authorities have said they would closely examine evidence such as the one contained in the new study to decide whether a switch to Omicron-targeted vaccines is necessary, the report said.
Early findings from studies in South Africa, the US, and the UK suggest that Omicron spreads faster but appears to be milder than previous variants. However, it is not clear yet if this is because of the variant itself, or because most of the world has either been infected or vaccinated or a combination of the two factors.
However, scientists have said that its high transmissibility, coupled with uneven vaccine coverage, could still mean health systems worldwide come under pressure as many more people get infected.
The World Health Organisation has repeatedly called for a more equitable distribution of vaccines. The global health body has set a target of 70 per cent coverage in all nations by mid-2022.
Read More► Omicron Renders Most Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Ineffective: Study
London- While the Covid-19 crisis is not over yet with the new super mutant Omicron spreading to 38 countries, the next pandemic could be even more lethal, said the creator of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine Professor Sarah Gilbert.
Delivering the 44th Richard Dimbleby Lecture, Gilbert cautioned that it is increasingly obvious that "this pandemic is not done with us", and vaccines could also prove to be less effective against the Omicron variant, the BBC reported.
Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford whose team developed the Covid vaccine now used in 170 countries, said the scientific advances made and knowledge gained in research fighting against the coronavirus must not be lost.
She also stressed on the need for more funding on pandemic preparedness.
"This will not be the last time a virus threatens our lives and our livelihoods. The truth is, the next one could be worse. It could be more contagious, or more lethal, or both," Gilbert was quoted as saying.
"We cannot allow a situation where we have gone through all we have gone through, and then find that the enormous economic losses we have sustained mean that there is still no funding for pandemic preparedness.
A"The advances we have made, and the knowledge we have gained, must not be lost," she said.
So far it is known that the Omicron variant's spike protein contained mutations known to increase the transmissibility of the virus.
"But there are additional changes that may mean antibodies induced by the vaccines, or by infection with other variants, may be less effective at preventing infection with Omicron."
Moreover, Omicron is said to appear less dangerous than previous variants like Delta, which has claimed more than 5 million lives, so far.
However, Gilbert said reduced protection against infection and mild disease would not necessarily mean reduced protection against severe illness and death.
"Until we know more, we should be cautious, and take steps to slow down the spread of this new variant."
The UK recorded 86 new cases of the Omicron variant on Sunday, taking the total so far to 246. In total, 43,992 cases and 54 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test were recorded on Sunday. (Agency)
Read More► Omicron Patients Show Extreme Tiredness, No Major Oxygen Drop
The rise in air pollution, coupled with lousy lifestyle habits, is causing a spike in respiratory diseases. According to a Lancet report, the contribution of chronic respiratory diseases in India increased from 4.5 per cent in 1990 to 6.4 per cent in 2016. With respiratory issues on the rise, there is an increased demand for natural solutions to treat such issues. Instead of conventional medicine, people are turning to alternative medical therapies to find cures for ailments.
Common Lung Disorders
Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. This leads to narrowing of the air pathways and excess mucus causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. It is a chronic condition that interferes seriously with daily life.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
It is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that obstructs the airflow to the lungs. Symptoms of COPD include breathing difficulty, mucus (sputum) production, coughing, and wheezing. It can result from long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. Those affected by COPD are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and a variety of other conditions.
This is another variation of COPD. Bronchitis causes a similar build-up of mucus that can cause inflammation and coughing. The lungs' airways are constantly inflamed as chronic bronchitis often lasts for months on end. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include incessant coughing, whistling sounds while breathing, wheezing and a tightening of the chest.
It is said that the cure for all ailments is available the natural way. Here are some of the alternative medicine approaches to treat respiratory disorders.
Alternative Medicinal Approaches to Treat Respiratory Disorders
Asthma is one of the most common lung diseases. One of the primary causes of asthma is allergies, which often result from the food consumed. It is crucial, therefore, to first prepare a diet that is suitable for an individual. Often, dairy products, meats, and certain nuts can increase the production of mucus.
Foods like these must be avoided. Also, antioxidants can prevent damage resulting from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Diet is important in this regard, as fruits and vegetables high in Vitamins A, C, and E can improve the condition of COPD patients.
Yoga and Exercise
Treatment of lung disorders often involves the use of the lungs to promote healthy breathing habits. Exercises like cycling, swimming, yoga etc. that create a need for full capacity breathing are of great importance. Exercising the diaphragm is important and simple activities can go a long way in the treatment of the same.
Pranayama, the practise of controlled breathing, is an integral part of alternative treatment for people suffering from respiratory issues. This extensive breathing practice helps to expand the lungs and improve the capacity of the lungs, which helps an individual breathe more freely.
Nasal irrigation systems like JalNeti using a Neti pot can help to rinse the sinuses, which may provide some relief from symptoms of respiratory allergies.
The traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the skin to stimulate certain parts of the body. According to a study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, people with allergic rhinitis who were given acupuncture treatments twice a week for eight weeks had fewer symptoms than those administered placebo.
It is important to remember that no one complementary or alternative therapy works well for everyone with respiratory issues. Therefore, a proper assessment is done before deciding on the approach to the treatment plan. For those considering alternative medicine for their respiratory problems, it is recommended to speak to an expert first and discuss the approach that may work best. (Vinoda Kumary, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute)
Read More► Heartfulness Meditation Helps in Reducing Stress, Reveals Study
Different seasons of the year bring with them unique benefits for the mind, body and for our moods. It may be easier to wake up in the mornings during summer versus waking up in the winter which is much harder to do. When it comes to exercising, motivating yourself during cold days to get out of your cosy and comfortable bed will be a task in itself. However, for those who are aspiring to lose weight and get fitter here is some motivation for you to keep going with your exercise during the winter season.
Exercising during the winter can actually burn more calories than when you exercise in summer. Your endurance can also be increased during winter because the heart needs to work less you also sweat less making your workout more efficient.
Himalayan Siddha Grand Master Akshar shares 6 ways that you can exercise and keep up with your fitness game even during cold winter days.
Walking/ Running/ Jogging
Start your exercise routine with a brisk walk or maybe you could take a jog or run around your neighbourhood block. These are cardiovascular activities that pump up your heart rate and get you ready both mentally and physically for your upcoming workout session.
After your jog or run make sure that you spend a few minutes on stretching. Experts recommend that you stretch before and after your workout as this readies your muscles keep them safe from injury and also effectively improves your chance of getting leaner and more toned.
In yoga, Surya Namaskar also known as the sun salutation is considered to be a complete body workout. The Surya Namaskar is comprised of eight different postures that are sequenced in a 12 step flow. It starts from the right side and needs to be completed on both sides for a complete cycle. If you are a beginner you can start with 3-5 cycles and gradually increase it to 11, 21 and so on. Practising this sequence early in the morning will boost vitamin D in your body d and bring many physical as well as mental health benefits.
Pranayama is a breathing exercise that can be performed to gain many health benefits for both mind and body. During winter techniques such as Kapalbhati Pranayama and Khand Pranayama are suggested for you.
There are many meditation techniques that you can practice regularly such as Sthiti Dhyan, Swaas Dhyan, Aarambh Dhyan etc. Here is a simple and powerful meditation technique to build positivity.
Prarthana Dhyan (Prayerful Meditation)
Sit down in any comfortable posture
Join your palms in front of your chest to form Pranam Mudra
Straighten your back and close your eyes
Frame and repeat positive affirmations aloud or silently
End your workout session with complete mind-body relaxation in the form of Anandasana. Relaxing the body is as important as exercising as this gives your body the chance to rest, recover and recoup.
Formation of the Posture
Lie down in a prone position on a comfortable surface or on your yoga mat.
Close your eyes.
Let your legs relax completely and place them at a distance that is comfortably apart.
Let your ankles drop, and keep your toes are facing sideward.
Place your arms alongside your body and slightly apart. Make sure your palms are lying open to the sky and facing upwards.
Starting from your toes, bring your attention to every area of your body. Use deep breaths to lull your body into a deep state of relaxation.
Maintain awareness so you do not fall asleep in the process.
To recover from the posture, gently roll to one side (right) with your eyes closed. Slowly push the floor to come 9. up and sit in Sukhasana.
Anandasana can be done after you complete your physical practice, and when you are tired, it helps to completely relax your body. This pose requires you to concentrate, and focus on your breath. When you are in this posture, try to take deeper and faster breaths.(By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
Read More► Yoga As a Self-Care Ritual
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