It's crucial to take care of your eyes as well as your skin as summer approaches. Due to their sensitivity, eyes can develop a number of disorders from prolonged exposure to the sun, dust, and pollution. Numerous eye issues, including corneal burns, retinal damage, chemical conjunctivitis, and corneal infections, are known to be brought on by hot weather, excessive UV exposure, and chlorinated water.
According to Dr. Vandana Jain, Regional Head - of Clinical Services, Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospital, Vashi, Mumbai, "Summer is the time when we enjoy the outdoors, but we often forget to take care of our eyes. Summers can be very challenging for our eyes, as excessive exposure to UV rays can cause cornea burns, retinal damage, and other eye problems. Also, spending too much time in air-conditioned environments can cause eye dryness, while chlorinated water in pools can lead to chemical conjunctivitis and corneal infections.
Moreover, the swinging temperature during summer can cause viral and allergic conjunctivitis, leading to eye discomfort and irritation. Therefore, it's essential to take necessary precautions to protect your eyes from these potential threats during the summer.
Dr. Jain suggests the following eye care tips to protect your eyes during summer:
Wear Larger Sunglasses with 100 percent UV Protection: Invest in sunglasses that provide full protection against harmful UV rays. Wraparound frames are the best as they give protection even from the sides.
Use Wide Brimmed Hat: In addition to sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat will give you additional protection from the sun.
Stay Hydrated: Drink at least two liters of water to prevent your skin and eyes from getting dehydrated.
Apply Sunscreen Carefully: While applying sunscreen, ensure that it does not get into your eyes as it can cause discomfort.
Avoid Mid-Day Sun: The sun is at its strongest between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it's best to stay indoors during these hours. If you must go out, don't forget to wear sunglasses and a hat.
Protect Your Eyes in the Pool: Chlorinated water can irritate your eyes. Wear swimming goggles every time you jump into the pool and wash your eyes with fresh clean water after swimming.
Use Lubricating Eye Drops: The increased use of air conditioning can cause dryness in your eyes. Use preservative-free eye drops to give comfort to your eyes.
Wear Protective Eye Gear: During outdoor activities, always wear protective eye gear to prevent eye injuries from flying debris.
Dr. Vandana adds, "These simple eye care tips will help you enjoy summers without any eye problems. Remember, prevention is better than cure, therefore, scheduling regular eye check-ups to detect and treat eye problems early is very important. Also, people should avoid smoking, as it can increase the risk of various eye problems, including cataracts and macular degeneration. So, this summer, protect your eyes and enjoy the outdoors with caution. (Agency)
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It is common knowledge that the scorching summer heat is bad for your skin and hair. It is essential to protect it at all costs. Long-term exposure to the harsh sunlight of summer can cause weathering and oxidative damage to the scalp. This leads to hair that is dry, brittle, and stiff.
While covering your head with a cap or scarf is a must when outdoors. Mihir Gadani, Co-founder, of OZiva, shares ten ways to successfully protect your hair from the burning summer heat.
Do not apply too many cosmetic or colouring dyes to your hair during summer. It has been seen that coloured hair can undergo considerable changes during summer. Therefore, it is best to avoid excess chemical and chemical treatments during this time of the year. Even if you want to colour your hair during summer, it is recommended that you use organic compositions and do it for at least a couple of months before the mercury levels go off the charts.
Is hair becoming too dry due to the sun? The ideal way to secure your hair from the heat of the sun is by wearing a cap or scarf. If you don't want to wear a scarf, ensure that you at least use a leave-in conditioner with SPF. If your profession comprises working outdoors, use hair products that pack enough SPF. You can also select a special hair mask or sunscreen product that is customised for your hair type. However, once you reach home make sure you wash your hair with water. Go for a rinse-out conditioner that can rejuvenate your hair by reinstating its original moisture and life. You should always choose a conditioner that compliments your hair texture and hair type.
Excessive use of shampoo is detrimental to your hair. Do not apply shampoo every day as it will do more harm than good by drying up your scalp and weakening the hair. If you sweat more profusely in the scalp region and have hair that gets easily greasy, you should opt for a mild shampoo. Remember to apply the shampoo only on the scalp and not the hair or it will become dry.
Who doesn't love going for an afternoon swim to cool the body during summer? But did you know that your hair can get easily damaged due to the concentrated levels of chlorine in the water and UV radiation from the sun? The best thing that you can do is make sure you apply a leave-in conditioner before and put on a swimming cap, post-swimming use a nice shampoo to reduce the damage done to the hair from the chlorinated water.
Go easy on the blow dryer as it emits excess heat that can harm your hair during summer. If need be, wash your hair half an hour earlier than usual so that it has sufficient time to dry in the air. Steer clear of styling irons and curlers and allow your hair to be in its natural state.
It is often the tips of your hair that sustain the highest damage during summertime heat. It is common for people to witness a lot of split ends and dry tips during this period. Therefore, this is the best time to go for that new haircut. In case you do not want to cut your hair short, you can settle for a small trim that will take care of the ends and reinvigorate your hair.
Co-washing or conditioner washing is a must during the summer months. As your hair gets dirtier during summer due to the copious amounts of sweat and dirt, regular hair cleansing is imperative. During this period, merely shampooing your hair does not suffice. Make sure you wash your hair with a good quality replenishing conditioner. After wetting your hair, apply for two minutes and then rinse with soft water for the best result.
If you suffer from oily hair, then regular co-washing is bound to make your hair greasy. Shifting to dry shampoos is a good option in such cases. You can also apply a little sprinkling of baby talc on your scalp and hair and then comb it out. This has to be one of the simplest yet most effective hair care tips for summertime.
While practising all the above tips, make sure you follow this advice to the letter. Drink lots of fluids. The significance of keeping yourself well-hydrated during peak summer months cannot be stressed enough. Drinking sufficient water is key to good hair and skin health. You should also eat a lot of fresh seasonal fruits and green vegetables as they not only hydrate the skin but are also loaded with a number of essential vitamins and minerals. Along with maintaining a good and clean diet, you can also add plant-based biotin supplements to your routine as it supports healthy, nourished hair, skin, and nails.
One thing to swear by when it comes to haircare and skincare is to invest in clean and plant-based products that will protect your hair and skin irrespective of the season. Whatever the reason for hair damage is, add products that are vegan and free of harmful chemicals like sulphates, parabens, dyes and artificial fragrances, in your daily hair care routine to get maximum results.
Follow the aforementioned tips diligently and you will have very little to complain about when it comes to hair health. While these recommendations operate mostly on the external level, make sure that you power yourself internally as well by drinking lots of water and eating natural and organic foods that can keep you cool during the heat. (Agency)
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Obesity is not a disease, but a lifestyle disorder that has emerged from the choices we make in terms of what we consume and how much we exercise.
It is a challenge that has been evolving rapidly in recent years and is now ranked among one of the primary causes of preventable deaths across the globe. What's surprising is that 50 years ago, there was no disease as obesity, presumably because at the time individuals led more active lives, and did not have access to the high-calorie, processed foods that we have at present.
Decoding the Primary Causes of Obesity
One of the primary reasons for this disorder in the current generation is the absence of physical work on a day-to-day basis, individuals have become increasingly lethargic.
Another major cause for a considerable surge in obesity rates is unorganized eating habits. There is not adequate awareness about the nutritive value of the meals we consume, and individuals usually eat without considering the effects on their health.
Today, individuals frequently consume more calories than their body requirements, resulting in weight gain and gradual obesity. However, despite the significant challenges that our current lifestyle and obesity pose to our health, they can be overcome by following these simple strategies in our day-to-day life:
Keep your Calorie Intake in Check
To combat obesity, we must comprehend that our calorie intake should be proportional to our physical activity. This implies that we need to lead more active lives and consume meals that are nutritious and healthy. A healthy lifestyle is built on two pillars- Good nutrition and regular exercise. Disregarding either of these pillars will negatively influence our overall health.
Aim for Natural Weight Loss
It is also essential to note that the emphasis should be on natural weight loss strategies rather than opting for cosmetic surgeries like liposuction. While these surgeries may yield temporary results, they can be detrimental in the long run. Rather, we must focus on weight loss techniques that are sustainable and healthy.
A Proficient Fitness Coach Can do Wonders!
Another important element of fighting obesity is picking a fitness coach who has the required knowledge and expertise. Here, it gets crucial to understand the difference between a trainer and a teacher. While a host of individuals in the market claim to be fitness coaches, they lack the essential qualifications and experience. Hence it gets pivotal to shortlist a coach who possesses the necessary experience to advise us on the right path.
Make Sustainable Changes in your Lifestyle
One of the most efficacious methods to fight obesity is to enlighten ourselves about the significance of healthy living. We need to be conscious of the nutritional value of the food we consume and comprehend the impact of our choices on our health.
A result-yielding strategy here would be to make short, sustainable changes in our lifestyle. For instance, we can begin by making minor changes in our diet, like lowering the intake of high-calorie, processed foods and increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables. We can also begin by including more physical activity into our daily routine, such as walking or cycling to workplaces.
By encouraging healthy lifestyles and making healthy choices easier, we can prevent and address obesity, enhance overall health outcomes, and lessen the burden on healthcare frameworks. (Aminder Singh, Fitness Guru and founder of Team Aminder)
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Summer is just around the corner! As the weather gets warmer and the sun shines brighter, it is also the time to shake up your skincare routine a little bit.
After all, the heat and the humidity will warrant some extra love to your skin to keep it healthy and glowing. It will become important to protect, nourish and hydrate your skin as the heat can really be unforgiving. This is the right time to start the transition to your summer routine, so it becomes all the easier for you to maintain skin health.
Here are five important tips that will help you get (and keep!) that summer glow.
Sunscreen is your Best Friend
We cannot stress this enough! Sunscreen is your skin's best friend. It is a must-have all year round but becomes especially important when you are going out during the peak summer months. UV rays can damage the skin causing premature aging, tanning, and hyperpigmentation. It is important that you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily.
Make sure you apply your sunscreen a good 15 minutes before stepping out and keep reapplying throughout the day. In fact, dermatologists suggest replying every 2-3 hours during the day when you are exposed to the sun. A good investment here will be a sunscreen stick that can be used to easily touch up, even on your make-up. Also, do not forget your body; apply a decent amount to protect your body as well, along with your face.
Switch to a Lighter Skincare Routine
Summers mean that you can swap out your heavier cleansers and moisturizing creams (which worked great in dry winters) for lighter products. Go for gentler cleansing and moisturizing options which will not clog your pores while also keeping you hydrated and your skin nourished. The same goes for your makeup, instead of full-coverage heavy foundations, go for lighter ones and you can opt for a bit more concealer for your problem areas. Always take a closer look at your makeup and choose products that are noncomedogenic and will not occlude your skin.
Make Sure to Moisturize and Lock that in
Did you think you can skip moisturizing in the sultry heat, even when your face feels oily? Absolutely not! Moisturizing your skin daily is as important in summer as it is in winter. Your skin needs hydration for that plumpness and radiance. Choose a light moisturizer that can team well with your cleanser and toner.
Apart from moisturizing skin externally, it is also extremely important to not use products that strip the skin of its natural oils as they can eventually disrupt the skin barrier and weaken it. Using harsh soaps is one of the biggest culprits which can cause loss of moisture and make the skin dry and irritated. The best way to prevent this is to use a soap with a humectant such as Glycerine which will ensure that the skin's own moisture is not lost.
A great option is the Savlon Glycerine soap with natural origin glycerine which makes the skin soft and protects it from 100 disease-causing germs. This translucent soap is dermatologically tested and suitable for all skin types. With a fresh, citrusy fragrance, it will also make you feel refreshed and the creamy lather will make bathing all the more enjoyable.
Exfoliation is Essential
Exfoliation has been one of the most important skincare tips since way before TikTok made it popular. Exfoliating your skin once a week helps to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores which can lead to breakouts and dull-looking skin. It is also important to choose the right chemical exfoliant based on your skin type and your skin needs. It is best to consult your dermatologist for the right one and the adequate frequency of usage.
Exfoliants can make your summer-stressed skin feel nice, and fresh giving you a soothing feeling. Remember, exfoliated skin is more prone to sun damage, so skipping on sunscreen while you are also using chemical exfoliants is blasphemous! Sunscreen application becomes all the more important for exfoliated skin.
Add Antioxidants to your Regime
Antioxidants for your skin are what mimosas are to your beach holiday. They will definitely up your skincare game. Antioxidants fight free radicals which damage your skin causing aging and dullness. While you ought to include foods like carrots, spinach, berries, etc, in your diet which are natural sources of antioxidants, you can also incorporate topical products to give your skin additional benefits. Using an antioxidant serum with Vit C can be beneficial but consult with your dermatologist for usage and frequency based on your skin type and your problem areas.
And lastly, hydrate, hydrate hydrate. Drinking plenty of water (at least 8-10 glasses) will keep your skin hydrated from within. Incorporate foods with high water content such as watermelon, cucumber, and celery in your diet. Keep up with your daily movement and exercise regularly.
Taking care of your skin in summer isn't as hard as it seems to be. Follow these tips and embrace the sunshine to flaunt that naturally plumpy, healthy summer glow. (Agency)
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For many people in India, especially those in the older age groups, diabetes is a lifestyle condition that they live with on a daily basis. However, diabetes is becoming more common in younger age groups as well, raising issues of public health. After China, India is the country with the second-highest prevalence of diabetes, with an estimated 77 million individuals - or roughly 1 in 11 Indians - having the disease.
Pre-diabetes is a condition or stage that precedes diabetes, where the body's blood sugar levels are elevated but not yet high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. The National Urban Diabetes Survey estimates that our nation has a startling 14 per cent prevalence of pre-diabetes, commonly known as borderline diabetes. Due to the absence or minimal visibility of symptoms, many people in their 30s and 40s may be pre-diabetic without even being aware of it. If diabetes runs in your family, you are at an increased risk of developing it yourself. Nevertheless, by making dietary and lifestyle changes, pre-diabetes may still be somewhat reversed and treated.
Here are some precautions and tips one can be mindful of to stay healthy as a pre-diabetic:
Move About More
Sitting is the new smoking. A sedentary lifestyle is known to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise and workouts approved by a trainer or doctor help manage pre-diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels. Moreover, being active can improve insulin sensitivity throughout the body. It can also help you manage your weight which is crucial to not slip into diabetes. Try brisk walks, jogs, and runs and gradually move to more aerobic exercises such as dance and biking/bicyling.
Did you know that being overweight, or having a body mass index over 25, can increase one's risk of developing type 2 diabetes? If you are diagnosed for pre-diabetes, gradually losing 5-10 per cent of your body weight can significantly improve your chances of delaying or reversing diabetes prevalence. Ask a trainer to help you focus on your midsection for belly fat, as a large waist circumference is known to put a person at an increased risk of diabetes.
Keep Stress at Bay
Stress can make you sick, but it can also make you pre-diabetic, or at least make your condition worse. An imbalance of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline - known for the fight or flight response - can trigger blood glucose levels to shoot up and remain high. Make time for adequate rejuvenation on your schedule, and make sure to not pressure yourself to work like a machine. Make time for laughter and time with friends and family. Schedule time for walks, gardening or other hobbies that help you decompress.
Watch What's on Your Plate
Consider the composition of your meals. Is there an adequate balance between protein, carbohydrates, fats and necessary vitamins and minerals? For a healthy portion, pre-diabetics should fill half of their plate with non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens, and the rest with healthy carbohydrates, whole grains and lean protein. Stocking up on fibre will ensure satiety without raising blood sugar. Snack on nuts and fruit, even if they seem to be sugary. One must remember they have natural sugar.
Avoid Drinking Your Sugar
Added sugars must be avoided at all costs to avoid escalation into diabetes. Sweetened beverages can spike blood sugar levels and provide little nutritional diversity, such as protein. This includes energy drinks, soft drinks and any syrups or liquid desserts. Research says that substituting one daily serving of a sugary drink with low-calorie alternatives such as water, coffee, or tea is linked with a 2-10 per cent lower risk of diabetes. (Dr Vivek Srivastava, Senior Vice President, Zeon Lifesciences)
"I was someone who was always complimented for my bouncy hair. But, now, things have changed. Nobody appreciates them because of the constant hair fall I have been facing," shares a public relation specialist adding that this has become one of the reasons for her mental stress now.
And there are several stories where we found how hair fall was related to the mental health of a person.
"Ok so apparently in the last two years since I have been working, my hair density has fallen rapidly. Earlier the patch covered about 35-40 per cent of the crown area now it covers almost 90 per cent. So to be blunt now, I have the hairs of a late 60s guy while I am still in my early 20s," shares a guy working at an IT firm.
While it is believed that stress causes hair fall, some examples and studies show that hair fall causes stress too.
According to studies, significant hair loss can lead to low self-esteem and a variety of other mental health difficulties ranging from stress and worry to suicidal ideation in extreme situations.
Hair loss is connected with a plethora of mental complications since it is a phenomenon that can affect a person's self and identity. Hair loss often causes chronic psycho-emotional and psycho-social stress. This is often found when combined with other complications such as depression, anxiety, personality disorder, among others.
Through a study conducted by Dr Debraj Shome, Director of The Esthetic Clinics, named, 'Iceberg phenomenon of alopecia associated public health ramifications on the quality of life among adults in India', it was found that men and women who have alopecia or hair loss can potentially have a psychological impact in the form of stress, anxiety, depression, loss of confidence, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, and social phobia. In a sample size of around 800 patients who were all above 18 years of age, 442 were male and 358 were female.
It was noticed based on the data that between the ages of 18-30 years, 27 per cent of females and 30 per cent of males reported hair fall problems that impacted their social life.
"Hair loss has the potential to turn every day of their life into a "bad hair day". Several studies have established an association between dermatological disorders affecting patients' mental health, thereby increasing the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among them," says Dr Shome.
Is Hair Loss Affecting Your Sexual Health?
Not only mental health, but experts believe that hair loss is also related to the sexual health of a person.
According to the study, alopecia interferes with the sex life of 72 percent of women as compared with 63 per cent of men. For 73 per cent of women as compared with 61 per cent of men, alopecia posed a problem for the people they love. Alopecia, however, took a toll on the professional life of both men as well as women, it noted.
Anupama Menon, the nutritionist at The Right Living, says, "Alopecia areata causes loss in confidence & self-esteem, heightened self-consciousness, and poor sense of body image. The affected person ends up feeling a sense of loss or having lost out on something, men relate to "feeling anxious" while women are reported to "feeling embarrassed". All of this affects the sex life of the individual as he/she may feel less desirable or attractive."
Dr Harsiddhi Rathod, Shalby Multispeciality Hospitals Ahmedabad, says, "Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a type of androgen hormone, can weaken hair follicles in males by binding to certain receptors on their scalp. This causes hair loss because the anagen phase of hair growth is shortened."
Common in Men, Women And Children!
As per the study conducted by Dr Shome, though often mistaken to be primarily a male disease, women are equally affected by it with devastating consequences in their day to day life.
The American Hair Loss Association has even recognized it as a serious life-altering condition that can no longer be ignored by the medical community and society, especially in women. Balding or thinning hair can be more traumatic for women in a society and culture where a bald man may be socially acceptable but a bald woman is not with her hair being symbolic of her femininity.
In a study by Hunt and McHale, 19-40 per cent of women had marital problems and 63 per cent had career-related problems as a consequence of alopecia.
Studies evaluating the psychological features of men and women with androgenic alopecia found their personalities to be elusive. It was also noted that as a consequence of hair loss, men reportedly became more anxious or aggressive while more women suffered from depression due to hair loss affecting their physical appearance.
Several studies have emphasised the psychological impact of alopecia, especially among women since they tend to be more aesthetic oriented.
For centuries, hair has been perceived as the crown of glory symbolising youth. Nearly every culture and society across the globe associate luscious healthy-looking hair with beauty and good health.
Though a physical phenomenon in itself, alopecia or hair loss can potentially have a psychological impact in the form of stress, anxiety, depression, loss of confidence, low esteem, suicidal ideation, and social phobia.
According to Dr Preeti Singh, Sr. Consultant of Clinical Psychology, Chief medical officer, at Lissun, an online therapy platform, children experience Alopecia Arata too.
"It can have a fairly early onset, they suffer a lot of ill-treatment by other children, bullying can manifest aggressive behaviour, at times delinquent behaviour, poor self-esteem, withdrawal, social anxiety, among other symptoms."
Are You Having Hair Loss? What's The Solution?
Alopecia is a known condition. Experts believe that if it is treated right and on time, there is a strong chance that it can be reversed. It just needs a holistic wellness plan based on the correct diagnosis in many cases to heal and resurrect.
Taking good care of your hair at home is important, but it is also equally important to get the problem checked by professionals.
Dr Shome notes that in several countries, including India, getting hair loss treatment or seeking a cure for alopecia is still considered an 'elective procedure', with a considerable surcharge (such as Goods and Services tax) levied by the government on such treatments/procedures.
"Governments across the globe should have a compassionate and empathetic stance towards this construct; and the first step towards this would be classifying those with hair loss as patients and not as consumers, which would in turn organically annihilate the levying of these taxes on non-surgical and surgical alopecia related treatments," he adds.
"It is the need of the hour to recognise the gravity of this issue of alopecia grappling a large population across the globe to stimulate necessary private, public, and government initiatives towards awareness about its psycho-social impact and mental wellness."
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