Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Response To The Aging Process

The aging process does increase the need to strengthen the immune system. Aging is not synonymous with
illness. However, getting older does increase the risk for many diseases and disorders. Overall, elderly people have an
increased rate of chronic disorders, arteriosclerosis, infections, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.
This increased risk may be caused, in part, by the nature of these disorders. Most of the chronic disorders such as
arteriosclerosis are slowly progressive and do not show symptoms until they have been progressing for years.
Another significant part of this increased risk is probably related to aging changes in the immune system. The immune
system protects against diseases. It seeks out and destroys viruses, bacteria, fungi, and cancerous cells before they
can damage the body. It learns to tell the difference between "self" tissue and "non-self" particles. If you
strengthen the immune system you enhance your protection against those diseases.
Strengthen the immune system to respond to aging changes
The thymus, one of the organs of the immune system, is the site where certain immune cells called T lymphocytes or
T cells mature. The thymus begins to shrink (atrophy) after adolescence. By middle age it is only about 15% of its
maximum size.
Some of the T cells directly kill foreign particles. Others help coordinate other parts of the immune system, which
are specialized to attack different types of infections.
Although the number of T cells does not decrease with aging, T cell function decreases. This causes a weakening of
the parts of the immune system controlled by these T cells. If the T cell function are enhanced this will strengthen
the immune system.
Strengthen the immune system to counter the effects of aging changes
There is a slow, steady decrease in immunity after young adulthood. When the body is exposed to bacteria or other
microorganisms (by an actual exposure or by immunization), fewer protective antibodies may be formed or they may be
formed at a slower rate.Flu shots or other immunizations may be less effective, and protection may not last as long
as expected.
Later in life, the immune system also seems to become less tolerant of the body's own cells. Sometimes an autoimmune
disorder develops -- normal tissue is mistaken for non-self tissue, and immune cells attack certain organs or tissues.
The immune system becomes less able to detect malignant cells, and cancer risk also increases with age as a result.
The immune system also becomes less able to detect foreign particles, and infection risk is greater.
Other things also increase the risk of infections. Sensation changes, gait changes, changes in the skin structure,
and other "normal aging changes" increase the risk of injury in which bacteria can enter broken skin. Illness or
surgery can further weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to subsequent infections. Diabetes,
which is also more prevalent with age, can also lead to decreased immunity.
If you strengthen the immune system it will also reduce the risk of inflammation and slow wound healing. Inflammation
is an immune response, when the immune system thinks there is trouble, it sends more cells to the site of the problem
and this causes swelling, pain, redness, warmth and irritation, which are the hallmarks of inflammation. Inflammation
often indicates infection, but may also occur due to autoimmune attack on "self" tissue as well.
Many older people heal more slowly. This may be directly related to changes in the immune system, or it may be a
consequence of other problems such as diabetes or arteriosclerosis, which leads to decreased blood flow to some
parts of the body such as the lower extremities.
Also, many older people take anti-inflammatory medications (to control conditions such as arthritis) and these are
also known to slow wound healing.
How to strengthen the immune system
Just as routine immunizations are important to prevent illness in children, a few routine immunizations are important
as we get older. Adult tetanus (Td) immunizations should be given every 10 years (a booster may be given sooner if
there is a "dirty" wound).
Your health care provider may recommend other immunizations, including pneumovax (to prevent pneumonia or its
complications), flu vaccine, hepatitis immunization, or others. These optional immunizations are not necessary for
ALL older people, but are appropriate for some.
Maintaining your body in good physical condition is important to strengthen the immune system. Wheter you are in
good shape or not you should also give your system a little extra support with health supplements. Perhaps obvious,
here are the "must do's" to strengthen the immune system:
  • Exercise
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Stop smoking
  • Minimize alcohol use. Moderate drinking seems to have some health benefits, but excessive drinking can cause serious damage
  • Use safety measures to avoid falls and other injuries
  • Take good health supplements specifically created to strengthen the immune system

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An Investigation of the Types and Their Benefits

Considering the amount of irritants that are present in the air today, those who suffer from allergies and other breathing disorders are challenged to find effective ways to clean the air that they breathe within their home environment.
Not so many years ago, this simply meant making sure that the house was dusted regularly and that pets were bathed and brushed - outdoors - as often as possible, in order to cut down on the most common allergy inducing factors. Today, there's far more at stake, when we consider the types of contaminants that are present in our environment as a result of pollution. Bigger challenges, then, require better tools for providing a solution - enter, the air purifier.
The cleaning of the air within your home can be accomplished in a variety of different ways. A simple, straightforward air cleaner is designed to reduce the dust build-up within the home, offering the benefits of cleaner air and less need to perform common household chores, such as dusting. These are electronic in nature and use a basic filtering system that's designed to draw in, clean and re-circulate the air.
Air purifiers are a bit more complex, in that they are specifically designed to eliminate pollutants such as pollen and other airborne irritants, in addition to the dust that the air cleaner removes from the environment.
These purifiers are available in a number of sizes, including the portable version. In this case, the air is drawn to the bottom of the cleaner and is then pushed upward through an aluminum mesh filter. This is where the pollutants are trapped before the air is moved on to the next phase of the process.
An electronic cleaning cell (two-stage) is the next stop for the airflow, which ionizes dust particles that are invisible to the naked eye and cleans them from the air. From there, the air is diverted to an activated charcoal filter which deodorizes any odors that may remain before the air is re-circulated.
An electronic air purifier should be placed in an area where the highest amount of family traffic takes place, though it can be installed in any room of the home. Complete with a two-speed fan that can typically clean an area of up to 300 cubic feet when on the highest setting, this type of air purifier would be ideal for a room that measured 20' x 30'.
As economical as it is useful, an electronic air purifier doesn't require any special wiring, and uses less electricity than that of a 100-watt light bulb.
The electric air cleaner is utilized by placing it in the central duct system, and cleans the air through the process of electrostatic precipitation. Basically, this just means that when the furnace blows smoke and other contaminants into the air, they are forced into a filter, then a charging station that provides charges from tungsten wires.
From there, any remaining particles are forced into a collection area, where they're trapped and washed away by the cleaning process. Charcoal filters are in position to eliminate any leftover odors from the air, which is then forced out into the home for re-circulation.
Depending upon the design of your home, your economic constraints and the level of allergies that your family members possess, there's a system that will work for you. Once the air in your home is properly cleaned and purified, you'll all be breathing much easier.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Box Concerning Congestive Heart Failure

“Think outside the box!” These words show up in commercials, boardrooms, operating rooms and casual conversations. They have become the calling card of the young creative hotshot trying to secure an impressive position in a choice company. They mark the inventive thinker and condemn the one doing everything in the same old fashion. For the most part we live in a world where new is better and change in and of itself is considered a good thing.
But there are some boxes in which our thinking seems to be locked. I have in mind one particular box which conforms us to the idea that health is a matter of fixing problems after they present themselves. There is no doubt that medical science has advanced at a remarkable rate. We are daily finding cures for diseases that have plagued us for all history. But medical science is not the savior of careless living. It is time to think outside the box of waiting until there is an evident problem before we do anything about it. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that we should return to the box that says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
One case in point, among many others, is demonstrated by the rise in heart disease in developed and developing countries. In particular to this article is the increase in incidence of congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure is not so much a disease as it is the end result of heart degradation. Sometimes the cause is not known. But most often it is caused by one or more long-term ailments that stress the heart to the point that it simply can not function properly.
Here is an example. Perhaps a patient has lived with elevated blood pressure for many years. Long-term hypertension is one of the leading causes of CHF. The patient might make some efforts to reduce his blood pressure but is not overly concerned about it. After all, we live in a high speed world. Hypertension is common among the hard working. It becomes an acceptable part of every day living in the modern world.
But high blood pressure is one common condition that works for years to wear on the cardiovascular system resulting in a number of serious ailments, not the least of which is congestive heart failure. The fact that something does not kill us in a week does not logically imply that it will not kill us. Hypertension causes the heart to work harder ultimately weakening it over time. The weakening of the heart coupled with a vascular system not conducive to efficiently transporting blood due to hypertension and atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) can only lead to trouble. The heart gets to the point that it simply can not keep up with the work load. The patient then turns to medical science for a cure; or perhaps a miracle. Twenty years of neglect, and even abuse, is expected to fade away with the swallowing of a few pills.
The blood pressure example is just that, an example. Atherosclerosis is another. Atherosclerosis comes from the Greek words athero (meaning gruel or paste) and sclerosis (meaning hardness). The combination of the two meanings provides a rather gruesome picture of a hard paste (plaque) being deposited in our blood vessels. Not a pretty sight from any angle. When plaque buildup sufficiently restricts blood flow to the major organs serious repercussions can occur not the least of which is heart attach, stroke or long-term congestive heart failure.
It is believed by many scientists that atherosclerosis begins when damage occurs to the innermost layer of the artery. Such damage can be caused by high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and obesity. It stands to reason, then, that controlling these conditions can go a long way toward reducing the effects of atherosclerosis and, by logical inference, congestive heart failure.
There are many more possible examples that could be given. The above represent only a couple common possibilities. But notice even in these two examples the amount of overlap. High blood pressure affects atherosclerosis buildup. Smoking has an effect on both conditions. It is the same with other conditions as well. The same, then, is also true with treatments. Taking steps to control one area of heart health usually provides beneficial results in other areas. And these benefits in return aid in prevention and treatment of CHF.
So what magical steps can we take to reduce the likelihood of developing CHF? No magic. In a sense what we need to do is to stop thinking inside the box of waiting until there is a health problem before we do anything about it. But in so doing, we need to return to an even older box; the box of prevention.
Health is, in a large part, a matter of lifestyle. Why is heart disease, and particularly congestive heart failure, on the rise in developing countries? One word: Lifestyle. While medical science is working to reduce the impact of heart disease we are working to increase its impact.
The first major factor to concern us is the lack of exercise. Most of us have jobs that exercise our brains but not our bodies. This is especially the case for those of us who are in the busy time of our lives while building careers and raising children. It is difficult to add an exercise regimen on top of all the other responsibilities that scream for our time. However, being physically fit influences much more than the strength of our muscles. The whole body requires conditioning to function properly and heart health is no exception.
Diet is perhaps the main culprit in the rise of heart disease. Face it, with all the advertisements on the radio and television promoting low fat diets and healthy eating we still don’t listen. We are in a hurry so we eat what is convenient and tasty. High cholesterol, high fat diets simply do not promote heart health. They promote hypertension and atherosclerosis, both major factors in the development of CHF. Not only do we take in way too much of the bad stuff we don’t get nearly enough of the good stuff. Most of the vegetables in the average American diet come from French fries. And most of the fruits are found in the form of bottled drinks that boast 10% real fruit juice. If we treated our cars this way they wouldn’t last long enough to pay off the loan.
Even for those that make an effort to eat well there is an additional obstacle. Farming techniques often do not produce the nutritious foods that were once available. Hormonally adjusted livestock and chemically fertilized crops are not as healthy as their organically raised counterparts. Even nutritious crops begin losing their nutritious value as soon as they are picked. Fruits and vegetables that are stored and shipped over an extended period of time provide only a fraction of their original benefit.
So what are we to do? In addition to reducing the amount of fat and cholesterol there should be a concerted effort to add ample fruits and vegetables to the diet. Of course the organically grown varieties are superior. But they are not an option for everyone. However, in most places it is possible to buy produce that is locally grown. This usually means that less time passes between harvest and consumption reducing vitamin loss. Growing your own produce is a great alternative if you have enough space.
Fish, especially cold water fish, has long been known to aid in heart health. Cultures which include fish as a significant part of the diet have demonstrably lower incidence of heart disease than cultures that eat little fish. The Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oils have been shown in numerous studies to reduce heart disease of many types.
Even in the best diets there are holes. Consider a good dietary supplement regimen. Many studies have verified the usefulness of supplementing for the reduction and prevention of a number of diseases including heart diseases like CHF. The particulars of these studies are beyond the scope of this essay. But one thing should be emphasized. Choose good vitamin supplements. Good supplements are manufactured much the same way as good produce is grown. Chemical equivalents are not really equivalents. The test tube may not know the difference but the body does.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Toric Lens Work

Before we can ask "How do toric lens work", we really need to understand what they do, and what they were created for.
Toric contact lenses can be soft, meaning they are made from soft plastic that can alter its shape to fit the shape of the eye. This is as opposed to hard (gas permeable - GP) lenses which are rigid in construction. A toric lens is special, in that it was designed to help correct astigmatism.
What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism can take two forms, but it is usually understood to mean an optical malfunction caused by a misshaping of either the cornea or the optic lens. A normal cornea is one with is round in shape, just like a ball. In an astigmatic, the shape is different, and the ends of the cornea have extended ends. More rugby ball or american football shaped. What happens then is that the light hits the cornea in two places rather than one. This is because the shape of the astigmatic eye has a steeper and flatter curve due to the shape of the cornea. This is called corneal astigmatism.
Sometimes, astigmatism is the result of an irregularly shaped optic lens, which is located behind the cornea. This is called lenticular astigmatism.
The effect to the sufferer is much the same though. Astigmatism manifests itself as slightly blurred vision, but can also cause headaches and eye aches.
How Is a Toric Lens Different To Other Contact Lenses?
When you place a contact lens in your eye, the lens sits on top of a film of water. If it didn't, your eye would be dry, and it would cause you discomfort. Because the lens is on a liquid platform, it can rotate, but in non astigmatics, this is not really a problem. However, in an astigmatic, the lens needs to stay put in order to correct the astigmatism. In a toric lens, this is achieved by weighting the lens so that the bottom is heavier than the top. This of course means that the bottom of the lens will always point downwards, ensuring that the prescription of the lens acts correctly.
There is one other difference of a toric lens over a normal one, in that the lens has two prescriptions in one. One will correct the astigmatism, and the other will correct the shortsightedness or long sightedness (depending on what you have).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mental and Emotional Illness

A subject that seems to be taboo is mental and emotional illness.
If a person has a physical illness or handicap we are quick to show concern and understanding. It seems too many of us seem to feel emotional and mental illness is something to be ashamed of or avoided.
The world lacks understanding and empathy for mental and emotional illness. Too few of us realize that there are those who have suffered emotional and mental illness; that have contributed to the world in a way that centuries later their work is still preserved. An artist like Van Gogh is the perfect example.
It seems that who we choose to associate with reflects our own perception of which we are.
When it's someone less than perfect we feel less than perfect through our association with him or her.
We expect people to do, act, and react in a certain way.
I wonder if we are angry at their imperfections or are the ones we see in our self.
Some people have panic attacks.
There is a lack of understanding or empathy.
We as a country have made mental and emotional illness into something to be ashamed of. So many people suffer many forms of emotional and mental illness but remain quiet, suffering alone to avoid being labeled.
People seem to believe they need to identify with perfect minds, bodies, faces, and mental and emotional well being.
Television and theater have captured our minds and thoughts of how we should be.
We are afraid to know who we really are.
No acting for me anymore; personally I'm ready to walk off stage, and just be true to myself.
Welfare and Disablity
To qualify for any type of government assistance, welfare, disability, housing, each person is carefully screened and needs proof of their situation.
Welfare has become a slave labor program,because the employers that hire people on welfare or exempt from paying min wage and also receive a tax break.
Anyone that works should be entitled to min wage according to our min .wage law,that is equal pay of min wage,regardless of race,nationality or handicap.
Our government breaks that law and allows others to do so when hiring persons who receive welfare .
To receive any type of disability be prepared for a very long hard battle.
Your personal medical records aren't enough.
You are sent to the doctors who are hired by SS, and in their view you are capable of working.Going to court takes years and possibly more than one time for disabled to receive funds.
These needy people who have no means of transportation have endles appointments to go to for screening.
They can't always rely on family or friends.
When you are in need you feel very alone and ashamed,sometime too embarrassed to ask for help.
Perhaps that is the cause of some suicides.
For those who believe that people can automatically receive money from the government do not know how well people are screened.
Than when you finally receive disability,it is about $574.00 a month.
Imagine living on that and also imagine not having any means of transportation.
People on government assistance live in proverty or below proverty level.Those who live on low income are ashamed because of society's lack of acceptance people who receive government assistance .People that receive government assistance do so because of need often at the cost of their self respect, self esteem, pride and dignity.
Bio Of Judy Arline Puckett
I am currently residing in Monroe, La.
I begin writing at the age of 11, and I’m 54 now.
I am the mother of three and the grandmother of five.
I love creative writing, poetry, digital art, art, photography, jazz, and blues music.
I write poetry and lyrics on every topic. War, peace, love, heartache, religion, and abortion, which I oppose.
I hope to write meaningful and worthwhile words that will touch hearts and make a difference in life.