Ergonomic injuries

Ergonomic Injuries

1) What are ergonomic injuries and how are they caused?

Most people these days have desk jobs that require them to be seated at their desks for 8-10 hours straight. People often fail to realize how much havoc a simple desk job can create in their life. People tend to disregard a lot of simple symptoms by confusing them with symptoms of other conditions and fail to realize that they could be caused by seemingly harmless factors like sitting on a chair for prolonged hours. A lot of health conditions have been said to be caused because of sitting for prolonged hours. Ergonomic injuries affect the muscles, spinal disc, nerves, ligaments, joints etc. Hinged back, back pain, pain in the wrist, stiff neck and shoulder aches are a few of the most common health issues seen due to poor seating posture and continued sitting.

The most commonly suffered ergonomic injuries are;

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Breast cancer early detection

Ways to detect Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a form of cancer that develops from the breast tissue. It is mostly found in women, however, can be diagnosed in men too.

Know symptoms and signs of breast cancer include:

  • Nipple discharge or retraction of the nipple
  • Enlargement of one breast, dimpling of the breast surface
  • An “orange peel” texture to the skin
  • Unintentional weight loss and bone pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit
  • Visible veins on the breast.

The risk factors for developing breast cancer include obesity due to a lack of physical exercise, drinking alcohol, hormone replacement, therapy during menopause, early age at first menstruation, having children late or not at all and family history.

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Paediatric Influenza Infections

Viral flu or Influenza is one of the most common and significant causes of respiratory infections worldwide. As many as 1 in 3 children, seeking treatment for flu – like illnesses, at the peak of flu season ( December to February), are at the risk of complications like pneumonia and bronchitis.

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

High fever, chills, myalgia, headache, fatigue, nasal congestion, non-productive cough, conjunctivitis and sometimes diarrhoea.

 

MODE OF SPREAD

The Influenza virus spreads through coughing, sneezing or touching objects used by infected person.eg: Handkerchief or towels

 

DIAGNOSIS

Mostly clinical, based on examination findings. In some cases, your Paediatrician may recommend a complete blood count or a nasal swab test to confirm it.

 

TREATMENT

It is mostly supportive, in the form of

  • Acetaminophen for fever
  • Expectorants
  • Steam Inhalation
  • Saline nebulization
  • Oral or IV Fluids, if oral intake is reduced.
  • Anti-viral therapy with Oseltamivir, in severe cases
  • Antibiotics – don’t have a role in most cases.

 

PREVENTION

Regular handwashing and personal hygiene help prevent infections from spreading. It is difficult though to prevent infections from spreading amongst family members and in school.

The flu vaccine can help reduce or prevent viral influenza. It can be given to children over 6 months of age. It is effective for up to 1 year after vaccination. It is recommended for children with recurrent viral respiratory infections, especially when they start school or daycare.

It is an inactivated vaccine and may cause fever up to 2 days after vaccination. It is to be avoided for children with an egg allergy.

 

Dr.Brindha BalaSubramanian

Specialist Paediatrician & Neonatologist 

Aster Clinic, Al Muteena (DMPC)

Dr.-Brinda-60x60

 

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GERD – Symptoms and Prevention

GERD is a condition in which the stomach acid or contents from the stomach flow back into the food pipe (esophagus). The backwash (reflux) irritates the lining of the esophagus and causes GERD. Gastroesophageal refers to the stomach and the esophagus. While reflux refers to the back-flow of acidic or non-acidic stomach contents into the esophagus. A band of muscles at the junction of the stomach and esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) normally act, in conjunction with the diaphragm, as a barrier to prevent the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. It is when that barrier is relaxed at inappropriate times or is otherwise compromised that reflux occurs.

GERD is characterized by symptoms and/or tissue damage that results from repeated or prolonged exposure of the lining of the esophagus to contents from the stomach. If tissue damage is present, the individual is said to have esophagitis or erosive GERD. The presence of symptoms with no evident tissue damage is referred to as non-erosive GERD.

GERD symptoms are often persistent, such as chronic heartburn and the regurgitation of acid. But sometimes there are no apparent symptoms, and the presence of GERD is revealed only when complications become evident. While the symptoms of GERD vary from person to person, the majority of people with GERD have mild symptoms, with no visible evidence of tissue damage and little risk of developing complications.

Periodic heartburn is a symptom that many people experience. If it occurs occasionally just after a meal and less than once per week, it is likely a “benign” condition. However heartburn that occurs more frequently than once a week, becomes more severe, or occurs at night and wakes a person from sleep, may be a sign of a more serious condition and consultation with a physician is advised. Even occasional heartburn – if it has occurred for a period of 5 years or more, or is associated with difficulty in swallowing– may signal a more serious condition. People with long standing chronic heartburn are at greater risk for complications including stricture or a potentially pre-cancerous disease that involves a cellular change in the esophagus called Barrett’s esophagus.

Persistent chronic heartburn and acid regurgitation are the most common symptom of GERD. But there are numerous less common symptoms that also may be associated with GERD. These may include:

  • Belching
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Water brash (sudden excess of saliva)
  • Dysphagia (the sensation of food sticking in the esophagus)
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Laryngitis
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Erosion of the enamel of the teeth
  • Chronic irritation in the throat
  • Hoarseness in the morning
  • A sour taste
  • Bad breath

Chest pain may also indicate acid reflux. Nevertheless, this kind of pain or discomfort should prompt urgent medical evaluation in order to exclude possible heart conditions. Relief of symptoms after a two-week trial therapy with a proton pump inhibitor (a prescription medication that inhibits gastric acid secretion) is an indication that GERD is the cause. This can also be confirmed with pH monitoring, which measures the level of acid refluxing into the esophagus and as high as the larynx.

On the positive side, since GERD is a lifestyle disorder, making significant changes in your lifestyle and eating habits can greatly reduce the impact of GERD or even prevent its onset to begin with. Here are 10 tips you can try to prevent GERD.

  1. Lose weight. Obesity is the leading cause of GERD because the extra stomach fat places pressure on your abdomen, pushing gastric juices up into your esophagus.
  2. Avoid foods known to cause reflux.If you’re at risk for GERD, avoid:
    • Fatty foods
    • Spicy foods
    • Acidic foods, like tomatoes and citrus
    • Mint
    • Chocolate
    • Onions
    • Coffee or any caffeinated beverage
    • Carbonated beverages
  3. Eat smaller meals.Large meals fill the stomach and put pressure on the LES, making reflux and GERD more likely.
  4. Don’t lie down after eating.Wait at least three hours before you lie down after a meal. Gravity normally helps keep acid reflux from developing. When you eat a meal and then stretch out for a nap, you’re taking gravity out of the equation. As a result, acid more easily presses against the LES and flows into the esophagus.
  5. Elevate your bed.Raising the head of your bed six to eight inches can help gravity keep gastric acid down in your stomach. You could also use a wedge-shaped support. Don’t use extra pillows, as they only raise your head and will not help with GERD. You need your entire upper body elevated to get relief.
  6. Review your medications.There are a number of medications that can increase your risk of GERD, either by relaxing the LES, interfering with the digestive process, or further irritating an already inflamed esophagus. These medications include:
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs
    • Calcium channel blockers (often used to treat high blood pressure)
    • Certain asthma medications, including beta-agonists like albuterol
    • Anticholinergics, medications used to treat conditions such as seasonal allergies and glaucoma
    • Bisphosphonates, used to boost bone density
    • Sedatives and painkillers
    • Some antibiotics
    • Potassium
    • Iron tablets

If you are taking any of these medications, talk to your doctor about switching to another drug that does not have the same effect on the upper digestive tract. However, never stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting your doctor.

  1. Quit smoking.Some studies have found that nicotine can relax the muscles of the LES and can also interfere with your saliva’s ability to clear acid out of the esophagus.
  2. Cut back on alcohol.As with smoking, alcohol can cause the LES to relax. Alcohol can also cause the esophageal muscles to spasm.
  3. Wear loose-fitting clothes.Do not wear tight clothing or belts that can constrict your stomach.

In the UAE itself, there has been a rise in the incidents of patients suffering from some degree of GERD. Specialists at Aster Hospital and Clinic often receive 2 to 3 patients a day with GERD. In the last 1.8 years, they have treated around 320 patients with the condition. Aster Hospital and Clinic has initiated a “GERD Awareness Campaign” to educate the residents of UAE on alarming symptoms or critical symptoms associated with the disease which, if noted, should prompt medical attention. Through dedicated programmes for the general population, Aster aims to encourage early diagnosis and proper treatment in order to improve the quality of life of people suffering from the condition.

 

Dr. Sabu Antony

Specialist Gastroenterologist

Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai (AJMC)

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Infections and their Prevention

What is an Infection?

An infection is an invasion of an organism’s body tissue by disease causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of the host tissues to these organisms and the toxins that they produce.

Infectious diseases, also known as transmissible diseases or communicable diseases, are illnesses resulting from an infection. Despite there being a variety of medicines present to treat the different form of infections; infectious diseases have resulted in the death of more people worldwide than any other single cause.

Causes of an Infection:

An infection is caused when a person is exposed to infectious agents. This exposure may occur directly, through the touching, eating, drinking or breathing of a germ covered substance. Or indirectly, when an agent is transmitted through an insect or animal bite. Listed below are the different types of infectious agents:

  • Bacteria. These single celled organisms multiply quickly and are responsible for illnesses such as strep throat, urinary tract infections, and tuberculosis.
  • Viruses. Even smaller than bacteria, viruses can cause a multitude of infectious diseases — ranging from the common cold to AIDS. A virus spreads an infection because of its ability to use host’s cells to multiply.
  • Fungi: Are biologically primitive plants that cause diseases such as ringworm and athlete’s foot.
  • Are single celled organisms that may be transmitted through a host of avenues, the most common being through the bite of an insect?

 

Symptoms of an Infection

 Each infectious disease has its own set of signs and symptoms that may manifest themselves mildly or severely, depending on the immunity of the person who is infected. However, there are general signs and symptoms common to a number of infections which include, but are not limited to:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Coughing

 

Infection Prevention:

Getting an infection can be a painful and tedious process, resulting in one’s ill health and an inability to perform even simple everyday tasks. Despite the ease with which agents are spread, and the detrimental effect that they can have on a person’s health, there are ways in which you can keep yourself germ free. A series of simple steps, when performed habitually can not only reduce your chances of getting an infection; but also prevent you from spreading one as an asymptomatic carrier.

  • Washing your hands. This is especially important before and after preparing food, before eating, and after using the toilet.
  • Getting vaccinated. Immunization can drastically reduce your chances of contracting many diseases. Make sure to keep up to date on your recommended vaccinations, as well as your children’s.
  • Staying home when ill. Don’t go to work if you are vomiting, have diarrhea or have a fever. Don’t send your child to school if he or she has these signs and symptoms, either.
  • Preparing food safely.Keep counters and other kitchen surfaces clean when preparing meals. Cook foods to the proper temperature using a food thermometer to check for doneness. For ground meats, that means at least 71 C (160 F); for poultry, 74 C (165 F); and for most other meat, at least 63 C (145 F).
  • Not sharing personal items. Use your own toothbrush, comb, and razor. Avoid sharing drinking glasses or dining utensils.
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