Why is immunization important?

Immunization is the process of protecting someone against a certain disease or infection by introducing special substances into the body, especially by injection. It is a process that most parents get done after they conceive a baby. It is one of the most common practices that people perform in order to immunize their children from unforeseen diseases along with regular diseases that children are most likely to develop. It’s a standard practice and every responsible parent must get their children immunized or vaccinated against diseases to ensure a happy and healthy life for their children.
This blog aims to emphasize the real reasons and importance of immunization. Below are the reasons why it is extremely important to ensure that you know all about immunization and vaccination and why it is imperative that you get it done:

 

  • Immunizations can save your child’s life.
    It enables you to guard your child against several diseases with one shot of injection. Various diseases have been eliminated from existence due to the scientific advancements and getting your child immunized shields them from the diseases that are still prevalent. Polio is one example of the great result that vaccines provide. Polio was once affecting India’s children like the plague, causing death and paralysis across the country but now it is almost a rare occurrence due to the vaccines.
  • Immunization protects those you care for.
    There are many children who still have vaccine-preventable diseases. While some are too young to be protected by vaccination, others may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to their inability to resist vaccines, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, thalassemia, etc. Thus, it is important that you make sure to have them fully immunized.
  • It’s the need of the hour!
    If your children aren’t vaccinated then they can carry a possible threat of spreading the disease to other children that are yet to be vaccinated or suffering chronic illness. The results could be long-term complexities and fatal to the vulnerable people.
  • Foresighted prevention
    Immunization protects and safeguards children from several fatal or serious illnesses and complexities of vaccine-preventable diseases such as hearing loss, limb amputation, paralysis of limbs, convulsions, and brain damage.
  • Immunization defends future generations.
    Vaccines have been successful in reducing and eliminating numerous diseases that caused disability in people a few decades ago. By vaccinating your children against particular diseases, you can reduce the potential risks of spreading the disease further. This initiative taken by more people has and will continue to dramatically lower such cases. Immunizing your children at the earliest from fatal conditions before time or at the earliest enables you to contribute in saving hundreds and thousands of children to be born in the future.
  • Safe and effective procedure.
    Parents may be wary of having their young children going through the painful process of vaccination but it is important to understand that vaccines are only given to children after extensive research and studies by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. There may be a small amount of discomfort that results in swelling, tenderness, pain or redness at the site of injection but it is temporary and settles in eventually. The process is short and safe that takes less than a few minutes but it ensures the safety of your child for a lifetime!

It is always good to know what is best for your children. It’s more important for parents to be aware and informed about what their responsibilities are towards their newly-born children and the society at large. Vaccination can not only secure your child but also contribute to eradicating a deadly disease from the future.

Cleft lip – why the first few years are crucial for your child to heal completely!

One of the most common complications that a baby can suffer while still developing inside the mother’s womb is a cleft lip. A cleft lip and cleft palate usually go alongside. These are facial and oral malformations that occur very early in pregnancy.

Physically, a cleft lip looks like a split or separation on the two sides of the upper lip. When there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue that is available does not fuse properly, clefting happens. A cleft palate, on the other hand, is a split or an opening in the roof of the mouth.

Causes of cleft lip and cleft palate

 The exact cause of a cleft lip and cleft palate is still unknown, which is why these conditions cannot be prevented. However, there are some reasons why a cleft might happen:

  • Genetic factors: If the parent, sibling or relative has suffered from cleft lip and cleft palate, chances increase for clefting.
  • Environmental reasons: This entails exposure to certain radiations, viruses or chemicals while the fetus is still growing.
  • Medication: Certain kinds of medications that a pregnant woman takes might make the baby vulnerable to a cleft lip.

Diagnosis

A cleft lip may be detected using ultrasound sometime around the 13th week of pregnancy. The doctor can diagnose a cleft lip judging by the differences in facial structures of the fetus. Other than that, no special tests for diagnosis are required.

 

How is a cleft lip treated?

 A cleft lip repair is usually done surgically where a surgeon makes incisions on both sides of the cleft to create the extra tissue. These flaps of tissues are then stitched together to give the same structure and function as that of a normal lip. Additional surgeries may be needed to improve the appearance of the mouth, lip, and nose.

Due to a number of oral health and other medical problems associated with a cleft lip, a team of doctors is usually involved to treat these children. Cleft lip is generally tackled with a couple of surgeries, but a cleft palate might require a number of surgeries over the years. The initial surgery to cure a cleft lip is usually performed once a baby is three months old.

 What is the outlook for children with a cleft lip?

 The first few years for children who have a cleft lip and palate are crucial. This is the period when they are developing, and in the hands of the right doctors, a cleft lip can be done away for good with the child achieving normal appearance, speech and eating patterns.

According to studies, cleft lip with/without cleft palate affects 1 in 700 babies annually. Children of Asian, Latino, or Native American descent have reported more cases of clefts than others, and compared to girls, twice as many boys are susceptible to a cleft lip!

 

What is C1 – C2 dislocation? Its symptoms and treatment methods.

The human body is made of millions of nerves and the spine is known to be one of the most sensitive visceral parts of the body! Any damage to the vertebrae can require extra care and treatment. The vertebrae are responsible for protecting the spinal cord, which is a bundle of nerves that relay messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Together, the spine and spinal cord are covered by a protective membrane, forming the spinal column. C1-C2 dislocation is a medical condition called Atlantoaxial subluxation. It is a condition in which the C1 and C2 vertebrae in the neck becomes slightly misaligned or dislocated due to both external or internal factors that may have caused the damage.
Atlantoaxial dislocation denotes the loss of balance between the two parts named as the atlas and axis (C1–C2), eventually turning in the loss of normal articulation. The atlantoaxial joints can lose solid articulation from inflammatory, idiopathic, traumatic or congenital abnormalities. This condition may occur in all age groups, however, atlantoaxial dislocation is found to be most commonly noticed amongst adolescents. It has been a source of research and studies through several years and scientists have been looking for options that can treat this condition with lesser abrasive and painless techniques.

Like any damage or injury to your body, Atlantoaxial subluxation also may occur in different levels or the injury’s level of damage may vary, subsequently differing the way of treating it. The degree of the dislocation often decides the level of treatment that it may require. In the case of a minor atlantoaxial subluxation, it is most often treated with a neck brace to aid in the immobilization of the neck which further allows the injured cervical joint to be at rest and recuperate adequately.

Here are some of the causes of Atlantoaxial dislocation:

  • Domestic fall
  • Sports Injury
  • Automobile or car accident
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Like every kind of health condition or disease, Atlantoaxial subluxation also has some noticeable symptoms. You must keep an eye out for these symptoms that may manifest themselves post any of the above-mentioned causes:

  • Severe neck pain that spreads to arms and legs
  • Chronic body pain
  • Stinging in the back or upper back region
  • Pain that resembles pins stabbing
  • Restricted range of movements
  • Inability to turn the neck comfortably

Owing to scientific advancements, there are several treatments that have been introduced to treat such cases. Treatments are categorized in different sections and each has its own way or procedure of treating the condition. Here are some of the treatments of Atlantoaxial subluxation:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Chiropractic Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Usage of walker/therapeutic brace

Atlantoaxial subluxation must be attended to as immediately as possible since it can pose a potential threat to the other parts of the body or may cause complications in the nervous system leading to immobility or paralysis. With regular care, medication and the will to get out of the pain, you are more likely to treat Atlantoaxial subluxation at a more rapid pace!

Radiology and its contribution to the diagnosis of various diseases

 Have you ever wondered what is the role of Radiology in medical sciences? On multiple occasions, you must have been to the radiology department in a hospital to get the investigations done. Yes, exactly. Radiology is the study of diagnostic images obtained from advanced machines utilized for detecting various normal processes or diseases inside your body. It is especially beneficial for early detection of cancers.

How does radiology aid in saving lives?

It has been a long journey since 1896, from the discovery of x-rays to its application in medical sciences for detection of various obscure ailments in the initial stages of their growth. Today, many technologically advanced radiological equipment have come into existence by the application of various principles of physics in medical research studies. These assist doctors in the diagnosis of disease as well as charting out the course of action specific to the patient’s disease.

X-ray imaging

The different types of radiology equipment like X-ray, CT scan or Mammography machine use similar principle for producing X-rays. CT machine runs on advanced technology and is used for greater precision in diagnosis. Similarly, a mammography machine is specifically designed for the visualization of breasts for detecting any abnormalities. The radiations pass through your body onto the sensor plate which then converts it into an image on the radiographer’s monitor screen.

Thus, X-rays are used for 

  • Localizing fractures of different degrees
  • Visualizing breasts for any diseases
  • Visualizing the gut obstruction
  • Detecting the cause of chest or abdominal pain etc

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

As the name suggests, this imaging technique harnesses the power of giant magnets to produce clear and powerful images of the soft tissues and organs inside the body. MRI has certainly aided in overcoming the hazardous effect of excessive exposure to X-rays, especially for the pregnant ladies.

MRI is particularly advantageous for:

  • Detection of bleeding or swelling in trauma patients
  • Tumors or inflammation in the brain, spine, abdomen, pelvic area etc

PET scan imaging

This is the most advanced technology in the field of radiology which operates with radioactive tracers in limited amounts whose radiations are captured to create images of zones of activity in the body. Highly active zones usually indicate cancer cells. It is useful in:

  • Real-time functioning of the cells in the body
  • Chronic degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s
  • Damaged areas of the brain that cause seizures
  • Plan operations like heart bypass surgery
  • Visualizes cancer growth
  • Detects spread of cancer to other parts

Ultrasound imaging

It is a commonly used investigation which employs the use of sound waves. It is used extensively for

  • Neonatal screening in pregnant ladies
  • Detect causes of pain in the abdomen
  • Urinary tract obstructions
  • Heart and blood vessels abnormalities.

Are you miserable about your deformed or protruding ears?

Deformed or protruding ears is a significant issue that is not often paid attention to until it becomes a source of distress. A child with prominent ears is often the target of bullying and then come comparisons to characters that are deformed in much larger proportions, the burden of which has to be carried throughout the childhood.

Deformed or protruding ears can be a cause of great psychological distress for both children and adults, whoever be the sufferer. Due to insecurities that stem from aesthetically displeasing ears, most patients seek plastic surgery. However recent advancements have made it possible to get rid of prominent ears without having to suffer excruciating pain.

 

Causes of protruding ear

  • Genetics: Genes have a big role to play when it comes to this ailment as people with prominent ears often share this with others in the family.
  • Present from birth: Most ear deformities are congenital, meaning they are present from birth.
  • Injury: In rare cases, protruding ear may also develop from trauma or disease.

 

Treatment for the protruding ear:

  • For children under 6 months of age, non-surgical methods are used to treat protruding ear
  • Otoplasty: For older children and adults, surgical intervention is required. In this procedure, the anatomical deformity is determined and is performed under general anesthesia. Otoplasty has been known to achieve remarkable results, the only downside being the extent of pain suffered by the patient as the cartilage goes under the knife for repairing the shape of the ear.
  • Implants: Now a brand new procedure that is a 20-minute painless incision is being opted by more and more patients. In this, implants are inserted under local anesthesia that corrects the ears’ prominence. What makes this procedure special is the rapidity, as well as immediate correction.

 

Protruding ears are found in both genders equally, and do not lead to or are associated with any other syndrome. However psychologically, protruding or deformed ears can make life miserable. Speak with your medical practitioner over what course of treatment to take to get rid of prominent ears, and build your life anew. 

How does an antibiotic work? How long does it take to start showing its effects?

Back in the day bacteria were considered to be fatal. Before antibiotics were invented infected wounds with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, tuberculosis and pneumonia bacterias were major causes of death. When antibiotics started getting prescribed, the bacterial infections plummeted and were no more a cause of death.

What is an antibiotic? 

Antibiotics are chemical substances derived from microorganisms or living system to inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms or destroy them completely. They work only on bacteria and cannot treat viruses like the flu.

When bacteria enter our body, white blood cells (WBC) start attacking the harmful bacteria and destroy them even before a person starts seeing any symptoms. Our immune system is capable of fighting off the infection on its own. However, in certain cases, the number of harmful bacteria is so high that the immune system can’t fight them on its own. That is when a person needs to take antibiotics.

How does an antibiotic work?

Different infections can be treated using different antibiotics that vary chemically. Below are some of the ways how antibiotics destroy bacteria:

  1. Affect the cell structure of a bacteria: They do this by either weakening the cell walls forcing the cells to burst or damage the cell membranes causing a leakage of bacterial cells.
  2. Interfere in the metabolism of a bacteria: Some antibiotics interfere with protein synthesis while some inhibit nucleic acid biosynthesis to destroy the bacteria.

Doctors may suggest antibiotics that can be used to treat a wide range of infections or antibiotics used to treat specific infections. Some antibiotics work against aerobic(that needs oxygen) bacteria and some against anaerobic (that doesn’t need oxygen) bacteria.

For infections on the skin surface, eye or ear, antibiotics can be used in the form of a cream or an ointment. In case of an internal infection, the antibiotics can be taken orally or via an injection where they enter the bloodstream.

How long does it take for antibiotics to start working?

Antibiotics start working immediately after consumption, but it takes 3-4 days to start showing its effects. Complete recovery from an infection after taking antibiotics varies from person to person. Also, the kind of infection being treated determines the time taken to treat the infection.

Usually, antibiotics are prescribed for a period of 7-14 days, only a doctor can describe the exact time and type of antibiotic needed by a person to treat an infection. It is always advised to visit a doctor before starting on any type of antibiotics as they are more effective when used as per doctor’s advice.

Even though there is a noticeable improvement in one’s health, one should always complete the antibiotics course in order to fully treat the infection. Stopping antibiotics earlier than prescribed can lead to antibiotic resistance.

What is antibiotic resistance?

Bacterias that are not completely destroyed by antibiotics can change their form to resist the attack on its cell walls are known to have antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is becoming one of the major problems globally. An estimated 750,000 people die from antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) infections or antibiotic resistance every year. After a series of reports on AMR, the British Government estimates around ten million deaths annually by 2050.

A campaign named Red Line in India demands a use of red line mark on prescription only antibiotics to discourage the over-the-counter sale of antibiotics.

Remember taking antibiotics when they are not needed, not prescribed, not completing the course and continuing the usage for a long time can all lead to antibiotic resistance. It is always advised to visit a doctor and avoid the usage of over-the-counter antibiotics to contribute and prevent the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

What are the early signs of diabetes? How can you prevent it?

Diabetes is one of the most common and rampant conditions all over the world and has experienced a steep rise in the last decade in India. It may not be categorized as a deadly disease by itself but it has the potential to affect or inflict grave danger to other parts of the body. Diabetes is technically a lifestyle disorder more than it is a disease. It is a condition where people don’t produce much or the required amount of insulin to meet the threshold. Most often it causes their cell to cease from responding. Insulin is significant because it moves glucose, which is a simple sugar, into the body’s cells from the blood. Any food that we consume, provides the body with glucose, which is utilized by the cells as a source of energy. The lack of insulin or any disruption in the utilization of insulin results in the sedimentation of it in one’s blood. High blood glucose levels are toxic, and cells that don’t get glucose are lacking the fuel they need to function properly. It is also called as Hyperglycemia.

 

There are two forms of diabetes and they are:

Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 occurs when the pancreas cannot make insulin and the latter occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body does not use insulin properly.

 

Diabetes is developed by various people and can be identified by the early signs of the condition. These are some of the most common signs of diabetes:

 

  • Increased sense of hunger or thirst
    Frequent urination results in over dehydration which then causes constant thirst and the lack of their food converting into energy is highly common implying they feel hungry quite frequently.
  • Dramatic weight fluctuations
    Constant hunger implies the need to eat frequently which in turn adds more weight to the person’s body and weight loss might happen when the person is not gaining much energy from what they consume.
  • Having a dry mouth at all times
    This is also directly related to your body being constantly drained out.
  • Constant  or frequent urination
    When the blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys tend to eliminate the excess sugar by filtering it out of the blood. This might result in the person frequently urinating.
  • Prolonged fatigue and lethargy
    This tiredness occurs as a result of insufficient sugar moving from the bloodstream into the body’s cells.
  • Headaches followed by blurred vision
    An excess of sugar in one’s blood can harm the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, which can cause blurry vision.
  • Nausea
  • Anxiousness or jittery behavior

Type 2 diabetes often comes with no visible warnings and that is why people with genetics that lead back to diabetes, pancreatic disorders, overweight people must take extra precaution at the earliest to keep themselves safe and relatively less prone to developing it as it cannot be completely ruled out of one’s life especially once they have developed it. Diabetes tends to a condition that lasts a lifetime.

At the moment, type 1 diabetes is not entirely preventable. Nonetheless, studies have pointed that preventive measure taken to reduce or banish the likelihood of developing the condition is highly possible by affirming to lifestyle changes which include weight management, eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising. Medical assistance is definitely available that helps balance the body’s insulin or glucose level but the effect of it can only be amplified with dedication towards your health and hard work. However, these are the staple advice given to most people who may be concerned about having diabetes:

 

  • Maintaining a healthy exercise regime is imperative.
  • Avoiding packaged, preservative-laden foods.
  • Reducing/avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol
  • Consciously choosing what is good for the body and keeping a check on your weight

Diabetes can be a lifetime condition but it can be of no harm if you keep yourself on guard with regards to your health. Start a healthy and prompt lifestyle at the earliest, avoid or reduce indulging in habits or practices that may have a direct influence on your body which may later impose a health risk. Change your lifestyle for good and your life will be changed forever!

Early signs of Parkinson’s Disease

A neurological movement disorder that is caused due to an anomaly in one’s nervous system, especially the brain and its different parts. This illness is typical of shakiness and visible reduction in seamless and free movement of one’s limbs. It is also significantly characterised by shakiness in the hands, tremors, lack of flexibility, cramps and muscle stiffness. Parkinson’s disease is also noticed predominantly rampant amongst the elderly population particularly those above the age of 60 years. The disease most often affects one side of the person’s body more intensely than the other.

Although highly common amongst older people, it often is not clearly understood by masses due it is subtle or unnoticeable early signs of development. This article intends to impart important information regarding Parkinson’s Disease and the early signs of the disease so that you are well-informed for any unforeseen instance that may occur to you or your near and dear ones.

This particular disease is highly prevalent amongst elderly people and some of the most commonly noticed early symptoms are as follows:

  • Stiffness in limbs or slow movement (bradykinesia)
  • A significantly stooped posture
  • Uncontrollable,  movements during sleep
  • Tremors in hands or foot
  • Cramped handwriting or other writing changes

The above-mentioned symptoms are further elucidated along with various other symptoms for the further understanding of how and why they may occur in people affected by the disease, Parkinson’s.

  • Change in handwriting
    A significant change in the size of your handwriting could be an early indicator of the Parkinson’s disease as it is common for people suffering from the disease to lose or lack control over their hands/fingers that result in hindering their writing skills. The lack of coordination of the brain and fluctuating signals sent to the brain cause the person to lose finer motor skills thus affecting their writing skills.
  • Stiffness & Slow movement
    Most people suffering from PD complain of stiffness in their muscles especially in the limbs and feet along with slowing down of movements in the limbs in general.
    Stiffness of the limbs (rigidity) and slow movement (bradykinesia) appear early on with PD. These manifestations are induced by the impairment of the neurons that regulate movement. Someone suffering of PD is likely to suffer from constant jerking of the body parts and  may also develop a characteristic called the “shuffling gait.”
  • Tremors
    Tremor is one of the most common and perhaps the most identifiable sign of Parkinson’s disease and is characterized by a slight twitching movement or shaking of a finger, hand, or the foot. This shaking motion is likely to graduate into a more noticeable one, as the condition progresses and is easily detected when the person is at rest.
  • Sleep disorders or Insomnia
    It’s a whole world of frustration when it comes to a person sleeping after being affected by the Parkinson’s disease. Uncontrollable movements, that are involuntary occur on a regular basis. Thrashing, kicking, swinging your arms, and rolling out of the bed can be indications of a serious problem.
  • Masking
    Parkinson’s disease can affect the actual facial expressions along with one’s gross and fine motor skills. They may also have a “blank look” most of the time and this phenomenon is called masking. The condition can take control of small muscles in the face highly difficult making it difficult to even blink or smile.
  • Posture
    Postures don’t change overnight and they change in small ways at first, and will gradually worsen. It may begin with a stooped posture such as slouching or leaning and they qualify as an early indicator of PD. It is directly related to the loss of coordination and balance affecting the body.

There are several other early signs of the Parkinson’s Disease and these are the most predominantly noticed early signs of the disease that you must keep an eye out for especially if you inhabit with persons belonging to the age group who might be likely to develop this disease.

What causes tremors in the Parkinson’s disease?

There are several health conditions and diseases that prevail arbitrarily but are often unseen or are unnoticed due to the lack of awareness or the right knowledge about some of these conditions leading to the failure of detecting such cases.

Parkinson’s disease is one such disease that may be rampant yet lacks full awareness regarding the same. It is a progressive nervous system ailment that generally affects a person’s movement. Symptoms vary from one person to another and often begin at the limbs. One of the most commonly noticed symptoms in a person diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease is tremors. The tremors are further followed by stiffness or slowing of physical movement.

One of the most noticeable forms of tremors of Parkinson’s is the ‘resting tremors’. The cause of these tremors is often associated with the complex interactions between multiple factors. An observable anomaly in the cognitive activity that includes substantia nigra, thalamus and the basal ganglia results in the consecutive changes in the level of the neurotransmitters named dopamine alongside its actions. Since they are known to be correlated and work in tandem with one another, any alteration in these processes causes a high possibility of tremors. These tremors are predominantly occurring or affect the arms, jaws, legs or the feet and they are significantly prominent on one side than the other.

These are some characteristics of the Parkinson’s Disease’s tremors that you might need to be aware of:

  • Tremors of Parkinson’s Disease typically occur when at rest and stop with voluntary action and they recur until you hold the new position that you may have decided to settle with.
  • The tremors are known to affect one’s hand in the earlier stages before it affects any other part of the body and visually appears as if you are rolling a tiny object between your index finger and the thumb. This motion is the reason why it’s called the pin-rolling tremor.
  • Shaking tremors are yet another type of tremors that people with Parkinson’s Disease are affected with which often results in hands and fingers trembling or shaking involuntarily.

The most common query regarding this disease is “What causes the tremors?”

Researchers claim that one of the pivotal causes of Parkinson’s disease is due to the decrease in the level of dopamine, an eminent neurotransmitter that aids motor movements of the body. When someone is affected by PD, the substantia nigra, a dedicated region of the brain stem for production of dopamine get affected and ceases to function. The drop in dopamine levels is observed to have commenced years before the onset of the disease in an individual. This subsequently affects different aspects of movements such as:

  • Voluntary Movements
    Activities such as holding a pen or a cup fall under voluntary movements and it generally is known to receives and responds to dopamine, and, when there is a drop in the level of dopamine, it doesn’t allow one you to function as it should.
  • Complex Movements
    The thalamus and the subthalamic nucleus is responsible for allowing you to perform slightly complex tasks such as stirring sugar with a spoon, zipping a big, etc. When the levels of dopamine reach a critically low level, the thalamus loses its normal regulatory input disabling you to perform these tasks with seamlessness.
  • Coordinated Movements
    The cerebellum is known to aid in coordination, while the motor portion of your cerebral cortex regulates voluntary movements of your body. Both these parts receive signals about your body’s position from the thalamus and perform these coordinated physical movements. Lack of the signal reaching your brain leads to tremors while performing complex tasks.

It may appear that dopamine is the only reason why one might suffer from tremors of the Parkinson’s Disease but it may not be the case entirely. Science is trying to find more accurate reasons and causes for which these tremors may occur. However, there are several treatments available for this disease which include medications that increase and improve the action of dopamine, along with some surgical interventions. In case, you have PD, you must know that there is a lot of research and progress that’s being made in identifying the causes and generating new treatment options to help manage the symptoms of your condition.