Should Women Be Getting Mammograms at 30?

Should Women Be Getting Mammograms at 30?

Women are typically recommended to start getting mammograms at age 45, but some new research suggests that this recommendation may not be for everyone. The current recommendation is for women 45 and older to get a mammogram every year, and women age 55 and older to get one every other year.

However, according to a new study, some women should get mammograms started as early as age 30. A new study presented at the Radiological Society of North America suggests that yearly mammograms for women starting at age 30 are beneficial for women in a select group: women who have particularly dense breast tissue and women who have a personal or family history of developing breast cancer. This study used data from 5 million mammograms on 2.6 million women between the years 2008 and 2019.

Although the standard recommendation is for women to begin receiving mammograms at age 45, some organizations are beginning to recommend that they start earlier, even for women without a personal or family history of breast cancer.

While the American Cancer Society uses the standard age 45 recommendation, others such as the Radiological Society of North America have begun recommending annual mammograms at age 40, and the aforementioned mammograms for women with select histories or breast tissue types at age 30.

The findings of the search seem to indicate that there is no standard year for women to start getting mammograms, and that annual mammograms should be based on a variety of personalized factors, including: age, breast tissue density, personal or family history of breast cancer, and any other factors that a physician may find appropriate. Dr. Cindy Lee, who wrote the study, also points out that the American College of Radiology recommends that women receive a breast cancer risk assessment at age 30.

“Our findings,” Lee said, “raise the question whether this baseline risk assessment should include a baseline screening mammogram at age 30 to determine breast density for practices who routinely recommend screening for women in their 40s.” Lee continued: “Future research is needed to evaluate the risks and benefits of performing baseline mammograms at age 30.”

Lee’s research specifically outlines 3 different risk factors associated with breast cancer risk assessment: family history, personal history, and dense breast tissue. The reason for the dense breast tissue factor, according to Dr. Lee, is that “dense breasts can obscure the underlying mammographic abnormalities, including breast cancers.”

However, dense breast tissue should not be used as the sole basis for recommending annual mammograms starting at age 30 rather than age 40 or 45. Women who are younger are more likely to have dense breast tissue compared to older women, so this is not a risk factor on its own: it’s merely a reason why some breast cancers in younger women are more difficult to detect.

As research continues, more progress will be made on specific recommendations regarding mammograms, breast cancer diagnoses, and hopefully improving the ability for doctors to detect cancer as early as possible.

 

Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Detecting Alzheimer’s as early as possible can help improve treatment and management of Alzheimer’s disease; although there is no cure, early detection can help improve quality of life for the person diagnosed. The following are some early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease that you shouldn’t ignore.

Sign #1: Disruptive memory loss

Everyone forgets something sometime, but memory loss that disrupts daily life–such as forgetting important dates or events that would normally not be forgotten, requiring an increased amount of memory aids like notes, or asking the same questions more than once–can be a sign of Alzheimer’s.

Sign #2: Difficulty solving problems

Finding new difficulty in solving problems such as making a favorite kitchen recipe or keeping track of appointments, bills or other problems that can normally be handled without any issues can be a sign of Alzheimer’s.

Sign #3: Difficulty completing normal tasks

Someone who suddenly finds it hard to complete normal, daily tasks–such as driving to the grocery store they normally use, writing down a grocery list, remembering how to play a favorite game–may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Sign #4: Being confused about the time, date or location

Thinking its Monday when it’s Sunday is not unusual, but someone who finds themselves confused about the time, date or location for a longer period of time–such as not realizing that they are at a relative’s house and thinking they are home–may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s.

Sign #5: Decline in spatial vision and vision

People who begin having vision problems related to their spatial vision and balance, such as a difficulty in judging distance or recognizing a color, may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Sign #6: Having difficulty remembering words verbally or written

Someone who begins to have trouble remembering the right words (verbally or writing/reading) for familiar objects, such as suddenly calling watches” hand clocks” or referring to doors as “house windows” may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s.

Sign #7: Losing things

Misplacing something once in a while is normal, but when it becomes an everyday occurrence it can be a problem. Someone who begins repeatedly misplacing things and finding it impossible to retrace their steps to find it may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Sign #8: Increasingly poor judgment

Someone with Alzheimer’s disease may show increasingly poor judgement, such as refusing to wash or clean them, spending more money than they have, and so on.

Sign #9: Withdrawal

People who withdraw from normal social and work activities, such as refusing to show up for work or no longer being interested in family functions or talking with friends, may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Sign #10: Mood/personality changes

Finally, someone who begins showing drastic mood and personality changes—such as becoming anxious, depressed, fearful, paranoid—may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Does Hydration Affect Eyesight?

Does Hydration Affect Eyesight?

Everyone knows that hydration is essential for your body’s overall health; but did you know that hydration is also essential for your eyesight and eye health? The following guide will help you understand just how hydration–and lack of hydration–can impact your eyesight.

Eye Problems Associated with Low Hydration

If you are not adequately hydrated, you may experience a range of symptoms that affect your overall health; these symptoms include symptoms related to your eyes and your eyesight. The most common eye problems associated with poor hydration include:

  • Irritated eyes
  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Scratchy, dry feeling in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses due to dryness and irritation
  • Mucus production increase

These are all symptoms associated with dry eye caused by poor hydration. You may also find that your eyes begin to tear up more often when you have poor hydration, which is your body’s attempt to provide more hydration and moisture to your eye area. Excess tear production may be particularly common when you are reading, watching television or otherwise doing something that may strain your eyesight.

Importance of Proper Hydration in Tear Production

One of the most significant ways that poor hydration impacts your eyes is that it can limit proper tear production. Tears are necessary for keeping your eyes properly moist and hydrated; tears wash away debris from your eyes and rinse away bacteria which can cause infections and eye problems. Tears also improve your eye’s ability to process light, which is why blurred vision is a symptom of poor hydration.

It is important to have poor hydration and dry eyes treated promptly because if left unchecked, it can increase your risk for developing ulcers on your corneas.

Depending on the cause for your dry eye, your physician may recommend using special prescription eye drops which increase tear production. In some cases, your physician may also recommend using tear duct plugs which will increase tear production and help tears remain on the eye for a longer period of time.

Other Causes for Dry Eye

In addition to being caused by poor hydration, dry eye can be caused by other factors as well. Other reasons why you may be experiencing dry eyes include your age, weather/climate, exposure to dust, various diseases including arthritis, and even certain medications. Your contact lenses could also be the problem, as wearing contact lenses for too long or without proper moisture can cause your eyes to dry out.

Tips to Keep Your Eyes Properly Hydrated

The following are some essential tips to follow when you want to keep your eyes safely hydrated.

  • Tip: Blink when doing anything that can strain your eyes, such as reading, working on a computer, playing video games or watching a screen
  • Tip: Use a humidifier to keep the air moist, particularly in the dry winter and autumn months
  • Tip: Avoid smoke, which will dry out your eyes
  • Tip: Protect your eyes from the wind by using wrap-style sunglasses
  • Tip: Remove dust from your home using a proper air filtration system
  • Tip: Drink enough water (8 to 10 glasses) to keep your body hydrated

Remember, hydration is important for your eye health in addition to your overall health; if you want your eyes to be happy and healthy, make sure you keep the above guide in mind.

 

The Best 6 Ways to Handle Noise Pollution

The Best 6 Ways to Handle Noise Pollution

In fact, a scientific study published in 2009 in the Environmental Health Perspectives Journal found that noise pollution (specifically aircraft noise pollution) causes the body to release the stress hormone cortisol; another study found that your risk for having a heart attack increases with every 10 decibels of road traffic related noise pollution near your home.

Another study found that traffic noise significantly raises the risk for developing ADD in children, and also impacts sleep levels as well.

If you need to reduce noise pollution, consider the following 6 ways to reduce noise pollution that can help you reduce your stress levels, keep your frustration at bay and enjoy your life at home.

Tip #1: Start wearing earplugs

Ear plugs can significantly reduce the noise you hear; best of all, they are highly inexpensive, so it won’t cost much to get several pairs for your household. They can be worn while you sleep or during the day, but note that since they do reduce the noises you hear it may be better to avoid them at night in case of emergencies.

Tip #2: Get a rug (and carpeting)

Rugs and carpets are surprisingly adept at reducing noise pollution in your home. Carpets and rugs help to absorb noise from outside, whereas solid floors such as hardwood spread the sound around. Full wall to wall carpeting is best but if you can’t afford it or you live in an apartment where installing carpet is a no-go, then a thick rug can do just fine.

Tip #3: Close the window

Open windows are a common source for noise pollution, so if there is significant noise outside your home, you can close them and reduce how much sound gets inside. Open your window when the outside world is quieter–this exact time will vary depending on where you live–to get some fresh air and close it up when noise starts to get out of control.

Tip #4: Opt for noise-canceling headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones are an upgraded version of earplugs that will filter out all that unwanted noise before it can ever make it to your ear. They are more expensive than earplugs, but they do work better and aren’t as annoying as wearing plugs directly inside your ear.

Tip #5: Install a high fence

High fences service two purposes in regards to reducing noise pollution: a tall barrier can actually reduce the amount of noise that gets filtered into your home, while the visual aspect of a tall fence surrounding your home can help reduce your perception of noise pollution.

Tip #6: Install soundproofing insulation

If you can afford it, installing some soundproofing insulation inside your exterior walls or even between floors can greatly help reduce the noise pollution that make sit inside your home. You can also consider insulation your windows by using double-pane windows instead of single pane.

Noise pollution is stressful, but you don’t have to suffer through it. If you are suffering from noise pollution, consider the above tips to help you manage it better.

Cold and Flu Remedies You Won’t Want to Miss

Cold and Flu Remedies You Won’t Want to Miss

Coming down with a cold or flu is a miserable experience, but you can help soothe your cold and flu symptoms and get back on  your feet faster when you follow these excellent at-home remedies for the cold and flu.

What to Eat

Some of the best at-home remedies for the cold and flu are food! These food remedies are delicious and will help you feel better.

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is a classic “sick” food for a good reason! A bowl of warm chicken soup can slow down the all-important neutrophils in your body; neutrophils are a type of white blood cell, so when you slow them down, they will be able to work harder towards helping heal your infection. Chicken soup is also excellent for sore throats and providing you with some much needed hydration.

Honey

Honey is antimicrobial and antibacterial, which makes it perfect for eating when you’re sick. Adding some honey to your tea can reduce your sore throat pain and act as a natural cough suppressant.

Ginger

Ginger root has been used in alternative medicine for years, and it can still help you today if you have a cold or flu. Boil some raw ginger root in water and take sips to help soothe sore throat, coughing, and even reduce feelings of nausea. You can also opt for ginger tea.

Garlic

Garlic contains an antimicrobial compound which can help reduce cold and flu symptoms. There’s not too much known about exactly how much garlic can help when you’re sick, but it doesn’t hurt to add a bit to your chicken soup.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C can help reduce phlegm and keep your body health while it fights off an infection. Good sources of vitamin C are oranges, leafy greens, grapefruits and limes; just make sure to avoid anything too acidic when you have a sore throat. A splash of lemon to some hot tea with honey can help without aggravating your sore throat.

What to Do

In addition to adding certain foods to your diet when you’re sick, you can engage in simple remedies that will help ease your symptoms.

Some of these remedies include the following.

Gargling salt water

Gargling salt water can possibly prevent upper respiratory infections while also reducing sore throat pain, easing nasal congestion, and loosening mucus as a whole.

Rubbing with Vapor Rub

Vapor rub is a classic ointment remedy that can help ease cold symptoms, particularly congestion, coughing and difficulty sleeping. Rubbing vapor rub on your chest can really open up your congested air passages, making way for soothed cold and flu symptoms.

Turning on the humidifier

Infections thrive in dry environments, so turning on a humidifier can help stop the spread of an infection. Moist air can also help ease coughing due to dry throat symptoms, ease nasal congestion, and help with a sore throat. Just remember to regularly change out the humidifier to avoid mold growth.

Soothing a cold or flu at home won’t make it go away—but it will help you get back on your feet faster.

Top Sleep Tips to Help You Get a Better Night’s Rest

Top Sleep Tips to Help You Get a Better Night’s Rest

However, you don’t have to suffer with poor sleep for the rest of your life. The following are some top sleep tips that will help you fall asleep faster, sleep for longer, and have a more restful night overall.

Tip #1: Create a sleep schedule

It’s important that you put yourself on a sleep schedule so that you can start getting a proper amount of sleep every single night. In general, the least amount of sleep recommended for adults is 7 hours, so you should aim for at least 8 hours of sleep per night. A sleep schedule should involve going to bed around the same time every night and getting up at the same time every day.

Tip #2: Watch what you eat and drink before bedtime

It’s okay to have a snack before bedtime, but you don’t want to go to be full or feeling stuffed. This can make it difficult to sleep or even cause you to wake up with indigestion in the middle of the night. On the other hand, going to bed hungry could cause you to wake up with hunger pangs. In general, have a snack about an hour before bed so that you will feel satiated but not full or stuffed when you finally close your eyes. Make sure to avoid anything with caffeine, nicotine ire alcohol, as these are stimulants.

Tip #3: Create a good sleep environment

Most people do not have a good sleep environment and this makes it harder for them to fall asleep. A good sleep environment is a cool, dark and generally quiet room. You can achieve this by using room darkening curtains or shades, turning on a fan or white noise machine to cover up loud outside sounds, and opening your window a bit before bedtime to let some cool air inside. You can also create a better sleep environment by not using screens before bedtime; for instance, don’t lie in bed and use your smart phone, as the exposure to the bright screen will make it hard for your body to wind down and fall asleep.

Tip #4: Don’t take excessive daytime naps

It can be tempting to sleep for as long as you want during an afternoon nap, but this will only make it harder to fall asleep at night. Limit yourself to 1 nap of 30 minutes at most, and avoid taking the nap after about 2 PM. Make sure that you have alarms set before you lay down for a nap so that you don’t oversleep.

Tip #5: Stay active

Being physically active is important for your overall health; it is also important for your sleep schedule. Physical activity during the day wills your body’s energy, making it easier to fall asleep at night; it will also help keep your body on its natural rhythm.

If you still have difficulty sleeping after implementing these tips, consult with a doctor.

Can Weather Affect Allergies? A Closer Look at the Truth

Can Weather Affect Allergies? A Closer Look at the Truth

Most people have dealt with friends, family or coworkers dealing with excessive allergies; one frequently reoccurring claim from people with allergies is that they can vary depending on the weather. But is there any truth to the statement that the weather can impact allergies? The following guide will take a closer look at allergies and how weather could potentially impact them.

Does Weather Affect Allergies?

First things first: yes! Weather can definitely impact allergies, causing a variety of issues both on and off the field. The most common triggers for impacted allergies include:

Coldness

On colder days, allergies can be impacted by the lower temperatures, which cause triggers for people who have conditions like allergic asthma.

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Heat

On hot days, air pollution is at its highest, so allergic reactions to increased ozone and smog will require people to wear face masks, stay indoors and do everything they can to avoid the open air.

Rain and humidity

Rain and humidity causes and increase of moisture inside and outside the home, which makes for an environment in which everything from mold to dust mites can thrive. On the other hand, people who are allergic to pollen can benefit from rainy, humid days, since the moisture in the air will keep the pollen weighed down.

Dryness and high winds

Many people find their allergies impacted on days with dry air and summer winds, as the wind actually blows pollen into the air, causing reactions in people who have certain types of allergies.

Seasonal Allergies

Your allergies are not only impacted by specific weather conditions; they are also impacted by the seasons.

In springtime, allergies are frequently triggered due to the increase in pollen production in both plants and trees.

In  summertime, allergies are frequently triggered due to an increase in pollen production for most types of grass, such as ragweed grass.

In the fall, allergies are frequently triggered due to an increase in pollen from ragweed as well as an increase in mold production.

In the wintertime, allergies are frequently triggered by indoor allergens such as dust mites and pet dander.

Preventing Allergies due to the Weather

You can’t stay inside all year round, but you can take steps towards preventing allergic reactions by considering the following tips:

Check the weather for pollen and mold counts: the higher the count, the higher the chances that you’ll want to stick it out at home.

Get medication in advance: make sure you start asking for your allergy prescription from your physician before allergy seasons begin to settle in.

Use filters and other indoor gadgets: you can decrease mold and pollen in a home with air conditioner, as well as a dehumidifier which can keep problems such as dust mites and mold growth at bay.

Get a second opinion: if you’d like, you can get a second opinion about a diagnosis or treatment that will help you confirm your medical condition as well as the treatment meth

Making a Blood Draw Much Easier

Making a Blood Draw Much Easier

While some people are unperturbed by it, others can almost faint when they see a needle. A skilled nurse or a phlebotomist should be able to draw blood from you without you experiencing any pain. However, you are likely to experience momentary discomfort.

How Blood Is Drawn

The procedure involved in drawing blood (venipuncture), is very simple.

First, clean the site where you want to draw blood with a cleanser, such as alcohol to remove germs from the area. Then, tie a tourniquet in the upper part of the site of the draw like the upper arm to ensure that enough blood is in the vein when blood is being drawn.

With the tourniquet in place, push an unused needle gently into the vein and collect the blood. While collecting the blood, undo the tourniquet to allow for the free flow of blood. After you have collected enough blood, remove the needle and apply pressure on the draw site for a few seconds or you may place a small bandage on the site.

What Preparation Should You Make Prior to Having Your Blood Drawn?

If you have not been instructed to abstain from food and water, you should drink enough water. Being well-hydrated makes it much easier for the individual who is drawing your blood to identify a vein which can be easily punctured, and also much easier for you as it will be very easy to identify and access your veins.

Usually, you should start taking in more fluids a day prior to your blood draw, and do not stop until your blood is drawn.

Tips to Help You  Remain Calm  While Your Blood Is Being Drawn

  1. Breathe: While your blood is being drawn, do not put your breath on hold for the fear of the needle. Continue to breathe at your normal depth and rate.
  2. Be Honest: If you had fainted before while your blood was being drawn, inform the individual who is to draw your blood so that you will be seated on a low chair where you cannot fall down.
  3. Don’t Look: If watching it while your blood is being drawn makes you feel uneasy, you should look elsewhere.
  4. Request That Someone Else Draws Your Blood: If the individual drawing your blood fails after two attempts, make a request that another phlebotomist or nurse should try.
  5. Request for a Smaller Needle: You can ask the phlebotomist to use a smaller needle, referred to as a butterfly needle, to draw your blood.
  6. Sit Still: If you are wiggling and fidgeting while an individual is trying to collect your blood, you make it extremely difficult for them. Therefore, you have to sit still.
  7. Request for Numbing Medication: This is rubbed on the draw area a few minutes before the draw to numb the area, thus making it less painful.

Who Ought to and Who Ought Not to Be Given a Flu Vaccine?

Who Ought to and Who Ought Not to Be Given a Flu Vaccine?

However, some vaccines should not be administered to people in certain situations and conditions of health. On no account should some individuals be given influenza vaccines (although this is very rare).

People Who Should Be Given the Flu Vaccine:

Flu shots are given to people according to their ages.

There exist inactivated influenza vaccines, which are approved for children as young as six months old.

There are vaccines that are meant for adults only. For instance, the recombinant influenza vaccine is meant for people who are 18 years and above while the adjuvanted, as well as high-dose inactivated vaccines,  are for individuals who are 65 years and above.

Flu shots should be administered to pregnant women as well as individuals whose health conditions are chronic.

People who OUGHT NOT to be given the flu shot:

  • Children who are below the age of 6 months.
  • People who have severe or deadly allergies to the flu vaccine or any of its ingredients, such as gelatin and antibiotics.

People who ought to seek their doctor’s opinion before receiving the flu shot:

  • Those who are allergic to eggs or other ingredients in the vaccine.
  • Those who have had a bout of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), which is a terrible paralyzing illness.

Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine

People who ought to have the nasal spray flu vaccine administered to them:

Healthy people between the ages of 2 years and 49 years, except pregnant women.

People who OUGHT NOT to be given the nasal spray vaccine:

  • Children below the age of 2 years
  • Adults who are 50 years and above
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have a history of  a serious allergic reaction to any  constituent of the vaccine or to a  dose of any influenza vaccine previously administered to them
  • Children between the ages of 2 years and 17 years  who are  taking  medications that contain aspirin
  • People whose immune system is weakened or compromised
  • Children aged between 2 years and 4 years who  are battling asthma or  have had a  bout of wheezing within the  last one year
  • Those who have used influenza antiviral  medication within the  last 48 hours
  • Those who care for persons whose immunity is seriously compromised and  need a protected environment

Bandaging a hand

Bandaging a hand

If the bandage is aimed at providing support, you must wrap it on both sides of the injury to provide sufficient support for the entire area.

 What you must do if you want to bandage someone’s hand

  • Make use of a roller bandage.
  • Begin by placing the tail or end  of the bandage on the  inner part of the wrist of that individual, below the bottom of their thumb; then wrap the bandage  twice around their wrist
  • From the inner part of the person’s wrist, wrap the bandage diagonally over the back of their hand up to the little fingernail, straight across underneath their fingers, and turn it back diagonally across the back of their hand to the exterior of their wrist.
  • Then, pass the bandage beneath their wrist and have the diagonal repeated on the back of the hand, over the fingers and turn it back again,  in a way that their fingertips are still showing.
  • Continue in the same manner, diagonally bandaging across the hand forming a figure 8, but on each occasion, cover only about two-thirds of the preceding layer, so that each new layer will see you covering one-third of new skin. Ensure that you expose their fingertips.
  • After you have covered the entire hand, get the bandage wrapped straight around the wrist a few times; then fasten the end by tucking it in, using sticky tape or a safety pin.
  • When you are done, press a fingernail until it becomes pale. If the original colour  is not restored within two seconds, that confirms that the bandage is too tight;  you have to loosen it and have it done again. To ensure that the hand of that individual does not swell up after bandaging it,  check their blood flow  at  10-minute interval.

 

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