Funding for Eye Research Continues to Decrease.

The fight to find preventable ways to avoid the increase of Brits that will live with eye sight difficulties continues to be an issue due to lack of funding to address such crucial subject.

Presently there are 2 million members of the public in the UK who have difficulties with their eyesight which is a very large number yet there is not much being done to tackle an increase of eye problems in our country.

Living with a degree of sight loss can have a significant impact into the daily lives of the people caught in such predicament, it affects their interaction with the world they live in and eventually their confidence.

Interview with Mike Daw who is Chief Executive of the Nation Eye Reasearch Center

Getting more funding for Eye research entails reduction in the estimated number of people who will find themselves living with sight loss by 2050 which is 4 million, which is twice the people living with sight loss currently in the UK.

Sight loss not being a terminal disease seems to be a reason why its urgency is not noticed, it should not  be left unattended like it is now because the eyes are very important to our human life .

Glaucoma being an eye condition that causes permanent sight loss by damaging the optic nerve is one of the many eye disease that a detailed research is needed.

glaucoma

Regular eye check ups from 35 year old will help decrease the rate of increase in sight loss.

Eyes are important in our lives and its our responsibility to ensure we are aware of  complications to live without it and work to find measures to fight for our eyes.

For the further information, please visit https://www.nerc-charity.org.uk/

Condom Recall

Durex has pulled a number of there products off the shelf due to concerns that they may burst.

It is said that the condoms may break if used nearer the expiry date. However it can also break during application or use.

Although there has been no safety issues as of yet. Durex has advised anyone who has used the products listed below that they should seek advice from medical professionals, and to wait no more than 72 hours.

What is usually advised after having unprotected sex and not on birth control would be taking the morning after pill. For more emergency contraception advice visit NHS online

Products recalled:

  1. Durex Real Feel 6 Pack, Batch Number 1000438054, Expiry Date Jan-2021
  2. Durex Real Feel 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000444370, Expiry Date Feb-2021
  3. Durex Real Feel 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000474804, Expiry Date Feb-2021
  4. Durex Latex Free 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000444367, Expiry Date Feb-2021
  5. Durex Latex Free 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000433145, Expiry Date Jan-2021
  6. Durex Real Feel 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000419930, Expiry Date Jan-2021
  7. Durex Real Feel 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000444367, Expiry Date Feb-2021
  8. Durex Real Feel 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000416206, Expiry Date Dec-2020
  9. Durex Real Feel 18 Pack, Batch Number 1000434066, Expiry Date Jan-2021
  10. Durex Real Feel 18 Pack, Batch Number 1000430479, Expiry Date Jan-2021

 

Why do we love to dance with each other?

Dancing has a way of taking your cares away. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Electric Slide, the Macarena or your own crazy moves. Who hasn’t gotten lost in an upbeat song as they jumped around?As well as being fun, dancing might have helped us to survive as a species. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoAjE1aioHE

As much as we all love to dance when there’s nobody watching, there’s something irresistible about dancing with other people, whether it’s with a partner or a class-full of fellow booty shakers.
Friends dancing outside convertible at beach

The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that getting footloose on a regular basis is linked with a 76 percent reduction in dementia risk — about as much as playing board games or a musical instrument. Other physical activities, such as bicycling, walking and doing housework, weren’t associated with any decreased risk.

For all humans, dancing is intimately connected to our love of music and is likely to be one of our oldest cultural practices. But why would our ancestors have wasted energy on what superficially seems to serve no survival benefits? Evolutionary anthropologist Bronwyn Tarr tells us that one clue lies in the brain. When we dance with others our brains reward us with a cocktail of feel-good hormones and this likely leads to profound social effects.

People who dance together

Hay Fever 101

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It’s that glorious time of year again when some of us become actively allergic to our surroundings.

This irritating allergy affects 1 in 5 people in the UK.

Were going to give you the low down on triggers and prevention so you can enjoy the outdoors fully this summer.

 

Hay fever is the umbrella term for an allergy to pollen, depending on the month different pollen are more present. In April to mid May tree pollen will be the main irritant, in June and July grass pollen takes over, then in august and September weed pollen takes centre stage. If you’re unlucky you can be allergic to all three!

Luckily the pollon forecast can help you to predeict how you will be affected day to day.

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This diagram show the pollen count across the UK for Friday the 11th, Saturday the 12th and Sunday the 13th of may.

So what can you do?!

We’ve created a list of tips and tricks starting with what you can do while you’re out and about. Although staying in doors is a good method of prevention it is high likley you will have to go out side.

  • Put some Vaseline around your nose, a slightly greasy nose will help trap pollen particles so the don’t go up your nose.
  • A big pair of sunglasses will help keep some of the allergen out of your eyes, the more surface they cover the better!
  • Stay away from foods that encourage the production of histamine, these include cured meats, pickles and cheese. (sorry to ruin your picnic)
  • Alcohol is also full of histamines 😦
  • Reducing smoking or stopping all together will also help, as the smoke irritates the sensitive lining of your nose  and makes you more susceptible to the symptoms of hay fever.

 

Is there a cure?!

Unfortunately there isn’t a quick fix to hay fever, some people grow out of it and if you’re really servery allergic to it you may be offered immunotherapy, but this can take months or years to have any effect. But luckily for the average sufferer there are some short term aids to help you.

  • Antihistamines are one of the most commonly used preventative medications, there are available over the counter and as a prescription. However they can make you slightly drowsy and can have negative impacts on your health taken in too higher dosage.
  •  Eye drops can alleviate the burning and itching in your eyes, you can also get medicated ones to target the problem area of the eyes directly.
  • Decongestant Nasal spray can wash out some of the pollen and help calm down the allergic reaction.

 

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is skin cancer awareness month, as the days get sunnier (fingers crossed) the exposure to harmful UV rays increases.

Ill be discussing the potential risks and how to prevent them so you can stay safe in the sun.

The campaign aims to reduce instances of skin cancer and  help people diagnose the symptoms early.

Sun burn in the UK is more common than us Brits like to think, 35% of the population where sun burnt last year alone, and of those people 28% where burnt two or more times. Another study found that 8 out of 10 people don’t apply sun cream before going out in the UK.

Skin cancer is now the most common form of cancer and the cases of it continue to rise, around 2,500 people die of skin cancer every year in the UK, many of which are preventable cases. According to the British skin foundation there are 3 main types of skin cancer, ‘malignant melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC).’

Furthermore constant unprotected sun exposure will cause premature ageing, far more than smoking or any other environmental factor.  People who tan or have repeated sun damage can look 11 years older than their peers who have been responsible in the sun.

Melanoma is the most deadly for of skin cancer but there are some simple things you can do to prevent them and detect them.

Sun screen!!!

SPF stands for sun protection factor, the numbers relate to how long you can stay protected from UVB rays, these are the rays that make you burn and turn pink. If you would burn after 20 minutes of direct sun exposure, an SPF 30 sunblock should give you protection for 10 hours. But sunblock can ware off especially if you’re at the beach or pool that is why reapplying it is so important. However no sunblock is fail safe, SPF 30 only blocks out about 97% of the harmful rays, that is why a multi pronged approach is so important.

‘Mad dogs and Englishmen (and women ) stay out in the midday sun.’

Between 11am and 3pm the sun is at its most potent, if you are very fair skinned you should seek shelter at these times as it only takes a few minutes of intense sun fro these skin types to burn.

Cover Up

A physical block between your skin and the sun is always going to be the best method of prevention. Sun hats, kaftans and other sun safe clothing can easily be worked into any sunny day style, and will help dramatically in the fight against sun burn.

kaftan 2]

This Kimono Cover up from Pretty little thing is cute and functional in helping protect against harmful sun rays.

Get it here! 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of my favourite sun protection products:

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Nivea

Nivea daily essentials face cream, this product has an SPF 15 in it so is great for every day use and for sensitiveIMG_1768 skin.

 

 

Another great and well known Nicea product is the Protect and Moisture Nivea sun cream. This is good for people who are usually irritated by the harsh ingredients in standard sunblock.

 

Hawaiian Tropic

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This Satin protection from Hawaiian tropic helps you still gain a bit of a sun kissed look without damaging your skin. It also is one of the best smelling sunscreens as it doesn’t have a harsh chemical smell.IMG_1766

 

 

 

Another great product from Hawaiian tropic is there tanning oil. This is definitely for people with darker complexions who only need a small amount of SPF to block the harmful rays. Any tanning oils used on fair skin can catalyse burning which is not good! This also comes in an SPF 12 version for a bit more protection.

 

 

As the weather gets warmer remember to protect your self, before you wreck your self.

sun burn

 

 

What We have Learnt From Stress Awareness Month

Since 1992 April has been stress awareness month, stress can have a physical and emotional impact on an individual

There are many ways to combat stress and help improve the physical effects.

I spoke to Richard Holmes, a well being expert,  about stress in the work place and in day to day life and how to combat it.

 

 

You may think stress is a temporary emotion, but long-term stress can alter your genes, a new study has found. Stress can affect the way your genes are expressed, in other words different parts of your coding can be switched on or off depending on environmental factors like stress.

For instance, stress can activate an immune response that then leads to inflammation over time, inflammation and swelling can be linked to all sorts of issues like acne, rashes and more serious health problems like heart disease and arthritis.

Stress has also been named as one of the main contributors to insomnia, stress causes hyper arousal that makes drifting off to sleep, and staying asleep, considerably harder. Insomnia can lead to a number of mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

All these impacts are worrying and unfortunately women are more prone to the physical effects of stress. But men are not immune to stress, in fact men suppress the physical symptoms so much that it may impact their emotional health in the long run.

But before all this research pushes you over the edge, don’t fret! There are many solutions that can reduce the effects of long term stress and give you better ways of coping with life’s struggles.

Mediation and other forms of mental relaxation has been proven to be one of the best long-term coping mechanisms for stress. Audio meditations are available on Spotify and other music services.

 

 

 

Practice Safe Sesh

Students taking drugs is not news to most people, but contrary to popular belief students are not as involved with illegal substances as the media and popular shows like skins would have you believe.

Only about 2 in 5 students are regular drug users, and the most commonly used substances are weed, cocaine, ecstasy and nitrous oxide.

Despite the moral panic of students bingeing on class A drugs the most frequently used is cannabis, a class C substance.

The report issued by the NUS argues that universities should stop penalising students for seeking help relating to drugs or reporting drug use to the university.

 

sesh graph

Source: NUS, Release (the national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law). Base: 2,810 UK-based students. 

The report by the NUS describes student drug use as ‘complex’ some students suggest taking drugs has helped them attend lectures and complete work, while 60% claim to have missed a lecture due to their drug use.

The findings show punishing drug use or involving the police does not reflect the students wants and needs, in fact 50% of students who took the survey said they disagreed with the statement “My university/college’s drugs policy does not do enough to punish students who take drugs”. This compounds that in many cases universities may act as a barrier to students seeking help surround substance abuse.

Current university drug policies range from effective to completely invasive, some of the universities found wanting used sniffer dogs, surveillance and swabbing.  Although some miss the mark, some equally get it right, they try to not involve external authorities when possible, they help give the student information to make informed decisions and they clearly distinguish between addictive drug use and recreational drug use.

Study drugs, like Adderall, where also reportedly used by about 1 in 10 students. These drugs can actually help students concentrate and motivate them to work, so its hard to brandish all controlled substances as harmful to academic success.

Harm reduction techniques have be sighted as beneficial, this method aims to reduce the harms that are often linked to illegal drugs. The report states this approach helps ‘reduce negative health, social and economic consequences of these activities’

The context of drug taking was study in depth in the report, its often unknown as to why people experiment with drugs and what context the associate them with. For students who recreationally take drugs it seems to be a social activity, 39% say they use only in a social context. Some students reported feeling more confident when under the influence of drugs and more significant bonding with friends. Of course some also reported negative social impact of taking drugs, even regretting the sexual interactions they had while under the haze of narcotics.

Although socially fuelled drug taking may be the case for some students, another more problematic catalyst could be self medicating mental health conditions.

Any illegal substances taken frequently or in a problematic way will have a harmful effect on an individual health and well being. The positive take away from the report is that students are not all hedonistic drug users that is often popularised by the media, however it has highlighted how marginalised groups often have a very different relationship with illegal substances than cis gender, mentally well students. It has also shed light on how universities need to reform how they deal with students drug use.

 

Lucky escape for hamster thrown in South London bin

A live hamster was found in the back of a rubbish truck, moments before it was about to be crushed.

One Tuesday morning in West Norwood, a bin man discovered a cage that had been dumped in an industrial bin, with a hamster still in it.

The bin man promptly took the creature to the local RSPCA charity shop, South East London Branch, where it was looked after by Deborah Thompson, 57.

“I’d just opened the shop and one of our bin men came in carrying a cage that he had found,” she said. “The cage had been put inside an industrial rubbish bin, and he noticed that when they tipped it out they saw a cage come out.

“Luckily enough he saw something moving, so before it went through the crusher he quickly whipped it out.

“I cleaned the cage out, because it was a bit of a mess, and then quickly ran to the pet shop and bought some clean straw and food.

“Her face was tiny, but within two minutes of being back in the cage her cheeks were huge, so god knows when the last time she had been fed.”

Shortly after Deborah had cleaned and fed the hamster, a RSPCA inspector arrived and took the hamster to the Putney RSPCA Animal Hospital where her health was checked out by professionals.

It is believed that the RSPCA inspector fell in love with the little pet, and once she had been checked out, was taken home.

We may be outraged by this mistreatment of a pet, but it happens more often than you might think, as Deborah explains:

“Lots of these types of things happen, because [the bin man] was saying that a few weeks before someone had put a piglet in an industrial bin, alive. It’s disgusting. But, it happens so much.”

However, the RSPCA try to do all they can to help neglected animals.

Deborah added: “Someone left a box on the shop floor, which we thought was a donation but no, it had 8 rabbits in it.

“We’ve had rabbits, somebody brought a cat in, and somebody caught a little song bird that was just flying around locally.

“We keep saying, ‘all we need is a dog now’!”

If you see an animal being mistreated or neglected, or if you would like to adopt a rescued pet, please contact the RSPCA immediately: 0300 123 4999.

City Smog: London’s Filthy Air

Over the past week, London’s air has been breaking records. As you might suspect, the new records are not particularly desirable.

With temperatures dropping and winds dying down, the levels of nitrogen dioxide and soot in the air soared. On several occasions over the past week levels of pollution in the capital have been worse than Beijing, which is known for its poor quality of air. For the first time ever, London mayor Sadiq Khan issued a ‘very high’ pollution alert.

One location in Lambeth was among the first to breach air pollution limits. Brixton Road broke limits just 120 hours into the New Year. London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has promised to double funding to £875 million over the next 5 years to help tackle the issue. He has also committed to expanding the ultra-low emission zone and running the cleanest buses on the most polluted routes.

One Brixton resident Alan Andrews, a lawyer for ClientEarth, says “we need immediate action to cut pollution in the short term and protect Londoners’ health”.

Clearly London’s air is high on the mayor’s list of priorities as he recently tweeted about “The shameful state of London’s toxic air”. In spite of his efforts many believe much more is needed to be done to combat what has been described by MPs as “a public health emergency”.

Pollution in London of course is nothing new; the city has breached EU air quality regulations every year since 2010. Under EU law, the average hourly emission of NO2 should not surpass 200 micrograms per cubic metre more than 18 times each year. This year the City managed to do so in just 5 days. According to The Guardian, 24 different locations around the capital reached the maximum measurable level of air pollution which is more than double the legal limit.

It’s estimated that nearly 4 million people work in areas of London that are above legal pollution levels. London’s toxic air is believed to be responsible for nearly 10,000 deaths per year and a further 30,000 across the UK. It is said that it costs the government nearly £30 billion every year.

‘Stop roasting & toasting them pots’

How do you like your toast in the morning, golden or more on the charred side? Do you like your roasties crispy?

Well According to the Food Standards Agency, roasting, toasting and frying starchy foods such as potatoes and bread could raise the risk of cancer.

It has been warned that acrylamide, a chemical compound that forms in foods such as potato products, root vegetables, olives and pizza bases, when cooked at 120C. But it is said skinny chips and crisps appear to have the highest levels.

To reduce the ‘risk’, the public have been advised to convert to boiling, steaming and microwaving.

Despite it not being proven in humans, it has been researched and tested on animals and has been shown that the chemical is toxic to DNA and causes cancer- scientists assume the same in humans, although there is no concrete evidence.

Also a professor for the public understanding of risk at Cambridge University, said “Adults whose intake is the highest consumption of acrylamide would need to consume it 160 times as much to reach a level that may cause increased tumours in mice. The FSA have no estimate of the current harm caused acrylamide; nor the benefit from any reduction due to people following their advice.”

The Food Standards Agency wants their campaign, ‘Go for Gold’; to raise awareness of the chemical because most people didn’t know it even existed. They also want to spread advice on how to reduce their acrylamide intake.

I took to Twitter to see the public’s opinion and feelings. A Twitter poll I made has sparked mixed reviews.