Articles on health care

Home Care for Elderly

Dr. Shreedhar Archik, Orthopedist
Dr. Gandhi fell at home and broke his hip bone. Dr. Gandhi is 87-year-old, who practiced till he was 78 years old. He had no diabetes or blood pressure. His only problem was dementia, from which he was suffering since last 5 years. He hardly remembers anything and stays all alone with his 80-year-old wife. Dr. Gandhi has two married daughters.Dr. Gandhi underwent a replacement surgery of his hip bone successfully and suffered no complications. However, our physiotherapist could hardly get anything out of him. He used to be violent at times or simply refuse to co-operate. He used to stay awake most nights in spite of sedatives, and then sleep the whole day. His diet suffered. He was on a urinary catheter and a diaper. He was put on an air mattress since he refused to turn in bed and we were worried that he would end up having bed sores.The time came to discharge him from the hospital as there was nothing to be done from the medical team. Physiotherapy was advised by the doctors so that he could get out of bed and get going, however, sadly, he refused to co-operate with the doctors, mainly due to his poor mental health. Both his daughters started panicking as we started discussing with them about his discharge. Though from a well-off family, the daily bill of a good hospital started pinching them. How would they take care of their father at home? How would their frail mother manage him? They had their own families to look after and could not spend the entire day with him.This is where the new home care startups came to our help. These new startups provide almost entire hospital facilities at home. We arranged a hospital type of bed and an air mattress on rent. We arranged two ward boys to take care of him in two 12 hours shift. We arranged a MBBS doctor to visit him once a week to check on his parameters. The cost of all this was almost 50 % of his daily hospital bill.We lack nursing home facilities for such elderly patients who need to be discharged from the hospital but are not fit enough to go home. In foreign countries, these facilities are available (though very expensive). The new startups in India have managed to fill this gap very well.We see patients like Dr. Gandhi who have their kids in the USA and no one local to take care of them. For such elderly couples, any such institution that takes care of them and yet lets them live a quality life, is a god-send facility.These startups vary from region to region and your treating doctors would be happy to share their numbers with you.

Care and Management of Geriatric Patients

Dr. Yogesh Rao, Dentist
Introduction- Aging is a natural process. Old age should be regarded as a normal, inevitable biological phenomenon. As a result of the advances made in medicine and public health measures in the last half of the 20th century, there is a substantial increase in the life span of man. Elders above 65 years (old age) have health problems as a result of aging process, which calls for special consideration.In India, with its population of over one billion people, people older than 60 years constitute 7.6% of the total population, which amounts to 76 million. Incidence of oral cancer, which is an old age disease, is highest in India.A LINK TO SYSTEMIC HEALTHThe exploding geriatric population, coupled with recent discoveries surrounding links between oral health and systemic health, make it increasingly important for the dental community to be prepared to treat geriatric patients in the dental office or where they live. Ongoing research suggests that periodontal bacteria entering the bloodstream may be linked to conditions such as respiratory disease, diabetes, heart disease, increased risk of stroke, and osteoporosis. Studies further suggest that periodontal bacteria can pose a threat to people whose health is already compromised by these conditions.3 In light of this growing body of research, comprehensive dental care becomes increasingly important to help improve our geriatric patients’ quality of life and outlook.ENCOURAGING SENIOR VISITS AND PREVENTIVE CAREA natural part of aging can be dramatically diminished pain perception, which can easily mask the need for professional dental care. Additionally, many individuals accept oral problems and tooth loss as inevitable results of aging, making dental visits unimportant to them. These patients may not understand that regular dental appointments become increasingly important as they age or that professional care can positively impact their quality of life and attitude. Given this, the entire dental team needs to encourage older patients to maintain daily oral hygiene as well as regular dental visits.With patients who wear complete or partial dentures it is just as important to stress proper care and maintenance procedures as it is to encourage follow-up appointments. One report showed that only 19% of denture wearers remember their dental professionals’ instructions regarding regular checkups. In particular, it is advisable to stress oral re-evaluations for denture patients when considering bisphosphonate therapy. By remembering to emphasize these details to your elderly patients and explain why it is important they follow your advice, you can help make check-ups routine and not just a painful emergency.  STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESSDental care for seniors has always posed unique challenges. It requires understanding and sensitivity to the medical, psychological, social, and financial status of elderly patients. When providing care to aging patients with physical and sensory limitations, the entire dental team needs to ensure that patients feel welcomed and comfortable. Be sure that written information such as health history forms, business cards, brochures, appointment cards, and postcards are available in large-printArrange furniture to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, and to reduce or eliminate barriers. Be sure to offer supportive armchairs (that are not too deep or too low) in easy-to-access areas of the reception room. For wheelchair transfers, always position the seat of the dental chair at the same height as the patient’s wheelchair..BEFORE THE EXAMDental providers will find more success when they communicate clearly, respectfully, and reassuringly with elderly patients. Speak slowly and directly to the patient. Knowledge of the patient’s medical and dental history aids the practitioner in planning and providing safe, personalized, appropriate, and comfortable treatment. An accurate health history is more than a legal necessity..ENCOURAGING CAREGIVER INVOLVEMENTGeriatric patients may have difficulty performing routine oral hygiene procedures due to physical limitations and/or memory problems, making the instruction and coordination of home care particularly important. Because of the possibility of actively declining skills. Demonstrate the use of power brushes and interdental aids and, most importantly, have the caregiver don gloves and participate. Dental professionals need to make sure patient and caregiver completely understand the oral care they will be practicing at home.CONCLUSIONGeriatric healthcare is complex. The medical team’s goals include maximizing each person’s function, health, independence, and quality of life. Ideally, every geriatric team should include a dentist and/or dental hygienist to promote optimal quality of life through proper oral care. Poor dental health does not have to be an inevitable consequence for America’s aging population. By keeping abreast of the complex issues that impact geriatric dental care and offering treatment that takes into consideration the physical, mental, and social status of older adults, dental healthcare providers can enhance their older patients’ health, thus enabling them to enjoy healthier, longer lives with improved comfort, outlook, and quality of life.

Dengue and Chikungunya-Homoeopathy Is the Only Treatment

Dr. Shalini, Homeopath
Chikungunya virus is closely related to O’nyong’nyong virus. O’nyong’nyong virus caused a major epidemic of arthritis and rash involving at least 2 million people in Eastern and Central Africa in 1960s. After its mysterious emergence the virus virtually disappeared leaving only occasional evidence of its presence in Kenya.The chikungunya virus is spread by mosquito bites from the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person infected with the chikungunya virus. Monkeys, and possibly other wild animals, may also serve as reservoirs of the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other humans when they bite.Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito), a household container breeder and aggressive daytime bitter which is attracted to humans, is the primary vector of chikungunya virus to humans. Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito) may also play a role in human transmission is Asia, and various forest-dwelling mosquito species in Africa have been found to be infected with the virus.Aedes breeds in artificial accumulations of water. It needs only 2ml of water for breeding. It lays eggs singly. They do not fly over long distance, usually less than 100 metres. Eggs can resist desiccation for upto 1year. The eggs will hatch when flooded by deoxygenated water.Aedes can spread the infection to next generation.Aedes is the first proved vector of a virus disease- Yellow fever. Human blood is preferred over other animals with ankles as a favourite bite area.SymptomsAfter an incubation period of 3-12 days there is a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms including a severe headache, chills, fever (>40°C, 104°F), joint pain, backache, nausea, vomiting, petechial or maculopapular rash usually involving the limbs and trunks. Migratory polyarthritis mainly affects the small joints of the hands, wrists, ankles and feet with lesser involvement of the larger joints. Joints of the extremities in particular become swollen and painful to the touch. Haemorrhage is rare. There can also be headache, conjunctival infection and slight photophobia.Redness of eyes may be the first symptom. There may be difficulty in looking upwardsIn the present epidemic in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, high fever and crippling joint pain is the prevalent complaint. Fever typically lasts for two days and abruptly comes down. The disease has a biphasic course also. Following 1-6 days of fever, the temperature returns to normal for 1-3 days and then there is a second period of fever for a few days. In the second phase of illness 80 % of people develop maculopapular rash on the trunk and extensor surfaces of the limbs. After 6 to 10 days patients recover completely. However joint pain, intense headache, insomnia and an extreme degree of prostration lasts for a variable period, usually for about 5 to 7 days. Rarely arthralgia and morning stiffness may persist for months.However joint pain, intense headache, insomnia and an extreme degree of prostration lasts for a variable period, usually for about 5 to 7 days.Dermatological manifestations observed in a recent outbreak of Chikungunya fever are as follows:Maculopapular rash like ulcers over scrotum, crural areas and axilla.Nasal blotchy erythemaFreckle-like pigmentation over centro-facial areaFlagellate pigmentation on face and extremitiesLichenoid eruption and hyperpigmentation in photodistributed areasMultiple aphthous ulcersLympoedemaMultiple ecchymotic spots (Children)Vesiculobullous lesions (infants)Subungual haemorrhage.InvestigationsA few patients develop Leucopenia.Elevated levels of aspartate aminotransferace (AST) and C-reactive proteinMildly decreased platelet counts.Diagnosis1.Isolation of the virus from blood. It is possible in the first 4-5 days of illness.  Sudden severe headache, chills, fever, joint and muscle pain are the commonest symptoms. The diagnostic tests include detection of antigens or antibodies in the blood, using ELISA (or EIA – enzyme immunoassay) or molecular techniques like polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The antibodies detected by serological assays like ELISA require an IgM capture assay to distinguish it from dengue feverDifferential Diagnosis1. Dengue FeverOf all the arthropod- borne viral diseases, Dengue fever is the most common. This infection may be asymptomatic or may lead to1. Classical Dengue Fever2 .Dengue Haemorrhagic fever without shock3. Dengue Haemorrhagic fever with shockThe main vector is Aedes aegypti mosquito. The illness is characterised by a incubation period of 3 to 10 days. The onset is sudden with chills and high fever, intense headache, muscle and joint pains which prevent all movement. Within 24 hrs retro-orbital pain and photophobia develops. Other symptoms include extreme weakness, anorexia, constipation, colicky pain and abdominal tenderness. Fever is typically but not inevitably followed by a remission of a few hrs to2 days. The rash may be diffuse flushing, mottling, or fleeting pin point eruptions on face, neck and chest during the first half of the febrile period and a conspicuous rash that may be maculopapular or scarlatiform on 3rd or 4th day. Fever lasts for about 5 days.Dengue haemorrhagic fever is confined exclusively to children less than 15 yrs of age. There may be plasma leakage and abnormal haemostasis, as manifested by a rising haematocrit value and moderate to marked thrombocytopenia.The fever may rise again producing a saddle-back fever curve. There may be generalised lymphadenopathy.In dengue shock syndrome shock is present along with all the above criteria.Homoeopathic ProphylaxisAs per the guidelines laid down by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the Organon a Genus epidemics has to be found out in the specific area and it could be the best to be found out in the specific area and it could be the best prophylactic remedy.Many homeopaths consider Eupatorium perfoliatum as a preventive medicine for Chikungunya. The most commonly suggested potency as prophylaxis is 200C of Eupatorium perfoliatum. As per the reports the homoeopathic remedies useful for propylaxis are – Eupatorium Perfoliatum, Gelsemium, Rhustox, Bryonia Alba, Ars alb ,Aconite and Polyporus.Treatment Chikungunya fever is usually self-limiting and will resolve with time. Symptomatic treatment is recommended after excluding other more dangerous diseases. There is no vaccine currently available for Chikungunya. Supportive care with rest is indicated during the acute joint symptoms. Movement and mild exercise tend to improve stiffness and morning arthralgia, but heavy exercise may exacerbate rheumatic symptoms.Homoeopathic TreatmentAphorism 100-102 is dealing with the treatment of epidemic diseases. According to Dr.Hahnemann, a carefully observing physician can arrive so nearly at knowledge of the true state of the epidemic from the examination of even the first and second patients and can even find a suitable homoeopathic remedy for it. Dr. Hahnemann recommends investigating each epidemic disease as a new and unknown case and selecting medicine according to its symptom similarity.Homoeopathy has a very good scope in the treatment of chikungunya. Initially indicated acute remedies may give relief which may be followed by constitutional remedy in order to get rid of post fever arthralgia

Antenatal Exercises and Its Importance Fit for Two

Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Physiotherapist
Pregnancy is a state of health,not of illness so,a well conditioned body will perform better during the stress of advances pregnancy and delivery.Pregnancy can significantly affect your overall daily functioning.A woman body goes through incredible physical and hormonal changes before and after delivery.For years,discomfort associated with pregnancy has been accepted as a normal part of the process.Today,many physicians recommend physical therapy to relieve the discomfort experienced by pregnant women and help prepare the pregnant body for an easier delivery and recovery process.Pregnancy and Physiotherapy CombinedAs Physiotherapy is a profession treating problems associated with muscles,joints, bones and circulation, it an be used to work collaboratively with pregnancy to ensure stronger, healthier core stability muscles and posture throughout.Many if not all of the exercises recommended by the Physiotherapist can be done at home on a regular basis for a fitter,more birth prepared Pregnancy.‘Even regular tasks such as sitting, walking, standing and working can be difficult when pregnant.Almost all women experience musculoskeletal discomfort during pregrancy.This is due to the tremendous changes undergone by the body during any healthy pregnancy.With physiotherapy,techniques can be learned to help relieve the following conditions:Lower backpain caused by a shift in the mother’s centre of gravity as the baby growsNeck pain and headaches due to changes in postureTightness and pain in the hamstrings and heel cords caused by a flattening of the feetArm pain or tingling caused by nerve compression associated wtth an increased chest diameterBladder leakage during pregnancy and after delivery due to strained pelvic musclesStretching of the abdominal walls leading to back pain and difficult delivery due to ineffective abdominal contractionsANTENATAL CLASSES & EXERCISESThese antenatal classes are designed especially for pregnancy and child birth.Each class addresses a specific pregnancy related issues and help you prepare for child birth and beyond.Exercises are blended with education to give you a better understanding of your body and how to keep”pregnant fit”and “birth fit”.BENEFITS:Why exercising in pregnancy may be good for you and your baby?Keep your heart, lungs and muscles as fit as possible.Keep your weight within the healthy range.Improve your posture,balance and co-ordination.Improve your circulationIncrease your strength and staminaFeel better in body and mindBe prepared for labour and deliveryReduce minor ailments of pregnancyBecome fitter and may ar more help you to recover more quickly after birthEXERCISES AND FACTS:The American college of OBS/GYNAE 2002:in the absence of medical and OBS complications 30 min or more moderate exercise a day on most, if not all days of week, is recommended for a Pregnant Women.

Dental Health Care for Alzheimer’s Patients

Dr. Ishwari Bhirud, Dentist
Dental health problems in Alzheimer’s patients can lead to pain, unmanageable behaviour and extensive dental treatment. Yet, the dental needs of Alzheimer’s patients are often overlooked, usually for very understandable reasons: the patient’s forgetfulness results in unintentional dental neglect; medications may cause chronic “dry mouth” (reduction in the healthy flow of saliva) that can lead to tooth decay; patients and their families lose contact with their dentist because they are focused on other health issues.Good dental health can make eating and digesting food easier for an Alzheimer’s patient, improving the overall quality of life. If you are a caregiver for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, here are some tips and techniques from the Alzheimer’s Association to assist your loved one in maintaining good oral health.Brush teeth twice a day.To make teeth cleaning less of a chore, find a toothbrush that the patient can manage and that is also easy for you or other caregivers to use, if the person needs assistance. A powered toothbrush may be a good choice, if the patient can tolerate the vibrating sensation. (For more details about selecting a toothbrush.If toothpaste makes the process more difficult, omit it.Ask your dentist if the patient can use a fluoride gel or rinse to keep tooth enamel strong.Floss teeth once a day.A floss holder can make flossing easier for those who do not have good finger dexterity. Special picks and sticks make a good alternative if the patient clenches his or her teeth.Ask your dentist about using an anti-microbial solution to protect the gums.Clean mouth and dentures after every meal.Some patients with Alzheimer’s do not swallow well. Clear the patient’s mouth of any remaining food and rinse after every meal.Remove the patient’s dentures for cleaning after every meal.Using a toothbrush with soft bristles, very gently brush the gums and roof of the patient’s mouth.Visually inspect the patient’s teeth and gums once a month.Ask the patient’s dentist about any trouble spots you should watch.If gums bleed or appear swollen or red, the patient may have gum disease and will need to visit a dentist.Schedule regular dentist visits (beginning with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis).Maintain a current list of the patient’s medications for your dentist and all health care workers.See a dentist as soon as possible if the patient has difficulty or pain while chewing or has bad breath

Oral Health - an Essential Care in Pregnancy

Dr. Nirali Patel, Dentist
Pregnancy is a period of happiness in the life of a woman. Oral health has got great significance during this period. During pregnancy, a woman's oral health can undergo significant changes.Even though most people are aware that good oral health is essential for the overall health of both mother and child, misunderstanding about safety of dental care during pregnancy may cause pregnant women to avoid visiting their dentist.The fact is that dentist can create a treatment plan that is safe, effective and essential for combating adverse effects of oral disease during pregnancy.COMMON DENTAL CONDITIONS EXPERIENCED DURING PREGNANCYGum Disease ( pregnancy gingivitis)Enamel ErosionTooth DecayDry MouthTooth Mobility DENTAL CARE DURING PREGNANCY Undergo A dental check up once in 6 months.Brush your teeth using a fluoridated tooth paste twice a day. Brush your teeth only half an hour of an episode of vomiting as immediate brushing will remove the enamel has been softened by the gastric acids.Floss your teeth at least once a day.If tooth brushing causes morning sickness, then the oral cavity should be rinsed with water and fluoride/chlorhexidine mouth rinses.Change your tooth brush once in 3 monthsConsume foods high in protein,calcium phosphorus and vitamin A, C and D for the development of strong teeth in your baby.Avoid consuming sweets, pastries, carbonated beverages and junk foods which can lead to cavity.Consume green leafy vegetables and fruits for a healthy baby.Take vitamin supplements, including folic acid to reduce the risk of birth defects such as cleft lip and palate on the advice of your gynecologist.Do not consume alcohol during pregnancy.Do not smoke during pregnancy.Dental care, if required, can be done safely in the second trimester of pregnancy. Avoid dental x-ray during pregnancy. Elective dental treatment should be deferred after pregnancy.Pregnancy is a period where utmost oral care should be given so that the baby develops a healthy body and healthy oral cavity.

Taking Care of Our Elderly Patients

Dr. Kamal Kiswani, Dentist
Although the importance of oral health is as good as general health, the complications associated with the former are more severe and different with advances in age. We all are provided with only one set of permanent teeth and hence it becomes vital to maintain them throughout our life. But unfortunately, due to ill practices and unhealthy lifestyle habits, a substantial percentage of us fail to maintain oral hygiene and thereby, lose natural teeth. Moreover, it should be borne in the mind that poor oral hygiene can pave way for heart problems, pneumonia, diabetes and other life threatening illness. Some of the common oral problems and their treatment methodologies and preventive techniques to achieve good dental care for senior citizens are listed below:Good oral habits: The first step towards keeping gums and teeth healthy is by brushing twice a day with good fluoridated toothpaste and flossing at least once in a day. Remember, fluorides are good choice for fighting against cavity and offers assistance in maintaining good oral hygiene. Regular dental check-ups: It is utmost necessary for every senior citizen to visit dentist for routine check-up and professional cleaning, as additional issues pop up in senior years. It is a known fact that general health conditions and medications have a toll on oral health and the only possible way to address these issues is through regular visits to a professional dentist.Sensitivity: Sensitivity is another crucial issue that always nags when one age. As the gum line recedes, teeth that are not protected by the enamel surface become prone to sensitivity to both hot or cold food and beverages. Although it is quite possible to address this complication through anti-sensitive toothpaste, it would be a wise decision to approach a dentist, as sensitivity may be a symptom of a complicated problem such as cavity or any other defect in tooth.Dry mouth: The probability of dry mouth condition is very high for senior citizens and the reason being the side effect of medications. Presence of good amount of pH controlled saliva is very essential to retard the growth of bacteria in mouth. As dry mouth is the end result of absence or limited production of saliva, it needs immediate attention.Gum diseases: Gum diseases or periodontal diseases are one of the major oral complications faced by the people once they reach their advanced ages. Fortunately, the onset of gum diseases can altogether be avoided through good oral hygiene. There are numerous factors that contribute towards the occurrence of periodontal complications: Poor diet habitsBad oral hygieneSmoking Side effects of medicationsMedical conditions such as diabetes and heart problemsIt should be borne in the mind that if proper treatments are availed at the initial stages of the gum diseases, the chances of reversing the effects are quite good. Clean dentures: Many senior citizens wear full or partial dentures in order to achieve functional requirement. But the problem arises when these dentures are not cleaned properly. It is very essential to follow these practices to achieve good oral care for the senior citizens with dentures:Dentures should be properly cleaned only with the prescribed cleaners and never with ordinary tooth paste or any other household cleaners.To maintain the healthiness of dental lining, it is highly beneficial to remove dentures atleast for four hours a day or as prescribed by your dentists.Good food habitsGood diet plays a huge role in maintaining a flawless dental care. Fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, low fat dairy products are good choices to maintain good oral care. In general, it is better to avoid processed foods that are loaded with sugar, which has the potential to contribute towards cavity formation.

Primary Eye Care in 7 Emergency Situations

Dr. Manoj Rai Mehta, Ophthalmologist
Many People learn Basic Life Saving skills to save lives and render primary care to the sufferers in emergency situations.  Similarly, there can be "sight saving situations" where timely action can restrict damage and give sufficient time safely to reach a higher centre for further management.1. Sputtering of hot cooking oil into the eyes while frying.Rinse eyes immediately in running cold water or simply dip your head in a bucket full of water to bring down the temperature as soon as possible.  Apply cool patch/ice pack around the lids.  Instil only lubricating drops (if available), gently patch the eyes with a sterile eye pad or clean handkerchief and take the patient to an eye surgeon. 2. Squirting of glue in the eyes.This is not an infrequent occurring with people trying to squeeze tubes that have a blocked nozzle. Immediate action should be to rinse eyes in running water.  Luke warm water around 40 degrees is somewhat more effective.  Put an ointment (lubricant or antibiotic) in the eye, gently cover the eye and take the patient to an eye surgeon.3. Chemical Injury to the eyes (domestic).Diluted Hydrochloric Acid, phenols, diluted caustic soda are some of the common corrosive chemicals found in homes for cleaning purposes.  They are acidic or alkaline in nature. Accidental exposure is not uncommon.  Immediate action is again washing off of the chemical to dilute its damaging effect.  Wash should continue for several minutes before a patient is taken to a medical facility.  lubricating drops, gels, ointments or antibiotic ointment may be applied for relief.Carry the bottle or the container in which the chemical was stored, with a label, in case the exact nature of chemical is not known, it will help the treating doctor in carrying out specific treatment.4. Foreign Body (FB) in the eye (domestic)Foreign bodies of different kinds fall into eyes under various circumstances such as- dusting, blowing dust with a vacuum cleaner, using a screwdriver on rusted components, hammering a nail, splicing cables, cutting wires, gardening or simply going for a ride.  Do not rub the eyes or put pressure as the FB can go deeper into the cornea.  Rinse in running water for a while, cover the eye with a suitable patch and take the patient to a facility.  One can use lubricating drops or antibiotic drops on the way.  No ointment, please.   5.  Soap solution, shampoo, chlorine in water or face creams in the eyesThis is a common issue especially with young children and all it requires is thorough rinsing followed by a lubricating eye drop and some cool compresses.  Creams can be very irritating as they adhere to the cornea and take a while to get washed off.  Chlorine in the swimming pools can also cause a lot of irritation especially on the days when tipping is done.  Preservative free lubricating drops, cold compresses provide relief.    6. Blunt trauma around the eyesAccidental injuries from window panes, friendly boxing or grappling amongst children are also a frequent occurrence.  Apply gentle pressure on the bones to prevent swelling around the eyes and apply a cold patch with pressure.  Take the opinion of a doctor in due course.  At times a blue haematoma may occur after a few days.  Please take an opinion as some blunt traumas around the eyes can lead to retinal oedema (Berlin's Oedema) that needs to be tackled timely to prevent a loss of visual acuity. 7. Penetrating InjuriesPenetrating injuries are seen with pencil tips, pen tips, compass used in geometry, knives, scissors, sewing needles, screwdrivers etc. Do not try to examine the eye forcefully, prise the lids, put pressure on the eye or even touch it. All these actions can result in disastrous outcomes!  Prevent the child from pressing or touching the eye by firmly holding in lap. Patch the eye gently with a clean handkerchief or a sterile pad and reach a facility at the earliest.You may keep a special first aid kit ready with disposable sterile eye pads, clean bandages, one-inch plaster tape, scissors, preservative free lubricating gel drops and gel tubes, antibiotic eye ointment, antibiotic eye drops etc.  A plastic bottle with a bent tube at the opening may be useful for gentle irrigation of the eyes with water.  It is equally important to reduce the risk of injuries at home by keeping potentially harmful chemicals out of reach of children and supervise them when they are using sharp instruments.  Safety always Saves.   

10 Amazing Health Benefits of the Coconut!

Dr. Prashant Ruikar, Homeopath
The coconut plant is an extremely versatile plant. No part of it goes waste. The whole fruit is used from its succulent flesh to its water everything is utilized. Coconut is in fact filled with various nutrients. It has many health benefits. The coconut is now seen as a super-food. The reasons behind so many health benefits of coconut have been laid down here:Consuming any coconut product leads to a positive effect on weight management. It speeds up metabolism and provides instant energy. Unlike other energy sources, coconut has fewer calories than other fats. In fact, it is most likely to burn up than being stored in the body as fat.Coconut has good fats. It contains medium chain fatty acids. Long chain fatty acids are responsible for high cholesterol. But medium chain fatty acids are not. Instead, they help to lower the chances of atherosclerosis and other heart diseases. Also among the coconut's several different properties, it contains lauric acid. Lauric acid is found in human breast milk.Carbohydrates are of two types, digestible (soluble) and non-digestible (insoluble). Soluble carbohydrates do not leave the body and get stored as fats. Insoluble carbohydrates do the opposite. Coconuts contain insoluble carbohydrates. As the body cannot digest the fibre, it cannot retain any calories and does not affect blood sugar levels.Since coconuts contain insoluble fibres, they do not raise glucose levels. Coconuts, thus have low glycemic index.Sweet cravings are lessened and insulin secretion is improved. Blood sugar has better utilization. Coconut lowers any growth in blood sugar, thus reducing cravings.Coconut oil is beneficial to fight tooth decay. It fights the bacteria and the mouth bugs that give rise to dental caries.Brain disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and strokes can be prevented.It has no trans-fatIt is gluten free. Also, the flour made from dried, powdered coconut flesh can even be used in baking!It is hypoallergenic

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy

Dr. Yogesh Rao, Dentist
Good oral health is an important part of good overall health. Oral disease during pregnancy may affect not only the health of a pregnant woman, but may also affect the health of her pregnancy and possibly, the health of her child.Oral health is also important for looking and feeling good. Oral health is also linked to overall health. Cavities and gum disease may contribute to many serious conditions, such as diabetes, respiratory diseases, and infections. Also, a mother’s oral health is linked with her child’s oral health. The best predictor of a child having tooth decay is the mother or primary caregiver having decay. Taking care of your mouth while you are pregnant is important for your own health AND your baby’s health. Pregnancy can make teeth and gum problems worse. Sometimes people don’t know they have gum disease.Hormonal changes and changes in eating patterns, such as increased snacking, increases the risk for oral disease.Research estimates that:•       30-100% of pregnant women have gingivitis (mild gum disease)•       5-20% of pregnant women have severe gum disease•       25% have at least one untreated cavityA significant number of women enter pregnancy with oral disease. Pregnancy can trigger oral health problems or make them worse. Many women are not aware they have oral disease – it is often called an “invisible” disease. Oral disease symptoms are not always noticeable. These are some signs to pay extra attention to while you are pregnant.•       Red or swollen gums•       Tender gums•       Bleeding gums•       Loose teeth•       Sensitive teethSigns of Cavities or Gum Disease Pain when chewingPus around teeth and gumsTartar (brown, hard spots) on teethBad breathThe earliest sign of gum disease is gingivitis when the gums appear red and puffyGingivitis happens when plaque is not removed from the teeth and gums dailyPregnant women  are more likely to get gum diseasePeriodontitis can result from untreated gingivitis.Pregnant omen with severe gum disease may be at a higher risk of delivering pre-term, low birth weight babies than women with good oral health. Babies who are pre-term or low birth weight have a higher risk of developing complications, asthma, ear infections, birth abnormalities, behavioural difficulties, and are at a higher risk of infant death. A recent study showed that only about one third of pregnant women visit the dentist while they are pregnant.  Worse yet, only half of the women in the study who reported having a dental problem went to get care.   There is no evidence that routine dental examinations or treatment should not be performed during an uncomplicated pregnancy.  In fact, not going to the dentist may cause problems such as oral infections that can cause the need for emergency care or affect the fetus.  You should make sure you have regular check-ups and cleanings any time during pregnancy to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.Emergency dental treatment to relieve pain, swelling, bleeding or infection should be sought as soon as possible, no matter what stage of pregnancy.  With today’s technology there is little radiation exposure to the fetus during dental x-rays when both a lead apron and a thyroid shield are used, so don’t worry if they are needed for emergency care.Many women experience morning sickness during the first trimester, and may not be able to tolerate any procedures or instruments in their mouth. The first trimester is when the baby’s organs are developing, so it is best to avoid medication at this time if possible. The third trimester is also difficult for tolerating dental procedures, since lying back in the dental chair tends to be uncomfortable for the mother.  Lying on your back for extended periods can reduce circulation to the fetus by placing pressure on the vein that returns blood from the lower part of the body to the heart. It is probably best to schedule any necessary procedures that are longer than 45 minutes such as multiple fillings or crowns during the second trimester or early in the third trimester.Myth-It is a myth that dental treatment during pregnancy is not safe. The benefits of providing dental care during pregnancy are significant and far outweigh minimal potential risks, particularly for a pregnant woman who has oral pain, an emergency oral condition, or infection. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral disease, including dental x-rays and use of local anesthesia, are beneficial and are safe during pregnancyHormonal changes, mainly estrogen and progesterone, can cause many changes in the mouth. The same hormones that increase ligament laxity in other joints during pregnancy can also cause increased mobility of the teeth.  Severe mobility, however, may be a sign of severe periodontal disease and should be evaluated by a dentist as soon as possible.Hormonal changes can also cause changes in saliva flow, either increasing or decreasing it.  Changes in the quantity and quality can also occur, making it less protective. Some types of bacteria that normally live in the mouth increase in numbers during pregnancy.  These bacteria can cause tooth decay or gum disease.Changes During Pregnancy that Affect Oral Health-Morning sickness can cause problems with oral health if the nausea makes it difficult for the pregnant woman to use a toothbrush or floss.  Some women are so sensitive that they have a difficult time tolerating anything placed in the mouth. If this causes a disruption of normal hygiene such as brushing or flossing, the bacteria that are normally present in the mouth are likely to cause pregnancy gingivitis or tooth decay.The nausea that is often experienced during the first trimester is sometimes accompanied by vomiting.  During thethird trimester some women also develop severe heartburn or esophogeal reflux which propels stomach acid up into the mouth.  Stomach acids irritate the gingival tissue.  Stomach acids also soften the outer layers of tooth enamel allowing it to be removed easily.  If this happens repeatedly the enamel will become thinned.  This process is called dental erosion.Treatment of acid exposure-Tooth brushing should never be performed immediately after the mouth is exposed to stomach acid.  The brushingaction can remove the softened outer layer of enamel, causing it to thin. Rinsing with a solution of water that contains baking soda will neutralize the acid and allow the saliva to remineralize the tooth. If baking soda is not available, liquid antacids or plain water may be used.  Saliva changes- One of the body’s primary defenses against tooth decay is saliva.  Saliva contains proteins and electrolytes that buffer and neutralize bacterial acids.  It also contains the minerals calcium and phosphorus, which help to re-mineralize (harden) teeth. During pregnancy, saliva composition may show a decrease in buffering ability and calcium levels.   During pregnancy, saliva may develop a lower pH or become more acidic.  This change has been shown to be associated with increased levels of decay-causing bacteria. Decreased saliva flow can cause dry mouth or Xerostomia. Some women experience the opposite problem of excessive salivation, or Pryalism. Any of these changes in saliva may increase a woman’s susceptibility to tooth decay, so maintaining good oral hygiene habits becomes particularly important.Increased bacteria- Many women experience nausea or hypoglycemia during pregnancy, which necessitates the consumption of between-meal snacks. Commonly promoted foods such as crackers may be high in starches (fermentable carbohydrates) that promote tooth decay.  This increased frequency of food consumption and increase in carbohydrate intake can promote tooth decay by increasing the acid production of decay-causing bacteria.  Eating small frequent meals, as recommended during pregnancy, can cause an increase in bacteria growth, because they have a nearly continuous food supply. Gingival fluid is the fluid that is normally produced by the gums in the crevice between the gums and teeth.  This fluid contains antibodies and normally has a slightly protective effect.  However, in pregnancy, this fluid contains high levels of hormones.  Some types of bacteria can use these hormones for energy, and they can grow and multiply and cause problems with the gums. Saliva also contains higher levels of hormone that can trigger bacteria growth. Pregnancy Granuloma- In about 5 to 10% of women, the increased response of the gums in the presence of pregnancy hormones can cause irritated gum tissue to grow into a lumpy mass known as a pregnancy granuloma (often misnamed a Pregnancy “Tumor”).  These usually start growing during the second trimester and are usually found between the teeth. They bleed easily and have a red, raw-looking rumpled surface. If they are small and do not cause any problems, your dentist will probably advise you to wait and see if they go away after the baby is born.  If they do not go away after delivery, they can be removed surgically.Safe dental treatment-Overall, the majority of drugs commonly used in dentistry are considered safe to use during pregnancy.  Commonly used antibiotics considered safe are penicillin, amoxicillin, cephalexins, erythromycins.Pain and fever relief is important during pregnancy. Untreated fever can cause problems with the baby’s development, especially during the first trimester.  Severe pain can cause intense stress, leading to high levels of stress hormones and increased blood pressure, neither of which are good for your baby.  Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is usually recommended for pain. Your dentist willprobably want to contact your obstetrician if it is necessary to give you a stronger pain medication that contains narcotics, or a different antibiotic so make sure you bring the information on how to contact the physician who is providing your prenatal care with you to the dentist.Aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin or Advil can cause bleeding problems and other problems, and should be avoided.  You should never take any drugs that are in the tetracycline family, as they can cause damage to the baby’s developing teeth.It is very important to maintain good oral hygiene practices to prevent both dental decay and gum disease.  Dental floss prevents both dental decay on contact surfaces and gum disease.  Ideally, flossing should be performed once per day, before brushing.  Brushing should be performed at least twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste.  Fluoride remineralizes (hardens) any areas of the tooth enamel that have been weakened by bacterial acids. There is no need to rinse the mouth after brushing.  In fact, NOT rinsing allows the fluoride to remain in contact with the tooth surfaces, where it is most effective. American Dental Association approved antibacterial mouth rinses are very helpful for fighting gingivitis.  If you have gum disease, your dentist may want to prescribe a stronger mouth rinse that has chlorhexidine in it.Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is found in fruits and vegetables such as plums, strawberries and raspberries. It is usually made from certain hardwoods such as the birch tree. Xylitol:•           Blocks bacteria from producing the acids that cause tooth decay•           Decreases the levels of cavity-causing bacteria•           Decreases plaque formation by bacteria on the teeth•           Enhances remineralization (hardening) of weakened tooth structureKeeping your regular dental exam schedule allows your dentist to detect and treat any problems that may develop during your pregnancyEat well-balanced meals-a) B vitamins, especially folate (folic acid)b) Vitamin Cc) CalciumSnack smart1) Avoid starchy or high carbohydrate snacks2) Raw fruits and vegetables3) Diary productsB vitamins are important for maintaining the health of oral tissues such as the lining of the mouth and tongue.  One B vitamin, Folic acid, appears to be important in the prevention of cleft lip and palate in the developing baby.  Cleft lip can form by the 8th week, and cleft palate by the 12th week.  The majority of studies have shown that an adequate intake of folate (folic acid) reduces the chances of having clefting problems, even in mothers who have a genetic predisposition for orofacial clefting.  Vitamin C helps a woman maintain healthy gums during pregnancy.Calcium is important for both the health of the mother’s bones and teeth and the proper development of the baby’s bones and teeth. Substituting fruits and vegetables for starchy, high carbohydrate snacks will decrease your chances of tooth decay and increase your intake of vitamins and minerals.Mothers are the most important influence on their children’s oral health. You are the key to a lifetime of good oral health for your child. The healthier your mouth, the healthier your child will be. And the better your oral care habits are, the better your child’s will be also.