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Eyesight problems rising among kids

Besides, cases of reflective errors in terms of myopia and hypermetropia have also surfaced among children.

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childrens vision problems

Lucknow, Sep 26 : With children spending more time on computers and mobile phones for online classes and gaming, cases of eye sight problems are on the rise.

Children and teens between the ages of 6 and 18 years have been found to be suffering from convergence efficiency, computer vision syndrome, reflective errors and other eye sight problems.

According to rough estimates, nearly 40 per cent children have complained of various eye and vision related problems in recent weeks.

Majority of the children are being diagnosed with convergence insufficiency — a condition in which the eyes are unable to work together when looking at nearby objects. This condition causes one eye to turn outward instead of inward with the other eye, creating double or blurred vision, said Anil Rastogi, a well-known ophthalmologist.

Children working long hours on computers and smart phones usually complain of itching or burning in eyes, watering, loss of retention power, besides headache and eye pain, Rastogi added.

Shikha Kumar, another ophthalmologist, said that since the national lockdown, most children have been found to be spending eight to 10 hours on electronic devices.

“They are either attending online classes, or watching cartoons or television and playing video games. Parents feel that this is the best way to keep them occupied but this prolonged exposure to electronic devices is playing havoc with their eyesight,” she pointed out.

Doctors say that children are being diagnosed with computer vision syndrome where they complain of pain, redness, dryness, blurring of vision, double vision and other head and neck sprains.

Besides, cases of reflective errors in terms of myopia and hypermetropia have also surfaced among children.

Doctors suggest eye exercises, frequent breaks from TV/computer/ mobile phone screens to prevent permanent damage to the eyes.

Disaster

Official COVID-19 death toll probably underestimates true total – WHO

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World Health Organisation

GENEVA: The official global toll of deaths from COVID-19 probably underestimates the true total – suggesting it could be over a million already, a World Health Organization official said on Monday.

“If anything, the numbers currently reported probably represent an underestimate of those individuals who have either contracted COVID-19 or died as a cause of it,” Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, told a briefing in Geneva.

“When you count anything, you can’t count it perfectly but I can assure you that the current numbers are likely an underestimate of the true toll of COVID,” he said.

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Health

Treating the heart with scientific breakthroughs, lifestyle changes

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Heart Exercise

New Delhi, Sep 27 : From the time the first Coronavirus case was recorded in China, to India’s numbers crossing four million, COVID-19 has millions of lives under its ambit. Now, for a country like India, where the cardiovascular disease burden is already at an alarming high, these are threatening facts. Moreover, pandemic-induced lockdowns have also raised stress levels which can induce heart related ailments.

On this World Heart Day, here are some thoughts by Dr Viveka Kumar on the importance of understanding cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), what they mean today, how we can protect ourselves, and the technologies that help us significantly improve patient outcomes.

A Closer Look at Heart Diseases

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “CVDs are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. In 2016, CVDs took approximately 17.9 million lives, out of which 85 percent were due to stroke and heart attack.” Now, let’s understand what CVDs constitute. CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels. According to statistics, four out of five deaths caused by CVDs happen due to strokes or heart attacks.

The most common cause of heart attacks and strokes is a sedentary lifestyle. Alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are contributing factors. Heart attacks and strokes are also caused due to a blockage that interferes with the blood flowing to the brain or heart. These blockages are caused by the build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of blood vessels that carry blood to the two organs. In some cases, internal bleeding in the brain or blood clots can also cause strokes.

Fighting Against the CVD Burden

The simplest way to tackle the CVD burden is to create awareness about its most common symptoms and not ignoring them. For instance, keep a check on your diabetes levels, cholesterol intake, watch out for symptoms like frequent chest pain, irregular heartbeat, pain in the elbows, left shoulder, or discomfort in the arms or back. The most common symptoms of a stroke are numbness in arms or legs, especially on one side of the body, dizziness, difficulty in speaking, loss of balance, or severe headache with an unknown cause.

Since these are common symptoms that are often ignored by patients, it is advisable to consult a doctor if they are regular. Taking measures like maintaining proper weight, keeping regular check on diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure at home is imperative, but we must not forget the importance of regular health check-ups. If you have symptoms of diabetes, your doctor will likely test your blood sugar level. If you have any conditions that put you at risk of heart disease, manage them with lifestyle changes and medications.

However, in extreme cases, where a patient feels their medications are not just enough to treat the ailment so in these cases patients may require a stent to unclog a blocked artery.

The Breakthroughs in Heartcare

What’s interesting is the way technology has transformed the treatment of blocked arteries. For the longest time, we have relied on drug-eluting stents (DES) and bare-metal stents to treat blocked arteries. Over the years, the quality of these stents has improved substantially. The latest generation platinum chromium stents have smaller profiles, thinner struts and clinical data of more than 10000 patients which help in good procedural outcomes for the patients.

An important thing to understand here is that the pandemic is far from waning and health situations like these will continue to exist for as long as humans live on the planet. For better healthcare situations and heart healthy lives we need is to prepare for smarter tools and technologies.

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Health

Prince Charles highlights Covid-19 impact on youngsters

Prince Charles, who had tested positive for the virus earlier this year, has set up the Young People Relief Fund to provide extra support to young people affected by the impact of the virus.

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Prince Charles

London, Sep 27 : The UK’s Prince Charles on Sunday highlighted the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic on young people, saying it was a “particularly difficult time to be young”.

“For anyone, this is a difficult time – but it is a particularly difficult time to be young,” the BBC quoted the Prince of Wales as saying in an article published in the Sunday Telegraph.

He compared the current situation to “other times when hope was scarce”, citing concerns over youth unemployment in the 1970s that prompted him to set up his charity, the Prince’s Trust which helps people aged between 11 and 30 seek employment opportunities and life skills.

“This year, we celebrate the fact that over the last nearly 45 years, we have helped a million young people to change their lives for the better,” he wrote in the article.

“Over all these years since the trust was launched, there has never been an easy time.

“However, there has never been a time as uniquely challenging as the present, when the pandemic has left perhaps another million young people needing urgent help to protect their futures.

“The task ahead is unquestionably vast, but it is not insurmountable,” he was quoted as saying.

Prince Charles, who had tested positive for the virus earlier this year, has set up the Young People Relief Fund to provide extra support to young people affected by the impact of the virus.

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