How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel: A Complete Guide

how to prevent carpal tunnel

Anyone who works with their hands, whether in an office or on a production floor, has probably felt those shocks of pain shoot through their wrists. These pains are no fun, and more than likely they are caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.If you have ever wondered how to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, read this article to get a comprehensive look at the problem and find surefire ways to help prevent and ease this pain.

What Is Carpal Tunnel?

Before we talk about how to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, we first need to know what it is. The carpal tunnel is actually a narrow path in our wrists made up of bones, ligaments, and tendons. There is a nerve, called the median nerve, that passes through this tunnel. Any swelling in these ligaments or tendons will cause the carpal tunnel to shrink and compress the median nerve. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) usually happens gradually, as continual repetitive use of the wrists will cause damage and swelling. The symptoms associated with CTS are numbness or tingling in the hand, and sometimes it feels like an electric shock between the thumb and fingers (mostly the index and middle finger). Sufferers can also feel an unusual and tingly pain moving from their wrists up their arm towards the elbow. In most cases, this sensation is on the thumb side of their arm.

Who Is At Risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The risk for carpal tunnel syndrome is far reaching. If you were born with a smaller carpal tunnel, then you are more likely to have issues. Females suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome more than males. As we age our chances of contracting carpal tunnel syndrome increase because of the wear and tear we’ve put on our bodies over the years.

Also, some health conditions can make you more susceptible. Rheumatoid arthritis and hypothyroidism makes you more likely to have symptoms. Most all of us use our wrists heavily throughout the day, but those who work specifically with their hands like heavy laborers, musicians, or office workers see the syndrome more often than other types of workers.

Carpal Tunnel Prevention

Carpal Tunnel syndrome is an epidemic that continues to grow amongst American workers. Virtually every profession is affected in some way. Any time a worker performs repetitive or strenuous movements with their wrists, they are at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome and the painful and debilitating symptoms that follow. As you will see from the research and statistics below, there is a dire need for carpal tunnel syndrome prevention.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 32.8% of repetitive motion job injuries lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. This syndrome is vast in its reach and affects over eight million Americans annually. In 2010, The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that over five million workers reported problems with carpal tunnel syndrome that year.

How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

While heredity and other factors like pregnancy or some diseases make it near impossible to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome for many people, there are some practices you can adopt to lessen your chances of suffering from this condition. An overall healthy lifestyle will help prevent CTS, or at least minimize the painful symptoms.

Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking are some daily practices you can adopt to help prevent CTS. Obesity, which is often caused by overeating and lack of exercise, will slow down the nervous system and make you more susceptible to the syndrome. Smoking interferes with blood flow, which can also lead to CTS. Practicing better posture will help keep your wrists in good shape. If you slump over, this makes the muscles in your neck and shoulders shorten, which puts more pressure on your arms and wrists.

Daily Habits to Keep CTS Away

Other daily practices can help you prevent CTS. Make sure when you sleep that you aren’t bending your wrists. If needed, you can purchase an over-the-counter brace to help keep your wrists straight at night. Keep your muscles, especially those in your wrists and hands, warm. Warm muscles are more flexible and get better blood flow. Also, concentrate on loosening your grip when performing any tasks with your wrists. Pay attention to how tightly you grip keys and even a pen.

If you work in a position that would make you more susceptible to CTS, make sure you take frequent breaks. It is recommended that you take a stretching break at least once an hour during your work day. If your job requires you to perform the same movements each day, switch it up by trying to use your other hand or work from another position. 

One of the most important practices you can adopt is frequent stretches. The following stretches are our favorite for helping to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome:

Steeple Hands Stretch

This is a great stretch you can do anytime you feel your wrists are getting tight or sore. With relaxed and bent elbows, hold both hands out in front of you with your palms facing each other. Touch each finger and your thumb with the same finger on the other hand. Push your hands together until all fingers and your palms are touching each other.

Then slowly roll your palms back out away from each other while leaving the tips of your fingers together. This will look almost like you are holding a hamburger. Repeat this movement between five and ten times, or until your hands and fingers feel warmed up and stretched. This is a nice stretch you can do sitting at your desk without disturbing your office mates. Try this exercise as many as a few times an hour if needed.

Stretch Them Out

If you are continuously typing on a keyboard, or your work requires you to repeat the same movements with your wrists each day, it’s important to take time, at least once an hour, to stretch out your wrists. One way to do this is by holding out one arm straight in front of you with your wrist relaxed. With the other hand, gently pull your relaxed hand towards you until you feel a stretch in your wrist. Repeat with the other hand.

Another way to stretch out your wrists is to take each wrist and circle it around. Circle each wrist clockwise for three revolutions and then repeat the stretch moving in the opposite direction. This is a quick and simple stretch that you can do while sitting at your desk, and you can repeat it as many times as needed throughout your work day.

Shake Them Out

This is another simple activity you can do periodically while working. Place both hands out in front of you with your elbows bent and your wrists relaxed. Shake your hands back and forth quickly, as if you just washed your hands and you’re trying to fling the water off of them. 

Conclusion

Now that you know how to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, you will be healthier and feel great. The better you feel, the more productive you will be in your job and daily life.   

What to Do When You Feel a Cold Coming On: A Guide

A person lying on a sofa covered with blue towel

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What to do when you feel a cold coming on is probably one of the most common questions you could ask. Should you try to power through your day or take it easy? What should you eat, how can you relieve symptoms, and what natural remedies work? Read on to learn how you can best care for yourself and be on the mend as soon as possible.

Tips for What to Do When You Feel a Cold Coming On

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It’s Not Too Late to Save Yourself!

If you are searching for tips on what to do when you feel a cold coming on, chances are you are feeling under the weather. Maybe you have a scratchy throat and lower energy levels than usual. Yesterday you felt motivated to tackle all your deadlines at work, hit the gym, and hang out with friends or family. Now, you just want to stay in bed. The good news is that there are ways to stop a cold early and prevent a full-blown illness.

Relax and Get Some “Zs”

Getting rest is essential for a healthy immune system. Rest means getting enough sleep and also doing things to relax yourself. The mind-body connection is very important when it comes to fighting colds. Especially when you feel a cold coming, you should strive to get as much sleep as your body needs, which will vary according to the individual. Some people feel good after 4 or 5 hours, but most adults age 25-64 need a minimum of 7 to 9.

Give Yourself a Time-Out

When you start feeling sick, cancel some of your plans and spend more time at home. Maybe this means postponing a meeting with a friend or calling out from work. Don’t worry – doing so isn’t selfish or unreliable. It will help you feel better faster so that you can bring back your A-game for the people who need you.

Go on a Healthy, Non-Alcoholic Drinking Binge

Getting enough fluids is one of the biggest factors that determines the duration of your cold. If you are trying to squash a cold in its early stages, drink lots of clear fluids. Water, tea, or sports drinks will aid in your recovery. Try keeping a glass of some liquid near you at all times. Avoid alcohol, which will only dehydrate your system and make your cold symptoms worse.

How Do You Manage Cold Symptoms Naturally?

A girl drinking tea

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Rest and Fluids Are the Best Medicine

While there are many over-the-counter remedies on the market, most doctors agree that rest and fluids are the most effective ways to fight a cold. These remedies are natural, inexpensive, and proven to help your immune system.

Don’t Use Medicine as an Alternative to Rest and Fluids

For people over 5 years of age, it is ok to take antihistamines, decongestants, and pain relievers when sick. However, do not take these medicines instead of resting. They might make you feel better, but you shouldn’t use them to power through normal activities. The rest is key to recovery. Instead, take medicine to relieve the symptoms of a cold in combination with rest–which will provide the real recovery.

Don’t Take Antibiotics

Antibiotics are effective for fighting bacterial infections, however the common cold is caused by a virus. Antibiotics will have no effect.

Try Having Tea with Honey

This is one home remedy that actually works. It will soothe your sore throat and provide hydration. However, do not give this drink to babies, as it can make them very sick.

Relieve Congestion

To fight the stuffy feeling you have and thin the mucus that your body needs to eliminate, sip warm beverages and eat soup. You can also try using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

Relieve That Sore Throat

To make a sore throat feel better you can use a saltwater gargle with a solution of ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces of water. You can also suck on ice chips.

Eat Nutritious Food That Is Easy to Digest

Chicken noodle soup and miso soup are ideal foods when you feel sick. They provide nutrition and calories without giving your digestive system a work-out. Miso soup also has healthy bacteria that will support your gut. While you are recovering, skip foods that are heavy or spicy.

What About Vitamin C, Echinacea, and Zinc?

We cannot guarantee that these common treatments will work because the scientific evidence is inconsistent. However, when taken in reasonable quantities they are unlikely to do any harm. If you review the evidence and believe that you might benefit from one or more of these remedies, go ahead and take them. Be careful with echinacea, as it may have negative interactions with certain drugs, and with zinc, as it can have some unwanted side effects.

What If You Could Just Skip the Cold Altogether?

A blurred image of a woman and a sliced watermelon on a plate

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Prevention is the Best Cure: Maintain Healthy Eating Habits

One easy, natural way to manage cold symptoms is to prevent them in the first place. The stronger and healthy your body is, the less likely it will be to catch a cold if you are exposed to the virus. Eating nutritious food and avoiding a diet that is high in sugar, saturated fat, and processed foods is key. Focus on whole foods, fruits, vegetables, good sources of protein, and healthy grains.

Exercise Regularly

Another component of maintaining a healthy body year-round, not just during the cold season, is getting exercise. If you enjoy working out hard, you can train for a marathon, go to the gym for some lifting, or work with a personal trainer. However, if heavy exercise isn’t your thing, some yoga or walking several times a week is all you need to make a difference. You can even try adventurous, creative ways to exercise such as rock climbing or dance.

Manage Your Stress

Managing your stress isn’t something you should do only when you feel a cold coming. Among the negative effects stress has on your body is the way in which it depletes the cells in your immune system that fight viruses. Cortisol, a hormone your body releases in response to stress, will also compromise your immune system. It is important for you to find ways to relax naturally, such as spending time with friends, meditation, or activities that you enjoy.

Don’t Hang Out With Sick People

The common cold is caused by a virus. Viruses are spread person to person, so if you are in the same space as someone who is sick, you might get sick too. If you know your friend has a cold, it might be a good idea to wait until he or she is better before you make plans.

Limit Your Exposure to Healthy People When You are Sick

Inversely, when you are sick you can pass the virus on to others. If you know you have a cold, it is ok to cancel plans with people and stay home. It is ok to stay home from work. It is ok to skip the gym. Don’t succumb to the pressure many of us feel to honor all of our social and work commitments even when we feel sick. Doing so will only extend the duration of your cold and spread it to others.

Wash Your Hands Regularly

When you are exposed to common cold viruses, they often end up on your hands and can enter your body when you eat or touch your face. Washing your hands removes those viruses and reduces your likelihood of getting sick. Remember, you won’t have to ask yourself what to do when you feel a cold coming on if you don’t get sick in the first place.

When Should You See a Doctor for a Cold?

A person taking blood pressure of another persons arm

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Maybe you have tried rest, fluids, some natural remedies, and some medication to relieve the pain. If your symptoms don’t clear up within 5-7 days, if you have severe pain in your head or throat, run a high fever, or if you think you have the flu, you should see a doctor. Going to the doctor early might be a good idea in the case of pregnant women, small children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

Flu Symptoms:

  • A sick feeling that is more intense and comes on faster than what you would experience if you had a common cold
  • Chills and body aches
  • A high fever

Conclusion

A sick woman taking medicine while looking at her teddy bear

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Getting sick is no fun. Knowing what to do when you feel a cold coming on will help you reduce the duration of your illness. First and foremost, rest and fluids are the best solutions. Taking some mediation to ease your symptoms, eating healthy food, and managing your stress will also help you feel better. Hopefully, with some preventative measures, you won’t have to ask yourself what to do when you feel a cold coming on again in the near future.

The 7 Reasons Why You Should Stay Away From The Flu Shot

Before we talk about reasons not to get the flu shot, we need to understand two things: what is the flu, and who should get a flu shot?

What Is the Flu?

What we popularly call the flu is in fact shorthand for the influenza virus. Since a virus causes the flu, it is immune to antibiotics. The only protection against such a virus is an immunization.

Types of Viruses

Viruses fall into two broad categories: those that can easily be cured by the body’s own immune system and those that are problematic. The common cold is a virus, but it is one that is usually easily cured by your body’s immune system. Because there are over 190 identified cold viruses, creating a vaccine against them all is virtually impossible.

The Flu Virus

There are many flu viruses, too, so it is very difficult to create a vaccine that will reach them all. The difference between the flu and cold virus is that certain flu viruses first rear their ugly heads one year ahead of their seasonal worldwide spread. So companies who are developing flu viruses have roughly a year to pick which flu viruses they’re going to create an immunization against.

So why do we try to create flu immunization shots but don’t try to create cold immunization shots? Simple. Colds don’t kill people, at least not to the degree that flu viruses do. And while in a typical season one flu virus will shoot ahead of all others and be the primary culprit behind most flu illnesses, colds can’t be predicted in this way. 

Person getting flu shot

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How Are Particular Flu Viruses Picked for the Vaccine?

Picking the right flu virus to tackle is the challenge for those tasked with picking the viruses for which the pharmaceutical companies will develop immunization packages, popularly know as flu shots. In effect, they have to guess which viruses that started in the previous year are most likely to spread worldwide.

Most flu viruses start in southern China. People there live in the house with both pigs and fowl, and in very hot and humid environments that facilitate the development and spread of disease. The particular strain of the flu virus that will afflict the whole world each year almost always starts in a pig or a fowl somewhere in South China. The flu virus, which mutates rapidly, goes between animals until it reaches a mutation that can also infect human beings. Once that happens, people start to show symptoms of influenza.

Usually, the initial spread of the virus isn’t large enough to cause a pandemic, so, pharmaceutical companies have some breathing room. But since it takes at least six months to create enough of a flu vaccine to immunize a large population, the makers of the vaccine have to guess which of the new strains of the flu have the best chance of transmitting themselves worldwide.

Sometimes they guess right, but sometimes they don’t. Flu vaccines typically contain antibodies against two or three of the influenza strains that experts agree have the most chance of spreading worldwide. So one reason not to get the flu shot is it’s a crap shoot. It may or may not truly protect you from contracting the flu if scientists guess wrong about which strains will spread. They often guess wrong.

How Many People Die Annually From the Flu?

When considering reasons not to get the flu shot, one should look at some statistics. Estimates by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the United States show the average number of hospitalizations and deaths due to influenza in recent years are as follows:

Young lady with bandana on her face

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Hospitalizations

Hospitalization from flu-related causes averages between 140,000 and 960,000 annually since 2010.

Deaths

Deaths due to influenza has averaged between 12,000 and 79,000 annually since 2010.

What Is the Flu Shot?

Flu shots contain inactivated (killed) flu viruses that don’t cause the flu. These allow the body to create antibodies against the specific viruses in the vaccine. Some people fear that the flu viruses had not been completely killed and believe they are at risk of catching the flu by using this type of vaccine. Even though this is not true, many people shy away from using the vaccine because of this fear.

Live but attenuated flu vaccines are used in nasal spray flu vaccines that are sold under the trade names LAIV or FluMist.

Are There Benefits to Getting the Flu Shot?

When looking at reasons not to get the flu shot, we should start by examining the reasons why some people should get the flu shot.

The most obvious benefit is that the flu shot reduces hospitalizations and saves lives. There is no estimate of how many additional hospitalizations there would have been since 2010 if no flu shot had been available. But it is reasonable to assume that if you remove the effectiveness of the flu shot, the numbers would be increased by the same percentage.

For example, in the 2017-2018 flu season, which was one of the worst in recent years, the effectiveness of the vaccine was estimated at 40 percent. An estimated 80,000 people in the US died. By the numbers then, had there been no flu vaccine available, those numbers would likely have increased by 40 percent. Instead of 80,000 people dying, we may very well have had 112,000 people dying from influenza. 

Person adding medicine in a syringe

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Are There Valid Reasons Not to Get the Flu Shot?

Absolutely. Here are seven reasons why some people should not get a flu shot:

You Are Under Six Months Old

Young children are usually protected by their mothers’ immunities, particularly when a baby is breast feeding. Moreover, it is difficult to perform vaccine studies on children so young; so the risk of a vaccination is just too great.

You Have Had Previous Allergic Reactions to a Flu Vaccine

If an individual has had an allergic reaction, the chances are high that being exposed to another flu vaccine will bring on the same allergic reaction. There are differences in flu vaccines, however, so you should not assume that one vaccine will give you the same reaction as another. Check with your doctor and pharmacist before deciding.

You Are Allergic to Any Component of the Flu Vaccine

Before getting a flu vaccine, you will be given a questionnaire listing all the potential allergy situations that you may encounter.

You Already Have a Fever

if you have a fever at 101 degrees or higher, avoid taking the flu vaccine until you are better.

Person with fever

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You Have a Known Egg Allergy

Many flu vaccines are cultured in eggs, so if you have an allergy to eggs, those vaccines may cause an allergic reaction. Before rejecting flu vaccines out of hand, realize that many flu vaccines are now cultured in animal cells. So check with your doctor or pharmacist before automatically rejecting the flu vaccine for this reason.

You Have Had Guillain-Barre Syndrome Within the Last Six Weeks

Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which peripheral nerves are damaged and cannot transmit signals efficiently. Because Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune disorder, and the cause is not known, taking the flu vaccine is contraindicated for such patients.

You Have a Fear of Vaccines

We all need to be comfortable with the health decisions we make. There is a growing movement that proposes that vaccines cause more harm, or may cause harm to some, that outweighs their benefits in preventing not only disease in individuals, but in a community as a whole.

If you have firm convictions, religious or otherwise, that would cause you significant mental trauma if you, a loved one, or a child were to have a vaccine, then you should weigh your mental angst against the possibility of the benefits having such a vaccine may provide.

Protecting the Herd

One of the worst viruses ever to exist was the pandemic known as smallpox. Because of a world-wide program of immunizations against this horrific disease, it was eradicated. The last known case of smallpox was diagnosed in October 1977, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the disease eradicated in 1980.

image of a virus microscopic

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When people in their 60s today were children, poliomyelitis caused countless deaths of children while fully or partially paralyzing many more. When Jonas Salk created the first polio vaccine, parents all over the world rejoiced. No longer would their children be subjected to this debilitating and often fatal disease. Today, while polio as a disease has not been eradicated, instances of it among immunized populations are now almost nil.

What would have prevented these two diseases from being eradicated if people had decided not to get their children vaccinated?

To understand how large populations become immune from deadly viruses, one has to understand the concept of herd immunity. For a large population to become immune to a disease, a significant portion of the population needs to be vaccinated against the disease. Children in particular, who are more susceptible to disease, need to get this protection early.

Conclusion

Are there valid reasons not to get the flu shot? Certainly. We’ve examined several them in this article. At the same time, one should consider the effects not only on their own family, but on their community as a whole if they decide that they have reasons not to get the flu shot or not to have their children immunized.

Dilated Eyes? 9 Possible Causes

Blonde woman prone to dilated eyes

Tiny muscles in the colored part of your eye control your pupil’s size. The iris is the colored part of your eye, and it controls how much light enters your eye. A normal, healthy iris expands and contracts to allow more light in if it’s dark and less light when the conditions become brighter. Pupils that get dilated expand to an abnormal size and often refuse to contract.

Normal pupils in younger adults may be 2 to 4 millimeters wide in bright conditions and expand to almost 8 millimeters in very dark states. Pupil size varies a little, but those numbers indicate an average size. Older adults may see their pupils shrink a little with age making it harder to see in dark situations, but the change is often so minor it doesn’t affect eyesight.

Several things may cause pupils to dilate including some medications and medical disorders. While a dilated pupil is a symptom of a condition called anisocoria, it’s not the same thing as dilated pupils, but the two get confused with each other quite often. People suffering from anisocoria may end up with two pupils of varying sized whereas dilated pupils tend to mirror each other’s size.

​The Likely Culprits Behind Your Dilated Eyes

Yellow eyes which is likely to become dilated eyes

Alcohol may cause your pupils to dilate or react slowly to changes in the light. If you often have a few drinks after work or on the weekend and just noticed your eyes widening, wait until the alcohol wears off and see if they return to normal. If they still refuse to contract and expand correctly, consider the following medications since they may cause dilated pupils, they include:

  • Decongestants
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Anti-nausea medications
  • Botox medications or treatments
  • Atropine
  • Antihistamines
  • Drugs for motion sickness

Eyeglasses for dilated eyes

Always consult your doctor before stopping or starting any medication whether it’s prescribed or over the counter drugs. Some of the medicines above may save your life. Talk to your doctor if they put you on new medications that seem to cause dilated pupils. They may swap you to a different type of drugs or have some advice on ways to treat the dilation. Either way, always talk to your doctor about drugs.

If you just started taking some new drugs and your pupils dilate, it’s pretty easy to figure out the medication is the culprit. However, some of the drugs on our list may cause dilated pupils months after you start taking them instead of right away. This is why we stress talking to your physician or pharmacists. Either person will tell you if the side effects include dilated pupils.

You probably need to ask your doctor about non-prescription medications as well, especially if you take any of the medicines on the list that requires a prescription just to stay safe. If you suspect a pill that you picked up off the shelf is causing your pupil problems, it’s probably safe to stop taking those drugs and see if the issue ends.

Another problem you may experience is drugs reacting poorly to other medications if you start taking something new. For instance, if you take motion sickness medication and it’s never caused your pupils to dilate, and your doctor recently prescribed an antidepressant, the two drugs may not play well together. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to confirm and seek alternative remedies.

INJURIES AND DISEASES MAY CAUSE PUPIL DILATION

Eyes prone to dilated eyes

Any injury to the eye that includes damage in or around the iris may cause dilation at the time of the accident or years later if scar tissue gets in the way. A number of eye surgeries including cataract and glaucoma surgery. Some eye surgeries carry a fair amount of risk, so ask your doctor about possible side effects before having a procedure done.

Benign episodic unilateral mydriasis which often comes with or before a migraine may cause pupil dilation. If you experience severe headaches with pain behind your eyes, this condition may explain your dilated pupils and blurry vision. In some cases, the pupil dilation and blurry vision that comes with this disorder may last twelve hours or longer. Talk to your doctor about treatment if this is common.

On a side note about benign episodic unilateral mydriasis; young women experience this disorder more often than older women or men of any age. Older women and men may experience this condition, but it’s more common in younger women. When the headaches leave, the symptoms usually dissipate, and your pupils should return to normal without treatment unless your experience this problem often.

Adie’s pupil, sometimes called tonic pupil, is actually a neurological disorder that causes one pupil to grow larger than the other one. The condition is rare, but it may be the cause of dilated pupils. Unfortunately, a cure for Adie’s pupil doesn’t exist at the time of this writing. Also, what causes Adie’s pupil is a mystery, but head trauma, infections, and some surgeries may cause the disorder.

Some brain injuries such as blunt force trauma or piercing of the brain may cause your pupils to dilate permanently. Injuries usually cause only one pupil to dilate, and your doctor probably discussed this with you if you’ve injured your brain. That said, a concussion may not require immediate medical attention if you’re not aware you have one. If you suspect an untreated injury, talk to your doctor.

A random dilated pupil or pupils that seem mysterious may be a sign you have a neurological disorder or brain tumor. If you suddenly find your pupils dilate without cause, consult your doctor right away because you may suffer from an untreated brain injury or a tumor. Getting up to fast and banging your head on a cabinet door or other minor head injuries may hurt your brain. Get it checked out.

​Self-Inflicted Causes for Dilated Pupils

dilated eye peeping at a hole

We don’t have any proof, but alcohol may end up as the chief cause for random pupil dilation. However, if you consume enough to cause pupil dilation, it’s doubtful you’ll notice pupil dilation, and it’ll wear off as the alcohol wears off. This is the primary reason we didn’t count alcohol as one of the causes for dilated pupils, but we felt it needed mentioning and a little explanation anyway.

Recreational drug use sort of falls into the same category as alcohol but some drugs leave you more aware of your surroundings than others. However, LSD, Ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamines may heighten your senses but also cause pupil dilation in many cases. We don’t have a complete list of recreational drugs, but if you partake in any, either stop or talk to your doctor about side effects.

Sexual arousal or even mild attraction may cause your pupils to dilate. Pupils dilate during sex, or when we look at people, we find attractive. The change in your iris may go unnoticed, but it’s there nonetheless. It’s rare but not unheard of for pupils to remain dilated after sex for a few hours. If your pupils get stuck after sex in an enlarged state often, talk to your doctor about possible causes for this.

Bonus: Possible Solutions or Cures for Dilated Pupils

Woman holding an eyeglass for dilated eyes

It may sound like a broken record but seek medical attention if the cause for your dilated pupils is not readily determined or if someone else notices them before your vision changes. If you know motion sickness drugs or decongestant medications affect your pupils, you may not need to worry as much. That said, talk to your doctor or pharmacists to see if they have any advice or alternatives.

Some medical conditions or drugs cause pupils to dilate, and there’s little you can do about it. You may end up stuck with the problem until your doctor takes you off the medication of your condition is cured. However, people that wear eyeglasses may need to try a simple remedy and switch to photochromic lenses. These lenses lighten and darken automatically based on the amount of light hitting them.

Your pupils can’t control themselves, or your medications inhibit full control of your iris, so photochromic lenses do the work for them. They’ll limit the amount of light that enters your eye and may help reduce headaches and nausea that often come with pupil dilation problems.  Talk to your eye doctor and find out if these lenses could solve your problem.

If you know you’re stuck with a dilated pupil and worry about the way it looks, talk to your eye doctor about cosmetic contact lenses. Your doctor may call them prosthetic contact lenses. These contact lenses cover up the pupil and make it less noticeable. The only drawback is you may need one for each eye to make your eyes match. Wearing contact lenses isn’t for everyone.

CONCLUSION

shown dilated eyes of a covered woman's face

We listed nine possible causes for pupil dilation above. We considered reactions to prescribed or over the counter medications as one cause since it seemed like one definition with some sub-definitions. Sudden or random pupil dilation may be scary and cause problems driving, so seek medical attention if it happens a lot. Your doctor knows your medical history and may find other causes or concerns.

How To Lose Weight Fast: The Ultimate Diet Guide

No matter if you’re trying to fit into your favorite suit for an upcoming event or are merely looking to jump start the new you, you may be looking to learn how to lose weight fast. Although losing weight takes time, there are some things you can do to help drop the initial few pounds quickly. Below, you’ll find our recommendations on how to lose weight fast.

Cut Down on Carbs

Carbs

You may be well aware of the fact that you should “cut carbs,” but many people fail to recognize just how many foods contain carbohydrates and which types of carbohydrates they should be cutting. If you’re looking for ways to lose weight fast, you’ll most want to focus on cutting sugars and starches out of your diet.

The primary reason for doing this is because you’ll end up cutting your appetite. When you consume a diet that is heavy in sugars and starches, your body feels the need to refuel because of the insulin spikes that these foods provide. When you cut back on these foods, your hunger levels will decrease. When you’re not hungry, you don’t feel the need to eat. So, you’ll end up consuming fewer calories.

However, your body will still need fuel to get through the day. Typically, your body would utilize food you’ve consumed as fuel. But since you’re not eating as much, your body will turn to another source for fuel and will begin burning fat. Additionally, because your insulin levels are lower when you cut carbs, your kidneys will shed excess water and sodium. This could help reduce bloating.

Some people indicate that they lose up to ten pounds in the first week when they cut carbs. Not all of that weight is necessarily fat, as some of it is water. However, we’re willing to bet that you’ll find yourself feeling much healthier either way. You can learn more about the benefits of low-carb diets by taking a look at this chart, which compares low-carb diets to low-fat diets.

Increase Your Protein Intake

As a substitute for carbs, you should look to add more protein to your diet. The benefits of consuming protein are tremendous. Studies have found that eating an abundance of protein could boost your metabolism and cause you to burn at least a hundred extra calories per day. Additionally, those that consume high amounts of protein stay fuller longer, with 60 percent saying they reduced their cravings.

Furthermore, approximately half of those who ate high-protein diets said that they no longer had late-night cravings for snacks. Because you feel so much fuller throughout the day, a diet high in protein could result in you eating around 440 calories less per day. With those numbers, you would lose nearly a pound per week without incorporating any exercise into your routine.

You can find protein in numerous sources. For instance, if you enjoy meat, beef, pork, chicken, and lamb are all high in protein. If you enjoy seafood, salmon is one of the top sources of protein available. Trout and shrimp would also work. You can also add protein to your diet by consuming eggs, preferably whole with the yolk.

If you are vegetarian, you can still eat a high-protein, low-carb diet, although you may have to get more creative with your meals. Consider foods such as almonds, walnuts, nut butter, and chia seeds. You can also look into dairies, such as cheese and yogurt. Additionally, many vegetables contain more protein than you would think. For instance, kale contains almost 5g of protein per 100g.

Diversify Your Plate

Although you’re looking to cut carbs out of your diet, you will still need to have some carbs in your diet. The recommended carb range for those looking to lose weight is 20 to 50 grams per day. So, when constructing your meals, you should make sure that you include a protein source, a fat source, and a carb source. The carb source should come in the form of a low-carb vegetable.

Low-carb vegetables can help fill you up without bloating you or weighing you down. It’s easy to incorporate side dishes made from low-carb vegetables, especially when you get creative with how you cook them. Don’t just assume that you have to steam or boil your vegetables. Feel free to roast, broil, or sauté them as well. Examples of low-carb vegetables that you may want to consider include:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber

Drink More Water

Studies have shown that water is incredibly beneficial for those who are looking to lose weight fast. Keep in mind that if you begin drinking more water, the number on the scale could increase. Know that this is temporary and that you’re losing fat as a result. You should be much more concerned about how you feel rather than the number you see on the scale.

One of the reasons water is most beneficial to weight loss is because it helps you feel fuller longer. When you drink more water, you trick your stomach into thinking you’re full. This will prevent your stomach from signaling to your brain that it needs food, which will help cut down on cravings. Thus, you’ll end up eating fewer calories, which can help you lose weight.  

Additionally, water helps flush toxins from your system, which is imperative when you are losing weight. If you do not drink enough water, your body will release an antidiuretic hormone. As a result, you’ll end up hanging onto water, which could cause you to feel more bloated and could drive up the figure on the scale. The more hydrated you are, the better off you will be.

This does not necessarily mean you have to walk around all day with a gallon of water by your side. Instead, aim for the recommended 64 ounces a day, or eight glasses of water that are eight ounces each. Also, while water should make up a majority of your fluid intake, you can also obtain it in different, more flavorful forms. Make sure they are non-calorie alternatives, such as coffee and unsweetened tea.  

Incorporate Weight Training into Your Regiment

weight training

When it comes to losing weight fast, your diet is by far the most critical component. You could work out for hours each week, but if your food is not in check, you won’t lose any weight. Having said that, if you focus on improving your diet, you may not even need to work out to see the pounds fall off quickly. But, if you’re looking for an extra push or would like to add more, consider incorporating weight training.

To start, try working out at home first. Clear a section where you can perform basic bodyweight movements, such as squats and assisted push-ups. You can also incorporate high-intensity interval training at home by doing things such as jumping jacks or skipping rope. You should be able to find a beginner’s bodyweight workout program online easily.

Also, remember to warm up and stretch adequately. Your body will likely not be familiar with working out, so it will come as a shock to your system. Stretching before and after a workout is an excellent way to prevent injury. If you injure yourself while working out because you pushed yourself too hard, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose motivation to keep working out, derailing your weight loss efforts.

After you’ve eased into things and your body has gotten used to working out and living a more active lifestyle, try going to the gym about three to four times per week. You do not have to become a world-class bodybuilder in the gym. Stick with light weights and high repetitions. Find ways to keep your heart rate up during your workout, as this will help you burn more calories and lose more weight.

If you have never lifted weights before, know that doing so could put a lot of stress on your joints, tendons, and muscles. Proper technique is far more essential than overloading the bar with weight. If you are unfamiliar with the gym, consider asking a trainer or other knowledgeable gym member for assistance and advice. If you’re not comfortable lifting weights, consider other cardio activities such as:

  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Running

Lifting weights can be particularly beneficial when losing weight because it keeps your metabolism elevated. When you begin losing weight, your metabolism will want to decrease as a way to maintain fat stores. You need to overcome this and “retrain” your body to operate without such massive fat stores. So, working out not only helps burn calories but it also helps maintain a high metabolism.

Manage Stress Levels

Do you find that when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to eat? If so, you’re not alone. This is a proven phenomenon that occurs thanks to the release of cortisol. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, which increases your appetite for junk food. Studies have shown that those who are more stressed have a higher body weight.

Consider Your Long-Term Weight Loss Goals

athlete doing exercise

Like anyone who wants to learn how to lose weight fast, you likely want to see the pounds dissipate quickly. However, you should be more concerned about your long-term weight loss goals rather than short-term results. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that those who lose weight gradually and steady will have better long-term success with their weight loss.

According to the CDC, “gradually and steady” is equivalent to one to two pounds per week. The organization stresses that making overall changes to your lifestyle will increase the likelihood of you staying motivated to keep the weight off. Making fundamental changes to things such as your diet and your exercise habits will have the most substantial long-term results.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics echoes this sentiment, advising people to avoid using products that market themselves as helping people to lose weight fast. They too recommend that individuals lose weight gradually, instead of trying to lose it all at once. The organization says that while people may lose weight quickly, it won’t be healthy weight. Instead of fat, however, it will be a combination of:

  • Bone
  • Muscle
  • Water

We recommend that you find a hybrid between the two. You can look to learn how to lose weight fast, but also know that you must be careful to prevent yourself from adding the weight back on. Perhaps utilize a method to lose weight quickly when you first get started, knowing that you must make efforts to maintain the weight loss over time.  

We also recommend starting with fixing your diet. If you adjust a high-protein, low-carb diet, odds are you’ll see the pounds shed immediately. Depending on your body type, you could lose anywhere from 10 – 20 pounds within the first two weeks. Once you grow comfortable with your new diet, begin incorporating a workout program.

Two critical elements are also worth considering. First is the fact that the more weight you have to lose, the more likely you are to lose it quickly. For instance, someone who doctors consider obese will lose ten pounds more rapidly than someone who is relatively healthy, and doctors consider moderately overweight. The more fat you carry around, the more likely you are to lose weight fast.

Second is the fact that if you try to do everything at once, you likely won’t be able to sustain the results. Telling yourself that you are going to “go for it” is excellent in theory. But if you have spent years eating junk food and not working out, you can’t expect to flip the switch one day and expect the results to last. You are going to have to make fundamental changes to your lifestyle, which takes dedication.

In summary, if you do things the correct way, the weight will fall off naturally. It’s more important that you make sustainable changes to your lifestyle. The quickest way to lose weight is not by trying some fad or some miracle pill, but instead coming up with a diet and workout program that you feel as though you can adhere to for months or years.

7 Health Benefits of Ginger Tea Plus a Yummy Recipe

Meta: Ginger tea can help with nausea, make your brain smarter, and even help with migraines, menstrual pain, and muscle pain! Ginger might be one of the most potent superfoods available, and it’s delicious, cheap, and easy to prepare. We share ginger’s top seven health benefits plus a yummy recipe for ginger tea.

The term “superfood” is used for lots of different foods (including chocolate, kefir, and pomegranate), but ginger tea may be one of the few foods that truly deserves the title! After all, few ingredients have been used since ancient times and can still go head to head with modern medication today.

Ready to learn about what ginger tea can do for you, and how to prepare it? Read on!

1. Eliminate Your Migraines

If you’ve ever had a migraine, you have instant compassion for the other 39 million Americans who suffer from them. Migraines can include severe, throbbing pain, auras, light sensitivity, and many other symptoms, and can last a few hours or a few days.

It’s not uncommon for migraine sufferers to turn to all manner of help for these awful episodes, but it can be very difficult to find effective solutions, and many find themselves forced to turn to medication with tons of side-effects.

In a 2014 study, ginger as an aid for migraine relief was compared to sumatriptan, the most popular drug used to treat migraines. One hundred patients who suffered from migraines randomly received powdered ginger or sumatriptan, and their symptoms and side effects were measured.

After a month, the authors established that ginger was just as effective as sumatriptan at the two hours mark! Even better, study participants reported zero side effects with ginger.

2. Make Your Brain Smarter

brain

Chronic stress can have some painful effects on your brain; one of the most alarming is that it can shrink your brain. How stress and the brain interact can be varied and complex, but what we do know is that most of us encounter more stress than our ancestors did just a century ago.

Information bombards us constantly thanks to technology, advertising, and social media, and the stress causes our bodies to increase cortisol production. Cortisol is an excellent hormone in moderation, but too much can hurt our brains.

That’s what makes ginger such a valuable supplement. Experts believe middle-aged women “develop some form of cognitive impairment” (source), but when given ginger in a 2012 study, they were able to significantly enhance their performance on cognitive tests that measured recall and other indicators.  

Other studies on animals have found that ginger can improve memory and even help treat Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Knock Out Your Period Pain

In 2009, researchers in Tehran, Iran, published a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine detailing the results of treating menstrual pain with ginger. The study took place over six months and included 150 women who experienced pain during menstruation (dysmenorrhea).

Women divided into three groups; one group took ginger four times a day for the first three days of their periods, and the other two groups took either mefenamic acid or ibuprofen. After assessing symptoms for all three groups, researchers found that each group experienced significantly reduced symptoms and significantly increased pain relief.

They concluded that “ginger was as effective as mefenamic acid and ibuprofen” for relieving period pain. Here’s another study that found similar results.

4. …And Other Pain, Too

Ginger is believed to have powerful analgesic and inflammation-fighting properties, which might explain why it’s so effective in helping to relieve pain. While it doesn’t work like, say, popping ibuprofen, this 2010 study found that a small dose of ginger can help reduce the effects of exercise-induced pain in its “day-to-day progression.”

Another study published the same year in The Journal of Pain concluded that “daily supplementation with ginger reduced muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise.”

5. Relieve Nausea

Even if you’re unfamiliar with natural remedies, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of ginger as an aid for nausea. While it’s been used traditionally to soothe upset and queasy stomachs, academic studies are now beginning to confirm ginger tea’s effectiveness.

Morning sickness (vomiting and nausea during pregnancy) affects nearly 80% of pregnancies, but there’s hope! In 2014, the Nutrition Journal analyzed twelve different studies involving almost 1,300 women. When compared to a placebo, ginger didn’t reduce how often women vomited, but it did improve nausea symptoms.

Plus, as long as the dose stayed belong 1500 mg, there was no concern for the baby’s health or side effects.

There’s also hope for people undergoing chemotherapy and experiencing nausea. The Supportive Care in Cancer Journal published a study that included over 700 cancer patients. They were divided into four groups: three ginger groups and one placebo group.

Scientists found that ginger significantly reduced nausea for cancer patients, especially those whose daily dose included between .5-1.0 grams of ginger. A 2006 meta-analysis also backed up these findings.

6. Fight Germs

man drinking ginger tea

When it comes to fighting bacteria and fungal infections and increasing your immunity, ginger might be one of the most powerful ingredients in your pantry or fridge.

This study found that fresh ginger (the kind you enjoy when you make ginger tea) is highly effective at protecting you from RSV, a common respiratory illness that can be dangerous for at-risk populations, like young children and the elderly. Since RSV is a viral infection and can’t be treated with antibiotics, being able to prevent it is especially beneficial.

Ginger might also hold promise in the fight against drug-resistant diseases since it has been found to have a strong antibacterial effect.

This microbiology study even found that ginger has “good antifungal and antibiofilm formation” properties against certain strains of fungi and bacteria that can cause infections in the mouth. The study authors suggest that “perhaps, the use of herbal extracts such as ginger represents a new era for antimicrobial therapy” now that antibiotics are becoming less and less effective.  

7. Relieve Inflammation

woman holding a ginger tea

We tend to think it’s germs or injuries that make us sick or cause damage to our bodies, but at the heart of most modern disease and aging is inflammation. Inflammation is part of how our body heals itself, but chronic or ongoing inflammation leads to serious problems.

There is now some evidence – however – that ginger may help the body cope with inflammation. This review looked at all studies published between 2000-2010 and determined that ginger has “well documented” antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer potential thanks to the fact that it includes gingerol, shogaol, and paradol.  

A 2015 study also found a similar promise for ginger’s effect on platelet aggregation, a marker for disease.

How to Get More Ginger in Your Day

There are lots of ways to consume ginger. It’s a delicious spice that adds a lot to authentic Asian and Indian dishes. Meals like Masala Beef with Ginger and Curry Leaf or Indian-Style Chicken with Ginger and Curry enjoy a rich flavor profile thanks to the bite and excitement of ginger.

Working With Fresh Ginger

Fresh is typically the preferred method for using ginger in recipes, and since ginger is a root (think: a long, skinny, very knobby potato) it’s easy! To use ginger, cut off a piece (usually about one or two inches) and then carefully slice away the skin with a sharp knife. From there, you can dice, mince, chop, or grate ginger as the recipe directs.

Ginger will store in your fridge, but if you find you’re not using it fast enough, you can freeze small, peeled sections in the freezer, and then grate as normal straight into the food you’re preparing!

This is also a great way to prep fresh ginger for ginger tea; if you want to use fresh ginger but don’t want the hassle of preparing ginger every day, you can prep it and store it in the freezer. Your hot water will melt it.

Supplementing With Ginger

Another great way to ingest ginger is to use powdered or encapsulated forms. If you’re trying to get a very high dose of ginger or happen to not like the taste, this is the easiest way to do it.

Making Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is extremely easy to make whether you’re sick, in pain, or simply looking for a healthy way to start the day. You can use pre-made ginger tea bags, but to get maximum effect you should use fresh, raw ginger.

One of the great things about ginger and ginger tea is how versatile it is; we love experimenting with different add-ins to create a customized, delicious creation!

The secret to great ginger tea is to let the ginger steep for a long time. You can even boil the ginger in water for as much as twenty minutes if you find steeping does not create a rich enough flavor for you. To make it an even better experience, use a beautiful teacup and teapot.

Here’s our favorite ginger tea recipe:

Ginger Tea Recipe

Ingredients:

  • About one to two inches of raw, fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced or grated
  • 10-20oz of fresh water
  • Optional ingredients: a sprinkle of sea salt, fresh lemon juice, fresh lime juice, a tablespoon of raw honey, fresh mint leaves, a cinnamon stick, agave nectar, fresh chamomile, echinacea tincture, or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Instructions:

Add your ginger to your mug or teapot and bring the water to a boil. Pour it over your ginger and allow to steep for four to five minutes. Strain if desired and add additional ingredients if desired. Enjoy!

Movement Wellness

Movement Wellness

SunValleyWebOn Facebook is a picture of Tao Porchon-Lynch. She is a glowing, vital 93 year-old woman who teaches yoga and tangos often. She says “I don’t believe in age. I believe in the power of energy”. Ms. Porchon-Lynch is a shining example to those desiring to extend their life expectancy through movement and exercise. It is a recorded fact that when the mind-body-spirit connection is fostered, quality of life and life expectancy increases. There are many ways to move and groove so exercise becomes fun. This fun movement also decreases stress, one of the major killers in America today. Let’s examine some of these wellness movement exercises.

Zumba

The Mayo Clinic describes Zumba as a fun way to combine Latin music with easy dance moves. The dance uses alternate zumbafast and slow rhythms to enhance interval training and resistance training. Because it’s fast, it’s a great aerobic workout for the heart and lungs. It gets oxygenated blood into the muscles and keeps the heart working well. And because it’s fun, people tend to keep doing it.

Pilates

Formulated for his dance classes, Joseph Pilate brought controlled movement and coordinated breathing to exercise. Pilates work out every muscle in the body while improving breathing techniques. Combined, the body receives streamlined muscles, oxygenated blood to the muscles and increased coordination. The object of the exercise is to strengthen the core muscles and align the back and hips while deep breathing does the same from the inside.

Core Yoga

For those desiring health and wellness without bouncing around the room, there are yoga poses combined with breathing techniques that will accomplish the same. Stretching the body while breathing deeply tones the muscles, improves balance and flexibility as well as calming the mind and spirit. These poses may accomplished by those persons of limited mobility who may reap the same rewards. Core yoga combines Pilates with simple yoga poses in addition to breathing techniques to streamline the body.

Yoga With T-Spheres

T-spheres are a recent innovation combining aromatherapy and massage. Essential oils from a vial are infused into tsphere1organic rubber balls. The balls are small, about the size of a baseball. Following a particularly long pose or perhaps a vigorous session of poses, the body may become tight or tense. The balls are rolled around the body part needing tension-release. The aromatherapy part comes when the essential oils are absorbed. These oils relax muscles, relieve headaches and ease backache. Yoga with T-spheres may be used by those with less range of motion than normal for the relaxation of joints and muscles.

Living a healthy lifestyle means maintaining wellness through motion. It can be a lot of fun dancing about or it can be quiet and thoughtful using yoga poses. Either way, quality of life and life expectancy may be increase

Ashwagandha: uses, dosage, and side effects

Ashwagandha, an herb in the nightshade family, spans more than 4,000 years of medicinal use in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. In the last decade, it has gained popularity in Western countries as a natural and inexpensive supplement and alternative medicine.

Uses

Throughout its long history, ashwagandha has been recognized as helpful for a number of issues. Its main use is as an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body maintain a healthy balance in the face of physical or psychological stressors. This has been shown to ward off the negative effects of cortisol overload such as illness, anxiety, immune suppression, muscle loss, fat gain and appetite changes.

Another of ashwagandha’s many benefits is as a mild antidepressant. The herb has been found in studies to increase the Ashwagandha rootamounts of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These neurotransmitters are largely responsible for a person’s ability to feel joy, pleasure, motivation and contentment. Ashwagandha is said to be particularly helpful during withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.

Ashwagandha also serves as a natural collagen booster. Maintaining optimal collagen production is important for everyone, especially people who are physically active. Collagen is the main constituent of cartilage, tendons, ligaments and skin. When this protein is lacking, the joints and connective tissues become weak and prone to serious injury. Skin becomes thin and tends to sag, leading to a prematurely aged appearance.

Dosage

The dosage of ashwagandha can vary depending on body weight, purpose, personal preference and individual body chemistry. Dosages can be as low as 200mg or as high as five grams in one day, and there doesn’t appear to be any harm associated with large doses. As little as one-quarter teaspoon can cause dramatic mood improvements. A one-tablespoon dose can virtually eliminate feelings of anxiety and aid relaxation.

It is important to understand that all ashwagandha preparations are not created equal. If the product is ground root, the content of the active chemical can vary widely between batches and suppliers. For this reason, some people prefer to use a standardized ashwagandha extract since it provides more consistent and dependable results.

Side Effects

ashwagandha pillsAshwagandha is usually considered to have few side effects, but because everyone is different, some people may experience unpleasant results. Sleepiness is the most commonly reported side effect of this herb. For that reason, it is strongly recommended to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how ashwagandha will affect you. If it does make you sleepy, try to limit its use to right before bed.

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is another frequent occurrence, which may make it unsuitable for people with diabetes. However, this effect can often be avoided by taking the herb with meals. Ashwagandha may also cause extreme irritability in some people, not necessarily due to hypoglycemia. It is not known why this occurs.

Irritated Eye Symptoms

A variety of conditions can cause red and irritated eyes. Some conditions, such as allergies, are less serious and can be treated with over-the-counter medications, while others may require additional medical attention and treatment. Some of the most common eye concerns patients have include itchiness, dryness, irritation, swelling, burning, pain and blurring.

Red Eyes

Redness of the eye area can be caused by various conditions, including trauma, infections, inflammation, and allergies. Pink eye infection (conjunctivitis) is a very common cause of eye redness. Inflammation causes the blood vessels in the eye to dilate, which turn the whites of the eye pink or red. It is most often accompanied by itchiness, swelling, and watering. It is very contagious. A person with pink eye infection should avoid rubbing his eyes and should see a doctor to get a prescription medication. Allergic conjunctivitis, a non-contagious form of conjunctivitis, also has these symptoms. It is usually treated with over-the-counter allergy medication.
Irritated Eye

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that occurs when eyes don’t produce enough tears to provide sufficient moisture. As a result, the person will feel dryness and irritation. Other symptoms may include redness, stinging or burning, some discharge, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. These symptoms can be relieved with over-the-counter eye drops. In some cases, dry eyes can be caused by other conditions, such as aging, eyelid problems, medications, hormonal changes, and environment. If the condition becomes severe, it is recommended to see a doctor who will decide on a proper treatment or refer to a specialist.

Itchy Eyes
Itchiness is most often caused by allergies. Over-the-counter allergy medications, such as lubricating eye drops, contain antihistamines that help relieve itchy eyes. It is important to avoid rubbing the eyes as it releases histamines that make the itching worse. Severe itching may require a prescription for a stronger medication. If the eye lids are itchy and inflamed, it could be blepharitis.

Blepharitis

300_1201412Blepharitis is an inflammation of eye lids that is caused by an infection. Other symptoms may include burning, redness, irritation, crusting, and watering. No complete cure exists for this condition. Proper hygiene and over-the-counter medications can relieve the symptoms.

There are many possible causes of eye irritation. When they are detected and addressed early enough, they can be diagnosed and successfully treated by a medical professional. If you experience moderate or severe eye irritation, you should see a doctor. For additional information about caring for irritated eyes, go to http://www.totaleye.org/treatment-of-irritated-eyes-with-moist-heat/