While watching television do not sit in darkened room as dark surrounding will dilate the pupil and allow harmful radiation to enter your eyes and this could be more damaging. Therefore television should be watched in a well lit room .
Patients with acidity and heart burn should avoid aerated drinks as this could worsen the original problem. Aerated drinks act in two ways , one by distending the stomach they relax the valve between food pipe and stomach thereby facilitating regurgitation of acid from stomach into food pipe . Secondly they are acidic by virtue of carbon dioxide becoming carbonic acid when dissolved in water. Thirdly in some aerated water the base material is itself acidic.
To avoid constipation you can plan your life style your self. Make it a regular habit to go to the toilet at a fixed time even when you have no urge. Do not strain too much. Eat lot of leafy vegetable and other available seasonal vegetables. In hot countries drink plenty of fluids. Kip fit . Take gentle exercises. Avoid drugs which have constipation as side effects. Most of the anti-depressants have this side effects. Many antispasmodics have also the same properties. When you have urge to defecate don't ignore the call.
For children it is important that they have enough time to go to the toilet. If your child is going to morning school , either wake him up early to give him enough time or change the time for defecation to evening one. For very young children make them sit on the toilet rather then allow them to stand at the time of defecation. Avoid very starchy food like biscuits.
Although baldness is most of the time hereditary excessive hair loss is sometimes seen when there is nutritional and vitamin deficiency. Eat balanced diet , take additional vitamins as per your doctor's advise . Avoid using strong chemical based shampoo and instead use herbs like Aritha, or genuine herbal shampoo.
If you are above 50 yr and have noted that you have excessive gas formation , loud noise coming from your tummy and that you have loose motions then it is possible that you could have developed intolerance to milk, " lactose intolerance ". Lactase is an enzyme which resides in intestinal surface lining and digests lactose contained in milk. This lactose is unabsorbable on its own and would cause diarrhoea and flatulance. This enzyme decreases as the age advances and in Indian races upto 20 % of population could have significantly decreased lactase level making this population susceptible to milk or milk products like cheese etc.
If you have an injury or sprain , it is better to put cold compresses rather than hot ones. The reason being low temperature decreases blood supply by contraction of the blood vessels and there is proportionate reduction in the amount of inflammatory substances at the site of injury thus containing the inflammation.
One unusual way to go to sleep for those with difficulty is to tell your children stories at night. It is observed that generally you fall asleep before your children !!
Vaccination for hepatitis- B : Several vaccines are now available against dreaded hepatitis- B virus. Genetically engineered vaccines are preferred in our opinion although plasma derived are certified as safe by several health agencies. In areas with high endemicity of this virus like most of the developing countries it is recommended that this vaccination be included in primary vaccination schedule. Injection is given in arm muscles ( deltoid ) as it is seen that the " take " is better by this route. If mother is also infected at the time of delivery Passive ( instant ) immunity may be required for the new born and specialist help must be taken beforehand.
Vaccination for hepatitis - A virus : Several formaldehyde inactivated vaccines are available against hepatitis -A virus. In area with low endemicity like most of the western countries its use is recommended but in high endemicity area its use needs consideration as most of the children are infected with the virus by the time they reach 10 yrs. of age. The disease in children is mild most of the time and mortality and morbidity are low. Having said that there are now preparations , like "Twinrix " from SKB which incorporate both B and A viruses and this type of vaccination may be used with dual advantage and their use is recommended.
Typhoid vaccines : There are two types , one given by injection and the other by mouth. Both are reasonably effective and there is a theoretical advantage in combining the two. If traveling from low to high endemicity are their use is recommended.
Pneumococcal vaccine : This is given to patients who are going to have their spleen removed for any reason. It is also recommended for patients with absent spleen, severe dysfunction of spleen or autospleenectomy as in homozygous sickle cell disease. Any patient with chronic debilitating illness may also be considered for this vaccination.
Meningococcal vaccines : These are recommended when visiting most of the subsaharan Africa, Pakistan, Nepal , Bhutan , North India, Saudi Arabia during "haj " months.
There are many more specific vaccines which depend upon the degree of risk you could be facing. Information regarding this may be requested giving detail about area of residence, area of destination, age , pregnancy status and general health status.
Primary treatment of dog bite: Main danger of dog bite is contracting rabies. Immediately after dog bite consult an experienced health personnel. If this is delayed, wash the bitten part with copious clean water and then with mild antiseptic solution like Savlon or Dettol. Do not put any herbs or home made powders or turmeric etc. in the wound. Do not allow any unqualified person to take stitches. Cover the part with clean cotton and see the nearest health personnel. Observe the dog for any manifest rabies for next few days.
How to avoid acidity and heartburn : These is a fairly common problem especially in middle aged and old people, however with increasing taste for " junk " food , "cola" , tobacco and chocolates this is also becoming a fairly common complaints in youngsters. This may present as burning in the chest, nausea, refractory vomiting, " sticky " feeling in the chest, burping, and headache which may be so severe that many a times patients induce vomit to get rid of it !! I feel that this is mainly dietary and secondly due to indisciplined lifestyle. Fried food, very sour food, pickles, lemon , orange ,cheese, chocolate , onions, red meat all lead to this problem and they need to be avoided at all cost. Patient is encouraged not to go to bed for atleast two hours after food. Late night meals, a long interval between two meals or repeated fasting all contribute to this problem. I also recommend elevation of head end by 10 inches. If overweight ,loose weight, avoid bending down or sitting on the floor. Newer drugs are very effective against this condition and may be used for short to intermediate term under strict medical supervision. The problem almost always return when medications are stopped and strict diet and lifestyle discipline are forgone thereby emphasising the importance of sticking to healthy diet and lifestyle .