What is Sleep Apnea?

October 24, 2015

The word “apnea” is a Greek word which means “without breath.” If you have sleep apnea, during sleep your breathing pauses several times. This pause may last minute or just a few seconds and may occur about five times per hour or as many as 100 times per hour. Less than five times per hour is also quite normal. When you start to breathe again you may make a choking sound or snort loudly.

The most common type if apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. This is a blockage of the airway which is caused when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses. Central sleep apnea is less common and it’s caused when the area of the brain that controls your breathing doesn’t send the right signals to the breathing muscles.

Deputy Director of FDA’s Division of Ophthalmic, Neurological, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices, Eric Mann, M.D., Ph.D., says that you can be unaware that these events are occurring when you sleep. You partially wake up when you have pauses in your breathing. Your sleep ends up being interrupted and you’ll feel irritable and extra tired the next day.

Sleep apnea is about twice as common in men than women. Risks for it also include:

  • If you’re overweight the extra fat around the neck makes it harder to keep airways open.
  • Those over age 40
  • Smokers
  • Those with a family history of sleep apnea
  • Those with some type of nasal obstruction due to allergies, sinus problem, or deviated septum.

Children can also develop sleep apnea and it’s most common with children 3-6 years old. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the common cause.

Mann says you should speak with your physician if you suspect that your child or even you has sleep apnea. A formal sleep study is required to diagnose these conditions properly.

A common sleep study for sleep apnea is called PSG or Polysomnogram. This is usually done in a sleep center or some sort of lab where brain activity, blood pressure, air through the lungs, and eye movement can be monitored.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Behavioral changes are the first line of defense in combating sleep apnea. Weight loss can help those that have obstructive sleep apnea. Reducing the use of medications or alcohol consumption which makes you sleepy can also help because these tend to make it harder to breathe.

A CPAP machine is often used to treat OSA. They use mild air pressure which keeps the airways open. The mask fits over the face, mouth and nose or just your nose.

The CPAP machine is not the only medical device that’s been approved by the FDA to treat sleep apnea. The FDA approved an implanted medical device for the treatment of sleep apnea on May 1, 2014. The UAS Inspire Upper Airway System helps people with moderate or severe OSA or those with a BMI (body mass index) under 32 and don’t have a complete collapse in the back of their throat. It’s also designed for those that didn’t see good results with a CPAP machine or couldn’t use the CPAP treatment.

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Head Lice Treatment Options

October 16, 2015

Your doctor will likely recommend an over-the-counter (OTC) head lice treatment that kills lice and some of the eggs. These head lice treatment medications may not kill recently laid eggs. Therefore, an appropriately timed second treatment is usually necessary to kill nymphs after they hatch but before they become adult lice.

In some geographic regions, lice have developed resistance to OTC medications. Also, OTC treatment may fail because of incorrect use, such as not repeating the treatment at an appropriate time.

If the correct use of an OTC treatment has failed, the next head lice treatment option is a prescription remedy. The truth is, while these pesticides may get rid of lice, they are also being absorbed by the skin. As you may well imagine, this can cause a number of negative side effects – from skin irritation, redness and swelling to breathing difficulties or asthmatic episodes – and that’s just from regular, recommended use! These treatments have caused vomiting, seizures, even death.

Natural head lice treatment can be fantastic for both acute cases of lice and chronic recurrent never-ending cases of nits. You can count on the natural head lice treatment products to quickly, safely remove lice and nits without the use of poisons and pesticides. Instead, the natural remedies use the finest grade homeopathics and aromatherapeutic oils to relieve and soothe itchy irritated scalps.

Rates of Skin Cancer

October 11, 2015

Basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma are the three main types of skin cancer. Melanoma is less common, but dangerous and aggressive.

Skin cancer rates are rising in the United States. In 2014 the National Cancer Institute estimates that:

  • There will be 76,100 reported new cases of melanoma as well as 9,710 deaths.
  • There will be 2 million reported new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer with less than 1,000 deaths.

In our cells is where cancer starts. When cells are damaged or grow old, they usually die and we have new cells that replace them. In the case of cancer, new cells will grow when they aren’t needed and damaged or old cells don’t die when they should die which forms a tumor (mass of tissue). Skin cancer is able to spread throughout the body and invade otherwise healthy tissues.

There are treatments to remove skin cancer, but this depends upon the type of cancer and the stage that it’s in. The FDA had only 5 drugs approved before 2011 for the treatment of melanoma.

Most of these drugs shrank the tumors and were standard chemotherapy drugs, but they weren’t very effective with only a positive result in 15% of patients according to FDA oncologist Patricia Keegan, M.D. She stated that many people who took the drugs didn’t get a lot of benefit from them.

The FDA has approved one treatment combination and two melanoma drugs since 2011. Mekinist (trametinib) in combination with Tafinlar shrank tumors in clinical studies for about half of patients. The other drugs were Tafinlar (dabrafenib, and Zelboraf (vemurafenib). Patients using the new drug Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Zelboraf patients live longer using these drugs than if they got just chemotherapy according to Keegan.

New Treatments for Skin Cancer

One new class of immune therapy drugs that patients with melanoma are using is Yervoy. These patients have melanoma which can’t be removed by surgery or limited to certain gene mutations. The cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen (CTLA-4) molecule is blocked by the drug. It helps the body, target, recognize, and attack cells which have melanoma tumors. For over 100 years according to Keegan, scientists have been trying to gain this ability.

Keegan says that there has been a lot of experience with tumor vaccines and the hope was that they would attack the foreign bacteria, but most of these had been unsuccessful until now.

The drug Yervoy doesn’t attack the tumor directly. The drug helps the white blood cells of the body recognize tumor cells so they can be rejected by the body.

Mekinist, Tafinlar, and Zelboraf, are personalized drugs that treat patients with melanoma tumors with the BRAF V600E gene mutation. The drugs work to keep tumors from growing by blocking the BRAF gene which has been mutated.

Erivedge (vismodegib) is the first FDA drug approved to treat metastic basal cell carcinoma. This is a serious cancer for a small percentage of the population. Tumors on the face, nose, eyelid, and head are difficult to cut out for doctors or impossible and this drug helps treat these tumors. A rare form of skin cancer called Gorlin syndrome can impact many parts of the body and these individuals are vulnerable because their cancer can spread or return so this drugs helps.

Obesity is something that’s killing more and more people around the world. It doesn’t have to be this way. It can be a thing of the past. Let’s face it. Being overweight isn’t good for anyone. It’s only going to cause you long term health problems. This is why it’s important that you work on losing weight today. You’re not going to want to live the same lifestyle that you have been. The reason for that isn’t just yourself. It’s also for your family. You want to be healthy for them. The only way to do that is by losing weight.

The very first thing you need to do is get up off the couch. People think that to lose weight they need a membership to an expensive gym. That’s not the truth. The best exercise is walking. It doesn’t cost one single red cent to put one foot in front of the other. Get out there and walk at least a half hour per day. Don’t stop at just a half hour. You can walk for an hour or two. Bring your kids along too. They’ll benefit from the exercise. It’ll also help you improve your bond with them. This alone makes it all worthwhile.

Weight Loss Products

Then there are prescription drugs. You’re going to want to think twice about this method of weight loss. As prescription drugs can have side effects. Make sure that you talk to your doctor about all the possible side effects. A good doctor will be upfront with you. They’ll let you know what the side effects are and if the medication is right for you. These can be strong and possibly habit forming drugs. This is why great consideration must be taken before starting any prescription weight loss medication.

There are an ever increasing amount of nonprescription weight loss drugs. These are all natural weight loss medications that don’t require a prescription from a doctor. These can be an effective means for weight loss. All without the harsh side effects of prescription medication. You should make sure to read the labels carefully even when taking natural medications. It’s even a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking them. As some all natural remedies can interact with prescription drugs.

The last thing we’re going to talk about is weight loss surgery. There are several surgical procedures that can be done to help you lose weight. This should be your very last resort. As surgery poses many risks and even death. It’s for this reason that surgery should only be an option for those that are morbidly obese. The risk isn’t worth the reward for the average person that’s just slightly overweight. It’s only for those people who are at least several hundred pounds overweight. Simply put, this is only an option for those who lives are in danger from their obesity.

It should be noted that weight loss isn’t impossible. Even though it can certainly feel like it is. Millions of people around the globe lose weight each and every year. It takes dedication and effort. Find the strength and will to do it from those who you love the most. Never forget they want you around for as long as possible. They only way that’s going to happen is if you lose the weight. Change your life today and never look back. Lose the weight for yourself and those that love you. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make.