Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Benefits and Downsides of Birth Control Pills

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

A birth control is the best way to use if you want to prevent pregnancy, infections and sexually transmitted diseases. They are our most effective weapon against all these possible complications. Although they have their uses, there are effects that you should be aware of.

Pregnancy Prevention
The main use of birth control pills continues to be the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists report that birth control pills are the most popular form of contraceptive around. According to the medical journal Human Reproduction Update, the benefits of preventing unwanted pregnancy apply not only to families, but to populations as well. People are now able to choose when they get pregnant and when not to, which helps to control the population and prevent excessive resource demands.

Less Cramping
Birth control pills also have the benefit of reducing the intensity of dysmenorrhea, or menstrual pain caused by uterine cramping. The hormones in birth control pills (estrogen and progesterone) help to decrease the intensity with which the uterus contracts during menstruation. Up to 70 to 80 percent of women with dysmenorrhea get some relief from cramping through birth control pills.

Reduced Acne
The hormones contained in birth control pills can also clear up the skin. The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals reported that in one study, up to 95 percent of women taking birth control pills noticed a significant decrease in their acne. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, however, this may only be true for certain brands. Progesterone concentration tends to be the determining factor, as those with higher levels are more effective at reducing acne.

Fewer PMS Symptoms
The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals reports that the hormones in birth control pills also decrease many of the symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). This includes breast tenderness, bloating and weight gain. In fact, it has been prescribed for this purpose (in addition to pregnancy prevention) for more than 40 years.

Lower Risk of Certain Cancers
According to the Human Reproduction Update, the risks of many types of cancers are lower in people who take birth control pills. Ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and colorectal cancer risks are all reduced in women who use oral contraceptives, especially those containing estrogen.

Decreased Endometriosis Symptoms
Endometriosis is a painful condition that causes growth of uterine lining outside of the uterus. Birth control pills not only decrease some of the side effects of endometriosis, such as dysmenorrhea, but, according to the Human Reproduction Update, they can also reduce the rate of endometrial cell proliferation. In other words, they can decrease the tissue formation outside the uterine walls. The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals report that up to 80 percent of women with endometriosis found birth control pills significantly reduced their symptoms.

In fact, there are many other side effect that could come about from birth control. Ask your doctor for a list of side effects. Here is a short list for you:

1. It could cause events such as a stroke, blood clots and heart attacks. This is a risk that we take when we take birth control pills.

2. It can slightly increase the risk of getting breast cancer.

3. This one may be rare, but it can cause hepatic cancer and noncancerous tumors to form.

4. Birth control pills could increase the serum lipids (elevate your cholesterol).

5. If you smoke cigarettes and are over the age of thirty five, then the chances of a thromboembolic event will increase.

6. Taking the birth control pill could cause liver, kidney or adrenal dysfunction.

7. Severe hypertension

8. Endometrical cancer

9. Other forms of estrogen dependent cancer could form.

A Guide to Ophthalmic Equipment

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Ophthalmic equipment and other eye-care tools are some of the most finely hones in all of medicine. Think about how exact they would need to be in order to make the minuscule corrections that you need to measure and correct your eyesight.So, even if you are not looking to pursue a career in eye care, you may want to learn more about the equipment that will be used on your eyes and their purpose.

• The eye chart – Probably the most recognized diagnostic tool in the eye care technician’s arsenal. It is used to test your visual acuity. Basically, this is a test of how clear your vision is and to test the sharpness of your retinal focus. It also helps to test the brains ability to interpret the data correctly

• The Phoropter – This is the giant machine that hangs from an articulated arm and probably reminds you of a medieval torture device. It has a face plate with two apertures for you to look through and the technician will ask, “Better or worse?” Inside those apertures are different lenses that are used to measure your refraction error and help to narrow down the proper prescription for your eyes.

• The cover test – This is mostly given to children but can also be used on adults. One eye is covered for a short length of time. Then when it is uncovered both eyes are watched for movement. If there is a “Lazy eye” it will start to wander inwardly or outwardly as it tries to compensate for its visual disparity. This can uncover defects such as Tropia, the constant misalignment of the eyes and Phoria that is only evident when both eyes stop focusing on the same target.

• Glaucoma test – This is the one that everyone, including me, dreads the most. You put your chin into a machine that holds it in place. You are usually looking at a barn in a pasture when they blow a puff of air into your eyes. It is testing the fluid pressure in your eye to make sure that it is draining properly and not building pressure that would impinge on your optic nerve.

Those are the most common tests that you will have to sit through on your yearly visit to the eye doctor. No one is claiming the process is pleasant but it certainly beats the alternative. Plus, on the bright side, many eye care technicians have a variety of sucker flavors for you to enjoy after the tests.

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