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What your eyes say about your health

The eyes are the portal through which signs of certain health problems can be discovered, not only eye disorders like cataracts and glaucoma, but also systemic illnesses like diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Sometimes the signs of these diseases are visible in, on, or around the eyes long before the symptoms appear.

“The eyes truly are unique real estate. They are the only place in the body where you can see a bare nerve, a bare artery and a bare vein without doing any cutting.  And the disease processes we see in the eye are probably occurring in the rest of the body,” Andrew Iwach, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco and Executive Director of the Glaucoma Center of San Francisco, said.

The list of systemic diseases that can have ocular manifestations is a long one; in addition to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it includes aneurysms, HIV, cancer, and rare hereditary diseases. This is one reason why eye experts recommend periodic checks.

“Everyone should have a comprehensive eye exam by age 40,” Ruth Williams, MD, an ophthalmologist and glaucoma specialist in Wheaton, Ill, said. People who have a family history of eye problems should be seen earlier and anyone who is having eye trouble should see a doctor right away. But people shouldn’t wait until they experience symptoms to see a doctor, because many eye problems are silent, meaning they cause no symptoms.

Some ocular manifestations of systemic disease can be seen only by a trained specialist during the course of an eye exam. Others are plain for all to see. 

Here are some of the common eye signs and what they might be saying about your health:

Read more: What your eyes say about your health

Images of foetus show how babies exposed to cigarettes have delayed development

These remarkable scans clearly reveal how smoking during pregnancy harms an unborn baby’s development.

New ultrasound images show how babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy touch their mouths and faces much more than babies of non-smoking mothers.

Foetuses normally touch their mouths and faces much less the older and more developed they are.

Experts said the scans show how smoking during pregnancy can mean the development of the baby’s central nervous system is delayed.

Doctors have long urged pregnant women to give up cigarettes because they heighten the risk of premature birth, respiratory problems and even cot death.

Now researchers believe they can show the effects of smoking on babies in the womb - and use the images to encourage mothers who are struggling to give up.

As part of the study, Dr Nadja Reissland, of Durham University, used 4-D ultrasound scan images to record thousands of tiny movements in the womb.

She monitored 20 mothers attending the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, four of whom smoked an average of 14 cigarettes a day.

Read more: Images of foetus show how babies exposed to cigarettes have delayed development

Home remedies for common cold

We all know the popular adage, there is no cure for common cold. While it is true that it might not always be prevented, there are homemade cures. A cold is a kind of infection that is caused by different virus. Some of the common symptoms of cold are headache, running nose, cough, high fever, itchy eyes, sore throat, body aches and so on.

It is important to treat cold before it leads to other infections like strep throat, bronchitis and pneumonia.Many natural treatments offer effective relief from the various symptoms of common cold without side effects.


Garlic’s antibacterial and antiviral properties can be very helpful in getting rid of cold. It is good for the immune system and helps open up respiratory passages and also helps flush toxins out of your body

Mix one crushed garlic clove, two teaspoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of honey, and half a teaspoon of red chilli powder. Consume it daily until the symptoms subside.

Read more: Home remedies for common cold

How to check breasts for lumps

Regularly examining your breasts on your own can help detect breast cancer early, when it is more likely to be successfully treated. Though not every cancer can be found this way, but it is a critical step you can and should take for yourself.

Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.

Here is what you should look for:

•Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and colour

•Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention:

•Dimpling, puckering or bulging of the skin

•A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)

•Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.

Read more: How to check breasts for lumps

How to get rid of a stiff neck

A stiff neck is a common problem. It often occurs due to sleeping in an awkward position, sitting in front of a computer for a prolonged period, or straining a muscle due to bad posture or carrying heavy loads that put too much pressure on the shoulders.

Other causes include anxiety and stress that create tension in the neck muscles, trauma or injury that affects the neck and some diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer.

The main symptoms are soreness, pain and difficulty moving the neck, especially when trying to turn the head to the side. At times, a stiff neck may cause a headache, shoulder pain or arm pain.

A stiff neck does not usually indicate a serious medical problem, but it can hinder your daily activities and make it hard to sleep. Lack of sleep can make things worse. This problem usually gets better after a few days or a week. However, you can use some simple lifestyle changes and home remedies to ease the pain and stiffness. If your condition does not get better within a week or if it occurs with a high fever, consult your doctor immediately.


Read more: How to get rid of a stiff neck