Good Eggs: New fertility test says it can measure how many high-quality eggs you have left

by Jessica Ashley

A new test is in town, and it might just give women information about their fertility they never expected to find: Exactly how many “good eggs” they have left.  Even if it could predict how many high-quality eggs we have and how that affects our chances of getting pregnant, is that information we want to know?

Plan Ahead, the first test of its kind to test and predict a woman’s “ovarian reserve,” will be available in fertility clinics in eleven states in the next few weeks. Marketed by Repromedix, it will be available for $350 to women who want a higher-tech insight into family planning than has previously been available.

How does this thing work anyway?
Plan Ahead’s calculations are based on tracking three hormonal tests:

* inhibin B, a protein derived from egg follicles
* anti-mullerian hormone, generated by the cells that surround eggs that have not yet matured
* follicle stimulating hormone, which prompts development of the eggs

These hormone levels are combined with the woman’s age and estrogen levels to create a formula for her fertility. Or at least conceive a score for how many eggs are viable for reproduction.

Do they really count the eggs?
The hormonal tests that Plan Ahead depends upon to derive this score aren’t new to the market, and some experts are concerned about the use and analysis of the anti-mullerian hormone since the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved it for commercial distribution. Adding fuel to this fertility testing fire is the lack of published data by marketing company Repromedix. Although Repromedix conducted a study of 200 women’s ovarian reserves, the results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Some doctors say the test should be clinically established before the idea — or Plan Ahead itself — is sold to women. Although clinical data and FDA clearance isn’t being made available by Repromedix at this point, the company is making a very important point about what the test can’t do: It can’t predict whether or not a woman is fertile or how quickly she will get pregnant. It also cannot determine the rate of deterioration of the viable eggs she does have.

Simply put, it all comes down to the count. All the math and blood tests and money and technology tells a woman one thing: If she’s at risk of having a low supply of “good eggs.”

Why is this count so controversial?
At Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, the chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Dr. Ralph Krazer told the Chicago Tribune that he thinks Plan Ahead’s being offered to women prematurely “[g]iven the state of the science.”

In New York, Dr. Zev Rosenwaks took his concerns a step further. As the director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, he questioned Plan Ahead’s value for patients worrying that results could generate false reassurance or panic among women who are tested.

While the science here is fascinating — just think, a mathematical formula that is essentially a peek into the amazing and previously far more mysterious underworld of our ovaries — as a woman, a mother, a person who wants to parent again in the future, I think Plan Ahead carries as many (if not more) anxieties than those other pregnancy-related tests.

Do we need to stress over another plus or minus sign?
I can’t imagine a woman or couple who haven’t been overwhelmed by pounding hearts while waiting for a plus or minus sign to appear on a pregnancy test. And if you’ve been through an amnio, age-related risk assesments, ultrasound and genetic “abnormality” tests, you’re familiar with the worry they produce over issues you never considered when you chose to become a parent. While I’ve been fortunate to be more fertile than I expected that one night after several pitchers of microbrews and mood lighting, I’ve known too many women who’ve experienced the emotional roller coaster of infertility drugs and treatments, hormones and panic in an effort to become pregnant. Sure, the science is incredible and has aided, inspired, guided and gifted many people with pregnancies, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come free or even cheap.

The cost here, I am concerned, is the opportunity for more anxiety to creep into a woman’s biology. While Plan Ahead is geared, the manufacturer says, toward women in their mid-to-late 30s who have already experienced difficulty conceiving and want to test their ovum and themselves to see if they should pursue in vitro treatment, I imagine many more women in that will have their blood drawn for the cause.

Oh yeah. There are plenty of questions. A lifetime of ’em for a lifetime of ovum.
A girl child is born with a lifetime supply of eggs and once she starts menstruating, the eggs are released, with a sharp decline as she moves through her 30s. This basic biology is not new to us, but the cultural move to later motherhood is relatively recent. So how does a test that measures that egg supply factor in?

Will women make different maternal choices if they know they’re lacking lots of high-quality eggs?

Will the question of how many “good eggs” a woman has follow whether she’s got a clean bill of health, is STD-free and even wants children at all?

Will women who’ve chosen to put a college, a career, travel, themselves first in their 20s suddenly feel the necessity to put that all aside if there’s a chance their eggs may not outlast their other ambitions?

As family planning takes this turn, is the science formulating the potential for anxiety more tests could produce for people who want to become parents, if not now then maybe, possibly one day on down the road?

While we’re busy counting “good eggs,” are we also accounting for the emotional responses to Plan Ahead just being available?

What’s your response to Plan Ahead?: Would you take this fertility test if it was available in your city?

Know the Facts About Infantigo

Before I get into some of the facts about Infantigo which can also called Impetigo, I want to first talk about the biggest organ on our bodies, and that is our skin. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I became aware that our skin was even considered to be an organ.

And out of all the organs in our bodies, our skin could be considered as being the most important. I know you’re probably thinking about our heart, brain, liver, kidneys and stomach, but think about it. It’s our skin that hold all these things together, so in my book that makes it more important.

Our Skin Is Made Up Of Three Different Layers

  • The outside layer is the epidermis.
  • The next layer is the dermis, and this contains all our nerve endings, blood vessels, oil glands and sweat glands. It also contains elastin and collagen.
  • The third layer is the  subcutaneous which is made mostly of fat and helps our bodies stay warm. It also helps hold the skin to all the tissues underneath it and absorbs trauma or shock to our bodies.

Our skin is also the first defense against any bacterial infections, and even though many bacteria already live on the surface, only healthy skin can protect us from any infections.

The most serious complication of Impetigo is a severe kidney disease that occurs following a strep infection, but this only occurs in less than 1% of the cases and mostly occurs in children. So let’s go over some of the facts about Impetigo…

It Is A Bacterial Infection Of The Surface Of The Skin

Yes, Impetigo happens to be a highly contagious bacterial skin infection which can show up anywhere on your body, but generally attacks your exposed areas. Children tend to get Impetigo on their face, especially around their mouth and nose, and sometimes even their legs or legs.

The bacteria responsible for this infection depends on which form of Impetigo you have. If you have the Non-Bullous form, the bacteria responsible would be either Staphylococcus or Streptococcus. If you should be suffering from the Bullous form of the disease, this is caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria.

The areas that are infected can range from dime to quarter size and start out as tiny blisters that break to expose moist, red skin. After a few days, the infected area gets a golden, grainy crust that gradually spreads.

This infection Is More Common In Children Than In Adults

The reason Impetigo is so common among children is because it can be easily spread to them by other children in school or pre-school. This is why it is also called “school sores.” It has been said that this disease really loves skin that has had other skin problems like poison ivy, skin rashes from allergies or eczema.

If your child has contracted Impetigo, you should keep them home from school or day care until they are no longer contagious, which is usually 24 to 48 hours after you begin treatment with the antibiotics. Without antibiotics, Impetigo will remain contagious until the sores go away.

During this time you have to be careful with their bed linen, clothes, towels and wash clothes. The key is to keep them separate from your other laundry and wash them daily. I suggest this because Impetigo can also be spread to other members of your family if they come into contact with items that have been handled by your child while they were still contagious.

Another thing is to try your best to keep the infected area as isolated as possible. If your child touches any other part of their body with hands or fingers that have touched the infected area, that area will also become infected.

This is why it’s important to start treatment of Impetigo as quickly as possible. The faster healing begins, the less you have to worry about this infection spreading.

There Is An Extreme Form Of Impetigo

The extreme form of Impetigo is called Ecthyma. If not treated quickly and properly the infection could invade down to a deeper layer of your skin. Because of this, some people call Ecthyma, “deep impetigo.” The one thing to be aware of if the infection gets this advanced is that the sores could cause permanent scarring and pigment changes.

Scarring And Permanent Skin Damage Is Very Rare

Impetigo is not serious and is easy to treat, but the key is to treat it in the early stages. It could clear on its own in two to three weeks, and of course if you decide to use antibiotics this can shorten the course of the disease and stop it from spreading to others.

It doesn’t leave scars or damage to the skin, but as I stated above, if you don’t treat it right away, and it advances to Ecthyma, then there will be scarring after it heals.

Pooping blood

Pooping blood is the result of distended veins (which cause hemorrhoids), which are located in the rectum, and anus’ lower part. In normal cases, they do not cause any problem, but if they get swollen, it can become very painful and then the patient has to treat it. There are two types of hemorrhoids; one is called, “Internal hemorrhoid” and the other is called “External hemorrhoid”. The internal hemorrhoids are present in the inside layer of rectum. The internal hemorrhoid cannot be felt physically and do not cause any kind of pain if everything is fine, but one has to cure hemorrhoids if he/she experiences any pain in anus or rectum, as the pain could be indicating hemorrhoids.

In the case of hemorrhoid swelling, the, the internal hemorrhoid protrudes through the anus. The outer skin, which surrounds the anus, has external hemorrhoids beneath it. It can also be not felt except in the case of abnormality, such as swelling of the hemorrhoid or when the blood clot is blocked in the vein, which is very painful, and demands to cure hemorrhoids.

The Causes

The most common cause of dark blood in poop is the swollen veins, which are caused when there is a strain, causing bloody stool. Pregnancy can also be one major reason of hemorrhoids, as during pregnancy the enlarged uterus put a pressure on the rectum. Treatment of hemorrhoids is very important if one feels pain or bleeding through anus. Another significant cause of hemorrhoids can be constipation too, as hemorrhoids are often associated with constipation that also puts strain on the bowel and stool passing. Liver problem can also lead to the hemorrhoid pain. One must see the doctor immediately to cure hemorrhoids if he/she experiences any such symptom such as problem in stool passing or swelling.

Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids

As the early symptom of hemorrhoids, one may experience bleeding from the anus, resulting in blood in your stool. This bleeding is mostly painless. The bleeding can be seen with the passage of poop, or it can just keep dripping when one uses toilet to poop. This bleeding stops itself after a limited period of time.  To cure hemorrhoids, one must take notice of earliest symptoms.

However, pooping blood may not be the one and only reason for hemorrhoids as bleeding can occur due to tumor, infection, or inflammatory disease of bowel. The symptoms of the problem in internal or external hemorrhoids are different each other and in order to treat it correctly, one must know about the problem in detail. In case of abnormality in internal hemorrhoids, the veins swell and the swelling go to the extent that the hemorrhoid is prolapsed outside the anus. This protruded hemorrhoid can be felt like a lump.

The internal hemorrhoid sticking out of the anus can be pushed back through the anal hole. This may solve it temporarily, but it will not completely cure it in any case, and there will be a time when the protruded hemorrhoid will become so swelled that it could not be pushed back anymore as the lump will be wedged.

Therefore, it is more advisable to take notice of blood in poop at the initial stage. The one suffering from hemorrhoid pain also feels harsh and experience uncontrollable itching inside the anus and every time during the passage of poop, there feels a blockage that rouses the urge of needling for the movement of bowel. The external hemorrhoid pain has a more chronic condition, which is known also as “Thrombosed External Hemorrhoid”. This condition crops up when a blot clot is blocked inside the hemorrhoid and produces great pain and itching. To treat this the blood clot in the vein has to be removed in the first place to allow the passage of blood and ease bowel movement.

The reason behind Thrombosed External Hemorrhoids being painful is that, the blood clot, which blocks the vein, causes increased swelling of the hemorrhoid, which causes increased pain. Doctors treat blood in poop as the pain increases if the patient sits, because sitting causes pressure on the rectum and the hemorrhoid, which has clogged blood clot.

The Cure

There are of course proper medical treatments to treat this condition, but there are some home remedies too, which can be adopted to cure hemorrhoids. To soothe the inflammation of the hemorrhoid and soften the stool, the patient must sit in a tub of warm water. This treatment can be performed regularly for 15 to 20 minutes and after having done with bath tub sitting, the anus area must be dried off with towel as otherwise, further inflammation can occur. As prevention and cure of hemorrhoid, doctors also recommend the intake of plenty of water and other health and fresh beverages to prevent the hardening of bowel movement.

For treatment, doctors also recommend patients not to sit on hard places such as wooden chair or bench for longer period as sitting can worsen the problem. Patients must get rubber or air donuts to sit on as these donuts are soft, and helps to ease the hemorrhoids problem.

Medically, there are many treatments to cure hemorrhoids. Some include oral intakes and other includes surgeries to treat dark blood in poop.  Various kinds of surgeries are used to cure hemorrhoids such as stapled Hemorrhoidectomy, a laser therapy that it used to make the internal hemorrhoids hard.

Hemorrhoids are a serious and painful bowel condition and one must not delay any time to cure hemorrhoids. The pain from your bloody poop can occur in consecutive intervals and patients may ignore it by considering it a normal bowel pain, such perception towards it is wrong as the earlier we go for treatment, the better it will be.

What does Epithelial Cells in Urine Mean

It’s normal for men and women that a few amounts of epithelial cells appear in urine, wherever the cells originate from the bladder or the urethra. High epithelial cells may mean something for concern, such as inflammation, infections and even malignancies.

There are four main types of epithelial cells seen in urine, for more information on the types of them, click on the links in the table below or scroll down.

Transitional epithelial cells

These cells are found in the ureters, bladder and urethra, their shape is round or ovoid varying in the original location such as the renal pelvis and the bladder. However, the cells will become flat if they are stretching.

In this case, if the cells are in low amount in the urine, it could be a normal result that these transitional cells flake off into the urine. If the urine occurs a very large amount of transitional epithelium cells, however, it may result in dysfunction, for example a bladder infection.

Squamous epithelial cells

These cells are different from the above type of epithelial cells:

  • 1. larger size
  • 2. smaller nuclei
  • 3. irregular in the border of cells

In common, the contamination of your urine sample is the main cause of the presence of squamous epithelial cells in the specimen. However, there might be something for concern if the cells are increasing to a large amount. Sometimes this may be linked to cancer rarely, like squamous cell carcinoma or urothelial carcinoma.

Renal tubular epithelial cells

In comparison to the transitional epithelium, these cells are smaller and rounder, and they are less common to be showed up the urine sediment. A large increasing numbers of cells found in urine will be suspected, it may be indicating a kidney problem, for example nephrotic syndrome.

Neoplasia cells

TCC, which stands for transitional cell carcinoma, may slough the cells into the urine. This presence maybe means to a urinary neoplasia. TCC will lead to hemorrhage while invading the bladder wall in most time.

Epithelial Cells in Urine Normal Range

The range: “few,” “moderate,” or “many” – per LPF. The normal range is less than 15-20 cells per HPF.

Note:

  • LPF: low power field
  • HPF: high power field

Other Substances in Urine Meaning

Besides epithelial cells, there are other substances that present in your urine sample. Now, what does it mean? Here are some things that you need to know:

Red Blood Cells (RBCs)

If RBCs found in urine, it indicates some health problems including inflammation in urinary tract or kidney disease. Sometimes it may be due to unclear urine sample or blood from menstruation or hemorrhoids.

White Blood Cells (WBCs)

If the amount of WBCs is high, it might be due to an infection in urinary tract.

Microorganisms

A urinary tract infection can cause bacteria into your urine sample. In addition yeast will be found in urine for women with yeast infection.

Crystals

It’s abnormal if there are crystals like cysteine or leucine observed in urine, kidney stone is one of the medical problem you should be for concern. Besides, crystals in urine may also be due to some medications or x-ray in some case.

Casts

Red blood cell casts will indicate a glomeruli problem and white blood cell casts will indicate a kidney inflammation.

Basic Newborn Care from Holding to Diapering

Carma Shoemaker sat on the floor with her infant son, holding his new sleeper first one way and then the other. “There were so many snaps in the crotch area that it must have taken me a half an hour to figure it out,” says Shoemaker of Chester, Va. “It’s funny now, but wasn’t then. I was home alone with my new baby and I cried after not being able to handle all those snaps.”

Nearly every new parent knows the feelings of insecurity that set in once their newborn comes home from the delivery room. Somehow, infants always seem much larger in the hospital, less fragile when surrounded by well-wishers and a medically-trained staff. Once taken home and parked in a way-too-big infant carrier on the middle of the living room floor, what new parent hasn’t stared at their newborn and thought, “Now what?”

Shoemaker, whose son is now 13, remembers her own trial-and-error early days of parenthood. Today, Shoemaker is a nurse and writer and has two other sons, ages 10 and 5. She says her early mistakes were all part of becoming a seasoned parent.

“The best advice I could give a new mother is to not worry about what you don’t know,” says Shoemaker. “The important things, like hugging and loving, will come to you. The other things aren’t hard to learn. And, as long as a baby is always handled gently and with love, parents don’t need to be afraid of making mistakes. These mistakes make for great memories and wonderful stories when the kids are older.”

Siebenmark cautions parents to always support the baby’s head and neck, regardless of the position in which he is being held. What’s more, Siebenmark encourages parents to try different holding positions with their infants until they find the ones they and baby are comfortable with.

One of the most popular holding positions is the cradle hold, in which Baby is nestled in the crook of a parent’s forearm, supported by the opposite forearm underneath. Siebenmark says this is a natural position, one that many new mothers instinctively use. And, by swaddling the baby in a couple of blankets before holding, new parents can help their infant feel calm and warm. “Swaddling can make a big difference,” says Siebenmark. “And after you do it yourself a time or two, it’s not difficult at all.”

To swaddle a baby, spread a receiving blanket on a flat surface with one corner folded down about 6 inches. Place Baby on the blanket diagonally with her head above the folded corner. Then take the corner near Baby’s left arm and pull it over the arm and across Baby’s body. Lift the right arm and tuck the blanket corner under Baby’s back on the right side. Lift the bottom corner and bring it up over Baby’s body. Before lifting the last corner, bring it over Baby’s right arm and tuck it under Baby’s back on the left side.

Burping Baby

According to Dr. Steven Shelov, editor of the American Academy of Pediatric’s book, Caring for Your Baby and Young Child (Bantam, 1998), young babies naturally fuss and get cranky when they swallow air during feedings. Although this occurs in both breastfed and bottle-fed infants, it is more likely to occur with bottle-feeding. “A good strategy is to burp her frequently, even if she shows no discomfort,” says Dr. Shelov.

There are a number of techniques used to burp a baby. According to Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, the most effective positions include holding the baby upright with his head on your shoulder, supporting his head and back while you gently pat his back with your other hand. Another technique is to sit Baby on your lap, supporting her chest and head with one hand while patting her back with your other hand. Or, lay the baby on your lap with his back up. Support his head so it is higher than his chest and gently pat or rotate your hand on his back.

“If he still hasn’t burped after several minutes, continue feeding him and don’t worry,” says Dr. Shelov. “No baby burps every time.”

Diapering Baby

It’s a good idea to have everything on hand before removing Baby’s diaper. This list includes, of course, a clean diaper, diaper wipes, a change of clothes (just in case) and diaper rash ointment, if needed.

Gently lay Baby on a changing table. Or cover a draft-free area of the floor with a protective pad and lay Baby on the floor. In either case, do not leave Baby unattended. Unfasten the diaper. If there has been a bowel movement, use the diaper to wipe most of it away. Then, fold the diaper under Baby with the unsoiled side up to act as a protective surface and clean Baby’s front thoroughly. Next, lift both legs and clean Baby’s bottom. Finally, slip the soiled diaper out and a fresh diaper under Baby’s bottom, and fasten the diaper.

Dressing Baby

Dressing your floppy bundle of joy can be a daunting task for most parents. With a head that is invariably the largest part of Baby’s body, and arms and legs that are curled up, dressing Baby can definitely be a challenge. However, with the right technique, it can become less like a wrestling match.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the most efficient way to dress Baby is to first support Baby on your lap, stretching the garment neckline and pulling it over Baby’s head. Be sure to use your fingers to keep it from catching on Baby’s face or ears. Instead of trying to push Baby’s arm through a sleeve, put your hand through the sleeve from the outside and grasp Baby’s hand to pull it through. To undress, reverse the process, taking the sleeves off one at a time, before gently lifting the clothing free of Baby’s head.

Other parents worry about dressing their baby to suit the temperature. A good rule of thumb, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, is to dress infants as you would dress in order to be comfortable in the current temperature range.

“The biggest challenge for me is knowing how to keep her dressed at a comfortable temperature,” says Isabel Viana concerning her 10-week-old daughter. Viana, who lives in southwestern Colorado, is in a climate with fall weather fluctuations ranging from warm temperatures to snow fall. “I can’t wait for her to be able to tell me what it is that she feels,” says Viana. “Then I won’t have to guess how it is that she’s feeling from moment to moment.”

All the Details

Tiny babies sport even tinier eyes, ears and fingernails, each of which need a good cleaning once in a while. In the first few weeks, clean Baby’s eyes during her sponge bath, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics. Use a cotton ball or a clean, warm, wet washcloth to gently wipe from the inside of the eye to the outside. Use a new cotton ball or washcloth for each eye.

As for the ears, most pediatricians advise new parents to never stick anything larger than an elbow in your child’s ear. Steer clear of cotton swabs and never insert them into Baby’s ear canal. To clean Baby’s ear, simply use a thin washcloth.

The only care a baby’s nails require is trimming. To do so, parents can use a soft emery board or baby nail clippers. Many parents find it easiest to trim fingernails when a baby is sleeping. By keeping Baby’s fingernails short and smooth, he won’t be able to scratch himself. In the early weeks, Baby’s fingernails grow quickly and may need to be trimmed once or twice a week.

Before long, even the most inexperienced parents can diaper, burp and dress their little bundles like a pro. Some, like Shoemaker, are even convinced that inexperience can be a real asset, something that spurs new parents to become educated. “It hasn’t mattered at all how inexperienced I was then,” Shoemaker says. “I think having my son at an early age and learning with him is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

Baby’s First Bath: A Trendy or Traditional Approach?

You’ve just arrived home from the hospital with your new baby. The nurses and doctors are all gone, as are most of the relatives. Time for Mom and Baby to relax with a nice bath, right?

The day after we brought our newborn daughter home we decided to treat her to her first bath. While I held Katie in my arms, my wife, JoAnn, placed everything on the kitchen counter, checked it twice and went over the instructions three times.

We made sure we had the baby tub, washrag for soaping, washrag for rinsing, cotton swabs for the eyes, no-tears shampoo, baby soap, warm towel, swaddling blanket, tub of warm water for rinsing, tub of warm water for soaping, yellow rubber ducky that turns white if the water is too hot, tiny knit cap, diaper and printed instructions. The sheer volume of what to have on hand, plus the extensive lists of how-to and what-not-to-do, was intimidating.

“I was so nervous I was sweating,” JoAnn recalls. “And then, right in the middle of the bath, the neighbors dropped by unexpectedly. I can hardly imagine what I must have looked like.”

Although we took a whole series of childbirth classes, we never actually practiced bathing a newborn. Like most parental skills, we learned on the job. Four years and another baby later we’ve learned that for the most part, bathing your newborn follows some basic, logical principles: keep the baby warm, keep the baby safe and have fun.

The Traditional Approach

Although most traditional approaches recommend a sponge bath rather than full immersion, just about every article, every teacher and every book offers a slight variation on the basic how-to. Sometimes these instructions even conflict each other, leaving parents in a quandary.

One thing that almost everyone agreed on was that newborns do not like to be bathed and may become quite upset. Remember, newborns have just come from a warm environment where they were wrapped up tightly. Their bodies are still learning to regulate temperature, and they might panic a bit when they are out in the open.

When it comes time to relax after the bath, getting a good swaddle is of paramount importance. At first, my swaddles were loose and flimsy, but as time went by, they got tighter and more solid. Even now, Katie will bring me her dolls and ask me to swaddle them.

Here’s my secret: lay out the blanket like a baseball diamond with home base pointing toward your belly button. Fold the top down so that second base touches the pitcher’s mound. Baby’s head goes right where second base used to be. Fold third base over and tuck it under Baby, making the blanket as tight as possible and pinning Baby’s right arm down. It may seem a bit alarming to a new parent, but I found that the tighter the swaddle (within reason), the more relaxed the baby stays. Fold the bottom up next, and then wrap the right side over. When you are done, you should have a tight little burrito of a baby.

For us, once Baby was swaddled we could take a deep breath and relax. That first bath was beautiful but certainly left us feeling more drained than fulfilled. We were sopping wet, exhausted and the kitchen was a mess.

A New Approach

Nicole Gryler, a registered nurse who teaches childbirth classes for St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, Wash., urges her students to take a more contemporary approach to Baby’s first bath. She suggests that moms run a warm bath and get in with their babies. Test the water with your wrist or elbow, not your fingers. Get the baby into the water. Don’t bother with soap, as babies have not yet developed the friendly bacteria that inhabit our adult bodies. Mom’s body and the warm water help keep the baby from losing body heat.

“It’s actually OK to get the umbilical wet,” says Gryler. “As long as you dry it off well after the bath.” As for frequency, she simply shrugs. “Babies don’t even need much washing in the first few weeks,” she says. “Bath time should be a fun time, a time for Mom and Baby to bond.”

Gryler realizes that she may be bucking traditional practices, but she considers herself an early follower of the new trend. In fact, her employer, St. Mary Medical Center, earned a prestigious “Baby-Friendly” designation as part of UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. The birth center is state-of-the-art, including Jacuzzis and baby bath sinks that are designed for a full tub bath.

“There’s no wrong way to bathe a baby,” Gryler says. “Just avoid heat loss and have a good time. Remember, it’s not even that important to bathe a newborn, so even if you accomplish nothing else but dipping your baby in the water, you’ve had a successful bath.”

It’s Normal to be Nervous

Even with the vast amount of information available on how to bathe a newborn, it’s still normal to be a bit anxious. With our first child, we were so nervous we could barely focus on enjoying the bath. Even so, after a few tentative sponge baths, we settled into the joy of bath time. As Katie grew, we moved her little blue-green tub from the kitchen sink to the bathtub, and then she learned to sit up and the baby tub went into storage.Katie is 4 now, and her little brother just turned 2. Both of them love the water. Katie can hold her breath and stay underwater for almost 20 seconds. Carter can splash half a tub of water across the entire bathroom in about the same time span. More than 1,500 baths have come and gone since that very first one, and yet the first one is the one we remember best.

Make Bathtub Safety a Priority

Keep these safety tips from the Texas Children’s Hospital in mind before giving your baby his first bath:

  • Drowning can and does occur in as little as 2 inches of water.
  • Most bathtub drowning deaths occur when the child is left alone. Some deaths occur because adults falsely believe a bath seat or ring will keep the baby safe.
  • Never leave young children alone in the tub or near water for any reason. There is no substitute for the supervision of a responsible adult.
  • Do not rely on an older sibling for supervision.
  • If using a bath seat or ring, check the suction cups to make sure they tightly adhere to both the seat or ring and the tub. Never use a bath seat or ring in a non-skid or slip-resistant bathtub.
  • Remove any loose items, such as toys, washcloths and sponges, from the tub so they do not block the drain and prevent the tub from emptying.
  • Water should be no hotter than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Store electrical appliances away from children.

Winter Skin Care for Mom and Baby

By Belinda Clarke

For many of us, winter brings gray skies, white snow and pink cheeks and hands. Add to that forced, dry heat, bundling and unbundling and most moms agree that everyone’s skin is at its driest. And during the winter months, regardless of your climate, it’s important to take extra care of Baby’s skin. It doesn’t hurt to give yours a little help, too. Here are a few suggestions for a little relief:

For Baby
For babies, winter cold also tends to affect the cheeks in the form of chapping and flaking. Babies have extra-sensitive skin, so why not use baby-specific products that are hypoallergenic and made just for them?

Kiehl’s Diaper-Area Ointment works great on bottoms, but it also heals chapped cheeks. Part of the Kiehl’s Baby Care line, this thick ointment is mineral oil-free, fragrance-free, pediatrician tested and contains avocado oil and vitamin D.

Mustela baby care products, made in France, include a hydrating line of skin lotions for dry baby skin, including one just for baby faces. Mustela’s Hydra-Bebe Face is a daily moisturizer for newborns and babies with normal skin and is formulated to hydrate, nourish and protect fragile skin with plant oils and vitamin E. The Hydra Bebe Body lotion is great for all over and is also hypoallergenic. Both have a great, fresh smell.

Aveeno offers a line of fragrance-free, hypoallergenic baby skin products that uses natural colloidal oatmeal, and is available in grocery and drug stores. The Aveeno Daily Baby Lotion is non-greasy and according to the company, it moisturizes for a full 24 hours. For over-dry, irritated skin, Aveeno also has a fragrance-free Soothing Baby Bath that combines colloidal oatmeal and moisturizers to help clean and moisturize tender skin. A 10-minute soak is suggested for infants, and the Soothing Baby Bath is also recommended for easing the itching due to diaper rash, eczema, chicken pox and insect bites.

Avon’s new skin care line, beComing, is available at J.C. Penney stores and offers Baby Day Care lotion with vitamin E and aloe as well as Lullaby Baby Bath and Massage Oil, which works wonders on chapped skin.

Little Forest, offers a line of natural skin care solutions that uses no artificial colors or animal by-products. It’s also hypoallergenic and biodegradable. The Little Forest Daily Botanicals line includes a variety of baby cleansing and moisturizing products. The Daily Baby Lotion is light and fast absorbing and contains aloe vera, chamomile, evening primrose oil and vitamins A, D, and E. For infants with minor skincare ailments, Little Forest developed three specific body care treatments as part of the company’s Therapeutic Botanicals line. Using Australian Tea Tree Oil, the line contains treatments for cradle cap, minor skin irritations (such as eczema and sunburn) and diaper rash.

For Mom
During the winter months, when the threat of colds and the flu are heightened, it’s important to wash your hands frequently. While this reduces the chance of picking up and spreading germs, it promotes dry, cracked hands.

For dry hands, many people swear by Neutrogena’s Norwegian Hand Cream, found in drugstores, which was designed to be strong enough to keep Norwegian fishermen’s hands from getting chapped. This formula uses concentrated levels of glycerin to keep hands soft in the dead of winter and it goes a long way, because you only need to use a tiny dab each time.

Another great option is Kiehl’s Vitamin A, D& E Ointment, which contains avocado, sesame, sweet almond and wheat germ oils. It’s thick, long lasting and great for soothing chapped, cracked hands and other extra-dry body parts, such as elbows and feet.

Neal’s Yard Remedies, a natural skin care company started as an apothecary in Covent Garden, London, produces an Elderflower Hand Softener that works great. Containing almond oil, sunflower oil and cocoa butter, this thick cream absorbs right away and has a deep woodsy elderflower scent.

Crabtree & Evelyn, sells a Gardeners Hand Therapy that has been written up in various magazines as an “Editor’s Pick” for best hand cream. This cream comes in a handy metal tube and uses shea butter as well as extracts of yarrow, clover and calendula to help soothe and condition work-roughened hands.

Lastly is the Hand and Nail Cream from the H20 Plus Spa Series, which also has been highly ranked by various beauty editors. This lightweight hand cream isn’t as thick as the others and uses marine, extracts, silk protein, vitamin E, aloe vera and panthenol.

Sun Safety!

Going on vacation this winter? Remember to use caution and apply sunscreen liberally. Dr. John Dorsey, a pediatrician, recommends babies up to 12 months stay out of the sun when it is directly overhead between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. “This is the hottest time of day and has the most risk to your baby,” says Dr. Dorsey. “Your child should absolutely wear a hat in the sun, however flaps aren’t necessary.” Dr. Dorsey doesn’t advise moms to completely bar their babies from sunlight, however. “I think sun is good for babies and you shouldn’t hesitate to take them out for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, for example,” he says. “There are some ways, the sun is actually beneficial for young children. Most doctors recommend a sunscreen between SPF 15 to 30. I normally suggest a sun block of SPF 15.”

For Baby
Mustela Sun products are recommended for babies 6 months and up and offers a Maximum Sun Protection Lotion SPF 30+ containing the active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Little Forest’s sunscreen products are designed to keep insects away and provide sun protection at the same time. In addition to SPF 30 sun block, Little Forest makes a Baby Soothing Cooler that provides relief for sun-exposed skin. The cooling product uses “moisture beads” of pure vitamin E hydrate the baby skin and cool the irritation that can be brought on by the sun. All of these products are free of deet, PABA, synthetic colors and fragrances.

For Mom
Neutrogena’s line of Healthy Defense UVA/UVB sunblock products helps minimize the risk of sun damage – and it’s oil free. This waterproof, sweatproof, dermatologist-tested sunblock comes in SPF 17, 30 and 4 in a spray, lotion and handy stick form. All contain vitamins A, C and E. Available in drugstores.

Avon’s beComing line of skin care products also includes sunscreen for the face and body. Resist the Elements SPF 30 for the face and SPF 15 for the body works through sweat “for when you’re ready to play.”

Dermalogica also offers a spray sunblock that’s “ultra waterproof” and alcohol free. The Waterproof Solar Spray is formulated with organic silicones and antioxidant essential oils to protect against moisture loss and is ideal for both adults and children. There is also a Solar Shield Stick, which is perfect for the lips, ears and nose. And for those of us who get – or have gotten – too much sun, Dermalogica provides after-sun skin help with its After Sun Repair, an herbal-based balm which uses Japanese Alder seed extract to help restore skin’s condition. For sunburn pain, the balm also contains algae and mugwort extracts to reduce inflammation and redness.

Lastly, for extreme weather or skiing enthusiasts, Kiehl’s has just introduced the All-Sport “Non-Freeze” Face Protector, with SPF 30. This wax-based product can be applied in all weather conditions and is designed not to run into the eyes, so it’s great for skiing, running and other vigorous exercise. And if you’re planning a trip to someplace really cold, this sunblock won’t freeze, even at zero degrees Celsius!

Baby Burping Basics: Getting the Gas Out of Baby

By Alexandria Powell

It’s been a few years since Karen Ray’s children needed burping, but she remembers those days well. “I got the best burping results by setting the baby on my knee, with the infant leaning into my left arm and my thumb and forefinger holding along the jaw line to help brace the neck,” says the mom from Oklahoma. “I patted Baby’s back with my right hand. It always seemed to me that the sitting position helped push the burp out quicker.”

It’s a skill most parents come to pride themselves on – but also one of the oddest things most of us could have imagined doing before becoming parents: helping another human move the gas out of his or her body. Why do babies need burping, anyway?

Because babies aren’t mobile, the air that they swallow during feedings can stay trapped inside. If this air isn’t burped up, it will work its way out through the GI tract, says Dr. Charles Shubin, director of pediatrics at Mercy FamilyCare in Baltimore, Md., and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland. As the air moves through the bowel, it dilates it, leading to the discomfort commonly known as gas pains. Almost all babies need to be burped, as almost all swallow some air, Dr. Shubin says.

So when will your baby outgrow burping? “We have the same issues as adults, [so] the real answer is never!” Dr. Shubin says. But don’t worry – as your baby becomes more active and able to move around on his own, he’ll be able to better move gas out of his body. And since sucking on a nipple makes it easy to swallow air, you’ll see a decrease in gassiness as your baby weans off the bottle or breast, Dr. Shubin says. Most babies will need burping for at least the first six months.

The Ins and Outs of Baby Gas

That said, not all babies will need to be burped all the time. In fact, some babies never need burping.

Sherri Lynn of Orange County, Calif., never burped her daughter. “She just burped by herself,” she says. “I never thought I needed to burp my daughter, and I don’t remember her having to burp a lot. It just seemed natural not to burp.”

You’ll get to know your baby soon enough, says Elizabeth Pantley, author of Gentle Baby Care: No-cry, No-fuss, No-worry Essential Tips for Raising Your Baby (McGraw-Hill, 2003), and you may find, like Lynn, that your child needs little or no burping. Many breastfed babies don’t swallow enough air to need burping, or they might need it only for a large feeding, not for a middle-of-the night snack.

However, keep in mind that each baby is different, says Dr. Cathryn Tobin, a pediatrician and author of The Lull-A-Baby Sleep Plan: The Soothing, Superfast Way to Help Your New Baby Sleep Through the Night … and Prevent Sleep Problems Before They Develop (Rodale, 2006). “Some breastfed babies swallow a great deal of air at the start of a feed when the mom’s milk is letting down,” she says. This is particularly true of babies who tend to gulp their feeds, and babies who aren’t latched on well.

And some bottle-fed babies learn to get a good seal on the bottle’s nipple and swallow less air, so they may need less burping, Dr. Shubin says.

The general guidelines are between breasts and at the end of a feeding, if breastfeeding, and every 1 to 3 ounces – or about half the bottle – and at the end of a feeding if bottle feeding, Pantley says. Follow your little one’s cues. A baby who is gulping her feedings, spitting up a lot or showing signs of discomfort may need more burping.

Finally, keep in mind that not every rough day and long night is caused by gas, Dr. Tobin says. Babies will fuss, turn red in the face, pull up their legs and squirm when they’re bored, unhappy, sleepy, frustrated and/or overdressed – just to name a few!

Getting Down to the Spitty Gritty

“Never burp your baby near your [expensive] purse,” says Jenny Smith of Spanish Fork, Utah. No matter where your purse comes from, or any other items you value, spit-up protection is essential when burping babies!

Keep a burp cloth, cloth diaper, towel or bib under baby’s chin and over your clothing when burping – and watch where you aim that kid. It’s very normal for babies to regurgitate a little milk along with the air when they burp, especially in the first three to four months of life, Pantley says.

Burping technique matters as well, although what works best varies from baby to baby. If baby won’t burp after three or four minutes of trying, then stop.

Here are some of the more common burping positions:

  • Over the shoulder. Hold your baby so that his head is nestled against your shoulder. Support his bottom with your forearm and pat or rub his back gently.
  • Across the lap. Place your baby facedown across your lap and raise one of your legs very slightly, so that his head is higher than his stomach. Then gently pat or rub his back.
  • Sitting up. Sit your baby up in your lap and carefully support his chin and upper body with one hand. Gently pat or rub his back.

Jill Mills of Sacramento, Calif., found that her daughter tended to burp better if she were placed across her lap, rather than over the shoulder. Mills says that there’s no need for parents to feel overly stressed about burping. “My daughter wasn’t much of a burper as a baby, but she made up for it in her preteen years,” she says.

Swimming Safely for Kids

Not many kids would turn down an invitation for a mid-afternoon swim on a hot, sunny day. But, a fun day in the pool could turn tragic if safety is not a factor in their afternoon plans.

According to the U.S. Lifesaving Association, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. It is also the second leading cause of death for people ages 5 through 44. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death reported in children under the age of 3.

Do not be distracted by the phone, a book or any other activity while supervising children near any source of water.

When talking with parents, they all agree that the key to preventing injury at the pool or the beach is constant supervision.

“My son was about 3 when we signed him up for lessons,” says Paula Macdonald, a mom from London, Ontario, Canada. “He did fine with the swim lessons at the local YMCA. They really enforced water safety.”

Macdonald says exposure to the water is the best way to ease a child’s fear, but she also agrees that kids do forget when they are having a good time to follow all the safety rules.

Just the Facts

A report that was released in November 2000 indicated that the number of childhood deaths due to drowning in Arizona nearly doubled that year. It was noted in the report that a staggering 86 percent were determined to be preventable.

The study, published by the Arizona Department of Health Services, stated that 42 children died from drowning in 2000 and 22 died the year Swimming Safely-Don't Let Summer Fun Turn Tragicprior. Fifty percent of the deaths were the result of drowning in a backyard pool. There was an astounding census that showed that all of these deaths occurred due to a lack of supervision. In 13 of the cases, there was inadequate pool fencing around the pool or no fence at all to prevent entry into the pool.

Another thing that is surprising to many parents is that young children usually don’t make noise or splash when they find themselves in trouble in the water. This startling reality is why so many children drown silently in pools and lakes each year.

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) recommends careful adult supervision at all times when children are near a water source. The tips below are supplied by NCIPC to help parents keep their children safe around water.

Tips to Prevent Drowning

  • Watch children at all times when they are in or around water. Do not be distracted by the phone, a book or any other activity while supervising children near any source of water.
  • Be involved with them – learn to swim.
  • Make sure young children are always accompanied by an adult and that older children have someone with them when swimming.
  • Always check the depth of the water before the child enters it.
  • Do not allow children to chew gum or consume food while swimming, diving or just playing in the water.
  • As a parent, it is advisable for you to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); it could save a child’s life!
  • Make sure there is an available working telephone near the residential pools and beaches.

“For me, water safety is simply too big an issue – and I’m too lame a swimmer to tackle it alone,” says Trina Wiebe of Powell River, British Columbia. “I rely on certified swim instructors to teach my children the proper way to behave in and around the pool, as well as life-saving techniques. It puts my mind at ease to know they are getting the best instruction possible, instruction that might someday mean the difference between life and death.”

Safety First

The National Safety Council instructs lifeguards that they must be able to reach a person who is in trouble in the water within 20 seconds of spotting them. This thinking should be something that parents implement with their children every time they are around the water. Stay close and stay alert.” My girls are allowed to swim only if I am there,” says Yvette De Luca, a mom from Phoenix, Ariz. “They know not to run around the pool, no horseplay and not to get into the pool without my OK.”

De Luca enforces time outs for her children if they break the safety rules at her local pool. It is important for children to understand the seriousness of taking risks when swimming. Children tend to get excited and lose track of where they are in the pool or lake.

In open water, such as lakes and oceans, there are added risks involved. If the water is rough, visibility can be greatly reduced. Conditions in the open water can change quickly. Rapid moving water can change direction and cause strong currents making it difficult for even experienced swimmers to reach shore. With young children, it is so important to make sure that they don’t lose track of where they are or drift out too far from shore in these types of water conditions.

Teach your children what to do if they are caught in a current: Swim parallel to the shore until they are out of the current, and then continue Swimming Safely-Don't Let Summer Fun Turn Tragicto swim toward the shore. Tell them to make noise!

Pool Wise

According to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year, nationwide, about 300 children under the age of 5 drown in swimming pools. And what’s most frightening is that it’s usually in their own backyards.

Information gathered from SafeUsa offers key things to note if you currently have a swimming pool in your backyard.

  • Install a four-sided, isolation pool fence with self-closing and self-latching gates around the pool. The fence should be at least 4 feet tall.
  • Make sure there is a working telephone near the pool. Teach your children how to contact local emergency services.
  • After using pool toys, immediately remove them from the pool. Floating toys, beach balls and other toys often tempt children to lean into the pool.
  • Always supervise children when they are using the pool. Do not leave the area for any length of time.
  • Do not use air-filled swimming aids, such as water wings, as life-saving devices. They are not to take the place of parental supervision. Parents and children often have a false sense of security, which increases the risk of drowning. These aids can often deflate or become unplugged.
  • Have an action plan in place in case of an emergency.

Kids just want to have fun – it’s the parent’s responsibility to ensure that safety comes first!

Invisalign Pain: Causes & Relief


Invisalign is a relatively invisible alternative to traditional orthodontic braces, and is turning into a more and more popular option. Aside from being cosmetically pleasing, Invisalign is considered easier to manage than braces because there are no restrictions on the types of food that can be eaten during realignment, all for a price comparable to traditional wire braces. The primary downside, though, is that Invisalign does cause some pain and discomfort for a short period after each new set of trays is fitted. Luckily, there are a few simple things that can help ease the pain until the teeth realign to the limits of the new trays.

The most common complaint is that Invisalign hurts when the trays are removed for meals. Teeth that have been forced into a new position by the tray tend to try to settle back into their old positions, causing quite a bit of pain for the first few minutes. Anyone who has difficulty eating because of this pain should wait for about 15 minutes after removing the trays before they try to eat. In addition, softer food that is easy to chew will help limit the amount of pain during meals since less force is applied to the teeth.

What Causes Invisalign Pain

There are a few normal causes that can lead to this discomfort, here are three common causes as below:

  1. Discomfort due to aligners in and out while eating.
  2. Fit in an incorrect way that can cause irritation around and in your mouth, ask your dentist to adjust the aligners.
  3. Some patients will experience the pain whenever they switch their aligners, the Invisalign pain will last some time from hours to days.

How to Deal With Invisalign Pain

In the first few days after a new set of Invisalign trays is fitted, it’s not unusual to feel pain or discomfort most of the time, especially in the first few hours after they’re put in. For this reason, it’s generally advisable to wait to put the tray in until bedtime, allowing the teeth to begin their alignment during sleeping hours.

Some people have to have teeth drilled or removed to make room for the alignment process, and these can leave the teeth quite sensitive. Extracted teeth are said to be especially painful as the teeth attempt to realign around a raw wound. In these cases, wait a few days to let the injuries heal before putting the trays in.

If you are not experiencing any tooth sensitivity, sucking on ice cubes can sometimes help numb the mouth during periods of the worst pain, such as directly after meals when the trays are put back in. Alternatively, ask your dentist whether tooth and gum numbing products would be acceptable to use in your case, as these can effectively relieve a lot of temporary oral pain complaints.

Finally, over-the-counter pain relievers are often effective in relieving a lot of the aches and pains associated with realignment. Dentists typically recommend NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, or Extra-Strength Tylenol. Bear in mind that in cases where teeth have been extracted or gums have a tendency to bleed, the anticoagulant properties of Aspirin may not be ideal.

Uvula Removal Surgery and Side Effects

The uvula is the often depicted in cartoon scenes when the character screams and the audience sees the bell shaped uvula quivering at the back of the throat. It is believed that the uvula helps to prevent food from entering the airways during swallowing and assist producing certain sounds during speech. At the same time, it combines with the back of the throat, palate and the air coming out from the airways to produce certain other sounds as well. Due to its central position and placement, uvula can sometimes cause problems in certain individuals, particularly among those who are obese. When the interference made by the uvula becomes chronic and dangerous, doctors may adapt various surgical techniques to remove the uvula. Therefore, this article will describe the surgical interventions(uvulectomy) that are being carried out in order to correct problems associated with the uvula along with the side effects that may arise as a result.

What are the indications to perform uvula removal surgery?

The decision to perform a uvula surgery is taken in patients with excessive snoring or in those who are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. In both these conditions, the uvula can obstruct the airway partially or completely due to its laxity or size. In some instances, the reason for the above two conditions may not be the uvula per se but a combination of effects caused by some of the other tissues surrounding the uvula. However, before deciding on uvula removal, doctors would try all other non-invasive methods of managing snoring and obstructive sleep apnea such as losing weight, positive pressure ventilation, dental appliances and medical treatment.

Commonly uvulectomies are done for a variety of reasons including:

  • Relief of snoring
  • Management of sleep apnea
  • Reduction of the risks of death from asphyxiation associated with angioedema(angioneurotic edema)

However uvulectomy is a relatively infrequent surgical procedure as compared to other ear, nose and throat surgeries.

Interestingly the connection between uvulectomy and Africa continues as uvulectomies are preformed in up to 20% of children at the naming ceremony within a week of birth in some African countries. Studies suggest that the reasons for uvulectomies at this young age include cultural rituals in addition to attempts to prevent growth retardation and fever. Sadly the very act of uvulectomy in these uncontrolled settings has resulted in neonatal deaths due to tetanus, bleeding and unintentional aspiration of the amputated uvula.

What are the types of uvula surgery?

While there are many surgeries aimed at relieving obstructions that may cause excessive snoring or sleep apnea, there are two main surgeries aimed at removing the uvula. These are the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and Laser Assisted Uvulapalatoplasty (LAUP). However, it may be possible for doctors to combine several such surgeries at the same time in order to correct multiple causative factors.

What is the procedure involved in uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)?

Among the two operations mentioned above, UPPP is the commonest and it has been in existence since 1981. The surgery involves an overnight stay at the hospital while it is usually performed under general anesthesia. As the name suggests, in addition to removing a portion of the uvula, the procedure also removes a rim from the soft palate along with the tonsils and any excessive pharyngeal tissues. In some instances, the same surgery would be performed in several smaller steps in which portions of tissues are removed with each and every step.

What is the procedure involved in laser assisted uvulapalatoplasty (LAUP)?

The LAUP on the other hand is a relatively new surgery introduced in the mid 1990s. It involves the use of a carbon dioxide laser to remove the uvula along with some parts of the soft palate. In contrast to the UPPP, the LAUP is performed mainly in individuals with mild obstructive sleep apnea or else in instances where snoring has become a chronic problem. It is a relatively simpler procedure than the UPPP and patients are able to return home in the same day as the surgery is usually performed at the doctor’s office.

What are the risks of the surgery?

Usually a uvulectomy (uvula excision) can be carried out under local anesthesia as a day case. The surgeon uses cautery or laser therapy to remove the uvula. In expert hands, the procedure is well tolerated. The main procedure related risks include bleeding and postoperative infection. However it is worth mentioning that the type of patient who requires a uvulectomy for sleep apnea tends to have a high body mass index and generally is at a higher risk of perioperative events.

Patients usually report some post operative pain which can be controlled by simple analgesia and avoidance of solids until healing has taken place.

Long term the main risks include impaired gag reflex with attendant risk of aspiration in addition to nasal regurgitation of food. Patients who speak languages with guttural phonetics (sometimes called uvularly speech) such as Xhosa and Turkish may notice some speech impairment.

What are the side effects of uvula surgery?

Uvula surgeries do not usually lead to life threatening complications although there is a risk of developing moderate to severe side effects in the immediately post-operative period. Among them, swelling or edema of the throat is a significant complication, which can lead to breathing difficulties needing tracheostomy insertion. In addition, these patients may also develop side effects such as sore throat, hoarseness, swallowing difficulties, excess mucus in the throat as well as problems of regurgitating stomach content. While the risk of post-operative hemorrhage is relatively less, it may also manifest as a side effect following such surgeries. However, the side effects and complications associated with LAUP are relatively less than that of UPPP and mostly dominated by side effects such as sore throat, dry throat and increased snoring.

What are the disadvantages of losing a uvula?

Interestingly the exact function of the uvula remains unclear. It is widely thought to have a role in speech and possibly in protection against infections. It had been suggested that the uvula helped animals to drink while bending down and that we humans had evolutionary remnants of this organ. However a fascinating study in Israel refuted this theory and concluded that it is indeed an accessory speech organ. Hence George Bernard Shaw was technically quite correct in 1911 when he cynically suggested that mercenary doctors could remove the uvula and leave the patient no worse off.

How much does a uvulectomy cost?

The costs of a uvulectomy varies depending on the location. There are insufficient data for policy makers to determine if it is a cost-effective intervention.

How to Treat Grease Burn

Skin burns received while cooking are fairly common. Although a hot grease burn can be extremely painful, in general you do not need to rush to the Emergency Room unless you have a third or fourth degree burn.

First, make sure the stove is turned off so things don’t get worse while you are dealing with your burn. If your sleeve or other clothing is also splattered, remove it before flushing the burn with cold water for five to 10 minutes. Do not use ice or ice water. Tap water is fine. If your sleeve or other clothing is stuck to the burn, rinse the entire region without removing the clothing. However, if you have open blistering, do not run the wound under water.

An old wives’ tale is to put butter on a burn, but modern medicine has shown this is not an effective treatment and may, in fact, make it worse. Also, do not apply honey, Vaseline, vinegar or any ointments the first day.

There are 4 different ranges of burns:

First degree: burns the first layer of skin and will be red and painful.

Second degree: burns the first and second layer of skin; will blister and/or ooze, and is painful.

Third degree: burns all layers and the tissue underneath. Skin will look charred and/or creamy. May or may not be painful, depending upon whether nerve endings have been destroyed. If you have third degree burning, seek medical treatment.

Fourth degree: burns all layers plus injures muscle, nerves, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and bones. Medical treatment is necessary.

Other factors to influence whether to visit the Emergency Room:

  • If the burn occurs to your face, hands, feet or pelvic regions.
  • If the burn is larger than a three inch area.
  • If the burn is suffered on a child under the age of one year, or a senior citizen.
  • If the burn shows signs of being infected, such as dark colored oozing appearing in the area.
  • If the burn does not heal within two weeks.

Home Remedies

In the case of burns, first aid is vital. Serious burns of course need immediate medical attention as we mentioned above. However, minor burns can be quite painful as well and there are some things you can do to aid in comfort and to speed up the important healing process.

So after you have determined that it is a first or second degree wound and not severe, it can be treated at home. Here are six common home remedies for grease burn:

  1. Wrap the area in a gauze pad and leave it alone to begin healing. After 24 hours, wash the area with gentle soap and water or a mild solution of Betadine once a day and cover it up again.
  2. Cool milk or plain iced tea (not sugared, no lemon added) work even better, as they provide some healing benefits as well. Milk promotes healing of minor burns because of its fat content. Tea is rich in compounds called tannins, which can help to form an antiseptic coating.
  3. Aloe vera contains a substance that reduces inflammation and swelling. Not only that, but it inhibits the action of bradykinin, which is the peptide that produces the pain you feel when you burn yourself. It also blocks thromboxane, which is a chemical that accompanies burn injuries. Why is it good to block this chemical? Because it slows down the actual healing process.
  4. So if you have an aloe plant on your kitchen windowsill, break off a piece in a couple of days and squeeze the juice onto the wound. At this time, an antibiotic ointment should be applied to fight against infection. If blistering occurs, do not pop it as this is your body healing the burn.
  5. Vitamin E is also said to heal and ease burns. It comes in oil form, as well as burn salves. It is said to also prevent blistering and peeling. Vitamin A and D ointments are also said to work in much the same way. Both of these items can be found in many health food stores. Some good old-fashioned petroleum jelly will do the trick as well.
  6. Some people have also reported success with using layers of sliced raw potatoes on a burn. If you use those, it’s vital to get them on the skin as quickly as possible and to change them every two to three minutes. The way potatoes work is because at first they cool the skin providing some relief, then they build a protective layer of starch on the skin.

You can find more home remedies here.

A burn that is not severe should heal in a week or two. However, when in doubt, seek medical advice.

Why your Eyelids get Heavy When you are Tired

Most people will have noticed that when they are tired, their eyelids will start to droop and it can take a fair amount of concentration to ensure that eyes are kept open. This can be difficult after a long day; even more so if there has been a period of late nights, early mornings and busy days. It can seem as though the eyelids have become puffy with tiredness, increase in weight and are therefore that much more difficult to keep open. However, the reason for heavy eyelids is far simpler than some people will expect.

According to Scientific American, when any part of the body becomes tired, the muscles begin to feel fatigued. Imagine your bicep muscles after you have done a weight training session. You need to give them some time to rest and recuperate before you can do anything else with them. Your eyelid muscles are exactly the same. After a day of reading, watching, recognizing, judging distances and whatever else you use your vision for, your eyelids begin to protest about being forced to keep your eyes open and so start to tell you that you need to rest by feeling heavy.

As Mark A. W. Andrews, professor of physiology at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania explains in an NBC article, your eyelids will react in the same way even if they have not been specifically overwrought during the course of the day, but your body as a whole is exhausted. He goes on to say that the problem is exacerbated when the lighting is not good: “It’s even worse when you’re working in a darker environment. Just like an f-stop on a camera (which regulates exposure), you have to make sure your eyes are fully widened, letting all the possible light in.”

The fact that the muscles have become over-fatigued also explains why your eyes can look puffy and feel heavy when you are tired. The blood flow to the eye area increases because of over-exertion and the extra pressure expands it. Some relief can be felt after an eye massage, which is good for general eye health anyway. As this website suggests, using the heel of the hand and pressing it against the eye area can be very therapeutic. For puffy eyes in particular, hot and cold flannels pressed against closed eyes can be very soothing, especially when accompanied by a massage through the flannel. There are also a number of pharmaceutical products available to ease tired eyes.

On rare occasions, heavy eyelids can be caused by an underlying medical condition; this could include a sinus infection, allergy, and any disease or intervention that affects your facial muscles. Ultimately, however, if you are constantly experiencing heavy eyelids, the chances are you won’t be able to do anything about them until you have caught up on some sleep and changed your lifestyle.

Reference:
1. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-our-eyelids-get-heavy/
2. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/body-odd/why-do-our-eyelids-get-heavy-when-were-sleepy-f404122
3. http://soilandhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/02/0201hyglibcat/020136eye/eye-ch17.htm