What Are Cerebrovascular Diseases?

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Heart diseases rival most forms of cancer as a leading group of illnesses that affect most people not just in Singapore but the rest of the world as well. One type of heart disease is called cerebrovascular diseases which affect not just the veins and arteries but the brain as well. “Cerebro” means brain while “vascular” refers to the arteries and veins. When the two words are combined, cerebrovascular, it refers to the flow of blood to the brain.

Whereas ischaemia heart disease affects the level of blood and oxygen in the heart, cerebrovascular diseases affect the correct flow of blood and supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the brain. There are a number of things that can happen to a person when the flow is stopped or interrupted.

What Happens During Ischaemia or Bleeding

An area of the brain will be affected if there is ischaemia or bleeding. Ischaemia means the lack of sufficient blood flow in a part of the body. Usually there is one or more cerebral blood vessels that are involved in the process. There may be a restriction in the blood flow as you will learn when you www.harleystreet.sg/blog/heart-health-get-screened-by-a-good-cardiologist-in-singapore/ through a narrowing of a blood vessel called stenosis, a blockage in the vessel called embolism, clot formation in the brain or thrombosis, or a rupture in a blood vessel called haemorrhage. The result of lack of blood and oxygen or a bleeding in a part of a brain may be stroke, vertebral stenosis, aneurysms, carotid stenosis, intracranial stenosis and vascular malformations.

Types of Cerebrovascular Diseases

Transient Ischaemic Attack

Transient ischaemic attack may be caused by a temporary blockage of an artery to the brain. The blockage will disappear soon and will leave no lasting negative effects on the person, however. You might wonder why you will experience the same symptoms in a stroke, but your cardiologist in Singapore will tell you that it’s fine. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the symptoms. It could be a stroke and not a transient ischaemic attack after all. The cardiologist in Singapore will recommend heart screening tests to determine the source of the attack and develop a prevention treatment for you.

Stroke

A stroke is caused by a blockage or bleeding in the brain. The result is an abrupt interruption in the flow of blood and consequently, the loss of the normal brain function. There are two types of strokes; ischaemic stroke, which is caused by a blockage; and hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by a bleeding in a part of the brain. The person will experience a severe headache, dizziness or nausea, numbness and weakness in the face or arm or leg, confusion and disorientation, slurred speech, loss of balance and vision, and loss of comprehension. Get to the nearest hospital with the best cardiologist as soon as possible.

1. Ischaemic stroke is further divided into two types; embolic and thrombotic. Embolic stroke is the result of a plaque blocking an artery. This plaque, also called thrombus, usually travels from where it originated down to another part of the artery. Thrombotic stroke on the other hand is caused by a blood clot in an artery to the brain.

2. Haemorrhagic stroke is a result of high blood pressure, vascular malformation, rupture of an aneurysm or a side effect of some medication. The person experiences a bleeding in the brain tissue which eventually turns into a clot.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is the loss of the person’s mental ability. It is the result of the damage to the brain due to the lack of adequate blood and oxygen supply. The brain cells may be permanently damaged because the lack of blood will kill off normal functioning. Patients with this condition have suffered either from a stroke or multiple strokes. In some cases, however, vascular dementia is a result of the gradual narrowing of the blood vessels in the brain.

Subarachnoid Haemorrhage

The subarachnoid haemorrhage may be connected to a haemorrhagic stroke which causes a blood clot to form in a part of the brain. The subarachnoid haemorrhage is the result of the bleeding that fills up the cerebrospinal fluid spaces in the patient’s brain. When this happens, the cardiologist in Singapore or the neurologist will recommend the patient for an immediate surgery by a heart surgeon and a neurosurgeon to stop or relieve the bleeding. The specialists will seal off the blood vessel and provide adequate blood flow to the brain by redirecting it.

Cerebrovascular Diseases in Children

Although cerebrovascular diseases are uncommon among children, there have been cases of stroke among minors. The cause, however, is not always related to haemorrhagic stroke or ischaemia but to congenital heart diseases. It’s important to stick to your child’s scheduled check-ups with the heart doctor in Singapore to prevent a stroke. Don’t delay when you suspect that your child is having a stroke.

Tests for Cerebrovascular Diseases

To determine the damage in the brain or parts of the brain, the heart doctor will recommend the following heart screening tests for the patient: carotid ultrasound or duplex, cerebral angiogram or angiography, Doppler ultrasound, computes tomography or CT scan, spinal tap or lumbar puncture, electroencephalogram or EEG, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI and magnetic resonance angiogram or MRA. The heart screening and brain tests will allow the neurologist and heart doctor to determine the type of treatment needed by the patient. The imaging tests are done to examine in particular the arteries and veins in the brain and brain tissue.

Treatment for Cerebrovascular Diseases

Patients in Singapore who experience a stroke are given immediate medical attention by the heart surgeon and neurosurgeon. To break up the blood clot, the person is usually given a tissue plasminogen activator. Other medications should also be administered, but this should be done at a specific time after the attack for them to work effectively. These medications may include aspirin, ticlopidine, dipyridamole and clopidogrel. In some cases a carotid angioplasty or carotid endarterectomy may be recommended by the neurosurgeon.

The 3 Most Important Reasons Why You Need Sleep

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Sleep is one of the most important activities each person should prioritize. It is our foundation to mental energy and physical health. Amidst all its benefits, we tend to not give it that much of an importance.

According to some sleep experts from Singapore, the reason for this is that we seldom think we can gain it back again once we have ample time and abuse our bodies to the extent of depriving ourselves of sleep. With that, here are three reasons why we need to get our at least eight hours of sleep a day:

1. To be more active
We must face the fact that we need sleep to fuel our body. We can’t expect to be active and full of energy the next day if we haven’t given our bodies the rest it deserves the night before.

In order to help your body cope up from stress and fatigue, make sure you can sleep soundly at night and get at least the right number of hours to rest. More than that, you can achieve multiple activities and become livelier every day. Make sure to power up and enjoy endless possibilities just by getting your sleeping cycle right.

2. To be more fresh and beautiful
In terms of skin and beauty matters, sleep is indeed a necessity. If you want to look fresh and pretty, you should make sure to get your beauty sleep every day. This is one of the best ways you can treat your skin and your body without costing a dime.

You wouldn’t want to look like a walking zombie or a pale vampire at day, right? Then, sleep if you must all the time. Just remember that sleep is never for the weak but for those who are healthy, beautiful and health conscious.

3. To learn and perform better
Some students and workers tend to pull an all-nighter before exams, presentations or interviews, forcing them not to sleep. Worse, they only feed themselves with coffee, energy drinks and even more sugar the next day making them more hyper yet feeling weaker than usual.

Studies say, we should not do this to our minds and bodies since it could only result to poor memory and performance. As much as possible, we need to take a rest or even naps in between activities in order to rest our eyes, minds and bodies. The importance of sleep should not be disregarded as it is really significant to our lives.

What is Swimmer’s Ear Infection

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Swimming is one of the best exercises. Many Singaporeans consider swimming. In fact, the first Olympic gold is won by a swimmer – Joseph Schooling. If you are into swimming, for sure you have experienced what they call swimmer’s ear infection or medically called external otitis. Swimmer’s ear infection is a bacterial infection of the outer ear canal.

Swimmer’s ear infection is the cause of one’s excessive exposure to water. The water trapped inside the ear can affect the conduct of your daily life. You need to know more. Here are some information about the infection:

Symptoms
There are indications. You just need to stop and observe if you have these: itchy ears, swelling of your ear canal, feeling of fullness, draining and pain.

Forms
There are two forms of the infection – acute and chronic. Acute otitis externa results from inflammation or irritation. When this occurs, it can be treated with ear drops. Chronic swimmer’s ear on the other hand is when the outer ear as well as the canal becomes swollen and irritated for a long period of time or recurring.

Treatment
If the discomfort is intolerable, you can always go to your doctor and have your ears checked. Doctors will recommend antibiotic ear drops. If you are leaning more on home remedies, there are a few. The first thing that you can do is to prepare an ear drop made from rubbing alcohol and white vinegar. You only need to mix the rubbing alcohol and white vinegar equally and put it inside the ear. Do not forget to drain it.

Measures
You can take measures to avoid or at least ease the effects of the infection. You need to make sure that the ears are dry all the time. But this is difficult if you are always swimming. If you are always swimming, the least thing that you can do is to avoid scratching the ear inside. When you swim or shower, you should use plugs or cotton ball coated with Vaseline.

Aside from swimming, this infection can also sprout from frequent cleaning of ear canal using cotton swabs. If you are not swimming and symptoms indicate you have this infection, most likely it comes from overdoing ear cleaning. The ear has a natural mechanism that can get rid of the ear wax. If you overdo it, it will accumulate and surely it can affect how you live your life.

The point here is to make sure that you give ears enough time to recuperate. As for cleaning it, use solutions and eardrops but never the cotton swabs or sharp objects.

What You Need to Know About Period Products

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Periods products can be classified into two according to the kind of protection they provide. External protection includes sanitary pads, cloth pads and period panties. Internal protection includes tampons, menstrual cups and sea sponges.

Sanitary Pads

Pads are made of absorbent materials and has an adhesive strip at the bottom that you can press on the inside of the crotch of the panties.

Pads come in different varieties. Some have wings which can be attached at the sides of the pad to help hold it in place and prevent leakage.

However, there are risks. Disposal is problematic because they are made of plastics. They can cause irritation as well. Some are made of cotton bleached with chlorine while others have rayon in the cotton. Remember that they should be changed every 4 hours.

Cloth Pads

If you have sensitive skin, cloth pads may be an alternative to sanitary napkins. They are made from materials that won’t irritate your skin. They come in different colors and designs too.

Cloth pads are attached to the crotch area of your underwear much like sanitary pads. They can be stored easily and will blend in with other items in your bag.

Cleaning cloth pads might get tricky however. If you let the stain dry, it might be difficult to remove so it has to be soaked then washed before the stains dry.

Period Panties

Period panties look just like your underwear. They come in different designs from thongs to full-coverage panties. Each style has a level of absorbency. They can hold up as much as two tampons.

There are four thin layers that absorb the blood. The material is also antimicrobial and moisture-wicking. Period panties are washable and reusable.

Tampons

Tampons, which look like a tiny tube, are made of absorbent materials that collect blood from inside the vagina.

There is a rumor that girls can lose their virginity if they use tampons. But don’t worry because it isn’t true, but you need to know how to use it properly. So if you’re uncomfortable having a foreign object inserted in your body, this might not be for you.

Tampons might also contain plastic, which if left too long can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Some have glyphosate which can cause cancer.

Menstrual Cups

Cups are also inserted inside the vagina like tampons. But it’s not made of absorbent material. Instead, they are usually made of silicone or rubber that catch the blood and which can be washed and reused.

You wouldn’t know if you need to change it so it’s advised that you do this regularly.

Sea Sponges

There have been testimonies that sea sponges are a great alternative to pads and tampons.

There is a risk however that the sponge might be filled with dirt so it’s not safe to insert them in your vagina. They are also rough and might abrade or irritate the skin. They are also difficult to clean.

10 Must-Read Novels Set in Asia

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With so many good books about Asia, picking the best ten books seems like a daunting task. This list provides ten of the best novels set in Asia by iconic writers that reflect the colorful culture and traditions of the region.

1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005) by Lisa See is set in a county in Hunan, China in the 19th century. Two girls find solace in friendship and camaraderie by writing messages on silk fans.

2. The Glass Palace (2000) by Amitav Ghosh is set during the British invasion of Burma in 1885. A boy named Rajkumar creates his own empire in the forest, but the royal family was later banished. During his exile, he met and fell in love with Dolly. Years later, he searches for her.

3. An Artist of the Floating World (1986) by Kazuo Ishiguro tells the life story of artist Masuji Ono, who was also a propagandist for the Japanese Empire during the wars. He struggles to find meaning in life now that he has no one and nothing to live for.

4. Spring Snow (1969) by Yukio Mishima narrates the life of Kiyoaki of the Ayakura family who is torn between tradition and change. He discovers that he has fallen deeply in love with Satoko who was engaged to the royal prince.

5. The God of Small Things (1998) by Indian author Arundhati Roy is about fraternal twins Esthappen and Rahel. The story shifts from when the twins were young to the present. As the title implies, it shows how small things can change people for the rest of their lives.

6. A Suitable Boy (1993) by Vikram Seth tells of Lata’s search for the most suitable boy to marry with the help of her mother Rupa Mehra. In the story, the lives of four families are intertwined in love, sadness, joy and forgiveness.

7. The Dream of the Red Chamber (1791) by Cao Xueqin is one of the most-read books of all time. Written during the Qing Dynasty, it narrates the life of two branches of the wealthy family of Jia, the Rongguo and the Ningguo.

8. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994) by Haruki Murakami tells of Toru Okada’s search, first for his wife’s missing cat, then for his missing wife. His search led him to the strange netherworld in Tokyo.

9. A Single Shard (2001) by Linda Sue Park is a story of Tree-Ear and Min. Tree-Ear is curious about the work of the potters in the village, one of them being Min. One day Tree-Ear accidentally breaks a box and pledges to work to pay for the item.

10. The Living Reed: A Novel of Korea (1963) by Pearl S. Buck is set in Korea after the end of World War II. Stories from four generations of the aristocratic family, Kim, show the resiliency of the country.

Signs of Addiction and Where to Get Help

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Addiction doesn’t just refer to abuse of dangerous drugs. It is a lifestyle you have no control over. You can be addicted to anything from food and beverage to abstract ideas. It’s not a fixation on an object or idea, but a behavioral problem.

There are two types of addiction, substance dependence and behavioral addiction. An addict cannot control his/her thoughts and actions. They become dependent on a thing or activity to cope with everyday life. It all begins with a harmless habit. All of us have habits, but habits are performed by choice and can be stopped or never acted on. Addiction on the other hand is dependency on performing a task or consumption of a food or drink to relieve the experience felt the first time it happened.

In cases of alcohol addiction for example, the person becomes dependent and develops a high tolerance. That will lead the person to consume alcohol in higher dosages more frequently to feel sated.

Who is affected?

There is no specific age, gender and ethnicity that will determine who can suffer addiction. Symptoms include loss of control, preoccupation with the activity or object, several failed attempts to stop, continued acts or use despite health risks and consequences, tolerance for a substance, denial of the condition, neglect to perform daily tasks, and withdrawal symptoms when the person attempts to stop.

Addiction can ruin relationships, career or studies and the person’s mental and physical health. It can take up a lot of time and resources too. Substance and alcohol abuse can also lead to violence, accidents and overdoses. Dangerous drugs can alter your brain that is why continued use makes it more difficult to get your life back together.

Where do I get help?

If you or someone you know needs help, there are groups in Singapore that could help you get or your friend’s life back together. Do not wait until you hit rock bottom or suffer serious health problems before you call for help.

The National Addictions Management Service has programs for excessive gaming or use of the Internet, gambling, alcohol, drugs, and inhalants.

The Cabin Singapore was established to help people suffering from alcohol abuse.

WE CARE Community Services Limited has counseling and programs for drug, alcohol, sex, gambling, and Internet addiction as well as shop-lifting and eating disorders.

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) was established to help those struggling to break the cycle of sex and love addiction.

The Institute of Mental Health has a National Addictions Management Service to help patients who are in need of assistance for treatment of substance and behavioral addictions.

One Hope Center is a non-profit volunteer group set up to help those with issues in gambling.

How to Address Over-Illumination

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Growing up, you are often reminded to take things moderately because too much of something is bad. This is applicable to lighting as well. Over-illumination is a problem these days. It is part of light pollution that can have an effect on one’s health and the environment. Industrialists believe that light pollution is inevitable which is why it is part of modernization and development.

Over-illumination is actually a type of light pollution. It is the use of excessive lighting for a specific activity. It is undeniable that over-illumination happens here in Singapore from advertisers to retail shops. It is part of marketing but you have to be aware of its ill effects on your health. Over-illumination, especially at inappropriate times can disrupt bodily functions starting with your circadian rhythms to the production of melatonin. These imbalances can lead to headaches, hypertension, insomnia, fatigue and anxiety.

As for environmental concerns, over-illumination consumes higher electricity which is not good for the environment not to mention higher electricity costs which is not economical. Knowing this, you have to contribute to lessen its effect on the environment and economics. Here are simple solutions to address over-illumination:

Pick the right design: When you are still building your house, it is important that you have large windows because it can help with the lighting. Natural light should be a priority instead of installing tons of lighting fixtures. Make sure that the architect or builder knows you want abundance of natural lights.

Turning off lights: Make it a habit to turn off the light every time you exit the room whether you are in your workplace or in your home. During the day, utilize natural light. If you are in your workplace, turn off the lights when no one is in the room. If you are taught that turning lights off and on all the time will degrade it, basic rule of thumb is to leave it on for at least fifteen minutes and if after there is no one entering the room, turn it off.

Choose the right lighting: One thing that you can do is to choose the right lighting fixture. You can ask for the help of professionals if you do not know which to consider. The basic thing that you have to do is to avoid fluorescent lighting and consider low-wattage light bulbs. At night, do not overdo or over-illuminate. You can instead use dim light sources – these will give you light along hallways and dark rooms without over-lighting it.

These are just some of the things that you can do as an individual. If you are a company owner, you can do more things and be sure to implement it consistently.

Life Upgrades Every 20-Something Should Do

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We all love having an upgrade, be it on our airplane seats, gadgets and fast food meals. Yet, these are not the only things that should get one – your life needs an upgrade, too. If you’re already on your 20s, doing the following upgrades will certainly give your current adulthood level a major bump.

  1. Build a Good Wardrobe

Dreaming of becoming a boss someday? Then start dressing the part today. You can start by investing in high quality pieces like a pair of designer heels or a tailored blazer that’ll give you a professional edge. These pieces will likely cost more than your usual clothing options but they’ll definitely last longer, saving you extra money in the long run.

  1. Travel the World

If you’re going to splurge on something as early as now, splurge on experiences instead of on material possessions – and what better way to expand your horizons than travelling to new places, as it forces you out of your comfort zone and makes you see the world from the perspective of a stranger. So be sure to save up and splurge on these experiences now because unlike material things, memories will stay with you forever.

  1. Read More

The most cost-effective source of knowledge will always be books – and with the presence of e-books these days, you no longer need to lug around a stack of your favourite novels and you also get to read them anytime and anywhere you want.

  1. Agree With Everyone and Everything

The best way to start your journey to adulthood is to stop controlling every scenario you’re in and stop proving yourself right. You won’t change anyone’s opinion through having a heated argument and nobody will remember whether or not you’re right. Doing this will surely make you realize that life moves a lot better when there’s harmony instead of discord.

  1. Learn From Your Adversity

There will certainly come a time where you’ll face an adversity that you didn’t think you’ll ever experience. But you’ll have a choice when this time comes: either you see it as a hindrance, or you focus on what you learn from it and grow from that experience. Yes, it’ll not be easy, but making the right choice will definitely help you grow in ways you never imagined.

Doing some important life changes as early as your 20s is one way of preparing yourself for your journey to adulthood. So be sure to put these life upgrades to work to give yourself a good head start in the adult life.

Strange Defence Mechanisms Your Body Makes

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Our bodies are made of a complex collection of numerous biological systems and cycles that are often difficult to comprehend, and our body’s defence mechanisms form one of those systems. They keep us safe against things that could potentially pose some harm to us. To help you get a better understanding of these mechanisms, we listed down some of fascinating things that your body does to ensure that you’re safe from harm.

  1. Hiccupping

Whenever you swallow large pieces of food, eat quickly or simply overeat, your vagus nerve becomes irritated. This cranial nerve is connected to your diaphragm and stomach, resulting to a bout of hiccups when you eat too much.

  1. Goose Bumps

The main function of goose bumps is to reduce the amount of heat trapped inside the body through the pores of your skin. Moreover, this mechanism also makes it easier for you to warm yourself when you’re placed in inhospitable climatic conditions.

  1. Skin Wrinkling

The wrinkles that appear on your hand’s skin actually play an important role. This phenomenon is triggered when your body encounters an excessive amount of moisture, thinking that the environment is slippery. For that reason, the skin on your hands start immediately change in a way that makes it easier for you to hold onto smooth surfaces.

  1. Myoclonic Jerks

This refers to the strange feeling you get when you lie down to sleep, and as you start drifting off your body is jolted by what feels like an electric shock. During this moment, your muscles spasm strongly that you wake up straightaway. Myoclonic jerks often result of the fact that as you start falling asleep – your pulse slows down, your breathing frequency rapidly falls, and your muscles are relaxed – your brain interprets it as a heralding death, which is why it tries to save by giving your body a good jolt.

  1. Tears

Aside from protecting your eyes against foreign objects, your tears also serve as a form of emotional defence. Health experts believe that our body creates a powerful source of irritation when it’s placed in a stressful situation, so as to distract you from the pain you’re currently experiencing.

While you may not notice it, our body works in various ways to keep us safe from harm every single day. So ensure that you do your part by living a healthy lifestyle and enjoying relaxing activities from time to time.

Talking About Tipping Around the World

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The world is vast with more than 190 countries listed in the map. You have plans to travel every city and taste their cuisines. Speaking of tasting and eating, are you aware that there are different tipping practices around the world? You may not pay tip here in Singapore but there are other countries or cities that entail it. With this, it is imperative that you know the tipping practices.

Rule of thumb is to tip in cash. It is not a good practice to tip using your credit card because some may not accept it. Another thing that you have to remember is to tip according to the currency of the country you will visit. Do not wait until you have already devoured your dish to figure out whether you should give a tip or not. It helps to do a little research before eating. This guide can help.

Australia

In case you do not know, waiters in Australia are paid well so you are not expected to give any tip. But if you want a token of appreciation for the excellent service through gratuities, you can just round up the bill or leave few dollars.

Austria

In some areas of Austria, the bill tends to incorporate “service charge”. If you see this on your bill, you do not need to give tip. So the best thing to do is always check the bill. If there is no “service charge”, you can either round up the bill or simply add 10% extra as tip.

Brazil

Like in Austria, when you see “service charge” incorporated on your bill, you do not need to pay any gratuities. But if you feel like giving extra for the superb service, make sure to give Real directly to the waiter. Do not just leave it on the table.

Canada

In Canada, gratuity is not incorporated on the bill. This means that you have to add 10 to 20% to your bill as a tip.

Egypt

Most of the restaurants in Egypt already incorporate “service charge” to the bills. This means that you do not need to leave tip.

France

In France, “service charge” is always included on the bill. You have to check though but generally in France you do not need to give tip. However, as an act of kindness and appreciation, you can always round up the bill or give something. Waiters there are paid minimal so your spare money can help them.

There you go. Just think that all places appreciate gratuities. You can check via the bill if it is included. If it is not, your cash will do.