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Botox Injection

Botox: What You Need to Know

When considering a botox injection, you simply can't afford not to be completely clued up about exactly what the procedure is and what the risks are, which admittedly are small but do exist. There is a plethora of factors you need to consider, and certain things you just need to know. Here we take a look at some of the vital information anybody must familiarise themselves with if seriously contemplating having botox.

So, what is botox exactly?

In layman's terms, botox is a prescription medicine being used to give users that younger look. It can prevent wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles.

In more scientific terms, botox is simply a common trade name for the neurotoxic protein called botulinum toxin. This toxin is produced by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum and it's not only used for cosmetic purposes. Botox is also used medically to help treat chronic pain, migraine headaches, neuropathy and dystonia. It is also being used to improve the life quality of people with overactive bladders and enlarged prostates, among other uses.

History of Botox

Although it has just become popular in recent years, Botox has been around since the 1960s.

Botulinum toxin is a toxic chemical that can be dangerous and quite fatal if applied in wrong doses or forms. It causes botulism that can result in fatalities in both humans and animals. However, clinical use of this toxin has been popularly “accepted” as one of the many prescribed drugs that one can access like any other prescribed medicine.

Although it was only approved for the treatment of several medical conditions in 1989, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only approved Botox for use in cosmetic surgery in 2002. Regardless of this fact, this is a substance that has been used for many decades without regulation.

For a further look at cosmetic surgery and techniques visit these sites:

What is the secret of botox and what are the side effects?

There is absolutely no magic that Botox does to one’s body other than weaken or paralyze the targeted muscles and blocking some nerves. On average, the effects that someone's body experiences after this injection can last for up to 12 months. This is dependent on the dosage prescribed and injected as well as what it is being injected for.

Like any other drug, Botox also has its own share of side-effects, such as a mild droopiness of the eyelids or eyebrows which usually lasts for a week or two. Some have experienced stomach upsets after getting the procedure, others have complained of flu-like symptoms and headaches. Another possible side-effect which is more common is bruising and swelling of the injected area.

Any benefits of using botox when compared to going under the knife?

When used for cosmetic purposes, Botox can yield desired results without the need to go under the scalpel. Doing that would consequently give you weeks or months of recuperation and wound healing. Botox wouldn't give you this.

If you’re interested in undergoing a session of botox, talk to a professional team of surgeons at American British Surgical & Medical Centre

Are there any times one shouldn't get botox?

As with any other medical application, it is important to consult a medical practitioner first. There are certain times when you shouldn't get the procedure carried out. For instance, it is not advisable for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers to use Botox.

Botox Injection

For all queries and questions and if you’re not sure it is for you, you can read these articles:

To use or not to use?

The use of Botox is purely a personal choice. It is up to a person’s personal objectives and desires to turn to non-surgical cosmetic procedures if they wish to, as much as others would go for traditional cosmetic surgery. However, it is important that the person always fully understands the procedure and the risks attached. You must be fully comfortable with all of this before committing to getting the procedure done.

Vaccine Cartoon

Towards an Immune India – The Long Journey Ahead!

Be it the epic battles of the Mahabharata, the arcane wars of the Bible’s Old Testament, or present day high-tech wars using missiles and drones, it is the fight between good and evil that holds sway. Our conscience is ridden with contrasting images of Ram versus Ravan, Angel versus Devil, God versus Satan, Friend versus Foe, Bush versus Sadaam, Obama versus Osama, Good versus Evil and so forth. I think you get the idea. We are so obsessed with the concept of a constant war being fought between good and evil, that it is the only way we understand anything and everything!

Good vs Evil

Ever wondered what happens to our body when we get the ‘flu’. Let me tell you. Our body turns into a bloody battlefield, metaphorically speaking, and our immune system goes into a hyper drive causing all the snorts and sniffles in an effort to drive out the culprit. To understand what goes on behind the scenes, let us learn a thing or two about immunity by dwelling on our obsession of epic battles set in the pre-renaissance period between two warring kingdoms!

[box type=”note”]Imagine a war scenario during the pre-renaissance period – a glorious age of kings and queens, of knights and gladiators, of archers and cavalry, of swords and daggers, of arrows and spears and of sweat and blood.[/box]

Similarly, a war is raging inside you right now and your precious body is a busy battlefield. Constant battles are being fought over gaining control of this or that part of your body – your skin, nose, ears, intestines, lungs, heart, liver and other organs. There is mayhem out there. The enemy is strong and your defences have to hold!

Every day, thousands, if not millions of miniscule microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites use stealth to sneak inside your body, and if that fails, they use brute force to gain access to your body having breached your defences. The skin and mucous membranes of the body form the first line of defence, like the mighty walls of a fortress. When these formidable walls are breached, it is the puny warrior cells within your body’s immune system that does all the fighting.

war in action

In this war, some battles are won making you fit, while others are lost making you sick. Well, that’s how your body works! It is when these tireless warriors within you fail due to your negligence or against formidable forces of the enemy that you fall sick – you catch a cold, run a temperature, frequent the loo, or occasionally, develop a more serious illness! Actually, you are under siege by an army of microorganisms attacking membranes inside your body.

However strong a fortress might be, the ultimate outcome of a war depends on brave soldiers, dedicated warriors trained for battle within the walls of the fortress. Training your body for war against germs is very much the same. Each soldier has a specific role in the army and is trained to do his particular job – there are blacksmiths, foot soldiers, archers, cavalry, and of course, there are mighty cannon handlers.

Your body’s first line of defence is a physical one, just like the walls of a fortress – the skin and mucous membranes form a barrier good enough to defend most attacks! The enemy has to breach this first line of defence to dominate. Once these mighty walls are breached, the onus is upon multifarious warriors with different skills to fight and defend your body. Your body’s internal defences, known as the immune system, is made up of warrior cells that kill, cells that recognize the enemy, cells that produce the ammo, cells on a suicide mission, cells that resist invasion, cells that fend off germs and cells that cause diversion. This huge army of cells defend your body from invasion by any enemy. Anything foreign entering your bodies is suitably neutralised or destroyed by the immune system before it can cause damage to your bodies. But if your army is weak, you will lose ground and thus fall sick.

Sometimes, I like to think of health as a game of cards. The moment you have a weak hand, you lose. Similarly, when your immune system is weak and worn out, you lose and the germs win. Result – illness!

What is Immunity?

Immunity is a specific defensive response of a host when a foreign substance or organism invades it. Simply put, it is the body’s inherent ability to defend itself from any foreign substance or organism. An army of B cells, T cells, and natural killer cells trained for the job, and other parts of the immune system, counterattack, ripping any adventurous microbes to pieces.

[box type=”blue”]I couldn't resist putting this kids video to show you how the immune system works.[/box]

You must have seen the devastating effects of a decreased number of CD4+ T-cells among PLWHA, who are prone to myriad infections. The lack of immunity makes one realise its importance.

There are 2 types of immunity, namely:

  1. Innate Immunity: This is like a general insurance cover, one cover for all purposes. The skin and mucous membranes make up most of it like the walls of a fortress keeping out all enemies, no matter what shape or size.
  2. Acquired Immunity: It is specific to the threat and is acquired after exposure to a particular enemy, and hence the name. A minor attack by a particular enemy signals the body to prepare for a major invasion by the same foe and is the very principle upon which immunization is based.

Can you Improve your Body’s Immunity to Fight Diseases?

That’s a million dollar, if not a billion dollar question considering the money spent on researching just that question. In concept, immunity is bolstered by a healthy mix of proper diet, good personal habits, health supplements, and of course good old immunization!

What if you change your diet, or take health supplements, or exercise regularly? Will it improve your immune system? Speculations are rife, and so are misconceptions. Researchers have failed to find sufficient data to adequately prove that any of these perceived immunity-boosters actually improve our immunity.

So, does it mean that the numerous health products on the shelves of departmental stores, claiming to boost immunity take you for a ride? I don’t think that assumption would be justifiable. We should not discount the benefit offered by this herb or that tonic just on pure speculation, without valid evidence to the contrary. Probably, there must be some modulation of the immune system by ingredients within such preparations and should be taken into consideration before writing them off. All that can be said as of now is that, efficacy and uniformity of results produced by them, is yet to be proven and will need further research.

Based on recent research by various health experts, following recommendations may boost your immunity, if not improve your general health and wellbeing:

  1. Eat lots of fruits and veggies: Studies show that a diet rich in fruits and veggies help in preventing illnesses due to the vitamins and minerals in them. You might be thrilled to know that certain veggies of the brassica group have anti-cancer properties.
  2. Sleep adequately: Decreased sleep increases stress levels putting more burden on your immune system. I would be surprised if you haven’t seen it during your tests at school or college.
  3. Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise promotes the feel-good hormones that are good for your immune system. But, don’t overdo it as it may be more harmful than not exercising at all.
  4. Reduce Stress in your life: Stress causes a gush of stress hormones into the blood stream either pushing the disease-fighting immune cells in hyper-drive or completely switching them off. Understandably, both are bad.
  5. Quit Smoking: Smoking causes a number of illnesses and some studies comparing susceptibility of smokers with non-smokers to certain infectious diseases might serve as a good deterrent.
  6. Drink alcohol in moderation: Alcohol abuse is closely related to immunodeficiency making you susceptible to infections such as bacterial pneumonia and tuberculosis.
  7. Take Health Supplements: Natural health supplements such as Dabur chyawanprash may have some immune modulating effects and are thought to prevent illness and promote health and general wellbeing.
  8. Immunize against Preventable Diseases: Don’t forget to get your shots. Remember that the shots you took during your childhood might be ones keeping you alive. Immunization boosts immunity against specific killer diseases.

[box type=”note”]Of all the recommendations, I like the last one the best. Read on and you will know why![/box]

Bacteria

Training the Immune System – Preparing for Battle

Billions of live bacteria and viruses are injected across the globe on a daily basis, into clueless children, in the hope that they will prevent the very diseases they cause.

Sounds creepy, doesn’t it?

Well, that is exactly what you do when you take your little boy or girl for immunization. Of course, they are tempered versions of the bacteria or virus, and usually don’t cause disease. The saying, “What doesn’t kill you, only strengthens you” makes good sense while trying to understand the concept of immunization better.

Germs fighting germs is a concept that has caught our fancy. Look at immunization and more recently, probiotics. They have changed the way we think of microbes and how they can be used as weapons against other microbes. Like spies sent out to destroy the enemy by stealth, germs are sent out looking like the enemy themselves for tuning our immune system to respond to a possible attack or by simply competing with and eliminating the enemy.

Baby getting Injections

The origin of immunization is one of serendipity, a coincidence or chance discovery that has changed the concepts of prevention, the way we think about germs and the diseases they cause. It has given us an entirely new meaning to the old saying, “Prevention is better than Cure”. This time-tested adage holds true even today in spite of the rapid growth of modern medicine and the development of innovative technologies. In fact, it has become the slogan of the present generation.

The idea of immunity is nothing new, even though it was in the 18th century that the concepts of immunity were studied in great detail and exploited for prevention of killer diseases that had plagued humanity for thousands of years. Various killer diseases had ravaged humanity during this period and the world was battered by constant wars and epidemics. Smallpox single-handedly was responsible for 8-20% of all deaths in several European countries in the 18th century. Billions died with no cure in sight, and many more maimed for life. In recent times, we have seen what the pandemic flu virus (swine/bird flu) can do. The US has a dedicated Flu Website to tackle this menace. Number of deaths could be high. The U.S. death toll during the 1918 flu pandemic was approximately 6,75,000. The root word “pandemonium,” for pandemic rightly expresses it.

The Efficacy of Pertussis Vaccination

Skeptical about Efficacy of Immunisation? Click the Image for a Bigger Picture!

The recent outbreak of polio in Syria made it to the front page of newspapers and televised news across the globe. The whole of Europe is panic-stricken and rightly so. In the past, polio was a major disabling disease that had maimed millions for life.

Current Status of Immunization in India – Are we there yet?

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics of 2008, an estimated 1.5 million of deaths among under-5 children were due to diseases that could have been prevented by routine vaccination. You should be alarmed, as this represents 17% of global total mortality among children under 5.

Vaccine Preventable Deaths Under 5

Distribution of Vaccine Preventable Deaths among Under-5 Children

Immunisation is probably the single most cost effective way of improving survival in children in developing countries like India. Despite solid evidence to this effect, about two to three million people die from vaccine-preventable diseases annually.

India provides free immunization services through its public health care system under the Universal Immunization Programme, but only 44% of children aged 1-2 years receive the basic package of immunisations (BCG, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Poliomyelitis, Measles and Hepatitis-B) recommended by WHO and UNICEF, based on research data provided by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3). A recent study published in the Lancet shows very similar results. Worse still, this is a skewed figure which does not reflect figures across all cross-sections of the society. The figure dips to an abysmal 22% in some rural areas of the country where penetration of immunisation programmes is poor.

Vaccination Rate during 2005-2006

Despite these dismal figures, India officially became a polio-free nation on 25th February, 2012 after being struck off the list of polio-endemic countries by WHO. India had previously gained the notoriety of harbouring almost half of the world’s polio cases until very recently in 2009. Kudos to nation-wide efforts under the guise of Pulse Polio Immunization programme, an era of this crippling disease is finally over. Polio had previously crippled an estimated 2,00,000 children annually in India before the launch of Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Indian Polio Story

Now, only three countries in the world, namely Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, remain afflicted by endemic poliomyelitis.

Let this brilliant success serve as a beacon of light and as a hope for other vaccine-preventable diseases. Let us hope for effective immunization penetration across all cross-sections of our society for a more healthy and immune India for our children.

Armageddon is at Hand – Are you ready?

My idea of an Armageddon is a world filled with totally antibiotic resistant germs, superbugs that cause one pandemic after another – where no antibiotics work, and no cure in sight! The battle rages on, and to win, we will need the right weapons. What weapons will you choose? Whom will you trust your life with?

[box type=”blue”]I choose immunization! I can picture my little boys cringe and nod in disagreement. Come on kiddos, shots are good![/box]

Immunisation is the only weapon that will redeem us in the long haul, particularly with the advent of superbugs that are resistant to almost all known antibiotics. Well, let’s not forget age old wisdom and give Ayurveda a chance to prove that we have more to hope than just immunisation, to save the day. And hey, did you know that the tradition of inoculation, a crude form of vaccination, is ensconced in Ayurvedic texts and may have originated in India in 1000 BCE.

Now, who are you with against these formidable enemies? I bet you are thinking vaccines.

Immunization Delivery Systems – A painful saga ends?

[box type=”blue”]My kids would love to hear this part, but it might be a little too late for them.[/box]

Mark my words; your next vaccine might be delicious! Hmm, edible vaccines? Exactly, who likes painful shots? Oral Polio Vaccine and Oral Typhoid Vaccine are just starters to the whole menu of edible vaccines still cooking in the kitchen. You might just as well have vaccines for dinner or a yummy vaccine snack during lunch hour. “Waiter, vaccines on a platter please!”

Oral Pulse Polio Immunisation

Oral Polio Vaccine to the Rescue

Let us hope that the painful saga of injectable vaccines ends soon enough, and then, you can have live bacteria for breakfast, attenuated viruses for lunch and microbial cocktail for dinner. Just kidding!

Final Words on an Immune India

Disease Prevention is a buzzword that has been making the rounds among common people, as much as among the scientific community, especially after outbreaks of multi-drug resistant bugs that are resilient to the latest antibiotics. Some forward thinkers are even predicting a pre-antibiotic era, wherein antibiotics are sitting ducks against deadly superbugs. Are we prepared for this? The question is whether our body’s immunity is up to the task.

Let’s work together so that we make our country’s immunization programme a success and save many more lives in the process. 100% immunization coverage is possible if we give our 100%! The least we can do is to free our country of vaccine-preventable diseases, and then truly, we can have an Immune India.

Pulse Polio Immunisation Success

Let's replicate the success of Pulse Polio Immunisation

Let’s do our part – spread awareness about immunization, volunteer for immunization camps and projects, share our knowledge and resources about universal immunization and thus protect our children’s future, the future of India.

Jai Hind!

[box type=”note”]As fellow bloggers and Medical Island fans, do your part by sharing this article to as many of your friends as possible. Then, thank yourself for saving a child![/box]

[box type=”blue”]This article is part of the contest “An Immune India,” an initiative by Indiblogger and http://www.daburchyawanprash.com. Wishing everyone all the best for the contest![/box]


Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

An Immune India

Arch Support

Arch Support for your Feet – Are they really needed?

Humans are distinct from other animals in having an organised thought process, deep insight of feelings and their expression, well-developed communication skills and a bipedal locomotion. Having a bipedal locomotion has its quirks, having to support the whole body’s weight on two feet instead of four. Interestingly, the human body has adapted to this by making some unique adjustments to the shape and contour of the feet. The arches of the feet are a consequence of this evolutionary adaptation.

The arches of the feet are one of the many marvels of the human body. The foot arches help in supporting the immense weight of the body. By maintaining the arches of the feet, the weight of the body is dissipated and distributed evenly to support it fully against gravity and without undue stress.

Foot Types

Pes Cavus, Normal Foot and Pes Planus

What happens when the arches are Flattened or Exaggerated?

The obvious flattening of arches of the feet results in a clinical condition, commonly known as Flat Feet, or more technically known as Pes planus. On the other hand, increased curvature of the arches results in high-arch feet, high instep, cavoid foot or technically speaking, Pes cavus and Talipes cavus. It is somewhat less common than flat foot.

Pes Cavus Bones

Bone arrangement in Pes Cavus

Both conditions pose a significant risk of fracture of the feet bones and plantar fasciitis, not being able to dissipate the weight of the body evenly or adequately. Often, such a biomechanical mal-alignment or lack of stability in the foot region can cause disproportionate pressure on the tissues of the foot, heel, shin, knee, and back resulting in pain over the lower back, legs, ankle, feet and sometimes, stress fracture of bones of the feet.

Flat Foot

Normal versus Flat Foot

How do you manage Flat Feet and Pes cavus?

There are several ways to manage these niggling issues of the feet. As a primary measure, a good pair of shoes lends support for a healthy pair of feet and also helps to avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort caused by ill-fitting shoes. However, when pain becomes persistent or severe, the first step is to reach a correct diagnosis so that definitive treatment strategies can be initiated without delay. Consulting a foot health specialist such as a podiatrist at this early stage would be a move in the right direction.

Various treatment modalities exist when it comes to managing diseases affecting the foot:

  1. Arch or metatarsal cushions: Cushions provide support and comfort, preventing callosities, bunion and corn from developing over the feet, which otherwise ensue from constant pressure over pressure points.
  2. Arch support insoles: They are most commonly used to provide comfort while maintaining the natural contours of the feet, thus preventing undue flattening or arching of the feet. Insoles are easy to insert, use and maintain.
  3. Orthotic arch supports: Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts that correct gait problems, provide foot support, relieve pressure on painful areas of the foot, and provide motion control. Orthotics is best prescribed by a medical doctor, a podiatrist, or a chiropractor. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes for various foot problems. Orthotics tend to become an expensive affair. Their cost varies from a couple of hundreds to thousands of dollars for a pair.
  4. Orthotic shoes: Specially designed shoes are commonly used to correct foot problems, particularly to correct unequal length and for functional comfort.
  5. Surgery: Invasive surgery requiring exploration and remodelling to correct permanent foot abnormalities are considered only when it cannot be corrected by other modalities such as orthotics, physiotherapy and medications.

When to use Arch Support for your feet?

Pain is a relatively good indicator for evaluating severity of all kinds of diseases, including foot diseases. When foot pain is not relieved by rest, by adopting healthy foot habits or by adjusting footwear, it is an indicator that it needs therapy and a foot specialist.

Arch CorrectionAn arch support is a piece of material that is specially designed to provide support for the arch of the foot. Arch supports are readily available, simple to use and of course are the most cost effective means of therapy. It is always a good practice to consult a foot specialist before starting to use arch support as they can easily worsen the symptoms if not properly chosen.

The benefits of arch support insoles cannot be undermined by their utter simplicity or by mere appearance. They are the key to providing comfort and preventing undue strain on the bones and muscles of the feet, while also catering to provide support for the legs and lower back.

Shoes of the right size and type can be beneficial for mild pains and strains. Finding the right pair of shoes for your feet can be difficult, especially when you require one with arch support. Nowadays, you can easily order arch support shoes online that will suit your needs and be delivered right at your doorsteps.

[box type=”note”]Remember, if pain persists despite correcting your shoe sizes, shoe types and foot habits, consult your foot specialist.[/box]

Strawberries

5 Foods to Maintain and Enhance Your Mental Health

Mental health is something that has a variety of factors associated with it. Whether these are environmental or even just genetic conditions, many different things can have an impact on mental health. Many might not be aware that your diet can have an enormous effect on your mental health. There are foods that have been linked to greater mental health and in specific cases these food have been known to alleviate certain mental health problems. Many times stress can lead to poor eating which turns into a snowball effect when it comes to mental health. Make sure to eat a balanced diet so you don’t potentiate the stress and mental health problems that you are having just by simply eating poorly.

Avocados

Avocados make the list on almost every health conscious food article as well as being a “superfood”. If there is one day that you find yourself lacking motivation or are slow moving turning to avocados might be the best answer. For college students this could also become a weapon in the library. Avocados have also been linked to helping people focus when that just can’t seem to.

Avocados

Image via Flickr by Ollesvensson

For a quick snack involving avocadoes, you can cut up an avocado for your salad or even make a quick guacamole dip for your pick-me-up.

Eggs

If this is something that you allow yourself to eat, eggs are a great source of protein and also help mental function. Eggs contain choline which help with memory so if you are the forgetful type try incorporating eggs into your diet and see if it has any impact. Other dairy products such as milk or yogurt have the same impact on your mental function so if eggs aren’t an option for the vegetarian or vegan there are more options in the dairy family that could help your memory. Eggs are quick and easy to make and there are legitimately thousands of ways to eat them so incorporating these into your diet won’t be difficult.

Spinach

Spinach is the food that other foods want to grow up to be like when it comes to helping mental function. Spinach has been known to help in a plethora of different ways that aren’t even related to one another. If you are feeling down, spinach has been linked to reducing cases of depression in many adults and young adults. Lack of concentration is linked to lacking vitamin B1 and spinach has a plethora of this nutrient. Spinach by eating it can also increase your appetite, you heard it correctly by eating you can also increase your appetite! Almost every symptom that can be solved by eating a specific food spinach is also linked to as a solution for whatever is having a negative impact on your mental health. The other things that spinach can help with are insomnia, stress, and anxiety. This is the most all inclusive food that can help you both mentally and physically, no wonder Popeye loved it so much!

Strawberries

Strawberries help improve mental function as well as other berries. These are high in vitamin C which when deficient in causes a person to have increased cases of depression. This is the berry version of spinach. For nearly every single symptom that spinach helps with strawberries also help with. Strawberries also have the ability to lessen your anger and irritability. Although fresh strawberries can be expensive, the health benefits of them are definitely worth it.

Strawberries

Image via Flickr by Fried Dough

Fish

Fish have omega 3 fatty acids that help with mental function to an extreme extent. There have been numerous studies stating that fish oil can help reduce your risk for depression and sometimes even cure it entirely. If fish does not appeal to you, a fish oil supplement can also help and is easy to take. Fish is also a healthy alternative to red meats which come with their own mixed bag of issue that they can cause.

As you can see mental health is not just caused by environmental factors. The statement “you are what you eat” stands true even to this day. If you put garbage and unhealthy foods into your body you will be functioning at a lower rate than your peers with a healthy diet. Having bad mental health doesn’t just leave you depressed or anxious but it can also lead you to obesity. Many mental health drugs have been associated with antipsychotic associated obesity which is rapid weight gain due to the use of the drug. Take care of yourself on the inside and out because all of this is interconnected.

Vision 2020 UK

A Sharper Focus on Eye Research: The Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership

Vision loss and dysfunction affects almost 300 million people worldwide. Oddly enough, many people live with vision problems and either cannot or will not correct them. But ignoring vision and eye health is a big mistake that could cost many their eyesight. In fact, one such condition, myopia, will eventually cause blindness if it worsens without any medical intervention.

Recently, a report was released based on a survey conducted between May and July of 2012. The survey involved more than 2,220 people and generated 4,461 questions. Key organisations all across the sight loss and vision industry have been working hard to find out what those afflicted with vision problems want most.

Factual Position on Eye Sight and Vision Research

Every day, 100 people in the UK start to lose their sight. Alarming? It is.

In fact, social research shows that the sense that people fear losing the most is sight loss. While a lot is being done in the field of research to help prevent loss of eyesight, there are still a lot of questions that remain unanswered.

Researchers still don't have a firm grasp on what causes some eye disorders, like myopia, though there are several competing hypotheses. For people suffering from these disorders, right now, the best solution is to visit Lenstore, or another retailer, and try compensatory solutions like corrective lenses. But this isn't a permanent solution.

A permanent solution involves arresting the deterioration of vision and reversing it. For now, however, 12 different categories of eye disease and conditions have been collated through research findings. The information will be used to ensure that future research targets areas that most people living with sight loss want addressed.

The partnership is formed by Fight for Sight, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology, the College of  Optometrists, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the UK Vision Strategy, and Vision 2020.

Anita Lightstone, Interim Chief Operations Officer for VISION 2020 UK and Programme Director of the UK Vision Strategy commented, “This project is one of the first of its kind to ensure that both the public and clinicians have a say on what they think are the most important areas for research to focus on. We hope that existing research funders from a range of sectors will take note of this and will use these research priorities to support their funding decisions.”

Various Stages of setting up the Partnership

Indeed, it is a long, but important road that organisations have to travel down.

1. First Stage: The first step was to establish the Sight and Loss Vision PSP. This set the stage for everything. The project proposal was finalised and funding was secured in 2012. Once the protocol was agreed upon, and project management and oversight arrangements confirmed, it was launched on April 19th 2012.

2. Second Stage: Next, a survey opened up on May 1st and ran through July of 2012. This survey attempted to gather vital information about people living with vision disorders as well as generate questions about future research in eye health.

3. Third Stage: Finally, the third stage consists of data assessment. A data assessment group has been established and protocols agreed upon. Questions have been grouped based on eye disease and rewritten in PICO format. All duplicates were removed and all questions collated.

4. Fourth Stage: Stage four consists of interim prioritisation where all questions were collated and ranked according to importance. The rankings were combined to produce a short list of just 30 questions per category.

5. Fifth Stage: The fifth stage, final prioritisation, attempted to distil the questions still further, allowing a balanced mix of patients, relatives, carers, members of organisations, eye health professionals, and neutral facilitators participate in the process.

[box type=”note”]About the Author: This article is contributed by Roger Anderson, who is enthusiastic about vision and eye care. He loves sharing his research on eye health and eye technology blogs.[/box]