Dry Eye Disease Negatively Affects Physical and Mental Health As Well As Vision

Patients suffering from dry eye disease symptoms have a lower quality of life compared to those without symptoms, a new study reports. The findings showed that patients with the condition reported negative effects on visual function, their ability to carry out daily activities and their work productivity.

Dry eye disease is a common condition and a frequent reason for patients to seek medical care. It can affect people of any age but is most prevalent in women and in older people. Symptoms include irritation and redness in the eyes, blurred vision, and a sensation of grittiness or a foreign body in the eye. It has been reported that up to a third of adults over 65 years old have the condition, although the actual number is likely to be higher as there is no established diagnostic test and people with mild symptoms are less likely to report them to their doctor.

Treatment often involves prescriptions of artificial tears, ocular lubricants and astringents, which come at a cost to the NHS; in 2014, 6.4 million items were prescribed at a cost of over £27 million.

This new study, led by the University of Southampton, set out to explore how dry eye disease affects the lives of adults in the UK through an online survey of one thousand patients with the condition and further one thousand without. Participants undertook a questionnaire from the National Eye Institute about their visual function and a EuroQol questionnaire on health-related quality of life. Those who declared that they experienced dry eye disease also answered further questions to assess the severity of their symptoms.

The results, published in the journal BMJ Open, showed that a higher proportion of participants with dry eye disease had problems with mobility and experienced more difficulties in their day-to-day activities than patients without the condition. The surveys also revealed they were more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Those with the most severe symptoms we more likely to experience a negative impact on their social and emotional functioning as well work productivity, including missing more time from work as a result of their symptoms.

Dr Parwez Hossain, Associate Professor in Ophthalmology at the University of Southampton, led the study. He said: “This study provided some very useful information on the burden that dry eye disease places on patients. As well as confirming the impact on work and social lives we also discovered showed that the extent of the effects are consistent with the severity of symptoms. We also found that participants with dry eye disease symptoms were a lot more likely to suffer from other comorbidities, twice as many suffered from arthritis, hearing loss or irritable bowel disease compared to the cohort without symptoms. Whilst we cannot draw causal associations through this study, the presence of dry eye disease does appear to impact on an individual’s health and vision related quality of life.”

Whilst both groups reported similar levels of digital screen use and reading, the cohort with symptoms reported more exposure to environmental factors such as air conditioning, forced heating or air pollution. The research team believe that these factors could either contribute to dry eye disease, or be noticed more by sufferers.

Source: University of Southampton

High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy is Linked to Shorter Life Spans for Women

Steven Reinberg wrote . . . . . . . . .

High blood pressure during pregnancy may lead to early death from heart disease, a new study suggests.

There are several types of high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) during pregnancy. Chronic hypertension means high blood pressure was already present before a pregnancy, but in gestational hypertension readings rise during pregnancy. A third form, called preeclampsia, occurs when a woman with gestational hypertension also has elevated protein in her urine. Women can also have chronic high blood pressure with preeclampsia.

But developing high blood pressure from any cause during pregnancy appears linked to shortened life spans, the researchers found. This study can’t prove that high blood pressure is the cause of premature death, only that there appears to be a link. The factors behind that aren’t yet clear.

“It is important that additional research identifies these contributing factors, and that clinicians taking care of women are aware of the link between hypertension in pregnancy and later cardiovascular health,” said lead researcher Dr. Jorge Chavarro. He’s associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in Boston.

For the study, Chavarro’s team collected data on nearly 88,400 women who took part in a long-term study of nurses’ health.

The findings showed that 14% of the women had high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Those with high blood pressure or preeclampsia were more likely than other women to be heavier, have gestational diabetes and a parental history of diabetes and heart attack or stroke, the study found.

During 28 years of follow-up, nearly 2,400 women died prematurely, including 212 from heart or blood vessel disease, according to the report published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

A history of high blood pressure or preeclampsia was linked to a 42% higher risk for early death. The link remained after accounting for diet after pregnancy, lifestyle and reproductive characteristics.

Women with a history of high blood pressure during pregnancy had more than twice the risk of premature death from heart disease, the study authors found.

“It is really important for clinicians who should be aware not only of the link between hypertension during pregnancy and long-term adverse health outcomes, but also that this may happen even in the absence of chronic hypertension,” Chavarro said.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, called the findings significant.

“This is an important study, really showing the profound impact of hypertension disorders in pregnancy … and the profound impact that plays on outcomes for her and her risk for cardiovascular disease is incredibly important to understand,” said Steinbaum, a cardiologist at the Juhi-Ash Integrative Health Center in New York City.

Pregnancy is the first stress test women undergo to determine their risk of heart disease, she said. Because heart disease develops over decades, this is most likely the start of small artery disease, which is also associated with weight, family history and chronic high blood pressure.

“Those risk factors are already in place, and what it means is this woman already has the predisposition to develop heart disease, whether it’s due to her genetics or her risk factors, but that’s what makes pregnancy and looking at it as a stress so interesting, because it’s the first time you get to say, ‘I can intervene now, and this woman doesn’t get to have heart disease,’ we can change her outcomes,” Steinbaum said.

Prevention starts early, she said. Women need to know their risks and get their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels checked.

“The concept of lifestyle intervention from eating healthy and exercising is the best medication for reducing risk factors and preventing cardiovascular disease,” Steinbaum said.

“I would suggest that for these women, they go through a lifestyle intervention program prior to even getting pregnant,” she added.

Source: HealthDay

Vietnamese-style Duck Breast Egg Rolls

Ingredients

3 oz dried cellophane noodles
1 cooked duck breast, weighing about 10 oz
2 tbsp bottled hoisin sauce
2 tbsp bottled plum sauce
1 carrot
3-inch piece cucumber
6 large lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
8 rice paper skins, about 8 inches across
generous 1/4 cup bean sprouts
2 tbsp very finely chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp very finely chopped fresh cilantro, and sprigs, to garnish

Dipping Sauce

5 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp bottled chili sauce
1/2-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and very finely chopped

Method

  1. Put the noodles in a heatproof bowl, pour over enough lukewarm water to cover, and let soak for 20 minutes, until soft. Alternatively, follow the package instructions. Drain well, then set aside.
  2. Remove any skin and fat from the duck and cut the flesh into thin strips, then mix with the hoisin and plum sauces.
  3. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, then cut each half into short thin sticks. Tightly roll up the lettuce leaves, then slice crosswise into thin shreds.
  4. Pour 1/2 inch hot water into a dish large enough to hold the rice paper skins. Working with one skin at a time, dip it in the water for 20-25 seconds, until it is soft. Lay the wrapper on a folded dish towel or absorbent mat, but don’t worry about patting it dry.
  5. Put one-eighth of the lettuce in the center of the bottom third. Top with an equal amount of the noodles, then add some carrot, cucumber, and bean sprouts. Top with one-eighth of the duck mixture and sprinkle with the herbs. Fold in the sides of the rice skin, then roll up. Continue until all the ingredients are used up.
  6. Stir all the Dipping Sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and serve with the egg rolls.

Makes 8 egg rolls.

Source: Noodles


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