Precautions against Health Effects of Air Pollution

Urban cities are plagued by ever-increasing levels of air pollution. Emissions from vehicles and factories as well as the increasing amount of particulate matter in the air are posing a dangerous threat to health.

Breathing polluted air can cause a number of short-term, visible symptoms. The severity of the symptoms varies depending on the individual’s sensitivity to pollutants. Those exposed to polluted air can show symptoms such as:

  • Eye irritation
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Coughing caused by irritation and inflammation of the respiratory tract
  • Shortness of breath during physical activity

Air pollution can also cause serious health complications, especially affecting the respiratory system:

  • Chronic lung diseases, such as chronic bronchitis
  • Cardiovascular diseases, meaning the heart and blood vessels disorders
  • Lung cancer

Precautions

As air pollution cannot be completely avoided, taking appropriate precautions can reduce the chances of developing health complications as a result of of pollution.

  • Verify the air quality in your area: Before leaving, check the air quality index of the area you plan on visiting. This will allow you to make an informed decision regarding your outdoor plans.
  • Maintain good indoor air quality: Fine particulate matter can still be present indoors, posing a danger to the overall health of you and your family. An indoor air purifier, such as BPL Medical Technologies’ air purifiers, filter the air of particulate matter using HEPA filters, providing a safe to breathe air indoors.
  • Stay prepared: Always carry medication if you are suffering from medical conditions such as asthma that are worsened by pollution. Nebulizers such as BPL BreathEzee nebulizers are ideal devices to ensure that the medication is delivered properly.

Swine Flu: Symptoms and Treatment

Swine flu, also known as H1N1 flu, is a type of influenza virus that usually spread among pigs but in recent years has spread to humans as well. The flu is spread in much the same way as seasonal influenza. The virus spreads when the person infected with virus coughs or sneezes, releasing the virus into the air. Coming into direct contact with the infected person or any surface they have come into contact with is the only way to get infected yourself.

Symptoms

The symptoms of swine flu are similar to seasonal influenza. These include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

Swine flu also has the potential to cause worse illnesses such as pneumonia and may cause complications for those suffering from diabetes or asthma. A test conducted by a doctor is the only way to accurately diagnose swine flu. However, in most cases, a test is not required as a healthy body is capable of fighting the virus on its own. Only pregnant women, children below the age of 5, and people above the age of 65 are at particular risk from being infected with swine flu and should get tested as soon as symptoms are detected.

Treatment

The treatment for swine flu is similar to the treatment for seasonal influenza. Drugs like oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir, and zanamivir are effective against swine flu. Other over-the-counter drugs for body pains can also be taken to alleviate the symptoms.

Regular vaccination against all forms of flu viruses is also recommended as it introduces the antibodies required to deal with the flu-causing viruses such as that of swine flu.

Washing hands regularly and reducing contact with the eyes and mouth are essential precautions to take to prevent the spread of swine flu. At the same time, avoiding those who are sick is another good precaution to take. Using infrared thermometers such as BPL Accudigit infrared thermometers allow monitoring of fever in a contact-less manner, thus reducing contact with those who are sick with swine flu.

Breast Cancer: Risks

Breast cancer is a disease that affects one in eight women during their lifetime. Like most cancers, breast cancer develops due to damaged DNA within the cells causing mutations. These mutated cells then develop into lumps known as tumours. When malignant tumours develop in the breast, it is diagnosed as breast cancer.

Being aware of the risks of breast cancer is important to an early diagnosis and timely treatment.

Breast Cancer Risks

Genetic Risks

  • Age: Women at the age of 40 or above are at an increased risk to breast cancer.
  • Family History and Genetic Factors: If an immediate family member or close relative has been diagnosed of breast cancer, the chances of developing breast cancer in the future are high.
  • Personal Health History: If breast cancer has been diagnosed in one breast, the chances of developing cancer in the other breast becomes high.
  • Menstrual and Reproductive History: The risk of breast cancer increases, if menstruation occurs at an early age (before 12 years), if menopause occurs late (after 55 years of age), having the first child at an older age, or never giving birth etc.

Environmental and Lifestyle Risks

  • Lack of Physical Activity: A lifestyle with low amounts of physical exercise can increase the risk to breast cancer.
  • Poor Diet: A diet deficient of vital vitamins and minerals and high in saturated fat increases the risk to breast cancer.
  • Being Overweight or Obese: Obesity also increases the risk of developing breast cancer, with the risks being higher if menopause has already occurred.
  • Drinking Alcohol: High alcohol consumption can also increase the risk to breast cancer.
  • Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): A combined hormone replacement therapy taken under prescription for menopause, increases the risk to breast cancer developing while also increasing the risk of cancer being detected at a more advanced stage.

While genetic risk factors cannot be avoided or actively treated, environmental risks can be greatly reduced. Following a healthy lifestyle with plenty of physical activity and a healthy diet are important steps to take to prevent breast cancer.

Seasonal Influenza: Symptoms and Prevention

Seasonal Influenza (flu) viruses are diagnosed throughout the year but are most common between fall and winter. It is easily contracted by any individual, but young children and elderly people tend to be most susceptible. Easily and rapidly transmitted through contact, crowded areas such as schools and public transport are ideal places for contracting the flu.

Symptoms

In most cases the symptoms of seasonal influenza are quite similar:

  • Common characteristics are fever, sore throat, dry cough, headache, runny nose, and joint-muscle pain.
  • The cough is most severe symptom and generally lasts for two or more weeks.
  • Fever and other symptoms can run their course within a week. Using an Infrared Thermometer to measure body temperature will allow you to monitor any improvement or deterioration in condition.

Treatment

  • For most patients, antiviral drugs are the most common treatment option.
  • People in the high-risk category must see their doctor and only take prescribed medication
  • When used for treatment, antivirals reduce symptoms and shorten the time you are sick. They can also prevent serious flu complications like pneumonia.

Prevention

  • Get vaccinated every year.
  • Practicing good health habits can help stop germs, but if one is down with seasonal influenza, they should avoid close contact with other people.
  • People should avoid going to crowded places like schools and metros so that the flu does not transmit to other individuals.

Why is a CPAP necessary?

A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is often prescribed for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. While it might not be needed for mild cases, but it is absolutely recommended for those suffering from severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea has the potential to cause severe long-term health complications. Obstructive sleep apnea reduces the intake of oxygen in the body as the airway is periodically blocked, stopping regular breathing patterns. This leads to visible symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and memory loss that can impair day-to-day functioning.

Additionally, if sleep apnea is left untreated, it can lead to cardiovascular complications such as heart arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease while at the same time increasing the risk of stroke. These are significant life-threatening conditions which could lead to hospitalization or death.

The BPL Harmony CPAP device provides continuous airway pressure, preventing it from becoming obstructed. The device performs an essential function for the body and goes a long way towards preventing the health conditions mentioned above. To conclude a CPAP device helps performs a life-saving function and, should be used as prescribed by a doctor.

BPL Medical Technologies: A Heritage of Innovation

BPL Medical Technologies has a storied heritage in delivering innovation and quality. Since its inception with the erstwhile British Physical Laboratories, BPL has pioneered innovative medical technologies along with its vast portfolio of consumer electronic products. After decades of success, BPL Medical Technologies was established as a separate company in 2013.

Beginning in 1963, BPL has established itself as a pioneer in the technological fields we have entered. From televisions to home appliances, BPL products have featured in the lives of every Indian. Since 1967, the company has been a frontrunner in introducing and indigenizing latest technological solutions. Their focus in cardiology is the reason BPL Medical Technologies was the first company to introduce the single-channel ECG to India.

Over the years we have constantly developed our ECG and defibrillator technologies, introducing new relevant features to our products to stay ahead of the demands of the medical industry. Building on our expertise, we have expanded our portfolio, introducing ultrasound devices in 1997 and patient monitoring devices in 2002. BPL Medical Technologies has consistently expanded into new fields, bringing the same commitment to providing high quality medical devices that provide the best medical care possible.

Our commitment to provide the best possible medical care has been rewarded with several excellence awards throughout our 50-year history. In 1995 and 1997, the government of India awarded BPL as the leading Indian company in the Department of Electronics. BPL Medical Technologies has also been awarded The Best Healthcare Brand by the Economic Times and the No.1 ECG Brand by Top Doctors Online in 2016. These awards are a testament to our continued drive to deliver innovative products and solutions for the Indian market.

Since our inception, we have constantly strived to meet high-quality standards driven by manufacturing. Our brand is committed towards making people’s lives better, healthier, and happier. From creative solutions to delivering care, we look forward to exceeding your expectations.

How to stick to your health resolutions this new year?

It’s officially 2018 – a new year with new beginnings. Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year, first of all. While it’s true that you don’t need a new year to start something new, it’s always a good time to make a resolution and start something new, don’t you think? A hobby, healthy eating, some career ambition, strength training, weight loss, weight gain – whatever that is. Continue reading “How to stick to your health resolutions this new year?”

30 million Diabetics in India are women – Act to change

14th of November is celebrated worldwide as Word Diabetes Day and this year we are focusing on on Women and Diabetes.  Why, do you wonder? 1 in 7 births is affected by Gestational Diabetes. There are ~200 million women around the world living with Diabetes and with India being the Diabetes Capital of the World, the number of women in India living undiagnosed is even higher. In a population of 1.2 billion, women contribute to around 30 million Diabetics! It’s a staggering number but isn’t surprising considering the lifestyle Indian women adopt. Continue reading “30 million Diabetics in India are women – Act to change”

Glasgow ECG Interpretation Algorithm

ECG Interpretation Algorithms

Ever since a ECG machine was developed, there have been a number of modifications and advancements that has helped technology evolve. In 1970s,  initial attempts at developing  the first ECG interpretation algorithm were put in. Since the accuracy of those algorithms were not up to the mark, several databases were built by various institutions to 9compare ECGs and check for accuracy. The methods for interpretation might include not limited to:

  1. Time-frequency methods
  2. Neural networks
  3. Comparison with templates

Continue reading “Glasgow ECG Interpretation Algorithm”

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