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QUOTE FOR WEEKEND:

“There are several types of glaucoma. The two main types are open-angle and angle-closure. These are marked by an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure inside the eye.  The most common type in the United States is called open-angle glaucoma — that’s what most people mean when they talk about glaucoma. ”

Glaucoma Research Foundation (www.glaucoma.org)

Part I National Glaucoma Awareness: What this is, the two major types and their symptoms.

   glaucoma2                      

 Glaucoma-Table

A common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye rises to a level higher than healthy for that eye. If untreated, it may damage the optic nerve, causing the loss of vision or even blindness. The elderly, African-Americans, and people with family histories of the disease are at greatest risk.

Glaucoma is a multi-factorial, complex eye disease with specific characteristics such as optic nerve damage and visual field loss. While increased pressure inside the eye (called intraocular pressure or IOP) is usually present, even patients with normal range IOP can develop glaucoma.

There is no specific level of elevated eye pressure that definitely leads to glaucoma; conversely, there is no lower level of IOP that will absolutely eliminate a person’s risk of developing glaucoma. That is why early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma is the key to preventing vision loss.

Eye pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Normal eye pressure ranges from 12-22 mm Hg, and eye pressure of greater than 22 mm Hg is considered higher than normal. When the IOP is higher than normal but the person does not show signs of glaucoma, this is referred to as ocular hypertension.

High eye pressure alone does not cause glaucoma. However, it is a significant risk factor. Individuals diagnosed with high eye pressure should have regular comprehensive eye examinations by an eyecare professional to check for signs of the onset of glaucoma.

A person with elevated IOP is referred to as a glaucoma suspect, because of the concern that the elevated eye pressure might lead to glaucoma. The term glaucoma suspect is also used to describe those who have other findings that could potentially, now or in the future, indicate glaucoma. For example, a suspicious optic nerve, or even a strong family history of glaucoma, could put someone in the category of a glaucoma suspect.

Vision loss from glaucoma occurs when the eye pressure is too high for the specific individual and damages the optic nerve. Any resultant damage cannot be reversed. The peripheral (side) vision is usually affected first. The changes in vision may be so gradual that they are not noticed until a lot of vision loss has already occurred.

In time, if the glaucoma is not treated, central vision will also be decreased and then lost; this is how visual impairment from glaucoma is most often noticed. The good news is that glaucoma can be managed if detected early, and with medical and/or surgical treatment, most people with glaucoma will not lose their sight.

Most common signs and symptoms of Glaucoma:

There are several forms of glaucoma; the two most common forms are primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG). Open-angle glaucoma is often called “the sneak thief of sight” because it has no symptoms until significant vision loss has occurred.

2 Commonly Known Types of Glaucoma:

1-Open Angle Glaucoma 2-Angle Closure Glaucoma

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1-Open-Angle Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for at least 90% of all glaucoma cases:

  • Is caused by the slow clogging of the drainage canals, resulting in increased eye pressure
  • Has a wide and open angle between the iris and cornea
  • Develops slowly and is a lifelong condition
  • Has symptoms and damage that are not noticed.

“Open-angle” means that the angle where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be. Open-angle glaucoma is also called primary or chronic glaucoma. It is the most common type of glaucoma, affecting about three million Americans.

Symptoms of Open-Angle Glaucoma

There are typically no early warning signs or symptoms of open-angle glaucoma. It develops slowly and sometimes without noticeable sight loss for many years.

Most people who have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice a change in their vision at first because the initial loss of vision is of side or peripheral vision, and the visual acuity or sharpness of vision is maintained until late in the disease.

By the time a patient is aware of vision loss, the disease is usually quite advanced. Vision loss from glaucoma is not reversible with treatment, even with surgery.

Because open-angle glaucoma has few warning signs or symptoms before damage has occurred, it is important to see a doctor for regular eye examinations. If glaucoma is detected during an eye exam, your eye doctor can prescribe a preventative treatment to help protect your vision.

In open-angle glaucoma, the angle in your eye where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be, but the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time, causing an increase in internal eye pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve. It is the most common type of glaucoma, affecting about four million Americans, many of whom do not know they have the disease.

You are at increased risk of glaucoma if your parents or siblings have the disease, if you are African-American or Latino, and possibly if you are diabetic or have cardiovascular disease. The risk of glaucoma also increases with age.

page-9-fluid-pathway-angle-closure_650.jpg

2-Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma, a less common form of glaucoma:

  • Is caused by blocked drainage canals, resulting in a sudden rise in intraocular pressure
  • Has a closed or narrow angle between the iris and cornea
  • Develops very quickly
  • Has symptoms and damage that are usually very noticeable
  • Demands immediate medical attention.

It is also called acute glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma. Unlike open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma is a result of the angle between the iris and cornea closing.

Symptoms of Angle-Closure Glaucoma

  • Hazy or blurred vision
  • The appearance of rainbow-colored circles around bright lights
  • Severe eye and head pain
  • Nausea or vomiting (accompanying severe eye pain)
  • Sudden sight loss

Angle-closure glaucoma is caused by blocked drainage canals in the eye, resulting in a sudden rise in intraocular pressure. This is a much more rare form of glaucoma, which develops very quickly and demands immediate medical attention

In contrast with open-angle glaucoma, symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma are very noticeable and damage occurs quickly. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate care from an ophthalmologist.

If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important to set a regular schedule of examinations with your eye doctor to monitor your condition and make sure that your prescribed treatment is effectively maintaining a safe eye pressure.

Tomorrow stay tune for part II on glaucoma awareness giving other types of glaucoma, how its diagnosed & the risks.

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

A heart defect that features four problems.  They are:     1-a hole between the lower chambers of the heart. 2- an obstruction from the heart to the lungs,  3-The aorta (blood vessel) lies over the hole in the lower chambers.  4-The muscle surrounding the lower right chamber becomes overly thickened.”

www.heart.org

Part III Congenital Birth Defects Cardiac-Tetralogy of Fallot

What is it?

A heart defect that features four problems.

They are:

  • a hole between the lower chambers of the heart
  • an obstruction from the heart to the lungs
  • The aorta (blood vessel) lies over the hole in the lower chambers
  • The muscle surrounding the lower right chamber becomes overly thickened

More information for parents of children with Tetralogy of Fallot

What causes it?

In most children, the cause of tetralogy of Fallot isn’t known. It’s a common type of heart defect. It may be seen more commonly in children with Down syndrome or DiGeorge syndrome. Some children can have other heart defects along with tetralogy of Fallot.

How does it affect the heart?

Normally the left side of the heart only pumps blood to the body, and the heart’s right side only pumps blood to the lungs. In a child with tetralogy of Fallot, blood can travel across the hole (VSD) from the right pumping chamber (right ventricle) to the left pumping chamber (left ventricle) and out into the body artery (aorta). Obstruction in the pulmonary valve leading from the right ventricle to the lung artery prevents the normal amount of blood from being pumped to the lungs. Sometimes the pulmonary valve is completely obstructed (pulmonary atresia).

How does tetralogy of Fallot affect my child?

Infants and young children with unrepaired tetralogy of Fallot are often blue (cyanotic). The reason is that some oxygen-poor blood is pumped to the body through the hole in the wall between the right and left ventricle instead of being pumped to the lungs.

What can be done about tetralogy of Fallot?

Tetralogy of Fallot is treated surgically. A temporary operation may be done at first if the baby is small or if there are other problems. Complete repair comes later. Sometimes the first operation is a complete repair.

Tetralogy of Fallot patch diagramTetralogy of Fallot shunt diagram

Temporary Operation

In some infants, a shunt operation may be done first to provide adequate blood flow to the lungs. This is not open-heart surgery and doesn’t fix the inside of the heart. The shunt is usually a small tube of synthetic material sewn between a body artery (or the aorta) and the pulmonary artery. The shunt is closed when a complete repair is done later.

Complete Repair

Complete repair tends to be done early in life. The surgeon closes the ventricular septal defect with a patch and opens the right ventricular outflow tract by removing some thickened muscle below the pulmonary valve, repairing or removing the obstructed pulmonary valve and, if needed, enlarging the branch pulmonary arteries that go to each lung.

Sometimes a tube is placed between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery. This is sometimes called a Rastelli repair. It’s similar to the type of repair used for some other heart defects.

Will my child’s activities be limited?

Your child may need to limit physical activity, particularly for competitive sports, if there is leftover obstruction or leak in the pulmonary valve, which is common after repair. Children with decreased heart function or rhythm disturbances may need to limit their activity more.

If the tetralogy has been repaired with surgery, and there’s no obstruction or leak in the pulmonary valve, your child may be able to participate in normal activities without much increased risk.

Your child’s pediatric cardiologist will help decide if your child needs limits on physical activity.

What will my child need in the future?

If your child has had tetralogy of Fallot repaired, he or she will need regular follow-up with a pediatric cardiologist. As an adult, your child will need lifelong regular follow-up with a cardiologist who’s had special training in congenital heart defects.

Some long-term problems can include leftover or worsening obstruction between the right pumping chamber and the lung arteries. Children with repaired tetralogy of Fallot have a higher risk of heart rhythm disturbances called arrhythmias. Sometimes these may cause dizziness or fainting.

Generally, the long-term outlook is good, but some children may need medicines, heart catheterization or even more surgery.

What about preventing endocarditis?

Children with tetralogy of Fallot are at increased risk for endocarditis. Some children, including those have had a valve replacement, still have a shunt or have leaks around surgical patches, and need to take antibiotics before certain dental procedures to help prevent endocarditis.

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

Truncus arteriosus is a rare heart defect that’s present at birth (congenital).   It means that one large blood vessel leads out of the heart. Normally, there are two separate vessels coming out of the heart.  Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The opening, called the ductus arteriosus, is a normal part of a baby’s circulatory system before birth that usually closes shortly after birth. If it remains open, however, it’s called a patent ductus arteriosus.  Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The opening, called the ductus arteriosus, is a normal part of a baby’s circulatory system before birth that usually closes shortly after birth. If it remains open, however, it’s called a patent ductus arteriosus.”

MAYO CLINIC

Part II Congenital Birth Defects

The duct should close in the first hours after birth. If it does not, the blood begins to shunt from the aorta into the pulmonary artery and hyperperfuse the lungs. The left side of the heart will have an increase in blood return and become volume overloaded. Too much blood is going to the lungs. RA – RV – Lungs _ LA – LV – Aorta now blood shunts backwards because pressure in L side higher than R so pressure in aorta in higher it backflows (it is already oxygenated) and prevents the blood that needs to be oxyenate doesn’t get there. Dispalces blood that needs to be oxygenated. Mixed blood in oxygenation. L sided heart failure. L to R shunt. THIS IS CALLED A LEFT-TO-RIGHT SHUNT.

-1 Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

Simply put, this is a hole in your baby’s aorta that doesn’t close.

Aorta is the largest artery in the body, the aorta arises from the left ventricle of the heart, goes up (ascends) a little ways, bends over (arches), then goes down (descends) through the chest and through the abdomen to where ends by dividing into two arteries called the common iliac arteries that go to the legs which is called the femoral artery than.

Anatomically, the aorta is traditionally divided into the ascending aorta, the aortic arch, and the descending aorta. The descending aorta is, in turn, subdivided into the thoracic aorta (that descends within the chest) and the abdominal aorta (that descends within the belly).

The aorta gives off branches that go to the head and neck, the arms, the major organs in the chest and abdomen, and the legs. It serves to supply them all with oxygenated blood. The aorta is the central conduit from the heart to the body. A hole in the aorta causes many problems.

During pregnancy, the hole allows your baby’s blood to bypass his lungs and get oxygen from your umbilical cord. After he’s born, he starts to get oxygen from his own lungs, and the hole has to close.

If it doesn’t, it’s called patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA. Small PDAs may get better on their own. A larger one could need surgery.

 -2Truncus arteriosus.

This is when your baby is born with one major artery instead of two that carry blood to the rest of his body. He will need surgery as an infant to repair the defect, and may need more procedures later in life.

I-transposition of the great arteries. This means that the right and left chambers of your baby’s heart are reversed. His blood still flows normally, but over time, his right ventricle doesn’t work as well because it must pump harder.

D-transposition of the great arteries. In this condition, the two main arteries of your baby’s heart are reversed. His blood doesn’t move through the lungs to get oxygen, and oxygen-rich blood doesn’t flow throughout his body. He will have to have surgery to repair this condition, usually within the first month of his life.

Single ventricle defects. Babies are sometimes born with a small lower chamber of the heart, or with one valve missing. Different types of single ventricle defects include:

  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome: Your baby has an undeveloped aorta and lower left chamber, or ventricle.
  • Pulmonary atresia/intact ventricular septum: Your baby has no pulmonary valve, which controls blood flow from the heart to the lungs.
  • Tricuspid atresia: Your baby has no tricuspid valve, which should be between the upper and lower chambers of the right side of his heart.

Which Type?

In some cases, your doctor can spot congenital heart problems when your baby is still in the womb. But he can’t always diagnose the defect until after birth and your until your baby shows signs of a problem.

Many mild congenital heart defects are diagnosed in childhood or even later because they don’t cause any obvious symptoms. Some people don’t find out they have them until they’re adults.

Whatever the type of congenital heart defect, rest assured that with advances in diagnostic tools and treatments, there’s a much greater chance of a long, normal life than ever before.

 

 

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY

“Congenital Heart Disease (CHDs) are present at birth and can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and the way it works. They can affect how blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. CHDs can vary from mild (such as a small hole in the heart) to severe (such as missing or poorly formed parts of the heart).About 1 in 4 babies born with a heart defect has a critical CHD (also known as critical congenital heart disease).”
 
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Part I Congenital Defects Awareness Month

Congenital heart defects

=This a problem with your heart that you’re born with.

-They’re the most common kind of birth defect.

There are at least 18 different types of congenital heart defects. Most affect the walls, valves, or blood vessels of your heart. Some are serious and may need several surgeries and treatments.

1-Hole in the Heart (Septal Defect)

This means you’re born with a hole in the wall, or septum of the heart that separates the left and right sides of your heart. The hole lets blood from the two sides mix.  This allows more oxygenated (L side of the heart) and more carbon dioxide blood (Rt side of the heart) mix together causing many problems.

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

An ASD is a hole in the wall between the upper chambers, or the right and left atria, of your heart.

Some ASDs close on their own. Your doctor may need to repair a medium or large ASD with open-heart surgery or another procedure.

He might seal the hole with a minimally invasive catheter procedure. He inserts a small tube, or catheter, in your blood vessel all the way to your heart. Then he can cover the hole with a variety of devices.

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

A VSD is a hole in the part of your septum that separates your heart’s lower chambers, or ventricles. If you have a VSD, blood gets pumped back to your lungs instead of to your body.

A small VSD may also close on its own. But if yours is larger, you may need surgery to repair it.

Complete Atrioventricular Canal Defect (CAVC)

This is the most serious septal defect. It’s when you have a hole in your heart that affects all four chambers.

A CAVC prevents oxygen-rich blood from going to the right places in your body. Your doctor can repair it with patches. But some people need more than one surgery to treat it.

2-Valve Defects

Valves control the flow of blood through your heart’s ventricles and arteries. And some minor heart defects can involve the valves, including:

Stenosis. When your valves become narrow or stiff, and won’t open or allow blood to pass easily.

Regurgitation. Your valves don’t close tightly, which lets your blood leak backward through them.

Atresia. This happens when your valve isn’t formed right or has no opening to let your blood pass through. It causes more complicated heart problems.

Ebstein’s anomaly. This is a defect in another heart valve, the tricuspid valve, which may keep it from closing tightly. Babies who have Ebstein’s also often have an atrial septal defect (ASD).

Pulmonary valve stenosis. This is the most common valve defect in newborns. Babies with severe cases often have strained right ventricles. Your doctor can usually treat it with a catheter procedure. She will use a catheter, or thin tube, with a balloon on the end to inflate and stretch open the strained valve.

Part II tomorrow on other defects!

 

 

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“Cervical cancer can often be found early, and sometimes even prevented, by having regular screening tests. If detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers.”

American Cancer Society

Part II Awareness Month of Cervical Cancer-Risk Factors, Symptoms of it, Signs of advanced cervical cancer!

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Cervical Cancer. Carcinoma of Cervix. Malignant neoplasm arising from cells in the cervix uteri. Vaginal bleeding. Vector diagram

Cervical Cancer. Carcinoma of Cervix. Malignant neoplasm arising from cells in the cervix uteri. Vaginal bleeding. Vector diagram

Cervical cancer risk factors

GENERAL

  • Pregnancy: Women who have had three or more full-term pregnancies, or who had their first full-term pregnancy before age 17, are twice as likely to get cervical cancer.

GENETICS

  • Family history: Women with a sister or mother who had cervical cancer are two to three times more likely to develop cervical cancer.

LIFESTYLE

  • Sexual history: Certain types of sexual behavior are considered risk factors for cervical cancer and HPV infection. These include: sex before age 18, sex with multiple partners and sex with someone who has had multiple partners. Studies also show a link between chlamydia infection and cervical cancer.
  • Smoking: A woman who smokes doubles her risk of cervical cancer.
  • Oral contraceptive use: Women who take oral contraceptives for more than five years have an increased risk of cervical cancer, but this risk returns to normal within a few years after the pills are stopped.

OTHER CONDITIONS

  • Weakened immune system: In most people with healthy immune systems, the HPV virus clears itself from the body within 12-18 months. However, people with HIV or other health conditions or who take medications that limit the body’s ability to fight off infection have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
  • Diethylstilbestrol (DES): Women whose mothers took DES, a drug given to some women to prevent miscarriage between 1940 and 1971, have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
  • HPV: Though HPV causes cancer, having HPV does not mean you will get cancer. The majority of women who contract HPV clear the virus or have treatment so the abnormal cells are removed. HPV is a skin infection, spread through skin-to-skin contact with a person who has the virus.

Additional facts about HPV:

  • There are more than 100 types of HPV, 30-40 of which are sexually transmitted.
  • Of these, at least 15 are high-risk HPV strains that can cause cervical cancer. The others cause no symptoms or genital warts.
  • Up to 80 percent of women will contract HPV in their lifetime. Men get HPV, too, but there is no test for them.
  • A healthy immune system will usually clear the HPV virus before there is a symptom, including the high-risk types of HPV.
  • Only a small percentage of women with high-risk HPV develop cervical cancer.

Understanding risk factors:

Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer. Not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. If you think you may be at risk, you should discuss it with your doctor.

Regarding symptoms of cervical cancer:

In most cases, cervical cancer does not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Routine Pap screening is important to check for abnormal cells in the cervix, so they can be monitored and treated as early as possible. Most women are advised to get a Pap test starting at age 21.

The Pap test is one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening methods available, and women should have yearly exams by an OB-GYN. However, the Pap test may not detect some cases of abnormal cells in the cervix. The HPV test screens women for the high-risk HPV strains that may lead to cervical cancer. It is approved for women over age 30.

Although screening methods are not 100 percent accurate, these tests are often an effective method for detecting cervical cancer in the early stages when it is still highly treatable. Talk with your doctor about which type of cervical cancer screening is right for you.

When present, common symptoms of cervical cancer may include:

  • Vaginal bleeding: This includes bleeding between periods, after sexual intercourse or post-menopausal bleeding.
  • Unusual vaginal discharge: A watery, pink or foul-smelling discharge is common.
  • Pelvic pain: Pain during intercourse or at other times may be a sign of abnormal changes to the cervix, or less serious conditions.

All of these cervical cancer symptoms should be discussed with your doctor.

Signs of advanced stages of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer may spread (metastasize) within the pelvis, to the lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body. Signs of advanced cervical cancer include:

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Leg pain or swelling
  • Leakage of urine or feces from the vagina
  • Bone fractures