As we navigate the complexities of today’s fast-paced era, Masses are so busy with their hectic schedules in the view of the fact that they do not have any time even for themselves. This will lead stress to which can affect their overall well-being. Managing stress is more necessary than ever. However, the demands of work, relationships, and various responsibilities can take a toll on our well-being.

Through this exploration, I have delved into some easy-to-implement self-care practices that can empower individuals to better cope with the challenges of daily life. It is an irrefutable fact that our daily routine can make a significant difference in how we navigate stress. Let’s take a deep dive into this exploration without wasting much time and effort.

What Self-care Techniques for Individuals to Manage the Stressors in Daily Life?

Here is a list of some self-care techniques for individuals to manage the stressors in daily life, take a look at these techniques which are mentioned below in a detailed manner. I swear this will help you.

Management of Daily Stress

Mindful Breathing

One of the most simplest and powerful self-care techniques is mindful breathing. You just have to take a few minutes each day to focus on your breath. This can bring a lot of changes to your lifestyle in the view of the fact that It can bring immediate relief to stress and helpful for your overall well-being.

It improves the mental health of individuals. However,  Engage in deep, slow breaths, inhaling positivity and exhaling tension. New Study Shows That Being Sedentary for 10+ Hours Daily Increases Dementia Risk! Check out the new findings of the study in detail on our platform.

Regular Exercise

There is a study which was conducted by many health experts as well as professionals that states that those who work daily or go to the gym are more likely to be out of the reach of stress, anxiety as well and depression. However, it is the unquestionable reality that physical activity is a proven stress-buster.

Master Your Strength and Cardio in Only 30 Minutes With This Workout!

Use the Positive Energy of Stress

Avoid delaying tasks until the last minute, as it creates unnecessary tension. Instead of struggling to do your best in a rush, use the sense of urgency as motivation to complete the work.

Management of Daily Stress

Provide yourself with a positive mental boost when facing a deadline by saying, “I can handle this — I’m ready,” and then proceed to start the task. Before proceeding further, take a look at a Study Reveals That Cheese Consumption is Linked to a Potential Reduction in Dementia Risk!

Get Enough Sleep

As we navigate the issue of managing stress, one may consider that after a challenging day of classes and extracurriculars. However, There might be a temptation to stay up late, especially if there’s homework or a desire to socialize or binge-watch a show.

Meanwhile, staying up late when you have an early school wake-up time leaves insufficient time for proper sleep. Subsequent to it, inadequate sleep increases the likelihood of stress due to the day’s ups and downs. You may reflect the, The Science Behind Socks and Sleep Quality! Enhancing Sleep Holistically!


To wrap up all the insights and intricacies that are mentioned in detail while writing this article so far, You should incorporate these ten easy self-care strategies into your daily routine which can pave the way for a more balanced and resilient approach to managing everyday stress.

Thank you for reading this article to the end. Keep in touch with Trending News Buzz in order to read more such types of insightful and informative articles on time.

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Beyond Smoking: Understanding And Treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
COPD May Rise Amidst Poor Air Quality: Doctor Emphasizes On Timely Intervention And Support

For those facing challenges with inhalation therapy, nebulized treatments become significant, especially during acute flare-ups.

In the bustling landscape of India's health concerns, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) emerges as a silent killer, affecting lives and often evading the spotlight it deserves. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), COPD is the second leading cause of death and disability in India, with a staggering 37.8 million reported cases. Dr. Neel Thakkar, Senior Consultant Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician, Sterling Hospitals, Vadodara, explains why this respiratory juggernaut, characterized by airflow obstruction leading to breathing difficulties, demands our attention and understanding.

COPD, Often Hidden In Mystery

It is a collective term encompassing emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema inflicts permanent damage on the delicate air sacs in the lungs, while chronic bronchitis involves persistent coughing with mucus due to damaged airways. The leading culprit? Cigarette smoking is a habit that accelerates the deterioration of lung function. However, COPD's web extends beyond smoking, with culprits including exposure to indoor pollution, outdoor air pollution, and workplace hazards, particularly in occupations like farming.

COPD Doesn't Strike Suddenly

Its symptoms appear gradually, affecting lung function and general quality of life. Everyday tasks become Herculean endeavours, with people finding ordinary tasks like climbing stairs or cooking meals extremely difficult. The discreet nature of COPD is highlighted by the possibility of flare-ups or lung attacks, which can demand hospitalization and lengthy recovery periods.

COPD Diagnosis Necessitates More Than A Casual Examination

A detailed history of respiratory symptoms and prior addictions, including smoking tobacco, exposure to indoor pollution and other exposures, sets the basis for spirometry, a critical diagnostic test. The gold standard for COPD diagnosis, this lung function test assesses lung volumes and capacities, stage of the disease and response to therapy. The patient's history and clinical examination with a well-performed spirometry are vital to deciding on individual treatment.

While COPD's Damage Is Irreversible

Its progression can be managed with a two-pronged approach lifestyle adjustments and targeted medical intervention. Inhaled medications, including controller and reliever therapy, taking centre stage, and relaxing obstructed airways, are tailored as per the individual patient - the correct inhaler dosage, technique, type and proper usage, often with a spacer device, is essential to have the best outcomes. For those facing challenges with inhalation therapy, nebulized treatments become significant, especially during acute flare-ups. Additionally, programs like 'Pulmonary Rehabilitation' can be game-changers, offering a good nutrition plan, breathing exercises, incentive spirometry, regular flu vaccination, and counselling to ensure compliance to enhance overall lung health.

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Air pollution not only affects our lungs and breathing, but can also damage our kidney health. Read on to know how exactly the toxic air affects our renal system.

How Air Pollution Can Damage Kidneys? 5 Ways to Prevent it

Air pollution side effects are not only restricted to the lungs and our respiratory system. It affects all our organs in ways we probably fail to understand.  Breathing is something we do without thinking much about it assuming the air around us is healthy. But what if the air we breathe isn’t as safe as we assume?  From our first breath to reaching important organs, polluted air is causing more trouble than we realize. Poor air quality may lead to significant renal adverse effects that have hitherto rarely received sufficient consideration.

Kidneys are not primarily related to processing pollutants in the air. However, inhaling these substances has side effects.


Surprisingly enough, the kidney, which plays a critical role in expelling out waste and unnecessary fluids from the blood to produce urine, becomes the unintentional sufferer of air pollution. India,com spoke to experts in understanding the link between air pollution and kidneys. Dr. Swapnil Mehta – Pulmonologist, Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, exclusively explained to that pollution studies reveal the relation between exposure and the probability of experiencing kidney disorders such as CKD and renal failure. These toxic airs will impair the fragile filtering system of the kidney.

Science also states that, the response due to inhalation of polluted air results in kidney oxidative stress and further inflammation. The presence of pollutants might also lead to hypertension and diabetes which are very important in the development of renal diseases. This is a slow process that is often sneaky, and it’s not until there is an indication of kidney dysfunctions that this becomes evident. Further, Dr Prakash Chandra Shetty, Urologist, Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, Mumbai also enlisted different ways how air pollution affects our organs and kidneys.

  1. Deposition in the Respiratory Tract: Fine particles pass via bronchi and bronchioles and enter into the respiratory system which can damage and inflame respiratory tissues. This can trigger illnesses like bronchitis and exacerbate pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma.
  2. Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is one of the main factors for kidney diseases which is lined with air pollution. This can harm blood vessels in the kidney making it tough to function smoothly.
  3. Cardiovascular Effects: Air pollution is known to have an impact on heart and kidney health both. One of the conditions known as Atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries can affect the kidney’s blood flow
  4. Diabetes Risk: Some air pollutants have been linked to developing a higher chance of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes’s tendency to progressively damage the kidney’s small blood vessels over time makes it a major reason for chronic kidney disease.
  5. Oxidative Stress: This occurs when the body’s levels of free radicals and antioxidants, which are triggered by pollution, become unbalanced. Kidney damage can be increased by oxidative stress.


However, it all begins with an acknowledgment that indeed air pollution poses a real threat to kidney health. The ways of improving our kidney health include;

  • implementing strategies to enhance indoor air quality like humidifiers, keep the inside surroundings clean.
  • Reducing exposure to outdoor pollutants
  • Advocating for sustainable environmental policies.
  • Eat an immunity-boosting diet especially that enhances kidney health.
  • Keep yourself hydrated to better flush out the toxic substances from the body.

The delicate tie between air quality and kidney health must be paid attention to in the big weave of health. In doing so, we have to guard ourselves as closely against the invisible dangers that are all around us, that we filter out of the air when we inhale. Comprehending this covert linkage impels us to lobby for a more breathable atmosphere not only for our lungs but also for the mute soldiers, and our kidneys, ceaselessly fighting off our inner environment.

Let’s breathe in mindfulness and weed out the poisons that endanger our vital organs in a bid for a healthier future.

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I recently noticed that my 6-month old baby was coughing and wheezing. Kindly let me know if this Asthma and what to do about it.

Chinwe(by SMS)


While asthma-like symptoms can be difficult to recognize in babies, asthma actually exists in babies. These other symptoms can resemble signs of other issues, including other respiratory illnesses. A baby with asthma might wheeze, cough, and breathe fast. Asthma is a chronic condition that causes airway inflammation and sensitivity to inhaled irritants. About half of all children with asthma show some signs of the condition before they reach the age of 5 years. But not all babies with asthma-like symptoms go on to have asthma later in life. Doctors can treat asthma in babies with medications that help open the airways. Anyone who recognizes signs of breathing problems in a baby should contact a doctor. Parents and other caregivers can take various steps to reduce risk factors and limit the baby’s exposure to triggers, such as smoke, pet dander, pollen, and dust mites.mFactors that can increase the likelihood of an infant developing asthma include: a family history of allergies, asthma, or atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, smoking during pregnancy, premature birth as well as more severe symptoms of respiratory infections, such as with the respiratory syncytial virus.



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Each night was like a wrestling match with her own airways. With the lights out, her children asleep and the house quiet, Melinda Mahlberg would begin to snore. Her husband, Troy, wore earplugs. He could still hear her. Her breathing sounded laboured as the snoring continued all night; the pair never started a day fully rested.

Melinda was exhausted. Tests to find the cause of her fatigue had found nothing wrong. She wasn’t just tired from being a mother of three and a receptionist with a busy social life; there was something else amiss. “I’m too young to be this tired,” recalls the 45-year-old. “Around my eyes was tense. And my brain was all foggy.”

Eventually, Melinda spent a night away from home – hooked up to monitors and breathing equipment at a clinic. They showed that, during at least some of her sleep, she stopped breathing, for seconds at a time, once every minute. “It was a bit of a shock.”

Sleep apnoea affects about 5 per cent of Australians; they will wake most days with the fuzziness of what Melinda calls a “tired hangover”. Fatigue can be dangerous, especially for drivers or people working with machinery. In the longer term, apnoea increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and possibly even dementia.

So what causes sleep apnoea? Who gets it? And how does someone with it (and their bed partner) get a good night’s sleep?

What’s sleep apnoea?

The snores of Kare Walkert, a Swede with sleep apnoea, reached a Guinness world record of 93 decibels in the 1990s, about the equivalent of a lawn mower. A British woman’s snoring has since reportedly exceeded 111 decibels (as loud as someone shouting into another person’s ear). Fortunately, most snoring volumes are usually around the level of a quiet conversation. About half of Australian adults snore, including most people with sleep apnoea.

But something extra happens with apnoea: a sleeper stops breathing for 10 seconds or more at least five times an hour. The word itself comes from the Greek for “without breath”. Cases range in severity. At one extreme, a woman with apnoea who also had a condition of the nervous system stopped breathing for 233 seconds in a hospital in the United States.

Starved of air, people with apnoea wake. “I would have more minor [episodes] where you don’t realise you’re waking up,” says public servant Susan Graham, a Melburnian who has managed her sleep apnoea for 15 years. “Then you have really extreme ones where it sort of builds up and you jerk yourself awake.”

Sleep apnoea affects about 5 per cent of Australians; they will wake most days with the fuzziness of what Melinda calls a “tired hangover”.


Sleep apnoea affects about 5 per cent of Australians; they will wake most days with the fuzziness of what Melinda calls a “tired hangover”.

Air travelling into our windpipes passes the base of the tongue, the tonsils, an area of muscular tube called the pharynx, and the voicebox, where vocal cords vibrate to produce sound. The muscles throughout this area, known as the upper airway, tend to relax as we sleep. If they become too floppy, our breathing can cause them to vibrate, causing snoring. But in some people, the muscles relax so much the usually moist inner surfaces of the sides of the pharynx can stick together blocking off the airway. “It’s a bit like having a wet piece of paper against a glass window,” says Associate Professor Megan Rees, head of respiratory and sleep disorders at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

If the blockage is partial – a condition called hypopnea – it can cause slow and shallow breathing. Obstructive sleep apnoea is when the airway closes until the person’s breathing response kicks in – the break point where it’s believed our neurological and mechanical systems take over to make us gasp for air.

Anatomy is one cause: people with smaller pharynxes are more susceptible to apnoea. Others have an overbite that can crowd the soft tissue at the back of the airway. “I come from a family of bad snorers,” says Graham. “I think it’s sort of in the family genes to have quite a narrow airway.” In fact, if an immediate family member has sleep apnoea it doubles a person’s chance of having it.

When physicians first described sleep apnoea in the 1960s, they linked it to obesity. A patient had Pickwickian syndrome (obesity hypoventilation syndrome), a breathing condition named after a corpulent carriage driver in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers who would fall asleep running errands. The patient slept just a few hours because of a “cyclic repetition of arousal and slumber”.

Today, 58 per cent of people with moderate to severe sleep apnoea are believed to be obese. Fat in the tongue and neck can cause the airway to collapse.

Sleep apnoea is about three times more common in men than women. Some of this could be due to under-diagnosis in women but also to how body weight is distributed. “If you’re carrying excess body weight in a central area and around your neck, you’ll be more at risk of sleep apnoea. Whereas women who are overweight often carry that extra weight below their waist,” Rees says.

Still, in both women and men, age tends to make apnoea worse. “Everything gets saggier, so the muscular tube in the back of the airway just gets floppier,” says David Cunnington, clinical chair of the Australasian Sleep Association. “They start to snore a bit in their 30s and then snore loudly in their 40s and have sleep apnoea in their 50s.”

In fewer than 1 per cent of cases, people have no airway blockage, but the brain stops telling them to breathe – called central sleep apnoea. “There is a pause and the person does not make any effort to breathe,” says Dr Kirk Kee, a sleep and respiratory physician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. “That’s until their carbon-dioxide level gets high enough that their brain goes, ‘Whoops, I need to breathe again.’ ” The most common reason for this is severe heart disease, but stroke and opiates can also cause it.

How do you know you’ve got sleep apnoea?

It’s 9pm and patients toss and turn. Some watch TV, others scroll their phones, but it’s hard to ignore the weirdness of being in a sleep laboratory. Gina Bundle has 22 electrodes attached to pads stuck mostly on her face and head. Wires neatly run behind her back, keeping her from getting tangled, then into a monitor recording every breath and blink. “You feel it all over,” she says.

She can’t remember her last good night’s sleep. A thyroid condition then long COVID made her exhausted. She’s spending the night in the Royal Melbourne Hospital to test whether sleep apnoea has also been in the mix. “When you get home from work, you sit and take your shoes off. Well, I didn’t even get that far; I’d be out like a light,” she says.

Sleep scientist Serhan Kalistu calculates Gina’s body mass index (BMI), checks her blood pressure and measures the width of her neck – anything unusually wide carries a greater chance of apnoea. Bands around her chest and abdomen measure her diaphragm moving, as does a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure) that blows air at gentle pressure into her nose. Scientists adjust the pressure during the night. “If you have sleep apnoea, you’re not actually breathing, so on the system there will be a flatline for a few seconds,” Kalistu says.

How severe a person’s sleep apnoea is depends on how often they stop breathing in an hour, a scale known as the apnoea hypopnea index or AHI. Five to 15 events is considered mild; 15 to 30 moderate; and more than 30 severe. (Susan Graham says her test results were “through the roof”, showing she stopped breathing 110 times every hour, or nearly once every 30 seconds.)

Computers in the next room chart the patients’ breathing, eye movements, heartbeat and brain waves. Some lines become more squiggly as the patient enters the deeper stages of sleep known as slow wave and rapid eye movement. The monitors also record snoring, which Kalistu has seen exceed 70 decibels, roughly the rumble of a washing machine. “In terms of the snore itself, it generally happens in our deeper sleep stages,” he says. But sleep apnoea also limits people from reaching deeper sleep. “As a result, they always wake up feeling groggy.”

It can be a patient’s bed partner, who has lost sleep listening to the silences between their companions’ bursts of snoring, who persuades them to seek a sleep test. But long gaps between breaths aren’t always noticeable or distinguishable from snoring. And for people who sleep alone, the signs of apnoea might be just tiredness, headaches or waking with a dry mouth.

The muscles throughout this area, known as the upper airway, tend to relax as we sleep. If they become too floppy, our breathing can cause them to vibrate, causing snoring.

mayo Clinic

The muscles throughout this area, known as the upper airway, tend to relax as we sleep. If they become too floppy, our breathing can cause them to vibrate, causing snoring.

But in some people, the muscles relax so much the usually moist inner surfaces of the sides of the pharynx can stick together blocking off the airway.

Mayo Clinic

But in some people, the muscles relax so much the usually moist inner surfaces of the sides of the pharynx can stick together blocking off the airway.

The long-term effects of apnoea (we’ll get to them in a minute) worry Gina – “I’m nearly 60, I’m an Aboriginal woman, I’m in the danger zones for just about everything” – but being in a hospital similar to where she works has brought a sense of calm. “Maybe it’s because there are people around me.”

A sleep study can also be done at home, but the findings are not as granular, says David Cunnington. He will recommend these for people who are unlikely to have further underlying health problems. “It’s not that much simpler. But you go home then sleep the night and the next day you drop your equipment back.” In 2019, people aged between 65 and 74 were the most likely to do a laboratory study while those aged 45 to 64 were most likely to do a home test.

How does sleep apnoea affect your health?

Melinda Mahlberg could barely find the energy to make dinner for her family in south-west Sydney. “I just wanted to lie on the lounge and go to sleep.” She was making “silly mistakes” at work such as tripping over, once getting a black eye.

It’s well known that a poor night’s sleep can reduce our cognitive performance and ability to manage emotions. But Angela D’Rozario, a research leader at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, says the way sleep apnoea affects cognition can differ between people, with some still able to perform tasks that others can’t. “It’s so difficult to separate people; but we think part of that is they recruit other brain regions to maintain a level of performance.”

For most people though, the risks remain, including to others. Drivers with sleep apnoea are 2½ times more likely to have an accident, says Andrew Vakulin, of the Adelaide Institute of Sleep Health. In August, a Victorian coroner found a truck driver’s undiagnosed sleep apnoea possibly contributed to his failure to stop at an intersection in Corio in Geelong; he collided with a 27-year-old driver who died as a result. State licensing authorities generally follow Austroads’ Assessing Fitness to Drive guidelines, which require people with sleep disorders to report them, depending on their symptoms. Health professionals can also advise the licensing authority of someone’s incapacity to drive.

In some cases, intoxication from drugs or alcohol can blunt the reflex of people with sleep apnoea to breathe, says Cunnington. “If you already have sleep apnoea, a smaller drug overdose might be more dangerous for you.” (A Los Angeles coroner found sleep apnoea contributed to Star Wars star Carrie Fisher’s death at age 60 in 2016, although they could not state the effect of multiple drugs found in her system.)

But it’s the longer-term consequences of sleep apnoea that are a worry, too. In 2018, it played a role in 1066 deaths in Australia, accompanying heart disease in more than one-third of those cases. Untreated sleep apnoea doubles the risk of heart failure, and increases the risk of stroke. Each time a person with apnoea wakes, a stress response is triggered in their body, Cunnington says. “If you just get repeated stress responses every single night, over time that baseline is just a bit higher and blood pressure sits at just a bit higher level. The heart muscle can be weakened over the years as well.”

Sleep serves many restorative functions, too, including cleaning neurotoxins in the brain. Emerging evidence suggests sleep apnoea interrupts this, putting people at greater risk of dementia. “One of the things that’s known about the cleaning process is that if you have elevated blood pressure at night, for example, the cleaning process is somewhat compromised,” says Craig Phillips, of the Woolcock Institute and Macquarie University, who is researching dementia’s links to sleep apnoea.

In the longer term, apnoea increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and possibly even dementia.


In the longer term, apnoea increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and possibly even dementia.

How is sleep apnoea treated (and what’s a CPAP machine)?

The labourer’s apnoea was so severe he would fall asleep on scaffolding at work. It was 1980 and Sydney physician Colin Sullivan recommended the man have a procedure called a tracheoscopy, in which a tube is inserted to allow breathing through the throat. But the man refused. So Sullivan offered to do an experiment.

At the time, it wasn’t known whether sleep apnoea was due to muscles in the airway tensing or relaxing. If the latter, Sullivan had an idea: a gentle stream of pressurised air holds the airway open during sleep. “Initially, I thought this would be a rescue therapy that someone like this man, who came in with really serious complications, could use to get them on treatment,” he says. “It was absolutely spectacular. In the morning, he woke up and he was bright and alert.”

Now known as the CPAP machine, Sullivan’s invention is the most common treatment for sleep apnoea. Joe Biden is one user, the White House said in June after indentations were visible on the president’s face from the mask one morning. The mask can cover both airways or just the nose and attaches to a small, box-shaped machine that sits at the bedside, as quiet as a desktop computer. An expert will recommend an air pressure depending on the severity of apnoea, typically after a sleep study.

It’s “definitely not sexy”, says Susan Graham of her machine. Still, Megan Rees swears they help more relationships than they harm. “I have certainly seen relationships blossom when people start being treated and the snoring and gasping stops.”

Melinda Mahlberg’s snoring was a source of tension for her and her husband. “We’ve got friends who sleep in separate rooms and I thought, well, maybe that’s where we’re headed ... because I can’t just choose to stop snoring,” she says. Troy says he sometimes rolled over to disturb Melinda to stop the snoring. “I would feel guilty for that, she would feel guilty for snoring; we were all in this big guilt cycle.”

Now Melinda is using CPAP, they’re both sleeping better, but she still has a big “sleep debt” to repay. “I’ve only been using CPAP for two months, so I’m still looking forward to the benefits.”

In milder cases, a kind of mouth guard called a mandibular advancement splint, which repositions the jaw and tongue, can stop the airway collapsing. A specialist dentist will usually fit the device. “Some people find these more comfortable than CPAP, and they have good research to support their use,” says Cunnington. “[But] if you try to push the jaw too far, it can cause discomfort. It can also cause the teeth to shift over time.” Surgery can also help widen airways in some cases, such as for children with large tonsils. “There’s no uniform surgery; it’s an individualised approach.”

And losing weight is an option for many, although exhaustion can make you less inclined to exercise and more likely to seek out sweet snacks for energy. Several hormones that affect appetite and metabolic rate also need the deeper stages of sleep to be properly regulated. “You end up being in a vicious cycle,” says Rees. Still, one study showed people who lost 10 per cent of their body weight had a 26 per cent drop in how many times they stopped breathing while asleep.

Weight-loss drugs could be a new frontier, but the evidence is still emerging. Trials overseas of the drug, Wegovy, and a similar drug called tirzepatide with two active ingredients, have found body weight dropped by about 15 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. “We actually think it’s going to be a game-changer,” says Craig Phillips, who has evaluated the potential of the drugs. Tirzepatide is being trialled for its ability to make sleep apnoea less severe. Gastrointestinal side effects are one sticking point, but these can be offset by gradually increasing the dosage, Phillips says.

Weight-loss drugs could be a new frontier, but the evidence is still emerging.


Weight-loss drugs could be a new frontier, but the evidence is still emerging.

Different drugs also still in trials could prevent muscles in the throat from relaxing during sleep. If successful, these could complement existing treatments, Cunnington says. “A mouth guard plus medication might well prevent them needing to go on to CPAP.”

Sullivan isn’t concerned his machines will be displaced just yet though. “Sleep apnoea is not simply weight; [many] people probably have a relatively small airway that puts them at risk,” he says. “I honestly don’t believe we’re going to find the silver bullet.” Graham is one patient who believes she would suffer from sleep apnoea for life without CPAP. “It’s not instantaneous that you feel better; it takes a while for your body to get used to actually getting sleep again,” she says. “Now, I can’t sleep without it.”

As Gina Bundle waits for the results of her sleep test, she just wants to know what a good night’s sleep is. “I would love normal, whatever normal is. It would be nice to go to bed and just go straight to sleep.”

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woman in car driving on highway - highway air pollution


Not only can driving on a highway increase your blood pressure—so can breathing polluted air from all the traffic.

A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that inhaling unfiltered air from highways significantly increased passengers’ blood pressure. Get this: The road pollution can affect you while you’re in the car and up to 24 hours later.

(Sounds like now’s a good time to get a new cabin air filter, right?)

We know that long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution is associated with higher rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and death.

But new research from the University of Washington found that being exposed to diesel exhaust fumes raised blood pressure while people were driving—and even after they reached their destination.

“The body has a complex set of systems to try to keep blood pressure to your brain the same all the time. It’s a very complex, tightly regulated system, and it appears that somewhere, in one of those mechanisms, traffic-related air pollution interferes with blood pressure,” says Joel Kaufman, a UW doctor and professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, who led the study.

Dr. Kaufman’s team drove healthy participants between the ages of 22 and 45 through rush-hour traffic in Seattle and monitored their blood pressure at the same time.

The researchers let unfiltered road air into the car on two of the drives. On the third trip, the car included a high-quality HEPA filter. That did the job to prevent 86% of particulate pollution from getting into the vehicle. The participants didn’t know whether the car had an air filter in place or not.

Breathing unfiltered air resulted in net blood pressure increases of more than 4.50 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) when compared to driving with filtered air.

The increase in blood pressure happened quickly, peaking about an hour into the drive. In some cases, the increase persisted for at least 24 hours. The researchers didn’t explore the blood pressure ranges past the 24-hour mark.

“We know that modest increases in blood pressure like this, on a population level, are associated with a significant increase in cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Kaufman says.

“There is a growing understanding that air pollution contributes to heart problems. The idea that roadway air pollution at relatively low levels can affect blood pressure this much is an important piece of the puzzle we’re trying to solve,” Dr. Kaufman adds.

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Deadly pollution will have secondary effects on health, age will decrease

  • November became the most polluted month of the year
  • Pollution level equal to smoking 560 cigarettes in 28 days
  • AQI above 350 reduces age by 3 to 5 years

The weather in some cities in the country is getting worse every day. In November, there was a respiratory crisis for 28 days out of 30 days. Air Quality Index (AQI) remains above 350 for 24 days. This level falls in the red range dangerous for health. This level of pollution is equivalent to a person smoking 560 cigarettes in 28 days. This is equivalent to an average of 20 cigarettes per day.

The study came up with startling results

So a study found that if the AQI remains above 350 continuously, the average life of a person can decrease by 3 to 5 years. The district was the most polluted in the month of November in the last 4 years. In the country including delhi NCR, Meerut was number one and number two in November, bad weather here also worsens health. The situation is that the AQI was 196 on November 1 and 182 on November 11, while the AQI was above 300 and 350 throughout the month.

Age will decrease by 3 to 5 years

Pollution levels affect the health of children and adults. Chest specialist Dr. Veerattam Tomar said that if the state of pollution continues, the life expectancy of people in Asia and india may decrease by 3 to 5 years. Delhi’s pollution will reduce life expectancy by 10 to 11 years.

According to a study, the way the pollution situation is going, it is likely to affect not only the health, but also the age of the people. Pollution causes lung allergies, breathing difficulties, asthma, heart attacks, pneumonia, ultra fine particles reach the brain, kidneys and heart, which can lead to asthma attacks.

Day temperature decreases, night temperature increases

Due to the change in the weather, the effect of the cold will increase even during the day. The weather pattern changed on Thursday, the day was also cold. The maximum temperature of the day was 24.6 degrees and the minimum temperature of the night was 12.2 degrees. Dr. Meteorologist at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology. UP Shahi said that day and night temperatures are decreasing.

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- With the cold months swiftly approaching, health officials are staying alert when it comes to cold, flu, COVID-19, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). 

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve definitely started to see an uptick in our cases of RSV,” said Karen Davis, M.D., a pediatric and newborn hospitalist at Saint Joseph Health System. 

RSV season is here, but thankfully, the respiratory virus is going back to pre-pandemic trends—starting later in the year. 

“This year, it’s a little bit later with the peak than it was last year,” Davis.

“Last year, it was very scary when we saw early rises in the RSV numbers,” said Dr. Marlon Brathwaite, a pediatrician at Goshen Health.   

Concerns are swirling after last year’s spike in cases, along with the flu, and, of course, COVID-19.

“Quarantining measures decreased, masking decreased,” Brathwaite said. “We saw early rise in rates of RSV, and also increasing hospitalizations, to the point where hospitals were fully booked.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, newborns and young children didn’t build an immunity to RSV, causing cases of the illness to skyrocket when mitigations lifted. 

“RSV has been around for a while. It’s always been the number one reason for kids being hospitalized in the US, especially under the age of one,” Brathwaite said. 

For parents, RSV will look like a common cold. 

“Starts off as congestion, runny nose, cough, they can have some fever,” Davis said. “Where you really start to get concerned is if you notice your child is starting to have labored breathing.”

She said to make sure to monitor sick babies and toddlers.

“What happens is, those symptoms will progress to affect the lower respiratory tract, so the small airways in the lungs. And that’s when kids are likely to end up in the hospital,” Davis said. 

Handwashing, social distancing, and the new RSV vaccine, just approved this year, are all ways to prevent the spread of RSV. 

But just like the common cold, it will be with us each cold season. 

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Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that is typically caused by various pathogens, like bacteria and viruses. Pneumonia is of two types: bacterial and viral, and understanding the differences between them is important for effective diagnosis and treatment. This article delves into the differences between bacterial and viral pneumonia and their treatment and management. 

Difference between Bacterial and Viral Pneumonia 

1. Causative Agents: The most fundamental difference between bacterial and viral pneumonia lies in the causative agents. Bacterial pneumonia is caused by bacteria, while viral pneumonia is caused by viral infections. Understanding this differentiation is important because it affects treatment choices.

2. Symptoms: Both bacterial and viral pneumonia have common symptoms, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. However, bacterial pneumonia typically causes a high fever, productive cough with yellow or green mucus, and severe chest pain, while viral pneumonia may exhibit itself with a more gradual onset and flu-like symptoms.

3. Chest X-rays: Radiological imaging can provide insights that help in determining what kind of pneumonia it is. Bacterial pneumonia often presents with lobar consolidation, while viral pneumonia exhibits more diffuse infiltrates.

4. Duration: Bacterial pneumonia comparatively progresses more rapidly, whereas viral pneumonia may have a longer incubation period and a slower onset.

5. Treatment and Antibiotics: Antibiotics are effective in case of bacterial pneumonia but have no impact on viral pneumonia. Viral pneumonia treatment usually involves antiviral medications, rest, and supportive care. Treatment of bacterial pneumonia may require hospitalisation and intravenous antibiotics.

Treatment and Management of Bacterial and Viral Pneumonia 

Treatment for bacterial pneumonia generally starts with antibiotics tailored to the specific pathogen responsible. In severe cases, hospitalisation may be needed for intravenous antibiotics and close monitoring. Patients are advised to rest, stay hydrated, and manage symptoms with fever-reducing medications. Furthermore, oxygen therapy may be administered to maintain adequate oxygen levels in the blood.

Treatment for Viral pneumonia is centred on managing symptoms and providing supportive care. Antiviral medications, like oseltamivir for influenza, can be prescribed. Rest, hydration, and over-the-counter cough medicines may help in getting rid of the discomfort. Oxygen therapy is given to patients with breathing difficulties, and hospitalisation is necessary for severe cases.

Preventive Measures

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some measures to help in preventing both types of pneumonia:

   - Bacterial Pneumonia: The pneumococcal vaccine, like Pneumovax or Prevnar, is available for adults and children to protect against the most common bacteria causing pneumonia.

   - Viral Pneumonia: Annual influenza (flu) vaccination is important, as many cases of viral pneumonia are caused by influenza viruses. Furthermore, vaccines for other respiratory viruses like COVID-19 can help in reducing the risk of viral pneumonia.

2. Good Hygiene Practices:

   - Handwashing: Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, especially after being in public places and using public restroom.


   - Avoid Close Contact: Avoid contact from individuals who are sick, and practise social distancing during outbreaks of respiratory infections.

3. Respiratory Etiquette:

   Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief while coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets that may contain infectious agents.

   Smoking damages the lungs and impairs the body's ability to defend against infections. Avoiding smoking or getting exposed to secondhand smoke to reduce the risk of pneumonia.

5. Good Nutrition and Exercise: 

 Maintain a healthy lifestyle to boost your immune system's ability to fight off infections. Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients, stay physically active, and get adequate rest.

6. Environmental Precautions:

   Minimise exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins, like air pollution and hazardous chemicals, which can impair the respiratory system's defences.

7. Get Regular Health Checkups:

  Regular checkups can help in identifying and managing underlying medical conditions that may increase your vulnerability to pneumonia.

 When travelling, particularly to areas with known outbreaks or high infection rates, follow local health guidelines and take all necessary precautions, like wearing masks and practising good hand hygiene.

9. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

During pandemics or in high-risk environments, wearing appropriate PPE, like masks and gloves, provides an additional layer of protection against respiratory infections.

By following these preventive measures, you can reduce your risk of both bacterial and viral pneumonia.

To sum up, understanding the key differences between bacterial and viral pneumonia is necessary for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Both types of pneumonia can be severe, and early detection is important. Preventive measures significantly reduce the risk of pneumonia. If you think you have pneumonia-like symptoms, seek immediate medical help to receive the appropriate care and management. Remember, pneumonia can be a serious condition, and getting the right treatment on time can make all the difference in a patient's recovery.

(Authored by Dr Arun Chowdary Kotaru, Consultant-  Respiratory/ Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine, Artemis Hospital Gurgaon)

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The content provided on this website should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, please contact your healthcare provider immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on a website.

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With winter approaching, birds are migrating south to escape the cold and take advantage of more abundant food sources.

But birds aren’t the only ones taking advantage of this migratory ritual. Avian influenza viruses, more commonly known as bird flu, can spread across the country if migrating birds carry the viruses with them on their pre-winter journey.

As a result, Dr. Isabelle Louge, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, advises poultry owners to remain vigilant against the spread of bird flu this winter because it can be deadly for our avian counterparts.

The Danger of Bird Flu

Bird flu typically follows migratory patterns, particularly through waterfowl (ducks and geese) droppings. Yet, Louge says the virus can also spread through infected poultry or people and through contact with contaminated equipment, including clothing and shoes.

“Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), or highly contagious bird flu, is a periodic problem in poultry flocks and is spread both bird-to-bird and when birds come into contact with contaminated objects and surfaces,” Louge said. “The past few years have seen outbreaks of HPAI spreading very easily among birds and often causing high losses in a flock.”

Because HPAI is contagious, Louge says owners should be familiar with and watch for signs of bird flu. If signs are present, humans and other animals will need to steer clear so that they don’t become infected as well.

“The first sign of the disease among poultry is dead birds, but other signs include ruffled feathers, depression, gasping, difficulty breathing, swelling of the head and neck, and diarrhea,” Louge said. “The virus that causes avian influenza also can recombine with other influenza viruses found in humans, pigs, and other species.”

If owners find that their birds are exhibiting these symptoms, Louge strongly suggests reporting the outbreak to the state veterinary office or the U.S. Department of Agriculture to receive professional help.

“It is important for all of us to work together to keep the spread under control,” Louge said.

In addition, owners should stay up to date with nearby outbreaks so that they can implement safety measures sooner, preventing the disease from spreading.

“If HPAI has been detected in your area, it is best to keep your flock fully indoors — in a clean, well-ventilated coop with fresh feed and water — to avoid contact with any potential wild birds that could spread the virus,” Louge said.

Preventing Flocks From Becoming Infected

There are various methods, or biosecurity measures, that can help prevent flocks from becoming sick when exposed to new birds. Quarantining new birds from existing flocks is one measure that can keep your birds safe from the virus.

“Owners should quarantine any new poultry brought to the farm for at least 30 days to ensure they are not sick, and they should work with these birds last so that they are clean when working with the home flock,” Louge said

Owners should also consider designing outdoor areas to completely exclude access for wild birds, not sharing farm equipment with other poultry farmers, and routinely disinfecting any equipment used around flocks.

Avian influenza can harm poultry flocks, so following biosecurity measures is necessary to keep both you and your flock safe from illness. Not only are you keeping your farm healthy, but you are helping stop the spread of illness to nearby farms.

By Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

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As a mysterious respiratory dog illness makes its way to various states across the country, including California, San Luis Obispo County has no confirmed cases, according to Animal Services.

Animal Services Manager of San Luis Obispo County, Eric Anderson, said there’s little information on whether this outbreak is new or related to other respiratory illnesses commonly seen in dogs.

“The reality is - there’s a number of respiratory diseases in dogs which have similar potential. So while this may or may not be something new, I think applying appropriate and normal animal management health practices is what’s appropriate here,” Anderson said.

He recommends dog owners take the following precautions:

  • Get your animals vaccinated
  • Avoid risky situations with unknown dogs where illness may be present
  • Don't take sick dogs into public areas

Anderson explained that dogs spread illness through contact with other sick dogs, just as humans do.
“These respiratory diseases, most of them are spread through some degree of close contact and an inhalation of the infectious organism….so usually if they’re near another dog that is coughing or sneezing then sort of breathing some of that exhaled or transmitted pathogen…” Anderson said.

Atascadero Pet Hospital and Emergency Center issued the following statement:

“Our Veterinary Team strongly encourages pet parents to keep their dogs up to date on the vaccinations that protect them from respiratory illness such as Bordetella and K9 Influenza. If a pet owner is concerned about boarding or grooming facilities, we encourage them to ask the facility about the precautions taken to avoid the spread of contagious diseases so they can make an informed decision about their pet's care and well-being.”

They also included a list of symptoms to watch for in your dog: “lethargy, fever, coughing, nasal/ocular discharge, and/or decreased appetite.”

Anderson, however, urged pet parents to avoid unnecessary panic about the illness.

“We haven’t heard of anything here locally and again, the number of cases that are being described are small enough that I think it’s worth people being aware and cautious about, but not being overly reactive or panicked about,” Anderson said.

Paso Robles Dog Owner Jeanette Pahler said she read an article about the illness and has been keeping close watch over her dog, Ivy.

“I saw that [the illness] was in California…[Ivy] hasn’t had any of those symptoms but it made me, you know, be aware to watch for it,” Pahler said.

Pahler uses caution with Ivy to prevent her dog from contracting the illness.

“We’re careful where we walk her. We don’t go to dog parks and we’re careful about the other dogs she’s around,” Pahler said.

If you are concerned your dog may be showing signs of the illness, contact your vet and seek medical attention.

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Signs And Testing: Protecting Adults And Kids From Respiratory Infections
Regular exposure to poor air quality may lead to sinusitis.

Pneumonia can affect all populations, although it is more common in those younger than two years old, and also people older than 65 years of age and immunocompromised individuals.

Parents need to keep their children safe and healthy during changing seasons, particularly with the rising respiratory illnesses in India. To alleviate their concerns, parents should be updated on health information so that they can easily detect signs of a respiratory infection and take action, if necessary. As the festive season approaches, family visits and large social gatherings increase. Dr Agam Vora, Chest Physician and Medical Director of Vora Clinic, Mumbai, shares that This means there is a chance of infections spreading more efficiently, which makes it vital for people to be cautious and look after themselves and their families' health as they enjoy the festivities.

Respiratory Tract Infection (RTI)

  • A respiratory tract infection (RTI) affects parts of the body involved in breathing such as the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), airways, and lungs. It can be caused by a parasite, with numerous infections spreading year-round. This can give the doctor critical information and guide an individual's treatment plan so they can recover more quickly. It's also important to note that there are two types of respiratory infections upper and lower RTIs. Upper RTIs affect one's throat and sinuses, leading to a common cold, sinus infection, tonsilitis, and laryngitis.
  • Meanwhile, lower RTIs bother people's airways and lungs, resulting in pneumonia, chest infection, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, and more. Influenza can be an upper or lower RTI. Usually, lower RTIs hang around longer and tend to be more severe than those affecting the nose, sinuses, or throat. In India, RTIs commonly affecting children include respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, COVID-19, adenovirus, and rhinovirus.

  • Southeast Asian and African regions report the highest incidence of severe RTI worldwide. In India, respiratory-related diseases account for the mortality of around 400,000 children aged below five years every year, which is a higher burden of childhood pneumonia than seen in any other country. This situation is exacerbated during flu outbreaks due to co-infection with bacteria, which can lead to pneumonia in influenza patients.
  • Regarding bacterial infections, S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae type B (HIB) are the most common. Community-acquired pneumonia cases have dropped as more children get vaccinated for such bacterial infections. However, viral respiratory infections continue to be a concern for children.


Pneumonia can affect all populations, although it is more common in those younger than two years old, and also people older than 65 years of age and immunocompromised individuals. Male children are 18% more likely to be affected by an acute respiratory infection than females, according to an India-based research study. When inhaling, children with pneumonia experience symptoms like fast breathing or lower chest drawing in.

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Both types of pneumonia share similar symptoms initially, including cough, fever, and difficulty breathing.

Bacterial and viral pneumonia are both respiratory infections that affect the lungs, yet they differ in their causes, treatments, and symptoms. Understanding these differences is crucial for timely and effective medical intervention. Here's how to spot the variance between these two types of pneumonia.


Bacterial pneumonia is primarily caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, or Staphylococcus aureus. It typically follows a bacterial infection or occurs when bacteria enter the lungs. On the other hand, viral pneumonia stems from various viruses like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), or COVID-19. Viral pneumonia often develops as a complication of a viral respiratory infection.


Both types of pneumonia share similar symptoms initially, including cough, fever, and difficulty breathing. However, there are some distinctions. Bacterial pneumonia tends to manifest with a sudden onset of high fever, rapid breathing, and chest pain that worsens with deep breaths. Viral pneumonia symptoms may appear gradually and often include more systemic signs like muscle aches, headache, and fatigue.

Diagnostic Differences:

Diagnosing pneumonia type typically involves a combination of physical exams, medical history, and diagnostic tests. A chest X-ray can often differentiate between bacterial and viral pneumonia, as bacterial pneumonia usually shows a lobar pattern, while viral pneumonia tends to display a more diffuse pattern. Additionally, laboratory tests like blood cultures or sputum tests can identify the specific causative agent in bacterial pneumonia cases.


Treatment approaches vary based on the pneumonia type. Bacterial pneumonia is typically treated with antibiotics to target the specific bacteria causing the infection. Viral pneumonia, however, doesn't respond to antibiotics. Instead, antiviral medications or supportive care to manage symptoms are often recommended. In severe cases, hospitalization might be necessary for both types, but bacterial pneumonia is more frequently treated in this manner.


Preventive measures can differ as well. Vaccination is a powerful tool in preventing bacterial pneumonia, especially for high-risk populations like the elderly and those with certain medical conditions. However, for viral pneumonia, preventive strategies focus on practicing good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing and avoiding close contact with sick individuals.

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A variety of health concerns arise as we age. One often overlooked health condition is dysautonomia — an umbrella term used to describe multiple conditions affecting the autonomic nervous system, which controls all involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Dysautonomia, affecting more than 70 million people worldwide, is not rare but remains relatively unknown.

Dysautonomia symptoms can be widespread and vary in intensity from person to person. Symptoms can be present, disappear and then return, and patients may appear healthy. “This leads to [dysautonomia] being considered an ‘invisible condition,’” according to the Dysautonomia Support Network.

Some common symptoms are:

  • Orthostatic intolerance. Upon standing, individuals may experience dizziness or fainting due to fluctuating blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Heart rate irregularities. Rapid or slow heart rate can lead to palpitations and chest pain.
  • Thermoregulation issues. The body may lose its ability to regulate temperature, causing excessive sweating or an inability to sweat.
  • Fatigue. Intense fatigue is common, often accompanied by brain fog, forgetfulness and an inability to focus.

To diagnose dysautonomia, a health care provider uses a tilt table test. The patient, connected to blood pressure, oxygen and heart monitors, lies on a table that lifts and lowers at different angles. As the table tilts, the patient’s ANS functions are measured. Other diagnostics include sweat tests, heart and breathing tests and bloodwork.

Managing symptoms

While dysautonomia is incurable, its symptoms can be managed. Treatment must be individualized and involves a combination of lifestyle modifications and medications, including:

  • Increasing fluid and salt intake to maintain blood pressure and hydration.
  • Wearing compression garments.
  • Exercise regimens and physical therapy to improve muscle tone, posture and overall well-being.
  • Adopting a balanced diet and eating smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Counseling and mental health support.
  • Beta-blockers, vasoconstrictors and anti-nausea drugs, as needed.

Dysautonomia may be a hidden condition, but its impact is profound. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, please seek medical advice and support.

Helpful resources

Dysautonomia Support Network

Dysautonomia International

Dysautonomia Information Network

Dysautonomia–MVP Center in Birmingham

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A team of researchers at Syracuse University in upstate New York is exploring how artificial intelligence might supplement opioid addiction treatment by helping patients de-escalate their stress levels.

Professors Dessa Bergen-Cico (public health) and Asif Salekin (engineering and computer science) recruited 25 patients from Crouse Health Addiction Treatment Services in Syracuse last year to participate in their study, along with 50 others representing a healthy control group. The study measured each participant's respiration rate, heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance and temperature; organized the measurements into a data set; then uploaded the data onto smartwatches worn by the participants. The AI-powered watches, which were built by Salekin and two of his doctoral candidates with a grant from the National Science Foundation, also contain sensors that monitor changes in stress level, Bergen-Cico explained during a Nov. 28 interview.

In the coming months, Bergen-Cico and Salekin will monitor the participants and their smartwatches, which have been programmed to respond to elevated stress levels by instructing the patient to engage in “mindfulness practices” such as breathing exercises or meditation.

“There’s a body of research that found these practices work,” Bergen-Cico said. “The ultimate goal is to train them [patients] to use their skills and strategies.”

The measurements from the patients at Crouse confirmed what the researchers already knew: Those who suffer from opioid addiction have higher-than-normal stress responses and remain in a chronic state of anxiety, Bergen-Cico said.

The tests, she added, included interactive videos containing both relaxing and stress-inducing images, as well as a counting exercise and a game where the participants were asked to recall good and bad memories before creating a song in 30 seconds. During all of this, the research team took measurements using cameras and smartwatch sensors. None of the patients stated anything positive, yet all of them immediately recalled negative experiences, an indication of reward-deficiency syndrome, where patients are unable to recall joy or pleasure in anything, Bergen-Cico said.

In a news release from Syracuse University, Salekin said the unbiased AI algorithm he developed with his two students on the team will “accurately reflect changes in an individual’s behavior.”

“We are working with an at-risk population, so we want the AI to be robust and trustworthy,” Salekin said in the news release. “We want to avoid putting our patients in an adverse situation and incorporate that in the AI.”

If the research shows these customized smartwatches are helping patients reduce their stress levels, Syracuse University will apply for National Institutes of Health funding to cover medical trials. Bergen-Cico said she’s optimistic this treatment method could become commonplace someday.

“The medication keeps you out of the hospital, but if you don’t do anything to change your lifestyle, then you are just going day to day to stay out of trouble,” she said. “It’s really about getting to know yourself.”

Aaron Gifford has several years of professional writing experience, primarily with daily newspapers and specialty publications in upstate New York. He attended the University at Buffalo and is based in Cazenovia, NY.

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Traffic pollution can raise a driver’s blood pressure, study says

  • Study from the University of Washington found that pollution from tailpipe exhaust, brake and tire wear, and road dust can raise blood pressure
  • Breathing unfiltered air in rush-hour traffic caused a bump in blood pressure by more than 4.5 mm Hg
  • Long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution linked to heart disease, asthma, lung cancer, and increased risk of death
  • Traffic pollution can raise a driver’s blood pressure, study says

    Researchers from the University of Washington have found that pollution from tailpipe exhaust, brake and tire wear, and road dust can raise a driver’s blood pressure. Breathing unfiltered air in rush-hour traffic caused a bump in blood pressure by more than 4.5 mm Hg. Long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution has also been linked to heart disease, asthma, lung cancer, and an increased risk of death.

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    Disclaimer: We want to be clear that the information on, including news, articles, reviews, and opinions, is intended for reading and knowledge purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, opinion and news, we cannot guarantee the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of any information. Read more

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    ~6 minute read~ This article was originally published on my Substack called Examined.

    You are driving on a freezing night in your cozy car, windows up, heat on, and belly full of turkey. Your eyes start to glaze over, and you catch yourself feeling sleepy at the wheel. It must be the tryptophan in the turkey, or the insufficient sleep last night. You turn the radio up and sing along for a couple lines, but your singing voice is terrible. The other passengers ask you to stop. You slap your face, but still you are tired, and your face stings. Before pulling over to the side of the road you roll all the windows down. A blast of cold, well-oxygenated, low-carbon dioxide air refreshes you. But the other passengers implore you to roll up the windows. You recall that carbon dioxide levels can soar when three people are in a car with the heat on and air recirculation mode on. So you keep a window barely cracked and switch the heat setting to bring in fresh air. Awake, alert, and singing defiantly under your breath (your voice is actually great and underappreciated), you drive on and make it home safely.

    The problem

    Carbon dioxide levels in cars, buildings, and other enclosed situations can rise quite rapidly. Higher CO2 levels are associated with problems like drowsiness, reduced cognitive abilities, dizziness, and even shortness of breath. Along a continuum of high to low, additional effects of increasing CO2 range between headaches, dizziness, restlessness, a tingling or pins or needles feeling, difficulty breathing, sweating, tiredness, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and at extremely high levels coma, asphyxia, and convulsions.

    Distracted driving and fatigue are among the top causes of car accidents. The invisibly high concentration of carbon dioxide in cars is undoubtedly contributing. We all know about dangerous drivers not getting enough sleep, drinking alcohol, texting, or having poor quality sleep from conditions like obstructive sleep apnea. But I propose that another major yet fixable problem is the poor ventilation in our cars. Realizing this, and then cracking a window or turning off the air recirculation option, might save lives and limbs and prevent accidents.

    Quick example of CO2 levels in my car

    I previously wrote a long post about the importance of good ventilation, and how to use a CO2 monitor as a good proxy for measuring it. CO2 levels in the atmosphere are now 425 parts per million (ppm). Before the Industrial Revolution 280 ppm was the norm. Scientists are speculating whether humans are already experiencing cognitive effects from this rise in CO2, but more about that later. Suffice it to say that most experts agree that a good level is close to outdoor levels of 425 ppm. Buildings (and cars!) should aim for no more than 700-800 ppm.

    Here are some examples of CO2 levels in my car.


    552 ppm CO2 while driving at 70 mph is not bad. Windows are actually closed, but car vents are open and not on recirculation mode. The fast speed forces a lot of fresh air into the car through the vents and small crevices, and CO2 escapes. No significant adverse cognitive effects expected at this level.

    1302 ppm CO2 while still driving at 70 mph is not good. Windows are still closed, but now I’ve set the heating vent mode to recirculate. It took just 5 minutes for the CO2level to almost triple. Drowsiness and adverse effects on cognitive functions have been shown to occur at this level.


    1542 ppm CO2 while driving at 25 mph is even worse. Windows still closed, vent still on recirculate, but now slower driving forces even less air exchange.


    The evidence for higher CO2 levels affecting our brains

    There is still some debate as to what level of CO2 we need to worry about, but I’m going to cite a few references that I think are relevant and authoritative. Otherwise you might think I’m being alarmist. The Atlantic had a good article about this, too.

    • A 2016 study by researchers at Harvard and Syracuse University found that human cognitive function declined by about 15% when indoor CO₂ reached 945 ppm, and plummeted by 50% when indoor CO₂ reached 1,400 ppm.

    • A review of 10 well-designed studies published since 2012 found that on moderate tests of cognition, higher CO2 levels showed mixed results. But substantial evidence supported the fact that human performance can decline with challenging problems at moderate concentrations.

    • Pilot performance on flight simulators starts to fall at 1,200 ppm.

    • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (I know, sounds random), broke it down by CO2 levels and symptoms expected

      • 400 ppm: average outdoor air level.

      • 400–1,000 ppm: typical level found in occupied spaces with good air exchange.

      • 1,000–2,000 ppm: level associated with complaints of drowsiness and poor air.

      • 2,000–5,000 ppm: level associated with headaches, sleepiness, and stagnant, stale, stuffy air. Poor concentration, loss of attention, increased heart rate and slight nausea may also be present.

      • 5,000 ppm: this indicates unusual air conditions where high levels of other gases could also be present. Toxicity or oxygen deprivation could occur. This is the permissible exposure limit for daily workplace exposures.

      • 40,000 ppm: this level is immediately harmful due to oxygen deprivation.

    • GPT-4 came up with similar ranges after scouring the entire world of online literature, but AI information must always be taken with a skeptical grain of salt:

      • Low Levels (Normal indoor levels, around 400 ppm):

        • Minimal physiological effects.

        • Cognitive performance typically unaffected.

      • Moderate Levels (Up to 1,000 ppm):

        • Increased respiratory rate and discomfort in some individuals.

        • Cognitive performance may decline slightly, affecting decision making and attention.

      • High Levels (1,000 to 5,000 ppm):

        • Headaches, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

        • Cognitive functions such as decision-making and problem-solving may be noticeably impaired.

      • Very High Levels (Above 5,000 ppm):

        • Significant discomfort, headaches, and dizziness.

        • Concentration and cognitive abilities further decline.

        • Increased heart rate and potential for more severe health effects with prolonged exposure.

    • Here are the results of a trial published in 2012 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives:

      • Relative to 600 ppm, at 1,000 ppm CO2, moderate and statistically significant decrements occurred in six of nine scales of decision-making performance. At 2,500 ppm, large and statistically significant reductions occurred in seven scales of decision-making performance.

    • A study published in 2020 in the journal GeoHealth (coauthored by a researcher in my backyard at the University of Pennsylvania) concluded:

      • At 1400 ppm CO2 concentrations may cut our basic decision-making ability by 25%, and complex strategic thinking by around 50%, the authors found.

    • A comprehensive review of 99 “peer-reviewed articles pertaining to original research or review of experimental or human studies” over the past 68 years, found:

    How to improve the CO2 levels in our cars


    Crack windows.

    Don’t use recirculate mode all the time.

    The only time I put my car vents on recirculate is if the outside world is full of smelly exhaust, such as in high traffic situations, tunnels, and driving behind an old car.  Auto experts rarely concede the problems with recirculation mode, but instead tout usefulness in terms of better air conditioning performance and reducing exposure to pollution. I have read other sources citing up to an 80% reduction in pollutants entering the car when recirculation mode is on. Recirculate is not all bad, and there are tradeoffs.

    But in lower traffic areas it makes sense to ventilate at will. In smelly, high exhaust situations, or indeed during times of wildfires, recirculation mode is a better option in my opinion. Yet we should realize the tradeoff in terms of higher CO2 levels building up quickly.

    Implications for life outside our cars

    What are high CO2 levels doing collectively to our cognitive capacities and attention spans at work, home, and in other buildings full of people? Can you imagine a company intentionally improving ventilation, installing windows and then opening them, if only to increase worker productivity? I’m glad a few corporate strategists read this newsletter - this idea is on the house if you haven’t yet heard of it. There are zero windows that open in my office. We have decent ventilation from air exchanges only through the heating/cooling system. And in terms of our home environments, better ventilation may help our cognitive abilities, and have us folding laundry into intricate origami structures with our newfound, better oxygenated smarts.

    My next post will be an extrapolation of these troubling effects of rising CO2 levels upon the health of human brains on planet Earth, now and over the next 80 years. There are overlooked implications for the future of the planet, and I would say it’s shocking, and worth staying tuned, focused, and attentive… preferably in a low CO2environment while you read on. The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) kicks off today in Dubai. They have invited me to speak with the world’s leaders, so I need to finish this next post ASAP 😉

    Take away

    Carbon dioxide levels increase rapidly in cars with windows closed, recirculate mode on, higher number of passengers, and slower driving speeds. Numerous studies have found varying degrees of evidence, but overall provide significant proof that cognition and attention suffer. CO2 levels improve rapidly with cracking windows, turning off recirculate mode, and stuffing a thousand green plants in the car. Being aware of the soporific effects of carbon dioxide is an important safety variable that most people don’t think about.

    Consider forwarding this post to anyone you know who might be prone to getting sleepy while driving. This might be everyone you know, so feel free to be somewhat judicious. Or not.

    I think a simple fix like cracking a window or reducing time spent in recirculation mode might save lives and limbs on the hazardous roads as we balance the tradeoffs with AC efficiency and ambient pollution entering the car.


    In addition to sharing on Daily Kos, I write most of my stuff on Substack — find me there  🙂

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    Traffic pollution can raise a driver's blood pressure, study says

    Traffic pollution can raise a driver's blood pressure, study says


    BOSTON - Getting stuck in rush-hour traffic can literally make your blood boil and not just because you're frustrated and stressed.

    A new study out of the University of Washington found that pollution from tailpipe exhaust, brake and tire wear, and road dust can raise your blood pressure while you're sitting in the car.

    Researchers drove healthy participants in rush-hour Seattle traffic and found that breathing unfiltered air caused a bump in blood pressure by more than 4.5 mm Hg compared to driving around in a car equipped with a HEPA filter. The effects on blood pressure lasted up to 24 hours.

    Long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution has also been linked to heart disease, asthma, lung cancer, and an increased risk of death.

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    New research has revealed the optimal amount of exercise for people to lengthen the odds of dying with Alzheimer's disease.

    Australian and international research looked at the data from a long-term health study in the US to check the correlation between vigorous exercise and Alzheimer's-related mortality.

    In a new report published today, they state they found that between 20 to 190 minutes of "vigorous physical activity" (VPA) a week could make a difference.

    Senior exercise
    Vigorous exercise could help cut down the rate of Alzheimer's-related death. (Getty)

    The optimal amount was 140 minutes a week, or 20 minutes a day.

    Exercising that much could cut the death rate from Alzheimer's by 31 per cent, the researchers found.

    But the catch is that it has to be "vigorous".

    No correlation between moderate physical activity (MPA) and a reduced risk of Alzheimer's death was found.

    "Vigorous" physical activity was found to be exercise that caused heavy perspiration and large increases in breathing and heart rate.

    The researchers also suggested that for older people and people with limited mobility, even short amounts of vigorous exercise could be preferable to longer, lighter activity to avoid illness.

    "This study is the first study to investigate the associations between MPA and VPA and Alzheimer's disease-related mortality using a large representative sample of US adults," the researchers said.

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    We're about to nose-dive into "flu season," which actually includes the spread of respiratory viruses like influenza, COVID-19 and RSV (also known as respiratory syncytial virus).

    Though it's too early to make a call on how severe the flu will be this year (most flu activity typically peaks between December and February, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), we can expect both COVID-19 and flu cases to go up around the holidays, when more people are gathering indoors.

    In some good news, RSV will likely be "getting back to its normal levels this season versus last, so it will not be as severe as last year," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an expert in infectious diseases and a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Last year saw an early and harsh spike in RSV cases as it rebounded post-pandemic

    "This is also going to be coupled with the fact that there are vaccines for older individuals, as well as vaccines for pregnant women and monoclonal antibodies for infants, that will have some impact on severity," Adalja said in an email. In addition to COVID and flu vaccines, adults and babies with the highest risk of severe illness from RSV have new tools to protect themselves this year.

    But how do you tell which virus you have? And how do you know if it's allergies instead? This is an important distinction to make, given that viruses that cause the flu, COVID and RSV are all contagious, while allergies aren't contagious and don't require the same social-distancing precautions. (And yes, some people still experience allergy symptoms during the winter.) 

    Here's what to know about flu and COVID symptoms, as well as some clues to look for regarding whether you're sick with a virus rather than allergies (or vice versa). For more, here's our guide on who needs a flu, COVID or RSV vaccine -- and when they should get one -- as well as a guide for how to order more free COVID tests.

    Read more: Your Decongestant Might Be Ineffective, FDA Panel Says 

    Flu vs. COVID symptoms -- is there a difference? 

    Not really, according to Adalja. 

    "There is no real way to distinguish COVID-19 from influenza based on clinical symptoms because they overlap so much," he said. Common COVID and flu symptoms include sore throat, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, cough and more. The big COVID symptom, loss of taste and smell, has become much less common than during the peak of the pandemic. 

    There may be a slight difference in how soon your symptoms show up after getting infected with the flu vs. COVID, though, according to the CDC. Flu symptoms may appear one to four days post infection, vs. two to five post-COVID infection, and some people may take up to two weeks to show COVID symptoms, per the CDC. But because the average window to develop symptoms is similar for both viruses, you likely won't be able to tell based on this criteria either. 

    Both COVID and the flu cause the most severe illness and lead to complications in the same populations: adults in their 60s and up and younger people with certain medical conditions. If you're planning on spending time with someone at high risk of any virus, it's especially important that you err on the side of caution and wait until you're no longer sick to see them face-to-face. 

    If you are at higher risk, you should speak with your doctor about getting a real diagnosis so you can get the appropriate treatment. Flu has different treatment than COVID-19, but antivirals for either should be started as soon as possible.  

    Read more: Flu, COVID and RSV: Your Guide to What Vaccines You Need and When 

    What about RSV?

    RSV is a common virus that causes only mild symptoms in most adults, such as a runny nose, decreased appetite and fever. But in older adults and young babies, it can cause severe symptoms, like pneumonia or trouble breathing.

    Vaccines for RSV are now available to older adults and to pregnant people, to protect newborns once they're born. Some infants may also receive a monoclonal antibody as protection against RSV. 

    Quick tips to help check whether it's allergies or a virus 

    "It's very common that people who have allergies, they think they're having a series of viral infections," Dr. Geoff Rutledge, chief medical officer at HealthTap, told CNET last spring. And on the other end, some people have reported COVID-19 symptoms, from newer versions of the virus, that are typically linked to allergies, including pink eye. That can make it even trickier to know what you're down with.

    However, there are some symptoms and clues that are "very suggestive" you're experiencing a virus versus seasonal allergies, or vice versa, Rutledge said.

    If you have a fever, it's not allergies

    While "fever" is in the name, hay fever does not actually cause a fever, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. However, if you have a sinus infection or other bacterial infection, that may cause a fever and can be caused "sometimes secondarily" from allergies, according to Rutledge. 

    If you're really itchy, it might be allergies

    "Allergies typically cause itching of either the eyes, nose or top of mouth, which is not usually common in viral infections," Dr. Jennifer Bourgeois, pharmacy expert at SingleCare, told CNET in an email last spring. It's important to note that, while it's hard to pin symptoms down to specific variants of COVID-19, there have been some reports of more cases of conjunctivitis or pink eye with the newer versions of the virus. Viruses and bacteria can also cause pink eye, which in turn can cause itching around the eye.

    According to the Cleveland Clinic, other symptoms of allergic rhinitis besides itching include congestion; sneezing; headaches and sinus pain; dark circles under the eyes; increased mucus; postnasal drip (mucus draining down the back of your throat); trouble breathing; and fatigue or generally feeling bad. 

    Take a COVID-19 test 

    This one's pretty simple, but the best way to find out whether you have COVID-19 or something else is by taking an at-home test, or a more accurate lab test in a doctor's office. This might be especially important if you plan on being around a person who's older or otherwise at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. Also: that "expired" COVID-19 test you have leftover from last winter might not be expired after all

    Read more: More Free COVID Tests: Here's How to Order Them Through the Mail 

    Take the antihistamine test 

    For people who experience seasonal allergies, but aren't entirely sure if that congested feeling is from the same cold your friend had or the familiar allergies that usually kick in this time of year, Rutledge suggested what he calls a "therapeutic trial" of taking an over-the-counter antihistamine to see if that clears up your symptoms. 

    "There are specific treatments that only work for allergies," he said, and antihistamines are one of them. Histamine is what your body releases when you have an allergy and your immune system is activated. Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of histamine and helping many allergy symptoms. On that note, if you have sinus pain or sneezing and your symptoms improve after you take a histamine, it might be safe to say you have allergies.

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    Pollen is the culprit behind many people's allergy symptoms. 

    Pierre Longnus/Getty Images

    COVID, flu and RSV treatments 

    Antiviral medications like Paxlovid may be prescribed for older adults and younger people who have a higher risk of getting severe illness from COVID-19 (for Paxlovid to work, you need to start the medication within the first few days of your symptoms appearing). 

    There are also flu treatments available for people at higher risk. Like COVID, it's important for people who are at risk to start antiviral medication for the flu as soon as possible

    What are some effective allergy treatments?

    In terms of allergies, what kind of medication you need depends on which symptoms you have. 

    "Each medication is designed to treat specific symptoms, so it's important to find the correct over-the-counter medicine in order to manage and relieve your symptoms," Bourgeois said. For example, antihistamines like Claritin or Zyrtec are standard allergy medications, but you could also find relief from a decongestant. 

    In a pinch, a fever-reducing medication like ibuprofen might also work for allergies because they have anti-inflammatory properties, Bourgeois said.

    You might even try stopping allergy symptoms before they start with a steroid nasal spray, according to Bourgeois. They do the work before you're exposed to the allergens in the air.

    "It is best to begin the steroid nasal spray a couple of weeks before the allergy season that triggers your symptoms and continue throughout the duration of the season, as it's typically not required to use the steroid nasal spray all year long," she said.

    If you choose to do a nasal rinse after symptoms and mucus sets in, Bourgeois referred to the CDC's guide for safely carrying it out with sterile material

    Many people will manage allergy symptoms with help from their primary doctor or the right medication, Rutledge said, and they won't need further medical help. But if you're still not getting relief from your symptoms, and you've done some detective work into what's causing your allergies, then you might be a good candidate for in-clinic allergy testing or a follow-up appointment with a specialist to get to the source, according to Rutledge. 

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