Healthy Heart: Explore the actionable strategies to manage stress and promote a healthy heart

Healthy Heart: Explore the actionable strategies to manage stress and promote a healthy heart

By implementing practical steps, you can effectively navigate and minimise the impact of stress on your cardiovascular health

Stress has become an inevitable part of our lives. Managing stress is crucial for maintaining a healthy heart and overall well-being. By implementing practical steps, you can effectively navigate and minimise the impact of stress on your cardiovascular health. The following points explore the actionable strategies to manage stress and promote a healthy heart.

1) Regular exercise is crucial for managing stress and promoting heart health. Exercise improves cardiovascular health, controls weight, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. It also reduces the physical response to stress. Regular exercise decreases the risk of depression, a heart disease risk factor. Use smart devices and aim for 10,000-12,000 steps daily, maintain weight and receive instant feedback. Exercise boosts heart health, reduces stress, and enhances mood.

2) Explore relaxation techniques to combat stress. Various methods can be effective such as deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, body scans, mindfulness activities, meditation, yoga, massage or aromatherapy. Try various techniques to discover which ones are most effective for you. These practices can help lower blood pressure and heart rate, allowing you to feel more relaxed and at ease.

3) Engage in activities you find enjoyable to alleviate stress. By immersing yourself in pleasurable activities, you can redirect your attention from stress. Consider listening to music, dancing to your favourite songs, reading book, watching a movie or TV show, or indulging in a hobby that brings you joy. These activities provide a welcome change and offer a sense of relaxation and fulfilment, allowing you to temporarily escape from stress.

4) Adequate sleep is essential for both physical and mental well-being, and it significantly influences stress management. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your overall health. If you struggle with sleep, consider implementing helpful strategies to improve your sleep quality and ensure restful nights.

5) Spending time with supportive family and friends can help you calm down and receive the necessary emotional support during challenging times. Even if you can’t meet in person, reaching out through calls, texts or video chats can make a difference. For those already living with heart disease, a supportive network can further decrease the likelihood of a heart attack.

6) Seeking support from health professionals or online therapists can be beneficial when dealing with stressful situations. Discussing your issues with a doctor that can provide guidance on appropriate resources. Anxiety and stress can heighten the risk of sudden cardiac death. Reducing alcohol, tobacco and caffeine intake can lower anxiety levels and minimise stress and blood pressure.

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Jun. 9—ANDERSON — For some, coughing can be a mere nuisance. For asthma sufferers, it can disrupt daily life.

Alexandria resident Bruce Sayre's asthma kept him from his daughter Jordyn's softball game Wednesday evening.

"I went outside and started coughing," Sayre said. "She told me to go back inside and don't worry about it, which I did worry about it. I wanted to see my daughter play softball."

Sayre's symptoms were triggered by poor air quality, largely attributed to smoke from ongoing Canadian wildfires, affecting central Indiana over the past few days.

During an asthma attack, irritants agitate the airways, causing them to close and restricting the ability to breathe, said Roger Jundos, a respiratory therapist with Ascension St. Vincent in Indianapolis.

Constricted airways create a build-up of carbon dioxide, causing shortness of breath, which can also be a symptom of COVID-19.

"I had a friend that has had COVID," Sayre said. "They talked about that they can't breathe, they start wheezing, they can't walk to one end of the house without stopping to catch their breath. I don't laugh but I said, 'Welcome to my world.'"

Sayre's boss experienced similar symptoms.

"He said, 'Is this what you feel like?' I said, 'Yeah, that's what I feel like a lot of days,'" Sayre recounted.

Jundos recommends that people with asthma and other breathing difficulties always take their medications as prescribed and have an inhaler on hand should an attack occur.

Those with allergies may experience asthma attack-like symptoms, including tightening of the airways.

Discovering one's triggers can be a long process of exposure and elimination. Jundas recommends keeping a record of possible triggers and doing allergy testing.

In the case of poor air quality because of the Canadian wildfires, the American Red Cross offers these tips, particularly for those who are especially at risk — including pregnant women, children, responders and those who suffer from asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or heart disease:

—Keep windows and doors closed.

—Choose a room you can close off from outside air. Use fans and air conditioning to stay cool.

—Set up a portable air cleaner or a filter to keep the air in your room clean even if it's smoky in the rest of the building and outdoors.

—Avoid using candles, gas, propane, wood-burning stoves, fireplaces or aerosol sprays and don't fry or broil meat, smoke tobacco products or run a vacuum cleaner.

—If you have a central air conditioning system, use high efficiency filters to capture fine particles from the smoke. If your system has a fresh air intake, set the system to recirculate mode or close the outdoor intake damper.

—If you're using a window air conditioner, make sure the seal between it and the window is as tight as possible and figure out how to close the outdoor air damper. For window air conditioning units, try running them on the fan mode. This will not bring in outside air, but circulate the air inside your home.

—If you're in your car, set the air to recirculate.

Follow Caleb Amick on Twitter @AmickCaleb. Contact him at [email protected] or 765-648-4254.

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Millions of asthmatics are at risk of potentially fatal attacks this weekend, experts warn.

‘Very high’ pollen levels are expected in many parts of the UK as temperatures hit highs of 30°C.

In asthma, there is a risk of asthma attacks in hot weather


In asthma, there is a risk of asthma attacks in hot weatherPhoto credit: Getty
Pollen levels are forecast to be very high in certain parts of the UK


Pollen levels are forecast to be very high in certain parts of the UK

According to Asthma + Lung UK, the warm weather conditions put people with asthma and other breathing conditions at a higher risk of developing life-threatening reactions.

This can be as mild as shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing or, in the worst cases, hospitalization or a fatal seizure.

Emma Rubach, the charity’s head of health advice, said: “High levels of pollen can be very dangerous for people with conditions like asthma, producing serious symptoms like wheezing and shortness of breath.”

“They can trigger asthma attacks, which can be terrifying and make them unable to breathe.

“It can be fatal and in the UK around four people are already dying from an asthma attack every day.”

“People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can find themselves feeling much more breathless than usual and produce more or stickier mucus, which may require hospital treatment.”

Those suffering should stay indoors if possible, make sure they use their preventive inhaler as directed, and carry their device with them at all times.

“Treating hay fever symptoms with antihistamine pills and a steroid nasal spray can also help stop an allergic reaction to pollen and prevent the already sensitive airways from becoming even more inflamed,” she added.

Emma urged people to look out for warning signs that hay fever could be affecting their lungs.

“These include shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing or coughing,” she said.

“But there are simple steps you can take now to protect yourself.”

“However, if the symptoms clearly worsen, we recommend that you make an urgent appointment with your GP or healthcare professional.”

Pollen is a major trigger for nearly half of the population with asthma and a quarter of people with COPD.

This means that people’s airways are narrowed and inflamed.

Also, if you’re allergic to pollen and breathing it in, it can cause the muscles around your airways to tighten even further.

The mucous membrane can then become swollen and inflamed, causing sticky mucus to build up and making it difficult to breathe.

What are the symptoms of hay fever?

Hay fever is a common allergic condition. Up to one in five people will be affected at some point in their lives.

If you are allergic to pollen, you will experience hay fever symptoms.

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  • frequent sneezing
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy, red, or watery eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
  • an itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • Cough caused by postnasal drip (mucus dripping from the bridge of the nose into the throat)

Less commonly, the following may also occur:

  • the loss of your sense of smell (anosmia)
  • facial pain (caused by blocked sinuses)
  • Headache
  • earache
  • tiredness and exhaustion

If you have asthma, hay fever may make your asthma symptoms worse.

Source: NHS

More than five million people in the UK suffer from asthma and over 1.3 million are living with a diagnosis of COPD – an umbrella term for a group of lung diseases that make it difficult to breathe.

Overall, over 38 percent of all people with lung diseases are triggered by pollen.

The Met Office issued warnings of “very high” pollen levels in Yorkshire and Humberside, the North West, the West Midlands, Wales, East England, the South West and London and South East England today and early next week.

In Scotland, scores are ‘high’ in the Dumfries and Galloway and Lothian Borders and Highlands and Eilean Siar, while scores in Northern Ireland are also ranked as high.

Grass pollen is the most common trigger of hay fever, affecting around 95 percent of people with the allergic reaction.

Values ​​are often at their highest between mid-May and July.

Statistics show that when grass pollen levels are high, the number of asthmatics requiring hospital treatment for their symptoms increases.

There is also evidence that there is a link between high grass pollen levels and increased rates of COPD hospitalizations.

During the hot spell, Asthma + Lung UK advises people sensitive to pollen to:

  • Check weather, pollen and pollution forecasts
  • Use a preventive inhaler (if you have one) as directed.
  • Carry a rescue inhaler (usually blue).
  • Use a steroid nasal spray every day
  • Take antihistamine pills that don’t make you drowsy
  • Avoid the heat if possible
  • Keep away from the sun
  • Use a fan
  • Train sensibly
  • Drink cold water
  • Keep your home cool
  • Take cool baths or showers
  • Eat as usual

Other health problems that are at increased risk in high temperatures include heart problems, kidney disease, diabetes and neurological disorders.

dr Natasha Fernando, MBBS, MRCGP – Head of Clinical Excellence at Medichecks, said, “High temperatures can put additional stress on the cardiovascular system, leading to an increased risk of heart-related complications in people with heart conditions such as heart disease or congestion. Congestive heart failure, high blood pressure or a history of stroke.

“People with kidney disease are at greater risk of the damaging effects of dehydration and electrolyte imbalances during a heat wave.

“In people with diabetes, high temperature and dehydration can affect glycemic control and impact overall diabetes management.

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“And heat can impair the body’s ability to regulate temperature in people with certain neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease or autonomic dysregulation disorders.

“These individuals may be more sensitive to heat and therefore at higher risk for heat-related complications.”

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Hell’s Paradise, which is brimming with supernatural forces beyond mortal comparison, has a complex power system, much like its counterparts – Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man. So, let’s learn about the enigmatic and mysterious Tao power system in Hell's Paradise.

Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers from the Hell’s Paradise manga.

RELATED: Is Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku Age Appropriate?

What Is Tao in Hell's Paradise?

Tao, in its most basic form, is the source of everything that exists, including living and non-living beings.

It circulates throughout the body and is created from the being’s tanden, which is placed just below the navel.

Any damage to the tanden will impact the being and weaken them. The main component of Tao is Yin-Yang, and it helps in the manifestation of Tao by the user.

When an individual manages to balance the spirit by following the Middle Way, Tao gets manifested.

Tao Power System in Hell's Paradise

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Credit: MAPPA

Spiritual and physical training are highly needed to aim at increasing the cycle of Yin-Yang.

However, there are instances where one can manifest Tao without even being fully aware of it.

Emotions, too, play a key role in the surge or reaction of Tao. Gabimaru’s Tao reaches new levels whenever he is thinking about his wife, Yui.

The sudden surge of love and affection helps Gabimaru to channel his Tao.

The Concept of Current in the Tao Power System

Hell's Paradise Gabimaru

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Credit: Yuji Kaku / Shueisha / Viz Media

The depiction of Tao is like a current flowing around an individual’s body. This is showcased as both tangible and physical.

The size and speed of the current is directly proportional to the strength of the being.

In Hell’s Paradise, the current is shown as a school of sharks circling around the individual.

A human being’s Tao current will be relatively smaller than a member of Lord Tensen's Tao current.

In the Hell's Paradise manga, Lord Tensen’s current includes massive sharks circling around his body, indicating how powerful his Tao is.

ALSO READ: Hell's Paradise: Every Main Character's Age & Birthday

The Elemental Attributes of Tao

Hell's Paradise Zhu Jin Tao Power System

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Credit: MAPPA

Each and every Tao has an attribute to one of the five elements namely, wood, earth, metal, fire, and water.

These five elements have a cycle of hindrance and restoration with one another.

The process of restoration and hindrance occurs when two beings make physical contact with each other.

The cycle of the attributes is as follows:

  • Fire: It restores Earth but hinders Metal.
  • Wood: It restores Fire but hinders Earth.
  • Metal: It restores Water but hinders Wood.
  • Water: It restores Wood but hinders Fire.
  • Earth: It restores Metal but hinders Water.

Now, let’s have a look at Sousei and Soukoku, which are connected to the attributes.

Sagiri and Gabimaru Tao Hell's Paradise

click to enlarge

Credit: Yuji Kaku / Shueisha / Viz Media

The restoration cycle in the Tao power system is called Sousei.

Through Sousei, one can restore and replenish an individual’s Tao. All they have to do is come into contact with someone with a favorable element.

Sousei can also be used to restore using weapons. With the help of traces of Tao left on a weapon, the restorer can boost their Tao-infused weapon through physical contact.

Gabimaru used this technique to improve the Earth Tao-imbued kunai of Yuzuriha.

The hindering cycle of Tao is called Soukoku. This cycle causes to drain and weaken a Tao through physical contact with some possessing an element that hinders it.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: How Does Hell's Paradise Represent Female Characters?

Training Exercises to Improve Tao

Bochu Jutsu Hell's Paradise Tao

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Credit: MAPPA

Mastering Tao requires five training methods of immortality namely, Doin, Shu’itsu, Shuten, Taisoku, and Bochu Jutsu:

  • Doin: In this one has to train through physical exercise and improve the Tao circulation.
  • Shuten: This exercise involves training through pathways of the organs and body.
  • Shu’itsu: This particular exercise relies on meditation and training through stillness.
  • Taisoku: An exercise that involves user training using various breathing techniques.
  • Bochu Jutsu: Considered the most important exercise, it relies on training through sexual intimacy. This training requires a person of the opposite chi and by engaging in sexual intercourse, the chi’s of both Yin and Yang merge resulting in stronger Tao.

ALSO READ: All Hell’s Paradise Arcs in Order: Where to Start Reading

What Are the Different Types of Tao in Hell’s Paradise?

Flower Tao regeneration Hell's Paradise

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Credit: MAPPA

There are essentially two types of Tao showcased in Hell’s Paradise:

Flower Tao

Flower Tao Hell's Paradise

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Credit: MAPPA

This Tao is derived from flowers and helps an individual gain immortality, regenerative abilities, and longevity.

Tensens and artificially created humanoids take great benefit from the Flower Tao as it helps them regenerate during a battle.

However, in the case of human beings, Flower Tao results in a reaction known as Arborification.

Post-arborification, flowers start to bloom from a human’s body and they enter a state of happy trance.

Meanwhile, regeneration looks like vines with flowers restoring the lost limbs.

Interestingly, humans who have Flower Tao go through a similar regenerative process.

However, they are left with vine marks that disappear as the wounded area heals.


Hell's Paradise Gabimaru

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Credit: MAPPA

The perfect fusion of two different Tao results in Hybridization.

This is only possible when a human attempts to acquire the powers of Flower Tao.

However, to achieve hybridization, humans must go through Arborification and defeat death. Having a strong will to survive is vital in order to attain hybridization.

Rien states that this kind of fusion happens rarely as a human emerging victorious after Arborification is nothing but a miracle.

Gabimaru is a fine example of a human achieving hybridization between the Flower Tao and his Tao.

READ MORE: The Strongest Characters in Hell’s Paradise Ranked

Usage of Tao

Tao Lightning Hell's Paradise

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Credit: MAPPA

After the awakening of Tao, the user has access to a sixth sense where they can sense other Tao present around them.

Sensing the Tao allows the user to gather all the details of the person’s attributes like height, weight, and gender.

As Tao is present in non-living things, users can ascertain obstacles around them.

In a battle, Tao comes handy in detecting the opponent’s moves and planning a counterattack accordingly.

Shion Hell's Paradise Tao Power System

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Credit: MAPPA

This is showcased in Shion’s battle against Mu Dan. Blind Shion manages to slice every one of Mu Dan’s stingers and only got a few scratches.

In another instance, Gabimaru is able to sense Gantetsusai’s weak spot which causes him to feel excruciating pain with just a simple kick.

Skilled Tao users can also suppress their Tao to conceal their presence from other users.

Yuzuriha has demonstrated this by maintaining a steady focus on the flow of the Tao by having a calm state of mind.

This technique is essential if the user is planning to carry out sneak attacks.

Tao also enhances a user’s combat techniques. Any kind of physical attacks or weapons fused with Tao is way more powerful than they would normally be without.

Shion and Sagiri note that Tao attacks cause more severe damage than normal attacks. Fatal damage can be inflicted even if no vital parts are attacked.

This power goes beyond close combat as Tao can be used to emit it from the bodies using hands.

Zhu Jin Tao Hell's Paradise

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Credit: MAPPA

It is an invisible attack that can emit by merely pointing a finger at the target. This is a sennin-level technique and is nearly impossible for a standard Tao user to execute.

A master Tao can use a powerful form of Tao and convert it into lightning. The Tao lightning can inflict some serious damage to the opponent’s body.

Gabimaru felt the powerful lightning Tao while fighting Zhu Jin. It was so intense that Gabimaru could not execute his Ninpo: Hiboshi.

Disadvantages of Tao

Tao Power System Hell's Paradise

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Credit: MAPPA

Using Tao can take a toll on the body of the user. Since Tao is the life force of the user, increased usage of it can wear down the body.

Moreover, incorrect use of Tao can even lead to the death of the user.

Tao is linked to the mind of the person, so it can lead to amnesia and the only way to heal is through Tao restoration.

The usage of this power requires an incredible level of focus, and any distraction can disrupt the flow, leading to tragic consequences.

Even talking is a notable disruption for a person’s Tao. Only people with high control over their minds can use Tao effectively.

Get the latest news and trends direct to your feed by following us on Twitter @epicstreamanime.

READ NEXT: Who Dies and Who Survives in Hell's Paradise?

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We should give importance to our oral health. Good oral health is essential for eating, breathing, and speaking, and contributes to general health, well-being, and confidence in relationships with others. Besides, the mouth is not a separate system from the rest of our body. In fact, it is one of the main routes of entry and exit of various microorganisms in our body that can multiply and cause infection in our mouth and at a systemic level.

Studies say that we neglect our oral health a lot. Oral diseases affect 3,500 million people worldwide, which is almost half of the entire population of the planet. It has a global average prevalence of 45% and the total number of oral disease cases is higher than mental, cardiovascular, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and cancer combined, according to WHO in its 2022 Oral Health Report. For example only gingivitis, which causes swollen and bleeding gums, affects one in two people in Spain.

Oral diseases affect 3.5 billion people worldwide, which is almost half of the entire population of the planet.

The fact that such pathologies are very common tends to normalize them, but bleeding from the mouth is not normal, but rather a warning sign. Gingivitis is a precursor to periodontitis, a serious gum disease that, if left unchecked, can lead to tooth loss. In addition, gum disease is a risk factor for some systemic pathologies, such as heart disease, respiratory infections such as pneumonia or COPD, diabetes, or a risk factor during pregnancy.

In fact, today we know that people with diabetes have a three times higher risk of developing periodontitis. Or that about 40% of pregnant women suffer from gingivitis due to hormonal changes in pregnancy. Awareness about the importance of taking care of our oral health is important.

Today we know that people with diabetes have three times the risk of developing periodontitis.


periodontitis prevention

Researchers point out that poor oral health affects general health as well. There is an increasing number of clinical studies showing the close relationship between oral health and general health and, in particular, on the positive effect that prevention or control of a disease such as periodontitis can have on the risk of occurrence or exacerbation of many diseases Could that go beyond the oral cavity.

For example, a patient with severe gum disease is at increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease. Also, the more severe your gum disease is, the more likely you are to develop diabetes or serious complications of diabetes. Therefore, people with diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory and heart diseases should pay special attention to their oral health. In Spain, 40% of people with high blood pressure are unaware of their condition, and it is estimated that there are 15 million adults with high blood pressure. There are also over 5 million people with diabetes, 45% of whom don’t know they have it.

Patients with severe gum disease are at increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease.

Recent research and consensus of experts have pointed to the important role that oral health professionals can play in the early detection of diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure – taking care of our mouths and going to the dentist can prevent us from suffering from these. can help determine risk. pathology- and in promoting healthy habits among 55% of the population attending 23,500 dental consultations in the country.

Promosalud, a pioneering initiative

In this context, the Spanish Society of Periodontics and Osseointegration (SEPA), with the strategic support of DENTAD, has launched the Promosalud project, a worldwide pioneering initiative, which aims to make the dental clinic an affiliated organization for the improvement of the overall population in health status. Maintains as a health center. Promosalud focuses on early detection from the dental office of those at risk of suffering from diabetes or arterial hypertension, incorporating recommendations and guidelines supported by the scientific societies of cardiology, diabetes, arterial hypertension and periodontics.

A tooth

oral hygiene products


As Dr. Nart states, “Society can derive great economic benefits from the prevention, diagnosis and management of periodontitis, in addition to having positive consequences for oral and general health as well as quality of life”.

“We are convinced of the importance of this project, which has the potential to reach 55% of the adult population who go through dental clinics every year and, with this, can opt for this excellent preventive opportunity for their health. Above, taking into account that a high percentage of these people are unaware of their systemic condition”, says Julio Gion, General Director of Dented Spain.

Society can derive great economic benefits from increased prevention, diagnosis and management of periodontitis.”

Caring for oral health with exclusive and quality formulas

To avoid gingivitis, experts recommend taking care of our oral health and giving importance to gums. Taking care of your mouth means taking care of your health and your body. For this it is necessary to bet on a quality brand such as VITIS, a company specialist in oral health dented. VITIS has a wide range of products specific to different oral health needs, such as the ones that make VITIS Encías. This range for daily use has been specially designed to help treat the swelling and bleeding caused by gingivitis or tender gums. It is made up of VITIS Gum Paste, VITIS Gum Mouthwash and VITIS Brush specific to the delicate gums.

The special formulations of VITIS are developed at the Dentate Research Center, a reference center for oral health research, which ensures the efficacy and quality of its formulas. The Dented Research Center is a venue for research in dental science, oriented towards scientific knowledge and application of this knowledge in the development of solutions for the care and improvement of the oral health of people. And it is that hygiene and oral care are very important, but we must take care of how we do it at home and, above all, finish our hygiene by using a mouthwash with a good composition. In addition to regular visits to the dental clinic, it is up to us to choose the right and most effective products. Our general health will benefit.

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Breathing is becoming increasingly difficult for residents across some areas of the U.S. as wildfires continue to spread across large portions of several Canadian provinces, according to news reports.

"Because of the upper-level winds in the areas involved, exposure to wildfire smoke can even occur if a person is located several hundred miles away from the actual fire," says Clayton Cowl, M.D., a Mayo Clinic pulmonologist and clinical toxicologist.

Ultrafine particles pose health risk

Although wildfire smoke contains some respiratory irritants, such as particulate matter, hydrocarbons and other organic chemicals, Dr. Cowl says the most significant health risk is from ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs.

He adds that, unfortunately, using a standard paper dust mask, while probably better than nothing, does not fully protect the respiratory tract from most particulate matter that becomes airborne. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that an N95 mask may offer some protection if worn properly.

These particles can create nasal congestion and cause eyes to sting and burn. Still, they also can aggravate the respiratory status of people with chronic heart and lung disease — who are at the most significant risk for inhaling these particulates.

"The most vulnerable populations include the elderly, children, pregnant women, and those with chronic lung or heart disease," says Arveen Bhasin, M.D., a Mayo Clinic allergist. "Common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, chest pain, irritated eyes, sneezing and scratchy throat."

Airborne chemicals released during wildfires

All types of smoke inhalation, from cigarettes to campfires, have a common denominator, according to Dr. Cowl: You are breathing in air from combustible products. He says the wildfires consume vegetation, homes, and building structures with plastics and other products that release thousands of airborne chemicals.

"Some of those chemicals are extremely toxic, such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and chlorine-based compounds," says Dr. Cowl. "Most of what can be seen with the human eye involves larger particles that can cause upper respiratory tract irritation. Our respiratory system is equipped to filter much of this, but for those with compromising pulmonary conditions, these exposures may exacerbate their symptoms."

Ways to protect yourself from poor air quality

Dr. Bhasin recommends that people stay indoors, keeping windows and doors closed at home and in the car.

"Run the air conditioner to recirculate clean air, and avoid cigarette smoke or vaping," says Dr. Bhasin. "Do not burn anything in the home, including wood, gas stoves or candles."

Dr. Cowl agrees and says air purifiers can be considered, as can personal respiratory protection. He says the best type of air purifier is one with a high-efficiency particulate air filter. "Use of ozone or ionic air purifiers are not typically suggested for protection from wildfire smoke since they provide minimal protection from the very small particles released, referred to as ultrafine particles of less than 0.3 microns in diameter," says Dr. Cowl.

Dr. Bhasin reminds people that taking medications as prescribed and having refills available is essential. Keep an eye on local air quality reports, and if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, it's important to seek medical care.

"Maintaining adequate oral hydration by drinking water and other fluids is also important to preserve the function of cilia, the microscopic broomlike cells in the airways that help sweep out particulate contaminants inhaled from the environment," adds Dr. Cowl.

The health effects of breathing in smoke may include:

  • Asthma attack
  • Chest pains
  • Coughing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Runny nose
  • Scratchy throat
  • Stinging eyes
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble breathing normally
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath

See the U.S. Air Quality Index to view areas currently affected by smoke and fire. Follow local media reports for up-to-date information on your area.

This article was originally published on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Antibiotics may help to treat asthma under certain circumstances, such as when a bacterial infection is present. However, the potential benefits may not outweigh the risks of side effects and antibiotic resistance.

Asthma is a chronic condition in which the airways become narrow and inflamed, making breathing more difficult. The condition affects around 7.8% of people in the United States.

Antibiotics are a type of medication that can treat bacterial infections. Although bacterial infection may play a role in the development of some cases of asthma, experts must conduct more research to determine whether antibiotics can effectively treat asthma.

Overprescribing antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, where bacteria become resistant to a medication. Doctors may weigh up this risk and consider other treatments before prescribing antibiotics.

This article looks at whether antibiotics can treat asthma, when doctors might prescribe them, and how to take antibiotics for asthma. It also looks at safety, side effects, and whether antibiotics might trigger asthma.

Antibiotics are medications that can treat bacterial infections. They either kill bacteria or prevent it from growing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that antibiotics can treat certain bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and strep throat.

However, antibiotics cannot treat all bacterial infections, such as some ear and sinus infections. Antibiotics also cannot treat viruses, such as cold and flu viruses.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), some factors that could cause asthma or increase a person’s risk of developing asthma may include:

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology suggests that bacterial infections can be an asthma trigger. However, they do not cause all asthma cases.

A 2017 study suggests that doctors can treat asthma symptomatically without antibiotics. Although antibiotics may be part of a treatment regimen, doctors may only need to prescribe them when symptoms indicate a bacterial infection.

Can antibiotics trigger asthma?

The CDC does not list antibiotics as a common trigger for asthma.

However, a 2019 research article suggests that taking antibiotics within the first year of life may increase the risk of developing asthma.

The researchers also note a significant link between asthma and the number of times a person takes antibiotics over their lifetime.

Doctors may consider antibiotics as a treatment for asthma when a person has a bacterial respiratory infection.

Doctors may also prescribe antibiotics for severe or treatment-resistant asthma. A large-scale 2021 study found that some people with asthma that is difficult to treat experienced a reduction in symptoms after taking antibiotics.

Which antibiotics would a doctor prescribe?

A 2018 review article and a 2021 article discuss the following antibiotics as potential treatments for asthma:

Which antibiotic is best for asthma?

A 2017 article suggests that azithromycin may be effective in reducing asthma attacks and improving the quality of life of people with severe asthma, compared with placebos.

The researchers suggest that azithromycin may be effective as an additional treatment for people with persistent asthma.

Learn how to manage an asthma attack.

A person should follow their doctor’s guidance when taking antibiotics for asthma.

Since antibiotics are not a standard asthma treatment, a doctor might only prescribe a short course to treat specific respiratory infections that may be exacerbating asthma symptoms. They may also prescribe antibiotics alongside other treatment and management strategies.

Overprescribing antibiotics may lead to side effects and antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a serious health concern. Overuse of antibiotics can allow bacteria to develop defenses against drugs and continue to grow. This can cause some illnesses to become impossible to treat.

According to the CDC, antimicrobial resistance causes 2.8 million infections and over 35,000 deaths per year in the U.S.

Antimicrobial resistance is a broader term to describe resistance to drugs that treat infections caused by bacteria and other microbes.

The CDC highlights the following as potential side effects of antibiotics:

Severe side effects can include:

  • severe allergic reaction, which can be life threatening
  • antibiotic-resistant infection
  • Clostridioides difficile infection, which can lead to serious colon damage and can be life threatening

A person should follow their doctor’s guidance when taking antibiotics. They can inform their doctor of any side effects they experience.

According to the NHLBI, treatments for asthma include:

  • Short-acting beta2-agonists (SABAs): These are quick-relief medications that a person can inhale to help open their airways during an asthma attack.
  • Short-acting anticholinergics: This medication helps to open airways and can benefit people who experience side effects from SABAs.
  • Oral corticosteroids: This medication can reduce airway swelling, which severe asthma symptoms may cause.
  • Corticosteroids in pill or inhalable form: This medication reduces bodily inflammation.
  • Subcutaneous immunotherapy: These are allergy shots that reduce the body’s response to allergens.
  • Leukotriene modifiers: This is a medication in pill form that helps reduce swelling and open the airways.
  • Biologic medicines: A doctor may inject this type of medication into a person to treat severe asthma.
  • Inhaled long-acting bronchodilators: These medications can help prevent the airways from becoming narrow.
  • Inhaled mast cell stabilizers: These help prevent airway swelling, which allergens may cause.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about antibiotics and asthma.

Do antibiotics help asthmatic bronchitis?

Bronchitis is inflammation of the tubes that carry air to and from a person’s lungs. In some cases, asthma can cause this inflammation or occur alongside it.

Antibiotics are not a typical treatment for asthmatic bronchitis. However, doctors may consider antibiotics if a person also has a bacterial infection.

Can antibiotics help an asthma cough?

If a bacterial infection is causing symptoms such as a cough in a person with asthma, a doctor may consider prescribing antibiotics.

However, there is not enough evidence to support the use of antibiotics to treat symptoms of asthma, such as coughing.

Because antibiotics are only able to treat certain bacterial infections, and bacterial infections are not a major cause of asthma, these medications may not be an effective treatment for some people.

In certain cases, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat underlying infections that may contribute to asthma, or in cases where asthma is resistant to other treatments.

However, overuse of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance and can lead to side effects. So a doctor may consider alternative treatment options first.

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He was initially admitted to Samorita Hospital with respiratory ailments on May 7, but was later transferred to DMCH on May 20.

On Jun 1, he was moved to intensive care as his condition deteriorated before being put on life support on Thursday.

Things took a turn for the worse when Serajul suffered a heart attack in the early hours, leading to his death, according to Haque.

Serajul, who never married, was living with his brothers in Dhaka’s Kalabagan after a long stay in the US.

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Summer is a great time of year for many reasons (sunshine alone is something to celebrate). However, just like any other season, life can become overwhelming, especially if you're juggling a mountain of responsibilities and have an increasingly busy schedule.

We believe that by prioritising your wellbeing and indulging in a little self-care, you can make beautiful summer days even more enjoyable, so we've rounded up some simple mindfulness and wellbeing rituals that might help to relax and restore you.

When does summer start? The meteorological first day of summer is always on the first day of June (with summer ending on 31 August).

Start your day outside

In his article, Using Light for Health, Dr Andrew Huberman (PhD), a neuroscientist and the founder of the Huberman Lab podcast, stresses the importance of getting outside first thing in the morning.

"Light directly impacts our mood, our sleep, our ability to wake up and focus, our hormone levels, our immune system and our ability to cope with stress," he explains.

"Viewing sunlight within the first hours of waking (as soon as you can, even if through cloud cover) increases early-day cortisol release (the ideal time for elevated cortisol) and prepares the body for sleep later that night.

"A morning spike in cortisol will also positively influence your immune system, metabolism and ability to focus during the day.

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Start your day outside.

Colin Hawkins//Getty Images

"Further, morning sunlight helps regulate your 'circadian clock' — the body’s mechanism for anticipating when to wake up and go to sleep — and it manages other biological processes like hunger and body temperature.

"On a sunny morning, get outside for 5-10 minutes. You can do more if you have time, and feel free to use the time outside to exercise, walk, eat a light breakfast or journal in the sunlight."

On overcast days, Dr Huberman recommends increasing this time to at least 15-20 minutes. If the weather prevents you from going outside, switch on plenty of bright indoor lights, then get outside as soon as the sun makes an appearance.

Try a simple breathing exercise

No season of the year is exempt from stressful situations, which means it's always a good time to learn coping techniques. In a recent study conducted by Dr David Spiegel (M.D.) at Stanford University, a controlled breathing exercise that emphasises long exhalations was found to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

It's known as 'Cyclic Breathing' or 'Cyclic Sighing', and if done correctly, this extremely soothing technique stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system activity and regulates your breathing, thus helping to reduce stress and aid sleep.

Dr Spiegel advises that just five minutes of daily breathwork and mindful meditation is enough to improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety.

How to try Cyclic Breathing:

  1. Take a deep inhalation through your nose until you feel your lungs are comfortably full.
  2. Take a second, deeper inhale, sipping additional air until you feel your lungs expand to their maximum capacity.
  3. Slowly exhale through your mouth, releasing everything you previously inhaled.
  4. Repeat this cycle 2 - 3 times.

"We know that people who are breathing very rapidly feel more anxious, such as during a panic attack," Spiegel adds. "Controlled breathwork seems to be a straightforward way to do the opposite: lower physiologic arousal and regulate your mood."

peaceful asian woman meditating while sitting in lotus pose on wicker rug in cozy light bedroom at home, feeling relaxed and tranquil during daily meditation practice in morningpinterest icon

Breathing exercises don’t have to be complicated to be effective.

Alexandr Kolesnikov//Getty Images

Stay cool on hot nights

If steamy summer nights and early sunrises sound like a recipe for insomnia to you, we can relate. Not only does heat cause your body temperature to fall more slowly than in cooler months, but more exposure to sunlight can also upset circadian rhythms, making good quality sleep tricky.

“Summer is a very disruptive time for sleep," say the experts at Bed Kingdom. "With longer daylight hours and elevated temperatures, people are always searching for ways to keep cool.

Aside from sleeping with a fan on and wearing little to no pyjamas, there is a slightly more unconventional tip that they suggest trying - putting sheets and pillowcases in the freezer.

Place your bedding into a plastic bag and then into the freezer. A few minutes are all you need to cool the material, and it should stay cold long enough for you to fall asleep - we like the sound of that!

Linen & Cotton Embroidered Sleep Eye Mask

Linen & Cotton Embroidered Sleep Eye Mask
Credit: Country Living Marketplace

Reed Diffuser - Unwind 140ml

Reed Diffuser - Unwind 140ml
Credit: Country Living Marketplace

Chamomile, Lavender & Frankincense Pillow Spray

Chamomile, Lavender & Frankincense Pillow Spray
Credit: Country Living Marketplace

Exercise in the open-air

We all want to be outside in the summer, but how about taking your exercise routine alfresco, too?

"Scientific studies have shown that ‘green exercise’ can improve self-esteem and mood, as well as reduce anxiety disorders and depression," explains the Woodland Trust.

"It’s not just the physiological effects of exercise, such as the release of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin that cause these responses. By comparing different exercise settings, studies showed that regular use of woods or parks for physical exercise reduced the risk of poor mental health, whereas no such pattern was found in non-natural settings like gyms."

Aside from being a great way to increase your Vitamin D (which boosts your immune system, helps fight depression, promotes bone growth and prevents osteoporosis) and alleviate stress, exercising outdoors is generally low-cost, or free!

You could try wild swimming, yoga, paddle boarding, cycling, hiking, running or tennis. If you have some gym equipment at home, you can always take your weights and other accessories outside, too.

uk, essex, harlow, elevated viewpoint of a woman exercising outdoors in her gardenpinterest icon

Getting your exercise outdoors has plenty of benefits.

Gary Yeowell//Getty Images

Cook a seasonal meal

What we eat has a huge impact on our wellbeing, so making the most of seasonal produce by whipping up a new recipe is a guaranteed way to boost your mood.

In an in-depth article with Liz Earle Wellbeing, Toby Geneen, the co-founder and co-head chef at Kindling Restaurant, explains that eating seasonally has more benefits than just being delicious.

“Seasonal food supports what your body needs,” he says. “Summer foods, such as tomatoes and stone fruits, contain high levels of carotenoids, which help protect us against sun damage.

“Summer vegetables are also naturally lighter and have a higher water content helping us to stay cool and hydrated. By contrast, winter veggies tend to be rich in starches. These help to provide the extra energy we need to stay warm in the colder months.”

Better still, fresh seasonal produce is truly tasty and needs little fuss to be transformed into a crowd-pleasing meal.

"When you choose ingredients that are naturally in season, you will get fresher, sweeter produce that tastes better," says Toby. "Nothing compares to the taste of tomatoes grown outdoors and ripened in the late August sunshine.

“Fragrant, sweet and juicy, these tomatoes taste of tomato and need nothing more than some salt and pepper to sing on the plate – a far cry from the red bullets that are imported in December.”

If you're feeling adventurous, why not try growing your own seasonal fruit and vegetables, or perhaps some easy-to-manage herbs? Not only will you get to spend time outdoors, but you'll also feel supremely satisfied when it comes to harvesting time. Or, head to your local farmers' market to see what they have on offer.

Grow Your Own 50 Seeds Kit

Grow Your Own 50 Seeds Kit
Credit: Country Living Marketplace

Grow Your Own Veggies

Grow Your Own Veggies
Credit: Country Living Marketplace

Grow Your Own Herbs Kit

Grow Your Own Herbs Kit
Credit: Country Living Marketplace

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wildfire smoke

As a huge plume of smoke from over 400 Canadian wildfires swept south and turned New York City into a landscape that resembled Mars more than Earth, heart experts warned that air pollution can damage your heart as much as it damages your lungs.

It’s obvious that wildfires can affect breathing and respiratory health, but exposure to this smoke can also cause or worsen heart problems, the American Heart Association said in an alert issued Wednesday.

“Most people think of breathing problems and respiratory health dangers from wildfire smoke, but it’s important to recognize the impact on cardiovascular health, as well,” says Dr. Comilla Sasson, vice president for science and innovation at the American Heart Association and a practicing emergency medicine physician. “Wildfire smoke contains a lot of pollutants, including fine, microscopic particles linked to cardiovascular risk.”

In fact, experts have said that it would be healthier to smoke a 1/2 pack of cigarettes than it would be to simply breathe in wildfire smoke all day.

The dangers of wildfire smoke

Breathing in smoke can have immediate health effects, including:

  • Coughing
  • Trouble breathing normally
  • Stinging eyes
  • A scratchy throat
  • Runny nose
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • An asthma attack
  • Tiredness
  • Fast heartbeat

Older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with preexisting respiratory and heart conditions are more likely to get sick if they breathe in wildfire smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Previous research has demonstrated that the cost can be heavy.

In one 2020 study, researchers found that exposure to heavy smoke during wildfires raised the risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests by up to 70 percent. That risk was elevated in both men and women, among adults aged 35 to 64 and in communities with lower socioeconomic status.

Earlier findings showed that wildfire smoke exposure was associated with increased rates of emergency room visits for heart disease, irregular heart rhythm, heart failure, pulmonary embolism and stroke.

Those ER visits increased 42 percent for heart attacks and 22 percent for ischemic heart disease within a day of exposure to dense wildfire smoke. This was especially concerning for adults 65 and up, according to that study, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Tips for Protecting Yourself

Here are the measures you can take to protect yourself from wildfire smoke.

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Itchy eyes, a scratchy throat and a cough probably come as no surprise when the air is thick with wildfire smoke. But poor air quality can contribute to less expected symptoms, too.

It is not uncommon for people to also experience chest pain, headaches and dizziness, according to Dr. Gregory Wu, a critical care medicine physician at Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York.

“We do encourage folks, if they’re having chest pain or chest tightness, that they should be seeking care,” Wu said. “And similarly, if folks are having headaches or dizziness, that’s another good reason to seek care, or at least get indoors.”

Persistent headaches should prompt medical attention, he added, especially if someone is not normally prone to headaches or the headache feels worse than usual.

Follow live coverage of U.S. air quality conditions and Canada’s wildfires

Chest pain, in particular, may be an indicator of something more serious, like a heart attack, he said.

It’s not entirely clear why poor air quality increases heart attack risk. One hypothesis, according to the American Heart Association, is that, because wildfire smoke contains fine particulate matter that can constrict blood vessels and increase blood pressure, it could potentially lead to heart attack.

A study published in 2020 in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that exposure to heavy smoke during wildfires raised the risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests by up to 70%.

The headaches or dizziness may be the direct result of breathing in pollution, like carbon monoxide, from the smoke, said Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, a pulmonologist with the American Lung Association. It’s also possible for people to pass out or experience nausea from inhaling the toxic fumes, he said.

Sleep can also be thrown off because of exposure to wildfire smoke, according to Galiatsatos. That fine particulate matter, he said, can enter the bloodstream, causing inflammation in and around the brain as well as other parts of the body, making it difficult to get rest.

“Even if you’re healthy, you may feel some effects,” he said.

Parents should also keep an eye on how their kids are feeling. Young children are known to become irritable, angry or just overall more moody because of exposure to poor air quality, including from wildfire smoke, Galiatsatos said, adding that the same occurrence is not seen as much with adults.

“The biological reason is not fully understood,” he said. “If children are exposed to things that are toxic, they tend to get more irritable. It’s the same thing seen with a respiratory virus. Maybe they can’t breathe as well or maybe they’re just congested.”

Dr. Maria Wei, a professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, said that wildfire smoke can also cause skin problems.

Wei published a study in JAMA Dermatology in 2021 that found short-term exposure to wildfire smoke can cause flare-ups of skin disorders, such as psoriasis and eczema, including in people who did not previously have a diagnosis. The flare-ups are not always immediate, she added — they can show up four or five weeks later.

People have also reported itchy skin, acne and rashes on their hands and face from poor air quality, she said.

Long-term exposure can also cause wrinkles. “It’s well known that air pollution can cause premature aging of the skin,” she said.

Particulate matter from smoke can penetrate the skin, but Wei also expects there may be an overactive immune response from the pollution that kicks in, causing flare-ups.

Air purifiers may be effective in preventing skin irritation from air pollution, Wei said. Wearing long sleeves and pants as well as moisturizers can also act as barriers for the skin.

Galiatsatos recommended that people stay indoors as much as possible to prevent symptoms from wildfire smoke. If people need to go outside, they should wear a tight-fitting mask, like an N95 respirator, he said.

CORRECTION (June 8, 2023, 4:30 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misattributed comments about air quality and heart health. They are from Dr. Gregory Wu, a critical care medicine physician at Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, not Dr. Benjamin Wu, a pulmonologist and critical care physician at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

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Relationships are hard. Couples may face many challenges, such as family drama, scheduling and time management issues, the blending of two families, and disagreements. But what happens when a rare disease, medical complications, and comorbidities enter the picture?

In September 2020, I almost died from multiorgan failure caused by the rare disease atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). I endured 18 blood transfusions, dialysis, meningitis vaccines, plasmapheresis, chemotherapy (which I still receive), and much more.

Living with a rare disease is stressful, to say the least. I always feel ill to some degree. And I have several rare and unique complications, including hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, May-Thurner syndrome, osteoarthritis, and several daily symptoms from eculizumab, the chemotherapy drug that helps me stave off a relapse.

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banner image for Shalana Jordan's column Walking on Water, which features a woman on the left walking on a greenish body of water.

Navigating relationships with a chronic illness

Naturally, these daily issues can strain a relationship. Going through a terrifying medical experience is traumatic for the patient, but our partners and caregivers also experience trauma that many people don’t talk about. Even my closest friends worry about my well-being and get nervous when I experience an illness or new issue.

I assume that many caregivers and partners feel a sense of helplessness regarding their loved one’s illness. To watch someone suffer and be unable to administer a medication or treatment that’ll make them better must be frustrating.

I’ve had a partner tell me that he’s experienced several moments of fear, particularly when I’ve faced severe, uncontrolled spikes in blood pressure, extreme pain from cycle complications, surgeries, and rough times immediately after chemotherapy.

Each time he felt a pit in his stomach. Nervousness so intense it made him queasy. Anxiety that made him unable to focus or breathe smoothly. He was truly scared for my life on several occasions. Partners and caregivers can absolutely experience post-traumatic stress disorder from a loved one’s medical issues.

Health complications can also affect intimacy. Extreme fatigue, chronic pain, medication side effects, hormonal changes, and severe menstrual cycle changes may hinder or completely prevent it.

In my case, my uterus was severely damaged during my initial aHUS attack. But we didn’t know the severity until I began receiving heparin during outpatient dialysis. It triggered a menstrual cycle that lasted more than nine months. That, along with constant cramping, migraines, and nausea, completely shut down any chances of intimacy for me.

Months of medications and hormone changes led to anxiety and worsening uncontrolled pain. And I had to attend multiple doctor appointments for invasive, traumatic, and painful exams and procedures. In the final six weeks of this ordeal, I gained 50 pounds. The rapid weight gain affected my breathing, blood pressure, stamina when walking, and self-esteem, pushing me into a deep depression.

All of these consequences finally culminated in a hysterectomy in July 2021, which removed my uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes and was followed by a long and complicated 12-week recovery process. Obviously, no intimacy was allowed, and neither were lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, squatting, or kneeling. Many women experience muscle or nerve damage following a hysterectomy, which can make intimacy difficult or even impossible. Luckily, I didn’t have any permanent nerve damage, but I felt a huge difference in my body for months after the surgery.

This portion of my medical ordeal lasted over a year, and I think it gravely affected my relationship. He was patient and understanding, but he had no way of truly knowing what I was going through, given that he doesn’t experience female reproductive issues.

It was also hard for me to communicate the severity of my health issues because, in the medical world, reproductive complications are rarely talked about. I was never warned it could be an issue with aHUS. But upon further investigation in an aHUS Facebook group, many female patients have experienced similar complications.

Relationships can definitely be tested and pushed to the brink when a rare illness is involved. It can cause fear, stress, frustration, anxiety, and even PTSD for the patient and the partner alike. Patience and open communication are two of the most important factors in maintaining a relationship while facing medical woes.

Note: aHUS News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of aHUS News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to aHUS.

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Medically reviewed by Elle Markman, PsyD

Trypophobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by an irrational and intense fear of or discomfort with clusters of holes, bumps, or repetitive patterns. As of 2023, this condition is not recognized as a distinct entity by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, 5th Ed. (DSM-5), which guides clinical practice in psychiatry and mental health. However, researchers estimate that up to 14% or more of the population experience some form of aversion to or fear of stimuli associated with trypophobia.

There’s still debate about whether trypophobia is a distinct mental health condition, but treatment used for anxiety and phobias can help reduce symptoms. Therapy is usually the primary form of treatment.


Trypophobia is a type of phobia: an extreme and irrational fear of a specific trigger or set of triggers. In this case, the triggers are objects and patterns dominated by clusters of holes, bumps, or nodules. People with trypophobia experience a combination of psychological and physical symptoms when exposed to patterns like these.

Psychological effects of trypophobia include:

  • Avoidance of patterns or stimuli that trigger attacks

  • Feelings of disgust or revulsion

  • A feeling of intense, irrational fear and discomfort

  • Anxiety

  • Panic attacks (brief episodes of sudden, intense, almost-paralyzing fear around a situation that doesn't actually present a high level of danger)

Trypophobia also triggers a response in the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS regulates the body’s involuntary (automatic) processes, like heart rate, sweating, and breathing.

This can cause symptoms like:

Trypophobia Causes

Your amygdala is the emotional and motivational center of your brain. When you experience fear, the activity in your amygdala changes in response to the perceived threat. Phobias occur when the fear response outweighs the potential threat of specific triggers. They're usually caused by a combination of genetics, previous traumas, learned responses, and underlying mental health conditions.

Researchers aren’t sure about the exact causes of trypophobia, though some believe they may be an overreaction to threatening patterns found in nature. This overreaction might be an evolutionary response to patterns that signified the presence of parasites or infectious diseases.

Clusters of round shapes or holes or repetitive patterns can trigger trypophobia responses.

Common triggers include:

Risk Factors

Some populations have a higher risk of developing trypophobia. For example, this condition can be more common and chronic in people assigned female at birth. There also seems to be a genetic link: the condition is more common in people with a family history and learned responses of trypophobia.


Diagnosing trypophobia involves a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health professional, like a psychiatrist or psychologist. The main difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is that a psychiatrist is more likely to prescribe medication, while psychologists are more likely to practice psychotherapy.

Trypophobia is not recognized by the DSM-5. As a result, there’s no established method of diagnosing the condition. Healthcare providers generally try to identify potential signs of the condition and rule out other potential causes of symptoms, such as:

  • Panic disorder: An anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent panic attacks

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): A mental health condition characterized by repetitive thoughts or behaviors to soothe anxiety

  • Central nervous system (CNS) tumors: Tumors in the brain or spinal cord

  • Schizophrenia: A chronic brain disorder that often causes delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech or behavior

  • Agoraphobia: A fear of being in public places, where it's hard to escape or where help might not be available

A healthcare provider will ask about your medical history, including any family history of trypophobia, medications you’re taking, and physical and mental health conditions. The psychiatric evaluation might include a rating scale like the Trypophobia Questionnaire. This questionnaire measures your responses to potentially triggering images.

Diagnostic criteria for a specific phobia can be helpful when diagnosing trypophobia.

This criteria includes:

  • Immediate fear or anxiety when exposed to triggers

  • Avoidance of triggers for at least six months

  • Impaired daily functioning (for example, impaired social and occupational functioning)

Trypophobia Treatment

Trypophobia is consistent with the DSM-5’s definition of a specific phobia. Therefore, treatment will likely include approaches used to treat other phobias, including behavioral therapy and medications. The goal is to reduce symptom severity and frequency.

Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with exposure therapy is the frontline treatment for specific phobias and is often indicated for trypophobia.

CBT focuses on changing your thinking and behaviors related to trypophobia. It includes strategies to reduce anxiety, such as mindfulness techniques and breathing exercises, as well as reinforcing the safety of triggers.

CBT is often paired with exposure therapy, which involves exposing you to triggers in controlled environments. Avoiding triggers can prevent symptoms, but it can increase fear and worsen symptoms over time. Exposure therapy helps break the fear-avoidance cycle.

Types of exposure therapy include:

  • Imaginal exposure: Imagining the trigger in vivid detail

  • Interoceptive exposure: Experiencing physical symptoms of anxiety—for example, running—so that you no longer associate those sensations with danger

  • In vivo exposure: In-person exposure to the trigger

  • Virtual reality exposure: Experiencing the trigger using virtual reality technology


Certain medications may also be prescribed for specific phobias like trypophobia. These medications can help reduce symptoms of anxiety related to the phobia.

Beta-blockers, including Lopressor (metoprolol) and Inderal (propranolol), are a class of medications used to reduce high blood pressure and control heart rhythm. They can help treat symptoms like sweating and shakiness caused by phobias, as well as panic attacks.

Benzodiazepines, including Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and Valium (diazepam), are a class of medications that slow your brain and nervous system. They're used to treat anxiety. Like beta-blockers, they can help reduce symptoms of panic attacks.


Stress and anxiety increase your risk of developing trypophobia. Relaxation techniques and other stress-reduction strategies can lower that risk.

Stress-reduction strategies include:

  • Regular exercise: Regular exercise or physical activity improves sleep and can reduce anxiety and stress.

  • Prioritizing sleep: Sleep deprivation (not getting enough sleep) or lack of good quality sleep can affect mood and cognition.

  • Muscle relaxation: Stress tenses muscles and can contribute to chronic pain and fatigue. Things like massage, acupuncture, and hot baths can reduce tension.

  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques like meditation can reduce anxiety and stress.

  • Pleasurable activities: Taking time for things you enjoy, whether it's walking in nature, reading a book, or watching a funny movie, can help you shift from stress to relaxation.

  • Social support: Connection with others can improve your resilience (your ability to recover from challenges).

Related Conditions

Like other anxiety disorders, having trypophobia increases your risk of developing other chronic (long-lasting) mental health conditions.

Conditions associated with trypophobia include:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD): A condition that causes debilitating feelings of depression

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): A condition characterized by a continual state of anxiety or worry

  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD): Anxiety or fear surrounding social situations

  • Panic disorder: An anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent panic attacks

  • Bipolar disorder (BP): A mood disorder with symptoms that range from emotional highs (mania/hypomania) to extreme lows (depression)

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): A mental health condition characterized by repetitive thoughts or behaviors to soothe anxiety

Living With Trypophobia

Trypophobia can significantly affect your quality of life. This condition does not always resolve with treatment, so consistent support and monitoring is essential. Research suggests that 80% to 90% of people who have exposure therapy respond to treatment.

Other recommendations for managing trypophobia include:

  • Seeking social support from family and friends

  • Joining support groups for people living with phobias or chronic conditions, either in-person or virtually

  • Researching advocacy organizations, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness

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After his Younger Brother Suffered a Heart Attack, a Shark River Hills Man Improves his Cardiac Health at Monmouth Medical Center

Michael Reed

Michael Reid is shown with Cardiac Rehabilitation RN’s, from left, Trever Ralph, Anne Nives and Mallory Collins.

Long Branch, NJ, June 8, 2023 – June is National Men’s Health Month, an observance created to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases such as heart disease, cancer and depression.

For Shark River Hills resident Michael Reid, it was heart disease awareness raised by his younger brother’s heart attack at age 48 and encouragement from his middle brother that led him to see a doctor about his own heart health. “My doctor sent me to Monmouth Medical Center for a cardiac CT scan, which showed a 94 percent blockage in one coronary artery, and 50 percent blockage in two other arteries.”

A restaurant general manager for more than 30 years, Reid, 57, underwent a cardiac catheterization at Monmouth Medical Center’s (MMC) sister hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick last July, where a stent was placed to open the blockage. He then turned to MMC’s Joel Opatut Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program, which is designed for individuals recovering from heart and lung disease.

Complicating his recovery was his long COVID diagnosis in November, which caused chronic fatigue as well as vision, hearing and short-term memory loss. “Long COVID is very serious—I was sleeping 12 hours a day and had to really push myself to get out of bed,” he says. “Now, thanks to the kind, dedicated and caring staff at Monmouth Medical Center, I am getting my life back.”

“These people really care about you—some people just go through the motions, but here they know everyone by name and they truly care about every patient,” he adds. “They are so extraordinarily kind; I know I have memory issues, and they are so patient and listen to my stories over and over.”

The Joel Opatut Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program is the first program in Monmouth County to be certified for both cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Certification recognizes that programs reviewed by the national AACVPR board meet the highest standards of care, including a therapeutic plan, intervention and evaluation, certification of staff, preparedness for medical emergencies and physician involvement, explains RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group cardiologist Ajay Shah, M.D., Medical Director of Cardiac Rehab.

“The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Monmouth Medical Center is designed for individuals like Mr. Reid who are recovering from heart disease, as well as individuals who wish to improve their cardiac health through disease prevention and health promotion,” he says. “Through education, exercise and counseling, participants receive instruction to prevent or decrease risk factors for developing heart disease.”

For Reid, the benefits of the program include significant weight loss and gain in strength.

“A year and a half ago, I weighed 342 pounds, and now I’m down to 238,” he says. “I have seen unbelievable improvement; when I first joined the program I started by lifting 5-pound weights, and now I am lifting 40-pound weights and doing an hour of cardio training every day.”

And to give back and help raise awareness of the debilitating effects of Long COVID, he volunteers with Pause to Thrive, an organization MMC has partnered with for more than two years on the wellness retreats offered free to those in the community coping with long-term effects of COVID-19.

Reid serves as a mentor to assist Pause to Thrive’s goal of providing individuals an opportunity to personally take charge of their health and move forward after experiencing physical and mental health challenges from illness and disease, a role he unofficially holds at MMC as well.

“I give pep talks to encourage other patients,” he says. “Everyone needs positive reinforcement, and we can all use help and encouragement, which is something I get every day at Monmouth Medical Center.”

For more information about the Joel Opatut Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center or to schedule an appointment, call 732.923.7454. For a referral to an MMC cardiologist, call 732.440.7336.

CONTACT: Kathy Horan
(732) 546-6317
[email protected]

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Wildfire smoke from Canada is making its way across the United States, finally making its way close to home on Thursday.

Louisville Metro has been placed under a Code Orange Air Quality Alert, meaning the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups. The alert is in effect through Friday.

Health officials state people who may have respiratory problems, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, may be affected by the amount of smoke in the air.

People may feel irritation in their eyes, nose, throat and lungs and may face increased risk of respiratory infection.

“We’re seeing patients we would normally see this time of year,” Dr. Wes Sublett, Family Allergy and Asthma Director of Clinical Research said. “But there’s patients we normally take care of and their symptoms are increased because of the fine particulate pollution.”

Sublett said there is a cumulative affect to breathing the smoke and he expects to see more patients experiencing problems in the days to come.

“It’s not great outside right now,” severe asthma patient Ty Adams said. “Typically, it just makes it a little harder to breathe.” To protect his health, Adams said he is staying indoors.

He has given up mowing and walking his dogs until the air clears.

Rachel Keith with UofL Health said people may want to limit their time outdoors or keep an inhaler nearby if they are in a more sensitive group.

“People with respiratory disease can tell when it’s impacting them in a way that they need their rescue inhaler or more of their treatments,” Keith said. “If you do what you typically do and it’s not helping you, and are having air hunger and an asthma attack, seek treatment. Also watch for signs and symptoms of a heart attack.”

Long-term exposure to air pollution is also associated with several chronic health conditions.

Any N-95 masks people may have can also help limit exposure to air particles that can cause inflammation.

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As wildfires continue to burn in several provinces, smoky skies across parts of the country are prompting recommendations from health officials to wear face masks to avoid inhaling harmful smoke.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told reporters on Wednesday morning that he was feeling the impacts of the smoky air and encouraged people, especially those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, to wear an N95 mask.

“So, for all of these people, including others that may want to protect themselves against the bad consequences of bad quality air, wearing an N95 mask is the recommended procedure by health authorities," Duclos said on Wednesday.

He noted while wearing a mask is a personal choice, he still recommends Canadians wear one if they're outdoors, as the air quality is among the worst in the world.

“But we also know that these consequences will be worse, as the extent of the bad air quality continues. We are told by firefighters and other health officials that, unfortunately, the situation will continue for a few more days.”


As of Wednesday evening, several major cities across the country are reporting a moderate- to high-risk on the Air Quality Health Index including Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Toronto and Ottawa. What's especially harmful about the current air quality in most regions are the extremely small particles—called fine particulates—that can travel into the lungs when we breathe, explains Joe Fida, CIO of Canadian air purifier company Blade Air.

"It is generally not healthy because it can cause inflammation, swelling—there's a lot of very adverse effects from it and the other problem is that they stay airborne for a very long time," Fida told in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Fida explains these fine particulates, known as PM 2.5, are 2.5 microns in diameter, however, smaller particles can travel further distances and contaminate the air.

"Of course (larger) particulates still travel about 30 to 100 kilometres from the fire but when you look at the fine particulates, they can travel for thousands of kilometres—minutes to hours of airborne travel. But then when you talk about ultra fine particulates, that's several days or weeks they can be airborne and travel; this is what's causing a lot of the pollution downwind of where the fires are occuring."

Dr. Shawn Aaron, respirologist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, told in a phone interview on Wednesday fine particulates that are swirling in the air in high concentrations can enter into a person's lungs and travel into their bloodstream causing the body to react in an inflammatory way.


Everyone can be made vulnerable to the effects of inhaling wood smoke, says Aaron. Instant symptoms of smoke inhalation can include stinging, watery eyes, and excess mucus production in the throat and nose.

For those who breathe in wood smoke for longer periods of time or have a pre-existing respiratory condition like asthma, Dr. Aaron said the body's airway tubes that bring air into the lungs can become swollen and tight, causing issues like coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath.

Additionally, inhaling wood smoke can also trigger an asthma attack in those with a history of lung disease or other chronic respiratory illness.

"The short term impacts of breathing in smoke can actually end up in an asthma or COPD attack where you actually become very short of breath and your airway spasms and you have to see a physician or go to the emergency department," he said.

Aaron adds long-term effects can include blood clots which could lead to angina or heart attacks. Additionally, prolonged exposure to wood smoke can also damage the body's airway cells that break down mucus produced in the lungs and allow the body to properly breathe and clear the lungs. Smoke can "paralyze" these airway cells, allowing the body to clog with mucus and leaving it vulnerable to other infections and bacteria.

"We see increased lung infections and increased risk of pneumonia for days after higher pollution days like today," Aaron said.


By using a face mask when outdoors, specifically an N95 mask, Canadians can reduce their risk of respiratory harms, said Aaron.

N95 masks are used to protect against 95 per cent of particulates which is why they're the recommended face mask, he said, however cloth or paper face masks can provide some mild protection against wildfire smoke.

"You're going to be exposing yourself to a lot fewer of these microscopic dust particles if you're wearing an N95 and that'll be a lot better than if you're wearing your cloth mask or paper mask," Aaron said.

Despite this, he recommends everyone stay indoors and avoid going outside if they can. Aaron says since N95 face masks can protect from fine particulates, they may not be able to fully protect people from volatile gasses being produced by the fires that continuously pollute the air.

For those remaining indoors with the windows and doors shut, additional air filtration can also ensure the indoor air quality remains clean, Fida recommends.

"Even after the pandemic we've seen many countless air threats already in just a few years. Every time you turn around, there's something else threatening our air quality," Fida said.

Having an installed air filtration system like a furnace can be especially useful during high-risk air quality warnings; however portable air purifiers can also be a more affordable option to keep the air in the home purified.  

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The cloud of smoke inundating the East Coast on Wednesday — fueled by more than 400 active fires burning across Canada, with more than half of them considered “out of control” — underscored how climate change’s threat to human health can transcend national boundaries.

Dozens of East Coast counties issued health warnings as air-quality measures hit their worst marks in years, or even decades, prompting many elderly Americans and schoolchildren to shelter inside.

The shroud above the Northeast prompted public health authorities to convene emergency meetings, hospitals to prepare for a possible uptick in patients and lawmakers to again call for legislation to tamp down the risks of a warming world. The acute public health threat posed by the fumes, which carry dangerous gases and fine particles that can embed in people’s lungs and bloodstream, coupled with the transformation of major cities’ skylines punctured many Americans’ sense of invulnerability.

“Climate change is real. It is here. The extreme weather and disasters like these wildfires, thousands of miles away, land right here in our great city and impact our health,” New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan said at a news conference Wednesday morning, urging residents to stay indoors, wear masks if needed outdoors and take other precautions. City officials said the air was the worst in more than 50 years — with an Air Quality Index score Wednesday that at one point reached 484, signifying “hazardous” conditions — and would likely last several days.

Wildfire smoke has posed a growing health risk in the United States for years, with Western states repeatedly reeling from fires and residents attempting to cope by purchasing personal air filters, staying indoors and adopting other ad hoc solutions. In interviews on Wednesday, federal experts touted guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to stay safe. But the smoke enveloping the East Coast arrives at a moment when many Americans have tuned out warnings from public health officials in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Many people in affected areas continued their usual routines despite the intense haze, scratchy throats and other manifestations of the smoky conditions.

Jackie Dehart, who works at a coffee shop in the Flatiron District in Manhattan, said that she had seen many customers lingering in the shop’s outdoor seating area. “It feels apocalyptic,” said Dehart about the orange-ish smoke. “But a friend eased my fears when they told me that forest fires are natural and good for the forests.”

Health officials stressed that wildfire smoke should not be inhaled by anyone and could lead to short- and long-term complications. Officials said they were most worried about vulnerable groups such as people with lung disease, diabetes or Alzheimer’s or who are pregnant.

“These particles cause inflammation in the lungs, but they also pass through into the bloodstream. They embed themselves in the walls of our blood vessels, and they still have inflammation there as well,” said John Balbus, the acting director of the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity at the Department of Health and Human Services. “For somebody who has really bad heart disease, they can trigger a heart attack — but for everybody, they can lead to inflammation and increase the threat of what we call atherosclerosis, of hardening of the arteries.”

The warnings were echoed at the U.S. Capitol, where lawmakers said they shared public health experts’ concerns and called for legislation to combat climate change.

“I urge every single American and Canadian impacted by the smoke to take precautions to stay safe and follow public health guidelines in their communities,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor.

It may take time to fully understand the impact of the current smoke cloud on the Eastern Seaboard, said Aaron Bernstein, a physician who leads the CDC’s center for environmental health.

“When you breathe in wildfire smoke, you can get sick on the same day — many people do,” Bernstein said. “But we absolutely do see effects several days [later] after people breathe it.”

The smoke plaguing the Eastern United States has been sparked by devastating blazes that have upended life from coast to coast in Canada, swallowing homes and other structures, and forcing more than 100,000 people in nine of the country’s 13 provinces and territories from their homes since early May, according to officials from Natural Resources Canada.

As of Wednesday, more than 2,200 wildfires had burned so far this year, according to Canadian officials. In the Atlantic province of Nova Scotia, unusually intense blazes this year have already scorched more land than has been burned in the last 10 years combined.

“This is a scary time for a lot of people,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters at a news conference on Monday, promising to do “whatever it takes to keep people safe.”

If fire activity continues at the current pace, Canadian officials said this week, scientific modeling shows that Canada is on track to experience the worst wildfire season in its recorded history.

“People have said, ‘Well, it’s a new normal.’ No, there is no such thing as a new normal,” said Werner Kurz, senior research scientist with Natural Resources Canada. “The only thing that’s normal right now is that with climate change the situation is going to get progressively worse.”

The Canadian fires have also spawned some of the smokiest conditions in cities such as New York, Detroit and elsewhere that have been seen over the past two decades, said Marshall Burke, an associate professor in the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University.

Scientists have detailed how a warming world can fuel more — and more intense — fires. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of some of the planet’s foremost researchers, has said that unless humans drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels, wildfire seasons are likely to grow longer and that more area will burn.

Lisa Patel, executive director of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, which raises awareness about the health effects of climate change, said at the current rate, wildfire smoke could be the predominant form of air pollution many humans breathe by the end of the century.

“This is a reminder of what many of us in the health world have been saying for a long time: Climate change is going to affect all of us,” she said.

West Coast-based officials said that images of the smoke-shrouded East Coast felt disturbingly familiar.

“A lot of us are remarking on that it’s [like] a transformational day in San Francisco three years ago, when it never got light … [and] felt like being on the surface of Mars,” said Wade Crowfoot, California’s natural resources secretary.

In New York City, physicians grappled with the eerie sensation of being in a dust bowl. Ronald Crystal, a pulmonologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, said he could “barely see” nearby buildings out of his office window, and he was worried about the health effects of the bad air on some of his patients.

Experts on Wednesday said they were encouraging many of the same tactics that were recommended to fight the coronavirus pandemic, such as filtering the air indoors and wearing well-fitting masks as needed.

“A lot of the covid recommendations hold in this situation as well,” said Peter DeCarlo, an associate professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins University, although he noted that Americans in areas affected by wildfire smoke should keep their homes’ windows and doors closed, rather than air them out, as experts encouraged them to do to reduce covid risks. DeCarlo also suggested that people in cars keep their windows closed and recirculate the air in hopes of removing particles through the car’s air filters.

The experts acknowledged that some Americans had grown skeptical of public health advice in the wake of the covid outbreak.

“It’s unfortunate a mask became so politicized during the pandemic,” said Linsey Marr, an environmental engineer at Virginia Tech. “A good-quality mask … will definitely protect your health and reduce your exposure.”

Marr said that a mask could help remove particles from the air but cautioned that it could not stop all “smelly gases,” which is why some people “may still smell smoke” even when wearing a well-fitting, high-quality face covering.

“The mask needs to allow ... oxygen to get through so you can breathe the air. But that doesn’t mean it’s not working,” she said.

Lauren Cohen was one of those masked New Yorkers. She is 28 weeks pregnant, and her doctor advised her to wear a mask and not attend the Yankees game Wednesday night — a game later postponed.

“The world is burning, like this is not good, we need to pay attention to climate change and all of the things that are causing this,” Cohen, 40, said. “It truly felt, like, apocalyptic last night, and it was like a glimpse into, if we don’t do anything, then this is what the world is going to look like.”

Amanda Coletta contributed to this report.

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Smoke caused by more than 200 out-of-control wildfires in Canada is producing unhealthy and even hazardous levels of air pollution throughout North America.

The smoke is spreading throughout much of the United States, especially the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and parts of the Southeast. The National Weather Service has described parts of the country as looking like Mars, shrouded in an orange haze that blocks the sunlight and sends temperatures to unexpected lows.

Areas in the northern United States have been most dramatically affected, with New York City briefly ranked by as the most polluted major city in the world and Detroit in the No. 2 spot. “But the smoke and associated pollutants from fires in Northern Quebec are impacting as far south as Charlotte, North Carolina, and even farther because of the wind patterns,” says Rebecca Saari, PhD, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. “So you’re seeing air quality at unhealthy levels in many areas.”

Wildfires not only leave a trail of physical destruction in their immediate path, they also create a wave of health problems as harmful particulate matter and toxic gasses are carried through the air.

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According to experts, the best way to prevent breathing in the harmful particles from wildfire smoke is to stay indoors. But what can you do indoors to further minimize exposure?

As the thick and hazardous smoke from the wildfires in Quebec and Nova Scotiathreatens millions of Americans, it’s inevitable for the smoke to infiltrate your home through cracks and imperfect seals. Here are some tips from the Environmental Protection Agency on how to protect indoor air quality.

- Besides keeping all your doors and windows closed, turn off any ventilation systems that bring outdoor air inside, such as Energy Recovery Ventilators.

- If you have an HVAC/AC unit, check that your filters are high-quality, up-to-date and set to "recirculate mode" to avoid bringing in smoke from outside.

- If you have a window unit air conditioner, check that it's sealed to the window correctly and as tightly as possible.

- Consider investing in portable air purifiers, placing one in each room. If purchasing one is not an option, the EPA has instructions on how to make your own with a filter, a box fan, and tape, clamps or a bungee cord.

- Keep a supply of N95 respirator masks on hand.

- Lastly, try to avoid activities that would add more particles to the air in your home, like smoking, burning candles, spraying aerosol products, vacuuming, or frying food.

SEE MORE: How to protect pets from wildfire smoke

The issue is the very fine particulate matter that gets inhaled. Breathing that in, even in small amounts, should be avoided, according to experts.

"The key message really is to really limit your time outdoors to the extent possible, to stay indoors as much as possible. Protect the air in your car, in your home. Really try to keep the smoke from coming in," said William Barrett with the American Lung Association.

Wildfire smoke can cause symptoms like sneezing and watery or burning eyes, phlegm or a wheezing cough. It can make breathing difficult or aggravate a person's asthma. For certain cardiovascular patients, it can lead to stroke or heart attack.

If you have to go outdoors, these are some tips to keep in mind:

- If you’re in a car, put the air on the recirculate setting.

- Wear an N95 respirator mask.

- Limit physical activity and avoid doing anything strenuous.

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A MAN who died of brain cancer was misdiagnosed with anxiety and told to "breathe into a paper bag" to ease his symptoms.

Keith Evans was 21 when he collapsed during a suspected panic attack.

Keith Evans shortly before he died of brain cancer


Keith Evans shortly before he died of brain cancerCredit: SWNS
Dad Keith, who was misdiagnosed with anxiety, with his little boy Joel


Dad Keith, who was misdiagnosed with anxiety, with his little boy JoelCredit: SWNS

He then developed painful headaches and was given tools to manage his anxiety.

Weeks later during a visit to his GP, he was referred for an MRI scan where he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma - a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumour.

Despite being given six months to live, Keith survived five and a half years. He died aged 27.

Keith's mum, Lorraine, from Bulkington, Warwickshire, said: "We felt like paranoid parents.

"Although at the time he was interviewing for a new job, we thought this could have caused some unrest, but being told he was having panic attacks seemed odd.

"After multiple occasions where we called 999 we were told the same thing and Keith was given ways to manage his anxiety, including breathing into a paper bag."

Throughout his cancer battle, he raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity while undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.

Lorraine added: "Keith wanted to be one of the five per cent of GBM patients who survive more than five years.

"He made dramatic changes to his lifestyle and took up cycling as he was no longer allowed to drive.

"He made a name for himself within the cycling community.

"A favourite event which came about inspired by his journey was called Ride on Keith.

"He got to take part in the event before coming off his bike due to a seizure in 2015.

"Soon his mobility deteriorated, and a scan showed the tumour had returned."

This weekend, dozens of cyclists are expected to take part in the final bike ride in memory of the father-of-one, who died of brain cancer in October 2015, raising funds for Brain Tumour Research.

The 'Ride on Keith' event, which has raised more than £7,500 since its inception, will take place on June 10.

Among the riders will be Keith's widow, Harriet Evans, and their son, 10-year-old Joel, who was just one when Keith died.

The 25-, 55- and five-mile child-friendly cycle ride will set off from Makins Fishery on Bazzard Road at 8.30am.

We felt like paranoid parents.

LorraineKeith's mum

Lorraine said: "For over a decade, we've helped to raise the profile of brain tumours and worked towards driving more funding to find a cure for the disease, with Keith at the helm of the events when he was alive.

"He achieved so much in the five and a half-years he survived, including cycling 275 miles from London to Paris and covering the 1,000-mile route from Land's End to John O'Groats over a 10-day period - all during treatment.

"Since his death, the event has been a fantastic way to remember him and this year we hope to create lasting memories while raising money for Brain Tumour Research.

"Although this is the last event of its kind, we will continue to work with the charity to raise awareness for more research into the disease."

One in three people know someone affected by a brain tumour.

They kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours since records began in 2002.

Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: "We're grateful to Keith's family for sharing his story.

"It's wonderful to hear of everything Keith achieved after receiving a shocking diagnosis.

My daughter applied for a job at our local chippy - I was outraged by the response
I wear underwear as outerwear - women hate it, it's not my fault their men stare

"His story reminds us that brain tumours are indiscriminate, and they can affect anyone and any age.

"If we are to understand the complexity of each diagnosis, we need more funding to research the disease."

Keen cyclist Keith inspired a decade of charity fundraising


Keen cyclist Keith inspired a decade of charity fundraisingCredit: SWNS
The final 'Ride on Keith' event will take place on June 10


The final 'Ride on Keith' event will take place on June 10Credit: SWNS
Keith and his family, including mum Lorraine


Keith and his family, including mum LorraineCredit: SWNS

What is glioblastoma and what are the symptoms?

A MALIGNANT brain tumour is a cancerous growth in the brain.

Common symptoms include:

  • headaches (often worse in the morning and when coughing or straining)
  • fits (seizures)
  • regularly feeling sick (vomiting)
  • memory problems or changes in personality
  • weakness, vision problems or speech problems that get worse

There are lots of types of brain tumour. They have different names depending on where they are in the brain.

They're also given a number from 1 to 4, known as the grade.

The higher the number, the more serious a tumour is:

  • grade 1 and 2 brain tumours are non-cancerous (benign) tumours that tend to grow quite slowly
  • grade 3 and 4 brain tumours are cancerous (malignant) tumours that grow more quickly and are more difficult to treat

Glioblastomas are grade 4 and are the most common high grade brain tumour in adults.

They grow quickly, are likely to spread and often come back even after being treated.

The main treatments are surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, radiosurgery and carmustine implants.

Source: NHS

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