The simplification of CPR

Guidelines for CPR have eliminated the giving of mouth-to-mouth breaths, partly so people will be more likely to give CPR, and partly because blood flow slows during the time compressions are stopped to give breaths. Maybe that wouldn't be a problem, but most people take longer than just a few seconds — up to 16 seconds in one study — to deliver the breaths. Moreover, added pressure in the chest from breathing into the airways may impede the flow of blood making a return trip to the heart. More »

Keeping cancer from coming back

The question of whether or not cancer survivors should take vitamin or mineral supplements to prevent recurrence cannot be answered conclusively, because there have not been any studies in this area. Until that research is done, we must go by the results of studies of long-term supplement use and how it correlates with advanced or fatal cases of cancer. Those findings can't separate out the pre- and post-diagnosis effects of supplements. (Locked) More »

When eyes get dry and what you can try

Dry, irritated eyes can be caused by a number of conditions, such as certain autoimmune diseases, and are a side effect of certain medications. They are more common in women and older people. There isn't any one specific test to diagnose dry eyes. Most ophthalmologists will as a matter of course examine the eyes. Frequently, though, the eye examination and test results are secondary in the diagnostic workup, especially if the problem is mild. Symptoms and the patient's history are often the key pieces of information in arriving at a diagnosis. The first-line treatment for most people with dry eyes remains an over-the-counter topical treatment of some kind, typically drops. The prescription cyclosporine drops are usually used after patients have tried the over-the-counter products. (Locked) More »

Shingles: Prevention is the way to go

As the immune system weakens with age, the risk of shingles increases. Shingles starts to become more common in our 50s; half of everyone who makes it to age 85 will have experienced shingles some time along the way. But anyone harboring the varicella virus in their nervous system, which is true of most everyone over age 40, and who has an impaired immune system is vulnerable. Federal vaccine officials have recommended that everyone age 60 or older with a healthy immune system be vaccinated against shingles. (Locked) More »