Monthly Archives: October 2012

What is a CPAP?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP therapy is a part of obstructive sleep apnea treatments, and allows a person to breathe without any difficulties during his sleep. In obstructive sleep apnea, air flow is obstructed in a person’s throat. A CPAP machine maintains a higher air pressure in the throat so that air can flow easily.

CPAP Equipment

A CPAP system comprises of a CPAP machine, a CPAP mask and a hose. The hose connects the machine and mask. A CPAP mask is of three types; the first type covers both the nose and throat, the second type covers only the nose and the third type is prongs which can be fixed inside the nose.

Reasons for Using CPAP Therapy

CPAP is one of the most effective sleep apnea treatments, and is usually the first one to be carried out. It can be used as a cure even if the person has severe sleep apnea. It can also be used for individuals suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD).

Effects

  • Daytime sleepiness in decreased.
  • Some people might experience a lower blood pressure.
  • Chances of cardiac problems are reduced.

Risks

  • A person might have nightmares or excessive dreaming in the beginning.
  • The nose may become dry and the throat may become sore.
  • Irritation may develop on the face.
  • A person may suffer from abdominal bloating

Other Similar Machines

There are many other devices similar to a CPAP machine such as an APAP machine or BIPAP machine. A CPAP machine maintains a continuous and constant pressure. An Automatic Positive Airway Pressure or APAP machine adjusts the pressure, and increases it only when a person is experiencing apnea. A Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure or BIPAP machine changes the pressure during inhalation and exhalation, and increases it during apnea.

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Types of Oxygen

There are many types of devices which provide an increased oxygen concentration to a person. The choice of device depends on the amount of oxygen needed.

Oxygen Concentrator

An oxygen concentrator takes up air from the surroundings and separates oxygen from it. This is provided to the patient by means of a nasal cannula. The flow rate can be set with a built in flow meter. An oxygen concentrator is good for people who require long term oxygen therapy (LTOT) because it provides a continuous supply and does not require refilling.

An oxygen concentrator can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet or powered with a battery. Battery powered portable oxygen concentration are easier to use. Portable oxygen concentrators are a convenient form of portable oxygen supply.

Oxygen Bar

An oxygen bar consumes air from the environment and increases the oxygen concentration in it by 30%. This is provided through a headset so that the user does not experience a dried or discomforted nose. An oxygen bar is a great device for individuals who need to be alerted, energized or relaxed. Anyone who is going through stress, does not exercise or has to bear environmental pollution can benefit from this.

Liquid Oxygen

Oxygen changes into a liquid state at extremely low temperatures. When this is warmed, it changes back into a gas, and can be delivered to people. Oxygen in the liquefied state is stored in a vessel, and can also be transferred to portable oxygen cylinders for temporary use. The disadvantage of this method is that tanks must be frequently refilled because liquid oxygen can evaporate.

Compressed Oxygen

Compressed oxygen is stored in a cylinder under high pressure, and provides constant flow. This is used when an occasional supply is needed during physical activities. Compressed oxygen tanks must be handled with extreme care because of the high pressure.

Pessary Placement

Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is a medical condition through which many women go through. A pessary is majorly used as a treatment for POP, and at times is used for stress incontinence and certain gynecologic conditions. It is inserted into the vagina, and can be removed later.

Types

There are many types of pessaries. They are usually made of silicon or inert plastic, and are valuable in many shapes and sizes, and may be supportive or space occupying. The common types of support pessaries are ring, Smith and Gehrung. Space occupying pessaries include donut, cube and Gelhorn. A suitable pessary type is selected after considering the patient’s history, severity, symptoms, uterus, vagina size and sexual activities. The chosen pessary must be large enough to fit comfortably.

Placement

Before a pessary is inserted, the bladder must be emptied. The pessary is then fitted into the vagina, and the patient must determine if it is comfortable or not. Usually there are no complications associated with pessary placement, and the procedure is simple enough. The patient can do it herself once she gets familiar with it. Pessaries must be cleaned regularly.

It must be mentioned that pessaries are not a cure for pelvic organ prolapse. The only thing that is achieved after a pessary placement is that prolapse progression is slowed down. This happens because pessaries provide vagina with the necessary support, and tighten the pelvis muscles. Prolapse condition is improved in many women, and the symptoms disappear in some women.

Risks

There are certain risks associated with pessaries. The most common of these are:

  • Bleeding
  • The vagina wall may develop open sores or wear away
  • The rectum bulges against the vagina or an opening is formed between them

These risks are minimized if the pessary is chosen appropriately.

Living with Bladder Incontinence

Bladder incontinence or urinary incontinence is a very common problem, and is faced by millions of people worldwide. It is found in women and old aged people most often. A person who suffers from bladder incontinence has little or no control over his or her bladder.

If a person is suffering from urinary incontinence and it is affecting his or her daily activities, then a doctor should be consulted and incontinence help should be taken. Many a times, simple changes in lifestyle and basic medical treatments are effective.

Types

Bladder incontinence is of four main types: stress incontinence, urge incontinence, over flow incontinence and mixed incontinence. Stress incontinence is when urine leaks while a person is laughing, sneezing or coughing. Urge incontinence involves a sudden need to empty the bladder, and the person may not have enough time to go to the bathroom. Overflow incontinence is when urine starts dribbling because of a full or near full bladder.  Mixed incontinence is when two or more of the mentioned types are present.

Treatments

Bladder incontinence can be treated in many ways, and is effective for more than 80% of the people. The choice of incontinence treatments depend on the condition and severity. At times, even a few simple changes in diet such as avoiding fluids can prevent urine from leaking. There are also medications and surgical procedures for a severe level of incontinence. People can also make use of other incontinence products such as clamps, cleansers and bladder simulators to help them face the problem.

Bladder training is a great method to cure incontinence. The patient should regularly urinate whether there is a need or not. This will prevent unnecessary leakages.  If a patient is experiencing stress incontinence, then he or she should do Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles. Panty liners can also be used to prevent leakages.

The most important thing is to live a stressful life and not worry about the situation. Just this thought will actually be a great way to cure bladder incontinence.

Impotence Treatments

Impotence or erectile dysfunction is a common problem these days. It can be caused by diseases, surgical complications, certain medications and even psychological and lifestyle factors. Impotence is curable, and treatment can be started at any age. There are many kinds of erectile dysfunction treatments. The best of these are selected by considering the severity, causes, and health of the patient.

Psychosexual Therapy

Therapy is one of the most effective impotence treatments. This is because physiological factors play a large role in causing the problem. The causes can be any such as relationships difficulties, work anxiety, and other complex issues. Therapists and counselors listen to these problems all day long, and offer plenty of solutions.

Vacuum Pump

A vacuum pump (penis pump) consists of a plastic cylinder which is placed over the organ. When air is sucked out from the device, a pressure is created which forces a blood rush into the penis. The blood flow is obstructed by means of a tension band, which is applied to the base. Tension bands prevent the blood from draining rapidly and sustain the erection.

Medications

Certain medications can also be used for impotence treatments. Viagra is a widely used medicine for treating erectile dysfunction. Its effects are visible after an hour of taking the medicine, and last for around three hours. Cialis must be taken half an hour before. Levitra needs to be taken 10 minutes before, and can work up to twelve hours.

Penile Prosthesis

Penile prosthesis should be carried out when all other impotence treatments have failed. It is of two types: the semi-rigid type penis implant and the hydraulic type penis implant. The former type rigidifies the penis the whole time, but it can be bent down if the person is not engaged in sexual activity. The latter type stiffens the penis when a pump is activated. This pump is implanted in the scrotum.

What is Ostomy?

An ostomy is an artificial tract created by surgery which alters the natural path for waste elimination. An opening is made in the abdominal wall, and waste is allowed to flow through it. This opening is called a stoma. The patient must collect the eliminations into a plastic bag or any other appliance. Usually patients wear an ostomy pouch for this purpose. An ostomy can be temporary or permanent.

Types of Ostomy

Colostomy

In this type, the stoma is made in the large intestine. This is done when the colon is affected, and it has either been removed or must be avoided. In sigmoid colostomy, stoma is situated at the lower left side of the abdomen, and the rectum must be bypassed. The waste products are pretty much similar to the natural form. Sigmoid colostomy is usually managed with irrigation.

Ileostomy

When the abdominal opening is situated in the small intestine, it is referred to as Ileostomy. Ileostomy is carried out when the entire colon has to be removed or bypassed. The opening is made on the lower right of the abdomen. The waste products are in a liquid or semi solid phase because they do not pass through the large intestine.

Urostomy

Urostomy is a type of ostomy, the opening is made in the urinary tract from a short length of ileum. The stoma is similar to the one in ileostomy, but the output product of the two differs in phase. Only urine flows from the stoma in this case.

Stoma Care

ostomy pouch Stoma care is really important so that the ostomy does not suffer. You must empty and change your pouch carefully so that your skin does not develop irritation.  Pouches can be drained or closed. The former is re-usable but the latter has to be disposed off. In any case, the pouch must be changed. The frequency depends on your stoma type.

Non-Slip for Safety

Slipping and falling is the second major cause of injuries. The consequences are diverse and are with varying severity. The most common of these are head injuries, back injuries, fractures and sprains; the former two are the most severe. If the patient is elderly, then falls can even be fatal. The good thing is that there are many fall protection devices. Using them considerably reduces risks.

One of the best ways of protecting yourself from falls is to use proper shoes which are of the non-skid or non-slip type. These shoes employ a special type of sole which is resistant to both water and oil, and offers a firmer grip on the floor. This prevents slipping.  An added advantage of non – slip shoes is that foot and back pain are also reduced, because your feet fell comfortable the whole day long

Fall Management Slippers have especially been designed for fall protection. The shoes are made from a soft material, and the sole is made from latex free rubber. They have mainly been designed for wet and slippery surfaces. Though these slippers can be washed, the sole must be completely dry before the patient intends to wear them again. There are four colors to choose from, and all sizes for both men and women are available.

Non slip gripper socks also aid in fall prevention by improving footing on slippery floors. They can also be used for patients recovering from surgery. Non slip socks are made from acrylic, and are comfortable enough to be worn the entire day. They are also available in four colors and all sizes. There are non skid socks as well which have also been designed for fall protection. These are also good for swollen ankles and feet, and can even be worn over casts.