YDzine March 2004

Celebrity Illness - Quote - 2min with Hippocrates - Your Health - Lifestyle Tip - Web Watch - Offers - Just for Fun

From the Editor

Did you know astronauts don't snore? The worst snorers on earth are usually overweight people whose soft palate sag while they sleep. In zero-gravity those 'soft bits' at the back of the throat float!

I bet some people wish their partner slept in space when it comes to their snoring.

This month 2min with Hippocrates looks at sleep apnea that is often related to snoring but can be far more serious.

So what else has been happening? Being the party animal that I am, I've still got ringing ears from loud music on the weekend. Some people, including celebrities, live with that sound every day. Read on and party hard (but use earplugs in noisy venues).

Cheers, Eddie

 Celebrities Get Sick Too

Ringing in the Ears

What do Neil Young, Barbara Streisand, William Shatner and David Letterman have in common? These are just a few stars who suffer from tinnitus – commonly called ‘ringing in the ears’. The list is even longer among musicians, particularly those who have been exposed to very loud music. These include, Pete Townshend from the Who, Sting, Eric Clapton, Bono from U2, Phil Colins and even Ludwig Van Beethoven. James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich from Metallica now wear ear plugs during their concerts to stop their problem getting worse.

What is tinnitus?
Although it is often referred to as "ringing” some people hear hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping, or clicking. Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant, with single or multiple tones, and its perceived volume can range from subtle to shattering.

The American Tinnitus Association estimates that over 50 million Americans experience tinnitus to some degree. Of these, about 12 million have severe enough tinnitus to seek medical attention. And about two million patients are so seriously debilitated that they cannot function on a "normal," day-to-day basis.

What causes tinnitus?
No one knows exactly, however, there are several likely sources which are known to trigger or worsen tinnitus.
• Noise-induced hearing loss - Exposure to loud noises can damage and even destroy hair cells, called cilia, in the inner ear. Once damaged, these hair cells cannot be renewed or replaced. 90 percent of tinnitus suffers have some degree of noise induced hearing loss.
• Wax build-up in the ear canal - Sometimes, people produce enough wax that their hearing can be compromised or their tinnitus can seem louder.
• Certain medications - Some medications are toxic to the ear. Other medications will produce tinnitus as a side effect without damaging the inner ear.
• Ear or sinus infections - Many people, including children, experience tinnitus along with an ear or sinus infection. Generally, the tinnitus will lessen and gradually go away once the infection is healed.
• Jaw misalignment - Some people have misaligned jaw joints or jaw muscles, which can not only induce tinnitus, but also affect cranial muscles and nerves and shock absorbers in the jaw joint.
• Cardiovascular disease - Approximately 3 percent of tinnitus patients hear a rhythmic pulsing, often in time with a heartbeat. Pulsatile tinnitus can indicate the presence of a vascular condition-where the blood flow through veins and arteries is compromised-like a heart murmur, hypertension, or hardening of the arteries.
• Certain types of tumors - Very rarely, people have a benign and slow-growing tumor on their auditory, vestibular, or facial nerves. These tumors can cause tinnitus, deafness, facial paralysis, and loss of balance.
• Head and neck trauma - Physical trauma to the head and neck can induce tinnitus. Other symptoms include headaches, vertigo, and memory loss.



“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”
Anthony Burgess (1917 - 1993)

“It's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.”
Al Franken, 'Stuart Saves His Family'

 2min with Hippocrates


Sleep Apnea

One of the major causes of daytime sleepiness is sleep apnea. It affects more than twelve million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. The Greek word "apnea" literally means "without breath." People with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed; of the three, obstructive is the most common.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. In central sleep apnea, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. Mixed apnea, as the name implies, is a combination of the two. With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses people with sleep apnea in order for them to resume breathing, but consequently sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.

Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of forty, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. Because of the lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals, the vast majority remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences.

Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes (from falling asleep). Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated.

 Your Health


Sleep Well Tonight

Are you getting enough sleep? The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person, but most people need between six and nine hours sleep every night. If you are having trouble sleeping here are some tips for you.

• Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
Cigarettes are also stimulants that play havoc with your sleeping habits. Remember chocolate also contains some caffeine. If you must have coffee make sure your last cup is consumed before 3pm.

• Keep regular hours.
If you go to bed at the same time every day and get up at the same time every morning, you are setting yourself up for good sleeping habits.

• Don't drink too much alcohol before going to bed.
Alcohol may cause you to wake up frequently during the night and may make you snore. It also increases your risk of sleep apnea (see 2min with Hippocrates).

• Make your bedroom quiet and comfortable.
Aim towards a cooler bedroom temperature as excessive warmth may keep you awake. Try to block out excessive noise and distracting sources of light.

• Keep the bedroom just for sleeping.
Don't keep a TV in the bedroom. Try not to read in the bedroom either – make the bedroom a special, relaxed place that's for sleeping and not other day-to-day activities.

• Use relaxation techniques before you go to bed.
Try to wind down with twenty minutes of meditation before you go to sleep, or have a warm, relaxing bath.

• If you're having trouble stopping your mind from racing, you may like to keep a note pad next to the bed to jot down the things you are thinking about. That way you'll know you can safely put them out of your mind until morning.

• Exercise during the day.
Carrying out physical activity during the day will enhance your sleep, making it deeper and more restful. Try not to exercise too close to bed-time though.

• Get exposure to sunlight during the day.
Try to spend some time outdoors every day, soaking up some sunshine – without getting sunburnt of course! Daytime light exposure is proven to improve sleep.

• Avoid spicy and fatty foods in the evening.
Try replacing rich deserts with some fresh fruit or fruit salad instead. Avoid MSG, which can be found in some types of Chinese foods.

• Eat a balanced diet.
Deficiencies of the B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, copper and iron have all been associated with sleep disorders. Try to have at least a two hour break between eating and going to bed.

 Lifestyle Tip

Mental Fitness

Trying to get fit? Don’t forget your mental fitness! We seek physical fitness to look better and feel better. Believe it or not, there are also exercises we can do for mental fitness. Do the following "exercises" daily and your mental outlook will become more positive, a sure route to feeling and looking better.
1. Do something nice for someone and don't tell anyone about it.
2. Smile at a stranger.
3. Lend a hand to someone who needs it.
4. Compliment somebody and really mean it.
5. Visit a sick friend.
6. Send a thank you note to someone who has done something for you, either recently or long ago.
7. Forgive an enemy.

Email us your lifestyle tips. Please include your name and state if you wish to be acknowledged.

 Web Watch


BabelFish.altavista.com – This is a great site for translating anything from single words to whole web pages into another language.

www.ShardsOGlass.com – A funny but disturbing satirical site. See if you can work out which addictive product it is poking fun at.

 Special Offers


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Anything you measure yourself can be stored in ‘Monitoring’.

Start www.mynetrecord.com

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 Just for Fun


Doctor: Nurse, how is that little boy doing, the one who swallowed ten quarters?
Nurse: No change yet.

Why didn't the doctor answer his patients’ emails? Because he doesn't do ‘mouse’ calls.

 Hot Dates


March 17: St. Patrick's Day
is the traditional Irish holiday celebrated yearly and worldwide (wherever there are Irish) on March 17th. St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, and more mythically for driving all the snakes from Ireland. The simplest way of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is to wear the color green.

March: Rosacea Awareness Month (US)
Rosacea is a very common skin condition on the face, characterized by redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, small visible blood vessels on the face, bumps or pimples on the face and watery or irritated eyes. Learn more at www.rosacea.org.

March 29: National Sleep Apnea Awareness Day (US)
Sleep apnea is a common and dangerous condition where the person stops breathing for periods of time while sleeping. For more information see the American Sleep Apnea Association website . This months YDzine talks about sleep apnea in 2min with Hippocrates.

 Next issue

  • Nicole Kidman Breast Cancer?
  • Hippocrates on Moles
  • Health News
  • Lifestyle Tips

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