- 2min with Hippocrates
- Your Health
- Lifestyle Tip
- Web Watch
- Just for Fun
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!
some people wish their partner slept in space when it comes to their
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).
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,"
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
• 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
“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'
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.
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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
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.
us your lifestyle tips. Please include your name and state if you wish
to be acknowledged.
– This is a great site for translating anything from single words
to whole web pages into another language.
A funny but disturbing satirical site. See if you can work out which addictive
product it is poking fun at.
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Doctor: Nurse, how is that little boy doing, the one who swallowed ten
Nurse: No change yet.
Why didn't the doctor answer his patients’ emails? Because he doesn't
do ‘mouse’ calls.
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
- Nicole Kidman Breast Cancer?
- Hippocrates on Moles
- Health News
- Lifestyle Tips