Finger Pain From Smartphones

Finger Pain From SmartphonesIn the current day and age, using modern devices such as Smartphones, Tablets, iPods, etc have become part and parcel of everyone’s life. But along with it comes the unwanted side effects. Thanks to our constant typing and crunching up our fingers to e-mail, text, play games, etc, general digit discomfort is on the rise. Since we do this activity on a very regular basis, chances of Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) is very high. It could range from mild tendonitis to chronic issues like Trigger Finger or the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Trigger finger is a swelling of the tendon or tendon sheath in the palm of the hand of the tendons that bend the fingers. This swelling prevents the tendon from gliding smoothly through the sheath and the “pulley” (ligament) which holds the tendon to the bone.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (although not the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel – a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand – houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.

The above issues start to exacerbate with age and hence you have to be extra cautious with such pains if you are above 40.

Some of the ways, you can avoid this is mentioned below:

– Try and avoid using the device for long hours, take regular breaks

– Relax yourself by freeing your hands and arms in a free swing position

– If you feel any numbness or swelling in your hands, you should stop using the phone and relax your hands in warm water for five to 10 minutes.

– Try not to bend their wrists backward for long periods and make conscious efforts to use different fingers, not only the index finger, and put the phone on the desk while texting

– You can wear splints to keep wrists straight and some anti-inflammation medicines are also helpful

– The following exercises will also help in alleviating some of the pain:

o Place your right hand in front of you, like you are giving someone a hi-fi. Then rotate your hand clockwise so that the fingers are pointing down and the wrist is up. Hold on to your fingers with your left hand and pull fingers away from your wrist. Hold on for about 10 seconds. Repeat the same process on left side by rotating your hand counterclockwise instead.

o Bring your hands together in a prayer position in front of your chest, simply lower the hands down through the center of your chest and stomach, keeping hands pressed together. Repeat a few times.

Tips to Look After Your Eyes This Summer

  1. Sunglasses:

It is commonly known that exposing our bodies to UV rays is very bad for our skin but we need to remember to protect our delicate eyes from the sun’s rays as well. Too much exposure to UV rays can result in pain and irritation to the cornea (clear window of the eye) and in extreme cases this can lead to age related macular degeneration, cancer of the cornea, cataracts or even blindness.

Sunglasses are a great way to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays. When buying sunglasses make sure they comply with BSEN 1836: 1997 or have the CE kite mark and are marked with UV 400. It is best to get sunglasses that are UVA and UVB 100% protected, if you are unsure always ask your eye clinic or optician. You can also get polarized sunglasses, not only do they protect your eyes from UV rays but they can help decrease glare which can strain your vision, they are very useful when you are by the pool on holiday or taking part in outdoor sports.

Don’t forget, it’s not just adults that need sunglasses, children should wear them too but the best protection is to stay in the shade on sunny days.

  1. Sports:

Not only do you need to wear sunglasses if it is a sunny day but also eye wear to protect you from possible injury. Ophthalmologists advise eye protection should be worn when playing most ball sports. The bigger the ball the less likely for an eye injury to occur, for example footballs are less likely to injure your eyes than a golf ball. Good sporting shops should sell plastic shields or masks to protect you.

Also when swimming it is best not to wear contact lenses to prevent infections and damage to the eye and swimming goggles are a must if you are swimming underwater.

  1. DIY/Gardening:

Summer months are a great time to do DIY projects around the house and spend time in the garden but these things can lead to eye injuries if proper precautions are not taken. You often see someone trimming the grass while children are playing nearby and all of them are at risk from flying stones, soil, twigs and even the grass itself. Make sure children are out of the way when doing such tasks and make sure you wear professional quality goggles.

Lacerations to the cornea are not uncommon when undertaking gardening and can lead to surgery. You should wear goggles when hammering nails, sawing or anything that can involve debris entering the eye.

If you do get hit in the eye with something first factor in your vision, then the pain. If you vision isn’t affected, it should be enough to apply an ice pack. If your vision is affected or you have a penetrating injury you must seek immediate attention from an eye doctor, eye clinic or A&E.

  1. Chemicals:

If you get into a swimming pool and it stings your eyes it can mean the chemicals aren’t balanced correctly, this is unlikely to affect your vision and tends to be a comfort concern. If the water hurts your eyes it is always best to get out and rinse your eyes with clean water. If the pain continues you should seek medical attention, ideally with an eye doctor. You can soothe irritated eyes by using artificial tear drops.

You can also get infection from untreated pond or lake water getting under contact lenses, so best to always wear swimming goggles.

When you are on holiday you might come across some plants that can harm your eyes, such as sumac, ivy and poison oak. It is good to learn what these look like before you go on holiday so you can then avoid them.

Getting an insect bite around your eyes can also cause damage but so can applying insect repellent too close to the eyes, so avoid sitting out too long once the insects are out in the evening or having citronella candles around can deter them.

It may sound like summer is a big eye injury waiting to happen but it is best to be prepared and protect yourself and your children. If you need more advice or suffer an eye injury of any kind remember it is always best that you see your eye doctor or optometrist so they can help prevent any long term damage and if you have a serious eye injury go straight to your eye clinic or A&E.

Common Foot Injuries You Should Know About

As anyone with foot pain or a foot injury already knows, your feet are a very important part of your body. In fact, a quarter of the bones in your body are located in your feet. Each foot and ankle has 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 ligaments, tendons and muscles.

Your feet are responsible for many different functions, providing you with balance, flexibility and mobility to navigate throughout your day. It’s sometimes easy to take your feet for granted, until you experience some type of foot pain or injury.

There are many different things that can cause foot pain including something as simple as the shoes that you choose to wear. Here’s an overview of 5 medical conditions that may cause foot pain.

1. Gout: This type of arthritis tends to cause sudden attacks of pain and discomfort, generally around the base area of the big toe. Often times an attack of gout is accompanied by If swelling, heat and redness. Generally this condition is caused from uric crystals that build up in your blood. If you think you might have gout in your foot, you should seek qualified medical attention in order to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

2. Bunions: While this painful condition is often associated with wearing shoes that are too tight, it can also run in families and be associated with genetics. After a long period of pressure between the first and second toe, bunions may begin to develop. Bunions are bony bumps made up of soft tissue and bone. They are often accompanied by swelling and pain. And if they persist, it can lead to other types of foot and toe pain.

3. Morton’s Neuroma: When you suffer from Morton’s neuroma it might feel like a shooting pain in your foot or like you are standing on a small pebble. This uncomfortable nerve condition causes a buildup of tissues and nerves around your toes and sometimes the ball of your foot. The pain may leave your foot stinging or even feeling numb. Over time if left untreated, walking can become difficult as it is increasingly painful to apply any pressure on your foot.

4. Plantar Fasciitis: This common condition is generally described as intense heel pain. The pain tends to be most noticeable first thing in the morning and it can also act up after sitting or being inactive for a long period of time. The thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed and produces uncomfortable pain along your heel and midfoot. Fortunately, plantar fasciitis can typically be treated through regular stretching, proper footwear and other medical remedies if necessary.

5. Bursitis: This is a condition that can occur all over the body including places like your hip and toes. Bursitis is an overuse condition that happens in and around joints. Fluid filled sacs called bursa tend to become inflamed after performing repetitive motions and have been known to cause severe pain around the big toe. Treatment for bursitis generally calls for adequate rest and a change to different kinds of activities that offer relief to the affected body part.

Helpful Tips to Prevent Dry Eyes

All contact lens wearers have experienced dry eyes at some point. The irritation, the burning and heavy squinting make getting through the day unbearable. One of the steps to take is to observe the situations you are in when this occurs, as a lot of the time dry eyes may be prevented when the appropriate steps are taken. Here are 7 helpful tips to avoid dry eyes:

~Set your computer screen below your eye level: When your screen is above your eye level you tend to open your eyes more to see the screen better. When your screen is lower you relax your eyes, which helps reduce the dehydration of the tears in your eyes.

~Be mindful of your surroundings: Whether you live in the mountains, in the desert or are catching the next flight home, the air in these and many other areas can be very dry. Try closing your eyes more often to decrease the amount of moisture loss in your eyes. You can also carry an extra bottle of solution to rewet your lenses if they are drying out.

~Try wearing a disposable moist contact lens: Theses lenses contain more water content than traditional lenses, so they provide longer lasting comfort throughout the day, and since they are disposable they require no maintenance. Just toss out the dry lenses and pop in a fresh pair. Moist contact lenses are also available for both astigmatic and multifocal wearers.

~Think about wearing sunglasses: Consider wearing sunglasses, even when you wouldn’t normally, if you find your eyes are drying out more often than you’d like. Blocking the suns scorching rays and the winds blustery gust will go a long way to keeping your eyes moist throughout the day.

~Avoiding smoke or smoking: Not only is smoking bad for your lungs, it is also extremely bad for your eyes. You may find that smoke causes your contact lenses to rest uncomfortably in your eyes, causing them to become red, scratchy and irritating. This is because smoke extracts moisture from the surrounding air, thus drying out your contacts and your eyes at the same time. Smoking also can cause harmful long term consequences to your eyes such as glaucoma, cataracts and even blindness.

~Prevent air blowing directly into your eyes: Fans, air conditioners, car heaters, and hair dryers. Each of these, among many others, can dry your lenses and your eyes out in minutes making for a really unpleasant rest of your day.

~Use eye drops regularly: If you have persistent dry eyes be sure to use rewetting drops even when you’re not dried out. This will keep you ahead of the game and avoid any unnecessary discomfort later. Consider using rewetting drops prior to removing your lenses. This will ensure that the lenses are well hydrated and therefore become easier and safer to remove.