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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Being Breast aware

Gavin LeSueur - July 23, 2013

Breast awareness is about encouraging women to become more aware of their bodies generally and to get to know their own breasts. This is an important issue for all women in their mid-twenties and onwards, as learning how their breasts look and feel at different times will help women know what is normal for them and to recognise any irregular changes.

There is no such thing as a standard breast and what is normal for one woman may not be for another. One woman’s breasts will also look and feel different over time depending on the time of the month and the age of the woman.

What about routine self examination?

The Department of Health’s policy on breast awareness, which has strong support from the nursing and medical professions, encourages women to check their breasts for what is normal for them but does not recommend routine self examination to a set technique.

There is no scientific evidence to show that a formally taught, ritual self examination, performed at the same time each month, reduces the death rate from breast cancer or is more effective than a more relaxed breast awareness.

Are you being breast aware?

Know what is normal for you

  • Look and feel
  • Know what changes to look for
  • Report any changes without delay
  • Attend for breast screening if aged 50 or over

The eyes have it.

Gavin LeSueur - July 11, 2013

Although there are no universally agreed screening recommendations the general consensus on eye checks is that a comprehensive eye examination be undertaken every 1 to 2 years for people over 65 who have no risk factors.

Examples of those that should have a comprehensive eye screen more regularly or earlier include people who have a family history of glaucoma, are short sighted, diabetic, have had a previous eye injury, have used steroid treatments over an extended time or have hypertension.

Some common complaints of the eye include:

  • Cataracts – the lens of the eye becomes cloudy
  • Conjunctivitis – inflammation of the membrane covering the eye
  • Glaucoma – a build-up of fluid inside the eye-ball
  • Vision problems – like far or near sightedness.

If you have read down this far in the blog then you might be spending a long time using a computer and your eyes can become tired and your vision blurred.

Using a computer does not cause permanent damage to your eyes. However working on a computer is a demanding visual task that can cause eye discomfort. If you have an uncorrected vision problem, this can make computer use uncomfortable and can lead to blurred vision and eye strain.

Whenever you concentrate on a computer screen or watch television, you tend to blink less which can lead to your eyes drying out. This is made worse if you are in a dry environment, such as a heated or air conditioned office.

Prevention of eye strain:

You can help prevent dry eyes and minimize the risk of tired or sore eyes while reading or using a computer. Tips include:

  • Take regular breaks
  • Look around at objects that are at different distances
  • Try to blink often.

If this doesn’t help, consult an optometrist to determine the underlying cause of the problem. Treatment may include drops, exercises or glasses.

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