6 months ago

Contact lens infection ends in man losing his eye

A British man was forced to have his eye removed after a contact lens infection spiraled out of control, and now hes sharing his story so others wont suffer the same consequences.

Long-time paramedic Andrew Carthew, 59, wore prescription contact lenses for years and said he was always careful not to sleep or shower or swim with them in. But in June of 2015, he woke one morning with a weepy eye, the UKs Daily Mail reported online.

He thought it was conjunctivitis, a common, treatable eye infection.

But the eye became painful and sensitive to bright light within a day or two, Carthew said. He ended up in the emergency room. His symptoms didnt improve and he soon learned he had a rare infection called acanthamoeba keratitis a serious condition caused by an amoeba.

Symptoms of acanthamoeba keratitis include:

Eye pain

Eye redness

Blurred vision

Sensitivity to light

Sensation of something in the eye

Excessive tearing

Doctors can diagnose the infection based on symptoms, or the amoeba can also be identified by a scraping of the eye or by viewing it through a process called confocal microscopy.

The infection is treated with one or more prescription medications. In Carthews case, antibiotics did not help, so his doctors then performed a corneal transplant. But the infection was so severe they finally had no choice but to remove his eye.

After a year in and out of medical care and adjusting to the loss of the eye, UK news outlets are reporting that Carthew is now getting the word out to help other contact lens wearers avoid the same fate.

The parasite is common in nature, where it can be found in lakes and oceans, the soil and even air. Its alsopresent in tap water. About 85 percent of infections occur in people wearing contacts that got contaminated.

Normally, only about one to two cases of infection per millioncontact lens usersoccur in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But between 2005 and 2007, an acanthamoeba keratitis outbreak infected at least 138 people in 35 states.

About 41 million Americans wearcontact lenses, and while they are typically a safe and effective alternative to glasses, they can cause serious problems if wearers dont follow instructions on how to care for them.

While patients, especially younger patients, are really excited about being fitted with contact lenses, I stress to them that contact lenses are medical devices that have to be properly fitted, evaluated and that they must adhere to proper contact lens care, Dr. Andrea Thau of the American Optometric Association (AOA), told CBS News in August when a new CDC report came out warning contact lens users to be vigilant about eye care.

Heres what to do to avoid infections and other vision complications, according to the AOA:

Visit your eye doctor every year.

Buy your contact lenses from a trusted source.

Dont panic if your lens is lost in your eye.

Dont ever share contacts.

Never use tap water to clean and rinse lenses.

Keep your lens case clean.

No matter how tired you are, do not sleep in your contacts.

Dont over wear your lenses.

You cant be careful enough, as Carthew learned. A health professional himself, he said he followed contact lens cleaning guidelines, but he said that its possible he handled his lenses with unwashed hands at some point, which might have led to his infection.

9 months ago

Study of fatal car accidents suggests medical marijuana may be helping curb opioid use

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A study conducted at Columbia Universitys Mailman School of Public Health found that there were fewer drivers killed in car crashes who tested positive for opioids in states with medical marijuana laws than before the laws went into effect. The study is one of the first to assess the link between state medical marijuana laws []

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12 months ago

Q&A: Working out in hot weather - Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Q: Whats most important when working out in hot weather?

A: Carry water. I dont care if youre kayaking for 15 minutes or running one mile; you need water to drink, to pour over your head, to offer a dog. To make sure mine stays nice and cold, I fill my water bottle about half full (higher as the summer progresses) and leave it in the freezer overnight. Come morning, I fill it up with tap water. Ah, refreshment all through the run.

Female drinking a fresh water from bottle.Add 20 degrees to the outdoor temperature. So you wake up and the radio weather guy says, Its 75 degrees. And you think, Oh, thats not so bad. Hold up just a minute there and recite the rule of temperature thumb for the outdoor exerciser: Dress like its 20 degrees warmer. Thats what itll feel like within minutes of moving your body.

Set aside your planned pace and distance. Id been thinking something was wrong with me because I havent been able to run as fast as I usually do. Then a friend asked on Facebook: Whats your summer pace? And she listed hers, 90 seconds slower than Ive seen her cooler-weather postings.

Theres a great chart on runnersconnect.net to help you figure the pace you should be going according to how fast you usually run or walk.

Go out earlier or later than usual. Granted, the morning temperature is cooler, but humidity tends to be higher in the morning.

Leslie Barker, The Dallas Morning News


1 year ago

New Jersey's Medical Marijuana Patients Suffer Under Chris Christie - HIGH TIMES

New Jerseys dismal medical marijuana program includes just six dispensaries and twelve qualifying conditions. Stifled by state restrictions, the market for medical marijuana in the garden state is short on product, and patients are paying the price in high costs for medication. Democrats looking to loosen-up industry rules introduced a bill adding diagnoses like PTSD and glaucoma to the list of qualifying conditions on Monday but the states anti-marijuana Republican Governor Chris Christie says he will not allow access to expand on his watch.

The reason why it hasnt gotten the response its gotten in other states is because ours is a truly medical-based program for only people who have true illnesses that require medicinal marijuana, Christiesaid Monday, Other states have programs that are faux medical-marijuana programs that allow for recreational use.

In a report on the states medical marijuana program, Bloomberg News points out that patients struggle to afford the $200 identification card necessary to enroll in the program. Once theyre in the program, they meet its steep prices. In March, the average cost of medical weed in the state$489 an ounceis higher than the US street price, which High Times found averages $253 per ounce.

A political consultant and medical marijuana patient in New Jersey, Jay Lassiter, told Bloomberg that he pays an insane $400 or $500 a month on the medication he uses to manage side effects of HIV medication. Thats a car payment, or enough to put a kid through private school, he told the business outlet.

Lassiter is not likely to find a compassionate ear from Christie, who delayed and tightened the states medical pot program upon taking office.

We dont anticipate any significant expansion during the Christie administration, Ken Wolski, executive director of the Trenton-based Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey, told Bloomberg, As a matter of fact, weve pretty much abandoned our efforts.

Christies antagonistic relationship with the marijuana industry is well-established: He said during his now-defunct campaign for the presidency that he would enforce federal prohibition of marijuana in states that legalized for recreational use, and has called tax revenue from legal weed blood money.

2 years ago

Here Is What Everyone Should Know About Fitness

They often let their fitness slip, as people age. The pressures of a job(s), spouse, and kids often take precedence over working out. Follow these fitness tips listed below if you are tired of the way you have let your body slip. They will help you get into the shape you were in when you were a teenager.

If you're just starting out with exercise, start out slow. Don't jump in head first and try to run five miles without having exercised before. You can wind up injuring yourself and doing more harm than good. Instead start with a short walk and slowly increase the length and the speed. Before you know it you'll be running five miles without any problems.

Set goals. Having some