WELLNESS TIP OF THE WEEK
What Is Visian ICL And How Can It Help You?
Boston Laser & Eye Group sees many patients that do not qualify for LASIK, but are perfect candidates for the 20 minute Visian ICL procedure. What is the Visian ICL and how does it work? Visian ICL is a soft, flexible lens that is placed in the eye to correct a person’s vision, reducing dependency on glasses or contact lenses. While traditional contact lenses go on the surface of the eye, the Visian ICL is positioned in the eye between the iris and the natural lens.
One of the important advantages of the Visian ICL is that while it can permanently correct your vision, the lens can be simply removed and/or replaced if necessary. Since 1997, there have been over one million patient eyes have been treated with the Visian ICL worldwide. A study has shown that the Visian ICL provides safe results with a 99.5% satisfaction rate.
How Iceland Fixed Its Teen Substance Abuse Problem
Twenty years ago, Icelandic teens were among the heaviest-drinking youths in Europe. The streets in downtown Reykjavik felt unsafe; there were hordes of teenagers getting intensely drunk. But it wasn’t just alcohol; teens were regularly abusing marijuana, LSD, heroin and amphetamines as well.
Harvey Milkman, an American psychology professor who teaches for part of the year at Reykjavik University, was instrumental in developing the idea that people were getting addicted to changes in brain chemistry. Kids who were “active confronters” were after a rush – they’d get it by stealing hubcaps and radios and later cars, or through stimulant drugs. Alcohol also alters brain chemistry, of course. It’s a sedative but it sedates the brain’s control first, which can remove inhibitions and, in limited doses, reduce anxiety.
“People can get addicted to drink, cars, money, sex, calories, cocaine – whatever,” says Milkman. “The idea of behavioral addiction became our trademark.”
This idea spawned another: “Why not orchestrate a social movement around natural highs: around people getting high on their own brain chemistry – because it seems obvious to me that people want to change their consciousness – without the deleterious effects of drugs?”
By 1992, the Project Self-Discovery initiative was introduced, which offered teenagers natural-high alternatives to drugs and crime. The program took in kids from the age of 14 who didn’t see themselves as needing treatment but who had problems with drugs or petty crime.
“We didn’t say to them, you’re coming in for treatment,” says Milkman. “We said, we’ll teach you anything you want to learn: music, dance, hip hop, art, martial arts.” The idea was that these different classes could provide a variety of alterations in the kids’ brain chemistry, and give them what they needed to cope better with life: some might crave an experience that could help reduce anxiety, others may be after a rush.
At the same time, the recruits got life-skills training, which focused on improving their thoughts about themselves and their lives, and the way they interacted with other people. “The main principle was that drug education doesn’t work because nobody pays attention to it. What is needed are the life skills to act on that information,” Milkman says. Kids were told it was a three-month program. Some stayed five years.
Read the full story at BlueZones.com.
What You Need To Know About Vaping-Related Lung Illness
According to The New York Times, hundreds of people across the country have been sickened by a severe lung illness linked to vaping, and a handful have died. Many were otherwise healthy young people, in their teens or early 20s. Investigators from numerous states are working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration in an urgent effort to figure out why.
The Food and Drug Administration is warning that there appears to be a particular danger for people who vape THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. The FDA said a significant subset of samples of vaping fluid used by sick patients included THC and also contained a chemical called vitamin E acetate.
The FDA issued this statement: “Because consumers cannot be sure whether any THC vaping products may contain vitamin E acetate, consumers are urged to avoid buying vaping products on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores.”
The early symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, coughing and fever, escalating to shortness of breath, which can become so extreme it can prompt an emergency room visit or require hospitalization.
Some patients have needed supplementary oxygen, including a ventilator in as many as a third of cases analyzed in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Health investigators believe the illnesses are linked to vaping for several key reasons: The patients have vaped nicotine or marijuana extracts, or both, and do not have an infection or other condition that would explain the lung disease. Patients are now characterized as having the illness only if they have reported vaping within 90 days. In many of the reported cases, the patients had vaped much more recently.
The CDC says: “If you are concerned about your health or the health of a loved one who is using an e-cigarette product, contact your health care provider, or your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.”
Anyone who has shortness of breath that lasts more than a few hours or becomes severe should seek medical attention quickly. It is a warning that should not be ignored, doctors say.
LOCAL HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS & UPCOMING EVENTS
Buttonwoods Trail Cleanup
Join the clean-up of Haverhill’s Buttonwoods Trail, a scenic trail along the Merrimack. Bring gloves and wear clothing that is suitable for outdoor work.
Haverhill, Mass. | Merrimack.org
Dinner and a Presentation: Current Research Tends for Parkinson’s, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are invited to a dinner and presentation, featuring geriatric neuropsychiatrist Robert B. Portney and the chief medical officer of New England PET Imaging, Ruth Lim, as guest speakers.
Methuen, Mass. | ActiveMedResearch.com
3rd Annual Pitch for Prevention of PTSD and Suicide
Join Hidden Battles for their Cornhole Tournament and Family Day at the Billerica Elks Club. This is a free event with food, games and plenty of fun family activities.
Billerica, Mass. | HiddenBattlesFoundation.org