Posts tagged with "Dizziness"

2020 hindsight: LASIK eye surgery should be taken off market, former FDA adviser says

November 15, 2019

Don’t turn a blind eye to the risks involved in LASIK eye surgery, an expert is warning, according to CBS News.

Laser vision correction has been popular for more than 20 years, with an estimated 20 million Americans undergoing the procedure to correct nearsightedness and improve distance vision.

According to an FDA patient survey, more than 95% of patients have been satisfied with their vision after surgery. But some patients say the surgery has ruined their eyesight. Among the complaints: “relentless eye pain,” dizziness, and detached retinas.

“Essentially we ignored the data on vision distortions that persisted for years,” said Morris Waxler— a retired FDA adviser who is now president of Waxler Regulatory Consulting. He voted to approve LASIK devices, but he now says voted to approve LASIK, but he now says that vote was a mistake.

“I re-examined the documentation … and I said, ‘Wow this is not good,'” Waxler told CBS News.

Waxler said his own analysis of industry data shows complication rates between 10%  and 30%. In 2011, he petitioned the FDA to issue a voluntary recall of LASIK. Three years later, the agency denied that request and now tells CBS News it “has not found any new safety concerns associated with LASIK devices.” 

Waxler said he thinks LASIK should “absolutely” be taken off the market. “There’s nothing wrong with a person’s eyes who goes to get Lasik,” he said. “They have healthy eyes. They could go and get a pair of glasses.”

Patient Abraham Rutner agrees, alleging that  LASIK surgery damaged his vision and nearly ruined his life. “It’s a devastation that I can’t even explain,” Rutner told CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula.

“Things would appear double. Around the lights were like having starbursts,” he added.

After months of not being able to drive or do his job, the Brooklyn electrician finally found help in Miami where optometrist Edward Boshnick fitted him with special contact lenses.

“His cornea is very distorted as a result of his LASIK surgery,” Boshnick told CBS.

Boshnick estimates he’s treated thousands of patients with LASIK complications.

Paula Cofer had surgery 19 years ago, “and from day one my vision was an absolute train wreck and it still is today,” she said.

She started a LASIK complications support group on Facebook and quickly found she was not alone. “You really have to understand you’re risking your only pair of eyes,” Cofer said.

Doctors who perform LASIK surgery said risks can be minimized with pre-surgical screening.

“The most important thing is knowing who to operate on and who not to operate on and there are people who really should not have this procedure,” Dr. Jules Winokur said.

Rutner now believes he was never a good candidate.

Here are FDA’s advisory on risks and how to find the right doctor for the procedure.

Research contact: @CBSNews

Are you ‘hangry’ when you miss a meal?

October 12, 2018

Next time you feel irritable, anxious, and hungry—along with possible symptoms of trembling, weakness and dizziness—reach for a snack. Chances are, it has been several hours since your last meal and you may be “hangry”—a real condition associated with hypoglycemia.

Researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada have confirmed that being hangry is not just a social excuse; it’s a valid medical complaint—caused by the sudden drop in glucose we experience when we are feeling famished.

“We found evidence that a change in glucose level can have a lasting effect on mood,” said Professor Francesco Leri of the school’s Department of Psychology. “I was skeptical when people would tell me that they get grouchy if they don’t eat, but now I believe it. Hypoglycemia is a strong physiological and psychological stressor.

“The study examined the impact of a sudden glucose drop on emotional behavior by inducing hypoglycemia in rats.

“When people think about negative mood states and stress, they think about the psychological factors, not necessarily the metabolic factors,” said Ph.D. student Thomas Horman, who led the study. “But we found poor eating behavior can have an impact.”

The rats were injected with a glucose metabolism blocker causing them to experience hypoglycemia, and were then placed in a specific chamber. On a separate occasion, they were given an injection of water and placed in a different chamber. When given the choice of which chamber to enter, they actively avoided the chamber where they experienced hypoglycemia.

This type of avoidance behavior is an expression of stress and anxiety,” said Leri. “The animals are avoiding that chamber because they had a stressful experience there. They don’t want to experience it again.”

The researchers tested blood levels of the rats after experiencing hypoglycemia and found more corticosterone, an indicator of physiological stress.The rats also appeared more sluggish when given the glucose metabolism blocker.

“You might argue that this is because they need glucose to make their muscles work,” said Leri. “But when we gave them a commonly used antidepressant medication, the sluggish behavior was not observed. The animals moved around normally. This is interesting because their muscles still weren’t getting the glucose, yet their behavior changed.”

This finding supports the idea that the animals experienced stress and depressed mood when they were hypoglycemic, he said.

For people who experience anxiety or depression, the study results have implications for treatment, said Horman.

“The factors that lead someone to develop depression and anxiety can be different from one person to the next. Knowing that nutrition is a factor, we can include eating habits into possible treatment.”

These findings also provide insight into the connection between depression and diseases such as obesity, diabetes, bulimia and anorexia, Horman said.

Having established that hypoglycemia contributes to negative mood states, the researchers plan to determine whether chronic, long-term hypoglycemia is a risk factor for developing depression-like behaviors.

While missing one meal may make you “hangry,” Horman said, these findings suggest your mood could be impacted if meal-skipping becomes a habit.

“Poor mood and poor eating can become a vicious cycle in that if a person isn’t eating properly, they can experience a drop in mood, and this drop in mood can make them not want to eat. If someone is constantly missing meals and constantly experiencing this stressor, the response could affect their emotional state on a more constant level.”

Research contact: fleri@uoguelph.ca

Researchers: Ties are a ‘socially desirable’ form of strangulation

July 18, 2018

Don’t tie that knot! The “business casual” dress code recently adopted by many firms actually has proven to be healthier for male workers. Indeed, findings of a study conducted at Germany’s Kiel University Hospital and released on June 30 show that wearing a tie actually can increase intraocular eye pressure—and decrease blood flow to the brain.

The researchers describe wearing a tie as a “socially desirable [form of] strangulation.”

To judge the ramifications of wearing a cravat, the study—due to be published in the journal, Neuroradiology, in August and covered by Business Insider on July 16—involved asking 15 men to wear ties, and 15 men to serve as a “control group” and go without them. The researchers then scanned the participants using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure cerebral blood flow and jugular venous flow.

What they discovered was that the brains of the tie-wearers were, on average, receiving 7.5% less “cerebral blood flow” than the brains of those subjects within the control group.The scientists attributed the lower blood flow to the narrowing of the carotid arteries, which carry blood away from the heart, under the pressure of the tie.

While a 7.5% reduction in blood flow may not appear substantial enough to cause noticeable health problems, people who already suffer with other health issues should be cautious: Whether you have high blood pressure, are elderly, or smoke cigarettes, you could end up suffering from headaches, dizziness, and nausea if you wear a tie for too long.

The restricted blood flow also can cause a backup of blood along the system to the eye—thus, raising eye pressure. Raised intraocular eye pressure is considered a risk factor for glaucoma and cataracts, and could possibly increase the risk of worsening existing glaucoma, according to the study.

What’s more, wearing a tie in a doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic could put others at potentially lethal risk, Businesss Insider reports. A study conducted by Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine showed that among 42 male surgical clinicians, nearly half had infection-causing pathogens on their ties.

“Researchers Eyal Zimlichman, Daniel Henderson, and Orly Tamir told Business Insider, “We estimated there are approximately 440,000 of these infections annually among U.S. adult in-patients and that their annual costs are $9.8 billion.”

That’s bad news for haberdashers, but potentially breakthrough information for the healthcare industry.

Research contact: r.lueddecke1992@googlemail.com