Saturday, July 31, 2010

Macular Degeneration

This time I have a question. How many people out there are using Lucentis, the Ranibizumab Injection for Wet Macular Degeneration (AMD)? What have been the results? Are there any of you who have reversed the vision loss or improved their vision? Did you insurance pay for the shots ($2000 a shot)?
I have just been reading some amazing "Personal Accounts of treatment with Lucentis," that I found by googling. One woman, named Barbara went from a 20/200 to a 20/60 after two injections. This is probably an exception because it can take much longer to see improvement.
Several weeks ago, and almost without warning my husband had trouble seeing out of his left eye. Straight lines and faces appeared wavy. It was then he was diagnosed with AMD and received his first shot of Lucentis. He says his brain has not yet adjusted to seeing clearly out of one eye and wavy out of the other.
Many people with Macular Degeneration have high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis. My husband is on medication for both. Exercise and the proper diet can help decrease blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. In my 30's I constantly fought high blood pressure. It wasn't until I started a regime of daily exercise and changed my diet that my blood pressure became normal. I gave up eating sugar, meat, most dairy products and consumed lots of vegetables. I eat a grapefruit for breakfast each morning.
I have a Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition and make green drinks for my husband using spinach, kale, celery, carrots, tomato, and parsley, but not as often as I now wish I had done. Dr. Balch recommends, lutein, bilberry, Co Q 10 and beta carotene.
If you are having vision problems, get help immediately. Lower your blood pressure. Eat healthy fats (fish oil,Olivie oil, avocados are loaded with lutein), and add blueberries that you eat in the morning.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Health Dangers from Campfires

We chose Moon Lake To experience the wilderness last week, although we slept in a rustic cabin. How I had looked forward to this trip. There is nothing as pristine as the clean, cool air in the High Uintah Mountains in Utah. The hundred mile range receives over 500 inches of snow annually. It is a scenic, alpine view of grassy meadows sprinkled with wild flowers, mountain peaks, over a thousand lakes, and many cold clear streams.
From the front porch of the cabin we could see Moon Lake, tall log pole pines, and quakening aspen. While morning and evenings are cool the cabins heat up in the day without air conditioning, but cool off as the breeze blows through open windows.

The cabins are about 30 feet a part, so imagine my dismay when the campers next to us started a daytime camfire and the smoke drifted through our cabin windows. I have asthma so we closed all the windows and hiked to Duck Creek which is one of the outlet streams that flows into Moon Lake and there are no campsites.

From Duck Creek we drove to various streams that are South of Moon Lake. I have a passion for sitting in the shade by a babbling Brook or a rushing stream. We returned to the cabin and again hiked to Duck Creek and up the trail that leads around the East side of Moon Lake when it started to rain. We made it back to the cabin before it started to hail--one inch of hail in ten minutes. After the storm, the camfires started again and burned until after 2 a.m. I had some difficulties breathing even though the windows were closed. The cabins are not airtight.
Campfires are supposed to be romantic, charismatic, and so fun to roast marshmallows. As a child I loved campfires. So what's wrong with me other than having a difficult time breathing? Why the humbug?
Campers sitting around a campfire can move away from the smoke, but neighors sitting in a log cabin have to endure it.
The contents of that fire are more dangerous than people think. In an article on, Ken Cott sites the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who estimate that wood smoke is 12 times more carcinogenic than equal amounts of tobacco smoke and stays active in the body 40 times longer.
Children appear to be at the greatest risk of health conditions such as respiratory infections and acute bronchitis