Glaucoma

Glaucoma

Health & Wellness

03-03-2017

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause vision loss and is potentially blinding. It runs in families. If someone in your family has glaucoma, you are up to 10 times more likely to develop glaucoma. You probably have never noticed or even thought about glaucoma, as it is rarely discussed. In Australia, approximately 300,000 people have glaucoma. However, about half of these people don’t even know they have it. Generally, there is no pain associated with glaucoma, and the loss of sight is gradual. Peripheral vision (side vision) is usually affected first, and many people don’t even notice it’s gone.

1496_GlaucomaIn glaucoma, the optic nerve, located at the back of the eye, is damaged. This may happen if the pressure in the eye increases. Fluid in the eye should drain away, lowering eye pressure. But in glaucoma, the fluid doesn’t drain away properly, slowly destroying the optic nerve, which eventually leads to blindness. The optic nerve can also become damaged by certain medicines, such as steroids, and some medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Read More >

Overweight and obesity

Overweight and obesity

Health & Wellness

15-02-2017

Overweight and obesity is a National Health Priority Area, currently affecting 63% of Australian adults and 25% of Australian children. The latest statistics show 35.5% of Australians aged 18 years and over are overweight, and almost 28% are obese.

1494_Overweight_and_obesityIt has been predicted that by 2025 around 83% of Australian men and 75% of women aged 20 years and over will be overweight or obese.

The causes of overweight and obesity are not easy to define. Although diet and physical activity are central to maintaining a healthy weight, social, environmental, behavioural, genetic and physiological factors can play their part in contributing to weight gain. For many, weight gain is hard to avoid and very difficult to reverse.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines overweight and obesity as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation (build-up) that may impair health. We gain weight when we eat more energy (kilojoules) than we use up through exercise or activity. Energy is measured in kilojoules (kJ) and different foods provide different amounts of energy. Read More >

Healthy Heart

Healthy Heart

Health & Wellness

06-02-2017

The importance of doing something healthy for your heart is highlighted by the fact that 90% of adult Australians have at least one risk factor for heart disease. Risk factors include a family history of heart disease, and the risk also increases as you age. Gender is important because being male is also a risk factor.

1541_Healthy_heart_healthy_lifeAs a nation, we tend to take our hearts for granted but the sobering facts are that cardiovascular disease is the cause of 34% of deaths in Australia, followed by all cancers on 29%.

This year, National Wear Red Day is taking place on the 14th February 2017. Heart Research Australia is inviting Australians to wear something red on this day for a gold coin donation to help raise funds for Heart Research Australia’s research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Further information is available at www.heartresearch.com.au/wear-red-day/. Read More >

Dementia

Dementia

Health & Wellness

27-01-2017

Did you know that dementia is not a single condition or disease and the symptoms of dementia can be caused by over 100 different disorders that affect the brain?

1500_DementiaAccording to Alzheimer’s Australia, dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease. Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life.

The most common causes of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. Dementia may also be associated with other conditions including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, alcohol abuse, AIDS and Down’s syndrome. Dementia affects different people in different ways depending on the type of dementia they have and the area of the brain that is damaged. Read More >

Kidney Health

Kidney Health

Health & Wellness

13-01-2017

Did you know it is possible for a person to lose up to 90% of their kidney function before experiencing any symptoms of kidney disease?

1489_BBQ_for_kidney_healthChronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing public health problem. Approximately 1 in 10 Australians aged 18 and over have evidence of CKD. In CKD, the kidneys slowly stop working over a period of months or years. The kidneys have many important functions in the body, including filtering the blood and adding excess water to other wastes to produce urine. The kidneys also produce and regulate several hormones that are important for heart, blood and bone health. People with CKD are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death, as well as anaemia and bone disease. Read More >

Facts and Fallacies about Generic Medicines

Facts and Fallacies about Generic Medicines

Health & Wellness

10-01-2017

Generic medicines have been available in Australia for 40 years, and widely supplied through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for over 20 years, delivering the same health benefits as the original brands at a lower cost to government and the community. Through monitoring generic medicine use over this time, their role as safe & effective treatment options has been confirmed.

The following statements about generic medicines are TRUE

  • A generic medicine is simply another brand, which contains the same active ingredient as the original brand, and which is accepted to work in the same way. Therefore generic medicine is the same quality as the original brand, and meets the TGA standards of safety and performance equivalence to the original brand.
  • A generic medicine is subject to much greater government scrutiny compared to other “generic” or home brand consumer products that you buy at the supermarket. All medicines sold in Australia, whether a generic medicine or original brand, must meet the same tough quality standards set by a government agency called the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The role of the TGA is to evaluate and verify that all prescription medicines provide an appropriate safety and performance profile. Read More >

Red and Dry Eye

Red and Dry Eye

Health & Wellness

27-12-2016

 It’s often said that eyes are the windows to a person’s soul but they are also our window onto the world. Except if you’re one of the many Australians who lose part or all of their vision every 65 minutes. Maintaining good eye health should be a priority for all.

1464_Red_and_dry_eyesOne of the most common eye problems are red and dry eyes. Redness and dryness are symptoms of many eye conditions. Some of these conditions are not serious, but others are serious and may affect eyesight.

A red eye can be a sign of eye inflammation. The most common cause of red eye(s) is conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can be caused by allergy, irritation or infection. The treatment of eye redness depends on its cause and can include: Read More >

Heartburn

Heartburn

Health & Wellness

09-12-2016

Most of us at some time in our lives will experience heartburn – after a big meal, undertaking strenuous activity too soon after eating, or drinking too much alcohol or coffee.

Heartburn (gastro-oesophageal reflux or indigestion) is really very common.

Heartburn is caused by the contents of the stomach coming back up into the oesophagus where it can cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat.

Persistent reflux that occurs more than twice a week is considered to be gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems. People of all ages can have GORD.

Occasional heartburn on the other hand can be caused by eating too much, from anxiety, and advanced pregnancy – to name but a few of the causes.

Read More >

Pelvic Floor First

Pelvic Floor First

Health & Wellness

07-12-2016

Pelvic Floor First is an initiative of the Continence Foundation of Australia and aims to reduce the number of men and women who experience pelvic floor dysfunction as a result of inappropriate exercise regimes.

Visit the Pelvic Floor First website.

The aim is supported by the following objectives:

    • strengthen the relationship between the continence and fitness industry
    • increase awareness of the link between certain types of exercise and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, and
    • promote pelvic floor safe exercises.

This will support people to remain active without the fear and anxiety related to incontinence.

The primary target audience of the Pelvic Floor First campaign are women and men at increased risk of pelvic floor problems who exercise, play sport or participate in some form of physical activity. These people include:

    • pregnant women
    • women who have recently, or ever, had a baby
    • women who are going through, or have gone through, menopause
    • women who have undergone gynaecological surgery, and
    • men who have undergone surgery for prostate cancer.

The secondary target audience of the Pelvic Floor First campaign include:

    • fitness professionals, and
    • health professionals (including continence professionals and other health professionals such as midwives, practice nurses, maternal and child health nurses and GPs).

These professionals are ideally placed to raise awareness of this issue, refer clients for help and support, and promote pelvic floor safe exercise.

Thunderstorm Asthma

Thunderstorm Asthma

Health & Wellness

06-12-2016

Thunderstorms have been linked to epidemics of asthma, especially during the grass flowering season. An asthma attack can be life threatening. Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call 000. People experiencing asthma like symptoms for the first time should visit their GP for advice and if appropriate develop an asthma management plan. More information and advice from the Chief Health Officer can be found on Asthma – emergency first aid page. This information is provided by the Better Health Channel