Medical News Today: How to cope with OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be a disruptive condition to live with, but there are steps that you can take to cope with it. In this Spotlight, we take you through them.
OCD spelled on cubes
People with OCD face daily stuggles, but there are ways to overcome it.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) occurs when a person has recurring thoughts and behaviors that they cannot control.

Individuals with OCD feel that they must repeat these thoughts and behaviors again and again.

Around 1 percent of people in the United States have experienced OCD in the past year.

The symptoms of OCD can encroach on all aspects of a person’s life — including work, education, and relationships. OCD symptoms are generally broken down into two types: obsessions and compulsions.

People with OCD usually spend at least 1 hour every day contending with their obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions are defined as thoughts or urges that cause anxiety (such as fear of germs), thoughts about hurting yourself or other people, or a craving to have objects in a perfectly symmetrical order. Obsessions might also take the form of persistent and unwanted mental images.

Compulsions are specific behaviors that people with OCD feel that they have to do when they have an obsessive thought. These may include washing excessively, ordering things in a certain way, or counting compulsively.

Though a person with OCD may feel instant relief from performing the rituals associated with their obsessive thoughts, they do not experience pleasure from this. Rather, such thoughts and actions contribute to a rising sense of anxiety.

OCD symptoms can either improve or worsen over time. But, if a person who has OCD is able to recognize that they are experiencing excessive unwanted thoughts or unable to control their behavior, they may be able to take steps to help themselves.

Treatments for OCD

If you think that you might have OCD, you should speak to your doctor. OCD is usually treated with medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), or a combination of the two.

Some people with OCD find CBT helpful because this type of therapy teaches the person how to think differently about their obsessions and compulsions, helping them to overcome these unwanted thoughts and behaviors.

Last year, Medical News Today reported on a study that used functional MRI to examine how the brains of people with OCD responded to a type of CBT known as exposure and response prevention (ERP).

ERP involves exposing people who have OCD to things that trigger their symptoms and works on encouraging the person to resist following their usual urges in these situations.

The team behind that study found that the brains of people with OCD who had ERP displayed a significant increase in connectivity between eight brain networks.

The authors of that study suggest that these brain changes could represent how the participants are activating different thought patterns and learning new behaviors not based on compulsions.

Around 30–60 percent of people who receive treatment for OCD find that it does not help, however. So, finding other strategies to help manage symptoms of OCD is important.

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Talking about OCD can help

Many individuals who live with OCD find that an important first step in self-help is to be open about their condition with friends and family. If you have OCD, being able to talk about it with the people that are close to you can help you to feel more comfortable about the condition, as well as less isolated.

Spending time with other people who have OCD can also be beneficial. Joining a support group or engaging with other people who have OCD online can help people to feel accepted.

It may also empower them to talk about their experiences in an environment without worrying that they may be judged.

The International OCD Foundation’s website can help you to find an OCD support group near you. They even give advice to anyone interested in starting their own support group.

Meanwhile, The Mighty is just one example of an online OCD community — based, in this instance, around real-life stories from people with OCD.

Relaxation and minimizing stress

People with OCD often find that their symptoms get worse when they are stressed, so managing stress is a really important coping strategy. We tend to feel stressed when we are in situations wherein a lot of pressure is placed upon us and we do not feel as though we are in control.

candles and incense
Try relaxation techniques to remove yourself from stressful situations.

What follows are some tips that, while they may not necessarily cure your OCD, could help you to understand your triggers and minimize their effects. Recognizing when stress is likely to build up can help you to catch it before it overwhelms you.

Part of managing stress is about avoiding these situations, if at all possible. Another big part of managing stress is learning how to cope with difficult situations, or “developing emotional resilience.”

Trying different relaxation techniques could help to ease stress — for instance, deep breathing techniques can be calming.

Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Count to four as you breathe in, and again as you breathe out.

Another good way to relax can be taking a break from your devices. Try going an hour without your cell phone on. Does it help? Then why not try going the whole day?

Instead of flopping down and zoning out in front of the television or losing yourself in Facebook in the evening, try reading a book, drawing a bath, or trying out a new recipe. Taking time out from our usual routines can give us a sense of space, which many people find calming.

Creative hobbies — such as painting, sewing, and crafts — can be a great source of relaxation. And, music can really help to distract us from upsetting thoughts or feelings of anxiety.

Whether it is playing an instrument, dancing, or just putting your headphones on and cranking up the volume, losing yourself in music can be very therapeutic.

Some people think that mindfulness may help people with OCD. There has not yet been much conclusive research into whether mindfulness is effective for OCD, but it can help people to manage their mental health in general.

Mindfulness techniques involve paying deep attention to your mind, body, and surroundings and working on how you respond to changes in your mental state.

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Sleep, exercise, and diet

Many mental health problems tend to flare up as a result of not getting enough sleep, and studies have shown that OCD is no exception to this. So, making an effort to stick to a regular sleeping pattern can help a lot.

Again, try avoiding cell phones, laptops, tablets, and TV for at least an hour before bed; these can stop us from getting the sleep we need. People who are physically active are more likely to get enough nourishing sleep, so a little exercise — or even just going for a walk or doing some housework — can work wonders.

Alcohol, caffeine, and foods with lots of sugar can all disrupt sleep, so be careful to moderate your intake of these if you have OCD and problems sleeping.

That familiar quick hit of energy that comes with coffee or soda may feel necessary during the day, but as well as messing with your sleep, it can also boost anxiety and depression, thus potentially worsening OCD symptoms.

Foods that release energy slowly — such as nuts, seeds, pasta, rice, and cereals — are a preferable alternative because they help to balance blood sugar levels.

Drops in blood sugar levels can bring about depression and fatigue, which may be destabilizing to people with OCD. And, ensuring that you drink lots of water — aim for 6–8 glasses per day — will improve your concentration and help to balance mood.

Although these strategies are by no means a one-size-fits-all cure, if you have OCD, you may find that some of these techniques are helpful in avoiding or minimizing the effects of your triggers.

See what works for you, and always remember to speak to your doctor about the best way to manage your symptoms.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321341.php

Medical News Today: Nine causes of white particles in urine

Healthy urine is faint yellow and clear or free from any specks. Some conditions can cause white particles in the urine or make it appear cloudy.

Pregnancy and urinary tract infections are common causes of urinary changes, but many other conditions can cause similar symptoms.

In this article, we look at what causes white particles in urine and when to see a doctor.

Causes

Possible causes of white particles in urine include:

1. Pregnancy

restroom sign
There may be many causes of white particles in the urine.

During pregnancy, there are a variety of hormonal changes that can cause vaginal discharge and other symptoms.

A discharge can mix with the urine as it leaves the body and appears as white particles in the urine. This is normal and is not a cause for concern.

Anyone who is pregnant and has vaginal discharge that appears darker or discharges accompanied by other symptoms, such as itching or burning, should see a doctor, as they may have an infection.

2. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

UTIs are a common cause of white particles in the urine.

UTIs occur when bacteria get into the urethra and make their way to the bladder, kidneys, or ureter, where they multiply and cause the infection.

Less commonly, viruses, parasites, or fungi entering the urinary tract may cause a UTI.

A UTI can cause discharge in both men and women and can cause white particles to appear in the urine.

Other symptoms of urinary tract infections include:

  • pain in the abdomen or pelvis
  • an urgent urge to urinate
  • pain while urinating
  • trouble urinating
  • cloudy or discolored urine
  • foul-smelling urine
  • fever or chills

Bacterial UTIs usually require antibiotics. If the UTI is left untreated, it may spread to other parts of the body and can cause serious complications.

Anyone who thinks they have a UTI should visit a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

3. Ovulation

Some women produce extra cervical mucus during ovulation. This mucus may have a milky or creamy texture and may resemble a stringy white substance in the urine.

While it is normal for some of this mucus to be released into the urine, a woman should visit the doctor if the discharge has a foul odor or is colored.

4. Retrograde ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when the muscle or sphincter that keeps semen from entering the bladder does not contract properly. This can cause the man to have an orgasm without ejaculating, as the semen goes into the bladder instead.

When the man empties his bladder later, he may notice stringy, white bits of semen floating in the urine.

Retrograde ejaculation does not pose any direct health concerns, but infertility treatments may be necessary if a couple is trying to conceive.

5. Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is inflammation in the vagina caused by an imbalance of bacteria.

This can cause a variety of symptoms, including a foul or fishy odor and a burning sensation while urinating.

Some women also notice a thin, grayish-white discharge that may mix in with the urine and cause white particles to appear.

Treatment for bacterial vaginosis varies but can include oral antibiotics or suppositories.

Some doctors also recommend taking probiotics after treatment to reintroduce beneficial bacteria to the vagina.

6. Yeast infections

A yeast infection may also cause white particles in the urine. The fungus Candida albicans is found naturally in healthy women but, in certain situations, it can grow rapidly in the vagina and cause an infection.

Yeast infections often cause a thick, chunky discharge that may resemble cottage cheese in appearance. This discharge can mix with the urine and lead to white bits appearing.

In addition to this, a yeast infection may cause other symptoms, such as:

  • redness and swelling around the vagina
  • itching or soreness
  • soreness or pain while urinating
  • pain during sex

Doctors often recommend prescription or over-the-counter antifungal treatments to treat yeast infections.

7. Prostatitis

Prostatitis refers to inflammation of the prostate gland and can be caused by a bacterial infection near the gland.

It can cause discharge from the urethra that mixes with urine. Men with prostatitis may have other symptoms, including:

  • difficulty or pain urinating
  • chills or fever
  • pain in the lower back
  • throbbing or pain in the testicles, perineum, or rectum
  • painful ejaculation
  • erectile dysfunction

Most cases of bacterial prostatitis require antibiotics.

8. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

man pulling spermicide condom packet out of pocket
An STI may cause changes in the urine. If a person has an STI then they should refrain from sexual contact.

STIs are transmitted through oral, anal, or vaginal sexual contact, and many of them can cause changes in the urine.

Trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea are all STIs that may cause genital discharge in both men and women. This discharge may appear as white particles in the urine or make the urine itself appear white or cloudy.

Anyone who thinks they may have an STI should contact a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

They should also refrain from sexual contact to avoid spreading the STI.

9. Kidney stones

Kidney stones develop when the levels of certain substances such as uric acid or calcium oxalate in the body get too high. The excess can build up in the urinary tract and may turn into kidney stones.

If the kidney stones are small enough, the body may expel them through the urine without a person noticing. They may appear as small white particles.

Kidney stones may also cause significant pain in the abdomen and other symptoms, including:

  • feeling the need to urinate constantly
  • difficulty urinating
  • burning and pain during urination
  • pain radiating through the lower abdomen, pelvis, and groin
  • foul-smelling, cloudy, or bloody urine

Many kidney stones can be passed with the help of over-the-counter pain medications.

Doctors may also prescribe drugs called alpha-blockers that help break the stones into smaller pieces.

In rare cases, medical procedures are needed to break up and remove the kidney stones.


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Symptoms

The appearance of white particles in urine may change, depending on the underlying cause of the issue.

Symptoms may appear in different ways, including:

  • white flakes in the urine
  • stringy, cloudy substance in the urine
  • grayish sediment floating in the urine
  • murky or milky urine

An underlying medical condition will often cause a few other symptoms to appear. These are important to note, as they will help a doctor diagnose and treat the problem.

When to see a doctor

patient speaking with a doctor
If a person is uncertain about the white particles in their urine then seeing a doctor is recommended.

Some causes of white particles in the urine, such as pregnancy and ovulation, are considered normal and require no treatment.

If a person notices any additional symptoms, such as itching or pain, they may need to see a doctor.

Additional symptoms may be a sign of an underlying infection that requires prompt treatment. Anyone who has frequent white particles in the urine or is uncertain about the cause should also see a doctor.

A proper diagnosis and treatment is the best way to prevent any possible complications.


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Outlook

Genital discharge is often the cause of white particles in the urine. Finding the underlying cause of this discharge is essential for getting the right treatment. Many cases are easily treatable with a doctor’s help.

Some causes, such as STIs or kidney stones, may require more attention. However, the outlook is good in most cases.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321338.php

Medical News Today: What causes bladder pressure?

A person usually feels the urge to urinate several times a day. Pressure in the bladder causes this feeling, which should disappear after a person urinates.

However, some people experience this pressure constantly, and it may feel like an ache. This is not normal and is likely caused by interstitial cystitis. This condition is sometimes known simply as bladder pain syndrome.

Here, we look at the causes of interstitial cystitis and symptoms that may accompany pressure on the bladder. We also discuss treatment options and prevention tips.

Causes of interstitial cystitis

woman sitting on the floor with washing holding side in pain
Women are twice as affected by intersitial cystitis as men.

The medical community is unsure what causes interstitial cystitis or the bladder pressure involved.

Usually, as the bladder fills up, it sends signals to the brain, telling it to use the bathroom. The body interprets this communication as the need to urinate.

Researchers suspect that in people who experience persistent bladder pressure, signals to urinate are sent more frequently than necessary.

Other causes of persistent bladder pressure can include:

  • allergies
  • infections
  • genetics
  • damage to the bladder lining
  • reactions of the immune system

Risk factors

Contributing factors can increase the risk of developing interstitial cystitis.

The condition is more common in adults than children, for example. Also, twice as many women have interstitial cystitis than men, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in the United States.

The presence of other health conditions may increase the likelihood of developing persistent bladder pressure. These conditions include chronic pain or fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome.


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Symptoms

The most notable symptom of interstitial cystitis is bladder pressure or pain, which can range from mild to severe. The pain or pressure may also be constant, or it may fade and return.

Other symptoms of interstitial cystitis may include:

  • a constant urge to urinate
  • pain during sex
  • pelvic discomfort
  • frequent, low-volume urination throughout the day

A person may easily mistake interstitial cystitis for a urinary tract infection because many symptoms are similar.

However, urinary tract infections can also cause different symptoms, and these should not be ignored. They include:

  • bloody, smelly, or cloudy urine
  • burning or pain during urination
  • an urgent need to urinate
  • a low fever

Anyone who suspects that they have a urinary tract infection should see a doctor.

Diagnosis

urine sample
A doctor may use a urine test to help rule out a urinary tract infection.

A person with lasting bladder pressure should see a doctor, who can rule out a urinary tract infection and diagnose interstitial cystitis.

The doctor will likely test a urine sample and examine the pelvic region. If the doctor detects no infection, they will often perform a physical exam and ask the person to record:

  • how many beverages they drink in a day
  • how often they urinate
  • whether they experience pain or discomfort during or before urination

Bring this log to a follow-up appointment. After reviewing it, the doctor may order one or more of the following tests:

  • a cystoscopy, in which a thin tube carrying a camera is inserted into the bladder
  • a urine cytology test, which shows whether abnormal cells are in the urine
  • urodynamic studies, which measure pressure as the bladder fills and empties

A doctor may also collect a sample of tissue from the lining of the bladder to rule out cancer.


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Treatment

Treatment of bladder pressure often varies from person to person. A person may discuss the following options with their doctor:

  • physical therapy
  • antihistamine medication to help with urgency
  • pentosan polysulfate sodium, which may block irritants in urine
  • tricyclic antidepressants, which can relax the bladder
  • over-the-counter pain medications
  • surgery, in rare cases

Some medicines may be inserted directly into the bladder.

Below are two additional therapies that may help with interstitial cystitis.

Bladder distension

Bladder distension is used to diagnose interstitial cystitis. With the person under anesthesia, a doctor will fill the bladder with air, which can increase capacity for urine.

Nerve stimulation

A doctor may recommend transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation to relieve pain and urgency.

This procedure helps to strengthen the muscles around the bladder and can keep impulses sent from the bladder to the brain under control. It is not effective in all patients, however.

Prevention

woman lying on bed reading
Wearing loose-fitting clothing may help to reduce pressure on the bladder.

Basic lifestyle changes can prevent persistent bladder pressure.

The best tip is to avoid foods and drinks that trigger these feelings of pressure. While no link between diet and bladder pressure has been proven, research strongly suggests it.

It may help to avoid the following:

  • caffeinated beverages
  • foods rich in vitamin C
  • alcoholic beverages
  • artificial sweeteners
  • pickled foods
  • fizzy drinks
  • citrus fruits

A person may want to identify triggers of bladder pressure specific to them. It may help to keep a record of each meal and whether the symptom was present.

A person may also reduce or prevent lasting bladder pressure by:

  • avoiding tobacco products
  • tracking urine output and training the body to urinate at specific times
  • wearing loose-fitting clothing
  • exercising regularly


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Outlook

Interstitial cystitis may last a lifetime, but treatments can help to relieve symptoms.

It is essential that people with persistent bladder pressure seek diagnosis and treatment. If left untreated, interstitial cystitis can lead to further complications.

See a doctor as soon as possible, to rule out the presence of infections or more severe conditions.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321339.php

Medical News Today: ‘Game-changing’ antibiotic can kill off superbugs

A new study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, offers the first proof that a new synthetic form of the antibiotic teixobactin can neutralize drug-resistant bacteria.
hands emptying bottle of pills
Scientists may be approaching a new era of antibiotics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that antibiotic resistance is “one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.”

In the United States alone, 2 million people are believed to become infected by drug-resistant bacteria per year, and more than 23,000 U.S. individuals die as a result.

The threat of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is particularly high in healthcare facilities.

In fact, a 2016 report by the CDC shows that 1 in 4 healthcare-associated infections that occur in long-term care are caused by one of the following six drug-resistant bacteria:

  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
  • Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter

Three years ago, scientists discovered that a natural antibiotic called teixobactin might have the potential to kill off MRSA and VRE.

Now, a team of researchers has created, for the first time, a synthetic version of the drug, which was used successfully to treat an infection in mice.

The new antibiotic has been called “game-changing,” and the findings may “lead to the first new class of antibiotic drug in 30 years.”

Ishwar Singh, a drug design specialist and senior lecturer in biological chemistry at the University of Lincoln’s School of Pharmacy in the United Kingdom, is the corresponding author of the new study.

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New drug clears infection in mice

Singh and colleagues studied the structure of teixobactin and found key amino acids that, when replaced, made the antibiotic easier to replicate into 10 synthetic analogs.

The team then tested these synthetic versions in vitro. “These [analogs],” write the authors, “showed highly potent antibacterial activities against Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, and [VRE].”

Also, one of these analogs was found to be noncytotoxic both in vitro and in vivo, report the scientists.

Further tests in mouse models — carried out by a team at the Singapore Eye Research Institute in Bukit Merah — revealed that one of the analogs successfully treated a case of Staphylococcus aureus keratitis.

Specifically, using the synthetic drug “decreased the bacterial bioburden [by more than 99 percent] and corneal edema significantly as compared to untreated mouse corneas.”

The researchers write, “Collectively, our results have established the high therapeutic potential of a teixobactin [analog] in attenuating bacterial infections and associated severities in vivo.”

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‘A quantum jump’ for new antibiotics

Singh explains the significance of the findings, saying, “When teixobactin was discovered it was groundbreaking in itself as a new antibiotic which kills bacteria without detectable resistance including superbugs such as MRSA, but natural teixobactin was not created for human use.”

“A significant amount of work remains,” continues Singh, “in the development of teixobactin as a therapeutic antibiotic for human use,” adding that “we are probably around six to ten years off a drug that doctors can prescribe to patients.”

Still, “this is a real step in the right direction and now opens the door for improving our in vivo [analogs],” he says.

Translating our success with these simplified synthetic versions from test tubes to real cases is a quantum jump in the development of new antibiotics, and brings us closer to realizing the therapeutic potential of simplified teixobactins.”

Ishwar Singh

“Drugs that target the fundamental mechanism of bacterial survival, and also reduce the host’s inflammatory responses are the need of the hour,” concludes study co-author Rajamani Lakshminarayanan, of the Singapore Eye Research Institute.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321320.php

Medical News Today: Study overturns age-old theory of brain learning

For decades, scientists thought that learning occurs in synapses, or the numerous junctions between brain cells. But now, a new study proposes that learning occurs in a few dendrites, the branches that feed inputs to the brain cell, or neuron.
blue neuron on blue background
The results of a new study offer a brand new insight into brain learning.

In a paper that is now published in the journal Scientific Reports, the authors describe how they came to this conclusion after studying computer models of neurons and cell cultures.

In the vast neural network of the brain, neurons behave like tiny microchips that take in inputs through their dendrites, and — when certain conditions are reached — create outputs using their axons.

Axons, in turn, are connected to the dendrites of other neurons through links called synapses. There are many more synapses per neuron than dendrites.

A significant result of the new research is that, because it proposes that learning takes place in dendrites and not synapses, the learning parameters for each neuron are much fewer than previously thought.

“In this new dendritic learning process,” notes senior study author Prof. Ido Kanter, of the Gonda Interdisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, “there are a few adaptive parameters per neuron, in comparison to thousands of tiny and sensitive ones in the synaptic learning scenario.”

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Learning happens faster than we thought

Another important result of the new study is that the process of learning happens much faster in the new dendritic model than the traditional synaptic model.

The results may have important implications for treatments of brain disorders and the design of computer applications — such as “deep learning algorithms” and artificial intelligence — which are based on mimicking the way that the brain works.

The researchers anticipate that, in the case of the latter, their study opens the door to the design of more advanced features and much faster processing speeds.

The traditional, synaptic model of learning is rooted in pioneering work by Donald Hebb that was published in 1949 in the book The Organization of Behavior.

That model, which Prof. Kanter and his colleagues refer to as “learning by links,” proposes that the “learning parameters” that change during the process of learning reflect the number of synapses, or links, per neuron, which are the computational units in the neural network.

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‘Learning by nodes’

In their new model — which they refer to as “learning by nodes” — the researchers propose that the learning parameters reflect not the number of synapses, of which there are many per neuron, but the number of dendrites, or nodes, of which there are only a few per neuron.

Therefore, they explain, “in a network of connecting neurons,” the number of learning parameters per neuron in the synaptic model is “significantly larger” than the number in the dendritic model.

The main purpose of their study was to compare the “cooperative dynamical properties between synaptic (link) and dendritic (nodal) learning scenarios.”

The study authors conclude that their results “strongly indicate that a faster and enhanced learning process occurs in the neuronal dendrites, similarly to what is currently attributed to the synapses.”

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Weak synapses play key role in learning

Another significant finding of the study is that it seems that weak synapses, which account for most of the brain and were thought to play an insignificant role in learning, are actually very important.

The authors note that “the dynamics is counterintuitively mainly governed by the weak links.”

It seems that, in the dendritic model, the weak synapses cause the learning parameters to oscillate rather than move to “unrealistic fixed extremes,” as in the synaptic model.

Prof. Kanter summarizes the results by drawing comparisons with how we should measure the quality of air.

“Does it make sense,” he asks, “to measure the quality of air we breathe via many tiny, distant satellite sensors at the elevation of a skyscraper, or by using one or several sensors in close proximity to the nose?”

Similarly, it is more efficient for the neuron to estimate its incoming signals close to its computational unit, the neuron.”

Prof. Ido Kanter

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321337.php

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Medical News Today: What are the white spots on my foreskin?

White spots on the foreskin can develop for several reasons. They can be harmless pimples and skin bumps or bacterial infections and sexually transmitted infections.

Depending on the cause, white spots may appear alone or in clumps, vary in size, and be associated with other symptoms, such as thick discharge.

In this article, we look at the causes of white spots on the foreskin, other symptoms that could accompany them, and how to treat the spots when necessary.

What are the potential causes?

Here are some common causes of white spots on the foreskin, along with other symptoms and treatment options.

Pimples

Man with white spots on foreskin looking down trousers with magnifying glass.
Pimples on the foreskin will usually go away in a few of days.

Pimples occur when skin pores become inflamed and infected by bacteria and form white, raised bumps.

Pimples appear to have a white head because they are filled with white-colored pus, which is a liquid mixture of immune cells, destroyed tissues, and bacteria. Most pimples cause only minor discomfort and go away after a few days with good hygiene.

While it can be very tempting, people should never force a pimple open.

Popping or pricking pimples can cause additional inflammation, make the infection worse, and lead to scarring.

There are many over-the-counter products and prescription medications available to treat and prevent pimples on the face and body. However, people are not recommended to use aggressive exfoliators and acne products on genital tissues, such as the foreskin.

The safest way to treat pimples on the foreskin is to apply a warm compress several times a day. Using a warm compress on the pimple promotes blood flow to the area, increasing the pressure in the infected pore and encouraging it to burst on its own.

There are several other ways to easily help reduce the recovery time for pimples and help prevent further infections.

At-home treatment tips include:

  • exfoliating or gently removing dead skin cells using a damp cloth
  • wearing loose-fitting clothing
  • avoiding irritating fabrics, cleaning products, or dyes
  • washing gently with lukewarm water and non-scented soap daily

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Infected or ingrown hairs

When hair follicles become irritated or infected, they can cause inflamed, raised bumps filled with white pus.

Folliculitis, or swollen hair follicles, tends to occur when processes, such as waxing, shaving, and chaffing damage the surface of the skin. This damage allows bacteria or fungus to enter the follicles.

Many hair removal processes can also cause ingrown hairs, which are hairs that accidentally grow downward into the skin instead of upward. If untreated, most ingrown hairs eventually become infected and filled with white pus.

Folliculitis sores can be very painful, itchy, and uncomfortable. Minor cases of folliculitis usually go away within a week or so with basic care, such as good hygiene, gentle exfoliation, and the repeated use of warm compresses.

Severe or chronic cases of folliculitis that are caused by bacteria or fungal infections may require the use of antibiotic or antifungal creams or pills.

Penile papules

Penile papules are small, non-cancerous bumps that appear around the head of the penis.

Penile papules can be white, pink, yellow, or translucent. They often occur in one or two rows that circle the head of the penis.

Researchers are still not sure what causes penile papules, but they seem to be harmless and are not associated with sexual activity.

Most people do not require treatment for the condition. If the papules are painful, uncomfortable, or cause anxiety, a doctor may remove them using a minor surgical procedure.

The surgical options include cryosurgery or freezing and laser surgery.

Fordyce spots

Fordyce spots, or Fordyce granules, are small, white to yellow bumps caused by abnormal sebaceous glands or sweat glands. The spots may occur alone or in clumps of 50 or more.

Fordyce spots are harmless and not sexually transmitted. Most people do not require treatment unless the spots are painful or cause discomfort. A doctor may run tests to rule out any other potential causes or concerns.

If needed, minor surgery may be performed to remove or reduce Fordyce spots. Treatment options include:

  • laser surgery or treatment
  • electrosurgery
  • micro-punch excision surgery
  • photodynamic therapy
  • oral isotretinoin, which is a form of medication

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Yeast infections

Man discussing health problem in doctor's office with doctor in foreground.
Some conditions or treatments may increase the risk of yeast infections.

Yeast infections are extremely common and are usually caused by species of the fungus Candida.

The infection can affect the head of the penis and the foreskin, causing inflammation, white to reddish colored bumps, and thick, white to yellowish discharge. The foreskin may also feel tighter when the head of the penis swells.

In most cases, yeast infections are caused by poor hygiene or contact with someone with the infection, especially sexual contact.

Some people may also be more prone to yeast infections because of medical conditions or treatments that compromise the immune system.

Balanitis

Balanitis is pain, redness, and swelling of the tip and foreskin of the penis that can cause whitish, lumpy discharge when linked to bacterial or fungal infections. People with balanitis may also find it uncomfortable to urinate.

Irritation of the skin or allergic reactions can also cause balanitis.

The treatment options for balanitis depend on the cause.

Antibacterial or antifungal creams or pills may be used for balanitis caused by infection.

A low-dose corticosteroid cream, paired with stretching exercises, may be prescribed for cases of severe or chronic balanitis associated with irritation.

Genital warts (HPV)

Genital warts usually appear as cauliflower-shaped, white or flesh-colored bumps, often with a dark or black-colored center. Warts can occur alone or in clumps.

A sexually transmitted infection (STI) known as the human papillomavirus (HPV) causes genital warts.

Genital warts are spread by contact with the saliva of someone who is infected with HPV or skin-to-skin contact.

Often, HPV infections do not cause symptoms, or symptoms clear up on their own once the infection has run its course.

A doctor may prescribe antiviral medications to help clear HPV infections that cause symptoms, such as genital warts. The vaccine Gardasil gives immunity against most of the strains of HPV that cause genital warts.

Genital herpes

Another STI called the human herpesvirus (HSV) causes genital herpes.

Most HSV infections do not cause symptoms. When they do, HSV sores range from small bumps, which can be mistaken for pimples, to blistering, painful sores that take weeks to heal.

During the first outbreak of symptoms, people with HSV infections may also experience flu-like symptoms, including:

  • body aches
  • weakness
  • fever
  • swollen lymph nodes

There is no cure for genital warts caused by HSV, though the regular use of specific antiviral medications may reduce both symptoms and the chance of passing the virus onto others.

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Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum on close-up of skin.
Molluscum contagiosum is a type of infection that causes small bumps to appear on the skin.

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection caused by skin-to-skin contact. The infection causes white to flesh-colored bumps that usually start out fairly small in size and grow as the infection takes its course.

Most people recover from M. contagiosum infections without treatment.

Painful, uncomfortable, or anxiety-producing bumps may be surgically removed, often with laser surgery, freezing, or scraping.

A doctor may also prescribe acid-based creams that will burn off the layer of skin containing the bumps.

When should someone see a doctor?

People should see a doctor any time that white spots on the foreskin cause pain, discomfort, or anxiety.

They should also seek medical attention for white spots that are associated with:

  • pus or abnormal discharge
  • sexual activity or new sexual partners
  • blistering, painful sores
  • fever, body aches and pains, and general weakness
  • extensive coverage of most of the penis or genitals
  • difficulty urinating
  • cauliflower-shaped bumps
  • bumps that come and go

Outlook

Many of the causes of white spots on the foreskin do not lead to any serious symptoms, are harmless, and do not require treatment.

White spots caused by bacterial, fungal, or viral infections will usually require treatment. These cases may also be associated with more severe or chronic symptoms.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321330.php

Medical News Today: What are these black spots on my scrotum?

Black spots on the scrotum may be concerning, but many of the most common causes are benign. They may require no treatment or a simple fix.

A range of conditions can cause these black spots. Obtain a professional diagnosis to ensure appropriate treatment.

In this article, we explore the conditions that cause black spots to form on the scrotum. We also describe accompanying symptoms, how a doctor will determine a diagnosis, and the treatment options available.

Causes

man looking down below using a magnifying glass with possible black spots on scrotum
Black spots on the scrotum may have many different causes.

Black spots may form on the scrotum temporarily or permanently. The following are some of the most common causes.

Bruises

Physical injury can damage small blood vessels, causing blood to pool in the tissues. This results in areas of dark, tender skin, known as bruises.

Most bruises clear up within 2 weeks.

Dark or ingrown hair follicles

After removing hair, often by waxing or shaving, new hair may appear darker than before.

If a hair in an early stage of growth becomes trapped beneath the skin, or ingrown, the resulting bump may appear as a dark or discolored spot.

Ingrown hairs can also be painful or tender and swollen.

Pimples and blackheads

These minor skin conditions are caused by mild infection or clogged pores. They are extremely common and may appear as dark spots on the scrotum.

Most pimples and blackheads are harmless. They often resolve with basic at-home care, such as good hygiene and warm compresses, within a few months.

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation occurs when some areas of skin develop more pigment. This can appear as a variety of skin lesions, such as:

  • freckles
  • moles
  • sun spots
  • stretch marks
  • age spots

A 2013 study looked at 400 males between the ages of 3 and 91 who received medical attention for genital lesions. Of these, 85.6 percent of cases involved hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation lesions are generally harmless, and many have no symptoms beyond discoloration of the skin.

Angiokeratoma

This condition causes small blood vessels to widen, resulting in non-cancerous skin lesions that may be dark red or blue.

These lesions tend to have clear edges, and most are:

  • 1 millimeter (mm) to 8 mm in size
  • raised in a dome-shape
  • abnormally thick
  • randomly distributed, when they appear on the scrotum

If these lesions cause irritation, or if a person scratches them by accident, scaling, crusting, bleeding, and blood blisters can occur.

Angiokeratoma lesions are usually harmless and have no other symptoms. However, they concern people who mistake them for symptoms of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or cancer.

The risk of developing these lesions increases greatly with age. At age 16, a boy is estimated to have a 0.6 percent chance of developing this condition on the scrotum. The risk rises to 17 percent for men aged over 70.

Genital warts

These lesions can form on the genitals, inner thighs, or elsewhere in the groin area. They are caused by strains of human papillomavirus (HPV).

Genital warts are among the most common STIs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 1 in every 100 sexually active adults in the United States has had an outbreak.

Warts can appear as white or skin-colored bumps, and some may resemble cauliflower. However, others may be dark or have darkened center.

Scrotal dermatitis

Dermatitis refers to chronic inflammation of the skin. The scrotum’s skin is very thin, making it easily irritated and inflamed. Exposure to allergens and irritants, especially on a regular basis, can cause scrotal dermatitis.

Itching, scratching, and chafing of inflamed skin can irritate the small blood vessels close to the skin’s surface. This can lead to bruising or the appearance of other dark spots.

While a person can have an allergic reaction to almost anything, some chemicals and compounds are more likely to cause dermatitis.

Common causes of external genital dermatitis include:

  • clothing dyes
  • chemicals in laundry detergents
  • spermicides and lubricants
  • topical antiseptics and antibiotics
  • chafing from underwear or protective sports gear

Less common causes

Very rarely, black spots on the scrotum can indicate a severe medical condition, such as HIV or skin cancer.


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Diagnosis

cbc blood test to test for black spots on the scrotum
A complete blood count may be used to diagnose black spots on the scrotum.

A doctor will perform a variety of tests to determine the cause of spots on the scrotum. They may be able to make a diagnosis based on a physical examination alone, but more complicated tests may be required.

A doctor might also refer a person to a dermatologist, who specializes in skin conditions. This will depend on a person’s symptoms and other factors specific to an individual.

Tests often used to diagnose black spots on the scrotum include:

  • a complete blood count
  • tests for liver and kidney function
  • screenings for STIs, such as HIV and hepatitis B and C
  • an erythrocyte sedimentation rate test, which can indicate the extent of inflammation
  • a biopsy, which involves taking a sample of skin to study
  • an ultrasound of the lower abdomen and genital area


Treatment

Depending on the cause, a range of procedures, medications and home remedies can reduce or eliminate black spots on the scrotum.

Bruises

Most bruises respond well when a person applies an ice pack or mild heat to the area. Some over-the-counter creams may also ease pain and inflammation.

Dark or ingrown hair follicles

There is no medical need to treat dark hair follicles, though some may choose to lighten them for cosmetic purposes.

Ingrown hairs can usually be eliminated by exfoliating. This will remove the top layer of dead skin cells and help to prevent hairs from becoming trapped.

Pimples or blackheads

The best way to treat most pimples and blackheads is to keep the area exfoliated, clean, and dry.

Larger pimples and blackheads may respond well to a warm compress. This will gently encourage blood flow in the area, which can help the bump to burst and resolve.

Hyperpigmentation

In most cases, there is no need to treat areas of hyperpigmentation.

A person may choose to have prominent lesions, such as large or irregular moles, surgically removed, especially if they are causing discomfort.

See a doctor if a mole has irregular borders or grows rapidly, as this can indicate cancer.

Angiokeratoma

Because they are usually harmless, there is usually no need to treat angiokeratoma lesions. A person may have them surgically removed if the location or size causes discomfort, or for cosmetic reasons.

A doctor will often take a biopsy of a lesion to ensure that it is not cancerous, particularly in cases of removal.

Techniques commonly used to remove angiokeratoma lesions include laser therapy and excision or scraping, usually with a scalpel. A person may instead have their lesion frozen off or burned with an electric current.

Scrotal dermatitis

The best way to treat scrotal dermatitis is to avoid exposure to the allergen or irritant causing the inflammation.

To reduce symptoms, wash the skin gently with mild soap and lukewarm water several times a day. Taking a long bath with Epsom salts or oatmeal may also help.

If the dermatitis is severe or lasting, a doctor may prescribe a steroid cream to reduce itching.

Genital warts

The treatment of this STI usually depends on the size, extent, and location of lesions, as well as the amount of concern a person may have.

Over-the-counter wart treatments are not safe to use on genital warts.

While there is currently no cure for genital warts, a person may choose to have them removed.

Common methods of removing genital warts include:

  • freezing them off
  • burning them with a cauterizing device
  • cutting or scraping them away with a scalpel
  • applying prescription creams and chemical preparations designed to separate warts from the skin

Removal usually reduces symptoms and can lower the risk of infecting a sexual partner.

The Gardasil vaccine can provide immunity against two types of HPV virus that together cause around 90 percent of cases of genital warts in the U.S.


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When to see a doctor

doctor with clipboard in office discussing with patient in foreground
If the black spots cause pain or discomfort, discuss them with a doctor.

Talk to a doctor or nurse if black spots on the scrotum are causing concern, pain, or discomfort. Also, seek advice if these spots are changing for no apparent reason.

For most common causes of these black spots, simple treatments can reduce or eliminate symptoms.

While black spots on the scrotum very rarely indicate cancer or HIV, a medical professional should rule out any possible link to a severe condition whenever a black skin lesion appears on the body.

Outlook

In most cases, black spots on the scrotum are harmless, and any associated discomfort will be mild.

See a doctor if these spots change, have an unclear cause, or lead to long-term pain or discomfort.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321328.php

Medical News Today: What are the soft food and mechanical soft food diets?

The soft food diet is one that includes foods that are easy to chew and swallow and excludes foods with a hard texture. With careful planning, it is still possible to eat a tasty, balanced diet from a variety of soft foods.

The mechanical soft food diet is another name for the diet, and refers to using equipment, such as blenders or food processors, to make food into a smooth puree.

In this article, we take a look at the foods to include and those to avoid when following a soft food diet.

When should someone follow this diet?

Stir fried tofu in a bowl which is part of the soft food diet
The soft food diet, which includes tofu, may help people who have dental problems or are recovering from surgery.

There are many situations where people are advised to follow a soft food diet:

Following surgery

Doctors may recommend that people who have had surgery to the mouth, head, neck, or stomach follow a soft food diet for a period following surgery.

Examples of surgery that may require a person to eat a soft food diet afterward include gastrectomy, where a surgeon removes all or part of the stomach, and bariatric surgery, which is an operation to reduce someone’s weight.

Cancer treatment

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can make the digestive tract sore and inflamed, a condition known as mucositis. If someone is experiencing mucositis, they might benefit from a soft food diet.

Difficulty swallowing

The soft food diet may be appropriate for people who find it difficult to chew or swallow. This condition is called dysphagia.

For people with significant dysphagia, who are unable to eat tough foods safely, a doctor or dietitian might prescribe a texture-modified diet. In this diet, users alter the texture of foods to reduce the need to chew. They may achieve this by mashing and pureeing foods.

A texture-modified diet is similar to the soft food diet, and a doctor or dietitian may recommend it to people who may be at risk of getting food stuck in the throat or windpipe.

Doctors will assess people with dysphagia and will make appropriate dietary recommendations depending on individual needs.

The range of foods and textures offered depends on the severity of the dysphagia. Individuals should discuss options with a doctor or other professional, such as a speech and language therapist who specializes in helping people who have difficulty swallowing.

Dental problems

A soft food diet may be appropriate following dental implant or tooth extraction, such as wisdom tooth removal.

Following a procedure, it is essential to follow dietary recommendations from the dentist to avoid infections and other dental problems.

Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth. They can become loose or ill-fitting over time, which makes it difficult to bite and chew properly. Hard or sharp foods can dislodge the dentures, causing them to become unstable in the mouth.

The soft food diet might be more suitable for adults with dentures as it prevents food getting stuck and causing any damage.


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Foods to eat

avocado on a table which is part of the soft food diet
Avocados are part of the soft food diet.

The soft food diet does not have to be restrictive. It is crucial to continue to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods, especially if recovering from surgery.

People following a soft food diet should try to eat regular meals including a variety of foods from the main food groups:

Carbohydrates to provide energy and fiber

  • porridge oats
  • whole grain biscuits with lots of milk
  • mashed potatoes
  • white or brown bread
  • boiled pasta or rice with sauce

Protein-rich foods for growth and repair

  • minced meats cooked in stews or casseroles
  • fish without bones that are poached, steamed, or boiled
  • tinned fish, such as tuna or salmon without bones
  • eggs that are scrambled, poached, boiled, and fried
  • beans, lentils, and pulses, including baked beans
  • hummus
  • tofu

Dairy and alternatives that contain calcium

  • milk and milkshakes
  • yogurt
  • crème fraiche
  • cheese sauce
  • cottage cheese

Fruit and vegetables for vitamins, minerals, and fiber

  • peeled, cooked, and mashed vegetables, such as carrots, butternut squash, and parsnips
  • ripe, soft fruits, such as bananas, pears, and berries
  • stewed fruit or compote
  • fruit juice and smoothies
  • avocado
  • tinned fruit in juice, mashed if necessary

People should be sure to remove the skins from all vegetable and fruit before eating.

Sauces

Followers of the soft food diet can use sauces to help soften foods. Options include:

  • gravy
  • cheese sauce
  • parsley sauce
  • white sauce
  • stock

Desserts

  • custard
  • milk puddings, such as rice pudding
  • mousse
  • ice cream or sorbet

Foods to avoid

As a rule, it is best to avoid chewy, crunchy, and dry foods when following a soft food diet.

People should take care with the following:

Carbohydrates

  • muesli or granola with nuts and dried fruit
  • jacket potato skin
  • crusts on bread
  • granary or sourdough bread
  • toast or crackers

Protein

  • chewy, fatty meat
  • tough or overcooked meat
  • cured meat, such as salami or chorizo
  • fish with bones
  • nuts, seeds, and peanut butter

Fruit and vegetables

  • raw vegetables
  • fruit skin, seeds, and pips
  • dried fruit
  • stringy or fibrous vegetables, such as celery or pineapple
  • foods that contain dried fruits and nuts, such as fruit cake
  • corn on the cob

Other foods to avoid

  • flapjacks
  • popcorn
  • chewy sweets, such as toffee
  • crisps


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Food preparation tips

Butternut squash cut into pieces as part of the soft food diet
People can also try cutting food into small pieces and cooking them until they are soft.

Foods can be mashed, pureed, or covered in sauce to make them moist and easier to eat.

Here are some other preparation ideas for the soft food diet:

  • cut food into small pieces
  • cook all foods until they are soft
  • mash with a potato masher or fork
  • use a food processor or blender to puree foods
  • use a sieve to remove lumps from soups or stews
  • add stock when cooking food to moisten and make it easier to swallow
  • add milk, cream, or cheese to sauces for the same reason
  • serve foods with a sauce
  • cook omelets or scrambled eggs with milk or butter
  • ensure meat is thoroughly cooked

Some recipes and meals work well as part of a soft food diet, such as:

  • guacamole or mashed avocado
  • dahl curry
  • soups
  • stews and casseroles
  • tuna and mayonnaise
  • cauliflower and cheese

Nutritional tips and additional considerations

A soft or mechanical diet might take a bit of getting used to, but it can be a healthful diet to follow. There are a few other things and tips to consider for people on a soft food diet, however:

Loss of appetite

For those with less of an appetite, consider smaller meals and regular snacks. Try not to rush meals.

Eating nutritious snacks between meals is fine. Nutritional supplement drinks can be useful if it is proving difficult to chew even with a soft food diet.

If problems persist, people should contact a doctor, specialist nurse, or dietitian for further advice.

Fortified drinks

If someone is struggling to maintain a healthy weight or experiencing difficulty eating a soft food diet, it might be useful to consider nutrient-rich drinks alongside meals.

Cream or full-fat milk can be used to make drinks and milkshakes for extra calories and fat.

Food variety

People should be sure to include a variety of foods in their diet. Doing so will prevent them getting bored of the same foods and meals while ensuring that they are consuming a wide range of nutrients.


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Conclusion

Both the soft food diet and mechanical diet can include foods from all food groups. A diet such as this requires careful planning and consideration to ensure that it is balanced to suit individual needs, however.

It is best for people to seek advice from a doctor or dietitian when beginning a soft food diet.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321331.php

Medical News Today: What home remedies can relieve sinus pressure?

A person can treat sinus pressure with medication, but plenty of home remedies may also help to ease symptoms and speed up recovery.

The sinuses are lined with a type of skin called mucous membrane. This membrane protects the body by producing mucus, which catches dirt and other particles that might otherwise cause illness.

The lining of the sinuses can swell if a person has an allergic reaction or infection. Swelling may lead to a feeling of pressure around the nose, cheeks, and above the eyes. These areas of the face may feel painful or tender.

Infections or allergies can lead to uncomfortable pressure in the sinuses. Clearing the nose can help to ease this symptom.

Below are natural alternatives to over-the-counter medications for sinus pressure.

1. Saline nasal spray

Man using neti pot to relieve sinus pressure.
Saline nasal sprays are a popular remedy for sinus pressure and can be made at home.

Inhaling saline solution can help to clear a blocked nose.

A saline solution can easily be made at home using sterile water, salt, and baking soda. Combine the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 pint of clean water
  • 1/4 teaspoon (tsp) of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda

Sniff this into the nose from cupped palms, one nostril at a time.

Alternately, use a clean, dry spray bottle. Gently insert the nozzle into a nostril and spray in the solution. Repeat two to three times per day.


2. Neti pot

Some people use neti pots to rinse out the nose, which helps to keep the mucous membrane moist and relieve pressure in the sinuses. The device looks like a small pot with a long spout. They can be purchased online.

Here is how to use a neti pot:

  • wash the hands
  • fill the pot with sterile water
  • lean directly over a sink
  • tilt the head sideways
  • gently insert the spout into the highest nostril
  • breathe through the mouth
  • pour water into the nostril

Water will run from one nostril to the other, which should flush out pollen, bacteria, and other debris. A person should repeat this process on both nostrils.

It is essential to use sterile or distilled water, which can be bought at a drugstore, not tap water. Alternately, boil water and allow it to cool.


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3. Steam inhalation

Using steam to open the passages in the nose can help to relieve sinus pressure.

Steam inhalation is easy to do at home. Boil water, pour it into a large bowl and lean over, so the face is directly above the water. Cover the head with a towel, and breathe through the nose.


4. Acupressure

Woman undergoing acupressure, back of neck being massaged.
Massaging pressure points at the base of the skull and top of the neck may help.

Acupressure is a key part of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves applying pressure to specific points in the body, to relieve pain or symptoms of illness. Scientists are not clear on whether acupressure works, but it may ease some symptoms.

Acupressure has long been used to treat colds, types of flu, and sinus problems. It can be done at home or by a professional practitioner.

Be careful not to apply too much pressure, causing pain or discomfort.

Here is how to use acupressure for sinus pressure:

  • link the fingers of both hands together, forming the shape of a cup
  • use the linked hands to cradle the back of the head, where the neck and skull join
  • extend the thumbs and find the dips on either side of the spine
  • use the thumbs to massage the area in small circles
  • relax, breathing slowly and deeply
  • do this for 4 to 5 seconds at a time

Using the fingertips to massage the cheeks and the bridge of the nose may also help to relieve pressure. This massage should be firm, but gentle.

5. Hydration

Any time a person is unwell, it is essential to keep the body hydrated.

Keep the mucous membranes in the sinuses moist by drinking plenty of fluids. This helps them to work properly.

Water, fruit juices, and herbal teas are good alternatives to tea and coffee.


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6. Warm washcloth compression

Applying heat to the sinus area can also help to relieve pressure. One of the easiest ways to do this is using a warm washcloth.

Run a clean washcloth under reasonably hot water and wring it out. Fold it, and lay it across the bridge of the nose and cheeks for a few minutes.

7. Essential oils

Menthol peppermint essential oil.
Menthol oil is thought to help open the nasal pasages, although research has not supported this.

Essential oils are natural oils derived from plants. The American Sinus Institute recommend using some essential oils to relieve sinus pressure.

Menthol creates a sensation that the nasal passages are opening.

Add a few drops of the oil to hot water, and gently breathe in the steam through the nose.

There are some anesthetic properties, but no scientific evidence proves that menthol causes the nasal passages to open.

Essential oils, including menthol, are available online. People should be sure to buy these oils from trusted sources, however.


8. Rest and relax

Concentrating on work or studies can be difficult for a person with sinus pressure. Taking a break and getting plenty of rest can help the body to recover.


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What is the outlook for sinus pressure?

If caused by an infection, such as sinusitis, the pressure should go away within a few weeks.

If caused by an allergy, sinus pressure may come and go. Taking antihistamines before coming into contact with an allergen, such as grass or pet fur, can prevent sinus pressure.

The natural remedies above can help to relieve sinus pressure and related discomfort. They can also help to speed recovery.

However, home remedies may not always work. If an infection has not gone away within 2 to 3 weeks, people should see a doctor for advice and treatment.

Source Article from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321322.php