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What to know about crossed eyes

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At some point in your life, you may have encountered someone whose eyes are directed opposite to where they are actually looking.

As a child, you might have even tried to mimic their eye position and question the reason their eyes are like that. This condition is commonly referred to as crossed eyes, but medically it is known as strabismus.

Strabismus is a prevalent condition that can affect people of all ages, with a higher incidence in children.

According to Brian G. Mohney, a pediatric ophthalmologist, approximately 1 in 20 children experiences strabismus.

Without further ado, here is what you need to know about strabismus.

WHAT IS STRABISMUS?

Strabismus is a vision disorder in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. In other words, one eye is turned in a direction that is different from the other eye.

Normally, the six muscles that control eye movement work together and point both eyes in the same direction.

However, if one has strabismus, these muscles have issues controlling eye movement and can not keep a normal eye position.

The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS), reveals that there are different types of strabismus, according to the direction the eyes turn.

Esotropia: This is a type of strabismus that causes inward deviation of the eyes. It is characterized by having one or both eyes turn inward toward the nose. Esotropia is the most common type of strabismus and affects between 2 to 4 percent of children.
Exotropia: This type of strabismus is also called wall-eye. It is when one or both eyes turn outward toward the ear and it affects 1 to 1.5 percent of kids.
Hypertropia: This is characterized by an upward deviation of one or both eyes. In this condition, the eyes are misaligned with one pointing upward.
Hypotropia: This is the opposite of hypertropia. It is the downward deviation of one or both eyes where the eyes are misaligned with one pointing downward.
What causes strabismus?

Strabismus is mostly caused by an imbalance in the muscles responsible for controlling the movement of the eyes.

However, there are other causes which include:

Genetic factors: People who have a family history of strabismus are at risk of having the condition. Research has found that about 30% of children with strabismus have a family member with a similar condition.
Acquired factors: Strabismus can be caused due to eye injuries or diseases that affect the eye muscles or nerves.
Refractive error: Uncorrected farsightedness can contribute to strabismus because of the additional eye focus they must do to keep objects clear.
Neurological or brain development issues: People suffering from conditions such as stroke, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy are at risk of strabismus.
What are the symptoms of strabismus?

Symptoms of strabismus can differ in severity depending on the type and the cause. However, here are the common symptoms of strabismus.

Eye misalignment
Double vision
Frequent blinking or squinting, especially in bright sunlight
Tilting of head to look at things
Eye strain
Closing one eye when looking at objects that are far away or when you’re in bright light
How is strabismus treated?

There are several treatment options for strabismus ranging from nonsurgical to surgical. Strabismus is advised to be treated quickly — also the younger the patient the more effective the treatment is likely to be.

These treatments include:

Eyeglasses and lenses: In a situation where strabismus is caused by refractive error, corrective lenses can help keep the eyes straight.
Medications: Medications like eye drops, ointments as well as botulinum toxin injection (Botox) are used. Botox helps weaken the overactive eye muscle and align the eyes properly.
Vision therapy: This involves a series of exercises and activities that help improve eye coordination, focusing ability and eye muscle control.
Eye muscle surgery: This is done if other treatments are not effective. During this surgery, the eye muscles are moved to change the length or position of the muscles so the eyes are aligned correctly.

Health

Five benefits of drinking Okra water

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Of recent, the trend of drinking okra water has gained traction backed with compelling evidence of its numerous health benefits.

In this article, we dive into the world of okra water and uncover five amazing key benefits of incorporating okra water into your daily diet, thereby unlocking the nutritional power hidden within:

Improved digestive health
Okra water is rich in soluble fiber, which aids digestion by promoting regular bowel movement and preventing constipation. It contains a gel like substance called mucilage that soothes and coats the digestive tract, reducing inflammation and easing symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort. regular consumption of okra water can contribute to a healthier digestive system .

Weight Loss Management


Okra is low in calories and contains high fiber content, which can help make one fuller for longer . The soluble fiber in okra water helps increase feelings of fullness reducing appetite as well as unnecessary cravings. By including okra water into a balanced diet, individuals can support their weight loss goal in a sustainable manner.

Blood Sugar regulation

If you are watching your blood sugar levels or have a loved one doing so, this benefit of okra water would be really helpful as it tends to have potential benefits for blood sugar regulation. Okra contains soluble fiber, which can slow down the absorption of sugar in the digestive system, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels . By incorporating okra water into your diet, you may experience more consistent blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes.

Heart Health Promotion

Okra is rich in nutrients like fiber, antioxidants and vitamins that contribute to a healthy heart. The fiber content in okra can help lower cholesterol levels, while the antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease. However, it’s important to remember that okra water alone is not a magic solution. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and overall healthy lifestyle are key for promoting heart health.

Skin and Hair Benefits


Okra water contains vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and biotin, which can indeed benefit both skin and hair health. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, thereby promoting healthier skin. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, supports the health of hair by promoting stronger, thicker strands. Incorporating okra water into your diet or using it in beauty treatments may provide a natural way to enhance the health and appearance of your skin and hair.


With this benefits of okra water stated, if you happen to be a naysayer to okra water, you should definitely think about its benefits.

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Health

Symptoms, risk factors, treatment — what to know about throat cancer

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On Thursday, Ogbonnaya Onu, a former minister of science and technology in the Muhammadu Buhari administration, died aged 72.

Reports suggest that Onu, who was the first civilian governor of Abia state, grappled with throat cancer before his demise.

If you came across the news, you may have wondered for a quick minute about throat cancer and maybe imagined how the symptoms would physically manifest. Perhaps you imagined a lesion or even a swollen neck.

What is throat cancer?

It refers to a type of cancer that develops in the throat, also known as the pharynx.

The human throat is a muscular tube that begins behind the nose and ends in the neck. The voice box sits below the throat and contains the vocal cords.

The two types of throat cancer are pharyngeal and laryngeal cancers, also known as cancer of the pharynx and the larynx.

What are the symptoms of throat cancer?

Symptoms of throat cancer include persistent cough, sore throat, a lump in the throat that does not heal, changes in voice, such as hoarseness or not speaking clearly, difficulty swallowing, ear pain, and sudden weight loss.

What causes throat cancer?

Throat cancer occurs when cells in the throat develop genetic mutations that cause them to grow uncontrollably. The continuous growth kills the normal cells. Then, the accumulating cells can form a tumour in the throat.

It is not clear what causes the mutation that leads to throat cancer. There are, however, factors that can increase the risk of throat cancer.

These risk factors include a family history of cancer, smoking and chewing tobacco, excessive alcohol intake, viral infections including human papillomavirus (HPV) and Epstein-Barr virus, and a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables.

How can one reduce the risk of having throat cancer?

While there are no scientifically proven ways to prevent throat cancer, there are ways to reduce its risk such as eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, drinking alcohol in moderation, avoiding smoking, and protecting oneself from HPV.

How is throat cancer diagnosed?

Throat cancer diagnosis involves a few steps. A physical examination will be performed in which a doctor will examine the mouth and throat.

The examination also involves a series of blood tests, while an endoscopy will be carried out.

An endoscopy is when a thin tube with a light on its end is inserted through the nose to look for abnormalities in the throat.

A chest x-ray and computerised tomography (CT) scan may also be carried out.

How is throat cancer treated?

Treatment of throat cancer will depend on the size of the tumour, whether it has spread all over the place, and the overall health of the patient.

The doctor will first need to find out what stage of cancer the individual has, that is, how far it has spread. This helps to determine the best treatment options.

Surgery may be recommended depending on the tumour size and chemotherapy may also be required.

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Health

10 safety tips for boat rides

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Water transportation, although a vital means of commuting, comes with its risks.

The recent unfortunate incident involving the Nollywood actor, Pope Odonwodo, known as Junior Pope, is a reminder of the importance of boat safety.

Pope, along with three others, lost their lives in a boat incident.

In a video posted by the late actor on his Instagram page on Wednesday, Pope, who was on a boat without a life jacket, told his followers to see how actors risk their lives to entertain them while pleading with the captain to go slowly as he shouted, “I have three children to raise.”

In the caption, he wrote, “See me lamenting… The risk we take to entertain you; crossing river 9ja yesterday with no life jacket… Na wahoooooo… Who does that ??”

The actor was reported to be travelling by boat away from a film set during the shooting of a movie titled, ‘The other side of Life,’ directed by Adamma Luke.

However, in response to the tragic accident, the Actors Guild of Nigeria, led by its President, Ejezie Rollas, suspended film productions involving riverine areas and boat rides.

Additionally, actors have been advised against participating in any project associated with Luke until further notice.

This incident highlights the need for stringent safety measures when traveling by water.

In this piece, we highlights 10 crucial safety tips for boat riders to ensure a safer experience:

  1. Wear life jackets: Always wear a properly fitting life jacket when onboard a boat. Ensure that there are enough life jackets for all passengers.
  2. Check weather conditions: Before setting off, check weather forecasts to avoid sailing in rough or dangerous conditions that could jeopardise safety.
  3. Follow safety instructions: Listen attentively to the boat operator or captain’s safety instructions and adhere to them diligently. Familiarise yourself with emergency procedures and the location of safety equipment onboard.
  4. Avoid overloading: Do not exceed the boat’s weight capacity or passenger limit. Overloading can lead to instability and increase the risk of accidents.
  5. Ensure proper boat maintenance: Regularly maintain the boat, including checking navigation lights, signaling devices, and emergency equipment like fire extinguishers and flares.
  6. Inform others: Let someone know your boating plans, including your route and estimated return time. This information can be crucial in case of an emergency.
  7. Be mindful of water conditions: Stay aware of water currents, tides, and potential hazards such as rocks or shallow areas. Navigate at safe speeds and exercise caution near shorelines.
  8. Monitor fuel levels: Always carry sufficient fuel for your trip and monitor fuel levels regularly. Running out of fuel in open water can be hazardous.
  9. Ensure children’s safety: Ensure that children wear life jackets and are supervised by adults at all times while onboard. Also, educate them about basic boating safety rules.
  10. Avoid alcohol and intoxicants: It’s crucial to refrain from consuming alcohol or other intoxicants before or during boat rides. Being sober enables you to make sound decisions and stay alert to potential dangers.
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