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The tissue which lines the eyelids and runs out over the eyeball is called the conjunctiva. An inflammation of this tissue is known as conjunctivitis. When the conjunctiva becomes inflamed there is burning and smarting of the eyelid, formation of pus, and reddened eyelids. Usually the eye when inflamed becomes exceedingly sensitive to light, and tears flood it constantly. In the morning the eyelids will be found crusted together. Doctors treat this condition according to the character of the germ that causes the inflammation and according to the severity of the infection.
Eyestrain is one of the common conditions that everyone talks about. Unsuspected eyestrain may be associated with twitching of the eyelids and face. It may be responsible for nausea and vomiting, for headache, bad nutrition, loss of appetite, and many other similar conditions. Yet the only way to determine whether or not eyestrain actually exists is to make a suitable examination of the ability of the eyes to see, and then to overcome the condition by rest and the provision of eyeglasses.
Motion pictures have been incriminated as a cause of eyestrain and tiredness. Under normal conditions moving pictures do not cause serious fatigue of the eye. However, the wrong type of lighting in a motion picture house, films that are jerky or spotted or badly lighted, and long periods of projection without change in the light will produce serious fatigue of the eye.
A good examination of the eye must detect symptoms and signs of difficulties such as swollen and inflamed lids, pain with or without redness, and any change in vision, such as double vision or dimming of the eyesight. Among the common difficulties with eyes are irritations of the lid such as sties and crusting of the lids. Overwork of the eye may lead to such signs of fatigue as discomfort, dizziness, scowling, rubbing of the eye, frequent blinking, or inability to do close work.
Some people quite obviously use only one eye, and turn the head to make that eye more effective. Other people hold the head in an unusual position in order to see better. This is due to the fact that they do not see objects in the normal positions. When there are crossed eyes or eyes that do not focus together properly the difficulty is easily apparent.
Accidents are fourth in the list of causes of death in the United States. Motor-car accidents constitute one fourth of all that occur. Under such circumstances, people ought to be aware of the immediate steps that need to be taken whenever anyone is involved in an accident, far-removed from any contact with a doctor or a hospital. People who frequently drive the country roads will be well-advised to provide their : cars with a first-aid kit containing at least some adhesive tape, bandages, cotton, tourniquets, and the other essentials that are helpful in stopping hemorrhage and thus saving a life. Remember, however, that the immediate services of a competent doctor are better than any amount of first aid by those not specially trained in care of wounds and injuries.
Shock and infection are the chief dangers from burns. For small bums apply sterile petrolatum ointment or burn ointment over the burned area. Cover with fine-mesh gauze. Remove all loose clothing from the burned area, but not if it sticks to the burned area, cut around it, and leave the clothing that has stuck to the wound for the doctor to remove. Dip strips of clean, freshly-laundered sheeting into a solution made of warm water, one quart containing three tablespoonfuls of baking soda, and apply to burned area. Do not use absorbent cotton directly on a bum.
When your head starts drooping about three o'clock in the afternoon, when you begin complaining of the heat, and when your work loses much of its usual interest, you are about ready for your vacation. You may think you are doing better to stay home and work. Scientific studies show, however, that a vacation is an asset from the financial point of view, because you do more productive work afterward than you did before.
An old-time doctor was asked by a young assistant how to run his office successfully. The doctor gave him two suggestions for routine treatment. "First," he said, "ask your patients what they eat and order something else; second, find out where they are going on their vacations and send them someplace else." The old doctor knew from common experience that most people do not pick their vacations properly for health and rest.
The Rickettsiae are minute infectious agents, smaller than most germs and larger than most viruses. Most classifications put them midway between the bacteria and the viruses. Rickettsia are too large to pass through a bacterial filter and are visible with an ordinary microscope.
Like the viruses, they multiply only in the presence of living cells and many of them live inside living cells. They usually are transferred from animals to men by ticks, mites, fleas, or lice. Many of the rickettsial diseases of men have been identified as such only during the last fifty years. The word "Rickettsia" comes from the name of Howard Taylor Ricketts, a physician in Chicago who was one of the first to observe these organisms and determine their nature.
The streptococcus is one of the most widely distributed and variable organisms that attacks mankind. Such conditions as sore throat, sinus infections, scarlet fever, erysipelas, puerperal fever, or lymphangitis may be caused by streptococci. Other conditions associated with such streptococci include acute rheumatic fever and acute inflammations of the kidney.
Such infections are found in all races, in both sexes, at all ages, and they come on at any time of the year. Scarlet fever is said to be rare in the tropics. Very small babies, under three months of age, seldom have streptococcal infections, because they get some immunity from their mothers at the time of birth. Tonsillitis, pharyngitis, and scarlet fever are more frequent up to ten years of age. Streptococcal infections can result from contaminated food, milk, water but most frequently pass from one person to another with coughing, sneezing, spitting and what are known as "hand-to-mouth" infections.
Influenza is an acute infectious disease caused by a virus. It comes on suddenly with fever, muscular aches, chilliness, and a cough. After, an attack, serious weakness is common for some weeks. Although outbreaks of influenza have occurred for centuries only in recent years have, the different forms of virus associated with epidemics been isolated. Two forms known as influenza virus A and B have been isolated since 1933. Vaccines for inoculating against these forms have been developed but routine immunization is not advised because the uncomplicated disease is rarely fatal and because the type or nature of the virus varies from one epidemic to another.
The virus of influenza is transmitted from one person to another by droplets of fluid coughed out of the nose, throat, and lungs. An epidemic usually reaches its peak in two or three weeks and then subsides in from four to eight weeks. The worst period of the year is winter and early spring. The influenza virus seems to be constantly present among human beings and epidemics occur under the specially favorable circumstances at aid spread of the Virus and lessen resistance.
The road to health does not involve the cultivation of enormous muscles. Innumerable systems of exercise have been exalted as leading to healthfulness. All sorts of extraordinary springs, bicycles, walking machines, dumbbells, and similar apparatus are alleged to lead the user directly into vim, vigor, and vitality, the three objectives of the physical culturist.
Exercise is a means of stimulating the action of the muscles, improving the co-ordination of nerve and muscle, and improving the circulation of the blood. The chief value of exercise is to stimulate the general chemistry and physiology of the body through its effect on the circulation and on elimination. That's why a healthy person feels better after exercise.