Concussions are among the most common head injuries and occur when the brain hits against the skull after a blow to the head, and is bruised. Research shows that head injuries can cause major problems later in life, such as long-term memory loss and dementia, later on in life.
"You have all these nerve cells and they connect and send signals," E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork explains, "but when they are damaged, they may actually cap themselves off and atrophy, so you lose all these important connections."
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says that if a person suffers a concussion or blow to the head, especially while playing a sport, it is vital they stop the activity until the symptoms are gone, and a doctor has given clearance.
Concussion Warning Signs
• Nausea or vomiting
• Headache and dizziness
• Confusion and amnesia
• Loss of balance
• Ringing in ears
• Sensitivity to light and noise
Stacie, 36, suffers from severe dry eyes, which become red and irritated and burn. She applies eye drops more than 10 times every day to alleviate the symptoms but can't find a permanent fix. "If I don't have my eye drops, I can't function because I can't concentrate," she says. "It's a constant source of distraction."
Ophthalmologist Dr. Kerry Assil, from the Assil Eye Institute in Los Angeles, California, explains what causes the condition. "Tears are made of oil and water, [and] when there's not enough oil on the surface, the water evaporates 10- to 20-times faster, leaving the surface of the eye chapped and dry," he says. "That dryness can translate into inflammation, which can even cause infection over time."
Dr. Assil performs Dry Eye Light Impulse Therapy (DELIT), a five- to 10-minute treatment, on Stacie. The Intense Pulse Light applied to the lower eyelids unclogs inflamed and dormant glands that produce the oil part of tears. Dr. Assil explains that as the natural oil is produced by the treatment, it seeps from the oil glands in the eyelids into the tear film, so the tears don't dry up and evaporate as quickly. "People notice that the redness starts to go away, and their dependency on eye drops starts to go away," he says.
"The problem with using eye drops for dry eyes is [that] it's kind of like licking a chapped lip," he adds. "It only has a very temporary effect, because it's not going after the source of the problem. The source of the problem in this case is insufficient oil in the tear film. So if you use the artificial tears too often, whether it's stuff designed to get the redness out, or the dry sensation, it can actually make the condition worse."
• Dr. Jim demonstrates simple home remedies to help alleviate dry eyes.
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