Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Causes and Home Remedies of Dark Circles

Dark circles refer to the discoloration of the skin under the eye, also known as dark shadows or dark rings. Dark circles are common in both, men and women. Though they are not a serious health problem, unlike many skin diseases,  they surely can make people look tired or exhausted, older, and unhealthy.

Following are the major causes of dark circles:

  • Dry Skin / Dehydration
  • Aging
  • Hereditary Factors
  • Stress
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Unhealthy Lifestyle
  • Prolonged Crying
  • Depression
  • Long Working Hours
  • Unhealthy Diet
  • Exposure to Sun
  • Smoking
  • Consuming Alcohol

Using the below easily available items, you can get rid of dark circles at home.

Here’s how to use them to your benefit.

Raw Potato – Grate raw potatoes, extract the juice, soak a cotton ball in the juice, and place it over your closed eyelids for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse with water. Alternatively, you may slice the raw potato and place the slices on the affected area to get rid of the dark circles. Repeat once or twice daily until the circles are gone.

Tomato – Apply a mixture of one teaspoon of tomato juice and one half teaspoon of lemon juice for about 10 minutes on the dark circles. Rinse it off with water. You can also use just the tomato juice until the circles are gone.

Almond Oil – Gently massage a little almond oil over the dark circles and leave it on overnight. Wash it off with cold water the next morning. Repeat this daily until the circles are gone.

Rose Water – Soak cotton balls in rose water and place them on closed eyelids for about 15 minutes. Repeat this twice daily until the circles are gone.

Tea Bags – Refrigerate two used black or green tea bags for about 30 minutes. Place one over each eye and rest it for 10-15 minutes. Rinse when done. Do this once or twice daily until the circles are gone.

Coconut Oil – Massage a little extra-virgin coconut oil on the affected area and leave it on for a few hours. Repeat this twice or thrice a day until the circles are gone.

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Honey – Apply a thin layer of honey on to the skin under the eyes. Leave it for about 20-30 minutes or overnight. Do this once daily until the circles are gone.

Cucumber – Slice a fresh cucumber and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Keep the slices on to the dark circle area for 10 minutes and wash it with water later. Do this twice a day until the circles are gone.

Turmeric – Mix a little pineapple juice with two teaspoons of turmeric power and apply the paste, leaving it on the affected area for about 10 minutes. Wipe it then with a soft, damp cloth. Repeat daily until the circles are gone.

Aloe Vera – Use the aloe vera gel and apply it under the eyes. Using the middle or pinky finger, gently tap the gel on to your skin under the eye. Leave it overnight daily until the circles are gone.

Mint – Crush a few mint leaves and apply them for about 5 minutes. The tingling sensation caused by doing so helps in increasing the blood flow to the area, thereby causing the circles to fade away. Repeat this once daily until the circles are gone.

Milk – Soak cotton balls in cold milk and place them under your eyes for about 10-15 minutes. Repeat this twice a day until the circles are gone. You can also use cold organic yogurt and follow the same.

Lemon Juice – Soak a cotton ball in fresh lemon juice and place it over your closed eyelid for about 10 minutes. Rinse it off once done. Repeat this once daily until the circles are gone. 

Note: If using any of the above causes any burning sensation, then immediately discontinue using the same.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Is Using A Smart Phone Really A Smart Idea?

We live in an age of technology and smart phones. Today, people spend more time using their phones and tablets than they practically do with the people sitting around them. Almost every person today owns some or the other type of smart phone or tablet. Technology has advanced and so has the usage of these devices. According to a recent study, people aged between 8-38 years spend an average of 8-11 hours every day in using their smart phones and electronic devices like tablets, laptops, and computers. Smart phones are changing the way we access entertainment and information. Modern life requires us to check our phones or tablets numerous times a day.

However, what are going unnoticed are the ill-effects of using such smart phones and similar devices. Continuous usage of such devices results in shoulder, muscle, neck, and back injury – especially in younger adults, which is gradually a growing concern of the day. So, the question remains:

Is Using A Smart Phone Really A Smart Idea?

Let’s throw some light on how using a smart phone affects your body!

Looking down at the phone and dropping the head forward results in a change in your body posture and mechanics: a change that is unhealthy and even dangerous. Ideally, the line from your neck to the shoulder should be aligned straight, but as you look down at your device and as the angle increases, the natural curvature of the neck changes. Your shoulders curl inside or lift up towards the ears, you get a hunched back, and your muscles are strained, causing wear and tear on the structures of the neck; in addition to causing chronic neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain. Continuous viewing of such devices affects your vision as well.

Furthermore, such poor posture becomes a habit, and you tend to have a poor posture even while you’re sitting, standing or walking, or are in a static position. This causes stiffness and upper body pain. Over time, this also affects your spine, causing middle and lower body pain. In some cases, constant texting or accessing such devices also leads to pain and numbness in the hands, fingers, and muscles. Thus, in no time, this one habit negatively affects your overall health and wellbeing.

Doctors have also recorded an increase in the number of patients – especially in kids and young adults – who complain about such bodily problems. If unattended to, such a poor posture also affects the trapezium muscle in the back, which can also lead to complete stiffness and intense pain, often resulting in bed rest for a few months, or a multiple months’ medical course.

Don’t Let Technology Become A Pain In The Neck

Pay attention to these little tricks so that you save yourself from the pain and injury caused by dropping your head while using the smart phones and tablets.

  1. Practice proper posture. Straighten up so that your ear to shoulder forms a vertical alignment.
  2. Don’t slouch. Slouching reduces the lungs’ capacity by 30%, causes pressure on the organs, and also leads to gastrointestinal and vascular problems.
  3. Practice eye exercises. Protect your eyes. Look away from your devices to something that soothes your eyes: trees, plants, etc
  4. Stay hydrated. Keep drinking sufficient water so that there is enough fluid to keep your body hydrated and well-functioning.
  5. Stretch yourself. Try shoulder extensions. Push your neck and back backward so that your shoulders are in alignment with your ears. This will ease your back pain and thus, body pain.
  6. Raise the device. Rather than tilting your chin down to view your smart phone, raise your device to eye level. This will free you from muscle pain and the subsequent neck and spinal pain.
  7. Use a desktop. For extended work, use a desktop. Be sure to arrange the monitor screen at an eye level to avoid the same problems caused in the point above.
  8. Take a break. Take a walk. Walk around and away from your devices. Make it a point to take a little walk every 20-30 minutes. Maintain a right posture while doing so. This will keep you away from your smart phones and other devices and will relieve you from the continuous viewing of the same.

To avoid this trauma and to lead a healthy life, stop carrying out your life by text. Do not get carried away by your smart phones. If you’re already in pain, visit a doctor immediately. Do not delay your health illnesses.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Avoid These Habits and Protect Your Teeth

We often tend to ignore dental care until we begin to face some problems like toothaches, gum swelling, and decay. It is only then that we realize that our teeth are as equally important as other body organs, and we do need to take proper care of them in order to keep teeth problems at bay.

Here are few basic habits that you need to avoid in order to keep your teeth healthy and damage-free.

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth is usually a result of stress and sleeping habits. Teeth grinding leads to teeth wearing that makes them vulnerable to fall and wreckage. To protect your teeth, avoid grinding by avoiding eating hard foods. Wear a mouth guard during sleeping so that you do not damage your teeth by sleep grinding.

Chewing on Ice

Chewing on ice can lead to the chipping or cropping of your teeth and can damage your teeth enamel as well. And if munching on those frozen ice cubes affects the soft tissues inside your teeth, then toothaches may follow. So instead of chewing the ice cubes the next time you feel the urge to do so, make sure you indulge in anything else that may be a substitute for your craving.

Candy and Chocolates

Candies and chocolates not only satisfy your taste buds but their sugary content also sticks to your teeth enamel, resulting in decay and damage. Make sure you brush your teeth after eating any such sweet food items. You may also choose to have these before meals in order to avoid the settling of these sugary treats on your teeth.

Aerated Drinks and Soda

Did you know that each serving of soda can have up to 11 teaspoons of sugar? To add to this, sodas also contain citric and phosphoric acids that are harmful for your enamel. And if you think diet drinks can keep you away from tooth problems, think again! These are even more harmful since they have more acids in the forms of artificial sweeteners.

Using Teeth As An Opener

We often open sachets, plastic packets, bottle caps etc using our teeth. These habits tend to cause the cracking or chipping off of the teeth, which in turn cause pain and other tooth problems. Remember to use your teeth only for eating, and not as a substitute for scissors and openers.

Starch in Chips

The bacteria in plaque break down the starch in the food into acid, which attacks your teeth for about 20 minutes, and even more if the food remains stuck between your teeth. To stop the decaying at base, take care to floss after eating such chips or starchy food items that often get stuck in your teeth.

Drinking Coffee

Drinking coffee causes yellowing of your teeth over a period of time. However, various whitening methods are now easily available in order to get rid of such stains caused by drinking a lot of coffee. Your dentist can help you to treat the discoloration of your teeth, if that is a concern you would like to address.


Just like coffee, cigarettes and other tobacco products too stain your teeth and tend to fall out due to gum diseases. Tobacco also leads to cancer of the tongue, mouth, and lips. Quit tobacco to live a healthy life and to have healthy teeth.

Red Wine and White Wine

Wines weaken the enamel and leave your teeth porous and vulnerable. This causes rough spots, staining, and weakening of your teeth. As a result, your teeth tend to become brittle over time, and gums loosen, causing the teeth to fall. Swish your mouth with water to avoid the after effects of drinking wines.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Heart Disease – Is It Preventable?

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in most men and women today. Hectic schedules, unhealthy diet, irregular working hours, the ever increasing stress levels, and other such factors often lead to an unfit and unhealthy body. This is because such commitments seldom leave you with any time to spend on yourself, in taking care of your body.

For many, exercising is a compulsory part of their daily routine. But for a larger ratio, this is just a secondary option. Do you know that without any physical activity, your body becomes more prone to ailments, especially heart diseases? Did you know that heart disease is a group of conditions that affect the structure and functions of your heart and has several root causes?

Symptoms & Causes of Heart Disease:

Heart diseases are many, and so are their symptoms. Each heart problem requires a different heart treatment but may share similar warning signs or symptoms like chest pain, palpitation, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, trouble in walking and speaking and so on. Sometimes, there may be no symptoms as well.

Heart diseases are most commonly caused by high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, stress, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity and overweight.

How to Prevent Heart Disease?

Heart diseases are manageable and preventable.

If you have been diagnosed with a heart ailment, there are many treatments to help you to manage your illness and to bring you back to your routine life. In addition to medical treatments and procedures, these simple alterations in your life can also help in reducing the risks and in keeping health diseases at bay.

  • Quit smoking and live smoke-free
  • Be physically active – be it by doing regular exercise, jogging, yoga, aerobics, cycling, or anything else.
  • Control your blood pressure by checking it regularly.
  • Follow a healthy diet that is lower in fat; especially saturated and trans fat.
  • Be fit and maintain your weight. Reduce it if you’re over-weight or obese.
  • Regularly check your sugar levels i.e. manage and control your diabetes.
  • Limit alcohol use. Even better, quit liquor if possible.
  • Reduce stress by doing something you love: something that makes you feel better and happier.
  • Go for a regular checkup. Early diagnosis of ailments greatly helps in treating them in time.
To avail a heart checkup at SevenHills Hospital, click here and here.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Remedies To Cure Your Backache

Backache may not be life threatening, but is life debilitating!

Here are some tips to help you cure your backache or lessen it when it begins to get too severe.

When Sitting:
  1. Always use a soft cushion/pillow to support your lower back when you’re sitting.
  2. Use a foot rest when sitting at work. Keeping your knees slightly higher than the hips keeps you comfortable and eases your backache, if any.
  3. Sit straight and avoid too much of forward or backward bending.
  4. Flex your muscles by taking small breaks every 20-30 minutes. Sitting in one posture for too long often leads to backache and body pain.
  5. While getting up, first move a little forward and then rise with an erect back.
When Standing:
  1. Stand erect.
  2. If you have to stand for a long time then rest your legs alternatively on a footstool.
  3. If you’re standing and working, make sure the desk/table is at waist level.
  4. Stretch yourself clockwise, anti-close wise, and backwards at regular intervals to flex your muscles and de-stress the spine.
When Sleeping:
  1. Avoid sleeping on your stomach as it can spoil the curve at the neck and cause back pain. If required, avoid taking the pillow when sleeping so!
  2. When sleeping sideways, bend your knees and the lower body. This will stretch your muscles and relieve you from the pain.
  3. When sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your knees.
  4. Invest in a firm mattress than an extremely soft or extremely hard one. A firm mattress will maintain the spinal curve, thereby keeping backache at bay.
  5. On waking up, turn to one side and then get out of bed rather than jerking your body by rising upfront.
  When Lifting Objects:
  1. When you have to lift any object, bend your knees instead of bending your back. Keep your back straight when you’re doing so.
  2. While holding the object, keep it close to your body and not higher than your chest. Holding it higher than your chest will push your back backward and will cause a back pain.
  3. Stand upright and bend backward a couple of times when you’re done with lifting the object.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Basic Tips To Protect Your Eyes

We often take our eyes for granted until the time we begin to face problems with our eyesight. It is often observed that unhealthy lifestyle and ignorance on taking proper care of our body leads to health disorders, which if not detected at an early stage, can lead to serious problems. Pollution, increase in the use of electronic gadgets, and lack of adequate knowledge to care for our eyes often leads to the gradual degradation of its health.

Here are some tips that can help you in keeping your eyes healthy and in maintaining good eyesight.

Follow a well-balanced diet

Eating a healthy diet that includes green, leafy vegetables, salmon, tuna, oily fish, eggs, oranges, nuts, beans, citrus fruits or juices, and so on will not only help in clearing your vision and making your eyes healthy, but will also help you in maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight causes health disorders like type 2 diabetes and others, which are a leading cause of blindness in most adults.

Avoid smoking

Tobacco and nicotine make you more likely to fall prey to cataracts, macular degeneration, and optic nerve damage. Try to quit smoking at the earliest as smoking is not just injurious to the eyes, but it is far more injurious to the lungs and your overall health.

Use safe and good quality eye-wear

Whether you’re stepping out of the house, wearing lenses, or playing some sport, it is always advisable to sport sunglasses or eye-protecting material like helmets to shield your eyes. The sun’s harmful UV rays and sports materials are capable of causing damage to your eyes and sight. Hence, it is ideal to wear an eyewear for added protection.

Inappropriate seating position

Sitting at a close distance, in an uncomfortable position, and for long hours before the computer and television can damage your eyes big time. These things can cause eyestrain, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck, back, head, & shoulder pain. To avoid this, sit at a distance of minimum 5 feet away from the TV and at an arm’s distance from computer monitors in an upright position with elbows and legs rested at 90 degree angle. Blink your eyes often, and take a small walk every 20 minutes.

Take a vision test

Whether you’re very young, middle-aged, or an adult, it is highly recommended to visit your doctor regularly and get your eyes and eyesight checked up. Regular checkup can help in identifying the condition of your eyes, and can also help in the early detection of eye-related diseases.

Be cautious, be healthy; as eyesight once lost, is lost forever!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

60 Minutes of Walking

It is not unknown that walking flexes your muscles and makes you healthier and fitter. But have you ever wondered what exactly happens to your body once you start walking and continue walking for 60 minutes?

Here’s an amazing minute by minute rundown of what happens to your body when you walk for 60 minutes.

Minutes 1 to 5
In the first five minutes of your walking schedule, your body releases energy producing chemicals that boost the warming muscles and blood flow. This causes the release of lubricating fluid which subsides any stiffness in your body. In these 5 minutes of walking, you burn 5 calories per minute, as against 1 calorie per minute that is burnt when your body is at rest.

Minutes 6 to 10
In this period, as your heartbeat increases, you begin to burn about 6 calories per minute. The release of chemicals causes more pumping of the oxygen and blood in the body. At this point, a slight rise in the level of blood pressure can be encountered as the chemicals are released and the blood vessels are expanded, as a result.

Minutes 11 to 20
In this period, you begin to walk faster and breathe harder and burn about 7 calories per minute. You begin to perspire as the body temperature keeps rising. Specific hormonal release fuels the muscles in the body.

Minutes 21 to 45
At this point, your body feels free from tension and you begin to feel positive and good. As your walk becomes brisker, you burn more body fat and the insulin level falls. Together, this helps battle diabetes or excess weight.

Minutes 46 to 60
With continuous walking for 45-60 minutes, your body may feel tired as the stored carbohydrates are reduced. As your pace gradually decreases, your heart rate decreases too, thus cooling down your body. The number of calories burnt per minute reduces but is still more than what you would have burnt at rest.

60 minutes of walking elevates your calorie burn further for up to 1 hour. The entire cycle runs without a single conscious thought in our mind. Such amazing is the human body!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

10 Basics For A Slimmer You

Forget those crash diets and extreme physical activities that trainers ask you to follow, in order to lose weight and get fitter. If you alter your lifestyle with these simple and basic habits, you will automatically shed that extra fat and will be on track of becoming healthier and fitter.

Get Off The Couch

Do not laze around on the couch all day long. Get off it. Avoid using the television remote. Get up at intervals to grab a glass of water. Take mini walks in the house. Indulge in some or the other work, however big or small.

Identify Your Hunger

To avoid unnecessary intake of food, identify if your hunger is genuine or is it the one caused out of boredom?! Eat only and when you’re hungry. Do not pop in food simply because someone offered it to you or simply because you’re bored and have nothing to do.

Eat A Healthy Breakfast

Eat a heavy breakfast to stay away from needless hogging of food throughout the day. Eat cereals, fruits, eggs, and other healthy items for breakfast.

Avoid Junk Food

Say no to junk food. Also stay away from street food, oily dishes, and other spicy food items. These can cause fat accumulation and digestion problems, in addition to affecting your skin and overall health.

Keep An Eye On Portion Sizes

Don’t hog! Eat lesser quantities of the food items you pick to eat. Eat them in the right proportions. Eat the right amounts of carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins and so on, just as much as required by your body.

Stop Eating When Your Belly Is 80% Full

Always hold on to eating when your 80% full. Do not over eat as this can cause you problems. Keep that balance 20% free. It will keep you feeling light and will also make you healthier in the due course of time.

Get Proper Sleep

Sleep for a good 6-8 hours daily. Your body needs rest. Lack of sleep, or more of it, can cause health disorders and may affect a healthy living. Getting the right hours of sleep helps in maintaining your body weight and thus keeps weight accumulation at bay.

Stress Less

Stress causes a number of health problems. Click here to read more.

Exercise More

Exercise, yoga, meditation, walk, or any other form of physical activity not only keeps you healthy, fit, and active, but also increases your concentration power and balances your mind.

Get Regular Medical Check-Ups

Make it a point to get yourself checked-up every 6 months or 1 year. This will help you in keeping a good track about the way your body is functioning. It will help you to make the necessary changes in your life in case anything is diagnosed. To get a health check-up done at SevenHills Hospital, view our list of healthcare packages.