Heart & circulation health Archives - Eurobio

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Tinnitus is a condition where one can hear sounds and noises that are not caused by outside source or external stimulation. Common tinnitus sounds such as ringing, buzzing, humming or even music or singing can be heard in one or both ears. They may come and go, or you will hear them all the time.

Tinnitus can be annoying as it affects your daily life such as sleep and concentration and impair the quality of life, but it is not usually a sign of serious condition and generally improves overtime. Although there are a number of health conditions that might cause tinnitus, the exact cause is never found. The common causes are:

  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Exposure to loud noises, short-term or long-term will cause tinnitus as well
  • Too much earwax that hardens and is difficult to wash away will lead to blockage and cause irritation to the ear drum
  • Medication use that can damage the ear function (ototoxic)
  • Blood vessels disorder linked to tinnitus such as atherosclerosis and high blood pressure

In many ways, tinnitus cannot be prevented but we can carry out some measures and simple remedies to help with tinnitus:

  • Use hearing protection while exposing yourself to loud noises
  • Turn down the volume especially while using headphones
  • Practice relaxation exercises as tinnitus can be worsened by stress
  • Tinnitus is commonly linked to blood vessels disorders. Therefore, take good care of your heart health such as doing regular exercise as healthy blood vessels can help with tinnitus
  • Ginkgo Biloba extract improves blood flow and regulate vascular tone. It provides adequate supply of blood to the ear, which can improve tinnitus caused by impaired circulation

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A stroke is a sudden interruption or reduction of blood flow to the brain, caused by any of the following:

  • The artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked, which is called the ischaemic stroke and the most common type of stroke.
  • The artery in the brain breaks open and blood leaks out to the brain cells, which is called the hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or “mini stroke”, is caused by a temporary clot. The symptoms are similar to a full stroke, but mostly temporary and disappear after a few minutes or hours. This is a warning of a future stroke and should be taken seriously.

All events will reduce the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, therefore damaging parts of the brain.  Stroke requires immediate medical attention as every minute counts. Fast treatment can lessen the brain damages caused by stroke.

It is very important to recognize the warning signs of stroke in order to seek immediate medical attention. Common warning signs of stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness and weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden blurred, blackened or doubled vision
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache

Stroke can cause temporary or permanent consequences, depending on the area of the brain affected and also the duration affected. These consequences will affect greatly on the quality of life, such as:

  • Loss control of muscle movement or paralysis, such as on one side of the face, arm or leg
  • Muscle tightness and pain on arm or leg
  • Difficulty in speaking, understanding speech, swallowing or eating
  • Difficulty in thinking, reasoning, making judgment and having memory loss
  • Difficulty in controlling emotions and may develop depression and become more withdrawn from the society
  • Loss of self-care ability and help is needed in daily life

There are some of the ways we can do to reduce the risk factors of getting a stroke:

  • Control your blood pressure and keep it at a safe level
  • Reduce the intake of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet
  • Stop smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Keep your blood sugar in a healthy range
  • Stay active and exercise regularly
  • Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables that contains beneficial vitamins and minerals for good health

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Everybody knows that keeping our blood pressure in control is an important task to keep our body healthy, but how to do it is another challenge faced by most people.

Normal adult has a blood pressure of 120mm Hg when the heart beats (systolic pressure) and a blood pressure of 80mm Hg when the heart relaxes (diastolic pressure). Blood pressure is considered high when the systolic pressure is above 140mm Hg and the diastolic pressure is above 90mm Hg.

With an uncontrolled raised blood pressure, it can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, brain damage and other long term complications. More than 1 in 5 adults have raised blood pressure, and this condition causes around 50% of all death from stroke and heart diseases.

Having a healthy heart and blood circulation helps in blood pressure control. A few lifestyle changes can be done to maintain your blood pressure at a healthier range and reduce your risk of heart diseases:

  • Keep an eye on your weight. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure.
  • Get regular exercise, at least 150 minutes a week.
  • Eat a healthy diet consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
  • Eat fatty fish, which is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week.
  • Avoid processed foods as they are high in salt content, which is bad for your blood pressure.
  • Drop the cigarette. Quit smoking can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of heart diseases.
  • Stress management and relaxation.
  • Visit your doctor regularly and get regular medical checkups.

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Cardiovascular disease is a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affect our heart or blood vessels. The term “cardiovascular disease” is often used interchangeably with heart disease because both terms refer to diseases of the heart or arteries. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in Malaysia. It is also a major cause of disability.

There are many different forms of heart disease, which include coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure, heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) and structural heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, which are the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and happens slowly over time. The gradual build-up of fatty deposits in coronary arteries slowly narrows the coronary arteries. The heart receives less blood, and eventually, diminished blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath or other symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack. Coronary artery disease is the major reason people have heart attacks.

We can help reduce the risk of heart disease by taking steps to control factors that put us at greater risk:

  • Control of blood pressure
  • Lower the cholesterol level
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke
  • Get enough exercise
  • Eat fatty fish, which is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week

Heart disease is often avoidable. Following a heart-healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t mean we need to live a life of self-deprivation. Instead, find ways to incorporate healthy habits into our lifestyle and we will well enjoy a healthier life for years to come.

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