How to Avoid Eye Strain

With so many people using computers at work, computer eye strain has become a major complaint. Research shows that eye strain and other bothersome visual symptoms occur in 50 to 90 percent of computer workers. These problems can range from physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased numbers of errors, to minor annoyances like eye twitching and red eyes. Here are some easy steps you can take to reduce your risk of computer eye strain:

How to Avoid Eye Strain

  1. Look away frequently, or apply the 20-20-20 rule

Eyestrain often occurs when you engage in a single activity for too long without a break. You should shift your focus to something other than the activity every 20 minutes. Whatever you focus on should be 20 feet away, and you should look at it for at least 20 seconds. This is commonly known as the 20-20-20 rule. You should not only look away every 20 minutes, but also make sure to turn away from an intense activity for several hours during the day. If you have to work at a screen or drive a long distance for multiple hours, make sure to balance that activity with some others that demand different uses of your eyes. For instance, take a walk outside in the natural light during your lunch break if you’ve spent the whole morning working on a computer.

  1. Practice relaxation often

When you stare at close distances for long periods of time, you should follow these stretches of time with eye relaxation techniques. You should also try to frequently increase the distance between you and the object you focus on. If you don’t follow these recommended tips, you can overly strain the ciliary muscle of your eye, which are the ones that control the lens during the work of eyesight at a distance. You can also make yourself nearsighted, either temporarily or permanently. The breakdown of the eye muscle changes the ability of your eyes to accommodate and ends up flattening the lenses in your eyes.

  1. Get regular eye tests

If you work on a computer every day, experts recommend having a comprehensive eye exam every year in order to spot problems before they develop. During this test, you should tell the doctor how often you use your phone and your computer. You should also measure the distance from your eyes to your screen at work and inform your doctor about it, so your eyes can be tested at that distance.

  1. Reduce glare

Reducing glare will significantly reduce the strain on your eyes. Use non-reflective interfaces whenever possible. One solution can be reading from paper instead of a computer screen. Whenever you have to use a screen make sure it is at a 90 degree angle from any direct light source. Use indirect or reflective lighting whenever possible. Also, try switching your monitor or TV to a flat screen technology as they are not as reflective. Use anti-glare technology as well as anti-glare filter on monitors if you can. Also, use anti-glare glasses when driving or working in general.

  1. Use eye drops

Intense focus, particularly when viewing a screen, can result in a reduction in how many times you blink per minute. When you blink less, your eyes can get dry and irritated. You can resolve this with the use of eye drops like artificial tears. You can also try to blink more often when using a screen, which can prevent the symptom from occurring.

The symptom of eye strain does not result in any damage to the eyes. So, the prognosis is excellent. Relief of eye strain symptoms will usually occur using the above techniques. Once you recognize that your symptoms are caused by eye strain, you can usually modify the task that produces the eye strain sufficiently to reduce or eliminate the eye strain. Make sure to follow these tips whenever you stare at your computer.


How Does Exercise Affect your Sleep?

It is important to find time for exercise on a daily basis, and for many this means squeezing in a workout early in the morning, or even late at night, just before bed. However, many people have difficulty sleeping if they exercise too late in the evening. If you are one of these, you might be reacting to the increased adrenalin and cortisol that result from strenuous activity, which can make it extremely difficult to fall asleep. In that case you should avoid intensely exercising within three hours of bedtime so you have adequate time to wind down. Research suggests that many people will sleep better if they exercise, even if that exercise is done in the evening, as late as an hour or two before bed. If your lifestyle is such that you can only exercise at night, you should find ways to improve your chances of sleeping well. Sleep and exercise are equally important for your health, so the trick is to develop a routine that optimizes both. Here are some tips.



  1. Listen to Your Body

Even if you’re only exercising once or twice a week, you shouldn’t blame yourself for getting tired quickly. Instead of blaming yourself for being out of shape, take the cues your body is giving you. When you’re tired, your body is demanding rest and nutrients to rebuild your muscles and energize you. Although your workout might have been what pushed you over the edge, there are high chances that are you’re neglecting your body before you even hit the gym.

  1. Have a High-Protein Bedtime Snack

People who drank a protein shake before hitting the sheets usually experience a greater increase in muscle strength than those who didn’t. That’s because in your body, protein breaks down into amino acids, which build up your muscles. Since most of us consume protein only with meals, there typically aren’t many amino acids available overnight for muscle growth. That basically means your body’s prime recovery hours aren’t being used to their full potential. To get the most muscle-building power while you sleep, try a protein-rich snack like Greek yogurt or a turkey roll-up.


  1. Sip Sleep-inducing Brews

You already know you should avoid caffeine in the evening, but why not take things one step further by sipping something that will increase drowsiness? Try chamomile tea or a sleep smoothie to drift off with ease. Good sleep nutrients include vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. You can choose anything from leafy greens, avocados, cherries and strawberries to counter deficiencies in these nutrients.

  1. Turn In a Little Earlier

When you get more quality sleep your motivation to work out skyrockets. Sleep affects people’s perception of how hard exercise is. If you’re tired, your brain may try to convince you to save your resources by hijacking your good intentions to visit the gym or by making your workout feel unusually difficult once you’re there. All you have to do to regain your motivation is get to bed a little sooner. Just 30 minutes should be enough to increase your drive to exercise the next day.

If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, exercise might be quite impossible. If you’re spending your nights studying, or working instead of sleeping, you’re depriving your body and this can make you feel even more tired after a workout. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night to allow your muscles to rest and rebuild.

Best 6 Bedtime Yoga Chart

Is there any chance you are struggling to drift off to the land of nod? Well, yoga may be the answer for you. Studies show that more than 85% of people claim yoga helps to reduce stress. 55% of people say it helps them to get much better sleep. So, if you’ve been struggling to get your 8 hours of sleep recently, yoga may be the solution. Recent studies have proven that yoga can have a very positive effect on your sleeping pattern by easing your nervous system and helping you control your breathing. If you want to try it, here are some of the best poses that will help you relax your body and mind before hitting the sheets.

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  1. Easy Forward Bend

The easy forward bend pose is accessible and easy even to beginners, and it’s a great one to try before bedtime. If you’re tight in the hips, you should sit on top of a pillow to make the pose a bit more relaxing. This one is really good for your sleep. It also eases tension and lets the hips open up, and simply creates an overall sense of ease in the body.

  1. The Butterfly Pose – ‘Badhakonasana’

No wings are needed for this pose, but simply a flexible pair of legs. Its name comes from the way it’s practiced, with the movement of the legs resembling a butterfly flapping its wings. You’ll need to sit upright; bend your knees and bring your feet in, so your legs form a somewhat diamond shape. Then, repeatedly press your knees downward like a butterfly and cup both feet in hands, while keeping your spine super straight throughout.

  1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

In order to perform this pose, stand with the feet about six inches apart and fold the torso to the ground, reaching toward the ground or bending the arms and grabbing opposite hand to opposite elbow. In addition to helping to relieve headaches and insomnia, the pose can also be helpful for lowering stress levels. Sway a little side to side and breathe to get the full effect. Bend the knees as much as needed to ease any strain and nearly afterwards the tension in the legs and hips will start to release.

  1. The Head to Knee Pose – ‘JanuSirsasana’

This particular move will give your quad muscles the workout they need. It will also help calm your nervous system and mind. To achieve the full effect of this pose, simply sit with one leg extended and fold your other foot into the inner thigh of your extended leg. Then, fold your body over the extended leg and hold on to your calf or foot, depending on how flexible you are. Once done, simply repeat with the other leg.

  1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child’s pose helps to calm the mind and relieve tension in the body. It goes like this: fold the torso over the legs with the arms extended or by the sides, and rest the forehead on the ground. While doing that, take long deep breaths. Massage the forehead left to right easing tension at the brow point.

  1. The Seated Twist – ‘ParivrttaSukhasana’

Ideal for increasing flexibility, this pose involves sitting down with your feet extended in front of you and spine elongated. This one goes like this: place your right hand on the floor behind you, and your left hand on your right knee. As you exhale, twist even further around to the right, looking over your right shoulder. Hold for a maximum of five breaths, and then switch sides.

Focusing on stretching and breathing can really do wonders for your body. The simplest relaxation techniques can do wonders for your body and mind. With these tips, you will enjoy a more restful night’s sleep!

Nursing Shortage Paralyzes US Healthcare

Whether you want to blame it on Obamacare or the increased patient load, the US nursing shortage is emerging as a major hurdle in the delivery of healthcare services.

Last year, the news of nursing crisis hit the headlines when Reuters reported that West Virginia’s Charleston Area Medical Center witnessed the worst nursing shortage in recent years.

The shortage of nursing staff in the US hospitals is no new thing. In fact, the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing reports that the shortage began throughout the country in the mid-1930s.

Is the Nursing Shortage Fixable_

Though it was an extremely unlikely situation during that period, the current shortage does not surprise anyone. A host of factors is responsible for this. These include rising incidence of chronic illness, increased access to affordable health care, and an imbalance in the demand vs supply.

The most important question that haunts every hospital management now is how they can get over the nurse shortage. What is even more challenging for them is to pay for the nurse recruitment cost, which generally amounts to $10,000 in direct cost (according to The American Organization of Nurse Executives).

Consequently, they have to swell the average budget allocation. Interestingly, hospitals have also started to pay signing bonuses and provide student loan repayment, free housing and career mentoring.

A Quick Look at the Nursing Shortage Statistics in the US

  • S. nursing schools turned away 79,659 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2012 due to insufficient resources, including faculty and classroom space.
  • From 2010 to 2011, want ads for registered nurses increased by over 40%.
  • Nearly 67% of nursing schools say that they cannot accept all qualified candidates because they don’t have instructors to teach them.
  • 55% of the current RN workforce is 50 years of age or above.
  • The number of registered nurses who are expected to reach retirement age within the next 15 years: 1 million.
  • The average age of the registered nurse population has been increasing since 2004.
  • More than 75% of RNs believe the nursing shortage presents a major problem for the quality of their work life.
  • 93% of nurses who leave the profession account for nursing shortages as one of the major contributing factors.
  • By 2022, it’s estimated there will be a need for 3.44 million nurses in the United States.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts almost 35,000 vacant nursing faculty positions by the year 2022.


Top 6 Potential Causes of Nursing Shortage in the US

Undoubtedly, the US has one of the largest pools of registered nurses. However, the supply always seems to lag behind the demand.

Reports suggest that the number of registered nurses has increased from 12,000 in 1900 to around 3 million today. Most notably, out of those 3 million nurses, almost 2.6 million are actively working. So, what is causing the nurse famine? The answer is not easy, in fact, a number of factors come into play when you are talking about the nursing shortage in the US. Some of them include:

  1. Rapid population growth in many states.
  2. Shortage of the nursing faculty.
  3. Lack of clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints.
  4. Low salaries for educators in comparison to clinicians.
  5. Aging population. Naturally, the incidence of disease increases with age.
  6. Increased workload on the nurses. An extreme pressure at the job can influence their decision to stay at the job or quit.

The Serious Impact of Nursing Shortage on Patient Care

When a nurse is under a constant pressure to deliver the best for long hours, they are more likely to make mistakes, some of which can potentially endanger a patient’s life such as medication errors. For the nurse, long duty hours and high stress levels can lead to job dissatisfaction.

Here are some interesting (and alarming) facts about how nursing shortage can result in diminished patient care.

  • There is a close link between higher patient loads for nurses and higher hospital readmission rates.
  • According to a 2012 article published in the American Journal of Infection Control, exhaustion due to high patient load can potentially contribute to an increased risk of UTI and surgical site infections in the patients.
  • A single addition to a nurse’s patient load can significantly increase the risk of infections among all of that nurse’s patients.
  • According to a 2011 study, the higher the nurse staffing levels, the lower the risk of infection. In addition, more nurses in a hospital also meant shorter hospital stays and lower failure-to-rescue incident.

Further Reading: Know the Consequences and Remedies of Nurse Fatigue

Potential Solutions for Nursing Shortage Problems

No single factor can solve the nurse famine all at once. It takes time and collaborative effort from all the concerned parties in order to find a long-term solution.

Some of the options to consider for solving this problem are:

  • Subsidized funding.
  • Higher wages for nursing professionals.
  • Foreign or temporary nurses. This can cut down the recruitment cost for the hospitals; however, this is not a long-term solution.
  • A more streamlined job description for the nurses.
  • Higher enrollment rates in the nursing colleges.

Want to Know More?

To know more about nursing shortage and its probable solutions, visit Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

What Causes Both Frustration and Satisfaction In Patients?

Eliminating patient frustrations seems to be a constant battle for a great number of hospitals and health systems. Hospitals that focus on improving patient satisfaction gain significant advantage over competitors. Centralized patient access is the key for providing an ideal patient experience. Self-scheduling options keep common patient frustrations low such as confusion, getting transferred back and forth on the phone and waiting. SCI Solution’s infographic depicts the 5 Stages of Frustration, as well as the corresponding 5 Stages of Patient Satisfaction. Here they are.

What Causes Both Frustration and Satisfaction In Patients

Here are the five stages of patient satisfaction:

  1. Reassured: Patients can experience this stage after leaving their physicians office well-informed about the next steps required of them.
  2. Respected: Patients can feel respected when tests are scheduled at their preferred location.
  3. In control: Online scheduling tools and resources can significantly help a patient feel like they are in control of their care.
  4. Prepared: Text message appointment reminders can help a patient feel prepared and in control.
  5. Empowered:The end result of a satisfactory care experience.

Here the five stages of patient frustration:

  1. Scared and confused:This stage can occur when patients are unsure about what is expected of them.
  2. Frustrated:Patients can feel frustrated when they struggle to manage their care and be in control.
  3. Waiting:This happens when a patient has not been given sufficient information during the care process.
  4. Surprise: Patients can experience surprises in the form of unexpected charges.
  5. Angry: When a patient experiences this stage, they may consider switching providers.

Patient-centric care is becoming much more prevalent in hospitals and private practices alike, as the healthcare industry continues to prioritize the importance of positive patient experiences. Here are a few simple ways that you can improve your practice in order to achieve greater patient satisfaction.

  1. Patient education

Providing your patients with the information and tools they need in order to improve their health is crucial to the patient experience. A patient will feel like they’ve received more comprehensive care when they leave doctor’s office with more knowledge. On top of that, studies have shown that greater patient education leads to better patient adherence, which leads to improvements in both patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

  1. Improve hospital atmosphere

Hospitals are probably one of the least relaxing places to be. The noise, harsh lighting and sterile environment don’t really play a big role in encouraging rest and relaxation. Hospitals are beginning to upgrade their décor to create a warmer environment and resolve the issue of noise pollution.Nighttime noise levels above 55 decibels can disturb sleep and even boost heart disease risk, so hospitals should be at 30 or below. Noise levels have been reported at more than 100 decibels at night in some facilities according to some studies. Hospitals can innovate to help patients relax, by developing quieter equipment, giving nurses wearable devices, and so much more.

  1. Keep supplies on hand

This seems simple enough, but make sure that medical supplies are easily on hand and always accessible. Keep supplies that are used frequently in patient rooms and make sure you have a good system to keep these supplies stocked regularly. It is frustrating for staff and patients alike when the medical professional at point of care has to stop what they’re doing to find supplies that should be easily accessible.

  1. Personalize the patient experience

Patients want to be comfortable during their hospital stay, and expect their needs to be met. Giving them a personalized experience within your hospital can do just that. Concierge Care is a suite of mobile engagement solutions that meets the patient at their fingertips. The Inpatient Satisfaction program addresses the non-clinical, non-emergency needs of each patient with in-the-moment access to their own personal “Comfort Concierge.” Using a mobile device, tablet or laptop, patients can make real-time requests from a menu of services such as room temperature adjustment, requesting a hot meal, pet therapy or a visit from clergy.

Patients are often frustrated by the inability to communicate with their doctor in between appointments. Every hospital should use technology and build systems that open the lines of communication between the doctor and the patient. This will not only foster long-term patient relationships, but it will create better health outcomes by making it easy for patients to schedule future appointments and stay consistent with healthy behaviors.

How to Cut Healthcare Cost?

Medical inflation still outpaces general economic inflation by a 4.5% growth rate. It can be a difficult act for employers to keep health insurance from financially squeezing their business, while also providing great benefits package for employees.There is no particular reason for healthcare costs to keep rising but there are many drivers contributing to the increases. Soaring prices for medical services, unhealthy lifestyles and a lack of transparency concerning prices and quality are all factors that greatly contribute to the spike in premiums. Employers may have more options for controlling their company’s healthcare costs than they think. It is completely the same with patients and here are some strategies to minimize costs without cutting benefits.

How Patients Can Cut Healthcare Costs

  1. Save Money on Medicines

There are at least several ways to cut costs on your medicines.You should definitely ask your health care provider if you can switch to generic medicines. The truth is that they have the same active ingredient, but cost a lot less than brand-name drugs.Make sure to ask your provider if there is a less expensive medicine that treats the same condition.Also, see if you can order your medicine through the mail.Don’t forget to take all of your medicines as directed as not taking your medicine or not taking enough medicine may lead to further health problems.

  1. Save Hundreds of Dollars on X-Rays and Tests

Some facilities charge hundreds of dollars more for x-rays and tests than competing providers. Sometimes, people get charged $500 for an x-ray that should be about $30 and it happens all the time. Independent radiology centers often charge less than hospitals, even though the same radiologist may be reading the x-rays. It’s common for the radiologist to be in one building in the morning and another in the afternoon. It’s the same radiologist, but one MRI costs $500 and another is $3,000.For example, a knee MRI ranges from $650 to $4,200, and a recommended fair price is $1,183.

  1. Use Your Benefits

Get routine health screenings whenever you can. These tests can catch health problems early, when they may be more easily treated. And you often do not have to pay copay for health screenings, vaccines, and annual visits.It’s also important to get prenatal care if you are pregnant since that is the best way to ensure you and your baby will be healthy.Some health plans offer health advocates or case managers. A health advocate can help you get the most of your benefits. A case manager can help you to manage complex health problems such as diabetes or asthma.Moreover, make sure to use free and discounted services as many health plans offer discounts on things like gym memberships or eyewear.

  1. Ask for a Discount

Some 61 percent of people who went to a doctor and asked for a discount actually got something. If you’ve been a loyal patient, don’t be afraid to ask if your doctor or healthcare provider can cut you a break on an office visit charge or a procedure cost. You might be surprised.

  1. Choose In-Network Health Care Providers

Depending on your health coverage, you may have the choice to see providers who are in-network or out-of-network. You pay less to see providers who are in-network, because they have a contract with your health plan. This means they charge lower rates which can be highly beneficial.

  1. Consider a High-deductible Plan

A high-deductible health plan requires you to pay a higher out-of-pocket deductible before your insurance coverage kicks in. However, monthly premiums are usually lower than traditional health plans, and if you only see your doctor once or twice a year, you may save money with this option. Just make sure you have the cash on hand to cover the deductible if you do end up needing significant care.

4 Essential Components of the Path to a Healthy Pregnancy

Each month of pregnancy is different, not just for you and your family but also for the baby that’s growing inside your body. Make sure to make the most of your pregnancy by following the right path to a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a time of joy and stress. Once you reveal the news of the pregnancy, your friends, family members and relatives gather around you to offer their experience, suggestions, and gifts. Many of them will surely suggest eating certain foods, exercising, thinking positively and the list never ends.

While the suggestions from your loved ones are precious, you should also understand that your case might be different from theirs. In addition, there is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to taking care of your body and the baby during pregnancy. That said, following certain guidelines from experts could go a long way in helping you and your baby stay healthy during and after the pregnancy.


In this article, you will find expert-recommended tips that comprise the path to a healthy pregnancy.

A Quick Overview of Pregnancy: Know the Early Signs and Symptoms, and Related Terms

Pregnancy starts with the fertilization of an egg by sperm, continues with the formation of an embryo inside a woman’s womb and then a fetus, and ends with the delivery of a fully-grown baby. An embryo refers to a fertilized egg during the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

The early signs and symptoms of pregnancy include:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Tender breast.
  • Missed periods or an abnormal period.
  • Weight gain
  • Enlarged breast and darkening of nipples.
  • More frequent urination than usual.
  • Sensations of fetal movement in the abdomen (generally after 20 weeks)


A trimester is a three-month period during which specific events and characteristic developmental changes happen inside the womb. There are three trimesters in an individual pregnancy.

Estimated date of delivery (EDD)

Also called the estimated date of confinement, EDD refers to the date at which a pregnant woman is most likely to give birth to the baby. It is calculated by counting forward 280 days from the first day of the woman’s last period.

Preterm Labor

In preterm labor, the uterine contraction begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

High-risk pregnancy

A high-risk pregnancy can refer to any condition in which a woman is likely to have certain complications during pregnancy. Diabetic or hypertensive women and women 35 years or older are prone to complications during pregnancy.

The Path to A Healthy Pregnancy: Here is What It Looks Like

The path to a healthy pregnancy is more than just eating healthy foods, getting enough nutrients and exercising daily. Because pregnancy lasts 9 months and every event is crucial, you should think beyond healthy diets and exercise.

The path to a healthy pregnancy consists of:

1.   Start.

Pregnancy occurs when the sperm fertilizes an egg. For this reason, the start of the pregnancy is from the date of your last menstrual period. This is exactly where the pregnancy duration is divided into three 3-month periods called the trimesters.

2.   Trimester

The first trimester extends from week 1 to week 12. During this period, a fertilized egg enters the embryonic stage and gradually transforms from a tiny seed into a more human-like mass. Most major body organs are developed in the embryonic stage. Keep in mind that your baby is more prone to the damages by radiation, alcohol, certain medications, and infections during the embryonic stage.

In addition, from week 4 – 8, start taking prenatal vitamins along with a nutritious diet, schedule a visit with an OB/GYN and have your first prenatal checkup.

After your first prenatal checkup, schedule monthly prenatal checkups with your OB/GYN. Because now, you are taking care of yourself as well as the little baby growing inside you, take at least 300 calories more than what you would take normally each day.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications, both OTC and prescription, and supplements. Because this is a crucial phase of pregnancy where organs develop in the embryo, any wrong medication can lead to complications or deformity.

From week 9 – 13, talk to the OB/GYN to detect fetal heart tones. Fetal heart tones indicate well-being of the fetus and are audible using ultrasound or fetoscope.  The baby’s heart starts beating by the sixth week and becomes detectable from week 8 to 14.

Also, ask the OB/GYN whether to go for the chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or not. CVS is a prenatal diagnostic test that determines if the fetus has any chromosomal or genetic disorder.

3.   Trimester 2.

The second trimester typically starts at week 13 through week 27. Most pregnant women feel fetal movements at about week 18 to week 22.

From week 14 – 18, start doing a kind of exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor muscles called Kegel exercises. If you are 35 years or more, consult your doctor if you need a specific test called amniocentesis. From week 19 – 23, go for a mid-pregnancy ultrasound examination. Before week 24, start the baby registry and consider umbilical cord banking.

From week 24 – 27, get your blood sugar tested to detect a type of diabetes called gestational diabetes. In the meantime, think of getting a life insurance policy.

4.   Trimester 3.

The third or the final trimester spans from week 28 – 37. During this period, prepare yourself for the forthcoming delivery by taking a childbirth class. Talk to a pediatrician and learn tips for newborn care. As you move nearer the delivery, watch your uterine contractions.

On the delivery day, seek an immediate medical attention once the labor starts.

Want To Know More?

To know more about the path to a healthy pregnancy, visit Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.