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Health & Wellness


Dr Ashwani Seth



Monsoon is cherished by people as it brings that much-needed relief from the scorching heat. But, with the monsoon season, not just rain, even notorious eye infections such as conjunctivitis, dry eyes, and stye will be at one’s doorsteps. Here, personal hygiene can play a vital role in managing eye infections. Don’t forget to follow these essential tips to take care of your peepers. 

The eyes are one of the vital and sensitive organs of the body that are prone to infections in the rainy season. Enjoying the monsoon and getting drenched is blissful, right? However, the monsoon season brings along a plethora of infections and diseases as the air becomes a commuting medium for bacterias and viruses. Along with waterborne diseases and allergies, even eye infections can steal your peace of mind. Neglecting eye hygiene can turn into a nightmare for you.

Beware of these common eye infections during monsoon

You will be shocked to know that conjunctivitis (pink eye) is an inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva (the transparent membrane covering the outer surface of the eye and the inside of the eyelids) commonly seen during monsoon. It is an infectious disease and spreads from one person to person due to increased moisture in the air. The symptoms of conjunctivitis are redness of the eye, swelling, discharge, eye itching, and pain. The moisture content in the air during monsoons creates a favourable condition for the viruses to grow and multiply, and one may get a corneal ulcer that is the wound on the surface of the cornea. The symptoms are red eyes with eye discharge, and blurry vision. When the eyes are not able to provide adequate moisture owing to insufficient tears then the eyes can become dry. It happens because of the dust and pollutants during the monsoon. A stye is a bacterial infection seen in monsoon and can be worrisome. Don’t delay in seeking the treatment once you notice these eye problems.

Make sure that you prioritise your eye health and follow these vital tips during monsoon:

• Wash your hands and avoid hand-to-eye contact to keep eye infections at bay. Do not rub your eyes with your fingers as they contain germs and can lead to an infection.

• One should avoid using common towels, napkins, or handkerchiefs to clean their eyes as could lead to conjunctivitis.

• One using the lenses should clean them frequently, wipe the spectacles with a clean cloth and use eye drops on the recommendation of doctors.

• Avoid rubbing the eyes, regularly wash your eyes with the help of cold water to protect them from dust particles.

• Avoid eye make-up if you are having eye pain or an allergy. 

• If you notice unusual symptoms such as blurriness, itchiness, and eye pain, avoid using over-the-counter medication and consult the doctor.

• Blinking often will help you keep the eyes feeling fresh, clean, and hydrated and tackle dry eyes problem. Drink plenty of water, and follow the 20-20-20 formula that is after every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to focus the eyes on something 20 feet away to relax your eyes.

• Debris in the eye can irritate the eye and invite infections, use glasses when exposed to wind or dust.

• Wearing contact lenses without cleaning causes major eye infections during the monsoons. Clean them properly before wearing and carry an extra pair when you are out. Do not share your lenses with anyone.

• Avoid using a swimming pool during monsoon as doing so will raise your risk of bacterial eye infections or use an eye mask while swimming.

The writer is MS Ophthalmology, Apollo Spectra Karol Bagh, Delhi.

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Health & Wellness




In recent years, meditation has gained popularity. It has somewhat become a sign of a person “taking care of themselves” and their mental health and rightfully so. With on-growing connectivity and constant digital reach, our traditional boundaries of ‘working hours’ have become blurred. With no sense of working hours and stretched responsibility, many of us find ourselves anxious and confused at times. Thus, our stress response, one of our innate physiological mechanisms that should only be triggered in life-threatening situations, is triggered constantly and we find ourselves in constant despair. In today’s time, on-standing traditional fears have been replaced with fear of traffic jams, lagging behind or never-ending pending work piles. 

It may come as a surprise to some but the WHO predicts burnout will become a global pandemic within a decade and suffering through one, we can all assess the severity of this prediction. In a world where ‘off’ or a ‘pause’ button has ceased to exist, meditation can act as a circuit breaker for this non-stop lifestyle, giving the mind and the body a chance to recharge. Meditation is the practice of thinking deeply or focusing on one’s mind for some time. This can be done in silence or with the help of chanting and is done for several reasons. The primary aim of this practice is to attain mental peace and calmness. Different forms of meditation gives everybody a chance to choose what works for them and is suited to their aim and desires.  Here are few of the meditation techniques:

Guided Meditation: It is also called guided imagery or visualisation. With this method of meditation, you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. You try to imagine yourself in a situation or a time that is particularly relaxing to you, it can be some smell that is pleasant to you or a sound or a place you associate with happier times. Anything that brings you joy. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.

Mantra Meditation: You silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts. ‘Om’ is a common mantra people recite over and over. The idea is to let the outer vibration beat within and find oneness with body and mind. 

Mindfulness Meditation: This type of meditation is based on being mindful or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. You broaden your conscious awareness and focus on what you experience during meditation such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them pass without judgment.

Yoga: In today’s time, everyone is familiar with yoga. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you’re encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.

It is a common reluctance or misconception about meditation that its effect is short reached but that is simply not true. Meditation, at its very core, is a practice of conquering or rather composing your mental being in a way that no sudden seen or unseen actions can rattle you easily. The benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may help you manage symptoms of certain medical conditions. When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to stress. The many benefits of meditation include:

• Attaining a positive perspective 

• Gaining tools to manage stress

• Heightened self-awareness 

• Present becomes priority

• Helps to navigate negative thoughts

• Increasing patience and tolerance 

As modern life becomes more and more entangled with exaggerated details of success, meditation can be the branch you need to hold on to in this raging current of development. The fiercely competitive environment coupled with the pressure to meet deadlines may keep people on their toes but only through meditation can we regain proper footing in this world. 

The writer is an author & digital marketer.

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Health & Wellness





This is a story of an 11-year-old girl who was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy at 5 years of age. Dilated cardiomyopathy is a life-threatening condition where the heart enlarges and is unable to pump blood effectively. She had undergone a heart valve repair surgery five years back for the same and was being managed with medications. But her condition deteriorated, requiring heart transplantation for survival. Luckily, a matching paediatric donor heart was found just in time, saving her life. 

In January 2021, unfortunately, she developed a clot in the heart which obstructed the blood flow to one of the blood vessels of the brain, producing an acute brain stroke. She was rushed to the hospital, and within hours, the clot was removed by the Neurological team, and she recovered almost completely. In December 2020, she was allocated two potential heart donors, but due to the positive crossmatch (pre-existing antibodies against the donor, or the recipient and the donor are incompatible), this did not materialize. Finally, on 19 May 2021, she had a paediatric heart (the donor was of the same age and weight) which matched her perfectly. She underwent successful transplantation and was discharged after 3 weeks of mandatory hospital stay. 

There are several children suffering from congenital cardiomyopathy or viral dilated cardiomyopathy or other myocarditis that result in the development of severe heart dysfunction needing heart transplantation. But, unfortunately, the donor pool in this segment is very limited. Especially, during the pandemic when there is a lack of organ donors, we are very lucky to get a suitable heart donor for this child. We have still many children waiting for transplantation, but she was lucky enough to get a matching donor. She is our first paediatric heart transplant recipient at our hospital while all nine previous patients were adults. 

Paediatric Heart Transplantation Carries Multiple Challenges at Multiple Levels

• Very few parents of unfortunate brain-dead children come forward to donate the organ. Hence, many times, nearly matching adult donors by weight and height are used. Finding such a compatible match often takes time. 

• Managing their post-operative care like immunosuppression can be challenging compared to adults.


This is the first-ever paediatric heart transplant performed at our hospital and a successful one. Heart transplantation in a child always poses extra challenges. Moreover, in this case, it was the child’s second heart operation. We made sure that the child’s body was able to accept the new heart, and she was monitored continuously for any post-surgical complications. “We are happy the transplantation was a successful one, and we were able to return the child back to her parents safely.


Heart transplantation is also an expensive surgery. Not all patients can afford it. In this case, too, the child’s parents were unable to bear the entire expenses of the surgery. Thanks to the timely help from NGOs and the child’s well-wishers, the surgery was possible. Expressing his gratitude, Dr Devananda NS appreciated the online donations and Pranic healing trust for their contributions in raising funds for this transplantation.  

The writer is HOD & Consultant – Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery, Heart and Lung transplant surgery, Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road.

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Health & Wellness


Dr Gunita Singh



Stress is the biggest devil in today’s time it affects our overall health physical and social wellbeing. But unfortunately, it has blanketed us like never before. We had not heard of the stress word when we were kids may because we grew up in a healthier environment or because we were not too open to talk about it or maybe it was a combination of both. But not anymore today stress is a part of our lives and is affecting every part of our body so how will oral health be spared.

Stress contributes to teeth grinding, gum disease, dry mouth Canker sores, ulcers, and bad breath. It may impact your dental health routine and diet increases the risk of tooth decay stress makes it harder for your body to fight any kind of infection. So any infection in the oral cavity then takes longer to heal resulting in a poor prognosis


1. Grinding of teeth

Stress leads to grinding your teeth it is a very common health problem. One probably does grinding or clenching at night and gets up with an ache in the morning commonly headache, sore jaw and ache in the temporomandibular joint. Too much clenching and grinding can damage your tooth structure causing loose teeth, broken teeth and loss of teeth as well. Stress and anxiety are the major reasons for this and later it becomes a habit. 

Treatment plan: Nightguard appliance, meditation, counselling and yoga

2. T M J Disorders

Stress grinding leads to TMJ disorders. TMJ is the joint that helps in the movement of the lower jaw. Stiffness and the swelling of this joint due to stress can lead to pain in the joint. It’s very common in young adults just before exams and interview.

Treatment plan: Laser physiotherapy, soft diet, meditation, and face yoga

3. Dry/burning mouth 

Stress leads to dehydration even the use of anti-anxiety pills cause dry mouth that’s a condition where the saliva of the mouth reduces and the mouth becomes very sticky. This leads to cavities and bad breath, actually, saliva helps flush out all bacterias and food particles from the oral cavity when the amount of saliva reduces the problems increase.   

Treatment plan: Drink a lot of water, meditate, and visit a dentist for saliva substitutes

 4. Acidity

Stress also leads to acidity. Acidity leads to acidic reflux with come as a bout and badly effects inside of the lower anterior. They get eroded much before time also the saliva becomes more acidic and one suffers from bad breath. 

Treatment plan: Guards to protect teeth, small frequent meals, and meditation

5. Nail Biting 

Nail-biting, chewing on a pencil/pen are manifestations of stress, and cause severe damage to the teeth and overall health it can move your teeth out of position and also cause wearing of tooth enamel. It is a very unhygienic practice and can lead to a lot of bacterial infections in the oral cavity and beyond that. 

Treatment plan: Itincludes habit breaking appliances, counselling, and meditation

6. Mouth Ulcers 

Stress can lead to digestive issues leading to constipation which is one of the major reasons for oral and peptic ulcers. These ulcers can be very painful further leading to the inability to eat anything. 

Treatment plan: Visit your dentist

The writer is a practising Cosmetic and Laser dental surgeon for 20 years, Director at Dentem & is an Associate Consultant to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

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Health & Wellness


Here are some tips by a healthcare expert to ward off diseases in the monsoon.

Dr Manoj Sharma



Every year, we welcome monsoon with utmost delight. This season brings much-needed relief from the scorching summer heat. Monsoon give a sudden flip to extreme temperatures, replenish the water reservoirs and groundwater levels, bring delight to the areas suffering from water scarcity and plays an important role in the GDP for our country being primarily agriculture-dependent. Because of this, the monsoon season in India is very much awaited across all states.

However, rains also bring woes in the form of floods and various diseases. This year when we are grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, our worries are more profound as rains may drain our already overburdened healthcare system. During rains we have a sudden surge in a plethora of diseases, be it seasonal flu, waterborne or vector-borne and they do have many overlapping symptoms. 

There is going to be a huge diagnostic dilemma in front of physicians, even for mild illnesses like simple seasonal flu or viral fever where we may need to subject those patients to Covid-19 screening as the spectrum of Covid-related illness is very varied from asymptomatic to life-threatening complications.

The incidence of vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, and chikungunya rises exponentially during monsoon, all these diseases are associated with high-grade fever, myalgias, headache, and joint pain necessitating to rule out Covid-19 illness. On top of that, if there is co-infection with these pathogens and Covid-19, the outcome could have serious implications. Take an example of dengue where a patient may be in shock and if he lands up in respiratory failure because of Covid-19 the combination could be disastrous.

Food and water-borne diseases like gastroenteritis, cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis increase during this season as a humid and wet environment with ideal temperatures provide optimal conditions for micro-organisms to grow and multiply. These diseases will certainly have an impact on the ongoing pandemic in an adverse way, increasing both morbidity and mortality.

Whatever are the circumstances, we must prepare and guard ourselves against the imminent multi-pronged attack at the individual level as well as helping the authorities in overcoming adversaries. We are currently battling with the pandemic and have done well also but we cannot ignore our fight with dengue, malaria, and other infectious diseases and this fight is in no way smaller.

Precautions for the rainy season diseases albeit difficult but are practical and all of us must contribute towards them. Here are few ways to protect yourself in monsoon:

Maintain proper hygiene and sanitation and using clean water will ward off most of these illnesses.

For mosquito-borne diseases, their breeding is to be prevented by keeping clogged areas clean and preventing yourself from mosquito bites by using repellents and covering up. 

More than any other time, these times demand us to keep yourself healthy by strengthening the immunity via a nutritious diet, healthy sleeping habits, and regular exercise. Monsoon is the perfect time for the senior citizens to sit back, spend time with your loved ones, and relax at home. Their digestive capacity is said to be at the lowest point. So, it’s important to avoid street junk food and include fruits, vegetables, and increase fibre intake. Fruits such as apples, bananas, and pears can improve digestion.In addition to a healthy diet, senior citizens need to take extra care while walking on wet surfaces like balcony, terrace, porch, garden etc. It is recommended that you use walking support aid to be on the safe side. You could also consider patching these surfaces with anti-slip rubber mats to avoid accidents.

The writer is a Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj.

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Health & Wellness




Q. How menstrual cups are better than sanitary pads?

A. Menstrual cups are new and safe as compared to sanitary pads. They collect the period blood instead of absorbing the blood and hence there are no chances of vaginal infection. Depending on the flow, one cup can last for four to 12 hours. With lesser chances of leakage, one can sleepy freely with menstrual cups. Sanitary pads tend to give you rashes. They are cost-effective as well, as one cup sanitised the right way, can last for years.

Q. What are the benefits of using menstrual cups for both females and the environment?

A. Menstrual cups are safe and effective as they are cost-effective as well. As cups collect the blood and do not absorb them, so there are no chances of vaginal infection. In terms of environment, Menstrual cups are environment friendly as well as they reduce waste and water usage. Women can reduce plastic waster by using a menstrual cup. One cup produces an estimated 0.4% of the plastic waste that single pads build up or 6% of them is created by tampons in 10 years.

Q. Tell us about the change in the consumer demands of the menstrual cups?

A. With women understanding the usage of menstrual cups and their benefits, there has been a considerable increase in the demand for menstrual cups. A cup could cost roughly five to seven per cent of the cost of using 12 pads (on average $ 0.31 each) or tampons (on average $ 0.21 each) per period. 

Q. What are the things one should keep in mind while buying the cup?

A. Here are the key factors which one should keep in mind while buying the cups:

• The material of menstrual cups, as to what it is made of. Is it medical grade silicone, latex, plastic or rubber? Cups made of medical-grade silicone are the best ones

• Thesize of the cupas per your requirement is small or large. Small-sized cups are good for women below the age of 30 and large size cups are recommended for above 30 women

• Functionalities of the cup in terms of stem, firmness, shape, and seams

Stem: Most menstrual cups have a stem on the bottom. It acts as a guide, which helps you to locate your cup easier while removal.

Firmness: Finding the right firmness for your body, makes a huge difference in comfort and effectiveness.

Shape: Determine the shape of the cup depends on the cervix height as everybody is different.

Seams:In some cups, the seams are around the rim, some have a seam running from stem to rim, while some are seamless. It is important to understand the seam as in some cases a rough seam can cause irritation or scratch in the vaginal wall.

Q. Share some tips to keep the cup clean and sanitised?

A. Tips to keep the cup clean and sanitised:

1. Wash your hands properly before touching the cup.

2. Since silicone cups are bacteria resistant, you don’t need to wash yours every time you empty them. Simply rinsing it in the sink is enough to clean it out before reinserting. To avoid stains, you can initially rinse with cold water, then follow it up with a hot rinse to disinfect.

3. Once your period is over, you might want to give your cup a good clean before you store it, both for peace of mind and to remove any stains.

4. Boil three cups of clean water on the stove. (Tap water is fine if you’re in a place with safe water but if not, use bottled water instead.) Submerge your cup but make sure the cup isn’t touching the bottom or sides of the pot. One way to do this is to put your cup inside a whisk to hold it away from the sides. Boil for five to eight minutes then drain the cup and let it air dry. It is completely safe to boil the cups, but don’t boil the pot dry as this will destroy the silicone. If you feel strange about using a pot you cook with, you can buy a small one specifically for boiling your cup and store it separately.

5. Sterilising tablets for baby bottles isgreat because you can use them in cold water so they’re ideal if you live in a dorm room with no access to a stove or just don’t feel comfortable boiling your cup in a shared kitchen. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. These tablets are also great at removing stains.

The writer is Director, Namyaa Skincare.

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Health & Wellness





Protein is an essential nutrient present in every single cell in our body and is required for the growth and repair of the body. Approximately one-fifth of our body weight is protein. The protein requirement for an adult is 0.8g per kg body weight per day for adults. You have to eat protein every day. The body can’t store protein like it can store carbohydrates and fats. The Protein Week is observed from 24 to 30 July to spread awareness about the need to incorporate protein in our daily diet.

There are many myths around protein consumption. The most common myth is protein is only for muscle development and not so important for the general population. On the contrary, protein is an essential nutrient that is key to building immunity and for growth and immunity. It is required not only for muscle but also for bone, joints, tendons, ligaments, hair, antibodies, hormones, and enzymes. The body is made of muscle mass, fat mass, bone and water. A healthy body should have more muscle mass and less fat mass. And replacing our diet with healthy proteins instead of fats and carbohydrates is the ideal way to have a healthy body. 

The other common myth is intake of protein can lead to kidney damage. Most believe that taking a protein-rich diet puts loads on the kidney and damages it. On the contrary, protein is an essential macronutrient and is needed for survival. Also, the common perception is that with age one should reduce protein intake as it can damage the kidneys. Muscle loss is a natural part of ageing, and if one doesn’t take adequate proteins, it leads to reduced energy levels and low muscle strength. The recommended dietary allowance is 0.8 to 1 g /kg body weight, for a healthy adult which is around 50g to 60g per day grams daily, whereas the daily need increases during illness or increased activity level. Deficiency of protein can lead to impaired physical development, oedema, low immunity, and low muscle mass. One can meet the daily needs of protein by eating eggs, fish, dairy, legumes, meat, poultry, and nuts. 

Another very common myth is intake of protein leads to weight gain. Proteins are the key to losing weight the healthy way. Taking good amounts of good quality proteins like eggs and poultry can help healthy weight loss, by increasing satiety, boost up metabolism and loss of fat mass and build-up of muscle mass. Consuming insufficient protein on the other hand can actually make it harder to lose weight. Even if one loses weight by cutting the protein, chances are that its muscle — not fat — will lose. Not eating enough protein can lead to side effects including fatigue, weakness, and a low immune system. Including protein in daily diet is essential and 10% to 15% of the total calories should come from protein. So let’s pledge this Protein Week that we all will make protein a part of our diet plan.

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