Monday, February 28, 2011

Under Armour's E39 performance shirt is electric

If athletic events were accessorized with coffee, comfy pajamas, and a particular knack for sedentariness, well, we'd be champs. Alas, sports are more typically characterized by movement which, we're told, increases the participant's pulse, breathing, and likelihood of turning an arm into a tattooed sleeve. Nevertheless, we can't help but be intrigued by the Under Armour E39 ("E" for electric) compression shirt. The performance tee features a removable "bug" sensor equipped with a triaxial accelerometer, processor, and 2GB of storage flanked by additional monitors that measure the wearer's heart rate and breathing. 
A system provided by Zephyr can then analyze the athlete's individual movements and biometric data to help identify performance issues like when the body is moving out of sync thereby slowing down an athlete's linear speed. Scouts, coaches, and trainers can collect the data over Bluetooth from smartphones, tablets, or PCs to measure and potentially improve performance. An athlete measuring a low G-force for their particular sport could, for example, be put on a strength training regimen to help improve explosiveness. 
In the future, Under Armour sees the data being collected and analyzed in real-time allowing coaches to replace under performing players right on the field. The NFL has already equipped a handful of players with the E39 shirts during its annual Scouting Combine event -- the results of which you can see in the video after the break.

Razer Chimaera 5.1 Wireless Gaming Headset

Many years ago, gaming was just all about the graphics – sound took a back seat, but it seems as though things have taken a turn for the better these days, what with modern technology having taken leaps and bounds forward over the past few years. Razer, a company that is famous for its range of gaming peripherals, has rolled out yet another device for the masses who are aligned to the Xbox 360 in the form of the Razer Chimaera 5.1 Wireless Gaming Headset.

This is the latest model which will be able to let you hear all the explosions and gunfire in Halo, not to mention being thrilled by the high octane release of nitro in Need for Speed, or grooving beats on DJ Hero. Surely, the Razer Chimaera is able to kick Xbox gaming immersion into overdrive.

According to Robert “RazerGuy” Krakoff, President Razer USA, “Putting on this headset may cause serious jaw-dropping aural intensity. With the Razer Chimaera 5.1, we’re giving every gamer the opportunity to experience surround sound in complete wireless freedom. We drew from our expertise in PC gaming audio and worked with Dolby to develop a headset that lets you hear everything with absolute clarity to pinpoint enemy locations, prevent backstabs, and just take your gaming enjoyment further. I recommend using it with the Razer Onza controller for serious Xbox ownage.”

There are 5.1 and Stereo editions of the Razer Chimaera, and it is nice to know that both of them are wireless for an added level of freedom for you to hear the destruction of your opponents anywhere. The 5.1 edition is capable of running for up to 8 hours without missing a beat, while the stereo edition will obviously last longer on the scene per charge at 12 hours.

Extra large circumaural ear cups ensure that your Xbox gaming marathons will be able to last the distance without having your ears feel cramped and uncomfortable, and if you find that the unit is starting to run out of juice, all you need to do is hang the headset onto the base station which also doubles up as the audio processing unit, and you’re good to go.

If you happen to have a trio of teammates with you, you are able to locally connect a quartet of Razer base stations for a crystal clear, lag-free, and dedicated voice channel which will certainly go a long way in improving team communication. The Razer Chimaera 5.1 Wireless Gaming Headset for Xbox 360 will retail for $199.99/€199.99 as it hits the world this April.

Read the Press Release.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to sleep better tip 7: Know when to see a sleep doctor

If you’ve tried the tips above, but are still struggling with sleep problems, you may have a sleep disorder that requires professional treatment. Consider scheduling a visit with a sleep doctor if, despite your best efforts at self–help, you are still troubled by any of the following symptoms:
  • Persistent daytime sleepiness or fatigue
  • Loud snoring accompanied by pauses in breathing
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Frequent morning headaches
  • Crawling sensations in your legs or arms at night
  • Inability to move while falling asleep or waking up
  • Physically acting out dreams during sleep
  • Falling asleep at inappropriate times 

Other Sleep Better Tips:
Tip 7
Tip 6
Tip 5
Tip 4
Tip 3
Tip 2
Tip 1

    How to sleep better tip 6: Ways to get back to sleep

    It’s normal to wake briefly during the night. In fact, a good sleeper won’t even remember it. But if you’re waking up during the night and having trouble falling back asleep, the following tips may help.
    • Stay out of your head. The key to getting back to sleep is continuing to cue your body for sleep, so remain in bed in a relaxed position. Hard as it may be, try not to stress over the fact that you’re awake or your inability to fall asleep again, because that very stress and anxiety encourages your body to stay awake. A good way to stay out of your head is to focus on the feelings and sensations in your body.
    • Make relaxation your goal, not sleep. If you are finding it hard to fall back asleep, try a relaxation technique such as visualization, deep breathing, or meditation, which can be done without even getting out of bed. Remind yourself that although they’re not a replacement for sleep, rest and relaxation still help rejuvenate your body.
    • Do a quiet, non-stimulating activity. If you’ve been awake for more than 15 minutes, try getting out of bed and doing a quiet, non-stimulating activity, such as reading a book. Keep the lights dim so as not to cue your body clock that it’s time to wake up. Also avoid screens of any kind—computers, TV, cell phones, Kindles, iPads—as the type of light they emit is stimulating to the brain. A light snack or herbal tea might help relax you, but be careful not to eat so much that your body begins to expect a meal at that time of the day.
    • Postpone worrying and brainstorming. If you wake during the night feeling anxious about something, make a brief note of it on paper and postpone worrying about it until the next day when you are fresh and it will be easier to resolve. Similarly, if a brainstorm or great idea is keeping you awake, make a note of it on paper and fall back to sleep knowing you’ll be much more productive and creative after a good night’s rest.

    Other Sleep Better Tips:
    Tip 7
    Tip 6
    Tip 5
    Tip 4
    Tip 3
    Tip 2
    Tip 1

      How to sleep better tip 5: Get anxiety and stress in check

      Do you find yourself unable to sleep or waking up night after night? Residual stress, worry, and anger from your day can make it very difficult to sleep well. When you wake up or can’t get to sleep, take note of what seems to be the recurring theme. That will help you figure out what you need to do to get your stress and anger under control during the day:
      If you can’t stop yourself from worrying, especially about things outside your control, you need to learn how to manage your thoughts. For example, you can learn to evaluate your worries to see if they’re truly realistic and learn to replace irrational fears with more productive thoughts. Even counting sheep is more productive than worrying at bedtime

      If the stress of managing work, family, or school is keeping you awake, you need help with stress management. By learning how to manage your time effectively, handle stress in a productive way, and maintain a calm, positive outlook, you’ll be able to sleep better at night.


      Relaxation techniques for better sleep

      Relaxation is beneficial for everyone, but especially for those struggling with sleep. Practicing relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to wind down, calm the mind, and prepare for sleep. Some simple relaxation techniques include:
      • Deep breathing. Close your eyes—and try taking deep, slow breaths—making each breath even deeper than the last.
      • Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting at your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up from your feet to the top of your head.
      • Visualizing a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place or activity that is calming and peaceful for you. Concentrate on how relaxed this place or activity makes you feel.

      Other Sleep Better Tips:
      Tip 7
      Tip 6
      Tip 5
      Tip 4
      Tip 3
      Tip 2
      Tip 1

        How to sleep better tip 4: Eat right and get regular exercise

        Your daytime eating and exercise habits play a role in how well you sleep. It’s particularly important to watch what you put in your body in the hours leading up to your bedtime.
        • Stay away from big meals at night. Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Fatty foods take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and may keep you up. Also be cautious when it comes to spicy or acidic foods in the evening, as they can cause stomach trouble and heartburn.
        • Avoid alcohol before bed. Many people think that a nightcap before bed will help them sleep. While it may make you fall asleep faster, alcohol reduces your sleep quality, waking you up later in the night. To avoid this effect, so stay away from alcohol in the hours before bed.
        • Cut down on caffeine. You might be surprised to know that caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it! Consider eliminating caffeine after lunch or cutting back your overall intake.
        • Avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening. Drinking lots of water, juice, tea, or other fluids may result in frequent bathroom trips throughout the night. Caffeinated drinks, which act as diuretics, only make things worse.
        • Quit smoking. Smoking causes sleep troubles in numerous ways. Nicotine is a stimulant, which disrupts sleep. Additionally, smokers actually experience nicotine withdrawal as the night progresses, making it hard to sleep.

        Eat a light snack before bedtime

        A light snack before bed can help promote sleep. When you pair tryptophan–containing foods with carbohydrates, it helps calms the brain and allows you to sleep better. For even better sleep, try adding extra calcium to your dinner or nighttime snack. Experiment with your food habits to determine your optimum evening meals and snacks. For a relaxing bedtime snack, try:
        • Half a turkey or peanut butter sandwich
        • A small bowl of whole–grain, low–sugar cereal
        • Granola with low–fat milk or yogurt
        • A banana and a cup of hot chamomile tea
        You’ll also sleep more deeply if you exercise regularly. You don’t have to be a star athlete to reap the benefits—as little as twenty to thirty minutes of daily activity helps. And you don’t need to do all thirty minutes in one session. You can break it up into five minutes here, ten minutes there, and still get the benefits. Try a brisk walk, a bicycle ride, or even gardening or housework.

        Be sure to schedule your exercise in the morning or early afternoon. Exercising too late in the day actually stimulates the body, raising its temperature. That’s the opposite of what you want near bedtime, because a cooler body temperature promotes sleep. Don’t feel glued to the couch in the evening, though. Relaxing exercises such as yoga or gentle stretching shouldn’t hurt.

        Other Sleep Better Tips:
        Tip 7
        Tip 6
        Tip 5
        Tip 4
        Tip 3
        Tip 2
        Tip 1

        How to sleep better tip 3: Create a relaxing bedtime routine

        If you make a consistent effort to relax and unwind before bed, you will sleep easier and more deeply. A peaceful bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses.

        Turn off your television

        Many people use the television to fall asleep or relax at the end of the day. You may even have a television in your bedroom. However, television actually stimulates the mind, rather than relaxing it. Part of this is due to content. Late night news and prime time shows frequently have disturbing, violent material. Even non–violent programming can have commercials that are jarring and loud.
        However, even the most relaxing program or movie can interfere with the body’s clock due to the continuous flickering light coming from the TV or computer screen. Television is also noisy, which can disturb sleep if the set is accidentally left on.
        You may be so used to falling asleep to the TV that you have trouble without it for the first few nights. If you find you miss the noise, try soft music or a fan. If your favorite show is on late at night, record it for viewing earlier in the day.

        Reserve your bed for sleeping

        If you associate your bed with events like work or errands, it will be harder to wind down at night. Use your bed only for sleep and sex. That way, when you go to bed, your body gets a powerful cue: it’s time to nod off.

        Relaxing bedtime rituals to try

        • Read a light, entertaining book or magazine
        • Take a warm bath
        • Listen to soft music
        • Enjoy a light snack
        • Do some easy stretches
        • Wind down with a favorite hobby
        • Listen to books on tape
        • Make simple preparations for the next day 

        Other Sleep Better Tips:
        Tip 7
        Tip 6
        Tip 5
        Tip 4
        Tip 3
        Tip 2
        Tip 1

          How to sleep better tip 2: Make your bedroom more sleep friendly

          It’s not just the number of hours in bed that counts—it’s the quality of those hours of sleep. If you’re giving yourself plenty of time for sleep, but you’re still having trouble waking up in the morning or staying alert all day, you may need to make some changes to your sleep environment. The quality of your bedroom environment makes a huge difference in how well you sleep.

          Keep noise down

          People differ in their sensitivity to noise, but as a general rule, you’ll sleep better when your bedroom is quiet. Even if you’ve learned to sleep through certain noises, such as the wail of sirens or the roar of a passing airplane, sleep studies show that these sounds still disrupt sleep.
          If you can’t avoid or eliminate noise from barking dogs, loud neighbors, city traffic, or other people in your household, try masking it with a fan, recordings of soothing sounds, or white noise. White noise can be particularly effective in blocking out other sounds and helping you sleep. You can buy a special sound machine or generate your own white noise by setting your radio between stations. Earplugs may also help.

          Keep your room dark and cool

          When it’s time to sleep, make sure that your environment is dark. Even dim lights—especially those from TV or computer screens—can confuse the body clock. Heavy curtains or shades can help block light from windows, or you can try an eye mask to cover your eyes.
          The temperature of your bedroom also affects sleep. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (around 65° F or 18° C) with adequate ventilation. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep.

          Make sure your bed is comfortable

          Is your bed big enough? You should have enough room to stretch and turn comfortably. Make sure there is also enough room for your bedmate.

          Your mattress and bedding are also important. If you often wake up with a sore back or an aching neck, you may need to invest in a new mattress or a try a different pillow.  Experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam or egg crate toppers, and pillows that provide more support.

          Other Sleep Better Tips:
          Tip 7
          Tip 6
          Tip 5
          Tip 4
          Tip 3
          Tip 2
          Tip 1

          How to sleep better tip 1: Keep a regular sleep schedule

          Getting back in sync with your body’s natural sleep–wake cycle—your circadian rhythm—is one of the most important strategies for achieving good sleep. If you keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, you will feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times. This holds true even if you alter your sleep schedule by only an hour or two. Consistency is important.
          • Set a regular bedtime. Go to bed at the same time every night. Choose a time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. Try not to break this routine on weekends when it may be tempting to stay up late. If you want to change your bedtime, help your body adjust by making the change in small daily increments, such as 15 minutes earlier or later each day.
          • Wake up at the same time every day. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock to wake up on time, you may need to set an earlier bedtime. As with your bedtime, try to maintain your regular wake–time even on weekends.
          • Nap to make up for lost sleep. If you need to make up for a few lost hours, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping late. This strategy allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep–wake rhythm, which often backfires in insomnia and throws you off for days.
          • Be smart about napping. While taking a nap can be a great way to recharge, especially for older adults, it can make insomnia worse. If insomnia is a problem for you, consider eliminating napping. If you must nap, do it in the early afternoon, and limit it to thirty minutes.
          • Fight after–dinner drowsiness. If you find yourself getting sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating to avoid falling asleep, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or getting clothes ready for the next day. If you give in to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.

          Discovering your optimal sleep schedule

          Find a period of time (a week or two should do) when you are free to experiment with different sleep and wake times. Go to bed at the same time every night and allow yourself to sleep until you wake up naturally. No alarm clocks! If you’re sleep deprived, it may take a few weeks to fully recover. But as you go to bed and get up at the same time, you’ll eventually land on the natural sleep schedule that works best for you.

          Other Sleep Better Tips:
          Tip 7
          Tip 6
          Tip 5
          Tip 4
          Tip 3
          Tip 2
          Tip 1

          Improve your sleep hygiene and daytime habits

          Regardless of your sleep problem, a consistent sleep routine and improved sleep habits will translate into better sleep over the long term. You can address many common sleep problems through lifestyle changes and improved sleep hygiene. For example, you may find that when you start exercising regularly, your sleep is much more refreshing. The key is to experiment. Use your sleep diary as a jumping off point.

          Try the following simple changes to your daytime and pre-bedtime routine:
          • Keep a regular sleep schedule, going to sleep and getting up at the same time each day (including the weekends)
          • Set aside enough time for sleep (most people need at least 8 hours each night in order to feel good and be productive)
          • Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet.
          • Turn off your TV, smartphone, and computer a few hours before your bedtime. The type of light their screens emit are activating to your brain and interfere with your body’s internal clock.
          If you’re one of those people that suffers from unusual sleep patterns and you want to get your body back in to check you might be able to do it with this acupuncture sleeping gadget, the Dreamate Sleep Inducer.

          To find out more about the Sleep Inducer, you can read it  here.

          If you're one of those people who have problem in waking up in the morning refresh, you may need another sleeping gadget the Sleep Tracker.

          To know more about the Sleep Tracker, you can read it here.

          Here's another gadget that helps to monitor whether you are sleeping correctly.  It's the Zeo Personal Sleep Coach.

          To know more about the Zeo Personal Sleep Coach, click here.

          My Appointment at SNEC

          It was my second visit to SNEC, and this time I had waited relatively shorter to be seen by Dr. Lim Li.  I had waited only an hour plus. After my orb scan, a consultant had attended to me first.  She had assured me that for my case, it's relatively mild and should not be affecting me too much except for the poor vision.  After that, Dr. Lim Li came and said the same thing.  She told me that Keratoconus would usually stops developing when the patient becomes 40, and she wouldn't worry so much about me as I'm already 36.  Only 4 more years to go.  The orb scan scan shows that my corneal had become thinner by 5 nm.  It should be quite save for me not to take any actions at all.

          Hmph.  That's quite different from Dr. Anna Tan, another Eye Specialist with NUH Eye Surgery Clinic.  She told me that I should be wearing the hard lenses to see if it could slow down the progression of the keratoconus, and I ought to be thinking if I wanted to do the Cross-linking procedures.

          Anyway, since Dr. Lim Li was the expert in Keratoconus and Cross-linking, I decided to heed her advice.  Will be seeing her in 18 months, and in the meantime, I'd canceled my appointment with NUH Eye Surgery Center.

          Wish me good luck!

          Ps:  Anyone any idea if Keratoconus really stops progressing after 40 years of age?  Or any comments on SNEC, NUH Eye Surgery Center, Dr. Lim Li, and Dr. Anna Tan?  Do feel free to drop a comment below.  Thanks.

          Saturday, February 26, 2011

          Hair Damage Repair

          "Whether it's heat, chemicals, dyes, or styling, it's all doing some degree of damage," Mirmirani says. "A good rule of thumb is, the less you do to your hair, the better."

          The good news is today's products, including dyes, are much better suited to our hair than 20 years ago, with technology and research helping to make most styling products actually beneficial to our hair.

          How can you undo some of the damage done through countless visits to the salon?

          "There are two things you can do," Mirmirani says. "First, cut off the damaged ends and start fresh. And try reducing what you're doing. ... If you notice your hair looking dull and dry, cut back on your styling until you get your hair back."

          Larry Baron, the owner and head stylist at Spa Christine in Boston, says the trick to keeping your hair healthy is to maintain its pH balance.

          "In order to close the hair cuticle and bring it back to health, you need to keep its pH balance at 4.5 -- that's the level at which your hair will look its best," he tells WebMD. "When it starts to creep up, that's when it starts to look like straw."

          Baron's recommendations for maximizing hair health:
          • Always put product on your hair before you style with heat. "By putting the product on before you style, you're heating the product, not the hair," Baron tells WebMD. 
          • Use extensions and cornrows wisely. "If extensions or cornrows are too tight, it can damage your roots by causing too much tension," Baron says. "There's a new technique where you can have extensions glued in and then removed using baby oil, but whatever way you choose, don't overdo it -- hair is strong, but it does have a breaking point."
          • Cut your losses. "When your hair is really damaged and dry, amputate," Baron says. "Just cut it off and start over."
          More information can be found here.

            8 Ways You're Damaging Your Hair

            So as we perm and color our way to the hair we want, when we want it, are we actually doing more harm than good to our locks? Here are eight ways our beauty habits cause hair damage:

            1. Bleaching - "Bleaching your hair penetrates the cuticle with chemicals and removes your natural pigment," Mirmirani says. "You are changing the structure of your hair, making it more susceptible to damage."

            Once you bleach, she explains, you've altered the strength of your hair, making it weaker. If you add blow drying and styling on top of bleaching, you can really damage your 'do, causing hair breakage, a dull look, and split ends.

            2. Perms - "Perming refers to either a chemical straightening or a chemical curling," Mirmirani says. "It works by breaking the inner bonds of the hair and re-forming them back together in a different way."

            Like bleaching, it weakens your hair, leaving it dull and damaged over time so that instead of luxurious curly locks or shiny straight tresses, your hair looks brittle and dry.

            3. Highlights and coloring - Highlights and semi-permanent dyes aren't as damaging as bleach, but they aren't without consequences, Mirmirani says. They can also change the inner structure of the hair, causing a lackluster look and dryness, especially if you frequently color to hide roots or gray hair.

            4. Flat iron and blow-drying - "Heat causes temporary changes to the hydrogen bonds that hold hair together," Mirmirani says, and that can make hair look dull.

            Over time, the temporary changes can lead to more permanent damage if you tend to blow dry or iron on a daily basis.

            5. Ponytails and braids - "Ponytails and braids can cause hair to break, especially if your style is pulled tightly," Mirmirani says. "If you wear it that way every day, permanent hair damage can occur."
            Braiding or putting your hair in a ponytail when it's wet can cause damage sooner because wet hair is more fragile.

            6. Over-brushing - Think 100 strokes a day will make your hair shiny and full? Think again.
            "Over-brushing your hair can cause split ends and breakage, with the over-brushing causing just too much consistent friction for hair to handle," Mirmirani says.

            Cheap brushes don't help either, causing snags and tangles that are hard to get out and resulting in broken hair and split ends.

            7. Over-shampooing - "The goal of shampooing is to cleanse the scalp and remove oil buildup on your hair," Mirmirani says.

            But over-washing can wash away your hair's natural moisture that helps your hair look healthy, making your hair dry. Although a significant amount of research has gone into making shampoos beneficial for your hair, you can still get too much of a good thing.

            "The less vigorous you are in washing your hair, the less damage you'll do to the cuticle," Mirmirani tells WebMD. "And find a frequency to washing your hair that works for you ... whether it's a few times a week or every day."

            How do you know when you are overdoing it?
            "I have African-American patients who wash their hair once a week to avoid drying it out," Mirmirani says. "You can tell when it's too much if it starts to get dull, which means it's time to scale back on the shampooing."

            8. Extensions and weaves - Extensions and weaves are a lot like ponytails and braids. Over time, they can leave hair broken and brittle. The difference is the damage is at the roots where it is harder to cut out.

            "If you have a discomfort or ache in the scalp, that indicates that what you've done to your hair is causing too much pressure at the roots," Mirmirani says.

            Worse, traction alopecia is a serious hair loss condition caused by wearing tight hairstyles like extensions for too long a time period. So either keep it loose, or try growing your hair instead of going for instant length.

            More information can be found here.




            何首乌对强的松龙和环磷酰胺引起的老年小鼠脾、胸腺抑制性改变有明显对抗作用,使脾巨噬细胞的吞噬率和吞噬指数明显提高。饲喂首乌乙醇浸膏能明显提高老年大鼠外周淋巴细胞 DNA的损伤修复能力。小鼠灌服制首乌 6g/kg,连续给药 7日,能明显提高腹腔巨噬细胞的吞噬能力,对强的松龙引起的吞噬指数下降,有明显的对抗作用。   

            高脂血症大鼠每日灌胃何首乌 4g/kg,连续 10日,能较显著地降低大鼠血清总胆固醇(TC)及血清甘油三酯(TG)的含量。对于高脂血症鹌鹑, 连续灌胃首乌4周,可明显降低血清TC含量和提高 HDL/TC比值。另有实验证明,高脂血症及动脉粥样硬化模型家兔,何首乌灌胃7日,不仅能降低TC含量,还能减轻动脉粥样硬化斑块形成。何首乌水提液 32g/kg喂养小鼠1个月,能明显提高 HDL- C水平。何首乌掺入到饲料中喂养大鼠,90日后,也可明显升高HDL-C,而TG和TC无明显变化,对β脂蛋白有明显抑制作用。何首乌醇提取液给快速动脉 粥样硬化鹌鹑灌胃,连续6周,血浆HDL-C/TC比值显著升高,大剂量组作用更为显著。各给药组均有延缓动脉粥样硬化的作用。何首乌降血脂与抗胆固醇作 用的有效成分包括蒽醌类、二苯烯化合物以及卵磷脂等。   

            何首乌所含的二苯烯化合物对过氧化玉米油所致大鼠脂肪肝和肝功能损 害,肝脏过氧化脂质升高、血清谷丙转氨酶及谷草转氨酶升高等均有明显对抗作用,并使血清游离脂肪酸及肝脏过氧化脂质含量下降。在体外能抑制由ADP、 NADPH引起的大鼠肝微粒体脂质过氧化。何首乌还有增加肝糖原作用。生首乌、黑豆汁制首乌和清蒸首乌水煎液对醋酸强的松所致肝脂蓄积有对抗作用,可降低 CCl4引起的肝肿大,使肝重系数降低。   

            何首乌水煎液喂服老年小鼠或青年小鼠,能使脑和肝中蛋白质含量明显增加,提高老年机体DNA修复能力。何首乌的醇提物及水提物能不同程度地增加老年大鼠胸腺胞浆蛋白和核酸含量。   何首乌延缓衰老作用与抗氧化作用有关。老年小鼠灌服何首乌水煎浓缩液,能明显增强血中SOD活 性。炮制对首乌抗氧化作用有一定影响,新法炮制品及老法炮制品均有明显提高小鼠全血及脑组织SOD活性作用,并能降低小鼠心、肝、脑组织中及血中LPO含 量,生品对SOD和LPO无明显影响。首乌醇提液或水提提液均能不同程度地提高老年大鼠心、肝、脑的组织SOD含量和降低LPO含量。   

            何首乌水煎浓缩液长期给小鼠灌胃,可使小鼠肾上腺重量明显增加。何首乌还有类似肾上腺皮质功能 的作用,对摘除双侧肾上腺的小鼠,可使其应激能力明显提高,减少冷冻引起的小鼠死亡率。制首乌对去甲肾上腺素饥饿小鼠肝糖原积累,有促进作用,使肝糖原明 显增加。何首乌对血糖的影响有一定的时效关系,给家兔口服首乌煎剂后30、60分钟内血糖升高达峰值,之后逐渐下降,6小时后血糖比正常低。大鼠肝胰岛素 受体具有高亲和力低容量,及低亲和力高容量两种受体,老年小鼠结合容量显著降低,但亲和力无变化。何首乌对容量和亲和力两个参数均无明显影响。   



            曾有报道,何首乌各种炮制品(生首乌、酒蒸首乌、黑豆汁蒸首乌、清蒸首乌)水煎液体外对金黄色葡萄球菌、白色葡萄球菌、福氏痢疾杆菌、宋内氏痢疾杆菌、伤寒杆菌901、 副伤寒杆菌从白喉杆菌、乙型溶血性链球菌等均有不同程度的.抑制作用,其中生首乌煎剂抗金黄色葡萄球菌作用比其他炮制品强,制首乌水煎剂对白色葡萄球菌, 酒蒸首乌水煎剂和地黄汁蒸首乌水煎剂对白喉杆菌的抑制作用比其他首乌强。何首乌对流感病毒有一定抑制作用。此外,何首乌还有减慢心率、扩张冠脉、抗心肌缺 血等作用。   综上所述,与何首乌补肝肾,益精血,乌须发,强筋骨功效相关的药理作用是促进造血功能,提高机体免疫功能,降血脂,抗动脉粥样硬化,保肝,延缓衰老,影响内分泌功能,润肠通便等作用。何首乌功效作用的物质基础主要为磷脂、蒽醌类、葡萄糖苷类等成分。

            Effects of He Shou Wu 何首乌

            I did some search on the effects and usage of He Shou Wu 何首乌, and it seems like it has much other effects and usage of it than turning gray hair back to its original colors.  Read its other usage below:












            9、疥癣。用何首乌、区叶等分,水煎浓汤洗 浴,可以解痛、生肌肉。用何首乌茎、叶煎汤洗浴,也有效。 

            Side Effects of He Shou Wu 何首乌

            It seems like even TCM may not be without side effects.  Here's some side effects that He Shou Wu, a herbal remedy most widely used for returning gray hair back to its original color, may have.

            In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the herbal remedy he shou wu (何首乌, sometimes known as fo ti) is prescribed to enhance general health and increase life span, but its claim to fame is that it also is said to return gray hair to its original color. The direct English translation of he shou wu is "Black-haired Mr. He." In Chinese medicine theory, the kidneys control the growth and color of hair, and he shou wu is said to benefit the liver and kidneys. A commercial product called Fo Ti does not contain he shou wu but is often confused with it because of the similarity in names. Fo Ti can have severe side effects that sometimes have been attributed wrongly to he shou wu due to this confusion. As with any single herbal remedy, though, he shou wu may have side effects of its own.

            Loose Stools

            He shou wu is sometimes used as a stool softener. It contains the substance emodin, which is a laxative and also is thought to be a liver protective agent. If you take too much or are sensitive to this herb, you may get diarrhea. This effect is primarily connected with taking the unprocessed root form of he shou wu.

            Skin Rash

            Some people who are sensitive to he shou wu may develop a skin rash. This is rare, but it is a recorded side effect that occurs when high doses of the herb are consumed.


            Reports of numbness in the arms and legs have been connected with the use of he shou wu. This effect only occurs when 15 or more grams of he shou wu are consumed in a daily dose, far above those recommended in the professional literature.

            Estrogenic Effect

            He shou wu has a moderate estrogenic effect, meaning it mimics the effect of the hormone estrogen in women. Even though he shou wu does not elevate human estrogen levels, it contains substances that can stimulate the growth of cancers that are sensitive to estrogen-like substances, so women battling certain cancers should not take it.

            Liver Dysfunction

            Rare reports of liver problems such as jaundice, abnormal function and hepatitis have been connected with the use of he shou wu. In some of these cases, the patients were taking a modified version of he shou wu called Shen-Min. This product for hair loss contains he shou wu combined with other herbs.

            Read more:

            More Resources on Keratoconus and Treatment


            Factsheet explaining the condition Keratoconus
            Collagen Cross Linking or C3R or 3CR - explained
            How Intacs Intracorneal rings help Keratoconus 

            If you have more resources to share, please post them in the comments below.  Thanks.

            Friday, February 25, 2011

            Natural Hair Loss Remedy - Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herbs

            Chinese medicine is effective at treating hair loss and the underlying conditions that cause hair loss. Many Chinese herbs have a record of promoting hair growth that spans thousands of years as effective hair loss remedies. How do Chinese herbs restore the hair?

            They build blood, balance hormones, restore Kidney Energy, and direct nourishing blood to the scalp.

            Hair loss and thinning hair can result from many causes including stress, poor nutrition (especially a Vitamin B and mineral deficiency), hormonal imbalance, certain prescription drugs,  thyroid disease, cancer (and more specifically cancer treatment), and genetics. All of these hair loss conditions can occur in both men and women. Much like heart disease prevention, even hair loss based in genetics can be addressed with Chinese medicine.

            Genetic pattern baldness is often attributed to the chemical DHT (5-alpha Di-HydroTestosterone). It has been found that increasing levels of DHT in hair follicles cause a reaction that reduces blood flow to the follicle and the impairs the growth cycle of  hair. This results in follicle shrinkage and finer and shorter hairs, eventually the follicle dies and stops producing hair. Areas that are 'shiny bald' no longer have live follicles. Areas with shorter, fuzzy, fine hairs still have live follicles that may respond to Chinese tonic herb remedies.

            In Chinese Medicine, hair is a direct reflection of the Kidney energy, Liver energy and Blood: a lack of circulation or insufficient amounts of Blood can result in the loss of hair. The Kidney and Liver influence the hormones strongly. The conditions of the hair follicles can also be affected by the toxicity of the blood, and the Liver and Kidney are important organs of elimination of toxins.

            The first step in treating hair loss naturally is to improve circulation to the head/scalp, as well as improve the quality of the blood with specific natural herb remedies such as fo-ti or he shu wu, drynaria, dang gui, sesame, and ligustrum. Early intervention is the key to limiting hair loss and promoting hair re-growth. Herbal tonic treatment can vary from 3-12 months depending on the severity of the condition and the length of time that the condition has existed.

            Traditional Chinese Medicine can effectively treat hair loss & thinning hair with Chinese tonic herb remedies. The main Chinese herb remedy for hair loss in this formula is he shou wu, or fo ti. It is the best Chinese herb for hair, known for its beneficial effects on strengthening the hair, building Blood, and reversing graying of the hair. Other ingredients include the highly esteemed reishi mushroom to enhance the Kidney energy, Ligustrum to improve blood circulation of the scalp, and other Chinese herbs that restore beautiful hair and skin.

            The Chinese way of naturally healthy hair rely on tonic-type herbs that are used over time. Along with proper living habits such as good sleeping patterns, exercise such as walking, tai-qi or yoga, and organic whole foods; natural Chinese tonic herb remedies play an important role in healthy hair.

            This natural Chinese herb remedy for hair loss and thinning hair will restore overall health and vitality by supplying the basic building blocks through chemical constituents present in the herbs that are necessary to nourish the hair and skin through the Liver and  Kidney systems. After all, the whole body must thrive in order to have luscious, strong, healthy hair.

            The main Chinese herb for hair is he shou wu, or fo ti. It is the best Chinese herb for hair, known for its beneficial effects on strengthening the hair, building Blood, and reversing graying of the hair. Other ingredients include the highly esteemed reishi mushroom to enhance the Kidney energy, Ligustrum to improves blood circulation of the scalp, and other Chinese herbs that restore beautiful hair and skin.

            Along with proper living habits such as good sleeping patterns, meditation, exercise such as walking, tai-qi or yoga, and organic whole foods, natural Chinese tonic herbs play an important role in healthy hair and healthy aging skin care.

            Herbs for Hair Loss:

            Polygonum multiflorum - he shou wu - Fo Ti

            The Chinese say that long-term use of this famous "longevity herb" helps return an aging person to youthfulness, as it strengthens the back. The literal translation of the name he shu wu is "black-haired Mr. He" refering to the Chinese legend where Mr. He returned from living in the woods for some time, and his grey hair had turned to black. As it turned out, Mr. He had been consuming fo ti herb to survive. Fo ti is known as the best herb to restore hair color and nourish the skin, hair, teeth and nails. This top Chinese herb is a classic essence tonic and major blood tonic that cleanses the blood.

            Ganoderma lucidum - ling zhi - Reishi Mushroom

            The Reishi mushroom has an unparalleled reputation in the Orient as the ultimate herbal substance often used to cure immune disorders. For over two thousand years it has been sought-after by mountain sages and by the emperors of China known as the best anti-aging herb. In the first Chinese herbal text (Shennong’s Pharmacopeia) it says that "continuous consumption of Reishi makes your body light and young, lengthens your life and turns you into one like the immortal who never dies." Reishi was traditionally called "the mushroom of immortality."

            Schisandra chinensis-wu wei zi
            Schizandra is a famous Tonic herb historically consumed by Chinese royalty. It is renowned as a beauty tonic and is considered to be one of the best anti aging, youth preserving herbs. It has been one of the top herbs used for centuries to make the skin soft, moist and radiant.

            Ligustrum lucidum-nu zhen zi
            A Yin Kidney and Liver tonic herb which is said by the Chinese to prolong life. It is a significant immune enhancing agent. Ligustrum herb is also used as a blood tonic that helps to enhance hair restoration.

            Thallus algae-kun bu-Seaweed

            Seaweed has many micronutrients & minerals necessary for good health and beautiful hair, skin and nails.

            Morus Albus-sang shen-Mulberry fruit spike
            Builds blood, nourishes yin and moistens the intestines. Traditionally used in China for premature graying of the hair, mulberry increases nourishment for hair growth.

            Urtica dioica - Stinging nettle
            Highly nutritious herb containing a multitude of minerals necessary for proper hair growth.

            Psoraleae corylifolia-bu gu zhi
            A popular Chinese herb to restore premature gray hair to it's natural color. Psoralia also prevents hair loss. As a Yang Tonic, it strengthens Kidney energy.

            Ligustrum chuanxiong-chuan xiong- Lovage Root Wallichi
            Invigorates the Blood and directs Blood upward, allowing nourishment to reach the head and enhance hair growth.

            Rehmannia glutinosa-shu di huang

            A Kidney tonic and longevity herb and is found in "anti-aging" formulations for longevity, and rejuvenation. It is a first-class blood tonic that helps to boost hair growth, and benefit sexual functions in men and women.

            Dendrobium-she hu-Orchid

            This variety of Chinese orchid is an excellent Yin tonic and longevity herb.  Dendrobium is the top herb for restoring moist skin and repairing skin at a cellular level, thus generate beautiful skin. Dendrobium is one of the top Chinese anti-aging herbs.

            Angelica sinensis - dang gui

            A common herb for invigorating the blood and qi in the Lower Jiao, especially when blood has been stagnated by cold. Dang Gui is considered the best herbs for building blood.

            Eclipta prostrata-han lian cao
            A rejuvinating tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin, eclipta supports healthy hair growth. Protects the Liver.

            Sesame Indicum-hei zhi ma-Black Sesame Seed
            Black sesame seed is a fabulous longevity herb. In addition to its essence-building capacity, it enhances hair growth.

            Alisma plantago-aquatica-ze xie-Water Plantain Root

            Alisma herb has mild tonic qualities, especially affecting the Kidney/Bladder, and the Spleen/Stomach.

            Poria cocos-fu ling
            Poria is a fungus that grows on the roots of pine trees widely used in Chinese herbalism to leach out dampness, drain phlegm, and move fluid stagnation.

            Salvia miltiorrhiza-dan shen-Red Sage Root
            Salvia is a "blood vitalizing" herb used to improve circulation and break up blood stagnation. Recent research in China and Japan indicates that salvia improves the condition and functioning of entire cardiovascular system. It is a famed longevity herb.

            What Causes Hair Loss According to Traditional Chinese Medicine

            According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, healthy hair depends on an abundant flow of qi and blood to the scalp and hair roots. If this nourishing flow is compromised, the hair will suffer.

            Diminished nourishment is most usually caused by:

            Blood Deficiency (Blood vacuity)
            Blood is made through the digestive process, and blood deficiency can be caused by dietary, or digestive insuficiencies. If the blood lacks nourishing components the best remedy is He Shou Wu, also known as Fo Ti, or polygani multiflori, or fleeceflower root.

            Constrained flow (Qi stagnation)
            Stress and emotional constraint can restrict the flow of qi and blood in the chest, neck, shoulders, face and head. Massage, meditation, and relaxation techniques can help restore this flow.

            Patency of the vessels
            The size, diameter, and health of the tiny blood vessels that conduct nourishment to the hair can also play a part. Genetic factors as well as acquired factors can weaken the patency of the vessels making these capillaries fragile or narrow.

            Dreamate Sleep Inducer

            Dreamate Sleep Inducer

            If you’re one of those people that suffers from unusual sleep patterns and you want to get your body back in to check you might be able to do it with this acupuncture sleeping gadget, the Dreamate Sleep Inducer.

            Dreamate uses accupressure techniques to gently massage the “sleeping golden triangle” on your left wrist. Used 30 minutes before bedtime, you can retune and reset your biological clock and train your body to relax and sleep.

            See results in as little as a week’s worth of use, with best results after eight weeks. These precise pressure points, when gently massaged, calm the body, lower stress levels, and induce sleep. Unlike addictive sleeping pills that knock you senseless, but offer little improvement in your sleep quality.

            I’ve no idea how effective this is but it sounds kind of cool. The Dreamate is available from ThinkGeek for $79.99.

            For those who wants a gadget to help you wake up feeling refresh, check this out:

            Fujitsu announces Stylistic Q550 slate computer

            Forget about regional launches – Fujitsu has just announced its Stylistic Q550 slate PC around the world, where it offers executive class performance with high-security in mind to cater for the requirements of mobile enterprise computing. These slate PCs will arrive in a couple of months’ time (that is April just in case you happen to lose your bearings on a calendar).

            To maintain Fujitsu’s long heritage of creating tablet PCs for professional and executive users, the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 slate PC comes with built-in security from the ground up, letting it comply with the most stringent ICT security requirements of governments and businesses. It will definitely cater for enterprise mobile computing demands, and won’t find any problem integrating itself seamlessly into existing ICT infrastructures.

            After all, consumer-class smart phones and tablets tend to be rather lax in security compared to corporations which might result in security breaches, Fujitsu has decided to take an alternative approach with the introduction of a companion device specially designed for maximum interoperability with business environments. It will play nice with Microsoft Windows 7, so you need not fret about modern software compatibility.

            Other usability features which might just stoke your boss’ interest might be its full work day battery runtime, a brilliant anti-glare 10.1-inch screen which works great equally indoors as well as outdoors, connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and optional mobile broadband 3G/UMTS to boot.
            Data entry is also a snap on-the-go thanks to its multiple touch interface with precise and pressure-sensitive pen input. The Stylistic Q550 is smart enough to automatically recognize when users are working with a pen, letting them rest their hands on the screen when writing. With the inclusion of built-in handwriting recognition software, it will be able to convert input to text. Whenever the pen is stowed away, the slate PC will automatically re-adjust itself to a touch interface.

            Will this be a hit when the rest are going for andriod, webOS, and iOS?  This is probably going to be popular with business executives and for enterprise computing.  Wonder how much it will cost?  Can't seems to find the price of it.  Anyway, as a normal home user, I'm so not getting this.

            Thursday, February 24, 2011

            My Eye Specialist

            Dr Lim Li
            Dr Lim Li
            Singapore National Eye Centre
            Cataract and Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service
            Senior Consultant
            MBBS, FRCS(Ed), MMed(Ophth), FAMS
            Dr Lim Li is a senior consultant ophthalmologist at the Singapore National Eye Centre with sub-specialist training in corneal and external eye disease.  She completed her medical  and general ophthalmic training in Singapore  and her corneal fellowship training both in Singapore and Australia. Her interests include cataract surgery, management of corneal and external  eye diseases, corneal transplantation surgeries, refractive surgeries including LASIK and medical contact lenses.  She has published several scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals, written book chapters  and has participated as invited speaker at local and international meetings.  She is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate ophthalmology education and holds an appointment as a clinical senior lecturer at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Her current research interests include the surgical treatment options for keratoconus.  She is also the deputy director of the Singapore Eye Bank and Honorary Secretary of the College of Ophthalmologists, Academy of Medicine, Singapore.

            Professional Appointments & Memberships

            * Clinical Lecturer, National University of Singapore
            * Deputy Director, Singapore Eye Bank
            * Honorary Secretary, Chapter of Ophthalmologists, College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine
            * Secretary General, Asia-Pacific Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists
            * Member, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
            * Member, Singapore Society of Ophthalmology
            * Member, Singapore Medical Association

            Selected Publications, Research Interest & Trials


            1. Comparison of Argon Laser Iridotomy and Sequential Argon-YAG Laser Iridotomy in Dark Irides. L Lim, SKL Seah, ASM Lim. Ophthalmic Surgery and Lasers 1996; 27(4): 285-288.
            2. Accurate Intraocular Pressure Measurements in Contact Lens Wearers. L Lim, TP Ng, DTH Tan. The CLAO Journal 1997; 23(2): 130-133.
            3. The Surgical Management of an Advanced Pterygium Involving the Entire Cornea. CC Yip, L Lim, DTH Tan. Cornea 1997; 16(3): 365-368.
            4. Changing Indications for Penetrating Keratoplasty: A Newly Developed Country’s Experience. TY Wong, C Chan, L Lim, TH Lim, DTH Tan. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology 1997; 25: 145-150.
            5. Contact Lens Wear After Excimer Laser Photorefractive Keratectomy – Comparison Between Rigid Gas Permeable And Soft Contact Lenses. L Lim, KL Siow, JSC Chong, DTH Tan. CLAO Journal 1999; 25(4): 222-227.
            6. Conjunctival Rotation Autograft for Pterygium, an Alternative to Conjunctival Autografting. A Jap, C Chan, Li Lim, DTH Tan. Ophthalmology 1999; 106: 67-71.
            7. Randomised Clinical Trial of a New Dexamethasone Delivery System (Surodex) for Treatment of Post-Cataract Surgery Inflammation. DTH Tan, SP Chee, L Lim, ASM Lim. Ophthalmology 1999; 106: 223-231.
            8. Antimicrobial Susceptibility of 19 Australian Corneal Isolates of Acanthamoeba. L Lim, DJ Coster, PR Badenoch. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2000; 28(2): 119-124.
            9. Reverse geometry Contact Lens Wear After Photorefractive Keratectomy, Radial Keratotomy, or Penetrating Keratoplasty. L Lim, KL Siow, R Sakamoto, JSC Chong, DTH Tan. Cornea 2000; 19(3): 320-324.
            10. Penetrating Keratoplasty for Keratoconus: Visual Outcome and Success. L Lim, K Pesudovs, DJ Coster. Ophthalmology 2000; 107: 1125-1131.
            11. Therapeutic Use of Bausch & Lomb PureVision Contact Lenses. L Lim, DTH Tan, WK Chan. CLAO Journal 2001; 27(4): 179-185.
            12. Late onset post-keratoplasty astigmatism in patients with keratoconus. Lim L, Pesudovs K, Goggin M, Coster DJ. Br J Ophthalmol 2004 Mar 88(3): 371-6.
            13. Laser in situ keratomileusis treatment for myopia after acanthamoeba keratitis. Lim L, Wei RH. Eye Contact Lens 2004 April; 30(2): 103-4.
            14. Laser in situ keratomileusis treatment for myopia in a patient with partial limbal stem cell deficiency. Eye Contact Lens 2005 Mar, 31(2): 67-9.
            15. Juvenile xanthogranuloma of the corneo-scleral limbus. Lim-I-Linn Z/Li Lim. Cornea 2005 Aug 24(6): 745-7.
            16. Evaluation of Keratoconus in Asians: Role of Orbscan II and Tomey TMS 2 Corneal Topography. Li Lim/RH Wei/WK Chan/ DTH Tan. AmJ Ophthalmol 2007; 143: 390-400.
            17. Evaluation of orbscan II corneal topography in individuals with myopia. RH Wei/Li Lim/ WK Chan/ Donald TH Tan. Ophthalmology 2006; 113: 177-183.
            18. Higher order ocular aberrations in eyes with myopia in a Chinese population. Wei RH, Lim L, Chan WK, Tan DT. J Refract Surg. 2006 Sep; 22(7): 695-702.
            19. Evaluation of Higher order ocular Aberrations in patients with keratoconus. Li Lim/Wei RH/ Chan WK/ Donald Tan. In press.
            20. An outbreak of fusarium keratitis associated with contact lens wear in Singapore. Khor WB/ Aung Tin/Saw SM/Wong TY/Tambyah PA/ Tan AL/Beuerman R/Lim L/Chan WK/Heng WJ/Lim J/Loh RS/Lee SB/ Tan DT. JAMA 2006 Jun 28; 295(24): 2867-73.

            Contact Details
            Tel: +65 62277255
            Fax: +65 62277290
            Email: NA
            Department’s Website: and

            Appointment with this Doctor
            SNEC enquiries email:

            COLLAGEN CROSSLINKING (CXL) – to stop the progression of Keratoconus

            The most promising technology for treating Keratoconus called collagen cross linking (CXL) with UVA is currently being introduced into the United States under experimental protocols in Clinical Trials. This treatment, which has been used in Europe for eight years, now is undergoing Phase 1 FDA clinical trials in the United States. It has been demonstrated to be safe and effective if performed, with the epithelium removed, and has the potential to stop the progression of Keratoconus. This treatment is recommended for individuals with progressive Keratoconus or Ectasia following LASIK to stabilize the cornea. It can be performed with our without INTACS. Even though enrollment for this procedure for the FDA trials is closed, our center is one of the only centers in the United States that has received and I.D.E. (Investigational Device Exemption) from the FDA to treat patients with this procedure and we are currently enrolling patients under an Investigational protocol.

            This protocol allows us to enroll patients for the next 5 years and can be viewed on the government website – Since this treatment is still regarded as experimental in the United States it should only be done with Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, so that patients can adequately be protected.

            The procedure, which is painless, is as follows. The top layer of the cornea is removed under local anesthesia. Vitamin drops are soaked into the cornea until they penetrate the entire corneal and evidence of penetration into the anterior chamber of the eye is demonstrated by slit-lamp evaluation. Once this is confirmed the patient’s eye is put under a specialized lamp, which emits UV light at a predetermined wavelength for approximately 30 minutes. During this process the cross links, which link the fibers of the cornea, are increased thereby stiffening the whole cornea. A bandage contact lens is then put on the eye and patients are given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drops and follow up on a regular basis with their physicians for several months.  Many patients notice an improvement in their vision at 3 to 6 months and European studies suggest that only 5-8% of patients need to be retreated.

            More Resources on Keratoconus

            Here are a list of Resources that I visit to learn more about Keratoconus, and how to manage it.
            If you have more resources to share, please post them in the comments below.  Thanks.

              Keratoconus Treatment

              My options for treatment were limited.  I can either choose to wear the Rigid Gas Permeable contact lens to correct my vision, or I can do the Corneal Cross-linking (A new treatment).  The rest of the treatment options can be found below.

              In the mildest form of keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may help. But as the disease progresses and the cornea thins and becomes increasingly more irregular in shape, glasses and soft contacts no longer provide adequate vision correction.

              Treatments for moderate and advanced keratoconus include:

              Gas permeable contact lenses. If eyeglasses or soft contact lenses cannot control keratoconus, then rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) contact lenses are usually the preferred treatment. Their rigid lens material enables GP lenses to vault over the cornea, replacing its irregular shape with a smooth, uniform refracting surface to improve vision.

              Keratometry showing a normal eye vs an eye with keratoconus
              Normal eye vs. eye with small amount of keratoconus. The keratoconic cornea bulges slightly, for a more cone-shaped surface. (Artist's re-creation of keratometry images.)

              But RGP contact lenses can be less comfortable to wear than soft contacts.

              Also, fitting contact lenses on a keratoconic cornea is challenging and time-consuming. You can expect frequent return visits to fine-tune the fit and the prescription, especially if the keratoconus continues to progress.

              "Piggybacking" contact lenses. Because fitting a gas permeable contact lens over a cone-shaped cornea can sometimes be uncomfortable for a person with keratoconus, some eye care practitioners advocate "piggybacking" two different types of contact lenses on the same eye.

              For keratoconus, this method involves placing a soft contact lens, such as one made of silicone hydrogel, over the eye and then fitting a GP lens over the soft lens. This approach increases wearer comfort because the soft lens acts like a cushioning pad under the rigid GP lens.

              Your eye care practitioner will monitor closely the fitting of "piggyback" contact lenses to make sure enough oxygen reaches the surface of your eye, which can be a problem when two lenses are worn on the same eye. However, most modern contacts — both GP and soft — typically have adequate oxygen permeability for a safe "piggyback" fit.

              ClearKone hybrid contact lenses. (SynergEyes Inc., Carlsbad, Calif.) These hybrid contact lenses combine a highly oxygen-permeable rigid center with a soft peripheral "skirt." The ClearKone version was designed specifically for keratoconus and vaults above the eye's cone shape for increased comfort.

              The manufacturer says hybrid contacts provide the crisp optics of a GP lens and wearing comfort that rivals that of soft contact lenses.

              ClearKone hybrid lenses are available in a wide variety of parameters to provide a fit that conforms well to the irregular shape of a keratoconic eye.

              Scleral and semi-scleral lenses. Larger diameters found in these gas permeable (GP) lenses enable edges to rest on the eye's white sclera. Scleral lenses cover a larger portion of the sclera, whereas semi-scleral lenses cover a smaller area.

              Because the center vaults over the irregularly shaped cornea, this lens doesn't apply pressure to the eye's cone-shaped surface and feels more comfortable. These types of lenses also are more stable than conventional contact lenses, which move with each blink because they cover the cornea only partially.

              One example of a scleral lens is the Boston Scleral Lens Prosthetic Device (BSLPD). This cone-shaped device resembles a large contact lens and works partly by maintaining a "pool" of fluid on the eye's surface through which light rays pass and are bent to achieve proper focus.

              The BSLPD also fills in a highly irregular eye surface with fluid to help achieve proper focus.
              To qualify for the BSLPD, you must have a severe, unusual or otherwise untreatable condition.
              In cases of financial need, the non-profit Boston Foundation for Sight providing the lens will help subsidize or pay outright the $7,600 needed for lenses and fittings for both eyes. The price of a lens and fitting for one eye is $5,000.

              The BSLPD also has demonstrated effectiveness as a treatment for severe dry eye.

              Intacs. (Addition Technology, Des Plaines, Ill.) Intacs, or corneal inserts, received FDA approval for treating keratoconus in August 2004. These tiny plastic inserts are placed just under the eye's surface in the periphery of the cornea and help re-shape the cornea for clearer vision.

              Intacs may be needed when keratoconus patients no longer can obtain functional vision with contact lenses or eyeglasses.

              Several studies show that Intacs can improve the best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA) of a keratoconic eye by an average of two lines on a standard eye chart. The implants also have the advantage of being removable and exchangeable. The surgical procedure takes only about 10 minutes.
              Intacs might delay but can't prevent a corneal transplant if keratoconus continues to progress.

              Corneal cross-linking. This non-invasive procedure strengthens corneal tissue to halt bulging of the eye's surface in keratoconus. In the United States, FDA clinical trials for corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) began in early 2008.

              With CXL, the outer portion of the cornea (epithelium) is removed to allow application of riboflavin, a type of B vitamin, which then is activated with UV light. Another investigational method of strengthening the cornea, known as transepithelial corneal cross-linking, is performed with the corneal surface left intact.

              Early results showing benefits of this method have been promising. In 2008, University of Siena researchers in Italy reported positive outcomes in all 44 eyes that were followed for three years after treatment with CXL.*

              Other researchers have concluded that this simple treatment might reduce significantly the need for corneal transplants among keratoconus patients. Corneal cross-linking also is being investigated as a way to treat or prevent keratoconus-like complications following LASIK or other vision correction surgery.

              Research involving a combination of corneal cross-linking with Intacs implants (see above) also has demonstrated early promising results for treating keratoconus.

              Topography-guided conductive keratoplasty. While more study is needed, early results of a small study involving topography-guided conductive keratoplasty (CK) show this procedure might help smooth irregularities in the corneal surface.

              This treatment uses energy from radio waves, applied through tiny probes, to reshape the eye's surface. A topographic "map" created through imaging of the eye's surface helps create individualized treatment plans.

              In October 2010, the American Journal of Ophthalmology reported that 15 of 21 keratoconic eyes treated with topography-guided CK achieved more normal corneal symmetry.

              Corneal transplant. Some people with keratoconus can't tolerate a rigid contact lens, or they reach the point where contact lenses or other therapies no longer provide acceptable vision.
              The last remedy to be considered may be a cornea transplant, also called a penetrating keratoplasty (PK or PKP). Even after a transplant, you most likely will need glasses or contact lenses for clear vision

              Read more:


              I had been diagnosed with Keratoconus.  Talk about luck.  Keratoconus affects around one person in a thousand, and I'm the one person.  I have developed irregular astigmatism, and every visit to the eye doctor my eyeglasses prescription changes. *sigh*

              Here's a description on Keratoconus.

              Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted vision.  Keratoconus can occur in one or both eyes and often begins during a person's teens or early 20s.

              Keratoconus Symptoms and Signs

              Keratoconus can be difficult to detect, because it usually develops slowly. However, in some cases, keratoconus may proceed rapidly.

              As the cornea becomes more irregular in shape, it causes progressive nearsightedness and irregular astigmatism to develop, creating additional problems with distorted and blurred vision. Glare and light sensitivity also may occur.

              It's not unusual to have a delayed diagnosis of keratoconus, if the practitioner is unfamiliar with the early-stage symptoms of the disease.

              What Causes Keratoconus?

              New research suggests the weakening of the corneal tissue that leads to keratoconus may be due to an imbalance of enzymes within the cornea. This imbalance makes the cornea more susceptible to oxidative damage from compounds called free radicals, causing it to weaken and bulge forward.
              Risk factors for oxidative damage and weakening of the cornea include a genetic predisposition, explaining why keratoconus often affects more than one member of the same family.
              Keratoconus is also associated with overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, excessive eye rubbing, a history of poorly fitted contact lenses and chronic eye irritation.

              Herbal Scalp and Hair Therapy

              This looks good.  My wife had gone for the treatment before and find that it was good. They are still having the promotion.  I'm going to make an appointment to give it a try.

              Just wonder should I sign up their package.  It's so expensive in the long run.

              Details of the promotions are here.

              Ps. Btw, anyone with any experience to share on this Herbal Scalp/Hair Therapy?  Please feel free to leave your comments below.  Thanks.  

              Read more on the therapy here:

              Here are some of my thoughts on the therapy.  

              Scalp Care Tips for Men

              1. Wash Daily
              Keeping your scalp clean is key to minimizing clogged pores and other scalp problems. Use a gentle shampoo and wash once each day, working the shampoo into the hair and scalp for about two minutes. Don't bother with the "rinse and repeat" part. One good wash should be sufficient.

              2. Exfoliate Weekly
              Once or twice per week, remove dead skin cells and dirt from the scalp with an exfoliating scrub such as Menscience Microfine Face Scrub. A scrub made for the face is gentle enough to be used on the scalp.

              3. Massage
              Scalp massage is beneficial because it helps promote good blood flow to the scalp, helps to keep the scalp flexible, soothes nerves and relaxes muscles. Scalp massage also promotes hair growth and luster. It feels great, too. One each week, massage the scalp with the fingertips using a firm pressure in a circular motion. Place the fingers under the hair to avoid pulling. Perform this exercise for three or four minutes.

              4. Avoid Drying Problems
              One of the main causes of dry scalp is shampooing with water that is too hot. This can strip essentials oils from the skin and cause dryness. Wash hair in lukewarm water to help retain those essential oils. Excessive blow drying of the hair can also promote a dry scalp. If you notice excessive drying, a good leave-in conditioner can help replenish moisture to the scalp.

              Maintaining a great looking head of hair starts with a healthy scalp. Follow the tips above to help ensure yours stays in great shape.

              More information can be found here.

              Hair Care Tips for Men

              1. Pat Dry
              Towel drying is one of the biggest causes of damage to men's hair. When hair is wet, it is highly susceptible to damage. When the hair is rubbed with a towel, some of the hairs become tangled in the threads of the towel and become stretched to the breaking point, causing damage to the cuticle (the shingle-like outer layer of the hair), frizziness, and split ends. To properly towel dry, shake out the excess water and stroke your hair in the direction it grows, rather than rubbing the hair with the towel. Drying takes a bit longer this way but after a few haircuts, you'll notice the difference in the way your hair looks. Blow drying is also a common cause of damage to the hair. Excessive blow drying can dry out the hair and scalp. If you must use a blow dryer, apply a thermal styling spray or detangler to coat the hair and protect it from damage, use a wide-tooth comb to prevent pulling, and always leave the hair slightly damp. This will prevent over drying the hair.

              2. Cool Off
              Nothing feels better than a piping hot shower, but it's wreaking havoc on your hair and scalp. Very hot water strips too much of the essential oil from the hair and scalp and leads to dryness.

              3. Avoid Chemical Treatments
              Repeatedly coloring or perming hair can leave it damaged, dry, and dull. I recommend avoiding at-home chemical products and seek a good stylist for such services. A stylist will know how to properly prepare you hair and choose the best products for your hair type. Results from a trained professional will almost always look more natural than those which can be produced at home.
              4. Use a Good Shampoo and Conditioner
              A good shampoo and conditioner will help cleanse the hair, add moisture and elasticity, and smooth the cuticle to add shine.

              5. Use the Right Tools
              Don't use a brush on wet hair, when the hair is most vulnerable. When combing through wet hair, use a wide-toothed comb and gently work out any tangles. Avoid heated tools such as blow dryers or irons which can dry and damage hair.

              6. Stay Healthy
              The condition of your hair is often a reflection of the overall health of your body. Eat well, exercise, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and reduce stress in your life. Doing so will result in a healthier scalp and great looking hair. Living well and staying healthy will also increase the rate of hair growth.

              7. Avoid Tight Hats
              A tight hat (or ponytail) can cause "traction alopecia," a condition in which hair is pulled out of the scalp. If worn long enough, the damage can become permanent. A tight hat or ponytail can also cause damage to the cuticle and breakage.

              8. Keep it Trimmed
              Since the only real way to remove damaged hair is to cut off the damaged section, keeping your hair trimmed regularly will help eliminate split ends. Even if you're growing your hair out, make sure to get it trimmed about every six weeks, but make it clear to your barber or stylist that you only want enough hair removed to eliminate the damage.

              9. Reduce Frizz
              Low moisture and protein in the hair can cause frizz. To minimize this problem, use a good moisturizing conditioner. A slick, smoothing serum can be applied to add shine and give the hair a smoother appearance.

              10. Maintain a Healthy Scalp
              Hair starts from the scalp, so for hair that's sleek, strong, and shiny, make sure you take good care of your scalp by following our Scalp Care Tips.
              Since hair is such a big part of your appearance, keeping it well maintained will make you more attractive. Following the simple guidelines above will put you on your way to a healthy looking head of hair.

              More tips can be found here.

              Wednesday, February 23, 2011

              Mobile World Congress 2011 as it unfolds

              This is an article from
              It is really neat.  Check out the details below.  Good coverage.

              The Mobile World Congress is still going in full swing and we're working hard to cover every juicy bit. Here's a neat and tidy list of all the new things that have come out so far, maker by maker. We'll be updating this article as new info becomes available.
               Check out the list below of all things that happened during the MWC.

              We've seen many of these phones in the torrent of leaks that preceded the MWC, but there were a few surprises too. Here's the roundup of leaks, as you can see it's pretty extensive.

              One of the biggest (and most unpleasant) surprises came when Nokia said they wouldn't announce anything on Sunday. Samsung's Galaxy S II and the Tab 10.1 leaked early, LG couldn't wait and announced their stuff Sunday morning... It's safe to say it's been an eventful MWC so far and yet there's more to come.

              MWC 2011 overview

              Nokia didn't announce new devices on Sunday
              Nokia won't be announcing any new devices at the MWC. Just like last year.
              Samsung unpacks the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 10.1
              Here go the official pics of the Samsung Galaxy S II and Tab 10.1
              Here’s why the Samsung’s SuperAMOLED Plus displays are the next best thing
              Next Galaxy Player coming, meet the Galaxy Wi-Fi 5.0
              Staying connected with Bada OS 2.0: new location, social, and push services [VIDEO]
              Vodafone to offer Galaxy Tab 10.1 exclusively in the UK
              Does Samsung have a Tegra 2 Galaxy S II I9103 in line too?
              Samsung Galaxy S II - specshands-oncamera samplesexclusive camera samples
              Samsung S5780 Wave 578 - specshands-on photos
              Samsung Galaxy Gio S5660 - specshands-on photos
              Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 - hands-oncamera samples
              Sony Ericsson announces XPERIA Play, Neo and Pro
              You could be playing some of those games on the XPERIA Play, exclusive stuff, multiplayer and all [VIDEO]
              Here’s what all those gaming keys on the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play do
              Listen to the XPERIA Play product manager talk about the gaming phone of his life
              Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play - specshands-ongame video
              Sony Ericsson XPERIA Neo - specshands-on
              Sony Ericsson XPERIA Pro - specshands-on
              Official: copy-paste coming to Windows Phone 7 next month
              Microsoft Rally Ball will make you wish you had a Kinect-ed Xbox and a WP7 smartphone
              Microsoft has been collaborating with Nokia, but there are no new devices yet (except some internal Nokia test renders)
              LG jumps the gun, announces their droid smartphones and tablet
              Who would win in a fight between the LG Optimus Pad and a street fighting Steve Jobs?
              LG Optimus 3D partners with YouTube for 3D video sharing
              LG Optimus 3D P920 featured in a new video commercial, we get a better look at it
              LG unveils the Optimus 3D, the Optimus Black and Optimus Pad
              LG plans big for 2011, will present 20 new smartphones this year
              LG Optimus 3D - specshands-oncamera samples (3D pics/video too)3D screen on video
              LG Optimus Black - specshands-onNOVA display vs. Retina vs. sAMOLED
              LG Optimus Pad - hands-on (with video)
              Here go Incredible S, Desire S and Wildfire S by HTC
              HTC Facebook phones are here - the HTC Salsa and the ChaCha
              HTC announces the 7-inch aluminum unibody Flyer tablet at the MWC
              HTC Incredible S - specshands-on
              HTC Desire S - specshands-on
              HTC Wildfire S - specshands-on
              HTC Salsa - specshands-on
              HTC ChaCha - specshands-on
              HTC Flyer - hands-on (with video)
              Acer Iconia Smart has 21:9 screen, Liquid swaps the Metal for mt
              Acer Iconia tablets at the MWC 2011: A for Android, W for Windows 7
              Acer Iconia Smart - specshands-on
              Acer Liquid mt - specshands-on
              Acer Liquid mini - specshands-on
              Acer beTouch E210 - specshands-on
              Acer Iconia Tab A100/A101 - hands-on
              Acer Iconia Tab A500/A510 - hands-on
              Acer Iconia Tab W500/W501 - hands-on
              Acer Iconia - hands-on (with video)
              1GHz Motorola Pro headed to Europe after all, here's the scoop
              The Motorola Xoom tablet comes to Europe in 3G and Wi-Fi versions
              Motorola Atrix - specshands-on
              Motorola Pro - specshands-on
              Motorola XOOM - hands-on
              BlackBerry PlayBook - hands-on
              HP Pre - specshands-on
              HP Veer - specshands-on
              HP TouchPad - hands-on (with video)
              ZTE annonces the droids Amigo and Skate at MWC 2011
              ZTE Skate - specshands-on
              ZTE Amigo - specshands-on
              ZTE Libra - specshands-on
              ZTE U900 - specshands-on
              ZTE V9+ - hands-on
              Huawei IDEOS X3 - hands-on
              Huawei IDEOS X5 - specshands-on
              Huawei IDEOS S7 Slim - hands-on
              Sonim XP3300 Force - specsextreme hands-on
              Alcatel OT-803 - hands-on photos
              Alcatel OT-807 - hands-on photos
              Alcatel OT-990 - hands-on photos
              Misc MWC 2011 awards: iPhone 4 is best device, HTC - best maker
              Altek Leo hands-on, 14MP camera samples, optical zoom samples and 720p video
              Next Android version will infuse Gingerbread and Honeycomb
              Leaked Dell 2011 roadmaps reveal tablet and smartphone lineups