Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Can You Get Strep Throat Without Tonsils?

Can You Get Strep Throat Without Tonsils

Can You Get Strep Throat Without Tonsils?

A common cause of sore and scratchy throat in kids, strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. While surgical resection of the tonsils is successful in reducing throat infections, it doesn't guarantee long-term protection from strep throat or other throat infections. All it offers is a lowered risk of contracting strep throat!
A pain in the throat accompanied by pain while swallowing is often thought to be an indication of tonsils. But it can also be a symptom of strep throat, a term which is commonly used in place of a sore throat by many. Are tonsillitis, strep throat, and sore throat the same thing? If that’s what you have always assumed, you need to get your facts straight. It is also generally assumed that one cannot suffer from strep throat if there are no tonsils, that is after the person has had them removed through a tonsillectomy.
Let’s find out the difference between strep throat and tonsillitis and if one can exist without the other.

What Is Strep Throat?

Strep throat, more common in children than in adults, is a bacterial infection of the throat caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria (a.k.a group A strep). These bacteria can live in a person’s nose and throat without causing illness. Strep throat or streptococcal pharyngitis is a communicable disease. The bacteria spread through contact with droplets released into the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also possible to get this painful and agonizing disease from touching sores on the skin caused by group A strep.1
Severe throat pain, difficulty and pain while swallowing and a fever of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher are the most common symptoms of a strep throat. The bacteria also engulf the tonsils. A headache, mild neck stiffness, and gastrointestinal symptoms like anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are some less common symptoms. These may be observed in roughly 35 percent to 50 percent of cases only.2
The back of your throat might appear bright red and beefy with white or yellow spots and you may also have swollen tonsils or lymph nodes.3
On another note, your partner or those around you might also be able to tell if you have strep throat just by your breath. Really? Can you smell strep throat? According to a research paper, the breath of those suffering from this bacterial infection is characteristically foul.4
So how can you be sure you have strep throat? The doctor will examine your throat and will probably ask you to undergo some tests. Available diagnostic tests include throat culture (commonly advised) and rapid antigen detection testing.5

Symptoms Of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis, on the other hand, is an acute inflammation of the tonsils, which are two small masses of lymphoid tissue on either side of our throat. It can be caused by either viruses or bacteria, unlike strep throat which is a bacterial infection. Some of the most common symptoms of tonsillitis include fever, enlargement of the tonsils and regional lymph nodes, and difficulty swallowing.6
Tonsillitis is a common condition mostly seen in children and infrequently in adults. Normally, medication works to fix it but in the case of recurrent tonsillitis even after adequate antibiotic therapy, the tonsils need to be surgically removed (tonsillectomy).
Tonsillectomy is the most common operation performed on children. Those who have experienced at least three episodes of tonsillitis in each of three successive years; five episodes in each of two successive years; or seven episodes in one year are recommended the surgery.7

Can You Get Strep Throat If You Do Not Have Tonsils?

Tonsils are a major part affected by strep throat causing bacteria. But does that mean no tonsils, no strep throat? Not really. While tonsillectomy is successful in reducing throat infections, it most definitely doesn’t guarantee long-term protection from strep throat or other throat infections. All it offers is a lowered risk of contracting strep throat.
A study published in 2007 concluded that adults with a history of documented recurrent episodes of strep throat were less likely to have further streptococcal or other throat infections or days with throat pain if they had their tonsils removed. Only three percent of those who had undergone tonsillectomy had an episode of strep throat as opposed to 24 percent in the control group, which comprised of patients on the waiting list for a tonsillectomy.8
According to another research, 187 children severely affected with recurrent throat infection were observed. Of these, 91 were assigned randomly to either surgical or nonsurgical treatment groups, and 96 according to parental preference. The incidence of throat infection during the first two years of follow-up was significantly lower in the groups that went through surgery, than in the non-surgical groups. Despite surgery, throat infections did find a way to affect some. Third-year differences, although in most cases not significant, also consistently favored the surgical groups. But it is interesting to note that in each follow-up year, many subjects in the non-surgical groups had fewer than three episodes of infection, and most of these episodes were mild.9

How To Avoid Strep Throat

Strep throat is most commonly seen in children; however, adults are not immune to it either. The best way to avoid strep throat is to avoid contact with an infected person. Wash your hands regularly and avoid using the same utensils as the sick person.10

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Money Management: 4 money rituals to follow to avoid being caught off-guard financially

Your financial cushioning starts from the moment when you start taking words like 'Money',“Money-management",“Financial Planning” as sincerely as some animals prioritize hunting and gathering. It is a relentless discipline.

By:  | Updated: July 3, 2018 4:21 PM
Money lessons Financial ExpressMoney management involves practising a disciplined ritual to avoid being caught off-guard.
Money management is not a one day wonder. Money-rituals is a discipline. Unfortunately, We are living in an era where we end up spending our un-earned money. By the second week of the month, every rupee earned seem like a mercy of God. Wait, this is not enough. Imagine a scenario when a medical emergency arrives like a monsoon storm which has the ability to wipe out your meagre savings from your hidden locker. Also, remember the time when you have been subtly lured to make an extra purchase because a pop-up nudged you into buying a new gadget. If this was not enough, in the same month, you had to replace your air conditioner.
Yes, these moments come totally unannounced and catch you off-guard.
True, emergencies and contingencies often can’t always be avoided. However, there are scenarios and circumstances which you can bypass when you know they are coming. Yes, your financial cushioning and padding start from the moment when you start taking words like ‘Money’,“Money-management”,“Financial Planning” as sincerely as some animals prioritize hunting and gathering

This road to money-management starts with practising some sub-consciously set rituals. Here are four of them which should be ingrained in each one of us.

 1 ) Avoid frivolous and extravagant spending

A sudden job loss or a sudden large expense can change the anatomy of your cash flows in a jiffy. In such moments, you would find yourself wishing for some extra money. It is more relevant for the millennials today where the generation mute is mostly clueless about saving and is living majorly on credit. A CIBIL study has found that the number of credit card accounts has increased nearly 50 per cent after 2016. Also, the number of active consumer loans has seen a rapid rise of 83 per cent over the past year to reach Rs 1.95 crore at the end of March. It indicates that we are spending on small indulgences without calculating how much these indulgences cost when they’re added up. Your small expenditures like buying a cup of coffee on weekly trips to a shopping mall may cost you more when seen in totality.

2) Being mindful of recurring payments

Most businesses nowadays charge money from you on monthly basis. It is mostly done through monthly subscriptions and membership fees. And, let’s be honest, a monthly hit of Rs 400 hurts lesser than a lump sum hit of Rs 4800. And, if you have 12 subscriptions like these, then you end up shelling out Rs 57,600 in a year. Psychologically, it is a good business practice. However, unused subscriptions and memberships contribute to your money drainage. If you have set “money-management” and “financial independence” as your ultimate goal, then prioritize your spending. Take a look at your subscriptions and memberships. Cancel the ones you are not using or enjoying.

3 ) Do not replace your car frequently

We all love the touch of a new car. More so, if it is our own. But, if you buy a car by taking a loan, the bank holds the title until the loan is paid off. Also, your car depreciates by 25% in the first year and nearly 50% in two years. Most people trade their old car with a new one without even giving optimum justification to the usage of the previous one. In this chain of events, you had paid taxes and registration fees, insurance amount, interest amount on your depreciating assets. The only entity which benefits from this transaction is car dealers. Stop changing your assets so soon. It is less expensive as long as it helps you get by. The money saved can be put aside towards retirement.

4) Start investing at an early age

Experts suggest that “money-management” is directly proportional to wealth creation. Start investing at an early age. The old age formula is to subtract your age from 100 and then invest the percentage of that number in equities and equity-related investment funds like an index fund, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. Suppose you are 25. You should keep 75% of your portfolio towards equity and the rest 25% should be allocated to risk-less avenues like debt mutual funds, provident funds, bank deposits etc.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The 3 Best Houseplants For Every Room In The Home

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The 3 Best Houseplants For Every Room In The Home
Besides adding interest to your home, indoor plants offer numerous health benefits. Research recommends that you benefit the most when you have one indoor potted plant per 100 square feet.
Before we dig into which plants are best in which rooms in your house, let’s explore the benefits of having indoor plants.

The Benefits Of Indoor Houseplants

Plants purify the air

Plants are like a sponge. They trap toxins in their tissues or break them down and release them as harmless byproducts. Consider that most people spend the majority of their time indoors breathing in stale and possibly toxic air. Houseplants remove up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours according to research from NASA. VOC’s are comprised of substances such as formaldehyde (found in rugs, cigarette smoke, inks, solvents, paint and man-made fibers) and benzene which is found in places where there are books and printed papers. Modern homes and buildings are made “very well” meaning that they are practically airtight – this means that they trap dangerous VOCs inside. Indoor plants pull contaminants into the soil where microorganisms convert them into food for the plant.

Plants release water

Plants release moisture vapor as part of the photosynthetic and respiratory process. This, in turn, adds humidity to the air. Indoor plants release 97% of the water that they take in. If you live in a dry climate this helps keep indoor air moist and healthy. The Agricultural University of Norway has done research that shows that putting plants in interior spaces reduces conditions such as dry skin, sore throats, colds and dry coughs.

Plant make breathing easier

When we breathe, we take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Plants absorb the carbon dioxide we release and let off oxygen which we breathe during photosynthesis. This makes plants and people great partners. When you add plants to interior spaces oxygen levels go up. During the night – the process changes and plants take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. A few plants do the opposite – we will get to these in a bit.

Plants make you healthier

Research indicates numerous health benefits to having plants inside the home including:
  • Plants help fight colds –  indoor plants can reduce the incidence of colds by 30%
  • Plants ease headaches –  plants improve air quality that helps reduce headaches
  • Plants reduce blood pressure – having plants in the home reduces stress which in turn reduces blood pressure
  • Plants prevent allergies – when you expose children to allergens such as plants early in life they build up great immunity and tolerance
  • Plants improve your mood – plants just make people happy
  • Plants improve productivity – being productive is good for the mind and body and plants can boost mental performance, memory, and alertness

3 Best Plants For The Kitchen

Here are some of my favorite plants for the kitchen. Not only do they add a splash of color and interest all year long but they clean the air and are super easy to care for. In fact, some of these plants do best with minimal attention. That is great news for a busy cook!

1. English Ivy

English ivy is one of the best reducers of indoor air pollutants including bacteria, mold, benzene, and formaldehyde. The plant is perfect for hanging over your sink or by a window. English ivy needs a few hours of direct sunlight to do best. Just keep your cats and dogs away as this plant is toxic to them.

2. White Jasmine

There are few flowering plants that thrive indoors and white jasmine is one of them. It’s delicate white blossoms make a great addition to any color kitchen. This pretty and highly aromatic plant will keep your kitchen smelling sweet no matter what you are cooking. White jasmine does best if the soil is kept moist and it receives filtered light.

3. Aloe

I am not sure I could kill an aloe if I tried. Even if you pay it no attention for long periods of time, aloes still seem to do great. Referred to as the “plant of immortality,” aloe is a beautiful plant that is loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals that are wonderful for your skin. Having an aloe plant in the kitchen will be a great aid if you burn yourself. Just cut off a lower leaf close to the stalk, take off the spines and split the leaf longways. The cool gel inside will soothe a burn and promote healing. To keep aloes looking their best don’t overwater. Let the soil dry out to 2 inches between watering. Aloes can go about three weeks without water in the winter.

3 Best Plants For The Living Room

I love adding houseplants to my living room decor. They add interest and color to corners and spaces that are otherwise hard to lighten up. Here are three of my favorite indoor plants to have in my living space.

1. Pothos

Pothos is a sure “no fail” indoor houseplant that is perfect for the living room. I always have a pothos hanging from a hook in a corner or running along the top of a bookshelf. This pretty plant is not bothered by dry soil and only requires low light to thrive. I take my plant down from time to time and gently wipe the dust off the leaves with a damp cloth. If you want your leaves to shine, wipe them with some milk.

2. Succulents

I love succulents of all kinds, they are so easy to care for and offer great texture and color to the living room. Succulents have a crisp and somewhat minimalistic feel that make them perfect for any modern decor. I like to group two or three in a fun planter or cute wooden box and use them on coffee tables as accent pieces. Succulents are happy in fairly dry soil and require regular watering until established but are very happy with a dry climate and bright light after that. Some of my favorites include slender cacti, spiky sedum, smooth Echeveri, and flowering Kalanchoe.

3. Ponytail Palm

This plant is so much fun and makes a great conversation piece. Long and thin leaves sprout from a thick stalk that holds water. This Mexico native plant looks great as a centerpiece on any table. Ponytail palms like dry soils so be sure not to overwater this pretty plant. Technically, this plant is in the succulent family but is quite in a class of its own. Provide bright light and fertilize twice a year for best results. Do not repot unless the plant is rootbound.

3 Best Plants For The Bedroom

Do you remember earlier when I said that we would talk about some plants that give off oxygen at night? These are some of the plants that you want in your bedroom. Plants help create a sense of tranquility and ease in the bedroom as well as add color and texture to any space. Here are plants that I love to incorporate into my bedroom decor.

1. Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera daisies, also known as Gerber daisies, are cheerful and bright and also give off oxygen at night, helping keep the air clean and allowing for a restful sleep. These pretty plants originate from South Africa and come in a variety of colors including yellow, salmon, orange and white. The best indoor variety is a compact type that you can set in a sunny, but not too hot, window. Providing enough light is critical for best growth and showy flowers. Water your gerbera daisy deeply only when the top inch of soil feels dry. Pinch off dead flowers and fertilize in the spring. Repot only when the plant becomes crowded in its initial pot.

2. Lavender

Lavender has a sweet aroma that has powerful relaxation properties. What better plant to put on your nightstand, especially if you have difficulty sleeping. Research shows that the scent of lavender can slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and reduce stress. Potted lavender plants need to receive 8 hours of full sun per day and a sparing amount of water. Lavender is happiest when it dries out between watering but don’t let it get so dry that it starts to wilt.

3. Gardenia

The white blooms and beautiful sweet aroma make gardenia a perfect compliment to any bedroom. In addition, this plant also has a sedative effect on those who breathe in the fragrance. A study done at Heinrich Heine University found that gardenia was just as effective as valium for the mind and body relaxation. Gardenias do very well indoors if placed in a good spot and not moved. They like plenty of light, including at least half a day of direct sun and like a room temperature of about 55F during the day and 64F at night. Since it is wise to keep your bedroom cool, these temperatures are healthy not just for your plant but also for yourself. Keep your plant free from drafts or direct air from a furnace for best results.

3 Best Plants For The Home Office

As mentioned earlier, one well-researched benefit of houseplants is that they improve mood, boost productivity and cognitive performance.

1. Rubber Plant

Not only will a rubber plant add a nice touch of green to your office but it will oxygenate the air and boost your thinking power. Rubber plants do best with a lot of bright, indirect light. Keep this tropical beauty moist during the summer and on the dry side during the winter. If you live in a dry climate, your rubber tree will appreciate misting once or twice a week. Fertilize once or twice during the spring and summer months with an organic houseplant fertilizer or compost tea. Rubber plants can get large so be sure you repot as needed.

2. African Violet

If you have a small office space and need a pick-me-up, consider an African violet plant. African violets are sweet and simple and add joy to any space. There are a few things to remember if you want your African violet to thrive. These plants like to be watered from the bottom – be sure to place them in a saucer or a special African violet pot that will water them from the bottom. These pretty little plants like bright to medium light and it is best if it is not direct sunlight. The ideal spot is 3 feet from a south or west facing window Pinch spent blooms and fertilize with a 15-30-15 fertilizer at ¼ strength each watering.

3. Cactus plant

There are many varieties of cacti plants, some that are small and perfect for an added touch on a bookcase or a desk. Larger varieties are perfect if you have an empty corner that needs some color. It is fun to combine a number of cacti in a shallow bowl and top with rocks. An added bonus regarding cacti plants is that they are very low maintenance as long as they receive plenty of bright light and are planted in well-draining compost.

3 Best Plants For The Bathroom

The best plants for your bathroom are the ones that require little care and humid environments. If you want to add interest to your bathroom, cleanse the air and add a nice touch of nature, consider one of these plants.

1. Boston Fern

Who can resist the beauty of a Boston fern? These plants make a great hanging addition to any bathroom space or they look wonderful on a pedestal if you have room. They thrive in the humid environment of a bathroom and require little special care.

2. Orchids

Orchids are a beautiful accent to any bathroom and they also love the humidity. There are some orchids that prefer bright light and others that prefer medium light. Be sure that you read the label when you place your plant. Orchids that need bright light do best next to a south-facing window. Medium-light orchids prefer a western exposure. Orchids also vary in the temperature that they prefer so be sure that you know just what your orchid needs to thrive. Humidity is one thing that all orchids tend to like. To boost humidity, place your orchid on a dry well. You can create this by placing pebbles on a tray and add water on top. Put your potted plant on top of the pebbles. If your plant is potted in a clay pot you can place the entire pot in a bowl of water for 15 minutes – the clay will absorb the water. If your plant is in a plastic pot place your pot in an already full bowl of water. Let it sit for 15 minutes and drain. If your orchid is planted in sphagnum moss or a soilless mix, water until the water drains out the bottom. Water drought tolerant orchids once a week and others every 4 days or so. Let the soil dry out before watering again.

3. Peace Lily

These beautiful plants make a dramatic impression on any bathroom. They have bright glossy leaves and white blooms that have a very clean and fresh look, not to mention their beautiful aroma. Peace lilies love humidity and enjoy a daily misting or being positioned right beside the shower. Lilies are also on top of the list for air cleansing and like moist, well-drained soil and fertilizer every six weeks or so. There are smaller (up to 16 inches) and taller varieties (up to 6 feet) of this beautiful plant so be sure to pick accordingly depending on your space.